Best 50 Gallon Electric Water Heaters – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: April 16, 2021

If you don’t want to spend money on gas or worry about the flue gases, then you have probably already considered an electric water heater for your home.

They can be slower, but there are some models that heat better than others.

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This article reviews the top 50 Gallon electric water heaters to help pick one for you. 

Comparison Chart of the Best 50 Gallon Electric Water Heaters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • This delivers 4,500 Watt energy
  • Guaranteed to last for a long time
  • ProMax family of electric water heaters
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  • An EcoNet enabled water heater
  • 21-25 GPH recovery rating at 90F rise
  • Highly efficient with measures for reducing heat loss
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  • Best for the money
  • A first-hour rating of 57 Gallons
  • From ProMax family of electric water heaters
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  • Recovery rate of 20 GPH at a 9F rise
  • From Rheem Marathon water heater line
  • Best Rheem 50 Gallon electric water heater
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  • 3.42 uniform energy factor
  • Voltex Hybrid electric heating pump
  • Best AO Smith 50 Gallon electric water heater
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  • ProLine XE Hybrid water heater
  • Has a maximum wattage of 4,500
  • Best State 50 Gallon electric water heater
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  • Has a recovery rate of 25 GPH
  • Heating elements work at 5500 watts
  • Best Richmond 50 Gallon electric water heater
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How Does an Electric Water Heater Work? 

Electric water heaters essentially work the same way as any other water heater. They have a water intake tube that brings water in the tank, and an outlet tube takes hot water out. The water is heated by electric elements inside the tank. The heated water is moved throughout the home in pipes.

It has a thermostat to regulate temperature and an anode to avoid corrosion. The main difference between an electric and a traditional gas water heater is the power supply. Electric water heaters are hooked to an electric power supply that gives it the energy to heat up water.   

Why Did These Models Make Our List?

Some of the features that make for a great electric water heater are:

Capacity

The capacity is an important aspect of a water heater. Some people prefer the small and efficient tankless water heater. But unless you plan on putting one in every bathroom, these water heaters cannot give hot water to the entire house for long if multiple people are using it. Electric water heaters listed here have a 50 Gallon capacity. They are not too small and not too big as to be a waste in residential use. 

Durability

A water tank’s major problem is always sediments and minerals building up inside and causing corrosion to the tank. This can greatly reduce the life of its components. A good anode prevents these things. The tank should be well insulated to keep the heat inside and should be made from durable materials. Since it is an electric water heater, it has chances of malfunctioning. The electric circuits should be efficient and secure too.   

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Ease of Use

Electric water heaters generally have a temperature control system. A large digital display helps keep the temperature in check and easily adjust it when needed. Some heaters let you set a minimum and maximum temperature as well.

Quick Take: Best 50 Gallon Electric Water Heaters

These are our recommendations for the best 50 gallon electric water heaters:

  1. A.O. Smith ENS-50 
  2. Rheem Performance Platinum Electric Tank Water Heater
  3. A.O. Smith PNS-50

Review of the Best 50-Gallon Electric Water Heaters 

The following are the best 50 Gallon water heaters and their comprehensive reviews to help you make a better decision. Make sure to read these thoroughly to make the perfect pick. 

Best Overall:
A.O. Smith ENS-50

A.O. Smith ENS-50 ProMax Short Electric Water Heater, 50 gal

PROS

  • Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) of 0.92
  • Dual heating elements for fast recovery
  • Diffuser dip that reduces sediment buildup
  • Stainless steel anode that extends system life
  • Uses environmentally friendly insulation material

CONS

  • Warranty is only limited to 6 years

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are generally satisfied with its performance. Because it is an electric device, some people face a few glitches after some use, but mostly, it does not cause a problem. Users also report that the price is low, and it does give hot water any time. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater is highly efficient and does not take too long to deliver hot water to the entire house compared to electric water heaters. It has a high uniform energy factor and uses non-CFC insulation. The anode rod is made of stainless steel and prevents any corrosion from happening. The dip tube is made from PEX cross-linked polymer that is highly durable and helps reduce the amount of sediment build-up. 

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater is perfect for those that don’t like the gas heaters and all the gas pollution they cause. It is very easy to install, and you get running hot water quickly. Its size is good for medium or large homes too.

