The Best Electric Hot Water Heaters for Residential Use

Rheem electric heat pumpRheem electric heat pump
(photo: amazon)

Explore the best electric hot water heaters and see what do they offer. Compare the top models from Rheem/Marathon and Westinghouse. See the advanced features, specs, and tips when looking for the best model. All the models that we have reviewed, including the listed top-sellers, utilize 50-gallon storage tanks.

The best electric hot water heaters and things to consider

Rheem Marathon

Rheem Marathon MSR50245 is one of the favorite models among homeowners and contractors, and per our opinion, probably the best electric hot water heater from conventional type models.

The Marathon model has a specific design where the inner tank is made of seamlessly molded polybutene that is leak-proof and does not corrode, eliminating the need for anode rods and servicing. The thick insulation and the high energy factor of 0.95 prove that this model provides excellent savings with significantly reduced standby heat loss.

All steel-made water heaters have up to a 12-year warranty, while the Marathon has it longer. A Marathon heater comes with the longest one – a lifetime warranty, which indicates that this unit has an excellent quality, resulting in a long-lasting operation. This is a good reason to buy Marathon.

Installed commercial-grade dip tube guarantees the quality and, with the unique design, makes the incoming water flow turbulent, which helps in preventing the sediment buildup. As said, Marathon, as the conventional type heater, is not eligible for government tax breaks, but due to its superb efficiency, it is suitable for rebates from utility companies.


The Westinghouse WER052C2X045 model, as opposed to the non-metallic water heater from above, comes with a durable stainless steel tank, providing peace of mind to the homeowners, as it doesn't corrode and leak due to corrosion.

Two Incoloy heating elements are also made of stainless steel as the tank, which guarantees durable and reliable operation and reduced scale buildup at the bottom of the tank and on the electric elements.

Other superior features include the lightweight design for easy handling, the high recovery rate of up to 25 gallons, and heavy-duty insulation. This is why more heat goes toward water heating and less on waste, resulting in increased energy efficiency to over 92%.

This amazing electric water heater is built in the US, and according to the Westinghouse, the manufacturer is the "industry best," – built to last and offered with a lifetime warranty.

Either you select Marathon or Westinghouse, you won't make a mistake because both models are built to last for many years, and when it comes to the price, Westinghouse is cheaper for a few hundred dollars.

Note: It is worth mentioning that none of the conventional-type electric heaters is Energy Star compliant no matter how high their energy factor is.

But, don't worry, you can still get a hybrid water heater, which is a combination of the heat pumps and a typical electric water heater – two technologies in one. The footprint is similar so as the size of water connections. While they cost more, they also offer more than 3X the efficiency so that they can save you more. Here is the review of the best heat pumps to check them out and see what they offer.

Popular 50-gal electric models

If you would like to see what other homeowners are buying, we have selected the following models, which are the most popular on

Tips when selecting the best electric model

Choosing the best electric water heater for your home should be done carefully. The electricity is expensive so as the heater. When selecting the model, which is highly efficient, you will get enough hot water for your family, lower energy bills, and comfortable use.

Electricity is widely used in the US and Canada, while gas is not available in some areas. Furthermore, the fuel cost or the rates are different throughout the continent, so you might want to check if it is better to use one or the other fuel source. This is an important decision as it directly affects your water heating costs.

When comparing the best electric water heater vs. gas type, you will see that water is heated more slowly with the electricity, so you will have to buy an electric heater with a larger tank for the same demand.

The best electric hot water heater has some advantages over its gas counterparts as being cheaper, has fewer components, installation and maintenance costs are lower, and safety is higher.

Things to consider

As with the top gas models, there are several factors you should consider when looking for the best electric hot water heater:

  • Look for the model that is designed with the high first-hour recovery, calculated in gallons per hour (GPH). It is important so your water heater provides enough hot water during peak time. This info is found on the yellow Energy Guide Sticker.
  • Most of the high-capacity electric models come with two heating elements. It is essential that these elements are made of high-quality materials, such as stainless steel, and have protection from dry-firing.
  • Energy Star and tax credits are not available even on the best electric hot water heater - conventional type, but they are on electric heat pumps. These systems are known as hybrid water heaters, and the EF is very high.
  • The best electric water heater has the standby heat loss reduced to its minimum, so choosing the unit with the high insulation R-value is beneficial. Lower insulation value, like R-6, means that the device is less efficient (it loses much more energy through the wall than the unit with the R-24, for example).
  • The best electric water heater is equipped with advanced features and systems such as the self-cleaning system, specially designed dip tube, high-quality heating elements, powered anode, or commercial grade type.

Electric water heaters with the storage tank are not your only choice. There are also electric tankless heating devices that are small, wall hanging, without the storage tanks, which heat water in the heat exchanger, on-demand, and deliver hot water in endless supply.


The best electric hot water heater is the high-efficient unit that comes with reduced standby heat loss and great savings; it is equipped with quality components for long and reliable operation, has five-star reviews, and is coming from a trusted and proven manufacturer.

This is why Marathon and Westinghouse models are our choices.

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