Best Hot Water Heaters for Off-Grid Living in 2024

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid

Are you looking for the best hot water heater for an off-grid living? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be breaking down my top 13 picks for the best hot water heaters for off-grid in 2023!

Whether you’re after convenience, efficiency, or affordability – I’ve got you covered. Read on to find out more!

To get started, let’s take a look at the different types of hot water heaters available on the market today. You’ll find a diverse range to choose from, including tankless, electric, solar, wood, and propane water heaters. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to research your options before selecting the right one for you.

Now, let’s dive into my picks for the best hot water heaters for off-grid.

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What Is the Best Hot Water Heater for Off Grid?

1. Rinnai V75iP Non-Condensing Propane Tankless Water Heater, Indoor Installation, Up to 7.5 GPM

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Rinnai's-indoor-tankless-water-heater

Overview

Rinnai’s indoor tankless water heater models are high-efficiency and non-condensing. This indoor tankless water heater uses advanced technology to provide comfort and value to your home. You can enjoy energy-efficient and reliable hot water at a steady, pre-determined temperature, all while saving valuable floor space in your house.

Uses

This device can be used indoors in households, in off-grid cabins, as a power source for secondary homes, and for small business applications.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • 7.5 GPM – Never run out of hot water with this compact suitcase-size water heater. You can connect up to 4-5 appliances simultaneously without having to worry about running out of hot water.
  • Compact Design – This water heating unit the size of a suitcase can neatly fit into your home, creating more usable space.
  • Super High Efficiency – Super high-efficiency models are designed with sleek style and an array of features that are perfect for meeting the hot water needs of larger homes while maximizing output.
  • Energy Saving Benefits – Rinnai tankless water heaters have a high energy efficiency rating, measured by the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF). This helps you save money on both power and water expenses.
  • Leak Detection – This feature turns off the water to the unit in order to prevent property damage.
  • Temperature Lock – This prevents accidental or unauthorized changes to water temperature.
  • Power Source – Natural Gas
  • Item Dimensions – 17.32 x 30.51 x 12. 8 inches
  • Item Weight – 45.6 pounds

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

The module for WiFi control is not included in the package purchase. Professional installation is recommended unless you are trained to install a water heater of this proportion.

The Rinnai V75iP Non-Condensing Propane Tankless Water Heater is one of the best hot water heaters for off-grid. It is energy efficient, has a high output and steady temperature, and features safety features such as leak detection and temperature lock. It has a high-efficiency rating and is designed for larger homes.

2. Takagi T-H3M-DV-N Condensing Direct Vent Tankless Water Heater, Natural Gas

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Takagi-TH3-M-DV-N-Condensing-direct-vent-tankless-water-heater-natural-gas

Overview

The T-H3M is a heating system that provides hot water for various purposes, including domestic hot water systems, storage tanks, recirculation systems, hydronic heating systems, radiant floor systems, and domestic and heating applications.

The T-H3M is a residential water heater that is highly efficient and operates without a tank. It is a condensing unit that is ideal for residential and off-grid lifestyles.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Power Source – Natural gas
  • High Efficiency – This product is designed with many features to efficiently provide hot water for small off-grid cabins and residential homes. Its sophisticated design ensures maximum output potential.
  • Energy Output – The T-H3M water heater can supply hot water for two bathrooms in warmer climates or 1.5 bathrooms in colder climates. This is accomplished with a gas input of 120,000 BTU.
  • Safety Features – AFR sensor, exhaust & water temperature safety control, overheat cut-off fuse, and internal freeze protection system
  • 6.6 GPM – This compact water heater provides a continuous supply of hot water at a rate of 6.6 gallons per minute, ensuring that you never run out of hot water.
  • Item Dimensions – 17.75 x 13.12 x 29.5 inches
  • Item Weight – 44 pounds
  • Brand – Takagi

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

The Takagi T-H3M-DV-N Propane Water Heater is a great choice for off-grid purposes. It is highly efficient, and safe, and provides an ample amount of hot water for a variety of applications.