Bottom Line 

A.O Smith generally makes top-quality units, and this one is no different. Their water heaters can be found on everyone's top list. This water heater from their electric line is efficient and environment-friendly. You can take 3-4 showers back to back or use water at three points at the same time. For any average-sized family, this will produce great results.

Rheem Performance Platinum 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 36,000 BTU Energy Star Liquid Propane Water Heater

PROS

  • Dual stainless steel heating elements
  • High uniform energy factor of 0.92-0.93
  • Isolated tank design for reduced heat loss
  • High-temperature protection to keep the units safe
  • Digital temperature setting and diagnostic readings

CONS

  • Water recovery rate is slow

What Recent Buyers Report

According to customer reviews, the customer service is great, and the company holds up its warranty deal. The water heater is a hybrid type and saves a lot of electricity bills. It gives hot water throughout and is durable. The temperature control settings are easy to use and understand, as well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This water heater is a hybrid water heater. This reduces the use of electricity significantly as it only switches to electric mode when there is high demand. When the temperature gets too high, it has a failsafe to turn it off. There is also leak protection. It gives out a loud alarm to let you know of the problem.

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater is for those homes that are completely electric and don’t have chimneys to vent flue gases. The 50-gallon size is perfect for an average family. This water heater has a digital control system for those who want easy settings and control over the water temperature.  

Bottom Line 

This is our runner-up best electric water heater. It has a good uniform energy factor that is even higher in Canada i.e., 0.96. The build material is durable and strong. It is highly corrosion resistant and has protective measures for extreme temperatures and leakages.

Best for the Money:
 A.O. Smith PNS-50

A.O. Smith PNS-50 ProMax Short Electric Water Heater, 50 gal

PROS

  • Uses non-CFC insulation material
  • Dual 5,500 Watt heating elements
  • High uniform energy factor of 0.92
  • Has durable and high-quality material 
  • Stainless steel anode rod to prevent corrosion

CONS

  • Some reported receiving damaged products

What Recent Buyers Report 

This water heater is easy to install. It is very durable and gives hot water at a good rate. As per customer reviews, the price is pretty good compared to others. You get great value for money too. It also comes with an installation guide and a user manual that is simple and self-explanatory. The brand is highly recommended, and that is what draws customers in first.

Why it Stands Out to Us

 This electric water heater gives all the best qualities of an A.O Smith water heater but at a much lower price. You get stainless steel construction, stainless steel anode rod, non-CFC insulation, PEX cross-linked polymer diffuser dip tube, and 5500 watt dual heating elements. It is a very environment-friendly and efficient water heater. 

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater has similar features to the A.O Smith ENS-50 water heater, but it is budget-friendly. The non-CFC insulation and high UE factor ensure that it is not harmful. So, any home with high water demand can use this electric heater.

Bottom Line 

Water heaters can be expensive. They have their tanks and burners along with other parts, but electric water heaters are generally cheaper. This water heater is from a market-leading brand and is highly efficient and durable and that at a lower price compared to others of the same family.

Best Rheem 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater:
Rheem MR50245

Rheem MR50245 Marathon Tall Electric Water Heater, 50-Gallon

PROS

  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • It is a low lead compliant product 
  • Good uniform energy factor of 0.90-0.92
  • Thermally fused upper element for dry-firing resistance
  • Multiple layers of filament wound fiberglass for strength

CONS

  • First Hour Rating and recovery rate is low

What Recent Buyers Report 

This water heater gets great reviews all around. The lifetime warranty is a confidence booster in this product. The chances of failing are low. People recommend it and, along with that, report buying it again for new homes. It is very durable, and the fiberglass coating makes it strong.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This water heater has a non-metallic tank. Instead, it uses polybutene that is resistant to rust and corrosion. The insulation is also strong and gives it good heat retention capability. It also has a high-temperature defuse tube. It comes with a pipe wrap energy-saving kit and has a high UEF rating. It has a titanium lower element that prevents lime accumulation. 

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater by Rheem is for an average-sized home. It can give continuous hot water for long periods because of its excellent insulation. This is definitely recommended by anyone who uses it. The lifetime warranty is something that people love in these kinds of products because most can have faulty parts. This one, however, is of top quality. 

