The Best Electric Hot Water Heaters for Residential Use in 2023

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

Discovering the ideal electric hot water heater for your home can be a daunting task, but we've got you covered.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the top models from two leading brands - Rheem/Marathon and Westinghouse. We'll examine their advanced functionalities and technical specifications, and offer insightful tips to enable you to make an informed decision.

It's worth noting that all the models we've reviewed, including the top-sellers, are equipped with 50-gallon storage tanks, ensuring you have ample hot water supply to meet your daily needs. So, join us as we explore the best electric hot water heaters available in the market and see what they have to offer.

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A review of the best electric hot water heaters and buying tips

Rheem Marathon electric water heater - Things to look for

Marathon electric water heater - By RheemMarathon electric water heater

The Rheem Marathon MSR50245 is a highly sought-after model among both homeowners and contractors, and we believe it to be the best electric hot water heater in the conventional type models category.

One of the standout features of the Marathon model is its unique design, with the inner tank crafted from seamlessly molded polybutene that is leak-proof and non-corrosive. This eliminates the need for anode rods and servicing, making maintenance hassle-free. The thick insulation and high energy factor of 0.95 result in significant savings, with reduced standby heat loss.

While most steel-made water heaters come with a warranty of up to 12 years, the Marathon goes above and beyond, offering a lifetime warranty. This indicates excellent quality and a long-lasting operation, making it an excellent investment for your home.

The commercial-grade dip tube is another notable feature, ensuring the incoming water flows turbulently, preventing sediment buildup and guaranteeing top-notch quality. Although the Marathon doesn't qualify for government tax breaks due to its conventional type, its impressive efficiency makes it eligible for rebates from utility companies.

In summary, the Rheem Marathon MSR50245 is an outstanding electric hot water heater that offers unmatched durability, energy efficiency, and excellent warranty coverage, making it an excellent choice for any home.

Westinghouse electric water heater review

Westinghouse electric water heaterWestinghouse electric water heater

The Westinghouse WER052C2X045 model boasts a durable stainless steel tank that provides homeowners with peace of mind, as it doesn't corrode. In addition, the two Incoloy heating elements are also made of stainless steel, ensuring reliable and durable operation, while reducing scale buildup at the bottom of the tank and on the electric elements.

Other notable features of the Westinghouse model include its lightweight design for easy handling, a high recovery rate of up to 25 gallons, and heavy-duty insulation. This design ensures more heat goes toward water heating, resulting in increased energy efficiency of over 92%.

Built in the US, Westinghouse claims their manufacturer is the "industry best," offering a lifetime warranty, which indicates their confidence in the product's longevity and quality.

When it comes to price, the Westinghouse model is more affordable than the Rheem Marathon, costing a few hundred dollars less. Both models are built to last for many years, making them a reliable investment.

It's worth noting that none of the conventional-type electric heaters, including the Rheem Marathon and Westinghouse models, are Energy Star compliant, regardless of their high energy factor.

However, you can still opt for a hybrid water heater that combines heat pumps and a typical electric water heater, providing the benefits of both technologies. While these models cost more, they offer over 3 times the efficiency, resulting in significant savings. Check out our review of the best heat pumps to explore their advanced features and capabilities.

How to select the best electric water heater - Buying tips

Choosing the best electric hot water heater for your home should be done carefully as electricity is expensive, and so is the heater itself. When selecting a model, it's important to choose one that is highly efficient, providing enough hot water for your family while also reducing energy bills and ensuring comfortable use.

In the US and Canada, electricity is more widely available than gas, which is not available in some areas. Additionally, fuel costs and rates vary throughout the continent, so it's important to consider which fuel source is more cost-effective for you. This decision directly affects your water heating costs.

When comparing the best hot electric water heaters to gas models, you will notice that electric heaters heat water more slowly, which means you'll need to purchase an electric heater with a larger tank to meet the same demand. However, electric water heaters have several advantages over their gas counterparts, including lower costs, fewer components, lower installation and maintenance costs, and higher safety levels.

Things to consider

When looking for the best electric hot water heater, there are several factors to consider, just like with top gas models:

  • Look for a model with high first-hour recovery, measured in gallons per hour (GPH), to ensure enough hot water during peak usage. This information can be found on the yellow Energy Guide sticker.
  • Most high-capacity electric models come with two heating elements, which should be made of high-quality materials like stainless steel and have protection from dry-firing.
  • Energy Star and tax credits are not available for conventional-type electric water heaters, but they are for electric heat pumps, which are known as hybrid water heaters and have a high energy factor.
  • The best electric water heater has reduced standby heat loss, so choose a unit with high insulation R-value for better efficiency. A lower insulation value like R-6 means the unit loses more energy through the walls compared to a unit with R-24 insulation.
  • The best electric water heater has advanced features like a self-cleaning system, specially designed dip tube, high-quality heating elements, powered anode, or commercial-grade type.

You have options beyond electric water heaters with storage tanks. Electric tankless heaters are small, wall-mounted, without storage tanks, and heat water on-demand through a heat exchanger, providing an endless supply of hot water.


The best electric hot water heaters offer high efficiency, reduced standby heat loss, advanced features, and systems such as self-cleaning, high-quality heating elements, and commercial-grade dip tubes. When choosing a model, it is essential to consider factors such as the high first-hour recovery, heating element materials and protection, insulation R-value, and electronic control.

The Rheem Marathon and Westinghouse WER052C2X045 are two of the best electric water heaters, offering durability, reliability, and lifetime warranties.

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