Winter is coming! And with winters comes the excuses for not taking a bath. It is the reason why an excellent hot water geyser has become an absolute necessity for every household. Therefore, we have carefully created this Best Water heater buying guide for you.
We understand that it’s quite a task to choose the right Geyser which fulfills the requirements of your family without making any significant changes in plumbing and all. Be it a query about the electric water heater, Digital water heater, Instant water heater, gas geyser, or any other water heater price-related question. You are going to find all the answers here in this water heater buying guide.
- Type of Water Heater
- Type of water heater based on storage
- Type of water heater based on the power supply
- Types of tank used in a water Heater
- Type of heating element used in a water heater
- Parameters to look for in a water heater
- A 11-step water heater buying guide
- Frequently asked questions
So, let’s start! And try to understand
How to choose a water Heater?
Type of Water Heater
In the first part of this water heater buying guide, we will cover all the options and types you can find; both online and offline.
Usually, one can classify water heaters into various categories based on different parameters. But here, we will cover only the major categories which are most relevant to 95% of the customers. So, the most commonly available type of water heaters are:
Type of water heater based on storage
- Instant Water Heater
- Storage Water Heater
Type of water heater based on the power supply
- Electric Water Heater
- Gas Water Heater
- Solar Water Heater
Type of water heater tank
- Steel Water-Heater tank
- Copper Water-Heater tank
- Glass-lined water-heater tank
Type of water heater heating element
- Copper heating element
- Glass-lined heating element
- Incoloy heating element
Type of water heater based on storage
Instant Water Heater
An instant water heater is relatively smaller in size and has a minimal water storage capacity. Sometimes it is also possible that there is no water storage at all. The price of an instant water heater is also lower than other variants.
It is most suitable for kitchen sinks and washbasins as the water requirement are low but is needed instantaneously. You can also use it for bathing purposes, but only if you use it for a single person, and the requirement for hot water is low.
An instant water heater is available in 1 to 5 liters of capacity, depending on the brand you choose.
It takes up minimal space and can be installed very easily in any water outlet.
The price of an instant water heater ranges around Rs. 1000 – Rs. 3000. Most preferably, you can use a 3-liter instant water heater for kitchens.
Storage water heater
These types of water heaters are most commonly used in household bathrooms. A storage water heater has an inbuilt metal tank where water is stored and then heated gradually with a heating element’s help. The storage water heater comes with varying capacities of storage tanks. The most widely available tank sizes are:
- 8L storage water heater
- 10L storage water heater
- 15L storage water heater
- 25L storage water heater
The tank capacity is needed to be chosen based on your family size and how low the temperature drops in your area. You can use a 10L storage water heater for a 1-2 person living together. A nuclear family of 3-4 persons can do with a 15L water heater. In comparison, a family of more than five persons certainly requires a water heater of 25L or above capacity.
Even if it seems reasonable to use a small geyser for a smaller family, we still recommend you to buy a storage water heater with a capacity of 15L or above only. It is so because the water consumption may vary from person to person and other parameters like time difference between using the bathroom by other family members. A Bigger water tank gives you the liberty of using hot water as per your convenience without any worry. Except that, the price difference is very nominal for the convenience it will offer. So, a 25L storage water heater is the best buy option for a family of 4+ members.
The price of a storage water heater ranges around Rs. 3000 – Rs. 15000 depending on the size of the storage tank and additional features that it provides. You can most preferably use a 15-liter & 25-liter storage water heater for household bathrooms.
Type of water heater based on the power supply
Electric Water Heater
As the name suggests, an electric water heater uses a 220-240V standard household electric supply to operate. These water heaters come with a three-pin plug, which is needed to plugged-in into the supply board.
Most of the new generation electric water heaters come equipped with a thermostat to regulate the water temperature. It also helps to cut-off the power once the water inside the tank reaches a specific temperature fixed by the user. These water heaters are also equipped with a safety-valve in case if the thermostat fails, and the temperature of water crosses the critical limit.
Storage water heaters typically have a wattage value of 2000 watts (2kW) and a BEE star rating of 4-star and above. Thus, they consume fewer electricity units, even when used for a more extended period.
At the same time, Instant electric water heaters generally come with a capacity of 3000 watts and above. So, these consume more electricity if used for longer times. It is also the reason why these are mainly used for kitchen sinks & washbasins.
Gas water heater
Gas water heater requires liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or a natural gas supply to heat the water. It means that instead of a power supply cord, you will get a separate hose to connect the gas supply to the water heater. This hose looks similar to the inlet and outlet valves for water.
The water that comes inside the heater is heated by burning the LPG through specially designed burners. You will get a burner control and a gas supply control knob to regulate the water heater’s heating.
A gas water heater is best suited for you in the following conditions:
- You live in a remote area where there is a scarcity of electricity or frequent power cuts.
- You have a natural gas connection, and the price is much lower than electricity.
