Kenmore Electric Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Kenmore electric water heater

Kenmore electric water heaters are available in many sizes and capacities. Capacity ranges from 6 to 80 gallons. Models with the capacity from 6 to 19 gallons are built to supply hot water to one fixture; these are known as point-of-use models (i.e., Economizer and Compact), while other models (40-gal to 80-gal) come from the standard series that are used for the whole-house water heating.

One is common for all electric water heaters from Kenmore; these are affordable (excluding heat pumps), have lower installation cost, are easy to maintain and can be purchased exclusively through the Sears stores.

While most of the heaters have the high energy factor of over 0.9, there is one type whose efficiency is ultra-high; these are known as heat pumps water heaters. The heat pumps are actually hybrid water heaters that combine two technologies - heat pump and heating elements.

Kenmore electric model selection

Power Miser 6

Kenmore electric water heaters from Power Miser 6 series are built for heating potable water only and are not suitable for space heating. These are designed in three sizes; short, medium and tall (standard). The group of short models comes in 30, 38 and 50-gal capacities, medium in 40 and 50 gallons and tall models ranging from 30 to 55 gallons.

The upper and lower heating elements are factory built to operate at 3800 watts, while the lower element can be converted to 5500 Watts. With the different power comes different requirements for the minimum wire size and the circuit breaker that must be installed for the higher wattage.

The warranty on all Power Miser 6 models is 6 years which is the basic warranty.

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Power Miser 9

For those who are looking for longer warranties, Kenmore electric water heaters from Power Miser 9 series might be the choice, as they come with the 9-year warranty. These are built in short and tall sizes and have many capacities.

The capacity ranges from 30 to 80 gallons that are mainly tall in height, while 38-gal units, with the maximum height of 31”, are considered short. As the above models, Power Miser 9 water heaters are factory set to use the 3800 watts heating elements with an option for the lower element to be converted to 5500 watts.

Power Miser 12

Kenmore Power Miser 12 water heaters have the longest warranty of 12 years. These are found in sizes from 30 to 80 gallons, and have the standard heights with the range from 47” to 62”. The heating elements operate at the 240 volts and provide 3800 watts for each element, while the lower one can be converted to 5500 watts.

The main difference between the Power Miser 12 model and other models, except the warranty length, is the number of anode rods. Power Miser 12 utilizes the primary and secondary anode rod, for better and longer protection against corrosion, while other models have only one anode.

All the models utilize the Roto-Swirl dip tube that slows down the sediment build-up at the tank bottom and heating elements. Standards elements include the adjustable thermostats, heat traps, drain valve, and pressure relief valve. The recovery rate on the above models is in the range from 17.3 to 25 gal/hr.

Kenmore Compact series

Kenmore electric water heaters from the Compact series come in sizes from 10 to 30 gallons, some models built as short, for homes that lack in space while other with the standard heights.

Due to its lower water capacity than the above units, Compact series utilize only one heating element and one adjustable thermostat; the power is 1650 Watts when operating on 120 V, while the 20-gallon model can use the heating element of 2000 Watts when on 220 V. The warranty is 6 years.


The Economizer is built in sizes from the small 6-gal capacity to 30 gallons, short and tall and with the 120 and 240 V option, all using one heating element (1650 or 2000 watts, depending on the voltage).

As the Compact and Economizer models are equipped with one heating element with low wattage, the recovery rate is also low; it is in the range from 7.5 to 9.1 gal/hr.

Elite heat pumps

Kenmore also designs advanced electric water heaters that are combined with the heat pumps. These models come from the Elite series and are known as hybrid water heaters. The heat pumps are ultra-efficient units that provide the energy efficiency of 2.33 and 2.4 for significant savings of 60% or more. Elite models are available in sizes of 60 and 80 gallons and have a 10-year warranty. Check out the detailed review of the Kenmore heat pumps.

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