American Water Heaters Review

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Relatively new to the water heater market, American Water Heaters opened for business in the 1970s. In 2002, they were purchased by GSW, which in turn was purchased by AO Smith. Based in Johnson City, Tennessee, this company continues to produce high-quality water heaters as an active subsidiary that rivals its parent company for quality.

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Gas and Propane Models

American Water Heaters gas modelOne of the most popular types of water heater, gas models (and their liquid propane kin) are relatively inexpensive to operate and provide plenty of hot water to your home. Their efficiency makes them a great choice for point-of-use units as well as large tanks.

Features

A range of perks are available from even the most basic model in American Water Heater’s gas line. Starting at the bottom level, models have self-cleaning capabilities, with high-end models offering LEED points and ENERGY STAR certification.

ProLine

The bottom tier of AWH’s gas heater line, all ProLine models boast self-cleaning capabilities to reduce maintenance needs. Tank sizes range from 30 to 100 gallons, and the UEF ranges from .59 to .69 across the 86 available models.

Most units are Low NOx, with 12 being Ultra-Low NOx rated, making these a great choice for environmentally conscious consumers who can’t afford a top-of-the-line unit.

ProLine Master

The mod-range line continues holding to high standards, with all 30 models providing either .59 or .69 UEF ratings. Like their low-range siblings, all models are self-cleaning. Tanks are available in 40 and 50 gallon sizes.

ProLine XE

The top tier of American Water Heater gas products, this line boasts UEF ratings from .69 to .99. Of the 48 models in this tier, 30 are ENERGY STAR certified, and 26 LEED certified. All but 10 include an LCD display, although only 17 are self-cleaning.

Exhaust is handled well, with 22 models offering Low NOx emissions and another 20 providing Ultra-Low NOx. With tank sizes ranging from 34 to 75 gallons, these are perfect for small to busy medium-sized households.

Electric Models

American Water Heaters electric modelWhile electric heaters can be more expensive to run in certain circumstances, they’re more convenient for smaller homes or residences that don’t have immediate access to gas. They can also function in off-the-grid homes, making them a great choice for those aiming for a minimal carbon footprint.

Features

As with their gas line, American Water Heaters provides features for even their most basic electric model, with the majority including self-cleaning capabilities and many having environmental certifications.

ProLine

Ranging from 6 to 55 gallons, ProLine electric models are designed to fit into a variety of locations, from kitchens and small apartments up to average-sized households. Efficiency is a priority, with a minimum UEF of .89 and 32 of the 44 models currently available offer self-cleaning to reduce maintenance requirements.

ProLine for Mobile Homes

Offering 28, 30, or 40 gallon electric tanks, these six models are designed specifically with manufactured homes in mind. These all boast a UEF of .90 to .91, making them a cost-effective choice. You also have a choice between 120 and 240 volt models, making these a great option for most mobile living needs.

ProLine Master

Despite the small size of this line, the ProLine Master series still offers great quality for the money. All of the models feature self-cleaning for reduced maintenance and Blue Diamond glass lining for a longer tank life. Tanks come in 40, 50, and 55 gallon sizes to match most average-sized households, with a UEF of .92 to .93.

ProLine XE

Ranging from 40 to 80 gallons, this line can handle average to busy households with ease. All models provide digital displays, making it easy to monitor the health of your tank. In addition, of the 11 models in this line, five are self-cleaning. For those focusing on their carbon footprint, six models are ENERGY STAR certified and three include a LEED rating.

Tankless Models

One of the best financial choices you can make is switching to a tankless heater. These help save water and can reduce operational costs by not having to keep large volumes of water hot. Maintenance is also greatly simplified, allowing these units to pay for themselves.

Features

All AWH tankless heaters come with a 15-year warranty and Low or Ultra-Low NOx rating. Nearly half of the 43 models are LEED and ENERGY STAR rated, while 14 have digital displays and 27 offer remote control for easy monitoring.

Solar Models

The ultimate choice in environmentally friendly homes, solar is a great choice for people living off the grid, wishing to reduce their carbon footprint, or simply save on their bills. Direct and indirect models are available in 65, 80, and 119 gallon sizes.

Best of all, American Water Heaters offers their solar tanks either alone or as part of complete solar sets, so you can get rid of your old water heater and convert with confidence.

Best American Water Heaters

ModelTypeCapacityWattage/BTUNotes
CE3-80H45DVElectric80-gallon4,500 WattsLight Commercial
BFG61-50T40-Natural Gas50-gallon40,000 BTUUEF: 0.62
E1E2.5US015VElectric2.5-gallon1,500 WattsPoint-of-Use
E61-12U-015SVElectric12-gallon1,650 Watts6.9 gal/hr recovery

American Water Heater Parts

As with all water heaters, regular maintenance is important, and some components will wear out over time. Valves, anode rods, burners, pilot assemblies, dip tubes, and thermostats are some of the most common parts to wear out. Many of these can be purchased at your local hardware or big box store, while some specialty parts can be ordered direct.

 

Where to Buy American Water Heaters

A few American Water Heaters models can be found at Lowes, Amazon, and various other online and local dealers. For more information, visit the “Where to Buy” page on the manufacturer’s website.

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