Best 40 Gallon Electric Water Heater of 2021

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Are you fed up with those water heaters with a smaller tank and even their lower flow rates?

Then, all you need is a water heater with 40 gallon tank capacity.  It makes a good fit for small to mid-size family homes or cottages. It is an excellent choice for small businesses too.

While a gas-powered model can be a cost-effective solution for most households, electric models are favored by users looking for low upfront costs.

But finding the best 40 gallon electric water heater is quite challenging, with so many choices in the market.

As such, we’ve made your search easier with a brief and realistic review of 5 popular models – right here on this page.

Read along with our 40 gallon electric water heater reviews.

Comparison Chart

In a hurry? Check out the following quick chart to compare all these models quickly.

Product NamePrice On AmazonTank StyleIntended Household1st Hour
Delivery (GPH)
Energy Factor
A.O. Smith ENS
-40 ProMax  
Check Latest PriceShort3-4 persons540.95
Bradford White BWC RE340S6-1NCWW  Check Latest PriceTall2-3 persons550.95
Reliance 6-40-EORS100  Check Latest PriceMedium3-5 persons550.95
Rheem- Ruud ELD40-CCheck Latest PriceShort2-4 personsNot specified0.92
Rheem 88H-40D
Point of Use
Check Latest PriceTable-top2-4 persons500.88

Here are the Best 40 Gallon Electric Water Heaters in 2021 Review

We’ve included the 5 most popular models in our list. These models have made their position on our top 5- list for specific reasons.

While making this short-list, we’ve emphasized design, ease of use, feasibility, energy-efficiency, built-quality, and price.

Have a look at our review and buy one for your needs.

1. A.O. Smith ENS-40 ProMax- Best Short Water Heater Electric

A.O. Smith ENS-40 ProMax

A.O. Smith is a remarkably renowned brand in the water heater industry. This brand stands above the competition through the whole production process. Their commercial and residential heaters are popular for the innovative technology and energy efficiency that offers excellent value.

The ENS-40 is one of the best electric models of the A.O. Smith ProMax product line. It offers unmatched value and quality.

What stands out from its competitors?

First of all, the 40-gallon tank capacity is perfect for serving a household of three or four members. Powerful 34,000 BTU burner enables it to deliver up to 54 gallons of hot water in the first hour at an Energy Factor of 0.95.

ENS-40 offers exceptional energy savings. Its non-CFC eco-friendly foam insulation, low-watt heating elements, and other features work together to produce a high energy factor. Thus it maximizes savings on operating costs.

Notably, it meets the energy-efficiency requirements set forth by the Department of Energy.

You won’t need to worry about its durability, too. The self-cleaning Dynaclean dip tube reduces sediment and lime buildup inside the tank. It also maximizes output for years of dependable hot water.

Dual 4500 watt heating elements ensure fast recovery and reliable operation. Its low-watt Incoloy stainless steel element lasts longer than any standard copper element.

In addition to that, the Coregard aluminum anode has a stainless steel core. It protects the tank from the corrosive water effects. Moreover, the tank is permaglas glass-coated, which provides high-level corrosion resistance to enhance tank life. The tamper-resistant brass drain valve is also durable.

If a compact design is what you’re looking for, this short model can be ideal for houses with limited spaces. The small compact design makes it suitable for installing locations with limited space, such as under counters and in crawl spaces.

This device is backed by a six-year limited warranty on tanks and parts, which is a testament to the high level of build quality.

When it comes to price, this model is hundreds of dollars less than similarly equipped water heaters.

Pros

  • High first hour rating and recovery
  • Designed for easy operation
  • Superior corrosion resistance
  • NAECA code compliance
  • Complies with the Federal Energy Conservation Standards
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Not energy-star compliant

2. Bradford White BWC RE340S6-1NCWW – Tall 40 Gallon Electric Water Heater

Bradford White BWC RE340S6-1NCWW

Bradford White BWC RE340S6-1NCWW is a contractor-grade heater that delivers hot water quickly and dependably. Its 40-gallon storage tank capacity can handle hot water demands for families with up to four members.

The high first-hour delivery rating of this model ensures the supply of more hot water for the whole family. It delivers around 49 gallons of hot water in the first hour of operation. Plus, the 21 gallons per hour recovery rate lets you enjoy a hot shower for extended periods.

A key aspect to note with this heater is its integrated fully automated controls. It includes fast responding surface-mount thermostats that control the temperature automatically for more efficient operation.

Safety concern?

Sensitive manual reset cutoff prevents overheating to ensure the safe use of the system. What’s more, the anode rod provides enhanced protection against corrosion and thus it ensures trouble-free, long service.

The level of energy-efficiency that this unit offer is phenomenal. Firstly, the screw-type immersed elements transfer heat directly to the water for efficient performance. Secondly, the non-CFC foam insulation over the sides and top of the tank reduces heat loss. It helps to consume less energy and improves energy efficiency and jacket rigidity.

