With a Lochinvar Energy Saver electric water heater, you have a choice of capacities ranging from 30 to 55 gallons and of short, medium and tall sizes. Our selection, the KMA05KD, is a 50-gallon midsize water heater standing 49.5 inches high and measuring 24 inches in diameter.
For a full round up of all the models we reviewed, check out the best water heaters around.
Lochinvar KMA050KD: Design and features
This 4,500-watt, 240-volt hot water heater uses two copper-sheathed, zinc-coated heating elements inside that are designed to resist corrosion. In addition, the steel tank has a glass lining to protect the tank from rust. This water heater also comes with a brass drain valve built for durability.
Heat traps are built into the water connections for the flow coming in and leaving. These traps prevent heat escaping from the pipes, and the eco-friendly foam insulation also preserves heat. For safety's sake, you get automatic overheat control and a T&P relief valve that releases water from the tank if the system detects abnormal temperatures or pressure.
This electric water heater is factory-set at 120 F to avoid the risk of scalding someone. You can set the temperature higher to get hotter water into your dishwasher and washing machine, but the manufacturer recommends that you buy and install thermostatic mixing valves, which mix cold water with hot at locations in your home that have water taps. That way, anyone using a laundry sink, bathroom sink, tub or shower outlet, or any other water supply is less likely to get a blast of dangerously hot water.
You can reduce the temperature from the standard setting to a vacation setting if you are away from home for an extended time. This mode cuts your electricity costs but still preserves your water tank, since it remains hot enough to prevent freezing. Lochinvar is an AO Smith brand with a tank and parts warranty of six years, which is shorter than the coverage of some other water heaters.