Bottom Line 

For a Rheem 50 Gallon electric water heater, this is one of the best. It is highly corrosion-resistant due to multiple features that help prevent it. The material is very strong, and it gives good insulation as well. The price is also very reasonable, considering it has a lifetime warranty and will probably not fail.  

Best AO Smith 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater:
 Voltex Hybrid FPTU-50

PROS

  • Anode has a high lifespan of 6 years
  • Two heating elements for better recovery
  • It has a digital display and a vacation mode
  • Hybrid heating system that reduces heating cost by 73%
  • Uniform energy factor is great and exceeds the energy star standards

CONS

  • The warranty is only for 6 years

What Recent Buyers Report

This AO Smith model is a high energy-saving model. The main thing that compels people to buy it is its low electricity requirements. It is simple and easy to use. Some people have noise issues with this model, but that’s not the case with most people. Mostly, it gives good results, and people enjoy hot water with very little power bills. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Hybrid electric water heaters add another layer to the already-efficient heaters. This model requires very little electricity to keep the water hot. It can save you 73% on power. The UEF rating is exceptionally high and surpasses the minimum Energy Star requirement of 2.0. 

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater can be used in solar homes because its power requirements are very limited. It takes heat from the environment for its heating purposes. It has to be used in a well-ventilated area of the house because it requires air to function properly. 

Bottom Line

A.O Smith, as established before, is the top brand in its industry. If you are looking to buy an electric heater, their product is a safe bet. This water heater is highly efficient and easy to use. It has a digital display for temperature control as well. It is highly resistant to rust with its heavy-duty anode rod.

Best State 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater:
 ProLine® XE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump

PROS

  • Uses a hybrid heating system
  • Saves up to 73% on heating costs
  • High uniform energy factor of 3.42
  • Heavy-duty anode rod with a 10-year lifespan
  • Easy to use digital interface for temperature settings

CONS

  • Appearance is not too appealing

What Recent Buyers Report

This water heater has a very easy installation process. The hot water lasts for a long time. Customers also state that it has a durable and strong construction. It saves a lot of money and energy. The heating time is very good, considering electric heaters take longer.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This water heater is a hybrid model, so it is highly efficient. In addition to that, it also has dual heating elements to help with the recovery time. The anode has a long lifespan, so it will need little maintenance. The temperature control mechanism and the diagnostics of the system are easy to use. This heater meets the Tier 3 advanced water heater requirements for use in any climate.   

Who Will Use This Most

This water heater has the draw intake and the redirect outlet air at opposite directions, which makes installation in confined spaces easy. It can be used in any small or medium home with continuous hot water all day without high electricity bills.

Bottom Line 

This water heater is from a subsidiary of A.O Smith heaters. It delivers exceptional performance. The UEF ratings exceed the minimum required levels. The ProLine series is made from stainless steel material, which makes them highly durable and corrosion-resistant. Plus, the anode is heavy-duty and protects the tank for years. 

Best Richmond 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater:
 Encore Standard Electric Water Heater

PROS

  • Average UEF rating of 0.92-0.93
  • Has an audible leak protection system
  • Dual heating elements for better recovery
  • Sentinel diagnostic system for easy control
  • EcoNet enabled water heater for remote access to settings

CONS

  • The energy-saving capacity could be higher

What Recent Buyers Report 

This water heater gets generally good reviews. The 12-year warranty is pretty standard for electric water heaters. It gives good performance and is easy to use. The temperature control is very simple. Its self-cleaning mechanism works and reduces the need for maintenance.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This water heater has a user-friendly display that lets you control temperature and diagnose your unit. With compatibility with the EcoNet application, you can monitor the settings and status when you are not home to make sure it is not wasting energy. It is highly corrosion-resistant. It has low lead elements and easy installation.  

Who Will Use This Most

This device can be used in any home. It has a good capacity. The remote access enables control when you are away. For anyone who wants little hassle over water heater maintenance, this one will do the job. It also has an EverKleen self-cleaning device that prevents sediment build-up.

Bottom Line

This is the best electric water heater from Richmond manufacturers. It has a user-friendly design. You can easily run diagnostics, control temperature, and change its mode using both the digital display and the mobile app. The anode rod is of premium quality and increases the life of the tank by protecting it from rust.  