Moreover, the factory-installed flexible disk traps heat to reduce heat loss in piping. Notably, it eliminates the potential for noise generation during operation.

Another standout feature of this heater is its advanced Hydrojet total performance system. It prevents the accumulation of sediment in the tank and enhances the first-hour hot water supply.

The specially engineered Vitraglas enamel inner wall lining works against rust and corrosion buildup. It provides superior protection from the highly corrosive effects of hot water. It also protects the screw-type heating element allowing for enhanced energy-efficiency in the long run.

Finally, this model offers a 6-year warranty on tank and components.

Pros

  • Exceptional craftsmanship
  • Slim tall profile
  • Excellent first-hour delivery rating
  • High energy-efficiency
  • Fast recovery rate
  • Hassle-free operation
  • Rust and corrosion resistant
  • Sediment buildup resistant
  • Meets ASHRAE standard

Cons

  • Quite tall, so it may not fit in a crawl space with a vertical clearance of fewer than 50 inches.
  • Not Energy-star rated

3. Reliance 6-40-EORS100-Best Medium Electric Water Heater

Reliance 6-40-EORS100

Reliance 6-40-EORS100 heats water for you efficiently and cleanly. The nominal capacity of this unit is 40 gallons of water which is perfect for average demand applications. It can provide an ample supply of hot water for households with 3 to 5 people.

For those who do not know, Reliance is the subsidiary of A.O. Smith Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of heating equipment in the North America.

The copper-sheathed dual heating elements are rated at 4500 watts each for efficient performance. With a 0.95 energy factor rating, it provides the needed efficiency.

It’s worth noting that the recovery rate at a 90-degree rise is 21 gallons/hours, and the first-hour rating is 55 GPM.

Factory-installed PEX polymer-lined nipples trap heats. In addition to that, the PEX dip tube helps maintain efficiency. There is also 2.5-inch non-CFC foam insulation to keeps the heat in.

It also uses direct heat transfer that helps to save energy. Overall, you’ll notice a huge difference in your utility bill after upgrading to this water heater.

The best feature of this tank-type Reliance water heaters is its automatic self-cleaning system, which reduces sediment buildup in the tank.

Another stunning aspect is its glass-lined tank with a non-sacrificial power aluminum anode rod.  It protects the metal tank from corrosion.

The ¾-inch water connections and temperature/ pressure relief valve are included with this model. The relief valve is factory installed for easy installation.

Pros

  • Energy-efficient design
  • Easy to maintain
  • Environmental friendly
  • Heavy-duty anode
  • Corrosion protective
  • High-quality elements
  • Self-cleaning system
  • Meets new NAECA 2015 efficiency standards

Cons

  • Several users have complained about poor packaging.

4. Rheem- Ruud ELD40-C- Best Light duty 40 gallon Commercial Electric Water Heater

Rheem- Ruud ELD40-C

ELD40-C is a light-duty commercial-grade electric heater designed specifically for any application to deliver moderate amounts of hot water. It is suitable for a wide variety of applications such as retail stores and small offices.

It is also one of the most reliable and innovative water heaters in the world. It provides excellent efficiency and high durability. The 2.5-inch thick foam insulation minimizes standby heat loss and ensures 98% thermal efficiency. The result is reduced operating cost.

More conveniently, it maintains the water temperature at a desired preset level. Thanks to its surface-mounted thermostat that automatically cycles ON and OFF.

The patented dual heating elements are corrosion-resistant. These are constructed of specially treated, double layer of copper and magnesium oxide. These screw-in type elements are also easy to replace. Moreover, the factory-installed durable brass drain valve ensures quick draining and servicing.

The proprietary steel storage tank is durable to ensure longer service life. The porcelain enamel enhances the corrosion resistance of the tank that further extends the tank’s life. It also prolongs the effective life of the anode rod, which in turn, the life of the unit.

Finally, you’ll enjoy a 3-year limited warranty on the tank, and 1-year limited warranty on parts.

Pros

  • Superior water-heating capability
  • Excellent thermal efficiency
  • Require minimal maintenance
  • Long-life tank design
  • Brass drain valve, T and P Valve included
  • Corrosion-resistant and durable
  • AHRI, CSA, UL compliant

Cons

  • Not Energy Star compliant

5. Rheem 88H-40D- Best Point of Use Table Top 40 Gallon Electric Water Heater

Rheem 88H-40D Point of Use

When you want a small but effective point-of-use water heater, the Rheem 88H-40D is hard to beat.

88H-40D is a table-top version of the Rheem 40-gallon electric water heater. It is an excellent option to install in the kitchen or other work area that provides additional counter space.