- Your bathroom size is too small to accommodate a big storage type water heater.
- You need to have at least one extra gas cylinder refill, specially dedicated to the water heater.
Gas water heater generally comes in a capacity of 6 & 7 liters.
A solar water heater is a non-conventional type of water heater which uses natural sunlight to heat-up water. You can install it on rooftops or places where it gets the maximum sunlight throughout the day. A medium-sized solar water heater generally covers about 25-30 sqft of area for its installation.
You should always install the water tank and the solar water heater at different levels of height. It helps in a continuous filling of water inside the water heater tank under the effect of gravity. This tank has insulation with multiple layers of coating. Further, the tank has a connection with several ETC (evacuated tube collectors), which converts the solar energy into heat energy and transfers it to the water stored.
The solar water heater works the entire day to heat-up the water stored inside the insulting tank. A tubular solar water heater can heat the water to 90-95 degrees. Moreover, the temperature drop during the night is only 3-5 degrees due to heavy insulation. Thus, you can easily use the stored water the next morning, even before sunrise.
A solar water heater is suitable for you, only if:
- You live in an independent house with complete roof access.
- You have a huge family, or you want to use it in a commercial building.
- The roof of your house is big enough to accommodate the complete mechanism of the solar water heater.
- You have made dedicated plumbing provisions for installing a solar water heater.
- Such water heater can only be installed if the place gets uninterrupted sunlight and there isn’t any blockage by any high rise buildings nearby.
Types of tank used in a water Heater
This part of the water heater buying guide will discuss the various storage tanks used inside a water heater. It is one of the most critical parameters to consider while choosing the right option for you. So, make an informed decision by reading the next few points carefully.
Steel water-heater tank
These types of water heaters have a tank made from Stainless steel. Water heaters with steel tanks are cheaper than other variants. Still, they do require more amount of electricity to heat the same amount of water. In other words, they are less power efficient and may also require more time to reach the required temperature.
Water heaters with steel tanks are suitable only if you are very tight on budget and not looking for a very long usability time.
Copper water-heater tank
The storage tank of such water heaters is made up of copper or copper alloy. The use of highly conductive elements like copper gives a lot of advantages over the SS variants. The heat dispersion is done more effectively and quickly in such types of water heaters. As a result, the water stored in the tank is heated promptly with the least amount of loss in energy.
A cooper tank water heater requires a comparatively lesser amount of electricity to achieve the desired temperature and thus has more BEE ratings.
These water heaters are useful in the long run and can heat water quickly.
Glass-lined water-heater tank
This type of water heater is a product of continuous technological advancements & innovation. A glass-lined water heater tank works in a similar fashion as others except for the fact that it has a unique glass fiber coating over it. This coating provides better insulation as well as gives a longer life to the tank.
Such type of tank is most suitable for people living in apartments. You should always buy a glass-lined water heater if you live in a high rise building.
So, it is better to look for a glass-lined tank while purchasing a water heater as the price difference is very nominal for the durability that it provides.
The water storage tank of water heaters is also a kind of pressure vessel. Although all tanks can withstand a certain amount of pressure, it’s a different scenario altogether in high-rise buildings. The supply water is often stored at the roof, which gives a great height to the water and ultimately increases the pressure many folds. Sometimes even in big houses, a pressure pump is also used to improve the plumbing pressure. In such a case, the glass lining over the water heater’s storage tank gives it the capacity to sustain a lot more stress and also prevents corrosion.
Type of heating element used in a water heater
In this part of the water heater buying guide, let us determine the types of heating elements used and their suitability for you.
Copper heating element
A copper heating element is made of copper metal, which helps in the quick dispersion of heat. It is best suitable for soft water and small houses where the pressure of water is lower.
Glass-lined heating element
The heating element is coated with a special coating of glass to provide durability and prevent corrosion in such types. It is best suited for places with hard water supplies.
Incoloy heating element
This type of heating element is made of alloy specially designed to limit corrosion. It is relatively cheaper than the glass-lined option.
Parameters to look for in a water heater
So, what are the things that you need to check before buying a Geyser? We will cover each of the significant points & parameters in this part of the water heater buying guide.
Shape & Build Quality
Water heaters come in many different shapes and sizes. Mostly they are cylindrical and have a vertical installation posture. But there are new fancy designs & horizontal installation postures as well.
So, before buying a water heater, you need to have a clear perspective and measurement of the space where you will install it. You can easily find the dimensions of the Geyser written on the product description tab. You need to cross-check it with the space you have.
The BEE star rating is the parameter that gives you an idea about how much energy efficient a particular model is. A higher star rating means that more amount of heat is produced per unit of electricity consumed.
In simplest terms, a 4-star or above star rating is a cost-cutting factor for any household as it lowers down the electricity bill by a significant amount.