Installation is required and should be done by a professional in order to ensure proper function.

3. Rheem Mid-Efficiency 8.4GPM Outdoor Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Rheem Mid-Efficiency-8.4GPM-Outdoor-Natural Gas-Tankless-Water-Heater

Overview

The Rheem outdoor tankless water heater that operates on natural gas is built to deliver an uninterrupted supply of hot water and has moderate efficiency.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Power Source – AC/DC
  • Compact Design – Gas water heaters that are tankless are installed outside of your house to save valuable storage space inside. Additionally, all the outdoor models have built-in freeze protection that works effectively even when the temperature drops down to -30˚F.
  • Better Air Quality – Rheem uses technology to reduce emissions, which improves air quality. Their models meet or exceed government standards in all 50 states.
  • Reduce Energy Consumption – The enhanced technology improves productivity while decreasing energy usage.
  • Easy Control – The Rheem tankless water heater comes with a remote electronic thermostat that makes it easy to adjust the water temperature. You can select any temperature between 85˚F and 140˚F, in increments of two degrees.
  • No Need for Venting – Since it is installed outside, there is no need for venting.
  • Item Dimensions – 8.88 x 13.88 x 23.63 inches
  • Item Weight – 57 pounds
  • Brand – Rheem

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

The Rheem Mid-Efficiency 8.4GPM Tankless Water Heater is a great choice for off-grid properties. It provides continuous hot water with moderate efficiency, has built-in freeze protection, and uses an electronic thermostat to adjust the temperature.

Additionally, it does not require any venting and meets all government standards for air quality. It is best used for up to 3 bathrooms. To ensure the warranty remains valid, it is necessary to have a professional install this heater.

4. Rinnai V65iP Non-Condensing Propane Tankless Water Heater, 6.5 GPM (Best Features)

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Rinnai-V65iP-non-condensing-propane-tankless-water-heater

Uses

Laundry, dishes, sinks, bathtubs, showering, indoor uses

Overview

The Rinnai V65I is a tankless water heater designed for indoor installation. It can provide up to 6.6 gallons of hot water per minute, which makes it a suitable choice for homes with one to two and a half bathrooms. In your off-grid home, cabin, or main house, you have the option to save energy and floor space while enjoying hot water consistently at a pre-set temperature.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Compact Water Heater – Rinnai’s tankless hot water heater is compact, only the size of a small suitcase, and can be installed in various spaces. Despite its size, the non-condensing heater can provide an output of up to 6.5 gallons per minute.
  • Energy Saving Benefits – V65I tankless water heaters have a high energy efficiency rating, measured by the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF). This rating helps you save on costly power and water expenses.
  • Easy Installation – Off-grid tankless water heaters can be easily installed with no venting required.
  • No Batteries Required
  • Volts – 120V
  • Weight – ‎45.6 pounds
  • Heater Dimensions – 12.8 x 30.51 x 17.32 inches
  • Power Source – Natural Gas
  • Brand – Rinnai

Special Feature: Energy Factor of .82 for Both Gas Types, Pre-set at 120°F (adjustable to 140° by the installer), Compatible with Full Line of Rinnai Digital Controllers, Certified for Installation in Manufactured (Mobile) Homes, Integrated Error Code Indicator.

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

It is highly recommended that you hire a professional to install the water heater to ensure the warranty is approved, in case it is needed.

This tankless water heater, along with others previously mentioned, has a longer lifespan that can last up to twice as long as a tank water heater. It also helps save energy by heating water only when necessary. The Rinnai V65I tankless water heater is a great choice for small households and off-grid properties. It is cost-efficient, easy to install and maintain, and uses no batteries. With its high energy efficiency rating, it can help reduce costs on power and water expenses.

