powerstar tankless electric water heater reviews

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PowerStar AE125


The PowerStar AE125 is a very popular electric tankless water heater that is widely used in one bathroom homes. It is manufactured by Applied Energy Products and distributed by Bosch Water Heating in the US.

The PowerStar AE125, like all electric tankless water heater models, is very small in size (15.5 inches wide by 15.25 inches high and 4.5 inches deep), and if you decide to replace your old electric tank unit with this model, you will be able to reclaim the valuable floor space where your tank water heater once stood. Because of its compact size, it can also serve as a point-of-use water heater, by mounting it under a sink or in a cabinet that is close to the hot water fixtures it will supply.

Because electric tankless water heaters have to instantaneously raise the temperature of incoming water to a selected hot water temperature, they require very powerful heating elements. To power the heating elements of this 27,000 Watt PowerStar model, you will need to upgrade the electrical service you were using for your storage tank water heater. The PowerStar AE125 will require a 240V, 200 Amp service. In addition you will need to install three 40 amp dedicated double pole breakers in your electrical box. In Canada, you will require one 120 Amp breaker.

The PowerStar AE125 electric tankless water heater incorporates a very sensitive flow sensor, and three heating elements. The heat from the electric elements is electronically modulated on the basis of the flow rate of the water entering the water heater, and the temperature rise that the water heater must achieve. Through its electronic modulation system, the AE125 maintains a very precise hot water temperature. As a safety precaution, each of the three heating modules is protected by an electro-mechanical thermal cut-out. This device will cut power to a particular module if the temperature gets too hot. 

The higher the flow rate and the higher the required temperature rise, the greater the heat the unit must produce. If the flow rate of water passing through the unit exceeds the unit’s capacity to produce the desired temperature rise, the hot water it will deliver will not be at the required temperature. For example, the PowerStar AE125 can only produce a temperature rise of 55 degrees if the rate of water flow through it is lower than 3.7 gallons per minute (gpm). This means that this water heater can serve 1 main water fixture and a hand basin at the same time, if the groundwater temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and the desired hot water temperature is 110 degrees.  If you live in an area where the winter groundwater temperature drops below 55 degrees, the AE125 will only be able to serve 1 main fixture. A main fixture, typically has a flow rate of 2.0 to 2.5 gpm and a hand basin has a flow rate of about 1.0 to 1.5 gpm. Main fixtures include showers, baths, dishwashers, washing machines and kitchen sinks.

The PowerStar AE125 has an efficiency of 94%, and according to the Dept. of Energy the average operating cost should be about $458 per year.

The AE125 sells for about $650. Bosch offers a 10 year warranty on the heat exchangers and a 1 year warranty on all other parts. 

The PowerStar AE125 electric tankless water heater is widely available. You can purchase it through hardware stores, home centre chains and plumbing outlets, both online and offline.

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