Electric Tankless Water Heaters


Note: This post has been expanded and updated for 2009!

Tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed. About 8% to 30% of the energy consumed by a standard water heater goes to keeping the water hot while it’s not being used. New tankless systems heat the water instantly when you turn on the faucet, rather than keeping a tank full of hot water 24/7 whether you’re using it or not. Tankless heaters run on either electricity or gas, just like regular heaters. They start out at about $300 for electric and $600 for gas.

There are two main brands of whole-house electric tankless water heaters: Stiebel Eltron and Powerstar. They come in various models, which are rated on the “gallons per minute” that they deliver.

The online store Low Energy Systems has a good selection of tankless water heaters, both electric and gas-powered. You can also find tankless water heaters reviewed on Amazon–this is one of the few places you’ll find reviews from owners themselves.

See more information about water heaters and electrical savings at Ask Mr. Electricity

Comments 153

  1. With your a sizable building getting a lot water being tell you it, you’re in danger
    of leaks. Please read on to the next page for
    the continuation of this section. You must understand that your stunts will solve the problem only for the time being.

  2. I find out that Carlos Cabrera’s company is out of business again. There goes my warranty on my American tankless water heater. Anyone need one for parts

    1. Do you still have your American Tankless water heater? I have one too and am looking for replacement parts.

  3. Am looking at buying one tankless for my new double shower master bath and replacing the 50-gal tank unit (that has has trouble keeping up from day one) with a second tankless.
    I am considering either a Titan or Stiebel units.

    Has anyone had any experience with either ?
    What are your thoughts.

  4. I recently purchased two American Heat AH27’s 27kw tank less water heater. One of the units seems to work fine and when the temp is set at 140 it puts out a steady 123-124 degrees when there is not too much flow. The other unit is frustrating the crap out of me as a contractor. The output on the unit when set at 140 degrees it fluctuates from 104-11 degrees. I have wasted 12 hrs. trouble shooting this unit already. American Heat has worked with me, answered my calls and sent parts but they cant fix the problem. I replaced the input and output sensors and the circuit board and it still does the same thing at every tap. The next week I replaced the flow meter and it still doesn’t give a consistent temperature. Ive adjusted valves and water flow and now they are telling me that these heaters wont work with pressure sensing mix valve that are commonly used in showers and sinks throughout the country! The pressure sensing valves reduce hot water to the mix of water at the shower head when the water gets hot enough. This causes the output flow at the heater to decrease which in turn makes the flow switch turn off the element.

    How the heck can they claim these heaters wont work with these valves when over half the homes in the country use them???

    I am so frustrated with this company right now.

    Any help with this situation would be outstanding!

    1. John,
      We talked yesterday about upgrading the “Guts” of your American Tankless to Hubbell controls. Please call Hubbell at 203.378.2659 Ext.136. Ask for Sam Wellington. Based on my experience working on competitors products I feel we can help you. Thank you.

      Sam Wellington
      Technical Advisor
      Hubbell Electric Heater Co.
      PO Box 288
      Stratford, CT 06615-0288
      Tel 203-378-2659 x 136
      Fax 203-378-3593

  5. I’ve had a SETS 210-3 since 2004. Had some problems at the very beginning but the tech (David?) talked us through a wiring problem we had . Then it was hot-warm-hot-warm for a while. We lived with it until it started going from hot to cold and back to hot again. Another call to the tech (same guy) and he talked us through adjusting our well pump pressure switch settings to 60 pis and 80 psi. He also suggested we remove the flow restrictor on the shower head. Worked pretty good after that. We still have some fluctuations but nothing like before.

    Fast forward a few years and I “discovered” that the well manager system that we use had an adjustable pressure regulator. When I increased the pressure from 35 psi I didn’t adjust the pressure regulator. Once I adjusted it our temp fluctuations in the shower ceased. We still have some issue with temp flucs at the kitchen sink.

    I’ve had to remove the water heater a few times to flush it of hard water deposits. I’m thinking about purchasing the service valve kit but $200 seems like a lot a money for it. For now I’ll continue to pull it off the wall once in a while.

    I’ve been considering upgrading my heater. From what I’ve read here it seems to have really helped. I’m really excited that the upgrade includes an inlet water temp switch since I’ve been working on a solar hot water system that will provide water hot enough to use as-is. Without the inlet temp switch I think the old SETS will turn on and then sense an overheat condition and turn off. I think it’ll continue to do this until I’m done using the hot water. With the inlet temp switch it shouldn’t turn on at all if the incoming temp is high enough.

    After I do the upgrade I’ll let you know if I’m as happy as the rest of you that have gone with the Hubble. I expect I will.


  6. I like the compactness and energy efficiency of a Tankless Electric Water Heater. I was not happy with the performance of my old SETS unit, andwhen it failed I replaced it with a Hubbell. The Hubbell temperature controller has everything the SETS unit lacked. Using an input thermistor, it measures the temperature of incoming cold water. Rather than activation by a flow SWITCH, the Hubbedll has a flow METER, which constantly tells the processor how much water is passing through the unit. The processor then calculates the duty cycle of the heating elements necessary to heat the water to the selected temperature. If then samples the temperature of the outgoing hot water to make any necessary adjustments to keep the water at the selected temperature. Temperature selection couldn’t be easier. There is an UP button which raises the set temperature, and a DOWN button which lowers it. In case of a power interruption, the unit remembers what the set temperature was, and retains it when power is restored.
    The Hubbell Tankless provides everything a home owner can want. It is easy to install and use, and as long as it has water and power, it will deliver unlimited hot water at the selected temperature. For people on wells and pressure tanks, this product is ideal. Water temperature gain is directly affected by how fast the water flows over the heating elements. Flow normally increases and decreases as the well pump cycles on and of on well-and-pressure-tank systems. On simple flow switch activated units, this results in fluctuation of the water temperfature. The Hubbell’s flow meter solves this problem by feeding constant water flow information to the processor which continually adjusts the operation of the heating elements to keep the hot water temperature constant, even as the flow might fluctuate. I really don’t think it can get any better.

    I bought a SETS unit about 6 yrs. ago. It had a lifetime waurratee. Well, they went out of business and so did the waurrantee! Then they started a new company called American Tankless. I have one of these because they sent it to me as a waurrantee for the SETS. It worked for about 4 yrs., not too bad. But, American Tankless went out of business TOO! No waurrantee! The SAME GUY who started those 2 companies, now started a new company called EcoSmart. From the pictures, it looks like the same unit as the last 2! I called EcoSmart to see if they would help troubleshoot my heater. The lady who answers the phone would not connect me with Carlos. I know that he doesn’t have any legal obligations to help me, but thats bad public relations! I’m not saying the new unit is, or, is not any good, but, with the track record of this guy I would be reluctant to purchase anything that this guy is associated with. If you want to contact me, feel free!

    1. I was wondering about that. I’ve had an ‘American Tankless’ heater for four and a half years. It worked great for a year, then started acting really flaky, not turning on, or turning off mid-shower, etc. Seems to go through spells however now it seems like one of the elements has quit working and we’re ready to replace it. Found the ECOSmart on Amazon and was ready through it but then saw the picture and it looks 95% the same as the guts to the American Tankless I have. I’m not going to buy a unit through them, even though their pricing is much below the others, I’m sure there is a reason for that.

  8. WE recently in stalled an American Hometec coilless 32kw unit in our home in NJ ad so far so good. Ill keep you posted!!!

  9. I had a SETS for 8 years and it worked fine. It did take forever to heat up.

    As for Hubbel/SETS. Keep in mind that there are two departments, sales and the other tech support. The tech for SETS isvery short. If you don’t get it right first time, you’re out of luck. The sales, Sean, have been more helpful, but don’t expect miracles.

    What you need is the troubleshooting guide. I know, because they wouldn’t give me written instructions either, called, but it is posted on their website. Also, the tech just confused me with statements like, “The order doesn’t matter.” Followed by, “that one goes first.” The troubleshooting guide will walk you through connections, since you have to test them for the guide.

    Also, you can just buy the exact parts from several different electronic stores for half the price and if you know what you are doing even cheaper. It took me about week of research and comparisons, but I found my triacs for $1.90 each. SSG, not some generic. Same with the other components, with similar, if not so dramatic price drops.
    In the end I purchased a cheaper tankless since it seemed less of a hassle.

    1. Rigo,

      I know that had to take much effort. Are you willing to share part numbers and their sources? Thanks in advance. Ed

    2. Rigo, I also have had a SETS Model 240-3 for the past 8 yrs and only now experiencing problems. It appears that I need to replace one of the triacs however there are no markings on the parts in my unit. Can you please share your research (ie. part no.) on the $1.90 SSG triacs you found. Thank you. Peter

  10. We live in New Jersey where the winters are not severe. We have well water so during the winter the water temperature from the well can get down to 45 degress F. I started with an Envirotech tankless water heater. It worked great for 2 years and then stopped heating the water. The company was out of business by then. I then made the mistake of buying an American Heat unit and had nothing but problems for 3 years. I took a chance with a Hubbell model 280-3 this March 2010. So far the unit has performed as advertised. The temperature control has been flawless. Hubbell gave me a 10% credit for sending back the old American Heat unit. My advice to anyone is to buy the Hubbell unit. It has been upgraded and performs great. Hubbell also sells refurbished SETS and American Heat units for less money, but the person I spoke with in the technical group said they do not contain the upgraded parts that the Hubbell unit does. I can vouch for that. Every part in the Hubbell is an upgrade from the American Heat.

  11. Thanks for all the postings! Glad I’m not the only idiot with the SETS garbage. I have had a model 280 for years, and have dump hundreds back into it…most likely all I’ve saved and then some. It is leaking now. I was told the last time I talked to Hubbel, that they wouldn’t sell me the control unit to do the swap on my own. So if they maintain that position it is cheaper for me to buy a Stiebel. Now for the question:
    I have noticed recently that the water gets so hot and pressurized in the unit, that when the hot valve is closed (after open for some time), the pressure builds up so high, that it pushes extremely hot water backward (out of the cold inlet) into the filter 3 feet away from the heater. The copper gets too hot to touch and getting drips from the threading on the filter (melting plastic). Thought there was some kind of one way ball/check valve to prevent backflow. If I spend the extra dough to upgrade….again…am I wasting it? Most everything in there is new.
    Thanks for your input.

    1. In response to the SETS 280 post of September 7th, you may contact me directly (Sean) via telephone 877-649-8589 or via the web buytankless.com It would appear that your hot/cold issues are related to the highlimit engaging and resetting. Although we are not associated with the old SETS product we welcome your call to troubleshoot and offer some solutions.