5. Camplux Constant Propane Water Heater – 3.18 GPM

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Camplux-Water-Heater-propane-tankless-water-heater

Uses

bathroom sink, kitchen sink, shower, indoor uses

Overview

This Camplux Water Heater is a propane tankless water heater that can provide up to 3.18 gallons of hot water per minute. It is a great choice for those who are looking to save energy and money while having hot water constantly available in their home. It is perfect for small households in off-grid locations that require a low flow rate.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Power Source – Liquid Propane / Natural Gas
  • Instant Hot Water – This heater has an output of up to 3.18 gallons per minute that can be reached in just 3 seconds.
  • Smart Controller with LED Touch Screen – The device has a one-touch button for turning it on and off. It also displays indicators for temperature, water flow, flame signal, fan signal, and shower signal. Additionally, it has up/down temperature button controls.
  • Advanced Combustion Technology – The small flames adjust to both summer and winter seasons to efficiently heat your water when you need it.
  • Tankless – Forget the bulky tanks and enjoy a neat, space-saving tankless water heater.
  • Compact Size – This water heater is great for indoor installation in small homes, cabins, and remote apartments as it is only one-sixth the size of a 50-gallon tank water heater.
  • Easy to Install – The product includes a 2.3″ horizontal vent pipe for easy installation and is equipped with a standard 1/2″ NPT water fitting and gas inlet.
  • No Batteries Required
  • Heater Dimensions – ‎14.37 x 4.72 x 25.39 inches
  • Weight – 24.8 pounds
  • Brand – Camplux / part number CA318B

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

You need to purchase a 150 psi pressure release valve for installation. It’s important to consider the diameter of the exhaust from your heater to the vent. Any size propane tank is suitable for this water heater, but keep in mind your water usage. With your purchase, I suggest buying the Camplux 5 ft propane regulator hose.

The Camplux Constant Propane Water Heater is great for small homes and cabins. This water heater delivers hot water quickly with an output of 3.18 gallons per minute. It also offers advanced combustion technology that allows the flames to adjust with each season. Plus, it is easy to install with no venting required and has a compact design that takes up minimal space.

6. Eccotemp i12-LP Water Heater – 4 GPM!

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid_Eccotemp-i12LP-water-heater-4gpm

Uses

Whole house indoor use, bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, showers,

Overview

One of the most advanced indoor tankless water heaters on the market is the Eccotemp i12, which runs on liquid propane. This water heater can provide a water flow of 4.0 gallons per minute, raise the water temperature by 38 degrees, and has a heating power of 80,000 BTU per hour, making it suitable for all your hot water needs especially living off the grid.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • LED Display – You can perform different functions such as turning on/off, adjusting the desired temperature, and measuring GPM.
  • Energy Saver – This heater consumes very little energy when not in use and has true on-demand technology with low gas consumption.
  • No Pilot Light Needed
  • Low Power Draw – The i12 consumes approximately 2 amps when in use and approximately 2 watts when idle.
  • Voltage – 120V
  • Heater Dimensions – 13.7 x 25 x 5 inches
  • Unit Weight – 29 pounds
  • Brand – Eccotemp

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

This is a wall-mounted water heater that produces 4 gallons of hot water per minute. It is perfect for small households living off the grid as it requires only 2 amps of power. The heater also has a LED display that allows you to monitor your water flow and adjust the temperature according to your needs.

The Eccotemp i12 is highly functional and compact, making it an easy-to-install and space-saving water heater. It is perfect for indoor use and has low gas consumption. All in all, it is a great product for remote living.

