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    110 Volt Tankless Water Heater: What You Need to Know

    Hand in a spray of hot water

    Tankless heaters come in all different sizes. There are small water heater units, designed for point-of-use that only draw 110 volts, and more powerful units which can heat enough hot water for an entire household. 

    The first step in determining which size water heater is right for you is to understand what you'll be requiring from the tankless. If you're looking for a larger unit, you should check out our tankless buyer's guide. But if a 110 volt water heater meets your needs, then read on . . . this article was written for you.


    Silver shower head with aqua tile

    Best 110 Volt Tankless Water Heater

    The best 110 Volt tankless we've been able to find is the DHC 3-1 by Stiebel Eltron. Although the sales material lists this unit as a 120v tankless, Stiebel Eltron has tested it to operate at 110v (more on this below).

    The DHC 3-1 is hydraulically controlled, making it incredibly quiet. It has a copper heating element with plenty of built-in safety features, and the superior design and workmanship means this unit is suitable for residential or commercial use.

    Stiebel Eltron DHC 3-1
    Stiebel Eltron 074050 120V, 3.0 kW DHC 3-1 Single Sink Point-of-Use Tankless Electric Water Heater

    Lady taking a hot shower

    120 Volt Tankless Water Heater for Shower

    Look, we're not going to lie, if you're shopping for a 120 volt tankless water heater for your home shower you'll most likely be disappointed with the results. 120 volt's just isn't a lot of power to deliver a hot shower.

    It can, however, get things going until you're main water heater can take over, but most of the point-of-use heaters of this size are designed to be used for a single sink. In most situations, that means hand washing.

    Although, there are exceptions. If you live in an area where the incoming water temperature is high (such as Florida) a 120v tankless such as the Rheem RTEX-04 may be able to tackle a long shower. But if you live in Alaska, or most anywhere else, these units just won't be able to get the job done.

    With that said, there are some options, which we'll cover in the next section that deals with 110v tankless units. But the moral of the story is that 120v isn't your best choice for a home shower, especially if its your only source of hot water.

    Electric shower heating water

    110 v Tankless Water Heater for Shower

    Have you ever wondered what the difference is between 120v and 110v? We hear these terms so frequently that they're nearly interchangeable. And, in fact, the reality is, they are basically the same.

    120 volts is the AC voltage on a household hot wire. However, as electricity travels through your home's wiring it encounters resistance which could drop the voltage to as low as 110v.

    If you're shopping for a 110v water heater, you're simply looking for an appliance that has been tested to operate at the lower voltage. The unit will still work at 120v, but you can rest assured that it'll also function fine at 110v.

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    Shopping for a Tankless

    It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that just like 120v units, your choices are pretty limited for a shower tankless at this voltage. However, you can find some units that are designed to function as an electric shower.

    There are some electric showers available in the US, but they tend to be more popular in the UK. Of course, this means that the UK will also have a better selection to choose between, but unfortunately they rarely will work in the US.

    How an Electric Shower Works


    An electric shower is basically a tankless water heater that's connected solely to a shower. In terms of heating water, electric showers are very efficient since they only heat the water that's needed.

    All electric showers heat water in the same way, although each manufacturer may have unique features for their models. Here's a brief description of how they work:

    Cold water is drawn into the unit and is then heated by one or more powerful heating elements as it passes thru the unit. When the hot water leaves the tankless its delivered directly to the shower head.

    Temperature Adjustments

    In order to increase the temperature, the electric shower will need to decrease the flow of water to the shower head. This allows the water to stay within the heater longer in order to meet the increased temperature. Likewise, if you decrease the temperature, the shower head water flow will increase because the elements will be able to heat the water faster.

    Water Flow Fluctuations

    Besides user temperature adjustments, there are other factors that can influence the shower head water flow. Factors such as electricity supply voltage, shower kilowatt rating, and the incoming cold water temperature can all impact the flow of water.

    As an example, you can anticipate that the flow rate will change with the seasons. In the summer, when the incoming cold water is warmer, your electric shower will be able to deliver a higher flow rate than in the winter.

    Temperature Fluctuations

    Many electric showers are temperature stabilized. This means that its possible to feel a small temperature change while showering. This happens because of a pressure change in the incoming cold water supply.

