10 Best Outdoor Tankless Water Heaters Today

In Brief: Best Outdoor Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
  2. CAMPLUX ENJOY AY132
  3. Eccotemp L5 
  4. Rinnai V65EP
  5. Takagi T-KJr2-OS-NG 
  6. Camplux 16L Outdoor  
  7. Rheem RTG-84XLN 
  8. VEVOR 18L 
  9. Rinnai RL Series HE+ 
  10. Takagi T-K4-OS-NG 
How We Decided

27 products considered. 600+ reviews analyzed, 33 research hours spent, 20+ info. sources referred

More about our Methodology

There are various types of tankless water heaters available in the market for meeting the hot water needs of all kinds.

There are electric and gas models, condensing and non-condensing models, different electrical ratings, flow ratings, capacity, etc.

One has a ton of options to choose from so that they can get a model best suited for their needs.

One such basis for differentiation between the different kinds of models is based on the location of installation. The tankless water heaters can either be installed inside the house or outside.

For many homeowners, despite the indispensable utility of a tankless water heater, it proves to be a big eyesore aesthetically and they prefer installing it outside the house.

Not every tankless water heater is suited for such an installation; however, many companies manufacture models which can be installed outside.

Comparison Table: Top Outdoor Tankless Water Heaters

Check out the key specs and comparison of our top picks – 

ProductGPMPrice

Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater

Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater, 1 Pack, White

2.6 Check Price

CAMPLUX AY132 Outdoor Propane Tankless Gas Water Heater

Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater

1.32 Check Price

Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater Shower

Eccotemp L5 Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

1.5 Check Price

Rinnai V65EP Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai V Series HE Tankless Hot Water Heater: Outdoor Installation

6.5 Check Price

Takagi T-KJr2-OS-NG Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-KJr2-OS-NG Outdoor Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas

6.6 Check Price

Camplux 16L Outdoor 4.22 GPM Digital Display Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

Camplux 16L Outdoor 4.22 GPM Digital Display Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

4.22 Check Price

Rheem RTG-84XLN 8.4 GPM Low NOx Outdoor Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Rheem RTG-84XLN 8.4 GPM Low NOx Outdoor Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

8.4 Check Price

VEVOR 18L Propane Hot Water Heater

VEVOR Propane Hot Water Heater 18L Tankless Propane Water heater 4.8GPM Stainless Steel Liquefied Petroleum Gas Water Heater with Shower Head Kit Wall-Mounted Water Heater

4.8 Check Price

Rinnai RL Series HE+ Tankless Hot Water Heater: Outdoor Installation

Rinnai RL Series HE+ Tankless Hot Water Heater: Outdoor Installation

9.4 Check Price

Takagi T-K4-OS-NG Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-K4-OS-NG Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas, Outdoor

8 Check Price

The following sections of the article explore a buying guide for picking the right outdoor tankless water heater, the advantages and disadvantages of the electric and gas tankless models, how to use and maintain these water heaters and ultimately, a review of the top ten products in this category.

Reviews of Best Outdoor Tankless Water Heaters

1.best overall rating

Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater

Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater, 1 Pack, White

Eccotemp was founded in 2004 at Charleston, Summerville, United States. It began as a small family-owned and operated business and soon turned into a well-known name in the tankless water heater industry.

They have always made use of technology to create products that function optimally and with maximum efficiency.

Their products are sold through more than 2000 retailers across the United States, Australia, and Europe.

This tankless water heater by Eccotemp is a portable model that runs on liquid propane. It is of great use for outdoor usage like camping, setting up hot showers outdoors, etc.

The small size allows for frustration-free packing on trips. The flow rate of this unit is 2.6 GPM. It has been field-tested at 5,500 ft elevation and is extremely easy to set up and use.

One of the key safety features of this device is a 20-minute automatic safety shutoff timer which ensures that the device does not get overheated.

One other safety feature includes a 45-degree safety tilt switch The water heater kit includes a regulator, a rain cap and some other installation accessories.

The power rating of this unit is 74,500 BTUs.

The unit weighs 27 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 25.5 x 13.6 x 7 inches.

