“Water heaters don’t have to depend on Electricity to function properly.”
You’ll also be singing in the same key as mine when you see the newest models on the block. These tankless water heaters rely on LPG or propane gas instead of placing the burden on electricity.
Also, these things are safe! You don’t have to worry about harmful gasses that burden the environment as well. Not to mention, the best tankless propane water heaters are surprisingly cheap. If you’re looking for a cheap and effective way of warming up cold water, these are the products to hunt for.
That’s why I prepped this guide for you. Here, you’ll find a list of top-rated brands and products that make your life easier and help in cutting down the cost to a great deal.
There’s a buying guide tucked in as well. Feel free to take an insider look at how I came across my products and go on a shopping spree of your own. Let’s dive in!
Top-Rated Propane Water Heaters
This is the section where I give you my take on some of the best products money can buy. You’ll definitely find these short reviews helpful and eye-opening. Read on and make your choices!
1. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
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We all know what a hassle it can be to carry around a huge water heater with giant tanks just for the sole purpose of getting hot water. Worry not. The new Eccotemp tankless water heater is here to save your day.
If portability is one of the key factors you are looking for in your water heater like I did, then this little thing over here can provide you with the utmost satisfaction. Want to know more about it? Let’s discuss this further.
The main reason why they call it portable is that you can carry it around and install it anywhere you want, without any hassle. It comes with a stainless steel rain cap and a 1/2″ NPT to garden hose adapter so that you can fit it in anywhere.
EcoTempL10 runs completely on liquid propane. For those who don’t know, liquid propane is a type of alkane with three Carbon molecules, more commonly known as liquefied petroleum gas or LPG. This gas is extremely flammable and has to be handled with caution.
Well, this heater right here has that all covered, since it has a 20 lb. grill propane tank to store the gas safely. Still not satisfied? Users will find an additional CSA regulator just to ensure that the propane doesn’t leak out by accident.
I’m not done with the “Safety” talk just yet. This heater goes further to ensure that there are no accidents. It is equipped with an automatic safety shutoff timer that goes off every 20 minutes if the water stops, resets, then starts again. Better safe than sorry, they say.
I found EcoTemp L10 user-friendly and easy to use. The control panel is simple yet clear for the users. All you need to do is to turn the dials to set the water pressure and the temperature to your need. The water pressure range on this thing is 20-80 PSI, which is more than enough for regular household use.
If you’re outdoorsy like I am, you’d definitely want this because it has a removable rain cap and a battery-powered ignition system, which along with the portable design make it perfect for camping trips.
And if you’re so fond of your furry little friend and wish to take them along with you no matter wherever you go, then this water heater would be a great companion for you, because it has a garden hose adapter that makes it ideal for bathing cats, dogs, horses, or other domestic animals.
Pets won’t feel left out of the fun any longer.
2. Rinnai V Series HE Tankless Hot Water Heater
“So, why did you go for Rinnai V Series?” – One might ask.
Well, one of the best things about the Rinnai V Series HE Tankless Hot Water Heater is that sets it apart from its counterparts is its mobile app.
Yes, you’ve read that right. People can easily turn this heater on and off, and control its temperature using the mobile app that you can download for free from Play Store or App Store. Just so you know, the app also features timers that you can use to schedule the timing of the heater to go on and off.
Apart from the funky stuff, the heater itself is really efficient and durable. It runs on propane or LPG, so you won’t have to worry about the voltage going up and down. However, it does use electricity for ignition. It’s specially built for RVs and mobile homes.
So, how good is the performance of this little device, you ask? Rinnai V Series delivers up to 6.6 Gallons of hot water per minute (GPM) at 120 volts. Of course, the output changes depending on how hot you want the water to be.
The compact size and design not only make it easily portable but also make it easy to install in any kind of interior. And I’m particularly mentioning the interior part because it is designed for indoor use only. You can put it under your sink, in the bathroom, or in the kitchen.
