Ecosmart Tankless Water Heater Review

Hot showers are a perfect start to your day and a calming end to a hard day. However, running hot showers can take a heavy toll on your utility costs, especially if you have a big household. You need a water heater that not only gives you steady hot water flow but it also helps cut down your utility bill. Enter tankless water heaters. 

Ecosmart water heaters are suitable for homes that want to manage their electric bill. The company is a well-known solution provider in the green space. Ecosmart tankless water heaters are built for home efficiency. With UEF ratings starting from 0.90, Ecosmart tankless water heaters are designed to give you on-demand hot water. They cut down the time and energy that old model tank heaters use to perform the same function. 

Ecosmart tankless water heaters are among the best and fastest-selling water heater brands. Let’s explore what makes this brand so appealing and what you need to look for when choosing an Ecosmart tankless water heater.

Who Makes Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters?

Technically, Ecosmart tankless water heaters are a product of Eemax. Eemax is an American company that is specific in its manufacturing goals. According to the company, their tankless and miniature tank electric water heaters are built to meet these standards for residential, commercial, industrial, and safety applications. 

  • Safety
  • Code compliance
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation

Their guiding principle is producing products that reduce time-to-temperature while delivering endless hot water. 

A Brief History of Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters

Eemax has come a long way since its 1988 inception. It hit the ground running with its first tankless water heater for commercial purposes. These first water heaters could produce only 0.5 to 1.5 gallons per minute. However, by the end of the 90s, they upgraded to Series Two™ and Series Three™ water heaters with up to 5 GPM capabilities. 

In 2000, they ventured into producing water heaters for residential homes. They continued their dominance in the tankless water heater field with the 2003 launch of the Series Six™ and Series Twelve™ families of high-capacity water heaters. These heaters had the industrial capacity and could produce up to 25 GPM. 

A private equity firm, Riverside acquired Eemax in 2008. This move was to spur the expansion of the water heater brand across America and globally. In 2013, Eemax, under Riverside, bought Ecosmart to expand its product line. 

In 2014, Eemax improved its residential water heater offerings with the introduction of HomeAdvantage II™. This innovation was meant to boost energy efficiency by only using energy when you need hot water. It reduced energy costs, it was safer for the environment, and it reduced water wastage. 

As recently as 2019, Eemax continued to evolve into an industry leader with the launch of the ProSeries XTP™. These are electric tankless water heaters that demand faster thermal performance.

How Reliable are Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters?

Ecosmart has grown because of its products’ reliability. There are features you expect to get in an Ecosmart tankless water heater when you install one. 

These are some of the areas in which Ecosmart water heaters excel.

Gas and Electric Capability

Although most heaters in the Ecosmart lineup are electric, it has another set of gas water heaters that can run on propane and natural gas. The best part about the ability to run both propane and natural gas is that you’d only need to change a gas valve. That saves you the inconvenience and cost of getting another heater only because of the type of fuel. 

The gas models are available in condensing and non-condensing units. And even when they run on gas, you benefit from their above-par EF score. The condensing units show EF ratings of up to 0.95, while the non-condensing units reach EF scores of up to 0.82. 

The electric water heaters are more diverse than the gas-powered ones. The ones with the high GPM flow rate only run about 36Kw of power. 

Alternative Use

Typically, water heaters give you less hot water during winter. See, groundwater is colder during colder months. As such, it takes longer for you to get hot water. The smaller Ecosmart electric heaters can act as backup units for tank-type heaters. The additional capacity ensures you have enough running hot water when it’s cold. 

Also, you can use electric heaters like space heaters in hydronic floor systems. 

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Low-Flow Usage

Some areas have by-laws or water systems that limit the water flow. You’d need a heater that can provide hot water in a low-flow area. Ecosmart has a line of Point-Of-Use (POU) water heaters that use 3.5kw of power. These heaters operate on an ON-OFF mechanism rather than a Flow Sensor Technology. 

These small units are compact enough to install in small spaces. They can go under your kitchen sink, near the laundry unit, or closer to your bathroom. 

Temperature Control in Whole-House ECO Models

Ecosmart’s ECO models are designed for whole-house usage. They use up to 36Kw of power to heat up water as it comes in. Typically, such a unit would drive up your annual utility costs.