    2. Our SETS unit model 220 came to my attention after working for 3 years without a problem by a loud BOOM and water leaking through an inside wall. The cold water feed 3/4 inch PEX plastic pipe 18 inches distant from the SETS unit had swelled under pressure and heat and burst, likely from the mechanism you described of the unit heating the water to steam and pushing it back through the cold water inlet. I heard the water boiling within the unit as I turned the water off.
      The plumber and I discussed how to prevent the backflow and we decided our first idea of putting a check valve at the cold water inlet would create a BOMB. Imagine if the 3/4 inch PEX wasn’t there to act as a pop-off as it did for us. PEX is rated to 180 degrees F and 100 psi. It could be a larger explosion, depending on the weakest point – ordinary annealed copper tubing may fail at 300-600 psi and 200 degrees F. More likely a coupling would open up sooner, but still I would strongly recommend against using check valves on SETS units or any other inline water heater.
      I am now looking for a way to replace my SETS units due to this tendency to boil water within the unit. After reading the discussion hear, I am going to try Hubbell.

      1. Frank,

        Sounds to me like yours was doing the same thing mine was before it died. I could hear the boiling water when no one was using water. My pipes did not burst, however; The steam found relief by blowing past the seals on the heating elements.

        Though I’ve not determined everything that has failed thus far, I have figured out that the “Flow Switch” magnetic trigger is hanging up in various positions and that one of the two reed switches (one to operate each board in mine) is stuck in the “on” position, causing the elements to be powered up when there is no water flow. This symptom can also be caused by a triac or board failure (which I may also have).

        I believe that the best failsafe plan for these or any other units is to install a pressure relief valve (just like a tank type unit has) in the water line on the output side and plumb its discharge into a drain somewhere.

  12. Tony, I know it sounds easy to do this job, but if you need instructions above what you can find on Hubbel’s website, then your not qualified to do this swap. No-one suggested to call Hubbell for instructions… they are paid big money to know what they know. All I say is, go to Hubbell for the parts. Their website has the literature for the old SETS and the new Hubbell. Study, Study, Study. By the way, I never changed my Limit Switches, mine work fine. Likewise on the Triacs, I did buy new ones but my old ones are still working great.
    Just remember one thing, if you yourself don’t understand the complete electrical theory on this controller, and why and how it should be done, it can KILL you. I have a degree in electronic maintenance, and years of experience with programmable logic; this isn’t for everyone.

  13. Does anyone have the assembly instructions and connection diagrams for steps 1-5? The tech at Hubbell didnt seem interested in providing that kind of information.

    1. Your a little vague…
      We haven’t the slightest clue on what your working on!

      1. I am wanting to upgrade a SETS 240. I called into Hubbell as indicated to get instructions on how to do the the steps shown in Sean’s post.
        1. Replacement of the control board and adding a digital display.
        2. Replacement of the L50 High Limit to the L60.
        3. Replacement of the Thermistor.
        4. Adding of 2nd Thermistor.
        5. Removing flow sensor/reed switch, Replacing with Flow Meter.

        The tech department wasnt exaltly willing to send the info.. they gave multiple excuses.. Looking at prior posts I have put together a probable parts list but cant confirm. I also do not have info on replacement of components and connecting them together.

        one TKD2000 (TKD2000) Digital Display $24.00
        one TK2000 (TK2000) Temp Controller $85.00
        one VTY10 (VTY10) Flow Meter $48.00
        two USP9509 (USP9509) Thermistor $19.00 ea
        one L60 (L60) Hi-Limit $26.00
        Total: $221.00

  14. Here at Hubbell we are committed to quality. So we do recommend when trying to upgrade your SETS unit to a Hubbell that you replace all the electronics and components. I can explain why:
    1. Replacement of the control board and adding a digital display. – This is necessary to run the new flow meter. The new display is alpha/numeric and will show set point, inlet/outlet temp along with any error codes.
    2. Replacement of the L50 High Limit to the L60. -The L50 high limits trip at 50°C and could cause nuisance tripping.
    3. Replacement of the Thermistor. – The SETS Thermistor is a 15% accuracy thermistor, A large error factor. Hubbell new Thermistors are accurate to +/- 2%.
    4. Adding of 2nd Thermistor. – This transforms a non-intelligent SETS unit that only reads outlet temp into an intelligent machine that could read inlet and outlet temperature.
    5. Removing flow sensor/reed switch, Replacing with Flow Meter. – Transforms machine from on/off operation to full staged modulation.
    6. Replacement of the Traics. – SETS Traics were hand soldered that often left them permanently heat damaged, shortened life cycle. Hubbell High quality traics are 40 amp spade connected traics with a large heat sink. This makes the traic run cooler and prolong the life of the component.
    7. Elements. – SETS used a copper water heater element. The high sheath temperatures in a tankless hot water made these elements susceptible to heat damage and corrosion. Hubbell tankless use’s a copper/incoloy element that better handles the high sheath temperature and has much better corrosion resistance.
    8. New style power block. – The SETS heater uses a long white 5 or 7 position power block. It was very common for this power block to overheat and melt. New Hubbell tankless uses a power distribution center that can handle up to (4) 1 OWT wires. (Does not come with referb unless specified)
    9. Replacement of all wiring. – SETS System used a variety of wire types through the years. Hubbell only uses quality THHN wire rated to 105°C.
    10. Modifications to Tankless cover. – Since your SETS heater doesn’t have a digital display we need to cut the cover and pop rivet an overlay.

    As always we welcome your calls to our technicians at the factory 877-649-8589

  15. Quintin ,

    What parts they tell you that you needed to get it to work? Do you have to replace the controller board to get the new flow switchn to work? If you triacs are working why did they recommend getting new ones? I am into this thing about 1200.00 now so if I could get it fixed for under 100.00 I would be willing to give it another try. It has not worked ever for more than a few seconds. Sets had it once which cost me $80 for the round trip ticket to Florida. Right before they were sold they sent me a new controller and new heating elements as the unit I received was not the unit I had ordered.


    1. The parts you need are outlined in my previous posts. The flow switch requires the new controller ..Yes. it tells everything you need to know as an electrician in what I wrote before. They recommend updrading the triacs because they need upgrading for reliabilities’ sake. Mine just happen to still be good yet, so I didn’t change them. If one burns out, I’ll swap out all three for the new spade type. The triac itself is sinked better, and the spade connectors are a hell of a lot more convenient than stiff soldered connections. I just didn’t want to pay $30.00+ for them when you can get them from the manufacturer for 1/3 the price. Just google the part# off the triac and you’ll find them. For what it’s worth, if you can’t figure out just what it is you need to do to upgrade everything, and how it all works, maybe you should find someone that is very good at electronics to help you.

  16. Dennis, talk to Sean as he requests. I just made the transition on my unit by buying the parts from him and doing the swap myself, and I should have done it a long time ago, it works awesome. No more cold water! I bought the triacs seperately but haven’t installed them yet. I wanted to try the new flow meter and see if it worked before taking out the old triacs and they work fine with the new controller. You will have to buy the new reed switches(temp sensors), they tell the new controller whatthe temp is coming and going. Ever since I made the swap my controller is set to 110degrees and the water is a constant 105 for as long as I need. The controller is programmable and I have ours set to alternately flash the preset H2O temp, and the actual output temp. That way I can see the temp rise to the limit as it’s heating,,,ya can’t beat it. I think the techs at Hubbel thought I was nuts for doing and suggesting this, but I explained to them that I’m a poor guy with 3 kids. I can’t afford to pay someone that kind of money when I’m smart enough to do the work. I’m sure there are others like me out there too. I told them that I would call if I had any issues with starting it up after bolting in the new control and they said they would help if they could, but it was not a problem. The controller bolts right up where the old one is, same bolt holes except for one and it’s predrilled also so no problems there. The new reed switches wire tie to the pipes at the incoming and outgoing connections, and the flow meter simply needs a sharkbite, (or gatorbite if you shop at Lowe’s) connector to screw into the H2O line.

  17. You might check to see if a 70amp is what the unit is rated for. Sounds like you need a higher amp breaker.

    1. I now bought a Steibel eltron Tempra 24 and had electrician come and install another breaker 60 amp for the water heater. I already had a 70 amp breaker in the panel so left that one. I am once again having problems with the heater blowing the breaker. Do you think the 70 amp breaker with 60 amp is the problem? Or do you think the 70 amp breaker is bad? Really like the water heater but man we have spent so much money on heaters and electricians and plumbers this is getting ridiculous.HELP??

  18. I have had some interesting reading on this site. I have a titan SCR 3 N160 tankless water heater and I love how it heats water, but you get the shower running for about 5 minutes and the breaker cuts out. I have had an electrician come in and replace the 70 amp double pole breaker once and then the unit worked without problem for about 2 months now it is back at it again. Other than buying a different unit does anyone have any ideas on my issues.

    1. Have an electrician check the amperage draw of the unit for about 10 minutes at full heat. Then have him check the amperage rating for each circuit, one circuit may be bad, like a loose connection and such. If the unit checks good, go to a higher breaker, but only slightly, say….5-10 amps over what his test showed.

  19. In response to the SETS 220 post, you may contact the staff at Hubbell via telephone 877-649-8589 or via the web buytankless.com It would appear that your hot/cold issues could be related to the highlimit engaging and resetting. We welcome your call to troubleshhot

  20. I own a sets 220 I have had for 10 years, I have the same hot – cold issue. How do I get in touch with the Hubble people and order parts for the flow control circuit board and triacs?

  21. We live in an 1850 sq ft apartment and are having a problem with the anode rods in our present hot water tanks causing “gunk” to build up around our filters creating low water pressure and long waiting time and not so hot water. At the moment we have (2) 20 gallon tanks due to space availability (we only need 2 person capacity)- Thinking of switching to a tankless system and wondering if anyone has any advice on where to begin. Our top of the line contractor has been unhelpful- initially replaced a “cartridge’ on our kitchen faucet for $850 dollars to fix our problem and now tells us it’s the anode rods – the replacement will be well over $3,000 due to placement etc. I think we are being ripped off?
    Looking for any advice!

    1. From everything I know,read,talked to, the top ones would be, Steibol Eltron, Hubbell and maybe Bosch. Stay away from EcoSmart! It’s a SETS and American Tankless in new sheet metal! Same people, same people, same service!

  22. I purchased a SETS Model 220 in November 2006 and experienced the same temperature fluxuations others have reported. In my case, I have a unique application where the water going into the tankless heater comes from a 40 gallon pre-heat tank. The water in the pre-heat tank is heated by a geothermal heat pump and varies in temperature between 45 degrees and 120 degrees, depending how much the heat pump has been running. I did extensive experimenting with the power level of the SETS heater, and the temperature of the water in the pre-heat tank, to determine which power level was “best” for a given input water temperature. I then had to adjust the power level of the SETS heater every couple of days, based on the temperature of the water in my pre-heat tank. All this resulted in barely tolerable showers.