Rinnai V Series HE water heater features a temperature lock system. Since it works with propane or LPG gas, the lock prevents the temperature from going too high up. This will, in turn, prevent accidents from blowing up (pun intended) our houses and RVs.
Worried about the environment? Don’t be! The “V” series boasts certification from the “South Coast Air Quality Management System.” It makes Rinnai HE safe enough for use and harmless to our environment and ecosystem.
3. CAMPLUX ENJOY OUTDOOR LIFE BD158 1.58GPM Outdoor Propane Tankless Gas Water Heater
Sit tight, this one will need a bit of discussion to properly understand the functions of it. The Complux outdoor propane water heater uses low water pressure to ignite. It’s literally capable of functioning with just 3.0 PSI of water pressure.
If you live in a really cold region, Alaska for example, you will know how cold the winters can get and how annoying it is to have to de-frost the water heater before it starts working and then there is the long wait for the water to get heated so that you can finally wash up and start your day.
Well, this water heater has everything covered for you. CAMPLUX OUTDOOR water heater has anti-freezing protection on the exterior that will prevent it from freezing even when the temperature falls to the negative zone.
By now you must be wondering how safe this heater is, right?
Let me assure you, the manufacturers of this product spent a lot of thought behind making it safe and fool-proof. It has a built-in flame failure device that controls the gas escape to avoid any flame from catching up. It even has an oxygen depletion safety shut-off protection.
Like I said earlier, this water heater will not freeze in extremely cold temperatures, and won’t catch fire either. It will just sit on the corner and silently get the job of heating water for you do in its own pace.
Speaking of sitting in the corner, this heater is ergonomically designed for a compact and portable appearance. The simple minimalistic design is not only space-saving and practical but also aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Moreover, it has a folding handle that allows you to carry it around with you on camping trips. Don’t worry, the heater is lightweight as well. It won’t strain your hands too much.
With a 1.58 GPM of hot water output, this thing will save you time while saving energy and money that you can spend on other things. You can also turn the ignition with two “D” cell batteries if electricity is not available.
With a propane gas pressure of 0.4 PSI, this water heater can deliver excellent performance on modified water systems as well. It just requires a 12-volt water pump.
Everything considered this one here wins the race for the best tankless propane water heaters for camping and hiking.
4. VEVOR Propane Hot Water Heater 18L Tankless Propane Water heater
VEVOR water heater has a stainless-steel body that gives it a classic vintage look. You don’t see a lot of stainless-steel heaters these days. But this one maintains a modern design despite having a vintage exterior.
The stainless-steel body of this heater is not the only reason why I called it vintage. Look at the control panel of this one, and you’ll see what I mean. Instead of buttons or touch screens, the control panel of this water heater has knobs. I personally found this nice touch of nostalgia a bit reassuring.
Vevor reminds me of the good old days when everything had knobs.
But don’t think it’s old fashioned just because it has knobs. The Vevor tankless propane water heater is equipped with advanced energy-saving and combustion technology that decreases gas consumption and quiets down the burning noise.
The advanced T13 burner saves 11.5% of your total energy consumption.
There are some safety measures the manufacturers ask you to take before installing this water heater into your home. Note that it only runs on LPG, not any other gas types. And please do not install it directly into your bathroom (more on this later).
The heater itself has some safety measures of its own as well. For example, it automatically turns itself off when the temperature reaches above 75 degrees Celsius, or when the heater is kept on for more than 20 minutes at a stretch.
Here is something about this water heater that might surprise you. Although it has a stainless-steel exterior, the body does not heat up and scald you if you touch it.
The metal boy is heat resistant and is totally safe to touch and even hold while the heater is still running. The body is also anti-freezing, so you can use it in freezing cold winters without having to defrost it.
The compact space-saving design allows you to install the heater anywhere in your home. Although the manufacturers recommend you not to install it directly into your bathroom for safety purposes.