7. Eccotemp FVI12-LP Liquid Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater – 3.5 GPM

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Eccotemp-FVI12-LP-tankless-water-heater-3.5gpm

Overview

This whole home indoor use Eccotemp FVI12 Tankless Water Heater is literally one of the most advanced models in the current market. With Eccotemp’s advanced 0.7 GPM low-flow ignition technology, you can have a constant supply of hot water without any cold spots.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Indoor Installation – This power ventilation system is efficient and ideal for small homes, cabins, or apartments.
  • Digital Temperature Display – Its easy-to-use digital display allows you to easily adjust the water temperature from 80-140°F.
  • Energy Saver – Low energy consumption of only 2 watts when idle and
  • Power Source – Liquid Propane
  • Capacity – 3.5 GPM
  • Weight – 20 pounds
  • Dimensions – 25 x 14.5 x 4 inches
  • Brand – Eccotemp

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

The Eccotemp FVI12 has been tested and it is safe to use in elevations of up to 2000 feet. Using the Eccotemp FVI12 at an altitude higher than 2000 feet could impact the effectiveness and functioning of the heater. It is not recommended to install and operate the Eccotemp FVI12 at altitudes over 5000 feet. This product is not suitable for use with hydronic systems, recirculation systems, or floor heating.

At low cost and maximum efficiency, this liquid propane gas tankless water heater is a great choice for those with low hot water demand. With its energy-saving feature, digital temperature display, and indoor installation system, the Eccotemp FVI12 is a great choice for small homes, cabins, and off-grid shelters.

8. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self Modulating Technology

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-EcoSmart11-electric-tankless-water-heater-with-patented-self-modulating-technology

Overview

The EcoSmart ECO 11 is a tankless electric water heater that can produce 13 kilowatts of hot water. It is best suited for use in areas with a low flow such as a bathroom, small sink, or office breakroom. The amount of gallons per minute that it provides depends on the inlet water temperature and can range from 1.3 to 3.1.

This product has been tested and certified by the Water Quality Association for compliance with lead-free standards, according to NSF/ANSI 372.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Energy Saver – This type of heater only heats water when you need it, as opposed to a tank heater that continuously keeps the water hot even when not in use.
  • Compact -The EcoSmart tankless electric water heaters have a compact size that is 90% smaller than traditional tank heaters and can be installed on a wall or at the point of use.
  • Endless On Demand Hot Water – Efficiency and consistent performance within 1 degree of the selected temperature are ensured by continuously monitoring water temperature and controlling flow rates.
  • Power Output – This 13-kilowatt tankless electric water heater is suitable for providing hot water in areas like a bathroom, small sink, office breakroom, or other low-flow applications.
  • Easy to Install
  • Dimensions – 11.5 x 8 x 3.75 inches
  • Weight – 6.5 pounds

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

Before buying and installing, please make sure to confirm that this model is suitable for your hot water demands and meets your electrical requirements. Other than that the EcoSmart ECO11 is perfect for small off-grid cabins and tiny homes. It is easy to install and provides an endless stream of hot water on demand.

9. GASLAND Tankless Water Heater, 1.58GPM 6L Portable Instant Propane Outdoor Gas Heater

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-9. GASLAND-Tankless-Water-Heater- 1.58GPM-6L-Portable-Instant-Propane Outdoor-Gas-Heater

Overview

This product is suitable for cabins, homes off the grid, camping trips, use in an RV, hunting cabins, and even cleaning your dog.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Power Source – Battery-powered, 2D batteries are needed
  • 6 Safety Features – Flame failure protection, dry combustion protection, overheat protection, high water pressure protection, anti-freezing protection, low water flow protection
  • Safe and Long Lasting – The water heater has a CSA certification, which means it is safe and meets the standards in the US and Canada.
  • Easy to Use – To set up, connect the water and gas lines, and add a 20lbs propane tank. Don’t forget to insert the 2D batteries, which are not included.
  • Overheating Protection – The water heater has an automatic shut-off feature when the temperature reaches over 185ºF (85ºC) to prevent scalding. The LED digital screen can assist you in avoiding hot water accidents.
  • Dimensions – 11.8 x 6.1 x 17.3 inches
  • Weight – 15.4 pounds
  • Brand – Gasland

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

To operate this heater, 2D batteries are needed. Please note that it only works with liquid propane and not with natural gas. Customers have reviewed that the top of the heater can become very hot during use. To stay safe while using this indoors, make sure to install a vent pipe.