    I actually thought the problem I was having with the oscillating hot water temperatures was caused by my unique setup, until I found this website and read all the other SETS owner’s similar stories. It made me feel better knowing I was not the only one who fell for SETS blatantly deceptive explanation of how their flow switch worked and how the system regulated the outgoing water temperature. Shame on SETS!

    Based on the positive feedback of SETS owners who upgraded to Hubbell, I decided to purchase a refurbished Model 220 in April 2009. I have deliberately waited until now to post my experience because I wanted to have a full 12 months of experience with my new system before commenting. I am happy to report that the heater works exactly as it should. I have the temperature set point set to 115 degrees, and when the incomming water is above this, the Hubbell unit does not overheat the water, but as the incoming water temperature drops, it kicks in to maintain the outgoing water at 115 degrees (+/- 3 degrees). I no longer have hot and cold showers, and no longer have to adjust the power level of the unit. I have had absolutely no problems with the Hubbell after 1 year of ownership. Congratulations to Hubbell for getting the control system working the way SETS should have.

    I want to thank all of those who previously posted the good experience they had upgrading to the Hubbell units. Without your positive comments, I would probably not have made the switch and would still be suffering with hot and cold showers. I also want to let anyone out there who might be considering using a Hubbell as an auxillary heater for either a solar or geothermal system, the Hubbell heater will works like it should.

    A Happy Badger

  23. For those of you who have a SETS unit and want to upgrade to a newer Hubbel, I suggest you do your homework first. Returning your $1000.00 unit to them and paying them another $800.00 for your unit back, with $200.00 worth of upgraded parts is ridiculous. Just call the tech, and tell him what you got, order the parts, and install them yourself. The Triacs can be bought online from the manufacturer, of which you’ll need three,for $13, not $30. The rest must come from them and the total you pay out is only $212.00, not $1800.00
    The difference in the units is not the hardware, but the control, and to switch from flow switch to flow meter control only requires a new flow meter and sensor, controlboard, digital readout, and the three upgraded triacs. Install these in the spots where you have the old control components in your old sets unit, and you’ve got a refurbished Hubbel unit!

    1. I have had a titan and would not recommend them…I have had the one(think its scr-2) that is 60 amp one breaker. It has two heating chambers….I have had 2 go bad on me…One where one of the heating elements burned out in on of the chambers; the other something happened to the control electronics..Would recommend Stiebel single power source…Can’t remeber model number but it’s the one that only requires one 60 amp breaker (240V)..

  24. I installed the Hubbell after years of frustration with the SETS unit. The Hubbell works as advertised! It works like you wished the SETS did. Since it knows the flow RATE, not an on and off switch (SETS), it accurately delivers just the amount of power needed for the temperature that YOU desire. The quality of the unit is apparent when you open the box and see the neatness of assembly. I plan on adding a solar heated hot water system (SunWard) before the Hubbell heater for the most efficient system and backup for sunless days. I will also be adding a recirculation system for instant hot water at the taps that is also sun powered. Both units (Hubbell and SunWard) will allow tax Credits, which is better than deductions. This set up makes everybody in the house happy since trying to train everyone to only “turn on” the hot water when needed is a fruitless effort unless they really understand how it all works. There is a huge waste of power when guests (and the untrainable) use the hot water for just hand washing, out of habit. and never getting the benefit of getting hot water due to the length of pipe from the heater even though their using the power. The combination of the three units keeps everybody happy.

    D Frank

    High Point, NC

  25. On 09-08-09 I purchased a Hubbell water heater model number 220-3. On this date 03-04-10 I have decided to write a reveiw. I intentionally waited 6 months to do this so the heater was used from September thru February when the incoming water temp would be the lowest in my area which is near Ft. Worth, Texas. I had a SETS model 220 that never operated to my satisfaction. This Hubbell unit is fantastic. It supplies a constant supply of hot water. In the warmer months I set the heater at 105 degrees and that was the temperature I got although in the colder months the outgoing water temperature dropped to 103 degrees which was hardly enough to be noticed. No big deal as I could have just readjusted the temperature on the panel to 107 degrees but in my case I never did as 103 was very comfortable for showers.

    I am completely satisfied with the Hubbell unit.

    Jim H.

    North Central Texas

  26. I am just trying to find out is there a saving in the electric payments in tankless verses a tank. Is there a savings. Is it worth the cost to change to tankless?

    1. Jimmy,
      We are sorry to hear that your having problems with you SET’s heater. Hubbell did purchase the asset’s of SET’s and we are here to help you troubleshoot any problems your having. You can call me directly if you choose to. 877-649-8589 x136.

  27. So I purchased an Ecosmart ECO-18 tankless water heater this summer and it worked great for about 2 months. Now it is just sparatic in the heating department. It heats wonderfully in the shower for a while then it scalds you and within a few seconds freezes you. This continues for multiple rounds until it finally levels out. It doesn’t do it all of the time just every third or fourth shower it seems. I has also been know to not heat at all on occasions even though it shows it is getting power. Don’t know why but I have contacted the company and am waiting to see what they have to say about it. I will post a response once I see what they say.

    1. So I have contacted the company several times and here is what they have to say about the problem:
      Hello Mr. Baiter
      I think the problem might be that the unit is at 140. I want to go over the reset procedures
      1. Turn on a shower or tub
      2. With the water running turn of the power to the unit
      3. Wait about 1 minute so the unit gets cold
      4. Turn on power while the water is running
      5. Set unit to 110
      6. Leave unit at 110 and try it out
      7. Let me know how it worked out

      That was the third contact with them. Here was the one before that:
      Hello Mr. Baiter
      I will be more than happy to help you. I called the number you provided but there was no voice mail for me to leave a message.
      I have a few questions.
      What temperature is the unit set at?
      Are you on well water or city water?
      Please give me a call or send me an email so I can help you resolve this situation.
      Thank You,
      Carlos Cabrera Jr.
      Vice President
      Corporate Accounts
      3315 N.W. 167th St
      Miami Gardens, FL 33056
      Toll Free: (877) 474-6473 Ext 203
      Direct: 305-623-7900
      Fax: 305-623-7923

      I have been happy with the quick response that has been provided with the company but the issues they are asking about are things I feel should be provided either with the unit or before you purchase the unit. I mean who really puts a setting for something that would make the unit not work. If you can set the heater to 140, it should work at 140.

      On another note, the unit is still not working properly and I am waiting to hear back from the company to see what to do next…

      1. Did you get it resolved? I’m emailing back and forth with this same guy before buying one of their units.

        1. I never did get it resolved but I have found ways to work around the unit. For some reason it works great in one shower but for the tubs, it will only work when the flow of water is very low. I don’t know what causes it but for the price I have invested in getting the unit and the install prices, I figured it was either find a way or just loose the money. I finally gave up on waiting for the company to help.

  28. S Clark, it appears you have an interest in Hubble. Can you confirm the previous owner of SETS was Carlos Cabrera, sold to Hubble, and that he opened a company called American Tankless with tankless hot water hearters including a lifetime warranty, now no longer in buisness, and that the same man, Carlos Cabrera, with felon Silvio Cordeso, opened up a third company selling Ecosmart water heaters with another lifetime warranty? I am a consumer looking to buy a tankless water heater for the first time, and i dont wish to get dupped. The this seems to be the message Im getting fom this site. Thank-you.

    1. Cat:

      I believe you are correct on all accounts. Hubbell Electric Heater Company has been in business since the 1920’s, you can be assurred that we will be in business for many years to come. I welcome your call. 877-649-8589 X119

  29. To borrow an overused cliché: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
    Hubbell Electric Heater Company is a well respected manufacturer of water heaters and has been in this business for 85 years.
    Hubbell did purchase the assets from a struggling company called SETS Systems Inc. It is our intention to create a better product using existing benchmark technology and putting our touches on it. Hubbell is committed to improving a solid platform and making it better.
    However, there are unscupulous people out there selling similar technology that lack the depth and expertise that Hubbell has.
    We are committed to customer service and we do not shy away from problems. It is not our intention to fix problems that other companies have caused. If you purchase a Hubbell new or refurbished water heater we will bend over backwards to make sure you as a customer are satisfied that the product you purchased performs as we claim.
    Concerning the negative Blogs associated with our product; it always seems that bad news gets the most press. If you look at Blogs referencing the Hubbell product you will find the majority to be favorable.
    As with any product there are limitations to their use. Tankless water heaters are not always the perfect solution to every plumbing situation. Please feel free to contact us directly and we will let you know if our product will meet your needs. 877-649-8589

  30. Ryan,

    Also look at the guts of the two systems. They are the same as the SETS and all companies are based in Florida. They must all be in bed together or they would be in court fighting each other over stealing each others designs. The Hubble also shares some of the design features with some new electronics tossed in.

  31. I have installed a couple of tankless electrics. The only one worth anything is the Stiebel 60 amp version…I have installedTrinom/ Hotman about 5 years ago and it still is working(40 and 20 amp dual circuit); Installed 2 Tital SCR-2 models(60 amp) and both have failed. One with an open in one of the two heating units, the other in the control circuitry. Also had a Marey 40 amp model fail; the pressure hub eventually failed to come out all the way during water flow and activite the micro switches.

  32. My brother is a plumber in Colorado and they install many gas Rinnai tankless heaters. At this point I would not recommend an electric unit to anyone. Seems like playing russian roulette with your wallet.

    We should all email NASA and ask them to remove their support of the technology from their website as they are helping sucker us hard working people into wasting our money on the junk products their technology is in.

  33. After all the problems I had with my SETS unit, I purchased a new HUBBLE unit (240) and since it has been installed properly, have had NO PROBLEMS with it. Make sure the wires are installed securely in the sub circuit breaker. Peel the wires back, double them up if you have to and reconnect. I have a deep Kohler soaking tub that fills very nicely now. No problems.

  34. Hi everyone! I am so glad to see this posting.

    I live in Colorado, which can be cold in the winter. I have a 4 bedroom house, with two adults living in it full time, one more part time. I want a tankless water heater for many reasons. I have a jacuzzi tub which I can never fill more than 3 inches at a time with a conventional tanked gas water heater. Frustrating. Also I am having problems with the pilot light going out several times a week. In addition to this I would like to save on my utilities bill. So I am researching tankless systems.