    If a cold water faucet is opened while the electric shower is running, the water pressure in the cold water line drops. When the water pressure drops, so does the flow of water entering the unit, causing the temperature to increase.

    Many times this isn't a problem, but if there's a large demand on your water supply from washing machines, dishwashers, or a large family, you may want to consider a thermostatic electric shower.

    Thermostatic electric showers are able to maintain the water temperature better than temperature stabilized showers. That's not to say that they don't have fluctuations, but typically not as dramatic.

    Thermostatic units are also better suited to handling seasonal fluctuations and are capable of holding the water temperature within a tighter range when your incoming water is colder in the winter.

    110v Tankless Picks

    Here's a few of our favorite electric showers and 110v tankless water heaters. As you can see, there's a number of different styles to choose between.

    Garlat Boccherini

    The Garlat Boccherini electric shower is the perfect choice for a rustic cabin without hot water. The dual shower head allows for plenty of flexibility to meet your showering needs, you can even wash the dog!

    With three temperature adjustments (cold, warm, and hot) you'll be able to make changes on the fly, and since it's tankless, you'll never need to worry about running out of hot water.

    Although perfect for a cabin, the Garlat Boccherini is not a portable shower. It will need to be wired directly to a 40 amp breaker with 10 awg wiring. If you're looking for a portable shower, check out the propane tankless units below.

    Garlat Boccherini
    GARLAT Boccherini 110V Electric Instant Hot Water Shower Heater + Super Flexible Stainless Steel Hose + Rainfall Shower Head (Rainfall Shower Head)

    WUPYI

    The 110v WUPYI Tankless has a temperature range between 131 to 158F and packs 1500 watts of power. It's easy to install with multiple mounting options, and it's sleek white look means it'll look sharp in any installation.

    The WUPYI uses a high efficiency, low power heating tube to heat the water, and to conserve energy, the unit will automatically cycle off when the set temperature is achieved.


    Black and White Electrical Cords

    110v Plug in Tankless Water Heater

    Unfortunately, there's not a big selection of plug in 110v water heaters available. The big players in the tankless market offer units of this size, such as Stiebel Eltron's DHC 3-1, EcoSmart's POU 3.5, and Rheem's RTEX-04. All of which are excellent units, however, they require hardwiring.

    We'll go into this in more detail below, but basically there just isn't enough power in a standard outlet to sufficiently (and safely) heat the water. However, we did find a couple of units on the market which may be worth a look.

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    110v Plug in Picks

    iHeat Hotspot

    This small but powerful electric shower is designed with versatility in mind. It can be used anywhere, whether you're camping, at the pool, or you simply want a heated shower at home. 

    Simply unscrew your old shower head and connect the iHeat directly to the shower nipple. It installs fast and easy so there's no need to purchase a travel shower.  Since the iHeat weights just 3-1/2 pounds and comes with a 110-volt cord, you can literally unscrew it from home and take it with you camping! 

    iHeat Hotspot
    iHeat Tankless P FBA Electric Shower Head Heater Model AHSH 2500, 23A, 2.5Kw, Chrome Plated, 1/2" FIP Connector with 110v Cord Included, 10" in. by 4.5" in. Weighs 3.5lbs, 2.5 KW

    Zerodis Mini

    Zerodis makes a 110v tankless water heater. Some buyers have had success using it in a shower, however it's better suited for a sink. However, the reasonable price may make this plug-in tankless worth a try!

    It's small size means it can squeeze into the tightest of spaces and deliver hot water on demand. The Zerodis Mini is definitely worth mentioning as it has many desirable features such as a digital display and a stainless frame.

    Zerodis Mini
    Zerodis Electric Water Heater 110V 3000W Mini Tankless Instant Hot Water System for Bathroom Kitchen Washing(Red)

    Plugging in an electrical cord into an outlet

    120v Plug in Tankless Water Heater

    If you're looking for a plug in tankless water heater the Zerodis Mini is the only one we've seen. All of the other 120v tankless water heaters on the market require hardwiring into your electrical panel.

    Although the convenience of plugging in a tankless makes sense, the reality is quite different. As an example, Stiebel Eltron's DHC 3-1 requires 25 amps of power to heat water.