Key USPs

  • Adjustable water pressure range of 20 to 80 PSI
  • Manual water temperature controls
  • Battery-powered ignition
  • Pressure activated
  • Works seamlessly with any shower head and hose
PROS:
  • Great for RV camping, hiking, and backpacking
  • Good quality unit
  • Customers found installation to be easy
  • Unit is very compact and portable
  • Great customer service
CONS:
  • Warranty terms could be better

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

2.best overall rating

CAMPLUX ENJOY AY132 Outdoor Propane Tankless Gas Water Heater

Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater

Camplux is focused on creating products for outdoor use. Currently, their focus is on four main product lines and one of these is tankless water heaters.

They develop various models for residential use and portable models. They also sell refurbished models of their products.

The other product lines that they manufacture are mini tank electric water heater, portable gas stoves, and portable gas grills.

This Camplux tankless water heater runs on propane and has an output water flow rate of 1.58 GPM.

The unit features a low water pressure ignition system which ensures that the tankless water heater can function with a water pressure that is as low as 2.8 PSI.

The device is advertised to have tremendous savings in energy use owing to its optimal design.

The features are simple and aesthetically pleasing. The maximum and minimum temperature raise for a 1.58 GPM flow rate is 114.8 and 46.4 respectively.

Some of the safety features of this tankless water heater are the anti-freeze protection, dry combustion protection, flame failure device, and oxygen depletion safety shut off protection.

This tankless water heater has a maximum power output of 41,000 BTU per hour. The water pressure range that this water heater can work with ranges from 3 PSI to 110 PSI.

The unit weighs a meager 14 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 11.6 x 4.3 x 17.3 inches.

Key USPs

  • High thermal efficiency at 88.5%
  • Space-saving design
  • Battery-powered ignition
  • Runs on liquid propane
  • Stainless folding portable handle
  • Suitable for outdoor showers, bathing dogs and horses
PROS:
  • Kit includes various accessories
  • Rated high by customers on the ease of use
  • Easy to install
  • The temperature control feature is good
  • Great for outdoor applications
  • Works as advertised, reliable performance
CONS:
  • Hose quality could be better
  • The showerhead is short

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

3.best overall rating

Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater Shower

Eccotemp L5 Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Portability is one of the key selling points of this tankless water heater by the well-known brand of Eccotemp. The L5 model is one of their best selling products in the market today giving an instant and endless supply of hot water.

The water heater has an output water flow rate of 1.5 GPM. The compact size makes it an extremely frustration-free packing and it is very lightweight, easy to carry making it great for outdoor showers, off-grid use, and camping.

The unit features a safety shut off that is triggered if the unit is run longer than 20 minutes or tilted more than 45 degrees in either direction. The device has an activation PSI of 20 and is easily connectable to any garden hose.

The temperature range achievable by this tankless water heater is 50 °F to 140 °F.

The kit that comes with the water heater includes an on/ off shower head, garden hose adapter, a CSA regulator for use with a standard 20 lbs grill propane tank and an instruction manual.

The unit also features a battery-powered ignition. The temperature controls of this heater are extremely easy to use. The unit weighs 14 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 16.5 x 11.5 x 5.5 inches.

Key USPs

  • Lightweight at 14 lbs
  • Output water flow rate of 1.5 GPM
  • Runs on liquid propane and equipped with electronic ignition
  • Low-pressure activation
  • Can achieve a wide range of temperatures
PROS:
  • Highly recommended by users
  • Good value for money
  • The technical support is helpful
  • Easy to use water heater
CONS:
  • Some customers complained that the unit is too fragile
  • Not suited for extremely cold temperatures

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

4.best overall rating

Rinnai V65EP Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai V Series HE Tankless Hot Water Heater: Outdoor Installation

Rinnai Corporation is a multinational company based out of Japan that manufactures a variety of products for both residential and commercial use.

These products include kitchen appliances, home heating appliances, gas clothes dryers and commercial equipment like fryers, grillers, etc. The main product line is their energy-efficient tankless water heaters.

The CEO of this organization is Mr. Hiroyasu Naito.

This tankless water heater by Rinnai has a water flow output rate of 6.5 GPM. This unit runs on liquid propane and guarantees an endless supply of hot water for the entire home.