    From what I gather, SETS had some issues, but Hubbell seems to have resolved them. I contacted a local plumber who wants $2500-$3500 to install a Rianna (spelling?) product that he says is the best. I don’t have that kind of budget…but I am afraid to take risks.

    Please….any reccommendations?

    1. Lisa:

      An electric tankless may or may not be the right choice for you. For those cold Colorado winters you will need to heat the ground water from 45 deg F to 105 deg F. The 24kW unit will provide 2.75 gpm at this temperature rise. The benefits are: effeciency, no venting, no dealing with gas or propane. The potential draw back would be providing (3)40 amp circuit breakers to power this unit. I welcome your phone call to discuss the Hubbell product. 877-649-8589

  35. As a follow-up to my previous comment, I tracked down these two URLs…

    American Heat:


    Check out the map. It’s the exact same graphic with the text changed within the box. Most of the stats of the models are the same too.

    I just emailed my attorney general and a consumer watchdog. I don’t want ANYONE else to fall into their lifetime warranty trap like I did. The complaint I filed with the Better Business Bureau doesn’t seem to have done anything for me.

  36. Arron, Hugo & Ranoldo,

    I am so glad I found these comments. I purchased an American Tankless Model 280 in late 2007/early 2008ish. Had a plumber install it and an electrician wire it. I have had nothing but problems with it and quickly found that American Tankless had gone out of business. So much for my lifetime warranty. The problem my unit has is that it doesn’t regulate its temperature and eventually overheats. I get maybe 5 minutes in the shower before it goes ice cold even though the unit is still on.

    I have tried everything to track these people down. Somehow, I ended up talking to people at American Heat several months ago and they wanted $150 just to honor my warranty (even though their website had the exact same unit on it with a different logo on it) and I was supposed to send them my entire unit to fix it. Screw that. I passed and have been dealing with 5 minute showers.

    Does anyone know of any legal action has been taken against these a**holes? I remember talking to Junior on the phone several times when we first installed it and he was of no help at all.

    Thanks to anyone who might be able to help me. I can’t afford to just throw this thing away and buy something else. I’m down over a thousand dollars on the purchase price and install charges.

  37. It is also pretty sad that NASA still has an endorsement on their website. That was the only reason I purchased the SETS Tankless in the first place.

  38. I purchased a SETS water heater in 2006 and it has never provided hot water flowing enough to shower. The main circut board litteraly blew up splattering solder on the ceiling above the unit. I sent it back to SETS for the lifetime warranty. It cost me $90.00 to ship it back to them and the shipping back to me. I put it back in and it worked for a day then there was a loud pop. After calling tech and telling them that I would not pay another $90.00 for it to have another round trip vacation to Florida he had me open it up. One of the heating elements had blown up which sent copper and ceramic through out our house clogging a brand new $290.00 kitchen faucet rendering it useless. The bath fixtures were easy to clean out but the kitchen faucet required buying replacement parts to fix it.

    While waiting for more parts to arrive I had to go purchase an tank water heater to install so we could bath and wash dishes in our home. Parts arrived and I changed out all the elements, circut board (2nd one) and all the sensors. The unit still does not function as advertised and now I find out that the “Lifetime” Waranty is null and void because they sold out.

    What is fishy to me is the new units being sold look the same with a few newer parts installed. They are offering 15% off to hand them back a $800 unit to get the new improved unit so they can toss a few parts on my old one and resell it again.

    The best part is that until I took mine apart to fix it I did not know that it was not even the unit I ordered. They had sent me a smaller unit than what I paid for.

    I would be very leary of purchasing a unit from them. I have sent them an email and will let you know what they come back with.

    Right now I have a $800.00 boat anchor.

    Oh and to the doubters above feel free to email me I am real and real ticked off!!

  39. Can anyone with a Hubbell system, please please please email me and tell me how it’s performing in their home. I had a plumber come out to install my Hubbell electric system (model 280-3) and his manager called me on vacation to talk me out of it. He said that he’s had dozens of people call to get an electric tankless taken out of their home because it doesn’t keep up with hot water demand. There was no reference to Hubbell, so I don’t know if he has experience with Hubbell. Please give me some input so I can make the best decision to use the Hubbell or order a tank water heater!

  40. I am writing to clear up some facts, SETS was purchased by a Jerry Morabito whom after only a year of ownership decided to not honor the SETS warranty, when the prior owners were in we never had a prblem as a matter of fact I have had my SETS for over 16 years. Mr. Morabito sold the company SETS to Hubbell and assigned a patent to Hubbell that he did not own. Hubbells tankless water heater is using a technology that was given to them by Mr. Morabito that never owned it, Hubbell is selling a product with a technology that is in infringement to a patent pending , and I am sure will have to face some legal issues once the company that owns the patent decides to take action. Do not be fooled , The original SETS owners and mamagement made a great product, like I said, my is over 16 years old, the silver ones. Many of my friends and relatives have the old SETS and have had no problems. Hubbell and others can only give testimonials about their units that have been in the market for under 1 year, time will tell……… There are several other tankless in the market place and when you bad mouth a competitor you should be brave enough to list your name, telephone number etc….. Otherwise it can be the competitors afraid of a superior product wrting all this crap about others. Now for example, was this written by a consumer or someone else??????

  41. In 2004 when my wife and I redid this tiny efficiency condo at the beach we decided to use the space designed for a massive tanked electric hot water heater as the space for a stacked washer/dryer combo. This meant going with a tankless hot water heater.

    Our contractor selected SETS. We lived through the same problems as described in detail above.

    After reading postings about Hubbell, I decided to try contacting Chris Zaveruha.

    WOW! What a great response! An immediate email dialogue with Chris lead to a purchase of a replacement Hubbell unit (at a very good price). It arrived in three days. It fit exactly where the comparable model SETS unit was originally installed. All wiring and connections were the same except for the new-style pipe connectors which my plumber said were much better and easier.

    It has been three weeks. We set the new Hubbell unit to 43C and totally forgot it.

    It is INVISIBLE AND TOTALLY TRANSPARENT. It works perfectly, silently, and I don’t give it a thought.

    Our space is so small we could not have a washer/dryer and a tanked hot water heater. With the Hubbell we have our washer/dryer and plenty of hot water.

    My wife just said, “Be sure and tell them that the water is always the same temperature.”

  42. I purchased and used a SETS 220-3 model for approx. 6 years enduring most of the same problems already mentioned by others. The water temperature fluctuation was probably the worst. When the circuit board malfunctioned I called for a replacement and found Hubbell had bought SETS and my lifetime guarantee was no longer in force. But the service tech I talked to was very informative (but not pushy) and offered me a nice discount to trade my SETS unit in for a Hubbell unit. After checking out other units available, their user blogs, I finally decided with the price break and the improvements the service tech described over the SETS unit I’d give Hubbell a try. Am I glad I did! So far so good. The Hubbell has fixed the fluctuation problem with a new flow meter and changed the either on or off switch to control the heating elements to a Triac switch which ramps the power to the elements, not just a shot of electricity all at once which saves me electricity and prolongs the life of the heating elements. This is great. Also the unit matched up to the plumbing, mounting, and electrical service I had with my old SETS unit without any problems easily. I am excited to see how my Hubbell 220-3 will work in the long run. I saved money on my electric bills with the SETS unit and I expect to save even more with the improvements Hubbell has made.

  43. Update on my Hubbell heater 240. THE PROBLEM IS FIXED! I hired a new electrician to install the new sub-circuit breaker. The problem was that the sheathing on the wires was preventing the wires from going completely into the circuit breaker and they were slipping out. The electrician pared off the sheathing, doubled up the wires and re-set them. All is well now. I can even fill up my soaking tub, which awaits as I write this. Thanks, Hubbell! My confidence is restored. Will have to fire that first electrician. The problem was totally on this end.

  44. Thanks, Yamil. That sounds like a good solution for the winter months. I’ll keep that in mind as I observe the problem further. e.

  45. DL: Just take some precautions, like, have your plumber install a relief valve,
    keep an eye on your flex pipe, if you will use that, to make sure the flow switch
    is turning off and the pipes are not being “cooked”. You are doing the right
    thing by finding an experienced plumber and electrician to install your heater.
    Remember that the heaters are built to last about 10 years. Best! e.

  46. Robert: I’m wondering what exactly you are refering to when you say that Hubbell is going to have patent problems? the only reference I see to a patent on thier Tankless hot water heaters (on thier website) is the flow switch: and that patent has been granted to all owners involved down the line: can be checked on the federal patent web site. Hubbell is an established water heater manufacturer, not a fly by night company just starting up, and it seems doubtful to me that they would not know what they are buying, or do thier homework on it before selling it to the public. In addition, these heaters are supposedly approved by HUD and various other government organizations.
    Elsa, thanks for your response to my inquiry: I can only use electric in my Condo (alternate energy sources not available, Propane not allowed by the Association). So I will continue my search for an electrician and a plumber that may have installed an electric tankless system somewhere in the state of RI……

  47. Robert,
    The fact is Hubbell owns the patent for a technology which utilizes a flow switch to activate a tankless heater. See the following link http://www.buytankless.com/technology.html?cat=Technology to view the patent, which clearly shows Hubbell as the current owner. In any event, Hubbell does not use this outdated technology in its heater. Hubbell redesigned and improved the way its heater operates compared to the old SETS heater (which utilized the patented technology above) and thus the Hubbell heater has, among other significant improvements, eliminated the common complaint of intemittent hot/cold water associated with the SETS heater . In any case, Hubbell has no interest in getting involved in a discussion in this forum that has no basis of truth and is not helpful to a consumer’s desire for knowledge and other users experience regarding electric tankless water heating.

  48. Elsa, Thank you for the feedback on your Hubbell heater, and I am glad to hear from yet another user that it significantly out performs the old SETS unit. I encourage you to call Hubbell’s technical service department to further discuss your problem and resolve the operational problem you are experiencing. It certainly is possible that the circuit breaker is the problem, and if that is the case my thought is when the heater needs to output 100% power (and hence full amps) to meet demand the circuit breaker is not holding. The temperature of the incoming cold water is not related to the circuit breaker tripping, other than as I mention above if 100% power is needed (which may only be when the incoming water is at its coldest) the circuit breaker is not able to handle the full load amps. I assume that the wire size and circuit breaker is sized properly according to our manual, but you may want to double check this. Regarding staggering your showers, this may in fact be necessary given the flow rate and temperature rise you are looking for, and if your demand exceeds the rating of the heater the only solution is to increase the kw (power) of the heater. I invite you to download the new Hubbell brochure and Operating manual from our website which provides detailed information on sizing. Making sure that the heater is properly sized for your needs is an important (if not the most important) aspect of trouble shooting. In any case, please call us toll free 877-649-8589 and speak to our Technical Support Department to get this matter resolved. It is important to us that we do our best to make sure that our customers are fully satisfied with the Hubbell heater, and I ask that you give us the opportunity to resolve this problem and demonstrate to you and others why Hubbell is well on the way to becoming the leader in the electric tankless water heater industry.

