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The Best 40 Gallon Electric Water Heaters for 2023

Writen by Ronald Brown

Fact checked by Natalie Bridges

Modern homes rely on water heaters to deliver a continuous hot water supply for the family. While a gas-powered water heater can be a cost-effective solution for most homes, some households might benefit more from an electric water heater.

best 40 gallon electric water heater

Buying a 40-gallon electric water heater for your home is a cinch if you know the crucial elements of the top-quality product. These three factors should help you pinpoint which option best suits your needs.

  • UEF Value: The latest energy efficiency standards dictate that water heaters must offer dependable cost savings. Hence, the top-tier 40-gallon electric water heater must draw the least electricity (in watts) to heat more water (in gallons) without substantial heat losses. As a rule, the closer the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) value to 100% or 1.0, the more efficient the 40-gallon electric water heater (i.e., 0.93 vs. 0.89). The value should come with an Energy Star certification for credibility.
  • First-hour Rating: Consider your peak hot water consumption to determine how fast you want the product to elevate the water temperature to your desired level. Not that some 40-gallon electric units can heat 55 gallons in the first hour after activation. Meanwhile, some products can only deliver 30 to 45 gallons.
  • Recovery Rate: This attribute reflects the device’s ability to raise the water temperature to predetermined levels while cold water continuously flows into the storage tank. Like FHR, homeowners must choose a product that heats more water per hour (i.e., 45 gallons per hour vs. 40 GPH).

For a three to four-person family, a 40-gallon unit is often enough. It has a lower upfront cost, is safe to operate, and uses energy efficiently. What you need now is to get only the best 40 gallon electric water heater for your home. If you do not know which product to choose, this review and buying guide will help you decide.

Top-Rated Products

Best Overall

Bradford Electric Water Heater


Editor’s Pick

Rheem ELDS40-C


Best Value for Money

Reliance 6-40-EORS100


Table of Contents

Top-Rated 40 Gallon Electric Water Heater Reviews

1. Bradford White BWC RE340S6-1NCWW

If you want the top-rated 40 gal electric water heater, I strongly recommend the Bradford White BWC RE340S6. The product is energy-efficient, has a high first-hour rating, and exceptional craftsmanship that will never hurt your budget.

Two features make the water heater more efficient than other systems. First, there is a non-CFC foam insulation that reduces heat loss while also improving energy efficiency. Second, an advanced Hydrojet system inhibits the accumulation of sediment and improves water delivery during the first hour.

The electric water heater also features an innovative Vitraglas enamel inner wall lining that protects against rust and corrosion buildup. The design helps protect the screw-type heating elements, allowing for improved energy-efficiency in the long-term.

You will love the integrated automatic water heater controls and never fuss about their efficient operation. The system also delivers up to 49 gallons of hot water on the first hour of operation. It also has a fast recovery rate of 21 gallons per hour, allowing you to enjoy hot showers for extended periods.

Three household members can use hot water simultaneously. Enjoying hot beverages is never an issue with this electric water heater.

On the downside, the electric water heater is quite tall. You may not fit the product in a crawl space with a vertical clearance of fewer than 50 inches. A few homeowners also report that this electric water heater is heavier than their old unit with the same capacity.

Overall, the Bradford White BWC-RE340S6-1NCWW is the right choice for small families with modest hot water needs. It has an excellent first-hour rating, energy efficiency, and corrosion resistance. Operating it is also as hassle-free as you can imagine.

What We Like
  • Fully-automatic water heater controls for more efficient operation
  • High first-hour delivery rating for more hot water supply for the whole family
  • Fast recovery rate
  • Thermal insulation and anti-corrosion protection technologies
  • Prevents sediment buildup
What We Don’t Like
  • Not ideal for a vertical clearance lower than 50 inches
  • Quite heavy compared to some models

2. Rheem ELDS40-C Electric Water Heater

Small households should consider getting the Rheem ELDS40-C if they want a more efficient water-heating system. The product comes with unique features that make it as reliable and energy-efficient as possible.

The Rheem 38 gallon electric water heater can supply your household with 52 gallons of hot water in the first hour. It can also recover up to 24 gallons per hour, ensuring your family members get sufficient hot water for their needs. There should be no problem with three to four people using hot water simultaneously.