One of the key notable features of this tankless water heater is the Control-R 2.0 app that features timers and allows one to schedule the water heater to turn on and off according to convenience remotely.

It also features a vacation mode.

The design of the water heater is compact allowing for space savings even with an exterior mounting and allows the user to get a steady, reliable supply of hot water at a temperature preset by the user.

It is fairly easy to install and allows servicing one or two bathrooms easily depending on the incoming groundwater temperature and the temperature required by the user.

The unit weighs 47.4 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 9 x 14 x 23 inches.

Key USPs

  • Equipped with a residential factory warranty – 120 months on the heat exchanger, 60 months on the parts and 12 months on the labor
  • Can be operated remotely with the Control-R 2.0 application
  • High efficiency, propane-based, tankless water heater by Rinnai
  • Temperature range of 98 °F to 140 °F
PROS:
  • Reputed brand name
  • Good value for money
  • Rated high for ease of installation
  • Technical support is very helpful
  • Works as expected
  • Compact, aesthetic design
  • Good component quality and design
CONS:
  • Slightly on the heavier side

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

5.best overall rating

Takagi T-KJr2-OS-NG Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-KJr2-OS-NG Outdoor Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas

For over 70 years, Takagi has been supplying solutions for tankless water heating solutions. They provide the products, related accessories and the venting required for these tankless water heaters.

Their products are sold exclusively by contractors and plumbing wholesalers. They provide products for both commercial and residential usage.

They were one of the first companies dealing with tankless only products to enter the American market.

This tankless water heater by Takagi is designed especially for outdoor installation and runs on natural gas. The unit comes with internal freeze protection so that it can work smoothly even in freezing temperatures.

The power output of the unit ranges between 19,500 BTUs per hour and 140,000 BTUs per hour. The maximum output water flow rate is 6.6 GPM.

The energy factor for this water heater is 0.82. The design of this water heater supports easy conversion into a direct vent unit.

Takagi has ensured that the unit is cost-efficient and environment-friendly, making it perfect for radiant heating applications as well as other light residential applications. The unit has an energy star rating and it is one of the smallest units in the Takagi line-up.

The product weighs 38 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 6.7 x 13.8 x 20.5 inches.

Key USPs

  • Supports conversion into a direct vent unit
  • Designed for outdoor usage with natural gas
  • Residential factory warranty of 12 years, 5 years and 1 year on the heat exchanger, parts and labor respectively
  • Temperature range of 113 °F to 140 °F, with the default temperature being 122 °F
PROS:
  • Rated well for the temperature control feature
  • Easy to install
  • Users found the unit to be budget-friendly
  • Highly recommended for its performance
  • Quiet, noiseless operations
  • Impressive water temperature raises for different groundwater temperatures
CONS:
  • Slightly heavy unit
  • Heater internally restricts water flow to increase the temperature

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

6.best overall rating

Camplux 16L Outdoor 4.22 GPM Digital Display Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

Camplux 16L Outdoor 4.22 GPM Digital Display Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

This Camplux tankless water heater runs on liquid propane and is designed specifically for outdoor installation. The hot water output flow for this unit is rated at 4.22 GPM.

The unit also features a digital temperature display allowing the user to set different temperatures precisely according to their liking. The design of this unit is kept very simple and efficient.

The heater can achieve 88.5% thermal efficiency and it ensures that one can get an instant and endless supply of hot water.

Some of the safety features that this tankless water heater is equipped with are a flame failure, anti-freeze protection, and overheating protection. The maximum power output for this device is 110,000 BTUs per hour.

The kit includes a CSA certified gas regulator and a quality rubber plastic water hose.

The unit weighs 36 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 17.3 x 7.9 x 27.6 inches.

Key USPs

  • Battery-powered ignition
  • Can operate with a wide water pressure range of 3.6 PSI to 110.0 PSI
  • Operating propane gas pressure is 0.4 PSI
  • Ideal for mountain cabins, camping, horse stables, etc
  • Kit includes garden hose, instruction manual and gas inlet connector
PROS:
  • The unit is easy to install
  • Good value for money is guaranteed
  • Great for off-grid operations
  • Automatic start and stop depending on water usage
  • Customer care was very supportive
CONS:
  • Packaging could be better

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

7.best overall rating

Rheem RTG-84XLN 8.4 GPM Low NOx Outdoor Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

Rheem RTG-84XLN 8.4 GPM Low NOx Outdoor Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater

The Rheem Manufacturing Company finds its root back in Emeryville, California, United States.

