This unit is best used for smaller apartments and small area heating applications. It is reasonably priced, energy efficient, easy to maintain and worked well for most reviewers. For some, they had to increase the size of their gas lines to make sure the unit was getting enough gas to work properly. The warranty isn’t as long and the minimum PSI is a bit higher than other options. The very high percentage of positive reviews gives this a higher rating.
This can work for a small home, cabin or apartment. It functioned well for some and is lower cost, but many had to make adjustments to make it fit their needs. A high percentage of negative reviews lead us to not recommend this unit as well as the patience and understanding required to work with it.
This also works for smaller cabins or homes. Reviewers with cabins, trailers, or under 1,000 square foot homes and basic needs seem to get enough hot water and good value out of this product . Minimum water pressure is 14 PSI, though works best at 55-60 PSI per customer comments. This is not for heavy-duty use. Multiple reviewers say you need to purchase the valve kit as well as install a flushing unit as well.
This wall mounted unit works well for camping and outdoor showers, as well as remote spaces like mountain cabins and horse stables. Ignition is via 2 D batteries so works where electricity isn’t available. It seems to be mostly used outdoor but can be adapted for indoor use as well. Many like how simple it is to install. They say it comes with everything you need, which it does technically, but many reviewers suggest to replace the factory regulator and accessories like the shower head. The rating also reduces due to the very limited 1-year warranty.
With 2-3 bathroom capacity, this unit should work for a small to medium size house. To get the most out of it you should get it professionally installed. Warranty also requires it. It is quiet, can be mounted on a wall and has a higher maximum water pressure than other options. Only potential negative is that your specific setup might require you to purchase a stainless steel vent which adds a significant additional cost.
A few reviewers experienced issues with a bit of noise, some breakdown after a couple years, or added installations costs. Even with that in mind, this received a very high percentage of 5 star reviews, has a very high energy factor, a warranty that competes with the best and a system that can use standard PVC pipe. A solid option for a home with 2-3 bathrooms.
From reviews, this unit seems easy to install and also has an energy star rating. With the highest max energy efficiency and multiple options for the direct vent system as well as the same warranty terms, this edges out option #6. If you don’t need a higher max temperature than 140 degrees F and don’t need a lower minimum PSI than 50, this is a great option for a 3 bathroom home.
If you have a smaller house with 1-2 bathrooms, this is worth considering. It has a lower minimum PSI and a lower cost than option #7. It also has a slightly shorter warranty, lower flow rate, and is a bit less efficient (lower energy factor). Same solid brand with a few less features, but most reviewers had very good experiences.
It’s nice that there’s no venting required, it’s easy to install, and can mount outdoors. The shorter warranty coupled with reviewers having very inconsistent water heating experiences leads us to not recommend this option. It has a high percentage of 1 star reviews. There are better options.
Though it has a high percentage of 5 star reviews and is very low cost, we can’t give this too high a rating due to a few factors. The 20 minute limit on heat cycles and adapting to .5 inch equipment is cumbersome. Per reviews the directions are not very helpful, customer service isn’t great, and there are no warranty details.
This is a basic tankless water heater that works off propane. It has the necessary protections we like to see and a decent energy factor. It’s also low cost, but there’s not much else to it. It has a higher percentage of 1 star ratings, no certifications, no warranty details as well as a few complaints about a lack of water pressure and customer service. This is too much to overcome in our opinion, thus the low rating.
Multiple reviewers mentioned it needs a lot of water flow to kick-in, heating can be intermittent (very hot to cold), and customer support isn’t consistently helpful. With an under $200 price tag and almost half of the reviews being 5 star, it might be worth considering for a limited usage scenario (outdoor shower or small cabin visited from time to time). It does require a bit of work to install and adjust, though it comes with some help via a user manual and installation orientations.
This has the same pros and cons as option #12 as is from the same brand. Interestingly, this version that works off natural gas has a lower minimum activation PSI. Given that fact and a lower percentage of negative reviews, we give it a bit higher rating.
This product is best for outdoor use, but can be installed indoor with a flue pipe or duct that is well ventilated. It has a very low minimum activation PSI, which is great for outdoor setups. It also provides some of the minimum safety measures we look for. However, the very short warranty and issues with windy conditions and altitude limit it some. Overall, this is a good very low-cost option with indoor/outdoor flexibility.
Similar to option #14, this product is best used outdoors and has the same benefits and issues with wind and altitude. It is slightly cheaper as of this writing as well. We gave it a lower rating than option #14 because of the lower quality shower hose.
This product can be used outdoors and indoors with proper ventilation. It also has a 3 year warranty which is 3 times longer than the previous two options! It also has many of the same benefits. The lack of information on this product or brand in general makes us drop the rating and not fully confident in it.
This is a solid product that has a 15 year warranty on the heat exchanger, a low minimum activation PSI, and works up to 6,000 feet. It also includes the stainless steel flue you need for ventilation which a big positive. The temperature registers in celsius and some reviewers had issues with customer service, but getting the stainless steel flue makes this a good deal for smaller houses or apartments.
This is a well-known and trusted brand. From reviews, people have stuck with this brand for years and been very happy. It has a great warranty at 15 years for heat exchanger and 5 years for parts. It even comes with compact venting to make it easier to work with your existing vent openings and has a very high energy factor and max flow rate. This is our recommendation for someone who needs up to 3 bathrooms or showers taken care of. As of this writing the price is several hundred dollars cheaper than options #19 and #20.
This product compares favorably to option #18. We gave it a slightly lower rating because it’s a bit more expensive yet has a lower max flow rate, energy factor, and warranty on the heat exchanger. Detailed instructions and automatic scale detection are also nice features worth highlighting as well. This is our recommended option for a 2 or 2.5 bathroom home.
If you live at higher altitudes, this is probably your best option among what we reviewed. This has the highest specific altitude of 10,100 feet. It also has a 15 year warranty on heat exchanger, all of the safety features we look for, a high energy factor and a high max flow rate. Only reason it gets a slightly lower rating is because of higher cost and reviewers thinking the instructions could be better.
Finding the tankless water heater that works for you really depends on your setup and your needs. Take a walk around your house and think about where the unit would fit and how it could vent if it’s indoors. It’s important to understand your water needs in detail. How many different usages do you have and what is the flow rate (GPM) needed for each? What size gas feed lines do you require? You should also know your groundwater temperature as colder climates may not get to the max temperature advertised.
In the end, consulting with a professional and having them install it is your best bet to get the right unit and the most out of it. Some brands will not honor their warranty unless you have a licensed professional install it. That being said, many handy people have setup tankless water heaters on their own with success.
Here’s what to consider:
Another detail to keep in mind is that for most tankless water heaters there will be a bit of a delay between turning on water and having hot water. We also suggest you follow any manufacturer suggestions for upkeep like filtration and scale inhibitors. With so much to consider, we took a look at 20 different tankless gas water heaters to help you on your search. We focused on low to reasonably priced models that are under $1,500.