Part of the water heater’s efficiency is its advanced heating elements. Capable of raising the water temperature to 170 degrees Fahrenheit, the heating elements are built to last. It features two layers of copper and magnesium oxide to resist corrosion better.

A proprietary high-strength steel formulation makes up the tank body. Inside the tank is a high-performance porcelain enamel coating that resists corrosion and stands up to high temperatures. The design gives you effective thermal insulation like no other. It comes with the appropriate certification from CSA, UL, and AHRI, too.

I find the water heater’s compact design amazing. Most people think that a commercial water heater is bulky. It will surprise you to learn that you can install this water heater under your counter, under a cabinet, or in tight spaces.

With a $2000+ price tag, the electric water heater is not for the budget-conscious family. The company only offers a limited 3-year warranty, too, which is shorter than other brands.

The Rheem ELDS40-C is the right electric water heater for small families. While it is expensive, it makes up for it with energy efficiency, a compact design, and superior water-heating capability.

What We Like
  • High recovery and first-hour delivery ratings for sufficient hot water supply
  • Durable, corrosion-resistant heating elements for long-lasting heating performance
  • Proprietary protective steel with enamel coating
  • Compact design for installation in tight spaces
  • UL, AHRI, and CSA certified for greater peace of mind.
What We Don’t Like
  • Shorter warranty period than other brands
  • Is very expensive

3. Reliance 6-40-EORS100 Electric Water Heater

Reliance has been around for decades, making reliable and durable electric water heaters. The company’s latest product, the 6-40-EORS100, remains faithful to its legacy systems’ energy-efficient design.

With an energy efficiency factor of 0.95, this water heater can give your family sufficient hot water for all of your needs. It is also worth pointing out that the system’s copper-sheathed dual heating elements only require 4,500 watts each. Other products on the market can draw up to 10,000 watts.

Delivering hot water within an hour of first heating is also not a problem. You can enjoy up to 55 gallons, which should be enough to let three people enjoy a hot shower simultaneously. The recovery rate is also commendable, allowing you to continuously enjoy warm baths without experiencing a significant water temperature drop.

The cross-linked polyethylene dip tube controls the buildup of sediment, while the glass-lined inner tank wall resists corrosion. There is also an advanced anode rod that helps the two components in corrosion resistance. It is a reliable way of prolonging the service life of your electric water heater.

A thick, non-CFC, eco-friendly foam insulates the tank. It also helps in better heat retention. The T&P valve also offers better security against accidental explosions because of excessive tank pressure.

After reading many EORS100 40 gal electric water heater reviews, I find that the packaging is not as sturdy as it should be. It would be better if the seller provided better protection for the heater.

While durability issues can be a real concern, it is worth noting that the Reliance 6-40-EORS100 electric water heater remains an excellent choice for small households. It heats water fast and supplies your house with enough hot water for everyone to use simultaneously.

What We Like
  • 4500W dual heating elements
  • High energy factor rating for better energy efficiency
  • High first-hour delivery and recovery rate for optimum hot water supply
  • Superior thermal insulation and corrosion-resistant properties
  • Security against explosions caused by tank pressure
  • Dip tube for sediment control
What We Don’t Like
  • Fragile product packaging

4. Rheem PROE40 2 RH92 Electric Water Heater

Buyers who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars will appreciate this model from Rheem. While the Rheem 40 gal electric water heater is affordable, you can bet that it can perform like the brand’s high-end products.

The electric water heater can provide a small household with a continuous hot water supply of up to 99 gallons in the first hour. The rating is one of the highest you can see from products in this price range. It can even outclass the performance of more expensive models.

The product features two resistored tank elements – an upper copper and a lower Lifeguard stainless steel. The tank design prolongs both the water tank and the anode rod’s service life while improving its heat retention and thermal insulation capabilities.

The EverKleen system keeps the tank free from harmful sediments. It improves tank life while also improving operating efficiency. The T&P relief valve and a unique over-temperature protector also work together to provide you with a safe water heater system.

While I appreciate the electric water heater’s high first-hour delivery rating, its energy factor is lower than other brands. That said, its energy efficiency rating of 0.85-0.93 should still offer enough savings for your family.

