Gas and Electric Water Heater Reviews for Tiny Houses

tiny house water heater

So you are doing what most lovers of tiny may never do: Actually building one! Good for you. Very exciting times indeed.

As with any building process you have lots of decisions to make and I am sure you may be getting a bit stressed about certain aspects of the entire endeavor.

One of the decisions to make is how are you going to heat the water that you use in your tiny house? The answer is going to depend of a number of variables such as:  where is your house going to be located; what, if any, services will you have access to; how much space you have to work with and more.

Anyone who builds a tiny house will tell you that every inch counts! You will not have the space for a full size water tank in a dedicated closet. You are going to be needing  an on demand, tankless water heater. With this technology, you’ll only heat water when you need it, instead of storing it in a massive tank only to cool off until you use it.

Here are some of the top tankless water heaters that you should consider. Please be advised to talk with a certified and licensed plumber and get their take on which model will be the best for your needs.

 

Tankless water heaters to consider for your tiny home

 

Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus Electric Tankless
Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus Electric Tankless Water Heater

Pros:

  • One of the strongest electric models on the market – expect high water pressure and a satisfying flow
  • Offers advanced digital temperature control

Cons

  • Three year warranty is only valid if professionally installed – a qualified technician may not be available in your area, and even if one is, they can be expensive to hire

 

 

Eccotemp FVI-12-NG High Capacity Gas Tankless Water Heater
Eccotemp FVI-12-NG High Capacity Gas Tankless Water Heater

Pros:

  •  Inexpensive, but still provides high quality results
  • Flexible external vent design options
  • Ideally sized for tiny homes

Cons:

  • Lower water pressure than some other models
  • Sensitive to user temperature adjustments at point of use, which can cause sudden and drastic  fluctuations in water flow temperature

 

 

Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 4 GPM

Pros:

  • Modulated temperature control means you can set your water temp just where you want it and the system will self-adjust energy input to avoid fluctuations
  • This unit is super small at 9″ x 10″ x 5″
  • Rheem has an excellent brand reputation

Cons:

  • Unit is limited to about 4 gallons per minute

 

 

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self Modulating Technology

Pros:

  • Save up to 60% on water heating costs – more than any other model I can find
  • User can precisely control water temperature in one-degree increments
  • Advanced technology minimizes energy usage by precisely calculating when to heat water
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty for residential use
  • Ideal for tiny homes powered with renewable energy

Cons:

  • This model is known for fluctuating by a few degrees between slightly different water temperatures
  • Professional installation is particularly vital for this model because errors are likely to cause system failure

 

So there are 4 of the top tankless water heater models to consider for your tiny house. If you are going to be using renewable energy to power your tiny home then an electric tankless water heater makes the most sense as the saving in cost can be substantial(anywhere between 15% and 60% on electric water heating costs). Also note that electric models don’t have to be vented externally, and they are ideal for mobile tiny homeowners who want to plug in where they park. Otherwise, gas models are typically cheaper to operate and some can even be converted to burn propane which is another fuel option to look into depending on your circumstances.

Please be aware that tankless water heaters are prone to build up of minerals which means you will have to flush your system periodically with a special solution to dissolve the build up. Alas, even tiny home ownership comes with recurring upkeep. Talk to your plumber about how to do this stuff.

We’re talking about fairly advanced equipment here so I recommend getting a licensed professional to do the install. If you don’t get everything just right during installation, you could wind up drastically shortening the lifespan of your system, inhibiting its proper function or voiding the warranty. Installation costs generally range from $350 on up. If YOU have skills maybe you can barter to bring the cost of building your tiny house down.

Based on the reviews I have read  I would go with the EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, because the potential to save 60% on energy costs just cannot be overlooked!

 

Congratulations on realizing your dream of building a tiny house.

 

Do you have any experience with tankless hot water heaters? If you do please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

“Live Simply”

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