If you're looking for a tankless, energy-efficient water heater, the Ecosmart ECO 27 is a smart buy. With point-of-use operation and 99.8 percent efficiency, you'll save money and help the environment, too. The biggest consideration is it's only designed for use in climates where the temperature stays at 37 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Ample hot water in the right climate. The Ecosmart ECO 27 has a flow rate of between two and four gallons per minute, depending on the rise. Reviews indicate that in the right climate, this power-packed unit is capable of providing enough hot water for an average home -- including two showers running simultaneously.
The biggest downside to the ECO 27 is it's designed for use in temperatures around or above 37 degrees Fahrenheit. In colder climates, it will struggle to produce the adequate water temperature for things like showers.
According to owners, it's also easy to install (thanks in part to its compact size), but you need at least a 200-amp electrical service and some basic electrical and plumbing skills.
Great for most household needs. Editors of WaterHeaterTalk.net rave about the efficiency of the Ecosmart ECO 27, placing it at about 99.8 percent and noting the heater saves on your electricity bills while also being good for the environment. Because the Ecosmart ECO 27 is a tankless electric unit, it only heats the water as you use it -- which can cause supply issues. Most owners don't report any problems getting enough hot water for their typical needs, although a few contend their hot water supply is "intermittent."
Digital temperature controls let users select the precise temperature of their water, but there are a few complaints about malfunctioning controls. That said, most owners posting to Amazon.com say the majority of the parts are easy to obtain and replace with off-the-shelf components.
Solid lifetime warranty. The Ecosmart ECO 27 costs slightly more upfront than most storage-tank water heaters, but with more efficient operation, it saves you money over time. Because it runs on electricity, users switching from natural gas water heaters to the Ecosmart ECO 27 may notice an increase in their electricity usage -- which reviews say will pay off over time by only heating the water you actually use.
Ecosmart provides a lifetime warranty on the element, exchanger and electronics, but no labor coverage. That means you're covered if a part malfunctions (and some reviewers say broken parts aren't too uncommon) but not the cost of a professional electrician or plumber. Owners note replacement parts are easy to find at many retailers.
The Ecosmart ECO 27 earns an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 in more than 120 owner-written reviews at Amazon.com. Seventy-five percent of owners give it a perfect 5-star rating, noting its energy efficiency and the availability of replacement parts.
Review: Ecosmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013
More than 30 owners provide feedback on the Ecosmart ECO 27 at HomeDepot.com, where it earns an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Many are impressed by the performance and efficiency, saying it supplies "plenty (of hot water) for simultaneous kitchen and shower use."
Review: EcoSmart 27 kW Self Modulating 5.3 GPM Electric Tankless Water Heater, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of October 2013
WaterHeaterTalk.net is dedicated to water heater buying advice and reviews. The Ecosmart ECO 27 is named the best tankless hot water heater, noting its 99.8 percent efficiency.
Review: Electric Water Heater Reviews, Editors of WaterHeaterTalk.net, As of October 2013
This forum thread discusses the Ecosmart brand as a possibility for home water heating. Some contributors discuss the brand in relation to heating pools (Ecosmart makes similar models as pool heaters), but a few have used an ECO 27 to heat their homes' water supply, with mixed results.
Review: Anyone have experience with EcoSmart products?, Contributors to TerryLove.com, As of October 2013
Just a handful of owners review the Ecosmart ECO 27 at Sears.com. It has an average rating of 4 stars out of 5, with feedback split down the middle. One owner points out the unit isn't ideal if you live in a colder climate, as it functions best at about 37 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
Review: EcoSmart Self Modulating ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self Modulating Technology, Contributors to Sears.com, As of October 2013