It was founded way back in 1925 by Donald and Richard Rheem and today is one of the most widely recognized names after over 100 years of operations.

Their product lines can be separated into residential and commercial applications with various categories like thermostats, air conditioners, tankless water heaters, cooling coils, oil furnaces, heat pumps, pool heaters, home enhancement solutions and a lot more.

This tankless water heater by Rheem runs on natural gas and the output hot water flow rate is 8.4 GPM at a 35-degree rise. The unit is suitable for outdoor installation.

The kit includes a UMC-117 remote controller and 10 feet of thermostat wire. The unit is pegged to be a low NOx version which ensures that the emissions are extremely limited.

The minimum water flow rate for detection is 0.26 GPM and it features the next generation burner technology.

The unit also has an energy star rating. The unit weighs 54 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 14 x 10 x 26 inches.

Key USPs

  • 6.6 GPM output at a 45-degree rise
  • Energy-star certified
  • Industry best – 0.26 GPM minimum flow rate
  • Suited for outdoor installation only
PROS:
  • Easy to install
  • Works very well
  • Cost-effective operations
  • Great brand repute
  • Takes up zero floor space
  • No venting required
CONS:
  • Some users found the display to be dim

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

8.best overall rating

VEVOR 18L Propane Hot Water Heater

VEVOR Propane Hot Water Heater 18L Tankless Propane Water heater 4.8GPM Stainless Steel Liquefied Petroleum Gas Water Heater with Shower Head Kit Wall-Mounted Water Heater

This tankless water heater product by Vevor is one of their premium quality products that run on liquid petroleum gas. The hot water output is rated at 4.8 GPM and the power rating of the unit is 36 kW.

One of the notable features of this water heater is the anti-rust stainless steel case. Long-time use and durability are guaranteed by the high-temperature-resistant copper water devices.

There is a clear LED display that allows the user to view the current water temperature. There are control knobs for adjusting the gas supply and water output to get the desired water temperature.

The water heater also provides summer and winter modes for increased energy savings.

Safety is one of the key considerations for Vevor while designing this unit and therefore, it has taken several measures to include protection methods like over 75 ℃ protection, low water flow protection, etc.

The design is extremely lightweight and portable which allows for it to be installed on the wall.

The product is CE passed and extremely fast to heat. It is perfect for bathroom showering, hand washing, pet showering, sink cleaning, etc. It can provide hot water even in cold temperatures.

This unit weighs 18.9 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 16.5 x 8.7 x 29.5 inches.

Key USPs

  • Increased thermal conductivity and greater than 80.8% thermal efficiency
  • Inner tin-plated copper devices that are anti-rust and high temperature resistant
  • Summer and winter modes designed to save over 40% energy
  • The unit has passed CE test
  • Battery-powered ignition
PROS:
  • Easy to install
  • Great value for money
  • Temperature control feature is good
  • Good, corrosion-free cover
CONS:
  • Customer service could be better

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

9.best overall rating

Rinnai RL Series HE+ Tankless Hot Water Heater: Outdoor Installation

Rinnai RL Series HE+ Tankless Hot Water Heater: Outdoor Installation

This Rinnai tankless water heater is a part of the high-efficiency RL series. These units are specially designed for outdoor installation and are capable of supplying hot water for the entire household.

The output water flow rate is 9.4 GPM which can efficiently handle multiple outlet points with ease (the flow rate may vary with the groundwater temperature).

The unit boasts of Circ-Logic technology that allows the user to set recirculation patterns which coincide with the typical habits and schedule of the user.

The residential warranty on the heat exchanger, the parts and the labor is 120 months, 60 months and 12 months respectively.

The capacity of this unit is high enough to supply hot water to five plumbing and appliance outlets simultaneously.

The tankless water heater boasts of greater energy efficiency, lower energy costs, and simplicity of exterior installation. It weighs 44.3 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 14 x 10 x 23 inches.