    A standard electrical outlet simply doesn't have enough available power, since the circuit that supplies it's power is typically only 15 or 20 amps.

    With the amount of available power from an electrical outlet a tankless would struggle to produce hot water at any meaningful flow rate. 

    That really leaves you with two viable options. 1) Purchase a 120v tankless water heater that requires hardwiring, or 2) Purchase a plug-in 120v tank-style water heater. We've listed a good choice for both options below:

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    120v Water Heater Picks

    Rheem RTEX-04 Tankless

    The Rheem RTEX-04 is the smallest tankless of the RTEX line-up. With an efficiency rating of 99.8% nearly all the electricity used goes into heating the water.

    The RTEX-04 has a copper immersion heating element and is excellent for hand sinks and wet bars. If you're looking for a little more power, you might want to check out the RTEX-06 model which has 240-volts.


    Stiebel Eltron Mini Tank

    We know you have your heart set on a tankless, but if you're looking to plug in your water heater to a standard electrical outlet your best bet is to go with a tank-style unit. 

    Stiebel Eltron offers 3 different sized tanks that don't require any special wiring and can be plugged directly into an electrical plug in.

    You can go as small as the 2.5-gallon tank, or as large as a 6.0. There's even a mid-sized 4.0-gallon tank. Each size can obtain a maximum temperature of 140-degrees and draws up to 11.3 amps.

    Stiebel Eltron SHC 2.5
    Stiebel Eltron 233219 2.5 gallon, 1300W, 120V SHC 2.5 Mini-Tank Electric Water Heater

    Light bulbs on a blue backgound

    Plug in Electric Tankless Water Heater

    As discussed above, the Zerodis is the only plug in electric tankless water heater we've been able to find.  So if you have your heart set on a plug in unit you might want to give it a try.

    But the truth is, tankless water heaters should be hardwired into your electrical panel, and even if you can find a plug in unit, you'll probably be pretty disappointed with the results unless you want to use if for anything other than hand washing.

    There are a lot of great 120 volt electric tankless water heaters on the market, but very few that are designed to plug into an outlet. And as you might expect, all of the 240 volt electric tankless units require hardwiring.

    You may be asking what options are available if you want a plug in tankless water heater. The answer is not many. Like above, you could purchase a tankless and have it hardwired, or you could purchase a plug in tank-style water heater. Below you'll find a couple other of our favorite picks for each option.

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    Best Picks

    EcoSmart Eco11

    If you're thinking about moving to a hardwired tankless, you might want to consider something with a little more power. The EcoSmart Eco11 runs on 240 volts and should be able to easily handle heating water for a shower.

    One of EcoSmart's most popular tankless water heaters is the Eco18.  But now you're getting into whole house units, which is probably more than you're looking for. If you want to go smaller, you might consider the EcoSmart POU6. It's rated for 208v. 

    EcoSmart Eco 11
    EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 13KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology

    Bosch Tronic 3000

    The Bosch Tronic 3000 is an all-time favorite, although it is a tank-style water heater. It runs on 120 volts and can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet.

    Mount it on a shelf, a wall, or even the floor with the mounting bracket which comes with the unit. If you're looking for a small tank, the 2.5-gallon should fit the bill, but you can also go with the larger 4.0-gallon or even the 7.0-gallon tank.

    Bosch Tronic 3000 2.5-gallon
    Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 2.5-Gallon (ES2.5) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted

    Turning hot water handle in shower

    110v Hot Water Heater 20 Gallon

    20 gallon water heaters are often considered point-of-use units, and they're frequently used in bathrooms, wet bars, mobile homes, or even for commercial uses such as dog grooming services. 

    Many 20 gallon water heaters are designed to operate at 240v, but there are some excellent units available at 120v. However, if you are replacing a water heater, be sure to purchase the same voltage as your old unit.

    There are many great 20 gallon water heaters on the market, some have even been rated to operate at 110v (see above for more information). Here's a few of our favorites. 

