If you want a more energy-efficient water heater for your family of five, only the best 50 gallon electric water heater will do. It costs less to purchase, is more straightforward to install, eco-friendly, and hassle-free to maintain. You can never ask for a better combination.
Shopping for the most trusted 50-gallon electric water heater is not always easy because almost all products look similar. Therefore, buyers must assess each prospect and determine the following crucial factors.
- First-hour Rating: Electric products heat the water more slowly than gas-powered units. Hence, buyers must be selective when shopping, opting only for 50-gallon electric heaters capable of producing more hot water in the first hour of operation (i.e., 70 gallons vs. 60 gallons).
- Recovery Rate: Nobody wants to wait in the shower for the water to heat after someone else use it. A 50-gallon electric water heater’s recovery rate describes how much hot water it can produce in an hour with continuous hot water consumption. In short, it is recommended that buyers pick a water heater with a higher recovery rate (i.e., 60 gallons per hour vs. 45 gallons per hour).
- Uniform Energy Factor: As a rule, the closer a 50-gallon electric water heater’s UEF value is to 1.0, the more energy efficient it is. Most experts recommend an energy efficiency rating of at least 0.90 to optimize the product’s water-heating capabilities without jacking up your electric consumption.
The only thing you need now is to learn how to choose the top-tier 50 gallon electric water heating system for your household.
Table of Contents
Top-Rated 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater Reviews
1. AO Smith ENS-50 Electric Water Heater
Most fifty-gallon electric water heaters are tall, measuring about 5 to 5.5 feet high. Getting the A.O. Smith ENS 50 ProMax should never be an issue, even if you decide to place it in a 5-foot vertical space.
This 50 gallon short electric water heater happens to be only 49.25 inches high. With a 23-inch diameter, the A.O. Smith ENS 50 ProMax makes it more compact than other electric water heater systems on the market.
I like this product’s first-hour rate of 62 gallons. You can have more exciting showers while your wife is busy doing the laundry and your kid is running the dishwasher. It heats and recovers fast enough that running out of warm water will be the least of your worries.
I love the DynaClean and CoreGard anode rods with stainless steel core because they complement each other in improving the tank’s corrosion and limescale-formation resistance. The DynaClean technology also ensures you get maximum output from your faucet or showerhead.
The heater only uses two 4,500-watt heating elements with a maximum wattage rating of 6000 watts. You will never have to worry about costly energy use.
2. Rheem PROE50 T2 RH95 Water Heater
The PROE50 T2 RH95 is one of Rheem’s most energy-efficient electric-powered heaters today. This heater can provide your family with more significant cost savings than other electric-only water heating appliances. With its energy factor rating of 0.95, this product is perfect for a modern energy-conscious family of five.
If you want greater energy efficiency and cost savings, I suggest checking out the Rheem Performance Platinum 50 gallon electric water heater. This unit has an energy factor rating of at least 3.55, reducing your energy consumption by as much as $404 every year.
I am not saying this Rheem 50 gallon electric hot water heater is not energy-efficient. Its 0.95 UEF rating is still better than the 0.90 UEF of other brands. Moreover, it has an automatic thermostat that improves overall energy efficiency by adjusting your water temperature automatically.
It also has multiple quality certifications from top organizations, including UL, AHRI, ICC, ASHRAE, ANSI, and NAECA. You will sleep sounder knowing every component meets or exceeds global standards. That is one less worry for you.
I like its dip tube design because it ensures maximum supply. It also has an over-temperature protector and a dedicated junction box above the heating elements. The TPR valve is robust, too.
3. Bradford White BWC RE350S6-1NCWW
Bradford White has been around since 1881 and you can expect nothing less than high-performance, high-quality water heaters for residential and commercial applications. One of the brand’s top-selling electric water heaters is the BWC RE35056-1NCWW.
This 50 gallon electric water heater Bradford White creation is a true masterpiece. This 50 gallon water heater blows away the competition by offering an astonishing 0.95 energy factor rating and a 67-gallon first-hour rating.
A couple of technological innovations contribute to this product’s remarkable water-heating performance.
It has the revolutionary HydroJect Total Performance System that minimizes sediment build-up and improves overall efficiency. This technology also guarantees a higher volume of heated water in the first hour of operation.
Lining the tank is an ingenious Vitraglas that also prevents corrosion better than other systems. The lining can also accommodate an unheard-of 1600-degree Fahrenheit water temperature.
I like the device’s unique magnesium rod that further improves the tank’s corrosion resistance. It also has non-CFC foam insulation, allowing it to retain heat longer and contribute to better energy efficiency.