Key USPs

  • Specially designed for outdoor installation only
  • High output water flow rate of 9.4 GPM
  • Circ-Logic technology allows for better heating and energy efficiency
PROS:
  • Works as described
  • Very easy to install
  • Supplies hot water instantly
  • Good brand reputation
  • Long-lasting product life
  • Great remote controller
CONS:

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

10.best overall rating

Takagi T-K4-OS-NG Tankless Water Heater

Takagi T-K4-OS-NG Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas, Outdoor

Takagi is a well-known name for manufacturing tankless water heaters and this unit by Takagi runs on natural gas. It is designed especially for outdoor installation. The maximum power output for this unit is 190,000 BTUs.

The flow rate for this unit is 8 GPM and it does not require any venting. This saves a lot of costs in terms of installation and professional costs.

The unit has all the required protection for outdoor installation. There are thermostats on the inlet and outlet valves for monitoring the temperature constantly and preventing the unit from getting overheated.

There is built-in freeze protection that allows the heater to work as expected even in cold weather conditions. The ultra-compact design allows for wall mounting.

It has also been claimed by many happy and satisfied customers that the unit has helped them to save up to 45% on monthly gas bills. The energy factor of 0.82 means that the unit optimally uses the gas supplied to it.

It is a very environment-friendly unit that burns gas only when hot water is needed. There is also a built-in power venting system.

This tankless water heater weighs 38 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 8.5 x 13.8 x 20.3 inches.

Key USPs

  • Energy factor of 0.82
  • Noiseless operations guaranteed by the advanced design
  • Output hot water temperature range of 99 °F to 167 °F
  • Can operate with a water temperature range of 15 PSI to 150 PSI
PROS:
  • Customers noticed a reduction in electricity bill
  • Easily fulfills hot water needs of multiple outlets
  • Great, reliable performance
  • Long-lasting product life
  • Recommended by contractors
  • Doesn’t need any venting
CONS:
  • Very few licensed repairmen to service the product

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Buying Guide for Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater Shower

The following are some of the important parameters that should be taken into consideration when picking an outdoor tankless water heater. These will help in making the correct decision regarding the model to be purchased.

The Capacity of the Water Heater

One of the key considerations is how many faucets can the water heater service simultaneously without compromising on the water temperature.

There are specification manuals that come with each tankless water heater that gives an idea about the number of showers or faucets that can be operated simultaneously and at what temperatures, given specific weather conditions, flow rates, and groundwater temperature.

Different types of weather demand different capacities and one should carefully consider how frequently the hot water demand is going to arise and whether the model they have selected is capable of supplying it adequately.

Weather Protection

While this is barely a consideration when it comes to indoor type tankless water heaters, an outdoor tankless water heater should be able to function well despite any kind of weather conditions that it is exposed to.

Usually, in cold climates, freeze protection is mandatory for the smooth functioning of a tankless unit.

The unit should also be well protected against corrosion from rainwater. Another essential requirement is the prevention of water and sediments from seeping into the unit as it can cause problems for the unit in the long run.

Waiting Time

When the tankless water heater is installed directly outside the bathroom, the time needed to get hot water in the faucets is considerably shorter.

However, if the water heater is installed farther away, the time taken to get the hot water to the faucet is longer and there may be some loss of heat along the way.

This leads to considerable wastage of water and energy. Therefore, the time is taken by the water heater to heat the water to the desired temperature and the distance from the point of installation to the outlet is of significance.

Energy Efficiency

This is an important aspect because a water heater is one of the leading consumers of electricity or gas. Also, this is one of the most frequently used appliances around the house.

Therefore, one should make sure that the device has a good energy rating. This will ensure that the electricity bills or gas consumption stays in check. This aspect alone will have a huge impact on the long term costs of the purchase.

Incoming Water Temperature and Hardness

If the incoming water temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it makes sense to opt for gas-based tankless water heaters as they are more powerful and efficient in raising temperatures as compared to electric tankless water heaters.

The electric models are not capable of raising temperature beyond a certain range and they are not going to be as effective in cold climates.

The hardness of water also has a part to play in the performance of the tankless water heater. Regions getting hard water will need more frequent maintenance of the unit for longer-lasting life.