  49. Elsa,

    Couple things you can do (if you want) to increase the performance of your system, is to “chain” or connect more than one unit. The 1st unit warms up the water, and the 2nd heats the already warmed water even further. In order to do this you will most likely need to upgrade the electrical service to your home in order for this to work.

    Additionally, you can install point of service units for the washer, sink in kitchen, etc.


  50. Dear DL.
    If you have read my comments in this site, you will know the problems I have had with the SETS electric system. Well, I replaced the SETS with a brand new Hubbell tank and most of the problems have been corrected, however, my latest problem with the Hubbell is that the thermostats are kicking off the circuit breaker to the unit. Hubbell sent me a new circuit breaker, which I have not installed yet, however, my intuition tells me that the water coming into the system is way too cold for the unit to heat properly. You could have this problem in RI (I live in Oregon). I am waiting to see if the problem continues in the summer before I replace the circuit breakers. Also, when I have company, I try to have everyone stagger their showers. If I had it all to do over again, I probably would just because I don’t want a propane tank on my property and I don’t want to keep water heated all the time. Maybe some day I’ll get all the kinks worked out. Good luck.

  51. I had a SETS unit for a number of years – had the usual problems, not as bad as some had. The only thing good they ever did for me was that when I sent my unit back to exchange for re-built, they sent me the new model, where you set the unit for a temperature in 5 degree increments. This was just before the sale to Hubbell, and I think it is the same unit. It works pretty well, but I have never felt that the unit is economical. I previously had a tank that was heated by my oil fired furnace. When I put in the old SETS, my electric bill doubled. I save on heating oil, because I no longer run the furnace to heat water, but our electric bill is high and I am skeptical that this unit would save money over a conventional electric tank heater. We have it set at 105 degrees, which is the lowest I can get away with without my wife complaining about a “lukewarm” shower. At this temperature I have to mix in cold to get near it, but she uses hot only. Anyway – at that setting any other use of hot water will leave the person showering with (truly) lukewarm water at best. Someone posted earlier about setting one at 125 – I wonder how their bill is. We are now averaging about 900 KWH a month – that’s two adults and one toddler. Dishwasher, electric clothes dryer, but no jaccuzzi, no AC at this time. Does anyone have a real-world comparison of cost between tankless electric and conventional tank? SN

  52. I am interested to see the extensive comments on the Hubbell version of the SETS tankless water heaters. I live in RI and am interesting in replacing my 20+ year old 80 gallon rented electric hot water heater with a tankeless hot water heater. I have a small 2 bathroom condo: both are full baths with tub/shower. 80 gal hot water heater is way oversized, but apparently the only size the electric company would install as a rental heater back in those days. I have been unable to find any one in the area that actually has an ELECTRIC tankless hot water heater: nor have I spoken to any plumbers that have installed one: this has me a little concerned. All the plumbers I have talked to in this area are of the opinion that only a gas tankless would be a good choice, and that is not an option for me. They insist that an electric one would cause all kinds of problems. Instead they are willing to repl my water heater with a 50 gal one. I would like to save the electricity by not heating even 50 gal of hot water when not needed, and (even more important in a small space) I’d like to save the SPACE taken up by ANY hot water heater and use it for more storage: Can anyone in the CT/MA./RI area testify to having sucess with the Hubbell tankless models? If so, are there problems with running water another place in the house when one is taking a shower – or even using two showers at a time? My showers are fitted with low flow shower heads (previously done by electric company in an energy saving offer). While I am the sole occupant of my condo, I would also like to feel that when company is visiting I still have sufficient hot water to serve us all!

  53. All of you that have Hubbell need to be aware that they might a Patent Infrigement problem in the very near future, since they supposedly bought this new technology from the old owner of SETS a Canadian by the name of Jerome Morabito. He sold Hubbell a technology that he supposedly owned but this is to be seen in the near future, so if you are buying a Hubbell you need be aware of this conflict.

  54. All of you that have a Hubbell beware, since the technology that they are using is under a “Patent Pending” and will be a problem for them in the near future, the old owne rof SETS a Canadian by the name of Jerome Morabito sold them the technology hew supposedly owner and this will be a problem , since SETS nor Morabito owned any technology. Hubbel has been advised so they are aware of the potential Patent Infringment that is to come.

  55. HUBBELL has got it completely right. Everything worked perfectly out of the box. NO TEMPERATURE FLUCTUATION at all. Finally a real electric tankless that does as advertised.

  56. Ok, there were a few hiccups to begin with, like I was promised the unit in a week but then after I placed the order it went upto two, but two guys, Sean C and Sam W were pretty responsive, I got the unit just before I went on vacation so I couldn’t install it, but it was a cinch, involving minor pipe cutting. The heater’s computer never worked from the get go but Sam shipped a good one out immediately. But it still didn’t give enough heated h20 so he is shipping another unit out to me today.
    I was very impressed with Sam’s standing by his product and claiming these heaters were his baby and he wanted to get things right. Perfectly understandable when one in many units could malfunction during transit.
    With support like this, I can see these guys going much farther than SETS did. Keep up the good work hubbell folk !
    (The unit didn’t fluctuate during showers though it did during tub baths. But it looks much better built than SETS, although it fits into the older housing)
    Will report in a few days how the heater install went.

  57. CARLOS CABRERA…..Now It all comes together!
    CARLOS CABRERA, ROSA CABRERA his wife and JUNIOR CABRERA were 10 year operating employees of SETS-SYSTEMS. They stole from the owner of the company and the consumers. In 2006 when CARLOS CABRERA believed that SETS new NASA assisted technology for true flow modulation and temperature control was complete, CARLOS CABRERA stole the technology and started his own company called AMERICAN TANKLESS WATER HEATER CORP. CARLOS CABRERA used the stolen SETS units and painted the casings white & promised a LIFETIME WARRANTY.
    To his surprise the STOLEN TECHNOLOGY WAS NOT YET COMPLETE and his new company atwhcorp.com (now defunct) went out of business within the first year…..so much for his lifetime warranty.
    CARLOS CABRERA then went to work for AMERICAN HEAT (americanheatus.com) and proceeded to steal from them and their customers. His deception was discovered within the year and he took off looking for another tankless supporter with money to fleece.
    Now on his 4th company in 2 years CARLOS CABRERA found a convicted felon (public record) to partner a new company. SILVIO CORDOSO http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2001-04-19/news/you-are-cordially-invited/ This is all very interesting because CARLOS CABRERA is again claiming NASA technology that does not belong to him and he also says this company has “manufactured” for 15 years and it is a “MADE IN AMERICA” Eco Green product. They formed their new company called ECOSMART US LLC (ECOSMARTUS.COM) on Dec. 4/08 (see sunbiz.org ecosmart us llc)

    THIS PRODUCT IS 100% MADE IN CHINA not America as CARLOS CABRERA states. He is liar and a thief that CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Don’t let him fleece more people. Send your information to every tankless blog and every STATE ATTORNEY to not allow him to deceive people of your State.

  58. I just found out that SETS owner is back again. After SETS closed he started making the same unit under American tankless with another “lifetime waranty” and that went under after 2 years. I found that his new name is now ecosmart tankless with yet again another lifetime warranty. Can you beleive this

  59. Thanks to this forum and many contributors I revived my confidence that Hubbel will deliver, so I placed my order for a refurb today..will post back on how it goes !

  60. Thanks to this forum and many contributors I revived my confidence that Hubbel will deliver, so I placed my order for a refurb today..will post back on how it goes !

  61. I am a user of Tankless Heaters for over 21 years. I am an eight year satisfied customer of SETS 165 and was disheartened to hear of their demise as well as the demise of my Lifetime Warrantee. I had hoped to replace the unit with the same but am convinced I will go with a Hubbell 180-2. I believe it will be an easy swap.

    I was intrigued to read about American Heat and most of the others, although I had hoped for a more concise site comparing all Electric Tankless Water Heaters.

    The only reason I am going to replace with a Hubbell is due to the discounts. I’ll let you know how I fare.

  62. After much research on the internet, looking mainly at direct specification comparisons, I chose to purchase the Hubbell (formerly SETS) 280-3 tankless system. I installed the unit about three weeks ago. The heater is connected to a recirculation loop which incorporates the Grundfos UP10-16ATLC pump as well as a 40 gallon storage tank. This somewhat ‘hybrid’ system (using a storage tank along with a tankless heater) works well because the recirc pump delivers hot water to the taps within seconds. Additionally, the storage tank ensures that anyone taking a shower is effectively buffered against temperature fluctuations or power cuts. The heater was easy to install and comes with a very user-friendly manual. Initially I had an issue with the way the water temperature would dip dramatically after a tap was opened, and then recover gradually to the set-point temperature. The literature claimed that the unit would provide ‘instant’ hot water. But a call to Chris Zaveruha at Hubbell revealed that my unit (and maybe others) has a ‘ramping’ feature which gradually increases the power to the unit in order to avoid the potentially large electrical drain causing brown-out or flickering of other household electrical systems. This feature makes good sense although I would suggest that Hubbell should advertise this so users are not surprised and/or disappointed when the unit doesn’t seem to function as expected. Recently I rang Hubbell again and spoke with Sam Wellington who, it turned out, was one of the designers of the ramping feature and when I described my situation he offered me a very easy fix which immediately corrected the ‘problem’.

    Personally, although my unit has only been operating for about three weeks, I am pleased by its design and functionality. Some of the small features are what have impressed me the most. Intelligent though has gone into the design. Things like the 16 inch spacing between the mounting holes. Anyone who has done work on a house knows that this is the distance between the studs in the wall, so it makes sense to have your mounts at this spacing. But not one other heater that I looked at shared this simple feature. Furthermore the Hubbell units have ‘Sharkbite’ connectors for the inlet and outlet pipes which are extremely easy to use and mean that the unit can be disconnected from its pipework easily if necessary. The flow meter on the unit is the most sensitive one on any heater I saw, activating at only .25 gpm. Less than half the flow rate of the next best system. This saves water as well as energy. The units are also highly modular so if one component fails it can be replaced without having to return the entire unit.

    In closing I want to say that the customer service has been good. Time will tell how the unit performs, but so far I’m happy with it and with the support I have had from Hubbell.