I love the fully automatic controls that include a surface-mounted, fast-acting thermostat and a manual reset energy cutoff system. Operating this baby is as effortless as you would like your electric water heater to be.
4. AO Smith ENT-50T ProMax Water Heater
Many consumers love AO Smith ProMax electric water heaters because of their energy efficiency. These products can slash several hundred dollars off your annual electric bill, allowing you to use the savings for more worthwhile family activities. The ENT-50T ProMax is one such product.
This water heater does not offer fancy technologies that will wow you. However, it provides enough innovations to make your water heating adventures more meaningful.
These 50 gallon electric water heaters have a Dynaclean dip tube that not only provide a maximum output when needed. It also prevents sediment buildup and limescale formation, helping extend your heater’s service life. Its design eliminates the need for a softener and sediment pre-filter installation for extra savings.
I like the device’s 4500-watt heating element. It will never show on your electric bill. The heating element also ensures more consistent heating, improving the device’s overall energy efficiency.
You will love the brand’s addition of a CoreGard anode rod in this unit. It works well with the Dynaclean tube for improving corrosion resistance. There is no need to fuss about cleaning the tank, either. This product already features a self-cleaning module for effortless maintenance.
5. Reliance 9 50 EKRS Electric Water Heater
The 9 50 EKRS is Reliance’s 50 gallon water heater electric that is taking the market by storm. It has an efficient and consistent heating element and superior insulation for optimum water heating performance and cost savings.
These fifty gallon electric water heaters offer a pair of energy-efficient 4500-watt heating elements combined with its 3-inch thick non-CFC foam insulation. The unique design affords this unit an energy factor rating of 0.92. While it is not the best on the market, it is still higher than the 0.90 ratings of other electric water heaters.
I like the electronic thermostat’s design because it lasts longer than conventional electromechanical thermostats. You can rest easy knowing this unit will last you about a decade or more. Improving its durability is a self-cleaning PEX dip tube that prevents limescale and corrosion formation.
While I admire this electric water heater’s energy efficiency, I wish I could say the same about its first-hour and hot water recovery rates.
6. AO Smith HPTU-50N Voltex Water Heater
Most families want the top-quality energy-saving electric water heater they can use. If that is your primary goal, I suggest getting this AO Smith 50-gallon electric water heater. This water heater features a revolutionary heat pump on top of its advanced electric water heating tank to give you better energy and cost savings.
Using this product will reduce your energy expenditure by as much as 73%. If you spend $800 annually on heating, this device will make you pay only $210 to $220 per year. That is impressive savings for your family.
Its 66-gallon first-hour rating is also better than what other brands can offer. Never again will you worry about running out of hot water if your family decides to use it simultaneously.
It would ease your mind knowing that the HPTU-50N is an Energy Star electric water heater 50 gallon device. It also has certifications from UL, NEEA, AHRI, and LEED to improve your confidence in the product.
Operating this device is easy because of its advanced user interface. The heater also comes with detailed diagnostics that let you zero in on the problem effortlessly.
Inside the water tank is a couple of advanced anti-corrosion technologies that extend its lifespan. I would not be surprised if this baby will serve your family for the next 15 years or so.
7. Reliance 9-50-EKRT100 Water Heater
The Reliance 9-50 EKRT100 is an energy-efficient and high-performance electric water heater 50 gallons system for the modern home. It has sufficient technological innovations to make it a reliable system for heating water in a four-person household.
This product has the same UEF rating as the Rheem PROE50 T2 RH95 at 0.95 UEF. However, it blasts the Rheem product in terms of first-hour rating. These 50 gallon electric water heaters can deliver an astonishing 79 gallons in the first hour. It is sufficient to let seven people have refreshing hot showers simultaneously.
The tank’s corrosion resistance is also noteworthy. It has an industry-standard glass lining and a self-cleaning dip tube for exceptional corrosion resistance. The dip tube also promotes maximum hot water output, which helps explain its impressive first-hour rating.
I am not too fond of this electric water heater’s 21-GPH hot water recovery rating. I expected it to provide at least 30 GPH or more, given its energy efficiency. It is also taller than other brands, making installation a bit tricky if you do not have sufficient vertical clearance.
What Is The 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater/ Who Is This For
The top-tier 50 gallon electric water heating system uses electricity to heat an element that raises the temperature to the desired level.
Electric hot water heaters are suitable for households with three bathrooms or those with a washing machine and a pair of baths. In general, a person uses about 10 gallons of warm water during a shower. Dishwashers can use about 10 gallons and washing machines need 20 or so gallons.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater
The best 50 gallon electric water heaters offer the following advantages.
