Makers of these standard-size water heaters are quite aware of the Green Revolution. As a result, they offer high-efficiency models in both of these large sizes, seeking to compete with options such as tankless heaters that promise to cut one’s energy bill. The high-efficiency models do cost $100+ more than regular versions, on average.
There are a couple of advantages to these larger heaters: they can heat the water for an entire large house and they are fairly easy to install. Installation fees for other models, such as tankless heaters, can run into hundreds of dollars if you do not have electrical expertise.
Note that there is a sizeable price jump when you order a 60-gallon model as opposed to a 50-gallon model. Be sure that your residence needs that extra-large capacity before paying double the price, in some cases.
Rheem has drawn good reviews in this larger category for reliability and ease of installation. The pilot light tends to stay lit more consistently on Rheem large heaters, an important issue. Rheem also makes a 50-gallon electric heater.
Reliance, A.O. Smith, Bosch, Bradford, G.E. and Ruud also make large heaters in gas, propane and electric models. G.E. ranks very high for energy efficiency in electric models, while A.O. Smith has a high-ranking gas model.
Bradford and Rheem make interesting natural gas models that use a direct vent to draw outside air for combustion, although both are more expensive than comparable 50-gallon models, and a bit tricky to install.
50 and 60 Gallon Tank Water Heaters – High to low Ratings
$530 – $580
$500 – $550
$400 – $450
$1300 – $1400