However, the ECO series reduces your costs by having temperature modulation. Temperature modulation regulates temperature within 80 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It increases and reduces the temperature in variances of 1F. You can monitor the temperature variation on the ECO models’ monitoring screen. 

Durability

You invest in-home convenience products such as water heaters so they can serve you for a long time. That is why Ecosmart tankless water heaters have copper and stainless steel parts that are less prone to corrosion. Water heaters deteriorate fast due to the build-up of corrosive minerals inside the heater. Vital components such as the heat exchanger are made from copper and stainless steel, making them more energy-efficient and long-lasting.

Cost of Top Ecosmart Tankless Water Heater Models?

ModelCapacityPower SourceEstimated Price
POU 3.50.5Electric$155
POU 61.5 Electric $140
ECO 82 Electric $200
ECO 113.2 Electric $250
ECO 184.4 Electric $400
ECO 245.9 Electric $475
ECO 276.6 Electric $525
ECO 368.8 Electric $150
ESG-646.4Gas$750
ESG-848.4 Gas $1000
ESG-959.5Gas$1150
ESGH-848.4Gas$1350
ESGH-959.5Gas$1550

You can find Ecosmart Tankless water heaters for as little as $150 to as much as $1600. Let’s break down your choices at different price levels. 

The $150-$250 bracket mostly has POU Ecosmart water heaters. They are affordable since they don’t use up too much power and cannot sustain whole-house usage. The priciest Ecosmart POU costs about $200. 

EcoSmart Electric Models cost as little as $230 for models such as the Eco 8 and Eco 11. Other electric models such as Eco 18, Eco 24, and Eco 27 cost between $400 and $500. 

The priciest electric models include some Eco 27 heaters and Eco 36, which go for up to $730 in unit cost. 

Ecosmart Gas Tankless water heaters are more expensive. You’ll shell out between $700 to $800 for the ESG-64 gas model and up to $1600 for an ESGH-95 model. However, you have other options such as a $1000 ESG-84, $1200 ESG-95, and $1400 ESGH-84. 

Suppliers have different prices. Consider price shopping before settling on a vendor. 

On the other hand, you can pay up to $1500 to install an Ecosmart Gas tankless water heater. There are additional costs if the installation includes a vent, recirculation unit, or a water line. 

Where are Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters Made?

Although Eemax has headquarters and a manufacturing plant in Waterbury, Connecticut, the Ecosmart line of tankless water heaters is made in China. Still, that doesn’t mean the end product is skimpy on quality. The company ensures all the heaters maintain high-quality standards as is expected. 

The parent company, Rheem, is based in Atlanta. With a global presence in 14 countries, Rheem has expanded the Eemax brand with distribution channels in 30 other countries. 

To keep up with the demand for better products, Eemax invested in a 7,000 square-foot Innovation Learning Center in the U.S. This center equips engineers, company representatives, vendors, and plumbing professionals with the skills to stay ahead of all matters of water heating. 

How Long do Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters Last?

Regarding durability, a water heater’s lifespan is as good as the water coming in and the care with which you handle it. Tank models have lifespans up to 12 years. After that, professionals in the field will advise you to consider a replacement. 

Ecosmart tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years. Impressive, considering the initial investment. However, Ecosmart tankless water heaters are meant to last that long, even by looking at what’s inside. With less vulnerability to corrosion, tank leaks, and sulfur damage, a water heater can last as long as 20 years. 

Additionally, Ecosmart products have different warranties. Ecosmart gas tankless water heaters have 12-year warranties, while electric water heaters have lifetime warranties. Couple the warranties with regular maintenance, and you have a heater that will last you a long time. 

How is the Warranty on Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters?

Both gas and electric tankless have limited warranties on the heater, heater parts, and installation. Ecosmart tankless gas water heaters have a 12-year warranty on both condensing and non-condensing models. The 12-year warranty is limited to the heater exchanger. There’s a 5-year warranty on parts and a one-year warranty on labor for the ECO gas tankless water heaters. 

Electric models have different warranties. Electric Eco-series tankless water heaters have a lifetime warranty on heating elements. The smaller units, the POU water heaters, have a 1-year warranty. 

You void the warranty if you choose to DIY the installation rather than have a certified professional plumber do it. 

What are Common Problems with Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters?

These are common problems you will likely have when you own an Ecosmart tankless water heater. You can often correct these problems easily. Most Ecosmart tankless water heater problems are related to an error code. You just need to know what the error code means.