  63. I replaced my Set 22kW tankless water heater with a Hubbel 21kW. I had my SETS unit for 5 years and experienced similar problems that others reported about the SETS product. I’ve had my Hubble Tankless Water Heater for approximately 1 month and I have been delighted with the performance and the quality of the product.
    The customer representative I contacted was very knowledgeable and very open in his comments about the SETS problems of the past. I would recommend anyone who has any questions to contact Hubbel and ask for Christopher Zaveruha, see his contact information below:
    Hubbell- The Electric Heater Company
    (203) 378-2659 Ext 134

    Here are my comments:
    1. There is no comparison between the SETS and Hubbel Tankless Water Heater. The Hubbel unit has been completely reengineered to meet the highest industry standards.
    2. So far we have not experienced any temperature fluctuations during showers, even when other hot water appliances are in use.
    3. The new temperature display and adjustment is easy to adjust and the temperature is accurately displayed.
    4. I also received a 15% discount for my old SETS unit, which I was returned back to the factory free of charge.
    5. The new Hubble unit is completely silent. Conversely, not so with SETS, the sound generated during operation was quite an annoyance.

    Satisfied Customer

  64. I replaced my Set 22kW tankless water heater with a Hubbel 21kW. I had my SETS unit for 5 years and experienced similar problems that others reported about the SETS product. I’ve had my Hubble Tankless Water Heater for approximately 1 month and I have been delighted with the performance and the quality of the product.
    The customer representative I contacted was very knowledgeable and very open in his comments about the SETS problems of the past. I would recommend anyone who has any questions to contact Hubbel and ask for Christopher Zaveruha, see his contact information below:
    Hubbell- The Electric Heater Company
    (203) 378-2659 Ext 134

    Here are my comments:
    1. There is no comparison between the SETS and Hubbel Tankless Water Heater. The Hubbel unit has been completely reengineered to meet the highest industry standards.
    2. So far we have not experienced any temperature fluctuations during showers, even when other hot water appliances are in use.
    3. The new temperature display and adjustment is easy to adjust and the temperature is accurately displayed.
    4. I also received a 15% discount for my old SETS unit, which I was returned back to the factory free of charge.
    5. The new Hubble unit is completely silent. Conversely, not so with SETS, the sound generated during operation was quite an annoyance.

    Satisfied Customer

  65. I replace my Set 22kW tankless water heater with a Hubbel 21kW. I had my SETS unit for 5 years and experience similar problems that others reported about the SETS product. I’ve had my Hubble Tankless Water Heater for approximately 1 month and I have been delighted with the performance and the quality of the product. To keep is short here are my following comments.
    The customer representative I contacted was very knowledgeable and very open in his comments the SETS problems of the past. I would recommend any who has any questions to contact Hubbel and ask for Christopher Zaveruha, see his contact below:
    Hubbell- The Electric Heater Company
    (203) 378-2659 Ext 134
    Here are my comments:
    1. There is no comparison between the SETS and Hubbel Tankless Water Heater. The Hubbel unit has been completely reengineered to meet the highest industry standards.
    2. So far we have no experience any temperature fluctuations during showers, even when others when other hot water appliances are in use.
    3. The new temperature display and adjustment is easy to adjust and the temperature is accurately displayed.
    4. I also receive a 15% discount for my old SETS unit, which I which I was required to return back to the factory free of charge.
    5. The new Hubble unit is complete silent. Conversely, no so with SETS, the sound generated during operation was quite an annoyance.
    Satisfied Customer

  66. I purchased a SETS Model 240 for new construction in 2006. It sort of “blew up” when there was not enough water pressure to keep the water flowing. We installed a pressure pump (as three are no pumps in the city system and my house is on a hill where there is little water pressure) and replaced all of the heating elements, thermostats,etc. after dealing with customer service at SETS for three months (during which time I had no hot water). After about a year and a half, the flex pipe burst and flooded my bedroom, where the unit is located (in the closet). We replaced the flex and about two more months passed and the pipe burst again and flooded the bedroom again. The flex people said that the heater got too hot and suspected that the flow valve had malfunctioned, causing the temperature to be too high. So, I got in touch with SETS again and discovered that SETS had been bought out by HUBBELL. Because my home was not plumbed for a standard water heater, and I was assured by Chris Z. at HUBBELL that the SETS units had been completely rebuilt and improved, I decided to purchase a new unit rather than put “new wine into old skins”. The new unit arrived one week later and my builder installed it. Upon examination of the two units, it was obvious that the new units had been improved. The old SETS unit looked like it had been built out of Star Wars space junk. The new one was very professionally constructed. It has a digital temperature readout and a visible blinking light which stops blinking to indicate when the unit has turned off. We also installed a pressure relief valve for added safety. Now I feel comfortable leaving home without turning off the main water valve and the electricity to the unit. I have waited three months to write these comments, just to be sure the new unit is performing well as Chris at HUBBELL said it would. I am very satisfied with the new unit and with the customer service at HUBBELL. As someone wrote in another blog, “It is hard to go green.” New technology is difficult to embrace, and plumbers are sometimes resistant to learning new technology when it worked the old way, why change it? I am a happy “green” person,now, but it wasn’t an easy road.

  67. Jeremy:

    One of the service people at Hubbell said exactly that: The old SETS owner is reportedly starting up another company, and that indeed stinks on ice. It’s terrible that such things can be done.

    That said, when one company (Hubbell) purchases another company (SETS) it’s not uncommon at all for the new owner to purchase the assets only and not the liabilities (crappy products out there under lifetime warranties). Who in their right mind would buy the liabilities from SETS, given the poor performance of their products?

    I don’t think you can lump Hubbell into the same group as SETS, unless you’re suggesting that Hubbell is the ‘new company’ that you mentioned. If that’s what you’re inferring, Hubbell has been in business for a long time… 40+ yrs I believe. A friend of mine used to sell industrial eqpt & had them for a customer. He had nothing but positive things to say about them. In other words, I researched them before I jumped in bed with them.

    Could I get stuck by them as well? I guess so. All I know is that they’ve backed up everything that they promised me so far. That’s about all you can ask for, in my humble opinion. Believe me, I’m as p#$$ed off about SETS as anyone but I can’t re-direct my displeasure at Hubbell because I got duped out of a ‘lifetime warranty’ from SETS. Apparently it meant SETS’s lifetime, not the lifetime of the water heater! 🙁

  68. There seems to be plenty of negative comments about the SETS Systems so I won’t bore you with mine here. I’ve owned two 240 units and neither worked right from the start. Since I bought both units secondhand, I was able to sell both for double what I paid for them. I, in turn, bought a Steibel Eltron based on recommendations from a gentleman that has one. Want to talk about FLAWLESS operation? These are made in Germany, where tankless water heaters are not new technology. Should there have been “kinks” in the system, they’ve been ironed out long ago. I bought mine on Ebay for about $600 w/free shipping. I did the install myself and noticed immediately that the copper cylinders shown inside of the SETS unit (for heating the water) are about half the size as those on the Steibel Eltron. I did have to increase the gauge of wire going to the box but this was simple to route from the junction box close by. We’ve had constant hot water from the day it was powered up. We’ve owned ours for about a year now and still, it does one heck of a job.

    Those of you bargaining with the idea of continuing business with the company that “took over” SETS, I submit the old cliche’: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” For a company to shut it’s doors or sell out as SETS supposedly did, how hard do you think it would be for that same person to open ANOTHER company under a different name and still operate the same business? This way, the Lifetime Warranty no longer has to be honored and ALL those problem units out there won’t have to be fixed on the company’s dime. Their reputation is already tarnished so for what reason would there be to continue operating under that name? Why is it you’re getting offers from another company to give them money to honor a lifetime warranty you already paid for?

    Just my $.02. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that SETS piece of s@*t anymore.

    1. Hi Jeremy; I just finished reading your email. I was just about ready to buy the Stiebel, when I found the Hubbell. They both look like they function simialar (Hubbell 28-3 vs Stiebel 29). I am wondering about the activation flow rate on the Stiebel being .87 gpm. Has that been a problem with any of your faucets? I like the idea of Stiebel because they’ve been in the game for so long in Germany, but I also like the idea of Hubbell being a US company (I rep. some of their Industrial Electronic products-seem to be high quality items). Any info or opinion you can provide me will be greatly appreciated.

  69. So long SETS. Hello Hubbell. Finished the install on Sunday. I tried the two 50 amp double pole breakers. They tripped out. Went with the 100 amp double and all works fine. Nice hot shower and the dishwasher even ran at the same time. WOW. Thanks to Hubbell for making my life easier.

  70. I was an early adopter of tankless water heaters – I first purchased a SETS tankless model 220 around 2000. It worked fine for many years, although I had the same annoyance with the temperature fluctuation that others have reported. The early SETS design used a simple on-off switch and had no idea how much water was flowing through the system, so the power applied to the heating elements was basically a shot in the dark (sometimes too little, sometimes WAY too much). The worst part was the scalding temperatures that would come out of low-flow faucets. Also, the system wasn’t able to accomodate sudden increases in water flow very easily, so it wasn’t really possible to take a shower when the dishwasher was running. Unlike many, my experience with SETS customer service were positive – they sent out parts when they said they were going to, and so forth (I hadn’t spoken to them in about five years, though, so it’s entirely possible things went downhill). The unit itself never had any problems – no leaks, no issues at all. Aside from the quirky behavior, which I got used to, I didn’t really think about it. I had no idea that so many people were having such bad experiences.

    About a week ago, the control board on the SETS gave out. I assumed based on my prior experience that it would be a simple matter to get a replacement. I was shocked to discover that SETS was no more, and that their assets had been purchased by Hubbell. I was given the choice by Hubbell to replace the old control board for $99, or to get a refurbished unit for about $400. Obviously, I was upset because I had previously thought I had a lifetime warranty! The refurbished unit, according to Hubbell’s rep, incorporated design changes that made the unit work better. Given that I was now entirely without a warranty, and I was hoping that the kinks had been worked out of these devices, I decided to take the plunge and go for the refurb unit.

    I’m happy to report that this was a GREAT decision. While the Hubbell units look like the SETS unit from the outside (same case), they work MUCH, MUCH better. The Hubbell units have a flow meter that allows the unit to make intelligent decisions about how much power to use to heat the water. Instead of the annoyingly vague control system on the SETS, the Hubbell uses the simple method of setting the desired temperature. That’s it. And no more scalding! The temperature in showers is MUCH more consistent and the light flickering is down to a completely negligible amount. Also, if the dishwasher, washing machine, or another faucet turns on while I’m in the shower, the temperature drops only slightly – it’s never uncomfortably cold as it was with the SETS unit.