Some households may also find the product’s 6-year limited warranty to be insufficient. The good news is that you can always opt for the company’s extended 10-year warranty to give you the security and confidence you need.

The Rheem PROE40 2 RH92 is a reliable electric water heater for small, budget-conscious households. While its efficiency rating is modest, its first-hour delivery rating is second to none. Your family will never complain about not having enough hot water again.

What We Like
  • High first-hour delivery rating for optimal hot water use
  • Resistored elements for longer service life, better heat retention, and insulation
  • EverKleen system effective against harmful sediments
  • Relief valve and over-temperature protector for improved safety during operation
  • An affordable water heater system for small households
What We Don’t Like
  • Modest energy efficiency rating
  • Warranty may be insufficient

5. A.O. Smith ENS-40 Electric Water Heater

A.O.Smith water heaters are known for their energy efficiency and water-heating performance. The ENS-40 ProMax is no different. The water heater has enough features that will wow even the most meticulous homeowner.

The electric water heater has an energy efficiency factor of 0.92, making it ideal for small modern households. Its first-hour rating is also one of the best on the market, currently rated at 55 gallons. Your family will never run out of hot water again, despite using it simultaneously.

What amazes people about this electric water heater is its number of featured technologies. There is an Incoloy stainless steel heating element that is more long-lasting than the usual copper-coated heating element. Each of the two heating elements only draws 4500 watts to ensure better energy savings without compromising recovery rate and operational reliability.

The interior glass coating and a unique diffuser dip tube work together to prolong the tank’s service life. The former provides corrosion resistance while the latter reduces lime and maximizes hot water output. You will also love the durability and security of its brass drain valve.

While the 6-year warranty of the hot water heater is better than a 3-year coverage, it does not cover repair and refitting-related labor costs. The unit is also a little heavier than similarly-sized water heaters. It would be most suitable to have someone help you during installation.

Other than these concerns, the A.O. Smith ENS-40 ProMax should be a dependable electric water heater for your home. Its energy efficiency is one of the highest on the market. Its technological features are also top-notch. You will be more than happy with this water heater serving your family.

What We Like
  • High energy-efficiency and first-hour ratings for optimal hot water use
  • Incoloy stainless steel
  • 4500w heating elements
  • Glass coating and diffuser tube for longer service and maximum hot water output
  • Durable and secure brass drain valve
What We Don’t Like
  • A little heavier than other same-sized electric water heaters
  • Warranty does not cover labor costs for repair and refitting

Outdated Products

Rheem MR50245 Electric Water Heater (Outdated)

One issue with traditional electric water heaters is that the tank tends to rust or corrode over time, regardless of the anti-corrosion technology used. If you are also concerned about this, Rheem has the answer. The MR50245 Marathon may be the world’s most durable water heater tank.

This Rheem water heater features a unique polybutene polymer as a tank material instead of the more conventional steel. The company meshed several fiberglass layers into the polymer to give the water tank superior strength and lightweight characteristics. Rust and corrosion are past issues with this water heater.

Another feature that differentiates this 50-gallon electric water heater from its competitors is the titanium heating element. Most water heaters use magnesium and copper-coated stainless steel as their heating element. Titanium gives the heating element unmatched durability while ensuring fast water-heating.

Improving the water tank’s durability is a molded polyethylene jacket that protects the system against salt air damage, dents, and scratches. While it is strong, the tank is never heavy. Installing the system in your home is never an issue.

The electric water heater has an annual operating cost of less than $500. That is significantly less than what other systems provide. Its 20-gallon per hour recovery rate is also on par with other brands.

While I admire the design of this water heater, I cannot say the same about its price. It’s not the most suitable choice for consumers on a budget.

Overall, the Rheem MR50245 Marathon is an excellent electric water heater because of its water tank’s corrosion-free construction. Its strength and compactness are hard to surpass. Getting a sufficient hot water supply is a certainty with this electric water heater.

