Best 50 gallon Electric Water Heater Reviews and Buying Tips
(updated 2017)

Are you looking to buy the best 50-gallon electric water heater? Look no further you have found the right place - this article offers reviews of the best models with the feature and data comparison.

50-gallon electric water heater is one of the most popular and selling sizes. One of the reasons is that 50-gal tank supplies enough gallons of hot water to homes with the family size of four, and at the same time is affordable. The capacity of the 50 gallon water heater is usually enough for 1-2 bathroom homes, or more if the recovery rate and first hour delivery are higher.

We have collected some very useful information about electric, 50 gallons water heater, including model reviews of Rheem,  AO Smith, Kenmore and Westinghouse manufacturers making your decision and shopping experience easier.

Popular models to buy

Westinghouse High Efficiency review

Westinghouse High EfficiencyWestinghouse High Efficiency

Westinghouse High Efficiency with the 50 gallons capacity is one of the most durable and strongest electric water heaters that comes with the following features, technical data and many positive user reviews:

  • Stainless steel water storage tank that is not only durable but eliminates the need for the anode rod and all the issues that are associated with this sacrificial element; corrosion, hydrogen sulfide gas, development of bacteria and rotten egg odor, even the scale build up...
  • Heavy duty insulation retains the heat inside the unit longer resulting in more savings
  • Lightweight design allows easy handling
  • Good tank capacity of little over 50 gallons (52 gallons to be exact) provides enough hot water for a family of 4-5 and supplies one to two bath homes
  • Electric heating elements are made of the high grade stainless steel with low watt density, making it more durable and resistant to hard water effect and corrosion
  • The water connections are located at the top of the unit for easy installation
  • The model provides long draws of hot water, first hour delivery is around 84 GPH - highest in this list. It is better to buy 50-gal unit with the high first hour delivery, such as this high efficiency Westinghouse water heater, than larger but less efficient model, as more water will be delivered
  • Saves time and money
  • Limited lifetime warranty ensures many years of water heating with the high performance

Overall, homeowners are happy with the units' performance and quality of the elements, especially with the superior corrosion resistance and laser welded precision. Some reported issues with the heating elements, but resolved due to the lifetime warranty (online registration required).

Rheem - Marathon MSR50245 review

Rheem - Marathon MSR50245Marathon

Rheem / Ruud Marathon MSR50245 is the only 50 gallon electric water heater that is made of the long lasting plastic material and has one of the longest warranties:

  • Rheem provides a limited lifetime warranty
  • 6 years replacement parts warranty
  • The upper heating element is protected against "dry-firing", and the lower element is made of stainless steel for longer life
  • Seamless, blow-molded and lightweight polybutene tank that doesn't leak
  • High efficiency (energy factor is 0.94), losses only 5 F of heat in 24 h
  • First hour delivery is 61 GPH, recovery rate is 20 GPH
  • As the Marathon doesn't have the metal tank, the anode rode is not needed, resulting in less maintenance involved and an absence of the hydrogen gases and rotten egg odor 
  • No rust, no corrosion due to the non-metalic water tank
  • One of the most durable tank-type heaters in water heating industry.
  • Bowl shaped bottom allows complete draining

The water heater has mostly good reviews. The customers are happy to have a unit that won't corrode and leak, or be exposed to unpleasant sulfur smell and issues that come with the deteriorated anode rod. The handling was easy due to the water heater's lightweight design.

The homeowners didn't like the higher price of slightly over $1000.

Rheem / Ruud Marathon MSR50245 is due to its high quality tank, great energy factor EF and a lifetime warranty, many great reviews and great service network from the well-established company, probably the best 50 gallon electric water heater to buy on the market.

Kenmore 58250 review

Kenmore 58250Kenmore 58250

Kenmore 58250 is one of the top models from this brand, sold exclusively through the Sears store. Here are the features that make it one of the best 50-gal electric water heaters:

  • The unit is equipped with the Energy Saver Module and electronic temperature controller to change the temperature, operating modes and check the heating status. Part of the module is diagnostics system which allows users to check if there is a problem,using the error codes shown on the LCD display - making the troubleshooting easy
  • Cobalt Blue glass lining for corrosion protection
  • Advanced self-cleaning dip tube that helps in reducing the lime buildup
  • Strong heating elements with the high resistance to the lime buildup
  • Two large and heavy duty anode rods for the additional protection against corrosion
  • 3 inch thick foam insulation reduces the standby heat loss so hot water can keep the high temperature longer
  • Great first hour rating of 81 gallons and recovery rate of 25 GPH
  • The tank and parts have a long 12-year warranty

AO Smith PXNS 50

AO Smith PXNS 50 gallons electric water heaterAO Smith PXNS 50

This 50-gal electric water heater is one of the best from AO Smith due to the following features:

  • Blue Diamond glass coating to protect the metal water tank from corrosion
  • DynaClean Diffuser dip tube reduces the lime and sediment buildup maximizing the output
  • Strong stainless steel Incoloy heating elements with the 5500 watt power, with the dry fire protection, providing fast and reliable operation
  • Electronic user interface comes with the touchscreen display that allows users to choose one of the multiple operating modes and set the temperature
  • The water heater, by using the advanced electronics, allows easy diagnostics for simple troubleshooting
  • Grid management capable
  • Lower in height of 49" makes it suitable for home where the standard tall size cannot fit
  • High energy factor of 0.95
  • First hour rating of 75 gallons so up to 3 showers can be used at the same time
  • 10-year warranty

Users like the electronic display as the convenient feature so they can set up the temperature to the desired and the vacation mode to reduce the energy loss and costs when away. While it doesn't provide a lifetime warranty, it still has a decent 10-year protection and the price is better than the cost of the above two models.

To summarize; the best 50 gallons electric water heaters are those that are made of the quality elements and have the advanced features for the high energy efficiency, first hour rating and recovery rate - so users will have enough hot water for their busy lives.

Best 50-gal water heaters last many years and are protected by the long warranty. If it is equipped with the non-corrosive water tank as seen above - great, if not, choose one with the quality lining and commercial grade anode rods for the enhance protection.

The self-cleaning system is must to have to reduce the sediment build up and maximize the performance.

The heat elements should be made of the stainless steel and have dry fire protection. Electronic control module with the heating modes is good to have from where the user can have better control and easily monitor the heating operation.

If looking for more

If you would like to have more option and flexibility, and increase savings, check out the Energy Star heat pump water heaters such as the GeoSpring, Voltex from AO Smith or Rheem. These are known as hybrids, utilizing both heat pumps and electric heating elements, controlled by the advanced electronics and ready to provide lots of hot water fast and in large amounts.

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