The Gasland portable water heater is exceptionally lightweight and is great for camping, off-grid living, RVs, and more. The six safety features help prioritize your safety and make sure that you are always using the heater as intended. In addition, this product is easy to install and set up with a propane tank and 2D batteries. Its affordable price point makes it one of the best tankless water heaters on the market.

10. Camplux Tankless Water Heater, 1.32 GPM Portable Propane Outdoor Camping Water Heater

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Camplux-Tankless-Water-Heater-1.32GPM-Portable-Propane-Outdoor-Camping-Water-Heater

Overview

Imagine being on a camping trip where you have access to hot water whenever you need it. The Camplux Portable Propane Water Heater is the perfect solution to this problem. This water heater is portable, lightweight, and easy to use, and it will provide you with hot water on demand.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

Easy Set Up – Its 6-step setup is extremely easy, making it accessible for anyone to have a readily available portable water heater.

6 Safety Features – Flame Failure Protection, Dry Combustion Protection, Overheat Protection, High Water Pressure Protection, Anti-Freezing Protection, Low Water Flow Protection

Gas Supply – Liquid propane

Weight – 10 pounds

Dimensions – 14.8″ x 11.42″ x 4.33″

Brand – Camplux

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

This amazing deal is a great investment for anyone looking to enjoy the hot water while camping and doing many other outdoor activities. It is lightweight and easy to set up, making it the perfect portable water heater for those on the go. It has six safety features to keep you secure, and it is limited to liquid propane gas. The affordable price point makes it a great option for anyone looking to save money without sacrificing quality.

The Camplux Portable Propane Water Heater is the perfect choice for any outdoor enthusiast. This water heater is the best choice for those on a budget and in need of on-demand hot water. ​

11. 4Patriots Sun Kettle Personal Water Heater 16.9 Oz.

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-4Patriots-Sun-Kettle-Personal-Water-Heater-16.9oz

Overview

The Sun Kettle Personal Water Heater is a type of solar cooker that can boil water without the need for any fuel, flames, or smoke. This device utilizes parabolic mirrors to concentrate sunlight and heat up to 16.9 ounces of water. The duration of boiling depends on the weather conditions, but it can take as little as 45 minutes.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Portable and Lightweight
  • Boils Water Without Flames or Fuel
  • No Electricity Needed
  • 16.9 Oz capacity for drinking, cooking, and cleaning
  • Easy-to-Use Design
  • “Drop Resistance” ABS Plastic
  • Weight – 2.65 pounds

Pricing

My Bottom Line

This product is great for individuals who like outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, backpacking, and other similar activities. This impressive product is crafted by a small company located in Nashville, TN with the goal of genuinely aiding people and offering practical solutions to genuine problems.

It is lightweight and easy to use, plus its “Drop Resistance” ABS Plastic makes it extremely durable. If you need more capacity, you can always buy a bigger one.

12. Hot Water System – Two Wood-Fired Water Heater from Lehmans

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid-Hot-Water-System-Two-Wood-Fired-Water-Heater-from-Lehmans

Overview

The Hot water wood fire system from Lehmans is heavy-duty and operates by surrounding a 2.4 cu ft firebox with water, ensuring that all the heat generated is used to heat the water.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • Holds 15 gallons of water
  • Much sturdier than other similar hot water heaters
  • Can handle up to 26″ logs
  • Amish made – made of entirely strong 3/16″ thick welded steel
  • Dimensions – 24″Hx20″Wx34″L
  • Weight – ~235lbs

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

The Hot Water System from Lehmans is perfect for anyone who wants to get hot water without having to rely on electricity. This wood burner hot water heater is perfect for those who require a complete off-grid lifestyle and need a large capacity. Make sure you choose a suitable place for long-term use because it’s quite heavy.

You would have to cut your own wood to be able to operate this hot water heater properly. Before use, I recommend finding a professional to correctly install the appropriate fittings. Do your research before buying this hot water heater from Lehamns.