Instead, you can easily install it on the wall of your kitchen and use it to take a hot shower in your bathroom. It also comes with a showerhead kit as a free gift.
5. EXCEL TANKLESS LPG GAS WATER HEATER
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The biggest drawback of propane water heaters that make people think twice before buying one is the hassle of having to set up an additional pressurizer pump because our cute little water heater just won’t start in low water pressure (or so people think).
Well, here is a product that would change your perception of tankless gas water heaters in general. Say hello to the new Excel LPG water heater.
The coolest thing about this water heater is that it can startup with water pressure as low as 2 PSI, and can take pressure up to 120 PSI. That’s no joke because most water heaters out there take at least 20 to 30 PSI of water pressure to kick into gear.
This could save a lot of your time and energy. Also, there is a water flowrate control knob that allows you to adjust the flow rate according to your requirements. There is a magnetic sensor that allows the heater to work in low water pressure.
Although it is recommended for using where the incoming water temperature is above 50°F, it can easily take temperatures as low as 40°F. You just have to reduce the water flowrate using the control knob. And since the heater is vent-free, it does not require expensive flues and ductwork for installation.
The thing itself is outfitted with ODS (Oxygen Depletion Safety) shutoff that senses the oxygen levels in the air and goes off automatically if the fluctuating oxygen levels reach the potential of leading to destructive interaction between gas leaks and the outside atmosphere.
Another new thing that this water heater has to offer that the others don’t have is the pure copper (oxygen-free) heat exchanger. Most water heaters out there have a rubber diaphragm scheme that pushes a pin actuating a microswitch.
This LPG Gas Water Heater uses an oxygen-free copper heat exchanger that makes heat exchange more thermally efficient.
And yes, last but not least, the design of this thing. This water heater is tiny and tight. Exel’s portable size and ultra-compact design allow you to use it on camping and hiking trips, expeditions, as well as indoor use.
So far, this water heater stands out the most considering all its benefits and controller functions.
6. Girard 2GWHAM On-Demand Tankless Water Heater
I usually take a hot shower only when I have to. I prefer cool water over hot for cleaning duties. Especially during the summers, I never take a hot bath. But the winters get extremely cold where I live.
When the temperature starts to drop, I have no other choice but to opt for a hot shower. That’s where Girard filled in. It’s specially designed for use in “Really” cold places.
But here’s another problem I face… Since I travel a lot, I have to carry everything in my RV, and the water heater that I carry for my daily supply of warm water itself freezes and becomes unusable in low temperatures.
That’s until I came across the Girard 2GWham while randomly browsing through the internet one day. The features of this water heater seemed to fit in perfectly fulfilling every single one of my needs. The price was reasonable, so I ordered one right away. My life has changed in a good way ever since.
I liked the fact that the 2GWham propane water heater has a burner that is self-regulating. It not only provides you with hot water just the way you need it but also prevents the unit itself from freezing. It heats water in 42,000 BTU that is ideal for the plumbing of an RV.
Speaking of plumbing, this heater doesn’t require any LP gas or any special kind of plumbing either. Standard plumbing and a bit of tinkering will do. You’ll be able to install it by yourself. Not feeling confident enough? Call in a plumber if you have to but I didn’t need anyone’s help.
You can expect the motor to be silent. It uses a “Brushless” engine. That’s why there’s hardly any friction when Girard operates. Your days (and nights) will be noiseless while this thing goes about its work.
Don’t worry, Girard 2GWham saves you electricity bills as well. Girard’s motor runs with 12V electricity at 3 Amps only. That’s why you’ll notice a decrease in electric bills each year.
7. Eccotemp i12-LP water heater
Remember the days when everything ran on batteries? Be it your bulky old WalkMan or that old film camera, everything had batteries. And while that ensured portability and all, it was a hassle finding just the right size of batteries for your device and having to replace them from time to time.
