5 Best Tankless Propane Water Heaters for Hot Showers
Choosing a water heater can be a tricky business.
There’s so many options. Not just in models, but in power, tank, and fuel type, too.
But which model should you get? Well, that’s what this guide’s for. I’ve put together a list of the best options for various sizes.
After the reviews, you’ll also learn:
- Pros & Cons of Propane Tankless Water Heaters
- What Size of Water Heater You Should Get
Ready? Then let’s dive in.
The Best Propane Tankless Water Heaters
Starting with the best, this modern machine by Happybuy is a true powerhouse.
It’s not for the budget minded, or for small camping trips (more on both later).
This is a high-end, sleek looking, touch-screen controlled water heater.
It’s 12L/min (3.2GPM) flow rate means it can handle any task, even multiple in combination.
Not many other tankless heaters could let you run a hot shower while also doing the washing up.
It’s also fully featured – coming with high end temperature management, safety features, and timers/mounting options.
|Modern 2020 Water Heater||Pricey|
|High Power / Capacity|
If you’re looking for a water heater to suit a modern apartment, this is a great option.
The sleek design will become a centrepiece of any kitchen or bathroom, while the modern features and touch-screen controls make it easy to use.
That said, the higher price means you should make sure you’ll get full use out of this.
If you’re looking to only run a small shower or kitchen, or just for a camping trip heater, then read on for cheaper models.
Weighing in at just 14lbs, this water heater is ideal for campers and travellers alike.
It’s cheap, reliable, and made for portability.
Sure, it doesn’t exactly look majestic. But when you’re out in nature – who’s really going to care?
The simple control dials work well to offer you enough control over your shower.
“Surely this heater isn’t going to perform well, though?”
You’d be surprised. Capable of pumping out water up to 118F (46C), coupled with all the modern standards for safety (tip over, overheating, high pressure, etc) – this simple model will provide all the performance you need.
This cheap price paired with great performance is why it’s currently got the ‘Amazon’s Choice’ award over at Amazon.com.
|Cheap & Cheerful||90's-Style Looks|
|Heats Well for a Light Shower||Limited Controls|
If you’re planning a camping trip, there’s no greater home comfort than a hot shower before you head into the wild.
This heater is built exactly with this in mind. Lightweight and cheap, it still packs enough power to give you that soul-warming hot shower to relax at night or get going in the morning.
Sometimes, one good heater isn’t enough.
You need a range of options to choose from.
As we delve into higher powered models and reach above the 6GPM mark, we find the gas water heater range by Rinnai.
Available in sizes from 6.5 to 9.4GPM, as either Propane or Natural Gas, these tankless heaters are pretty heavy duty without a super large price tag.
Their power level means they could easily handle larger apartments or even small homes. 6+ GPM is enough to fully handle a shower, dishwasher, and more at once.
The touch screen controls are standard across all models. It doesn’t quite match the latest iPad, but it’s a nice modern touch.
What you can show-off to friends, though, is the mobile app ON your iPad to control timers and schedules for ideal water heating. Simple.
|Range of power settings||Considerable price jump from smaller models|
|Propane or Natural Gas|
|Long warranties (10 years on heat exchanger)|
|Touch controls (and mobile apps)|
|Great customer satisfaction|
While these models are a bit of a price jump from the rest, the added value they offer is second to none.
One way this can be seen is through the customer satisfaction.
With major appliances like the best tankless water heaters, it’s hard to maintain high reviews since users often run into issues. Whether that’s installing the water heater properly, or having chosen the wrong size (not enough research).
These heaters sit proud with excellent customer satisfaction over hundreds of reviews. That speaks volumes for complex appliances like this.
Plus, you can’t beat a modern mobile app to control your utilities with. Remember to change the program while watching a TV show? No problem, consider it done.
Caption: Fantastic all-rounder for any apartment.
This propane heater by Marey is a great option as an all rounder.