Lastly, brand reputation and price also form a significant part of the decision.

Most customers tend to buy products that are recommended by friends and family and while that is a good starting point, it is not necessarily the best product for one’s needs.

One should carefully analyze their requirements and then select a model that will best fit their needs.

Most water heaters are fairly reasonably priced according to their capacities and having a good look at the customer satisfaction history of the tankless water heater will also give a fair idea about the performance of the unit and whether it should be purchased.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heater for outdoor usage

Camplux 16L Outdoor 4.22 GPM Digital Display Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

The following are some benefits of using a tankless water heater for outdoor usage.

Better Performance in Cold Regions

The primary advantage of using a tankless water heater over a tanked version for outdoor usage is the lack of a tank.

When exposed to the cold climatic conditions in some regions, a tank full of water is more prone to getting frozen than a tankless water heater.

This requires the heater to expend more energy to heat the water. In most cases, the tanked water heater can even malfunction if the temperatures are too low.

Space Savers

Tankless water heaters are space savers as they do not have the size constraints typically associated with a tanked water heater.

Usually, a 60 gallon tanked water heater will take up three times the space taken up by a tankless water heater.

This is a significant amount and has a great impact on the aesthetics of a home which is a very important factor for many homeowners.

Energy Consumption

An outdoor tankless water heater will consume less energy as compared to a tanked outdoor water heater. This is because all the water which is stored in the tank has to maintained at the temperature which is set by the user at all times.

This means that the heater is always running and consuming electricity or gas, whichever applicable.

As opposed to this, a tankless water heater does not have to store any water and is triggered only when a demand is sensed by the water flow sensors equipped in the device, which ends up saving a lot of energy.

Safer

As compared to an indoor installation, outdoor installation is much safer. If there is any malfunction or leaks, the damage that can be caused to life and property can be significantly reduced if the unit is situated outside the home.

It eliminates the risks of gas leakages and short-circuiting.

Cheaper Installation

The installation of a tankless water heater is much cheaper when it is supposed to be done outside, as opposed to the interiors of a house. This is so because depending upon the model purchased, the space consumption is an issue with indoor

Benefits and Limitations of Gas Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Camplux 16L Outdoor 4.22 GPM Digital Display Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

The following are some benefits of using a gas tankless water heater for outdoor usage.

Powerful and efficient

It is a known fact that the gas tankless water heaters are much more efficient at heating water. They can achieve better temperature raises even if the incoming water temperature is below 50.

The same cannot be achieved by using electric tankless water heaters.

Can Serve Multiple Faucets

A gas tankless water heater is efficient at maintaining the water temperature despite getting a low flow rate or a colder groundwater temperature.

Even if multiple faucets are turned on at the same time, a gas tankless water heater will be able to supply hot water at steady and consistent temperatures throughout.

Cost Efficiency

Since it has already been iterated that the gas tankless water heaters are much more efficient at heating water than electric tankless water heaters, it is a given that over the long term they are more efficient at the utilization of gas and giving a comparable if not better output than electric water heaters.

The following are some limitations of using a gas tankless water heater for outdoor usage.

A Bit Pricy

One of the limitations of buying a gas tankless water heater is that their purchase price is usually higher than an electric tankless water heater.

They are a bit costlier and the price varies according to the output flow rate, capacity, features, etc.

Environmental Impact

Although the emissions from the gas tankless water heater are closely monitored by the regulations set by the state of California, there are still some NOx emissions due to usage.

These are harmful to the environment and may have a significant impact over time. These gases are also dangerous to be inhaled for a long time and therefore, proper ventilation is needed.

Ventilation Costs

A gas tankless water heater requires proper ventilation owing to the NOx emissions mentioned previously.

These emissions are tagged as ultra-low by the manufacturers according to the standards specified for the same but they also specify that all these units should be well-ventilated.

Ventilation usually involves additional costs as it is recommended that specific ventilation equipment be purchased for each unit and it should be installed by licensed professionals who are sent by the company.

This is a mandatory requirement for the warranty to hold.

Benefits and Limitations of Electric Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Camplux 16L Outdoor 4.22 GPM Digital Display Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

The following are some benefits of using an electric tankless water heater for outdoor usage.