    Hubbell’s rep was also extremely helpful and they were able to ship me a new unit the very next day. I would recommend that anyone using a SETS heater and having problems immediately get a refurbished unit from Hubbell. The replacement was VERY easy given the identical form factor and very similar connections. In fact, based on my experience thus far, I can now recommend the Hubbell units whole-heartedly to anyone shopping for a tankless, and that’s something I didn’t ever do with the SETS. Even though I was used to it, I knew that other people wouldn’t really like it, so I never told anyone they should get one.

    To be honest, there’s nothing you can do about the loss of the lifetime warranty – cut your losses and decide what you’re going to do going forward. It’s not Hubbell’s fault that SETS went out of business. It’s also not surprising, to be honest, given the way SETS just mailed out parts whenever anyone called, and the strange behavior of their heaters.

    For those considering taking the plunge to tankless, think carefully before you do so – you will have to adjust to a new way of thinking about hot water. I for one love it, because I can’t stand running out of hot water, and an endless supply is what tankless models are all about.

  71. I had purchased two N-120 Titan units and they both failed within 2 years. One failed when one of the heating elements went bad(1/2 of it still works and I put in a Marey unit in serial with the 1/2 of the N-120 unit. The other unit’s circuit board failed and was unable to provide the 220 volts to the units heaters via the thyristors. So basically I would never buy another Titan…I just bought a Stiebel and will replace the bad N-120

  72. After hurricane Katrina I was thought I had done my research and bought the SETS 240 and since my house had to be rebuilt I let the contractor install the system. The first time I used it the unit burned up, I mean the bake lite where the wires connect melted and that flow switch was a blob of plastic. The red flag should have gone up then but I sent it back (after the tech tried to blame me for the failure), and got a replacement. After that is was the same story as everyone else so last July I contacted Hubble and talked to some really nice people and I couldn’t blame them for SETS bad performance so I swapped mine out for one of theirs and since July it has been performing great. I really like the new functionallty and LED readout where you can tell the temperature. It was a pleasure dealing with Hubble and I hope I can still say that next year.

  73. I’ve had a SETS tankless since 1999 and after some initial problems that were quickly resolved it’s been worry free for years. It finally died a month ago. I was initially disapointed to find out my lifetime warrantee was worthless as Hubble had bought the company, but after some research and reading BillN’s post above I decided to go with having my unit refurbished for the, now, $415.00. I wanted a new unit, but I couldn’t afford the new price along with the required plumbing change$ that would be required.

    During my first conversation with them I was told they would ship me a new unit and I could ship my old one as soon as I replaced it saving me from not having hot water for any longer than I already had. Well, that ended when I called back to order. Now I was told that they didn’t have any cores in stock, but that they would IMMEDIATELY turn mine around if I sent it to them. When I asked how long “immediately” was I was told “well within two weeks”. Um, big difference…

    They have now had my unit for well over two weeks. This is after many phone calls and emails and run arounds about it “shipping today” and “I’ll call you right back as the guys are in a production meeting”. Let me point out that the only return phone call I recieved was from “Sam” a couple of days ago who was shipping my unit right then, but was calling to ask which one was mine. What? Needless to say it didn’t ship. I am on the phone with Chris Z at this very moment and he, once again, is assuring me it is shipping today. I guess we’ll see. Again.

    I was a happy SETS owner, but my recent dealings with Hubble have left me cold. Literally.

  74. My 220-3 is on the way. Discount for my old one as well. Thanks to Chris x-134 for all the help and your compassion for our dislike of SETS heaters. Also thank you to Sam x-136 for a painless order of the new Hubbell 220-3 Should arrive on Monday. My Wife can’t wait!

  75. Well, one week into the new heater and I can honestly say that I’m completely satisfied. We’ve not had a single incident of temperature swings during showers. Last night, my two young daughters decided to take a bubble bath together, instead of their regular showers.

    We have a triangular-shaped Kohler jet tub in our master bath which I believe it has an 80 gal capacity. The heater filled the tub w/nice, hot water for the girls without any trouble at all.

    Believe me, I’ve been looking for something negative to report but so far, so perfect! Thanks Hubbell, for ending our hot water nightmare. 😉

  76. Thanks for the tip George. I am going to upgrade tomorrow. Going with a new 220-3. More power and flow rate is higher. It will cost a little more but 5 year warranty is hard to pass up. Chris helped me make the decision. Glad I checked this blog. More later.

  77. Hi Kevin,
    I understand what is happening at your house. Unitl you get the SETS unit changed it might help if yoiu try something that helped us some.
    During a shower try turning on the hot water valve in your lavatory sink at about a little finger sized stream and let in run during the shower. For some reason that seemed to temper the hot/cold fluctuations. It was also imprtant for us to only run the heat level on the unit at a lower setting so that if turned on full it gave you a fairly warm shower, not a hot one.
    Good luck in your prusuits. We are happy now with our rebuilt unit from Hubbell. Everything now works as one would expect. We are a couple of weeks into using the rebuilt and all is well. George

  78. Glad I am not alone in my frustration with my SETS 180 unit. My wife told me this morning that she will not take another warm-freezing-scalding shower. After reading all the comments and frustrations from others I am going to make that call to Hubbell. Hope they will provide me the service that I have read about here. I will post further.

  79. I too am a frustrated SETS owner. As much as I wish the lifetime warranty was still in place, it apparently wasn’t worth anything more than the paper on which it was written. 🙁

    After about 3 1/2 yrs, my 240 model went kaput late last week. Terrible temperature swings, and leaks in various places (o-rings and the copper pipe itself). Plus the unit’s switch that turns on the heating elements when a hot water faucet is turned on was broken. Sometimes it’d take 5 or 6 times of turning on the faucet for the heater to finally kick in. All of these problems made it a priority to replace it.

    After reading George’s experience w/the Hubbell people I decided to do the same. Instead of the refurb, however, I went w/a new 240 model (longer warranty), but they did give me a discount for agreeing to send my old unit back to them.

    Chris Ortiz (he said there were 3 guys named Chris there) was very helpful in my decision-making process. He told me that it would be delivered on Wednesday of this week, and it showed up that very day. I was thrilled that it showed up when promised, and hoped that it was a good omen. I could only hope that the unit’s performance would live up to I had been told.

    I had the unit installed this morning by a pro. I can only say this: Hallelujah!!! No temperature variations, at least that I could feel. Better yet, I had hot water in the sink AND in the shower at the same time! Even when the old unit was ‘working’, that was never possible.

    Granted, I’ve only had one shower. But like George, I feel compelled to post a very favorable initial impression of Hubbell’s improvements and efforts. If things change for the worst with the unit, rest assured that I’ll be posting all the dirt. But for now, color me happy!

  80. I purchased a model 220-3 from the SETS company in late 2005, and experienced the issues everyone has mentioned on this site. Very frustrating trying to solve and live with unkept promises of the SETS people. I found out about Hubbell, and called to see if there was a possible fix. After talking w/a friendly rep (Chirs), I decided to purchase the recondtioned 220-3 (rebuilt version of my model). This was priced at about $350 less that a new model. I will ship back the old model. The only used part in the heater is the heat chambers made of copper.
    The installation was finished yesterday and we find this heater works as expected and advertized. We set the heat at 118 F and find it is very satisfactory. We live where this mornings temp is zero F. I especially like the stainless tell housing. Looks sharp.
    I found Hubbell’s reps very responsive and helpful and was hesistant about this because of lack of customer testimony. All appears well for now. If anything changes, expect me back with comments. No commnets means good news.

  81. I purchased a model 240 from the SETS company in 2005, and experienced the issues everyone has mentioned on this site. I found out about hubble, and called to see if there was a possible fix. After talking w/a friendly rep (Chirs), I decided to purchase the 240-3 (new version of my model), vs. refurbushing my old 240. I received a discount, and will ship back the old model.

    The installation was finished last night, and all I can say is FINALLY this heater works. And it works great. I posted some pictures on picasa if anyone wants to see the before & after.


    So far I have taken 4 showers, and no more fluctuation issues. It was like night/day from the old heater. I will post back in a month or so, to see if the trend holds. but for now, I would recommend that you either refurbish or replace your old unit ASAP. The dimensions are the same, so for me it was easy to do. Good luck to all.


  82. WOW! First of all; Cudos to you Bill. Thanks for stepping up to the plate. I am writing from Canada where these units are starting to become popular. I have always been intrigued with the concept. I am planing on putting one in our new home in PEI where electricity is not the cheapest. I am also looking into putting one into our home here in Ontario. Does anyone have information on gas units versus electric units. I am going to use electric in our new home but I am inquiring for our present home. This website is awsome. Keep the info comming everyone.

  83. Skip, you may be interested to know that the person involved with American Heat is the same person who was an owner of the now defunct company SETS Systems Inc. This person benefited as an owner of SETS Systems Inc. by selling you a heater which you purchased with a now worthless “Lifetime Warranty”. After leaving SETS Systems Inc. he made essentially the same heater under the American Heat brand. The question is, do you want to do business with (again) and pay (again) the same person that is largely responsible for your now worthless SETS Systems Inc “Lifetime Warranty”?

  84. They are making a one-time warranty offer to all SETS owners – you buy a guarantee for $35, if your SETS units fails you can get one of their new units for 30% off plus the $35 back. Apparently Hubbell warranty offers discount on refurbished units. My interest would depend on how good the AmercanHeat unit is. Their website doesn’t seem to be fully working right now.

  85. Does anyone have experience with the unit from American Heat Distributors?
    They have just sent out an offer to SETS owners

  86. I have had a SETS water heater in our new home since summer 2005. I have had the temp. fluctuations constantly. I have got to th3e point of nearly giving up on SETS.
    Now I accidentally read your blog.
    Can you further expalin to me how to get my SETS refurnbished and the costs involved. How long will it take as we need hot water while this happens. Do you guarantee your refurbish will work? For how long?
    605 222 9207 George Welk

  87. As the COO of Hubbell Electric Heater Co., let me take this opportunity to explain to people the situation with the SETS tankless water heater. On June 26, 2008 Hubbell Electric Heater Co., a manufacturer of electric water heaters for over 80+ years, purchased the assets of SETS Systems Inc. Although SETS Systems Inc was an innovator in the field, the company lacked the resources and experience necessary to properly manufacture and service a tankless water heater for wide scale distribution. Although they experienced many of the same technical problems other manufacturer’s of tankless water heaters experienced at one time or another (temperature fluctuation being the main problem) as stated above they lacked the proper resources to address the problem while serving their customer base. For further details visit the website http://www.buytankless.com

    As an early pioneer in the field, SETS Systems Inc faced a huge hurdle educating consumers to the benefits (and the physical requirements) of an electric whole house tankless water heater and viewed the “Lifetime Warranty” as a way to get consumers “over the hump”. As everyone knows, a warranty is only as good as the company behind it, and quite frankly, as a consumer I would view a “Lifetime Warranty” on a relatively new technology for one of the hardest working appliances in the home from a company as young as SETS Systems Inc to be highly suspect. And although I believe the previous owner of SETS Systems Inc had the best intentions, the demands of manufacturing, product development and customer service for a product like this overwhelmed the company and was its eventual undoing.

