Best Tankless Water Heaters in Canada

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Last updated September 15, 2020
Author: Comfynorth Team

If you live in colder climates, hot water is probably the most expensive part of your utility bills.

But did you know that you can save a bit here with an instant water heater?

Being very compact, this appliance will supply you with an unlimited amount of hot water only when you need it, so you won’t have to overpay or waste the Earth’s resources!

If this sounds like exactly what you want, check out this list of the best tankless water heaters in Canada and a buying guide below, to choose a suitable option for yourself.

A Quick Preview

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS 

  • Type: electric
  • Power usage: 11kW at 220V, 13 kW at 240V
  • Flow rate: up to 2 gallons per minute
  • Controls: digital
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  • Type: gas (propane)
  • Power usage: battery operated (2 D-cell batteries)
  • Flow rate: up to 3.1 gallons per minute
  • Controls: mechanical knobs
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  • Type: gas (propane)
  • Power usage: battery operated (2 D-Cell batteries)
  • Flow rate: up to 2.64 gallons per minute
  • Controls: mechanical knobs
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Our List of the Best Tankless Water Heaters in Canada

Best Overall - Ecosmart

Ecosmart

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Highlights

  • available in 6 power options for different number of sinks;
  • precise digital temperature control;
  • heats up to 2 GPM.

So, let’s start this list of the best tankless water heaters in Canada with this model by Ecosmart. With a very space-saving design, it heats just the amount of water you need, so you can save up to 60% on your utility bills.

Now, the Eco 11 can handle 2 sinks and a shower in warm climates, or 2 sinks only in colder climates, which should be enough for small households. It has 13 kW of power at 240 Volts. But there also are five other power configurations — Eco 8, Eco 18, Eco 24, Eco 27, and Eco 36 — so you may choose a larger appliance for a larger family. 

The heater has a temperature range 25-60°C and allows you to make adjustments in 1-degree increments with a convenient digital controller. And with such a compact design, you can place the Ecosmart anywhere, and it won’t look bulky.

Overall, the Ecosmart can suit any demand. The company’s heaters are easy to use and offer great value for money, saving you even more in the long run.

Best Gas Tankless Water Heater - MAREY

MAREY

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Highlights

  • operates with 2 -D Cell batteries and doesn’t require a separate power line;
  • uses propane gas, which is a more effective heating source;
  • heats up to 3.1 GPM.

The next option I want to present to you in this list of the best tankless water heaters in Canada is the MAREY. This is a gas on-demand heater that runs on 2 replaceable D Cell batteries, meaning you can save on electricity bills even more. 

The MAREY heater has 10L capacity and 3.1 gallons per minute flow speed, which is enough for two or three points of simultaneous use. There also is a 5L option with 1.3 GPM speed if you have a smaller house and hence, smaller water demand.

The heater uses gas very efficiently. Plus, users report that the temperature remains consistent even if you use water for long periods of time (e.g. showering for an hour).

Overall, it’s a great cost-efficient option made by a reliable brand. It will help you save on water and electricity bills and will serve well for many years.

Best for Outdoor Use - Camplux

Camplux

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Highlights

  • portable, runs on D-Cell batteries;
  • anti-freezing protection, great for outdoor use;
  • has a 2.64-GPM flow speed.

And the last candidate to claim its place in this list of the best tankless water heaters in Canada is the Camplux. It’s a portable on-demand heater that you can use for an outdoor shower or take anywhere during camping to make your trip worthy of a five-star hotel.

The Camplux comes with two hoses: the black one is for the propane tank, and the red one is the showerhead. Both of them are made of rubber, however, replacing the showerhead hose with a metal or silicone one is recommended, as it may weaken and break because of hot water.

Now, the heater may take a couple of seconds to heat the water to the desired temperature but after that, you’ll get an endless supply for your needs. It operates on two D Cell lithium batteries that will last you up to 6 months if you use the device actively. Thus, you will not only save on water bills but on electricity bills as well.

Having tested this instant heater, I found it to be a decent purchase for outdoor use. The Camplux delivers steady and smooth flow and supplies you with a sufficient amount of hot water in seconds.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters and Their Features

On-demand water heaters are typically classified by the type of fuel they use. Today, you can find three possible options:

  • electric heaters;
  • propane heaters;
  • natural gas heaters.

All of them have their strong and weak points, so let’s briefly get familiar with them right below.

Electric Heaters

This is the most common option on the market. Electric heaters can operate on both direct and alternate currents and only heat the water when you turn the hot water tap. They have a snake-like pipeline that goes through the heating element and warms the water until the set temperature is reached. 

Electric tankless water heaters are considered a powerful appliance, so they require a separate 220V circuit, a circuit breaker, and a circuit cable with ground for installation (1); otherwise, you may not be able to use other electrical appliances — such as a fridge or TV — while the heater is working.