Best Ruud 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater:
 Heavy Duty Electric 50 Gal

PROS

  • Easy-to-access front control box
  • Tank has a porcelain enamel for durability
  • Thick foam insulation for reduced standby heat loss
  • Full-flow full-port brass drain valve for faster drainage
  • Made from stainless steel to prevent rust and burn out

CONS

  • It is more expensive than other models

What Recent Buyers Report 

This water heater gives hot water very fast. Its installation is pretty simple. The LED diagnostic system is very convenient, as well. The construction is reliable, and it can retain heat for a long time. Both homes and small businesses have used this water heater and had no complaints. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This water heater has an exceptional recovery rate; i.e., 438 gallons GPH at 100F. Its thermal efficiency is 98%. The use of thick foam for insulation adds to its performance and efficiency. It is highly durable and has not one but two anode rods installed in it. This increases its lifespan immensely.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is for commercial use. It is marketed for point-of-use as well as eye-wash stations or boosters. This model comes in 85, 120, and 175 Gallon tank versions as well. They all have similar features, and you can choose according to your needs. The recovery time is good, so it will give a continuous supply of hot water even after extensive use.

Bottom Line 

Commercial models are heavy-duty and can handle extreme use. This Ruud water heater has great thermal efficiency and recovery timing. The durability and condition of the heater are excellent for long use. Two anode rods increase protection from any sediment or rust.  

Best Kenmore 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater:
 Kenmore 58650 50 Gal

PROS

  • Self-cleaning cold water outlet
  • Has a good uniform energy factor
  • 3-inch energy-efficient foam insulation
  • Cobalt blue glass lining to prevent rust
  • 2 heating elements to increase the recovery rate

CONS

  • The lifespan and warranty are very limited

What Recent Buyers Report 

This water heater requires little maintenance because it has self-cleaning mechanisms in place. It does need to be replaced after a couple of years, but otherwise, you get a good supply of continuous hot water. Installation is not too complicated as well, as reported by consumers.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The cold water inlet tube swirls water as a self-cleaning mechanism and helps increase tank life. It uses blue cobalt lining along with anode rods to prevent rust and corrosion. It can retain heat for a long time through its 3-inch thick insulation and also has 2 heating elements for faster hot water availability.

Who Will Use This Most

This Kenmore water heater is targeted for four-person families that have average water needs. In this environment, it will give a good supply of hot water and have a long life. It is an indoor water heater and does not require consistent cleaning.

Bottom Line 

This is our last pick for 50 Gallon electric water heaters. It is perfect for an average family. It ensures fast and consistent hot water throughout the day. Usually, water tanks have 2-inch insulation, but this one has 3-inch foam insulation to make sure the heat does not get out.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

Every electronic product should be bought from a trusted vendor after a complete inspection, especially water heaters. Along with that, you should keep in mind certain considerations. Here are some things you should keep in mind before buying.

Uniform Energy Factor

The uniform energy factor is a metric for determining the energy efficiency of water heaters. The higher the UEF reading, the better the performance and lower the bills. This is an important factor in electric water heaters because they consume the most out of all. According to Energy Star, for an electric water heater, the UEF should be 2.00 or more. And they recommend a first-hour rating of 145 Gallons per hour at 125F.

Warranty

Warranties are another important issue when it comes to electrical products. Electric units have a chance of faulty wiring or voltage surges. They generally don’t last as long as mechanical products. This is why you will not see warranties of 10 or 15 years on these products. Energy Star recommends a warranty of 6 years or more. Reading the warranties can be a tedious thing, but you should always read through them to see in what situations they apply. 

Anode Rod

Rusting is a huge issue in water-related products. They are bound to have some trouble after years of use. If your area gets saltwater, then this problem will increase. Water heaters have tanks that are constantly submerged in water, and they need protection from rust. Anode rods provide that protection by attracting the harmful ions to its self. A good anode rod can increase the lifespan of a tank. 

Conclusion

People are usually on the fence about electric water heaters. They do cost less, but they increase the electricity bills. This is why the water heaters we have listed here include hybrid heating options. You will save a lot of money on all buying, installing, and power bills. Electric heaters are a great alternative for high-maintenance gas water heaters. 

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My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.