Offering a 10 liter per minute (3.1 GPM) flow rate, it’s ideal for smaller apartments, studios, or RV’s.
Available as either a propane or natural gas model, it’s compact size and lightweight frame (21 lbs) means you won’t have to worry about where to install it.
Backed by a 5 year warranty means you’ll also get plenty of peace of mind.
|Liquid Propane OR Natural Gas||Limited Controls|
|5 Year Warranty|
Packing enough power to fully cover a shower and more, this propane heater is a great all-rounder which could fit into any home or RV.
While the controls are slightly dated (simple dials), the design is sleek and classic and would be at home in any modern space.
It’s just a great all-rounder packing plenty of power without the price tag!
This one’s a bit of a curve ball.
For those searching for a tankless water heater to take camping, you may not have considered a model like this. Which comes as a whole package.
With shower head included (and with a long hose), this water heater doesn’t need to be mounted up high.
Even better, it is by far the easiest water heater on this list to set up.
It’s made to be as close as you can get to plug-in-and-play for a heater of this kind. The setup and ease of use is super simple.
Of course, while amazing for camping trips, this is a single purpose heater. It wouldn’t fare well being plugged into other appliances like a standard tankless water heater could.
While it’s not super cheap, it’s limited uses mean it’s available for under $300.
|Made for camping showers||Limited Power|
|Shower head included||Limited Uses|
|No hanging needed|
|*Super* easy setup|
|Great customer satisfaction|
For those looking for a simple way to unlock hot showers anywhere in the world – this is it.
It’s lightweight, small, doesn’t need to hang from a tree, comes with a shower head, AND the customer satisfaction is second to none.
(Seriously, people love this thing)
So while it’s not going to power your house anytime soon, this heater excels at it’s one focus – easy propane-powered showers anywhere in the world.
Pros & Cons of Propane Tankless Water Heaters
Unsure on whether a propane water heater is right for you?
But for a quick comparison, sometimes the best way to compare is through a list of pros and cons.
- Ultra long lifespan. Gas tankless heaters can last up to 20 years – the longest for any type of water heater.
- Compact. These heaters are lightweight, small, and easy to install anywhere. Especially compared to a massive tanked system.
- Lower bills. You only heat what you need, so these systems are super efficient.
- Instant hot water. Your hot water flows on demand, as if by magic. There’s no temperature fluctuations or wait for heat.
- Price. As with any modern and more convenient tech, tankless heaters are more expensive upfront (but quickly save on monthly costs.
- Less powerful. Since they can’t pre-heat a bunch of water, tankless heaters have a more limited maximum flow rate.
In short, these heaters are fantastic for RV’s, camping, smaller apartments, or single rooms in a whole house. Their portability, easy of installation, and efficiency are second-to-none. But they’re not meant to handle the heating for a whole family home.
What Size of Water Heater Do You Need?
If you’re unsure on what models to look for make sure to check out our detailed guide to sizing a water heater.
In short, though, water heaters depend on flow rate. The more utilities you want to run at once, the greater the hot water flow rate you need.
Below is a quick table showing the approximate flow rate for various appliances. Try to tally up the maximum demand you’ll be putting on your water heater, and shop accordingly.
|Fixture||Flow Rate (GPM)|
|Shower Head (Standard)||2|
|Shower Head (‘Rain’ Type; Common in Older Showers)||Up to 5|
|Body Sprayer Nozzle||2|
|Dish Washer (High Efficiency)||0.5-1.5|
|Dish Washer (Standard)||2.5|
|Washing Machine (High Efficiency)||1|
|Washing Machine (Standard)||2.5|
Buying a new water heater can give you a lot to think about.
Especially since tankless versions can last for up to two decades.
I hope this guide has given you an idea or two about which water heater could be right for your home.
If you’re still not sure, be sure to check out our related posts below for more information surrounding water heaters (of all types).
Thanks a lot for reading, and I hope you have a great day!