Propane Heaters

Propane on-demand heaters, as the name implies, require a propane tank to operate. They typically run on lithium batteries that you need to replace every six months on average, depending on how actively you will use your heater.

Propane heaters have the following advantages:

  • They’re even more cost-efficient than tank water heaters and electric tankless ones. Because you don’t need to use electricity for these heaters, they can save you up to 30% on energy bills compared with tank water heaters (2).
  • They’re cheaper and easier to install. With a propane heater, you only need something to mount it to your water line and attach it to the wall, as well as a durable pipe for your propane tank. That’s basically it!
  • They work more quickly. An electric water heater may have delays if you decide to use all the faucets at once, while a propane one warms the water more quickly and easily recalibrates without major loss in temperature if the water demand has changed.
  • They’re suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This makes them a good pick for summer showers, kids’ pools, and RVs.

Now, note that propane heaters require mandatory ventilation because they tend to heat too much and because propane produces carbon dioxide when burning. So, if you do not have proper ventilation in your house, you may end up spending a lot of money creating it.

Gas Heaters

These are very similar to propane heaters except that they use natural gas — the one you use in your stove — as fuel, so they can be mounted to your gas line at home.

Natural gas heaters have roughly the same advantages and drawbacks as propane heaters:

  • they also run on batteries and are more energy-efficient than electric models;
  • they can work both indoors and outdoors but require good ventilation;
  • they work faster.

Also note that the installation of natural gas heaters can be more difficult, as they may require replacement of the gas line in your house, especially if you have a lot of faucets and water-based appliances.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Quality Tankless Water Heater in Canada

The type of water heater is what you should choose first, but this isn’t the only thing that matters. 

Here are a few more important details to consider before buying.

Flow Rate

Flow rate shows how much water the heater can warm up efficiently and hence, how many sinks you can use at the same time. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM), and you can find units with literally any capacity to suit your water needs.

But how do you define your water needs?

Here’s the deal:

Showers typically have the highest flow rate. A low-flow showerhead has a flow rate of around 1.5 GPM, and for a high-flow showerhead, you can easily double that.

An average tankless water heater, on the other hand, produces 2 to 5 gallons per minute (3).

Thus, if you purchase a 3.1 GPM water heater, you can use only one high-flow shower at a time or two low-flow sinks without any water-based appliances like a dishwasher; otherwise, the water temperature may change.

So, to define the flow rate you need to supply your home with hot water, you need to literally count all your sinks and water appliances

Temperature in Your Home Region

Canada’s climate is colder than that in the US, which may affect the power and flow rate you need to efficiently use your heater.

How?

See, in colder climates, the inlet water temperature is lower than in warm regions. This means you will need a lower flow rate so that the water would pass more slowly through the heater and warm up better.

Note, though, that for larger households, you will likely need both a higher GPM rate and more power so that the heater would more efficiently heat water for every appliance.

FAQ

Where to install a tankless water heater?

You need to place your on-demand heater as close as possible to the demand source. This will reduce the heat waste and leave a smaller volume of cold water to purge from the supply line when you need to use the appliance next time.

How much money does a tankless water heater save?

A gas tankless water heater can save you about $69 per year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. However, electric on-demand water heaters are more efficient than tanked heaters too.

How many amps does a tankless water heater use?

An average electric tankless heater needs at least 120 amps to work properly. Given the fact that the average household capacity is about 200 amps, you may need to upgrade your electrical system, which can be expensive.

How often to descale a tankless water heater?

You should descale your on-demand heater at least once a year. But if you have very hard water or use a high-temperature setting in your heater, you might want to descale it every six months. It’s a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines here.

How often to flush a tankless water heater?

A good rule of thumb is to flush your heater once a year. However, depending on the quality and hardness of your water, you might want to perform this procedure 2 or 3 times per year. But again, be sure to check the maintenance recommendations with the manufacturer.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of different options to choose from if you’re looking for a good on-demand water heater in Canada. All the models reviewed here are safe to use, will last you for years, and have great value for money.

My most favorite in terms of performance and ease of use is the EcoSmart 11. This heater easily adjusts to your water needs and can deliver a sufficient amount of hot water to all your faucets and appliances. Also, you can choose the needed power configuration from six different options that can cover any demand. 

So, why are you considering an instant water heater over others? Which model, in your opinion, would fit your home best? Feel free to share below!

References

  1. Steve Wilson (2018, August 24). How To Install An Electric Water Heater. Retrieved from https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a173/electric-hot-water-heater/
  2. The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (May 2014). Energy Saver. DOE/GO-102014-4405. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/09/f18/61628_BK_EERE-EnergySavers_w150.pdf  
  3. Alina Bradford (2018, August 16). How to Buy a Tankless Water Heater. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-buy-a-tankless-water-heater/

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Water Heaters Considered

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