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    Best Picks

    American Standard CE-20-AS 19 Gallon Point Of Use Electric Water Heater
    Reliance 6-20-SOMS K 20GAL ELEC WATER HEATER, 20 Gallon
    Rheem EGSP20 Point-Of-Use Electric Commercial Water Heater, 19.9 Gallon, 120v, 3Kw
    American Standard
    Reliance
    Rheem
    -
    Tank Size
    19-gallons
    20-gallons
    19.9-gallons
    Voltage
    110v
    110v
    120v
    Dimensions
    18.5" x 18.5" x 24.9"
    20" x 19" x 33.5"
    19.75" x 19.75" x 25.13"
    Weight
    74 lbs
    68 lb
    -
    Side Mounted Plumbing
    Commercial / Residential
    Residential
    Residential
    Commercial
    $349.12
    $632.62
    $726.00
    American Standard CE-20-AS 19 Gallon Point Of Use Electric Water Heater
    American Standard
    Tank Size
    19-gallons
    Voltage
    110v
    Dimensions
    18.5" x 18.5" x 24.9"
    Weight
    74 lbs
    Side Mounted Plumbing
    Commercial / Residential
    Residential
    $349.12
    Reliance 6-20-SOMS K 20GAL ELEC WATER HEATER, 20 Gallon
    Reliance
    Tank Size
    20-gallons
    Voltage
    110v
    Dimensions
    20" x 19" x 33.5"
    Weight
    68 lb
    Side Mounted Plumbing
    Commercial / Residential
    Residential
    $632.62
    Rheem EGSP20 Point-Of-Use Electric Commercial Water Heater, 19.9 Gallon, 120v, 3Kw
    Rheem
    -
    Tank Size
    19.9-gallons
    Voltage
    120v
    Dimensions
    19.75" x 19.75" x 25.13"
    Weight
    -
    Side Mounted Plumbing
    Commercial / Residential
    Commercial
    $726.00

    American Standard

    Are you trying to find a 20-gallon tank, but you don't want to break the bank? You should take a look at the unit made by American Standard. With a 6-year residential warranty this 110v unit runs off of 20 amp circuit. 

    If you're looking for a unit to install into a tight vertical location, this might not be the best fit for you since the plumbing fittings are located on the top. But if space above the heater isn't a problem, and you don't mind the fact that its a 19 gallon tank, this is a great water heater at an affordable price.

    American Standard
    American Standard CE-20-AS 19 Gallon Point Of Use Electric Water Heater

    Reliance 606

    Reliance offers a 20-gallon tank-style water heater which runs off of 110-volts. The tank is glass lined and enclosed within a full inch of foam insulation. There's a full 6-year warranty for both the tank and parts.

    The water inlet and outlet connections are located on the side of the tank, which reduces the height of the unit and allows you to install this water heater in the tightest of places. With many happy owners, the Reliance Water Heater delivers.

    Reliance
    Reliance 6-20-SOMS K 20GAL ELEC WATER HEATER, 20 Gallon

    Rheem

    Rheem offers a commercial 120-volt tank-style water heater if you're looking for something built to handle a challenge. Their 19.9-gallon steel tank is coated with high temperature porcelain enamel to help prevent corrosion.

    With a peak water temperature setting of 170-degrees this unit demands attention. But be sure to set your desired temperature correctly or someone may be burned! 

    The innovative resistor heating elements are treated with a double layer of magnesium oxide and copper to help them from corroding. And to reduce operating costs, a rigid polyurethane foam surrounds the tank and provides a high level of insulation.


    Outdoor shower

    Propane Tankless Water Heater

    When it comes to using propane as a fuel source its important to know a couple of things. First, propane is just as effective at heating water as natural gas. However, its far more expensive since there's more processing required before it reaches the end user.

    Propane needs to be pumped, separated and distilled, all of which adds to its cost. It's also more dangerous than natural gas since its heavier, and can result in a higher risk of exploding. 

    But that doesn't mean that a propane tankless water heater shouldn't be used. In some areas natural gas isn't available and propane or electricity is your only option for a whole house tankless and if you're looking for a portable tankless, propane is generally your best option.

    Whole House Propane Tankless

    Propane tankless water heaters come in two basic styles: Whole house tankless units and portable units. We're not going to go into detail with whole house units since this article focuses on smaller tankless water heaters.