What We Like
  • Low operating cost and satisfactory recovery rate
  • Titanium heating elements for faster water heating and durability
  • Corrosion and rust-free polybutene water tank for exceptional durability
  • Salt air, scratch, and dent-resistant outer tank jacket for enhanced durability
  • Lightweight design for ease of installation
What We Don’t Like
  • Has an expensive price

40 Gallon Electric Water Heater Buying Guide


Buying the best 40 gallon electric water heater is easy if you know how to choose the right one. If you are unsure what to consider when choosing a water heater for your home, this buying guide is for you.

Energy-efficiency Rating

An electric water heater can put a considerable burden on your electric consumption if you do not choose wisely. Manufacturers typically add an Energy Guide label on their products.

As a general rule, you should get a product with a higher energy factor to reflect its water heating efficiency. Not only are these products more energy-efficient, they also have less impact on the environment.

First Hour Rating

In addition to an electric water heater’s energy efficiency rating, you may also want to check its First Hour rating. This parameter reflects the system’s ability to deliver hot water in the first hour of operation after fully heating the water.

For example, if the product has an FHR of 45 gallons, you can expect 45 gallons of continuous hot water for the first hour.

Thermal Insulation

Water tanks store the heated water until you have a use for it. Unfortunately, heat also tends to move from a hotter area to a colder place. That is why it would be best to check the insulation of a water tank’s inner wall.

Advanced Features

Some products come with a digital display to make operation and monitoring easy, even for beginners. The intuitive technology allows the system to adjust the water temperature and other operating parameters automatically, depending on your usage patterns and needs.

Some electric water heaters also have anti-scale devices in the tank. The technologies reduce limescale buildup, especially at the tank’s bottom.

Some high-end electric water heaters also come with a Wi-Fi module. This can help manage your water heating needs, even if you are not at home. Customization is more effortless this way.

Customer Reviews

A single 40 gallon electric water heater review is not enough to paint an accurate picture of a product. You need at least ten reviews to analyze the merits of the product. Pay special attention to negative comments as they can reveal a recurring issue in the water heater.

Always weigh the cons and the pros of the product. You can use your judgment in evaluating whether customer reviews are accurate or not. You can also try reading authoritative product reviews to make your decision-making a lot easier. Consumer reports water heaters reviews are a good place to start.


What brand of water heater is the most reliable? Reliability can partly be determined by warranty, as it shows a brand’s commitment to serving its customers.

Electric water heaters can come with a warranty of as short as three years and as long as 12 years. Most people will find products with extended warranties to be expensive. However, they do tend to have better insulation and the ability to heat water fast.

How Does It Work


Water heaters that use electricity are almost like gas-powered water heaters. They only differ in the source of heating. Whereas gas systems rely on propane or natural gas, electric water heaters connect to an electric outlet to heat an element inside the water tank.

An electric water heater consists of a tank, a heating element, and other components that work together to heat and contain the water until use.

The water enters the tank through a dip tube. Water fills the tank and gets heated by the heating elements. When someone opens a hot water faucet, hot water from the tank moves through the system’s heat-out pipe and the house’s water distribution line.

The system also features a T&P relief valve. One effect of increasing temperature is a commensurate increase in pressure. Because the water tank is a closed system, pressure can build up fast and cause the tank to break. The relief valve opens when the tank reaches a predetermined pressure level.

There is also a thermostat that maintains the ideal water temperature in the tank by monitoring temperature changes. If the water temperature is lower than the set parameter, the thermostat automatically adjusts the heating element’s power. Conversely, too hot, and the thermostat lowers the water temperature.

A drain valve at the tank’s bottom allows for more efficient tank maintenance. You can connect the valve to a hose to drain the water into a pool or a waterway.

The heating element is at the heart of the electric water heater. Without it, enjoying hot showers and warm kitchen sink water is impossible. The heating element draws its power from the house’s electric supply via an electric outlet.

Most homeowners have an issue with an electric water heater’s energy efficiency. Larger tanks tend to take more time to heat the water, translating to greater energy consumption. However, it is worth noting that many modern electric water heaters come with energy-efficient designs.

The water tank has several features that work to minimize energy dependency and optimize heating capability. The tank’s inner wall has an insulating layer that prevents heat from dissipating through the tank wall. There is also an anode rod that protects the tank’s inner wall against corrosion or even explosion.