13. Samovar Boat Camping Tent Caravan Turkish Tea Kettle Water Heater Wood Stove

best-hot-water-heater-for-off-grid- Samovar-Boat-Camping-Tent-Caravan Turkish-Tea-Kettle-Water-Heater-Wood- Stove

Overview

The Turkish Samovar Wood Stove Water Heater is made of chrome steel and can be used to boil water using coal, wood, or kindling. The samovar has two compartments, with the top one being used for boiling water and brewing tea using the teapot. If needed, the top compartment can be detached to reveal the lower part, which can be utilized as a BBQ.

Highlights/Features and Benefits

  • 4.25L Capacity
  • Lightweight and Portable
  • 3.96 pounds
  • Wood, kindling, coal heat source
  • No batteries Required

Pricing

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My Bottom Line

This heater is useful for tent camping, off-grid shelters where you do not need constant water, and even boats. Although I haven’t seen it myself, I suppose that some people might install a wood water heater on a boat.

Although very affordable, this water heater requires you to manually light it using coal, wood, or kindling and is not as practical for those who are looking for a more reliable source of heating hot water. Nonetheless, it is an interesting piece of equipment and can be used to brew tea or coffee.

What Is Considered the Best Hot Water Heater for Off Grid?

There are several factors to consider when searching for the best hot water heater for off-grid. These include the water heater’s size, power source, safety features, portability, and price.

Some of the best off-grid hot water heaters include solar-powered, wood-burning, propane/gas/diesel-powered, and electric tankless models. Solar hot water heaters are the most common and cost-effective choice for those living off-grid. Wood-burning heaters offer a more traditional option, although their efficiency is not as high. Propane, gas, and diesel-powered heaters require more maintenance but are more reliable than wood-burning models. Electric tankless hot water heaters provide instant hot water, but they require a steady source of electricity.

In the end, the best off-grid hot water heater for you will depend on your budget, location, and access to power sources. Consider all of the options carefully before making a decision.

No matter which off-grid hot water heater you choose, it is important to understand how to safely install and maintain your system. Regular maintenance is critical for the longevity and efficiency of your hot water heater.

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FAQs

What is the best size hot water heater for off-grid living?

The size of your hot water heater depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your household and how much hot water you need. Generally speaking, a larger tank is recommended as it can provide a steady supply of hot water.

A general guide to go by is this:

  • 1 – 2 people: 22-25 gallons
  • 2 – 4 people: 36-46 gallons
  • 3 – 5 people: 46-56 gallons
  • 5 + people: 56 gallons (add 10 gallons per additional person)

What type of hot water heater is most energy-efficient?

Solar hot water heaters are the most energy-efficient option for off-grid living. They use the sun’s energy to heat up water, making them cheaper to operate than other hot water heaters. As I will state below, the type of water heater I have researched most frequently are those that run on propane, followed by natural gas, and then wood. Although solar hot water heaters can be costly, they are a worthwhile investment if you have the financial capability to purchase one.

Do I need to install a ventilation system for my hot water heater?

Yes, all hot water heaters require some form of ventilation. The type of system and size will depend on the type of heater you have and local building codes. Be sure to hire a professional to install your hot water heater properly and safely.

If your water heater is located outside, you may not need a ventilation system, although local building codes may still require you to have one.

Wrapping Up

There is no single hot water heater that is best for everyone living off-grid. However, with the right research and understanding of your needs, you can find the perfect option for your home.

Before installing a wood-burning, solar-powered, or electric heater, it’s important to fully understand the safety precautions associated with each type of heater.

With my investigation and research into a lot of these models, it’s accurate to say that the propane models are the most reliable options, followed closely by solar-powered water heaters. The wood-burning and electric tankless models are more affordable, but they require more maintenance and rely on access to electricity or wood.

If I have assisted you in making a decision about your purchase or provided guidance on learning more about hot water heaters, please feel free to share this article and follow more on my blog on off-grid content.

Good luck!

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