    However, just as an overview, a whole house unit is used to heat the water for your entire home, and in most cases are installed in areas where natural gas isn't available. If you're shopping for a propane whole house tankless, you may want to a look at the Rheem RTGH-95

    Portable Propane Tankless

    Portable propane tankless water heaters are pretty much what you'd expect, they're designed to go anywhere. A portable unit is excellent for camping, trips to the lake, or even to give a dog or horse a warm bath. They even work great at rustic cabins!

    Using a Portable Propane Tankless

    Most manufacturers include a gas regulator and the necessary hoses and attachments for their unit, and some even include additional hoses. ​

    In most cases you'll need to have a garden hose, running water, a full propane tank, and 2 "D" cell batteries for the ignitor. You can expect the portable tankless to deliver roughly 18-hours of hot water on a 20-pound propane tank.


    Portable Propane Tankless Picks

    Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater
    CAMPLUX ENJOY OUTDOOR LIFE BD158 1.58GPM Outdoor Propane Tankless Gas Water Heater
    Tankless Water Heater, GASLAND Outdoors AS150 1.5GPM 6L Portable Gas Water Heater, Propane Water Heater for RV Camping, Low Oxygen Flame Failure and Overheating Safety Protection, White
    Camp Chef Triton
    Camplux
    Gasland
    Weight
    15 lbs
    15.4 lbs
    16.5 lbs
    Dimensions
    12" x 15" x 4"
    11.6" x 4.3" x 17.3"
    15.4" x 11.8" x 15.9"
    Flow Rate
    1.5 gpm
    1.58 gpm
    1.5 gpm
    Shower Hose Length
    6 ft
    5 ft
    5 ft
    Maximum Power Output
    34,000 btu/hr
    41,000 btu/hr
    38,000 btu/hr
    Gas Regulator Included
    Batteries Required
    $113.10
    $134.99
    $129.99
    Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater
    Camp Chef Triton
    Weight
    15 lbs
    Dimensions
    12" x 15" x 4"
    Flow Rate
    1.5 gpm
    Shower Hose Length
    6 ft
    Maximum Power Output
    34,000 btu/hr
    Gas Regulator Included
    Batteries Required
    $113.10
    CAMPLUX ENJOY OUTDOOR LIFE BD158 1.58GPM Outdoor Propane Tankless Gas Water Heater
    Camplux
    Weight
    15.4 lbs
    Dimensions
    11.6" x 4.3" x 17.3"
    Flow Rate
    1.58 gpm
    Shower Hose Length
    5 ft
    Maximum Power Output
    41,000 btu/hr
    Gas Regulator Included
    Batteries Required
    $134.99
    Tankless Water Heater, GASLAND Outdoors AS150 1.5GPM 6L Portable Gas Water Heater, Propane Water Heater for RV Camping, Low Oxygen Flame Failure and Overheating Safety Protection, White
    Gasland
    Weight
    16.5 lbs
    Dimensions
    15.4" x 11.8" x 15.9"
    Flow Rate
    1.5 gpm
    Shower Hose Length
    5 ft
    Maximum Power Output
    38,000 btu/hr
    Gas Regulator Included
    Batteries Required
    $129.99

    Camp Chief Triton

    Camp Chief manufacturers a very popular portable propane tankless. The Triton can deliver 1.5 gallons of hot water every minute. You even get to choose between a jet stream, shower, or mist when taking your shower.

    An 6-foot water hose with shower head and gas hose with regulator are included. The unit can be hung on brackets or stand on its own. Since the temperature can be adjusted between 80 to 150 degrees you're sure to have a hot shower where ever you are!

    Camp Chief Triton
    Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater

    Camplux

    The Camplux outdoor propane tankless water heater is made by Enjoy Outdoor Life. It's available in 5 different sizes that can deliver anywhere between 1.32 to 4.22 gallons of hot water per minute. 

    A 5-foot hose with shower head and gas hose with regulator are included as well as other necessary connectors and hoses. Simply mount on the wall or hang by the handle and you're set for a hot shower.


    GasLand

    GasLand's AS150 model is made to travel. Take it along when you're camping or swimming at the lake, have it set up at home to rinse off before you go into the house, or spray the kids or dog off after they've played in mud puddles. Whatever your activities, a hot shower is always available.

    The unit comes with it's own gas regulator and can deliver 1.5 gallons of hot water every minute. It's compact and lightweight design makes this the perfect companion for any trip.


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    Last update on 2019-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API