Not this baby though. The new Eccotemp i12-LP water heater does not require any batteries. You can simply plug it into a standard 110v electrical outlet with the UL-listed cord that comes with the unit, and start using!
And it might sound funny, but looks do matter. I am a big fan of appliances that look sleek and compact. I think they add more positivity to our lives. Take a look at this thing. Its smooth, shiny, sleek exterior will surely catch your eye if you have a good taste.
The water heater comes with horizontal venting that fits into standard 1/2″ NPT water fittings. And the design makes it easier for you to install it anywhere in your house.
Now let’s come to the safety of this thing. I have two toddlers of my own, and they run around the place running errands like toddlers normally do. They are always up to no good. But I don’t have to worry about this heater falling into the wrong hands. It is equipped with advanced child lock technology to stop your little ones from messing around with it.
Another awesome thing about EcoTemp i12 that really impressed me was the fully automatic temperature controls that took the trouble of setting the temperature right completely off my mind.
After setting it up, I simply have to turn it on and off and the heater takes care of the temperature on itself. How cool is that?
And finally, we can’t forget about efficiency. Most fancy water heaters have a whole bunch of features and stuff, but they use up a lot of energy. This is not just bad for your budget, but also bad for the environment!
Guess what? This thing has got it all covered. It has an energy-saving mode that helps you cut down your total usage of energy. At the same time, EcoTemp doesn’t vent out extra heat or chemicals to harm the environment.
Do you need any more reasons for purchasing this thing? I didn’t!
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Tankless Propane Water Heater
It’s natural for people to differ in terms of choices. If you guys think my choices aren’t covering your needs and want to venture on your own, the following factors should help you in choosing the ideal propane water heaters. These are the exact pointers I followed when compiling today’s list.
You’ll Find Multiple Types of Propane Water Heaters
There are basically two types of propane-powered tankless water heaters, based on usage. The whole-house type and the type which can be used in a specific room. Let me tell you a bit more about them for a clearer understanding.
So, the whole-house type is basically the type of water heater that covers the hot water supply of the entire house. They’re bigger, more power-consuming, and work faster. They’re so powerful that they can heat as many as five plumbing and appliance units at a time, without running out of water.
If you have a big household with a large family, this is the type for you.
On the other hand, the point of use type of water heaters that are tiny little heaters you carry around with you on hikes and camping trips and can install and start using anywhere you like. Their portability is the key factor that attracts consumers into purchasing them.
If you are a person who travels a lot, then this might be a good choice for you.
Size Matters When You Buy These Machines
They say size doesn’t matter, but in some cases it does. For example, when you’re buying a tankless water heater. Of course, you don’t live in a palace and don’t have endless empty space just lying around. Even palaces don’t have that. And that’s why; your water heater needs to be compact.
It needs to have a design that would carry all the necessary features and functions, without taking up too much space. In order to decide which size would be the most compatible with your household, the one thing that you can use as a standard is the temperature to flow rate.
This is simply the ratio between the maximum temperature rise possible at the given flow rate of water in gallons. The math sounds a bit complicated to understand, but you’ll get the hang of it soon.
Measure the Water Flow Rate
The water flow rate is the total amount of water that flows at once out of your water distribution system through the various devices you use in the house.
For example, if you use a dishwasher and a bathroom shower at the same time, then the combined water usage of the two is the flow rate of your house’s plumbing. Water flow rates are measured in GPM (Gallons per Minute).
I selected machines that provide optimum water flow even in the harshest of conditions. The general rule of thumb is… “The more, the Merrier.” Always go for tankless propane water heaters that have higher GPM count and you will be fine.
Keep Temperature Rise in Mind
Temperature rise is also as simple as the flow rate. It’s the temperature of the incoming groundwater before it gets into your tank, deducted from the temperature you’d like the water to be set in.
The difference between the two temperatures is the temperature rise of your home. Although most people buy propane water heaters for outdoor trips and camping, if that’s the case with you then temperature rise is a major factor you need to consider.
