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If you are an on-the-go type of person and want instantaneous hot water immediately upon turning on the tap or other fixtures, then nothing beats a point of use water heater. However, finding the best point of use water heater can be tough, so we’ve put together this resource – a one-stop-shop, all-inclusive guide to help you make an informed buying decision. (P.S. This guide is for point of use water heaters, not tankless water heaters; if you’re looking for on demand tankless water heaters, check out this guide).
A point of use water heater (usually abbreviated as POU) is a small electric appliance designed to deliver hot water instantaneously to a single fixture such as a kitchen sink faucet, bathroom sink or tub faucets. Point of use water heaters save water and energy by eliminating the delay in hot water delivery. This delay in water getting hot at your faucet is caused by flushing out the water already in the pipes between the faucet and your main water heater.
Types of Point of Use Water Heaters
Point of use water heaters come in two varieties: tank and tankless. But which one of them is better? Well, we’re not going to get into the debate about which is better; they both clearly work, and it really boils down to personal preference.
Tank point of use water heaters : Tank point of use water heaters are pretty similar to tank whole house water heaters in the way they operate. They are equipped with storage water tank in which water is heated and stored for use when required. They are typically limited to the amount of water they can heat per hour. Tank point of use water heaters come in a variety of storage sizes ranging from 2.5 gallons up to 20 gallons. For a single fixture where the hot water demand is quite low (hand washing, for example), a 2.5 gallon POU unit is often enough. However, if you plan on supplying multiple fixtures or have a greater hot water demand (dishwasher, washing machine, or a shower) you will need a point of use water heater with larger capacity.
Tankless point of use water heaters : Instead of storing and constantly heating water, tankless point of use water heaters operate only when there is a demand for hot water. Their performance is measured by the number of gallons of hot water per minute (also known as GPM) they can provide. The majority of tankless point of use water heaters on the market are rated for 2.0 to 2.5 GPM. If you decide to opt for a tankless point of use water heater, you won’t need to worry about running out of hot water.And that’s what we love most about them. In order to choose the best tankless point of use water heater, start by identifying how many of the fixtures and appliances you might have running at the busiest time of the day and select a tankless POU water heater that provides the number of gallons per minute your appliances/fixtures require. The table of typical flow rates below will give you an overall idea of the average flow rates in gallons per minute each fixture/appliance requires.
Typical Flow Rates
0.5 - 1.5
1.0 - 2.5
1.0 - 2.5
1.0 - 2.5
1.5 - 3.0
2.0 - 4.0
Advantages of Using a Point of Use Water Heater
You’re busy. There’s no two ways about it: a point of use water heater is a fast and effective way for getting hot water instantly. It speeds up hot water delivery by eliminating the distance the hot water must travel between a conventional water heater and the fixture. Therefore, you’ll get hot water much faster than any other conventional system.
You want to avoid wasting water. Because there’s no delay between turning on the tap and getting hot water, you can save hundreds of gallons of water per month by avoiding wasting the cold water in the pipes between the central heating system and the outlet while you are waiting for the hot water to travel these pipes.
You live in a big house. If you are living in a large home with a central water heating system, it can take too long for hot water to reach distant outlets. Moreover, if there is a remote sink in your house that is not served by a tank-type or tankless water heater, then installing a point of use water heater is an effective decentralized water heating approach that can eliminate waiting time and avoid you wasting water.
When it comes to electric point of use water heaters, Bosch is probably one of the most legendary. Bosch has been in business for a very long time. They have mastered the art of providing quality product for a reasonable price. And their point of use water heaters line is no exception.
The GL4S Ariston is one of the best point of use water heaters on the market. It features a nice compact design which makes it quite easy to handle and install. It’s also very convenient for mounting under the kitchen sink.
The GL4S Ariston has a 4 Gal glass-lined mini tank. It can be installed independently or in-line with a large central hot water source. If you’ve been complaining about the long time it takes the hot water to arrive at the sink from the distant large central water heater, then the GL4S Ariston is an effective solution to this dilemma. It can reduce the waiting time for hot water from 1 or 2 minutes to just 2 seconds.
The downside, however, is that it has very limited capacity. So, if you’re only washing a dish or two, then no problem. But if you wash a sink full of dirty dishes, you will quickly run out of hot water. Luckily for you, Bosch has another version of this point of use water heater (Bosch Ariston GL6+S) with 6 gallons tank capacity. And it’s about the same price as the GL4S.
The Ecosmart POU 6 is best suited for low flow applications with a maximum flow of one gallon per minute (GPM) – particularly if you are living in cold climate area. It so compact that it can fit almost anywhere such as under the sink, or in a small cabinet, so it’s ideal for bathrooms, wet bars, strip malls, medical offices, or recreational vehicles (RVs) …etc.
The Ecosmart POU 6 features a digital display that shows water output temperature. At 35 F, the Ecosmart POU 6 can deliver up to 1.07 GPM (gallons per minutes), but at 65 F, it can only deliver 0.58 GPM.
Since Bosch has bought Ariston, they have rebranded the Ariston Pro Ti line of electric mini-tank water heaters. Now, they’re labeled as Bosch Tronic 3000T.
The Bosch Tronic 3000T point-of-use water heaters are available in three tank sizes. There is Bosch ES8 which is the larger unit with 7 Gallons capacity, Bosch ES4 with 4 gallons capacity, and the smallest one is Bosch ES2.5 with 2.7 gallons capacity. These point of use water heaters can be wall-hung or floor-mounted. They can also be installed independently or in-line with a larger hot water source to eliminate the wait for hot water.
Atmor is a brand that we haven’t discussed much on our site. However, they are an established brand with decades of experience in the water heating industry. They specialize in manufacturing superior tankless instant electric water heaters.
The Atmor AT900-13 is a great budget-friendly tankless point of use water heater. It’s one of the best point of use tankless water heaters under $200. It is an ideal solution for residential and commercial applications such as restaurants, strip malls, wet bars, clinics, RVs or wherever an uninterrupted flow of hot water is needed. When a hot water faucet is turned on, the unit’s sensors detect water flow, and switch on the tubular heating element. The cold water enters the boiler on one side, gets heated quickly as it flows through the pipes within the boiler, and it gets hot exiting on the other side.
The only downside I can reasonably think of is that the Atmor AT900-13 isn’t equipped with an automatic temperature control. So, in case of low water flow, the unit will heat the water to the maximum temperature – 150F, which can be dangerous. In order for this unit to operate efficiently, the water pressure should be between 115 and 230 psi.
The WaiWela WM-2.5 is going to be the cheapest pick of the lot. You may be asking yourself what this point of use mini water heater is doing on this list. It’s below-par compared to the most of the other top 5. So why did we list it? Price. While most point of use water heaters we listed here are price above $150 easily, the WaiWela WM-2.5 gets the job done for about $100. It’s one of the best point of use water heaters a this price point,and it’s a good entry-level point of use water heater for very low flow applications. It’s also perfect if you just want to test the waters before upgrading to something a little more sophisticated.