The right water heater is not only energy-efficient. It also heats water fast to let your family enjoy warm showers, instant hot soups, and other hot water applications. It has excellent recovery times to give you a sufficient hot water supply without significant water temperature changes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the high efficient 40 gallon electric water heater?

There are many highly efficient 40-gallon electric tank water heater units with a Uniform Energy Factor exceeding 0.90 or 90%.

For example, the Signature 500 Series 40 gallon electric hot water heater (Model EE12-40R55DVF) has a UEF value of 0.93, despite offering several high-tech features (i.e., iCOMM, Leak Watch, Leak Shield). Families using this residential electric water heater will only spend about $563 yearly, given its 5500W rating.

Rheem also makes highly-efficient electric water heaters. The brand’s UEF ratings for water heaters range from 0.92 to 0.93. Examples include the Professional Classic Plus, Performance Plus, Professional Prestige, Performance Platinum Gladiator, and Marathon.

And if you want a cabinet-style 40-gallon electric water heater, Rheem offers the Table Top Model 88H-40D. However, it is worth noting that this Rheem 40 gallon lowboy design only has a UEF value of 0.81.

You can also make comparisons among your favorite electric water heater brands to determine their efficiency. As a rule, electric water heaters are more efficient than gas-powered units because energy wastage is minimal. This is mainly because electrical energy goes to heating the water, not dispersed into the air.

What is the average lifespan of 40 gallon electric water heater?

A good-quality 40-gallon electric water heater can last ten to fifteen years, provided you exercise due diligence in its care and maintenance. To put things into perspective, even the highest-rated gas-powered 40-gallon water heater can last only eight to twelve years.

An excellent estimate of water heater longevity is its warranty. Top-rated 40-gallon electric water heaters have guarantees extending up to ten years, with some brands and models offering a 12 year warranty.

For example, A.O. Smith’s EE12-40R55DVF and EE12-40H55DVF have a dozen years of ample coverage because these units feature advanced tank protection (i.e., Leak Shield, Tank Guard, and Leak Watch) for durability. Therefore, it is plausible that these electric water heaters will last up to two decades with meticulous care.

Meanwhile, Rheem also covers its Professional Prestige series for 12 years. Surprisingly, its best-selling Marathon 40-gallon electric water heater has a limited lifetime warranty. So you will never worry about this electric water heater giving up on your family.

Is Rheem a good quality water heater?

Yes, Rheem is a dependable brand for high-quality water heaters. Unsurprisingly, Rheem’s popularity is readily observable in various water heaters ratings. Loyal Rheem users say their devices last longer than the published warranty, allowing them to enjoy hot water for many years.

Established in 1925, Rheem grew to become North America’s largest and most trusted water heater manufacturer. The brand is well-known for its energy-efficient water heaters, with electric models boasting a UEF rating of at least 92%. Their water heater price is also more affordable, especially compared to Bradford White units.

What’s more, this brand integrates cutting-edge technologies in some of its products (i.e., the Prestige series). Examples of water heater tech include EcoNet, Demand Response-ready, LeakGuard, and LeakSense. It also has a heating element health indicator, a self-cleaning program, and “away” or vacation mode.

Lastly, Rheem has different water heater sizes, including short and small electric hot water heaters for homes with limited vertical spaces.

Are new 40 gallon electric water heaters more efficient than old?

Yes, new 40-gallon electric water heaters are more energy-efficient than older units. To be specific, the latest models can have an energy efficiency increase of 4-50%. It’s also noteworthy that updates to efficiency standards require manufacturers to design and produce more energy-efficient water-heating systems.

According to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), new versions of 20- to 55-gallon electric storage water heaters can produce a $1,600 life-cycle cost savings. The organization also underscored that such systems pay for themselves within four years.

For example, new models of A.O. Smith and Rheem electric water heaters range in Uniform Energy Factor values from 92 to 93 percent. So an average heater from A.O. Smith promises at least $550 annual cost savings.


The best 40 gallon electric water heater is easy on the budget. Installing it is never an issue, and its durability and reliability are never questioned. While the operating costs are higher than gas-powered units, the right electric water heater can still provide you with exceptional savings for your family to enjoy. Buy one today!

5/5 - (6 votes)