This unit is housed in a structure that looks like a utility room or lower kitchen cabinet. From a practical viewpoint – this design earns top marks. The advantage of this design is that it provides a small but intelligent and practical work area out of what would otherwise be useless.

This point-of-use water heater provides plenty of hot water as you need it – when you need it. It is ideal for households with 2 to 4 people for daily water needs.

It electrically heats water to your desired temperature regardless of you use it in the bathroom, kitchen, or elsewhere. Thanks to its dual 4500-watt elements and automatic thermostat.

88H-40D delivers more hot water at a reasonably low operating cost. It comes with 0.81 UEF (Uniform Energy Factor). The unit is well-insulated to reduce standby heat loss. The recovery rate is 21 GPH at a 90-degree F rise.

This residential electric tabletop water heater is built to last. A premium grade patented magnesium anode rod with resistor provides long-lasting tank protection. Plus, the direct immersion heating element is durable enough to offer a long service life.

Factory-installed temperature/pressure relief valve and ¾-inch water connections are included with the unit for easy installation. What’s nice about this heater is its Channel on the back panel. It accommodates piping and permits the appliance to fit snugly against the rear wall.

The baked enamel countertop is heat and acid-resistant. What’s more, the four-inch high backsplash protects the interior wall from spills and stains.

If you’re looking for a finished and clean look instead of a fully exposed heater (as the vast majority models are), Rheem 88H-40D is for you. It features a recessed base, so you can comfortably stand and use the countertop just like you do in the kitchen.

Conveniently, you can remove the table-top surface for access to electrical wiring, hot and cold water outlets at the top of the tank, and anode rod replacement.

This electric water heater provides multiple years of reliable service. The limited warranty on this model covers the tank and all other parts for six years. It also offers a one-year in home labor warranty.

Pros

  • Made of premium-grade materials
  • Beautiful finish
  • Housed in an attractive cabinet
  • Large counter surface
  • Durable and useful
  • Engineered components for longer life
  • Standard replacement parts; readily available
  • NAECA complaint for energy efficiency
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • If you locate it on an exterior wall, you’ll need to install insulation along the pipes.

How to Choose the Right 40 Gallon Electric Water Heater

Not sure which one from our list is right for you?

Here’s how to determine the right model.

Consider the following factors when choosing a model for your requirement.

Energy-efficiency Rating/ Energy Factor

Electric models consume a considerable amount of energy if you fail to choose wisely. In general, these units come with an Energy Guide Label on the exterior.

A higher energy factor means the unit is more efficient, and it’ll lower your cost to run. Consecutively, the more energy-efficient models have a less negative impact on the environment.

Choose a model with the best energy factor (EF) rating.(source)

A unit with a smart thermostat also helps you save energy. This feature lets you control the temp settings according to your needs. This saves you a lot of money in energy use.

First Hour Rating (FHR)

The second most important factor is the unit’s First-hour rating. This parameter reflects the unit’s capability to produce hot water during the first hour of operation after thoroughly heating the water.

For example, if your selected model comes with an FHR of 50 gallons, you can expect it’ll deliver 50 gallons of continuous hot water for the first hour.

Thermal Insulation

The storage tank of this water heater stores heated water until you use it. So, to keep the heat loss minimal, most models include additional insulation around the basic structure. It allows the unit to preserve the heat. That means you’ll end up using less energy for heating, resulting in lower energy costs in the end.

It would be best to check the insulation of the inner wall of the storage tank.

Other Features to Consider

Some models come equipped with a digital display that makes operation and monitoring the unit’s performance easy. It allows the user to automatically adjust the water temp and other parameters based on your patterns and usage.

The anti-scale is an advanced technology that reduces lime-scale buildup at the bottom of the tank. Thus, it ensures the delivery of clean water and the long life of the elements and tank.

High-end models also include Wi-Fi modules. So, you can manage your water heating needs even if you’re away from home.

Brand Reliability and Warranty

Brand reliability can partly be determined by the warranty it offers for the product. It reflects the commitment of the manufacturer to serve its customers.

These products may come with a warranty from three years to twelve years. However, an extended warranty means the manufacturer will back their products, which is proof of high quality and durability.

Customer Reviews

Customer ratings and reviews can paint an accurate picture of a product. Try to read the user comments to analyze the merits of the product.  Don’t forget to pay attention to negative reviews as they can reveal a recurring issue in the specific model.

Next, take into consideration the pros and cons of your selected model. It’ll help you to judge in evaluating whether the user reviews are right or not.

Conclusion

If you’re in the search for a reliable performer, any of these best 40 gallon electric water heaters will do.

But which one will be a better match depends on your specific requirement and available space.

Whichever model you ultimately settle on from our comprehensive list, you can rest assured that you’re getting a high-quality product.

But don’t take our word for it – get one for yourself and see what it actually offers to you.

Thanks for your time!