Last Updated: November 2023
Water heaters in rental properties don’t get much appreciation until the hot water stops. Choosing the right water heater for a rental property can be overwhelming with so many choices. Most rental property water heaters are either powered by natural-gas or electric, and either tank (storage tank for hot water) or tankless (on-demand hot water as needed).
Best Rental Property Water Heaters
|Best Electric – Tank||Best Natural Gas – Tank||Best Electric – Tankless||Best Natural Gas – Tankless||Best Commercial – Gas|
|A.O. Smith – Signature 100 40 Gallon 4500-Watt Electric Tank||Rheem – Performance 40 Gallon 38,000 BTU Nat. Gas Tank||EcoSmart – ECO 18 Electric 4.6 GPM Tankless Water Heater||Rinnai – Outdoor Whole House Natural Gas 5.3 GPM Tankless||Rheem – Commercial 100 Gallon 199,900 BTU Nat. Gas Tank|
Below we explore the top 5 water heaters for rental properties based on 5 different factors that landlords should consider when determining which type of water heater is best for their rental property investment.
Best Electric – Tank
Best Natural Gas – Tank
Best Electric – Tankless
Best Natural Gas – Tankless
Best Commercial – Gas
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Rental Property Water Heater FAQ
4 Different Types of Water Heaters for Rental Properties
When choosing the best water heater for a rental property, it’s best to start with understanding the different types of water heaters available to purchase. Most common ones available at local home improvement stores can usually be broken down into several categories including power supply and water storage. Power supply is usually supplied by one of the following: Electricity or Natural Gas. Water storage is also usually one of the following: Storage Tank or Tankless. Below is an explanation of each type.
Electric Water Heaters
These heaters use electric resistance coils to heat the water. They are usually cheaper to install than other types but can be more expensive to operate depending on electricity prices in your area. Electric water heaters are also very efficient, with almost 100% of the energy consumed going directly into heating the water.
Natural Gas Water Heaters
These are a popular choice for many homeowners. They use a gas burner to heat the water and are typically more cost-effective to operate than electric models, depending on local utility rates.
Storage Tank Water Heaters
These are the most common types of water heaters. They consist of an insulated tank in which water is heated and stored until needed. They are available in both gas and electric models. The capacity typically ranges from 20 to 80 gallons.
Tankless Water Heaters
Also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, they provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money. They are more energy-efficient than traditional storage tank heaters. They are also available in gas and electric models.
Water Heater Repair and Installation
How to Hire a Rental Property Plumber
Repairing or installing a new water heater is a job that is often handled by plumbers. Before calling a plumber for the job, it is a good idea to first understand the best practices of how to hire a plumber to install or repair a rental property water heater.
Where to Find Rental Property Water Heater Repair Pros
Finding qualified water heater repair pros can easily be done with online service directories. These platforms directly connect you to top local service providers who can work on whole home repairs ranging from air washer and dryers to kitchen faucets.
How to Determine the Right Size of a Water Heater for a Rental Property?
Determining the right size for a water heater in a rental property is crucial for ensuring tenant satisfaction, maximizing energy efficiency, and optimizing the lifespan of the appliance. The appropriate size depends primarily on the maximum expected hot water demand during peak usage times. Undersizing can lead to tenants running out of hot water, while oversizing can result in unnecessary energy consumption and costs. To ascertain the right size, it’s beneficial to calculate the total gallons of hot water needed during the busiest hour of the day (peak hour demand). To assist landlords in choosing the correct water heater size, below is a table that breaks down typical water usage for various tenant activities and appliances:
|Activity/Appliance||Avg. Gal. of Hot Water Used Per Use|
|Hand/Face Washing||1 gallon|
|Dishwasher (standard cycle)||6-10 gallons|
|Food Preparation||4 gallons|
|Clothes Washer (standard cycle)||20-25 gallons|
|Automatic Dishwasher||6-16 gallons|
What are a Landlord’s Responsibilities for Maintaining and Repairing a Water?
Landlords are generally responsible for ensuring that the water heater in a rental property is in good working condition and complies with all applicable safety standards and building codes. This responsibility includes performing regular maintenance tasks, such as inspecting for leaks, flushing out sediment, and checking the pressure relief valve, to extend the heater’s lifespan and efficiency. If the water heater malfunctions or stops working properly, the landlord is obliged to repair or replace it within a reasonable timeframe, typically dictated by local housing laws. The costs of these repairs and maintenance are usually the landlord’s responsibility, unless the damage is caused by the tenant’s negligence or misuse. It is best practice for landlords to educate tenants on the proper use of the water heater and provide instructions for reporting any issues or concerns.