More Environment-Friendly

The most important advantage of using an electric tankless water heater would be the fact that there are no emissions involved.

This means that there is no carbon footprint of an electric tankless water heater as opposed to a gas tankless water heater.

The only environmental impact it will have would be the usage of electricity which is also optimized and vouched for by the energy star ratings.

More Pocket-Friendly

An electric tankless water heater of a similar rating and capacity as a gas tankless water heater is usually cheaper.

The one-time purchase costs involved are lower making it more affordable, especially if the customer stays in a warmer climate.

The performance is almost comparable and one can save a considerable amount of money for a similar hot water output.

No Ventilation Required

The electric tankless water heaters do not have any emissions and therefore, no ventilation is required. This saves a significant amount of cost in terms of installation and purchasing equipment required for ventilation.

The following are some limitations of using an electric tankless water heater for outdoor usage.

Lower efficiency

Many a time, it is the case that a single tankless water heater is expected to serve a big household. It may also be the case that a single unit has to supply hot water to multiple units simultaneously.

An electric tankless water heater will require a very high capacity to fulfill even a little load on itself.

If the climatic conditions are cold, this requirement would be even higher and it is possible that the electric water heater may not be able to consistently provide hot water at the required temperature.

The electric variant is also not very efficient at achieving a high-temperature raise.

Maintenance and Upkeep

An electric tankless water heater usually ends up requiring more frequent maintenance. The delicate electrical connections should be checked regularly and it should be ensured that they are hooked properly and tightly.

In areas where the water supply is hard, the buildup of limescale also has to be taken care of. Not removing it periodically can cause little bits to break off and clog the faucets.

More Long Term Expenses

Although the one time purchase cost of an electric tankless water heater is low, electricity is costlier in the long run.

The amount of electricity required to raise the water temperature by certain degrees is higher as compared to the amount of gas required.

The difference between the two is even higher if the groundwater temperature is low.

How to use an Outdoor Tankless Water Heater – Things to know

Rinnai RL Series HE+ Tankless Hot Water Heater: Outdoor Installation

This section explores a few basic pointers that should help one maneuver their way around tankless water heaters of both types – gas and electric. The following are a few points to keep in mind when installing an outdoor tankless water heater which runs on gas.

  • There are two types of gas tankless water heaters which are classified depending on the air that they use for internal combustion. The first type is the power vent type which uses the indoor air for combustion.

The second variant is the direct vent type which draws air from the outside for combustion. The latter type requires two pipes, one for drawing the air in and one for the exhaust. The former only requires one pipe for the exhaust.

One should be careful to place the former type of gas water heater in a big room with sufficient air and ventilation to make up for all the air used in combustion.

  • The manufacturers these days provide concentric venting which removes the need for the use of two pipes. It comprises of an inner exhaust pipe and an outer intake pipe. This reduces space, makes installation easier and also has a better aesthetic appeal as compared to the alternative. Also, since the exhaust vent is situated inside the intake pipe, the risk of coming in contact with a hot pipe is removed entirely.
  • In the traditional tank variety of water heaters, the hot air is allowed to naturally rise and escape through a venting that goes through the roof. However, in the case of tankless water heaters, the hot exhaust air is pushed out horizontally owing to the exhaust fans. This greatly improves the flexibility with regards to installation as the unit can now be installed anywhere without much hassle with horizontal venting.
  • Tankless versions of water heaters can be installed outside easily even in freezing climates as they come with strong freeze protection in place. In the case of tank models, the tank is prone to freezing in the cold climate but this problem is eliminated in case of tankless water heaters. No venting is required for an outdoor unit in this case.
  • When one makes use of a condensing tankless water heater, there is no need to use a metal venting. In such a case, one can also make do with the plastic or PVC venting which is much less expensive.
  • The outdoor installation of a tankless water heater does not necessarily mean that it will be a big eyesore outside the house wall, hanging off in a box. Some manufacturers offer recess boxes which allow the heater to be seated comfortably inside the walls. This also provides better protection against weather conditions.
  • If a household is making use of multiple water heaters, there is no need for having lots of pipes for the ventilation system. The units can make use of a common venting system if they are all from the same manufacturer. The manufacturers also take care of designing the venting systems in an aesthetically pleasing manner so that it can be installed outside the house without looking shabby.

