Stiebel Eltron Tempra Review and
Buying Guide
(updated 2018)

Stiebel Eltron Tempra is an electric tankless water heater that is designed to replace the conventional tank-type heater and supplies hot water to a single, point-of-use application or multiple fixtures in the whole-house residential and commercial water heating.

Advantages

Reduced energy usage

Tempra is known for its advanced and reliable technology, great performance and design that reduces the energy consumption up to 20% when compares to the standard tank type. Due to the on-demand heating, stand-by heat loss is eliminated and the energy efficiency is close to 100%.

Small and compact design

Utilizing the tankless design, Stiebel Eltron Tempra is able to provide an endless hot water supply and occupy much less space than the conventional type. As opposed to the tank-type units which are installed on the floor, Tempra, with the small and lightweight design is mounted either on the wall, inside the cabinet or under the sink, freeing up the floor space for other use.

Stiebel Eltron Tempra comes with the compact and sleek design and the sturdy coated steel encase, which allows installation for both residential and commercial use, almost anywhere inside your home, condo, apartment or cottage, office... and without occupying the valuable space. The units can also be installed outdoors but should be protected from the elements, especially rain and cold weather.

Precise temperature control

One of the main advanced features Tempra has to offer is the thermostatic temperature control which allows you an accurate, constant and reliable temperature control resulting in an all-day comfort. It is built to work with the cold incoming water, but can also be used with a solar heating system and preheated water of up to 131 F.

Advanced technology

Stiebel Eltron's microprocessor technology allows an accurate temperature control, thanks to the frequent readings of the flow and temperature sensors. You can set the temperature of hot water between 86 F and 140 F while the unit modulates the power to keep the temperature steady, prevent the temperature fluctuation and discomfort even if the water flow changes.

Based on the set temperature, the heating elements are engaged in stages providing heating power from its minimum to maximum with the smooth transition. And that is what allows great performance, savings and customer satisfaction.

Installation

Installation of the electric tankless water heater such as those coming from Tempra is easier than its gas counterpart, but due to the high Amp draws it might be required to upgrade the electrical panel. All the models, from the smallest Tempra 12 to the largest Tempra 36 require 240 V and must be hardwired.

This is why it is recommended to contact the professional installer for this job.

Selection

There are two series of Tempra that are designed by Stiebel Eltron:

  • Tempra series
  • Tempra Plus series

The difference between these two groups is not only in the number of models that are available but in the included features as well. The Tempra series comes with several models ranging from 9 to 24 kW, while the Plus series also includes stronger models with the power of 28 and 36 kW.

Smaller models are known as point-of-use water heaters and should be selected based on the incoming water temperature, desired temperature, and flow rate.

Larger or whole-house models are more expensive but also more advanced and are selected based on the temperature of the incoming water, the maximum desired temperature of hot water and number of fixtures used.

Stiebel Eltron Tempra series

Stiebel Eltron TempraStiebel Eltron Tempra

Stiebel Eltron, Tempra 12 and 12 Plus are able to provide the power from its minimum of 9 kW when working on 208 V, to the maximum of 12 kW when operating on 240 V. Tempra 12/Plus are using one heating module that provides up to 3 GPM with the max. temperature rise of 27 F.

It is mainly used as the point-of-use (POU) water heater in warmer areas of US; low flow applications, like one kitchen sink or bath at the time and one-bath homes. As opposed to all other Stiebel Eltron models where the minimum water flow activation rate is 0.5 GPM, Tempra 12 / Plus requires less - 0.37 GPM. With the weight of 13.5 lbs, this is the lightest unit.

Tempra 15 and 15 Plus have the minimum power of 10.8 kW when working on 208 V, and maximum power of 14.4 kW when on 240 V. Tempra 15/Plus are using two heating modules that provide a water flow of 3 GPM but with the higher temperature rise of 33 F. 

In colder regions, these models operate as POU in low flow applications, while in warmer areas such Florida and Carribean these can be used in whole-house application such as one-bath homes 

Tempra 20 and 20 Plus have the minimum power of 14.4 kW when working on 208 V, and max. power of 19.2 kW on 240 V. The models utilize two heating elements that are able to provide water flow of 3 GPM at the higher 44 F temperature rise, or the maximum of 4.5 GPM at 29 F temperature rise. Stiebel Eltron Tempra 20 / Plus heaters are designed for homes situated in the warmer areas (e.g. southern parts of US), as the whole-house water heater, or for homes with the moderate water demand (1-2 bath homes).

Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 has the min. power of 18 kW when working on 208 V, and max. power of 24 kW on 240 V. Tempra 24 is using two heating modules that can provide a water flow of 3 GPM at the temperature rise of 54 F or maximum of 4.5 GPM at 37 F rise. Tempra 24 / Plus are the most popular models and sizes of all Stiebel Eltron tankless water heaters and are used mainly in whole-house applications where the higher flow rate is needed, but in warmer. Tempra 24 / Plus are recommended for standard residential homes with 2-3 baths.

Tempra Plus series

Stiebel Eltron Tempra PlusStiebel Eltron Tempra Plus

Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus models are more advanced than the above standard models. The Plus models are equipped with the microprocessor and the Advanced Flow Control technology that adjusts the flow rate of the water when you exceed the capacity of the system. The result is the precise temperature control at the consistent level. 

When comparing the models with other manufacturers, it can be seen that in low and medium demanding applications the desired temperature can be met, but in high-demanding applications, Stiebel Eltron models have the advantage. This advantage is called an Advanced Flow Control and it automatically reduces (adjust) the water flow to meet the set temperature – which is not found on other brands.

This is especially important if you live in the colder area, and if you are not able to install a larger model.

Tempra Plus series, except the models explained above, comes with two more; 29 Plus and 36 Plus. These are the heaviest, most powerful, that can provide more hot water, but require more for the normal operation.

Tempra Plus 29 is providing a min. power of 21.6 kW on 208 V, and max. power of 28.8 kW on 240 V. It has three heating modules and its maximum temperature rise at 3 GPM is 66 F while for the maximum flow of 4.5 GPM the rise is 44 GPM. Tempra 29 Plus is recommended for homes situated in the colder areas or for homes with the high water demand (e.g. 3-bath homes).

Tempra Plus 36 is the largest model from Stiebel Eltron, providing min. power of 27 kW on 208 V, and max. power of 36 kW on 240 V. It has three heating modules and its maximum temperature rise at 3 pm is 82 F while for the maximum flow of 4.5 GPM the temperature rise is 55 GPM. It is designed for homes situated in the colder areas with the high water demand (e.g. 4-bath homes).

All Tempra tankless water heaters are the same size, same 99% efficiency, same 3/4" NPT pipe fitting, but with the different water flow, a number of heating modules and power output.

Customer Reviews

Pros

  • Stiebel Eltron Tempra doesn't take up a huge space. 
  • It was easy to install and easy to use.
  • Dial on the front of the Tempra unit allows you to adjust the temperature in seconds and precise.
  • Saving on the electric bills.
  • Component parts are made of a material that is corrosion resistant.

Cons

  • Short three-year warranty.
  • 36 kW model requires 3X60 amp breaker, which is a lot of panel space. You have to upgrade the electrical panel to support the Tempra 36.
  • Installing a Tempra 24, for example, requires an expensive 2x6 wire.
  • Some complaints were related to the insufficient hot water for two showers and low performance (warm instead hot water).
  • Tempra 24 doesn't work so well if the incoming water is cold. It is better for warmer climates.

Summary

Stiebel Eltron Tempra tankless water heaters are the top of the line electric water heaters, known for the high quality and reliable performance. Due to the tankless design, they are 99% efficient and as long as there is a water supply, they will supply hot water continuously and in an endless supply. Tempra models are one of the most popular small electric water heaters, and top sellers on Amazon.com.

As it can be seen from the above reviews, the Plus version is a more advanced group. If you are looking to buy an electric water heater for a small house, apartment or cottage, or a large house but for the distant sink, look for the point-of-use models (POU). They have a lower water flow and power and the requirements for the electrical work is not demanding. The recommended models are Tempra 12 and Tempra 15.

If planning to buy a Tempra for a larger house and use hot water not one, but two or more fixtures, look for the whole-house models, such as the popular Tempra 24 or Tempra 28, even Tempra 36 if demanding for hot water is high. Be advised that it might be required to upgrade the electrical panel. Contact the electrician for the estimate and work.

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