- These electric water heaters are ideal for small families, ranging from four to five members.
- They are cheaper to buy upfront than gas water heaters while also lowering installation costs.
- Heaters that use electricity are easier and faster to install and maintain than gas water heaters. A gas heater requires complicated ductwork to vent gas safely.
- Electric-powered water heaters are friendlier to the environment than gas heaters because they do not emit noxious gases into the atmosphere. A gas water heater is not eco-friendly.
Fifty gallon electric water heaters can also have the following disadvantages.
- They take more time to heat than gas water heaters.
- A gas heater costs less to operate, giving electric appliances higher operating costs.
- Electric devices will not run in case of a power outage. Gas water heaters do not have such problems.
50 Gallon Electric Water Heater Buying Guide
Buying the best 50 gallon electric heating system for your family’s water supply requires looking at several factors.
- Energy Factor
Ideally, you will want electric water heaters 50 gal units with a higher Uniform Energy Factor or UEF. This number gives you an idea of the product’s overall energy efficiency. Many people consider a UEF of 0.90 to be sufficient. However, it would be better to get a product with an energy efficiency rating close to 1.0.
You can see electric water heaters with a UEF of 3.4 to 3.9. These products are hybrids, allowing you to operate an energy-efficient heat pump that utilizes warm air from the external environment.
- First-hour Rating
Water heaters have a maximum draw equivalent to 70 percent of their tank capacity. The figure accounts for the simultaneous cold-water inflow and hot-water outflow. As such, if you have the most trusted 50 gallon electric heater mated to your plumbing system, you can expect its draw capacity to be only 35 gallons.
Thirty-five gallons is barely sufficient for the whole family. That is why you should look at the system’s first-hour rating. It provides you a good idea of the appliance’s ability to deliver hot water for a full hour.
We recommend getting a product with a high FHR. For example, you can pick an appliance with a 70-gallon FHR instead of a 60-gallon FHR product.
- Recovery Rate
Every time you have a hot shower or run the dishwasher, your appliance dispenses hot water. It also needs to replenish the fluids delivered to your fixtures by running cool water into the tank and heating it.
It may take a while for the system to provide you with sufficient hot water because of mixing cold and hot liquid in the tank. That is why you must check the product’s recovery rate, expressed in gallons per hour.
A product’s recovery rating paints a picture of how much hot water you can expect it to provide you every hour of continuous use. Like the first-hour rating, it would be in your best interest to choose a product with a high recovery rate.
While electric heaters are easier to install than gas units, some brands do require professional installation. They may provide such a requirement to secure the warranty, while others may only want the top-tier installation for their clients.
The top-rated 50 gallon heaters come with a minimum of six-year warranty. The more extended the warranty, the more confident you are about the product’s quality and performance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the average cost of a 50 gallon electric hot water heater?
The average 50-gallon electric water heater costs $500, although prices vary across brands and models. A similarly-sized electric tankless water heater can set you back by $1,200 to $3,500.
Although electric water heaters seem cheap, they are more expensive to operate than gas-powered units. Electric products consume about 1125 to 4000 watts each year, while gas ones only use about 214 to 230 therms annually. In the US, natural gas costs 92 cents per therm. Meanwhile, electricity costs 16.7 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Suppose you use the 4500-watt A.O. Smith Signature Lowboy electric water heater for only three hours daily. In that case, you will consume 13.5 kWh daily or 4,927.5 kWh annually. This electric consumption translates to $822.90 yearly.
If we have a high efficiency gas water heater that uses only 215 therms annually, you can expect to pay only $197.80 yearly. Even the highest-rated electric unit cannot match a gas-powered heater’s long-term cost-effectiveness.
Are new 50 gallon electric water heaters more efficient?
Yes, new 50-gallon electric water heaters are more efficient than products of yesteryear. As pointed out by Consumer Reports, new water heaters of 55-gallon and below are four percent more efficient than earlier iterations.
However, experts agree that the heater’s capacity does not necessarily affect its efficiency. You might think a 40 gallon electric hot water heater is more energy-efficient than a 50-gallon unit, but that is not always the case.
Homeowners must look at the electric water heater’s UEF rating to determine which is more efficient. For example, a 50-gallon electric water heater with a 0.95 UEF rating is more efficient than a 0.75-rated 40-gallon model.
Is a 50 gallon electric water heater enough for a family of 4?