Scale and Heating Elements Damage Due to Hard Water

Scale isn’t exclusive to Ecosmart brands. However, hard water that’s responsible for scale is one of the biggest problems for water heaters. 

Scale damage takes a while to wreak havoc on your water heater. Its slow build-up means it could be slowing down your heating systems and costing you additional costs in energy bills without your knowledge. 

LED Light isn’t Functioning

This is a common problem in already installed and newly installed Ecosmart water heaters. The most common cause of this issue is debris buildup in the flow meter area.

However, the Ecosmart troubleshooting guide recommends you clean out the flow meter area. If the problem persists, you might need a replacement. 

Unit is No Longer Producing Adequate Heat but is Activating

Inadequate heat indicates there is a problem with the heating elements. These problems occur because of air pockets, sediment buildup, or freeze damage. If you check readings that read lower than five or higher than 10, you need to replace the heating element. 

Routine maintenance can be DIY or by a licensed professional plumber. However, if you have some skill in maintaining heating systems, clean-up will save you most of the trouble in these heaters. You can also refer to the Ecosmart interactive troubleshooting guide for selected heaters. 

We’ve compiled a detailed look at Ecosmart tankless water heater error codes.

Known Recalls for Ecosmart Tankless Water Heaters

Ecosmart’s commitment to high-quality water heaters means users have been shielded from the inconvenience of bad heaters. There’s not been any recalls for their products. Their customer service department, troubleshooting guide, and professional plumbers ensure clients’ problems are swiftly handled. 

How Ecosmart Compares To Similar Brands?

Ecosmart water heaters are just as good as other top heaters such as Rinnai, Navien, Takagi, Titan, and Noritz. Two factors make Ecosmart tankless water heaters a standout product alongside other similar brands. 

First, it lacks WI-Fi support, unlike Rinnai, Noritz, and Navien tankless water heaters. However, you can find WI-Fi-enabled water heaters from Ecosmart’s parent company, Rheem. 

Also, Ecosmart’s POU line is impressive. A point-of-use tankless water heater saves you the burden of using too much power for small repetitive daily tasks such as handwashing. These units are uniquely Ecosmart. 

Ecosmart’s high EF score is another impressive feature that sets it apart from other similar brands. Ecosmart uses EF as opposed to the newer UEF standard. Ecosmart tankless water heaters claim EF scores as high as 99.8%, the highest of other brands that register UEF scores of about 0.92 to 0.95. 

Still, Ecosmart tankless water heaters share some standard features with similar brands. Notably, they share indoor and outdoor use, high energy efficiency scores, and temperature control. 

What is the Downside of a Tankless Water Heater?

  • One of the biggest downsides of a tankless water heater is the initial cost. While they may have their benefits, tankless water heaters cost almost thrice the cost of tank-type water heaters. Prices for an Ecosmart tankless water heater can be as high as $1600 for a gas-powered unit. Electric units are more affordable at less than $1000. 

The most expensive tankless water heaters, solar-powered heaters, cost as much as $4000 in unit costs alone.  Installation prices range between $2000 to $6000 for solar-powered units. 

  • Tankless water heaters might provide endless streams of water. However, they might not supply endless streams of hot water if there are several open outlets at the same time. You can up the water flow capacity or add a POU water heater if you have an Ecosmart heater. 
  • Additional parts such as vents and gas lines cost more in unit price and installation. You’ll also need a professional plumber to install them for you to maintain the warranty’s validity.

Does it Take Longer to Get Hot Water with a Tankless Water Heater?

It takes longer to get hot water with a tankless water heater than a tank-type water heater. A tankless water heater heats cold water from the inlet and delivers it to the faucet. However, the water loses heat between the inlet and the outlet tap. Also, factors such as low-flow taps limit the speed at which you get hot water. 

Ecosmart has solutions such as POU systems and SmartBoosters. SmartBoost is installed on the tankless water system outlet line to increase hot water and save energy. The POU systems reduce the distance between the heater and outlet, giving you more hot water in less time. 

Final Thoughts

As tankless water systems improve efficiency and technology, you need to count on companies promoting green energy to save you utility costs. Ecosmart tankless systems are equipped to handle whole-house water needs for residential and commercial buildings.

Ensure you get a licensed plumber to install an Ecosmart tankless system in your home.  

Sources

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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