You need to select a water heater’s capacity according to the number of persons who will use it. You can easily choose the capacity as per this table:
All water heaters are not made similar. Some of them come with installation kits, while others don’t. A standard installation kit for a water heater comprises clamps, standard screws, connecting pipes & hoses for installation.
Nowadays, many of the Branded water heaters come either with the installation kit or later provided along with free installation service.
However, you need to confirm whether this service is available in your area or not by calling the company customer care.
If the water heater does not come with an installation kit, you may need to spend around Rs.700- Rs.1000 more for the installation.
While buying a new geyser, it is mandatory to look for a safety valve. The presence of a safety valve ensures the prevention of accidents caused due to excess formation of steam.
Except that, features like auto power-off, short-circuit prevention & proper insulation are also necessary for improved safety. In other words, the more the number of safety features it has, the safer your bathroom will be.
Reputed companies usually give a standard warranty of 5-8 years on the tank, 2-3 years on the element, and a two years comprehensive warranty on the product as a whole.
Every company nowadays tries to provide more and more features to lure their customers. Additional features like remote control, temperature control & display, enamel coating & whirl flow technology are a few to look for while buying a Geyser.
A 11-step water heater buying guide
How to choose a water heater
We have summarized each and everything discussed above and carefully curated a crisp 11-step water heater buying guide for you.
Know your purpose :
First of all, you need to decide what your purpose for buying a water heater is?
It will help you develop a clearer perspective and help you choose better.
Type of Water Heater
Choose the right type of water heater which fulfills your requirements like availability of power source, space considerations, and budget constraints.
You will use it for the bathroom or kitchen, for domestic or commercial use. All the parameters will help you decide the right type & capacity of Geyser most suitable for you.
The temperature of your area is also a deciding factor while selecting a water heater. A much lower temperature may require a higher wattage geyser to provide sufficient heating.
Here, you have to look for both the wattage & the star rating of the water heater. Mostly, the storage water heaters come s in a 2000 Watt rating. Still, a higher star rating can save you some money by lowering your house’s electricity bill.
Type of water (hard/soft)
If the water you are using is hard, you need to be extra careful while choosing a water heater. You need to opt for enamel and glass coated tanks and heating elements to reduce the corrosion caused by the hardness. Selecting the right Geyser will surely give a longer service life and require lesser maintenance.
Do you wonder why the water leave scales on your containers and sanitary fittings? It is mainly because of the presence of higher concentrations of calcium and magnesium salts.
Such kind of water is often called hard water.
Durability & maintenance
Always look for a brand with the best after-sales service in your area. It’s our recommendation to always opt for low and easy maintenance models because it’s never easy to call a technician on your bathroom and open up the plumbing system for maintenance.
Nowadays, most branded water heaters come with free installation support through the company’s service engineers. But, you should always confirm with customer care in advance for any hidden charges.
Always buy a geyser with maximum years of warranty to save any service cost in the future. Reputed companies usually give a standard warranty of 5-8 years on the tank, 2-3 years on the element, and a two years comprehensive warranty on the product as a whole.
It is something you have to decide for yourself. However, you will surely be able choose the best one that fits your budget by understanding the points covered in this article.
With all the online products, it is effortless to know what other buyers think about any particular model. You can do it by checking the review section on the product page. But, we recommend you not to take your decision solely based on reviews but to use your intellect and information from this article to choose smartly.
Frequently asked questions
What should I look for when buying a water heater?
While buying a water heater, always check for the type of tank and heating element used in it, maximum pressure it can sustain, safety features provided, capacity, wattage, star rating, and warranty. Except that, additional features like remote control, temperature display, flow technology, and after-sales service are also worth checking. However, we always recommend you to read our water heater buying guide before buying one.
What size water heater do I need?
It entirely depends upon the purpose of use and the number of people using it. For the kitchen, an instant geyser of 3-5 liter capacity is sufficient. The most preferred size for bathrooms is 15L & 25L for a nuclear family of 3-4 members. But, for more than that, we strongly recommend you to buy a geyser of 25L+ capacity. However, we always recommend you to read our water heater buying guide before buying one.
What brand of water heater is the most reliable?
The reliability mainly depends on the latest features provided, new technology integration & a better and reliable after-sales service. Bajaj, USHA, Havells, Hindware & V-guard are a few honorable mentions here. However, we always recommend you to read our water heater buying guide before buying one.
Which are the best water heater companies?
Bajaj, USHA, Crompton, Havells, Cera, Hindware & V-guard are some of the most popular water heater segment brands. However, we always recommend you to read our water heater buying guide before buying one.
Is it safe to buy a water heater online from Amazon?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to buy water-heaters on Amazon. It is always better and convenient to buy online rather than go fishing for a particular model or feature in the local market. The maximum number of times, you also can return the product if you don’t like it. All you need to do is buy only from an amazon fulfilled seller, and you got yourself covered regarding any fraud or problems. However, we always recommend you to read our water heater buying guide before buying one.