The following are a few points to keep in mind when installing an outdoor tankless water heater which runs on electricity.

  • Some water heaters may be a little noisy and therefore, one may want to install them outside. The location may be suitable decided to minimize the distance between the heater and the faucets that it is servicing so that the travel time for the hot water is reduced.
  • Electrical tankless water heaters are more delicate and prone to damage as compared to tankless gas water heaters. Therefore, care should be taken that the water heaters are installed in a place where they are not exposed to a lot of dirt or water.

The use of a tankless water heater after installation is fairly simple. The automatic flow detection systems in most of the models allow the heater to detect the flow of water as soon as it starts and triggers the unit on.

As soon as the faucet is turned off, the sensors automatically detect a loss in the water pressure and power down the heater.

Maintenance of Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater Shower Some of the key pointers to keep in mind about the maintenance of an outdoor tankless water heater are mentioned below.

  • One of the most crucial aspects for electrical or gas tankless water heaters are the connections. The electrical connections in case of the electric water heater should be checked to ensure that they are fitted properly and fastened tightly. A loose connection may cause the unit to not work as expected. The grounding on the unit should also be checked to ensure that a user does not unexpectedly receive an electrical shock while operating the device.

Similarly, in the case of tankless gas water heaters, the gas line and connections should be checked regularly to ensure that there are no leakages and this is of utmost importance because even a small leakage can be very harmful for the user.

Not only will it cause wastage of gas, but it is also a hazard to people nearby.

  • The next most important component of the water heaters is the heat exchanger. This component is almost always made of copper or any other steel alloy and is prone to corrosion. This corrosion can happen faster if the area in which one lives gets a hard water supply. The component should be checked regularly for any signs of corrosion and be replaced immediately if it does not work as expected.
  • The anode rod which is included in the heating units for prevention of corrosion of other components should be checked for signs of corrosion and be replaced if it has come near the end of its useful life.
  • The water heater should be cleaned regularly with the help of a vinegar solution (one-part vinegar diluted with three parts of water). Running this solution through the heater can help in removing the debris and the limescale particles that can clog the faucets at a later point in time. This cleaning solution is preferable to the store-bought cleaners as they are much stronger and harsh on the delicate components of the tankless water heater.

Following these steps diligently and taking proactive measures to maintain the tankless water heater will go a long way in extending the life of the unit and making sure that it functions as expected.

FAQs

How to Choose the Right Outdoor Tankless Water Heater?

The first consideration is the number of outlets that are going to be connected to the water heater. The flow rate which is required can be determined accordingly by referring to the specifications manual which details this data according to different weather conditions.
The other consideration would be the incoming groundwater temperature which decides the kind of temperature rise needed for the unit to perform optimally. Taking these two points into consideration will drastically reduce the variety of models that one has to look at.

Can Indoor Tankless Water Heater units be Installed Outside or Vice Versa?

The tankless water heaters that are designed for indoor usage generally do not have the required freeze protection or weather protection which would support operating in the outdoor conditions. So, it is generally not recommended that an indoor unit be installed outside as it can be prone to malfunctioning.
The outdoor units should also not be installed indoors as their ventilation needs are different and the internal system may also be designed differently.

What is the Best Tankless Water Heater for Outdoor Purposes?

The best tankless water heater can be different for everyone depending on their specific needs and wants. In general, a gas tankless water heater performs more efficiently than an electric tankless water heater. It may also be useful to consider the various reputed manufacturers that have been producing these products for a long time and looking at customer reviews.

Final Words

In conclusion, it is of utmost importance to take a good look at one’s requirements before selecting an outdoor water heater.

There are several reputed brands like Takagi, Eccotemp, and Rinnai which enjoy the loyalty of their customers for a good quality product and a great after-sales service.

One should also be careful about considering the correct model suited for their weather conditions and groundwater temperature.

Since a tankless water heater can last for almost 20 years or longer, it becomes essential to make the correct choice for this long term investment.

Here is the list of our top picks again for you. Check out the specs, customer reviews, price and offers on Amazon – 

Last update on 2020-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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