You need to know the normal temperature of your region, how much it drops during winters, and how hot it gets during the summer. Because all of it affects the temperature of the water flowing out of your tank. Keep this in mind when buying a water heater and you’ll be saving space, energy, and yes, money!
Consider the Efficiency of Your Water Heater
Efficiency is a factor that should be considered when buying all kinds of products, not just water heaters. But there is a certain type of water heaters that takes this matter seriously.
They’re called the condensing type. Condensing water heaters suck up the heat from the heater’s exhaust, and then uses the heat to heat up the water for you. And since exhaust gases are comparatively cooler, you won’t need to spend a load of extra bucks behind expensive venting materials.
Another way of being efficient when using a water heater is, buying one that has recirculation technology. It’s basically a system that loops any hot water that’s left in the hot water line back into the heater so that it can heat again.
The system does this with the help of a pump that pushes water through a dedicated line back to the heating area. This is an ongoing process, and once it starts, you’ll be able to get hot water instantly because of the recirculation.
Consider Your Interior Type
What type of household or interior you are installing the water heater into is also an important thing to consider. It matters because it will affect both your ease and cost behind the installation of the unit. Keep the flow-to-temperature ratio I spoke about earlier in mind and you’ll do just fine.
Consider how far you have your sink installed from the heater as well. Depending on the distance, you would need lengthy pipes connecting the heater to sink. Don’t forget to use connectors where you need to.
Of course, the temperature to GPM ratio will change depending on the distance between the sink and the heater as well.
How Frequently Will You Be Using It?
How often you use a product affects its performance and efficiency in the long run. That’s why; you need to calculate your frequency of using hot water and estimate how much water you use too.
Generally, the more one uses these heaters, the efficiency decreases. The process is slow but over time, you’ll see motors malfunctioning. Determine how hot or cold you need your water to be and what can your heater do. This will help you choose the water heater that would be perfect for you.
Pro Tip: Look for heaters that come with higher lifecycle counts.
Where Will You be Using It?
The penultimate important thing to consider while buying a tankless water heater is whether you would be using it indoors or outdoors. This will help you determine the size, type, and all the other factors you ought to be checking in a water heater.
Here’s how these two types are different from each other:
Although an indoor water heater won’t be affected by the weather conditions on the outside, it does have its own set of drawbacks.
For one thing, condensation will develop. And you’ll require an additional venting that would have to be attached to a drain to suck out this condensation pulling it away from the heater so that it doesn’t damage it.
An outdoor heater, on the other hand, will not require any venting but will be affected by bad weather and freezing temperatures. It will require some maintenance on its own. You’ll need to remember to drain it when the temperature drops really low to prevent the water in the tank from freezing.
You’ll Do Well to Measure the Safety Aspect as Well
Most of the Propane Water Heaters are safe, to begin with. But do check for any type of certification or approval rating on the package. Normally, you’ll find that these water heaters have an “Auto Shutoff” feature that kicks in when the temperature of the water is too high.
Also, sometimes they emit gasses. Whenever the gas gets too much for the surroundings and presents a threat, your water heater will automatically shut down. It’ll then restart again when things have normalized. This is one aspect I love about these devices.
One of the best practice is that always be aware of the signs your water heater is going to explode, and if if you find any of them take necessary steps as soon as possible.
Last Words before I Leave You Be
As you can see, going “Propane” on water heaters has its benefits. The best tankless propane water heaters will grant you better water flow and more power to the motors. Also, they’ll save you some bills when compared to electric water heaters. Some of the products contribute to the environment as well.
If you ask me, I’d go for EcoTemp products simply because they’re compact and these things come with heaps of perks when you consider the performance vs. price ratio. If you live “Portable” and are considering a machine that’d go along for the ride, try Girard’s products. They are the perfect foils for your nomadic lifestyle.