Yes, a 50-gallon electric water heater is enough for a family of four. However, this water heater’s adequacy depends on the household’s peak hot water consumption in an hour.
Let us assume all four family members shower for 10 minutes and use about two gallons per minute (total = 20 gallons each). If they shower successively, the family will consume 80 gallons in around 40 minutes.
Suppose the electric water heater has a first-hour rating of 70 gallons. In that case, this water-heating system may not be sufficient to meet the family’s hot water demands.
Minimizing hot water usage during showers (i.e., use hot water intermittently) can help make the 50-gallon water heater sufficient to meet the four-member family’s needs.
Is Rheem or Bradford White better?
If we compare water heaters from Rheem and Bradford White, the former will come out on top among ordinary homeowners due to their affordability. Meanwhile, professional plumbers pick Bradford White because of its centuries-old dedication to only the highest possible quality.
Therefore, determining whether Rheem or Bradford White is a better option requires detailed comparisons between the two brands.
Bradford White predates Rheem by 44 years, having been established in 1881. Professionals revere Bradford White’s unconditional commitment to energy-efficient, durable, and safe water heaters. The brand’s tagline, “Built to be the Best,” answers the question, which brand of water heater is the most reliable?”
In addition, Bradford White offers many revolutionary electric water heater technologies, including ICON Intelligent Control millivolt technology, Vitraglas enamel lining, and HydroJet Total Performance System.
Not to be outdone, Rheem also has several technologies up its sleeve. Homeowners love the EcoNet Wi-Fi connectivity. It is also more affordable, allowing Rheem to enjoy higher electric water heaters ratings than Bradford White among budget-conscious homeowners.
As for their warranties, both brands cover their electric water heaters for six to ten years. However, Rheem ups the ante by offering a 12 year warranty on its hot water cylinder.
What are the most trusted 50 gallon electric water heater brands?
AO Smith and Rheem are neck and neck when it comes to reliable, high-performance, and energy-efficient 50 gallon heaters. It is not surprising these brands are two of the most trusted on the market. Other noteworthy most trusted 50 gallon electric heater brands include Bradford White and Reliance.
Is AO Smith better than Rheem?
Rheem relies on its 95-year tradition of excellence to offer you a wide range of heating technologies. Their products are also more readily available.
On the other hand, A.O. Smith hinges on its ingenuity to wow its customers. The brand was the first to introduce glass-lined tanks in the mid-20th century. It is also famous for its exceptional customer service, a trait you can read in one electric hot water heater review after another.
Comparing both brands’ 50-gallon water heater offerings, we can say that AO Smith HPTU-50N Voltex edges Rheem PROE50 T2 RH95 in terms of Unified Energy Factor (UEF) rating (3.42 vs. 0.95).
How long should a 50 gallon electric water heater last?
Check your owner’s. Your unit should last between eight and twelve years, depending on how much care you put into its maintenance and the type of water that it heats. A high water-hardness level can shorten your water heater’s lifespan.
How long does it take a 50-gallon electric water heater to heat up?
It depends on the cold-water temperature, the water heater’s power rating, and the desired temperature.
Suppose you have a 5,500-watt water heater, and you want to heat the 60-degree Fahrenheit water to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In that case, your 50-gallon water heater can take 80 minutes to heat the water to your preferred temperature.
If the temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a similar water heater setup can take about 110 minutes to complete. A 70-degree Fahrenheit temperature can reach 120 degrees in about 66 minutes.
How to care & clean?
Caring for 50 gallon water heaters requires regular cleaning and maintenance, including draining and replacing the tank’s contents.
You may also need to check the fittings and valves, such as the drain valve and the TPR valve. If you do not know anything about electricity, having an electrician check on your electrical connections can safeguard your investment. He may have to check the anode rod if it is time for a replacement.
Clean the tank’s exterior regularly. Dirt and dust can accumulate on surfaces and can lead to corrosion or damage. Keep your water heater’s surroundings free of clutter, making it easier for you to notice any problems.
The best 50 gallon electric water heater lets you enjoy better energy savings than a conventional gas system. It is friendlier to the environment, more straightforward to install, and worry-free to maintain. Above all, it can bring more enjoyable showers and more efficient washings for your family of five.
If you think these electric water heaters we reviewed and featured in this article do not measure up to your expectations, we hope our comprehensive buying guide helped show you the way.
Hi, I am Ronald, founder of Saveourh2o. With this website, we aim to solve all the problems related to your water filters, softeners, and heaters. I have five years working in water equipment sales & service. I hope to bring the knowledge gathered from my daily work to help you to achieve comfort and safety in your home!