    To be clear, Hubbell Electric Heater Co. did not purchase the corporation SETS Systems Inc, and any and all warranty obligations are the responsibility of SETS Systems Inc, not Hubbell. Hubbell purchased the inventory and assets of the company (which yes, include the phone number and website) and has decided to provide ongoing technical and product support for owners of SETS tankless water heaters. Yes, now you might have to buy an $18 replacement heating element, but these are ongoing maintenance costs that you eventually face with every other heater on the market (tankless or storage). If there are temperature fluctuation issues (not totally unheard of in the tankless market) they are most likely units made before December 31, 2007 which utilized a flow switch design. Although this design was a significant improvement over earlier generation flow switches, the heater in certain situations was prone to temperature fluctuations and clearly a weakness in the product. The answer to this problem is quite simple and highly effective, that is by utilizing a precision flow meter and properly located sensors, the temperature controller can operate the heaters in such a way that they output the precise amount of heat to meet the exact instantaneous demand. This “second generation” control system has significantly reduced the amount of temperature fluctuation throughout the full range of flows and has been incorporated into all SETS heaters since that time, and overall has been very well received by customers.

    Hubbell has made an attempt (undoubtedly it will not satisfy everyone) to assist owners of SETS Systems Inc heaters by offering a special 50% discount on replacement parts. For customers unhappy with temperature fluctuations of earlier generation flow switch design heaters, Hubbell is also providing the ability to have their unit completely refurbished (all new heating elements, new temperature controller, new digital numeric display, and replace the flow switch with a flow meter) for $385 which includes shipping. Although these offers are not the warranties that customers initially purchased, Hubbell believes that these are fair and reasonable prices for the services offered and are extended to SETS owners in an effort to rebuild the brand and customer support.

    Now, let me explain (for anyone still reading that is) what Hubbell is doing to improve the product. We have only just completed the set up of the production line, and in the first 2 weeks have already made or are in the process of making major design improvements. The heating element design has been significantly improved by changing from copper to Incoloy 800 sheathing on the tubulars, thus improving its corrosion resistance and increasing its temperature operating range. Additionally, the cold section of the heating element has been significantly extended to ensure that the heated section is always immersed in water, and finally the heating element itself will be manufactured by the world leader in heating element fabrication, Chromalox (no more off shore low quality manufacturing). The accuracy of the temperature sensor has been improved by a factor of 15, thereby further improving the units ability to maintain accurate output temperature. The heating chamber is being redesigned in a number of ways to improve flow characteristics thereby reducing the pressure drop through the heater, reducing the possibility of trapped air, improving heat transfer rate through improved flow and finally improving the O-ring groove design to ensure more reliable heating element seating. The temperature control software is being re-written to provide improved diagnostic feedback to the user including indication of stage heating, indication of modulation, indication of flow, improved heater modulation characteristics, and finally the addition of circular mode logic in order to equalize wear and tear on all components. These are only some of the improvements planned. As a company that continually innovates and improves, Hubbell will be sure to continue to invest in the product and make ongoing improvements to bring to the consumer the very best technology for high efficiency water heating.

    In terms of customer support, Hubbell is committed to helping customers (both SETS Systems Inc customers and Hubbell customers) and is putting in place the personnel necessary to provide the high level of customer service Hubbell provides for its other products. Am I a biased source, well yes, I suppose I am. I know there are people unhappy with the SETS heater as made by SETS Systems Inc, but I also know there are many more people who are satisfied with the product. Having said that, Hubbell is committed to the tankless water heater and will make every effort to improve the product going forward, service our new customers and do our best to support SETS Systems Inc customers. The SETS heater has many features which make it a great option for customers, and Hubbell is fully committed to building upon this design and bringing to the tankless water heater market a reliable and highly efficient source for hot water. Hubbell brings to the table a vast amount of experience in designing and manufacturing all types of electric water heaters, and is confident that in very short order the Hubbell manufactured SETS tankless water heater will be the heater of choice in the industry.

  88. I also have a SETS 165. I was told that this unit would be good for S Fl. Mind you I bought this about 2.5 years ago. Temperature fluctuations have been non stop from day one. Tonight I told my wife the SETS has worn me out. I will be looking at Bosch. I’m glad I never sold one of these units as I was a dealer for this co at one time. It simply never worked.

  89. That means no warranty, now a days you can write anything BS on a website like “lifetime warranty” but what matters is the company not the product. I have also run into another tankless water heater company here in South Florida that is selling some plastic unit from China with a “lifetime warranty” and the address is a P.O. box. But still there some people who will buy thinking they have a “lifetime warranty” I ended up buying a titan unit from a local supply store, it might not have a “lifetime warranty” but the company has a good reputation and they have been around for 24 years. I visited the factory to see the showroom before I purchased and found it to be a serious and well planted company with good people.

  90. This is what I got so far from the comments and links here:

    Stiebel — good.

    Seisco RA 22— ok to good (probably good as complaints were addressed), with very good customer support.

    Niagara Industries Titan N120 — mixed reviews.

    Bosch PowerStar AE125 — good

    S.E.T.S. — bad to very bad, has been bought out though.

    Ok, so on this website there is also the Pulsar Advanced Technologies Vulcanus MK4 here: http://metaefficient.com/hot-water-systems/tankless-water-heater-uses-microwaves-vulcanus-mark-4.html
    It uses microwaves to heat the water. Anyone try them?

    Also another company to consider is Eemax.

  91. The lady told me SETS was bought out by Hubbel water heater yesterday. She said she just got the news yesterday that they bought this company and dont’t know much about their products. I didn’t ask where they are.
    So SETS is truly gone and I wonder what happens to their lifetime warranty now?
    will the new company honor the warranty?
    anyway, lucky I did not get their unit.

  92. i called a few minutes ago and the lady told me SETS was bought out by Hubbel water heater yesterday. She said she just got the news yesterday that they bought this company and dont’t know much about their products. I didn’t ask where they are.
    So SETS is truly gone and I wonder what happens to their lifetime warranty now?
    will the new company honor the warranty?
    anyway, lucky I did not get their unit.

  93. I called the number and I get a company called hubbell in Standford CO not Miami Fl. I live in South Florida and had a chance to pass by there warehouse on my way to the airport. All the signs are off and whne I looked threw the glass the place is empty.

  94. i just called sets at 1-877-649-8589 and they say
    they are still in business. where did you hear that they went out of business. i got screwed by them and i will be very happy to hear if they go under.

  95. I have heard that SETS is out of business well so much for the “LIFETIME WARRANTY”

  96. Looks like nobody posts good results so I will. I had a Seisco and Steibel Eltron but got rid of both due to ongoing problems. Seisco and Steibel Eltron have reduced flow rates from 1/2 to 3/8 back to 1/2 when homes are mostly 3/4 inch piping. I bought a SETS as the last one I will ever buy if it is problematic like the other two. I have had it for 15 months without a glitch and plenty of hot water throughout the house because SETS does have 3/4 inch piping without restrictions. I called to register my warranty and they responded very professionally so I am a SETS fan.

  97. 4/10/08

    I got a SETS heater 2 Yrs ago, and while it has been “maybe OK” I have negative thoughts about the company pretty much every time I shower. I really regret not doing more research before buying.
    The thing that hooked me was the description of the Nasa Flow Switch (I’ve pasted the whole section from the website below) It specifically states that the Flow switch “automatically increases or decreases energy consumption based on the inlet water temperature and demand for hot water” and further elaborates that “This flow switch uses a free-floating weight that varies the rate of electrical contact as demand for hot water increases or decreases.”
    Imagine my chagrin when I was questioning the (difficult) company tech guy about the performance and he explained that it was an off /on switch! (however nicely designed) Nothing but stonewalling when I protested that it had been misrepresented. I could never get anyone higher up in the company on the phone, and TechGuy refused to own up to anything.
    It’s like buying a variable speed drill and getting an old on/off trigger style, calling up the company and having them say “Well, it varies between off and on, doesn’t it?”
    Is that kind of mis-representation illegal? How about a class action suit?

    This past month it began acting weird and after an initial conversation and diagnosis conversation with the unit exposed they are sending me a replacement part.
    TechGuy was WORSE than before! Grudging about answering questions, bad attitude, no support skills whatsoever! I have dealt with many Tech support people over the years and he is -bar none- the worst I have ever run across.
    If he doesn’t listen well, and starts to lecture totally off track of the problem about how you don’t know how long the pipe is from unit to tub (gee, I only helped the plumber install it) or how long it should take for the hot water to reach the tap, ( I’ve used these taps a couple thousand times – I’m the world expert on haw many seconds it normally takes) don’t interrupt! You’ll get a scolding that you must “give me the respect to listen to my (totally off track) answer” or “this conversation is over.”

    Well I guess I am luckier that some buyers because at least my unit has been working, even if the performance is annoying at times. The thing that realy galls me is the misrepresentation.
    Hopefully I will get a few more years out of it, and then bite the bullet and buy something good.

    And another thing! – their conservation claims are bogus. It encourages higher water volume in the shower. Once you arrive at a setting that works for the person who likes the hottest shower, you can’t turn down the hot – you have to turn up the hot flow and /or add cold flow.

    Quite a rant, huh? I could go on…

    Here is the whole “NASA”statement from the site:

    “The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Technology Programs & Commercialization Office of the NASA-KSC/State of Florida Technology Outreach Program provided a solution to the flow switch problems inherent in all tankless water heaters. A NASA engineer devised a free-flowing weight system. Using this NASA designed water flow switch technology, the S.E.T.S. Systems heater automatically increases or decreases energy consumption based on the inlet water temperature and demand for hot water. The NASA-designed flow switch technology does not use a spring or any other mechanical device. This flow switch uses a free-floating weight that varies the rate of electrical contact as demand for hot water increases or decreases. Extensive NASA testing of the flow switch demonstrated that it works flawlessly. The revolutionary flow switch is unique to the S.E.T.S. Systems style Tankless Water Heater.

    This flow switch has been so instrumental in the success of the SETS Tankless Water Heater that it has been patented!

  98. N-120 is a piece of trash, I been sending to the company for over a year, now I repaired it myself last time it broke, the 2 heating elements needed to be replaced the ones they installed are the cheapest ones out there plus there is a reset button under the cover that sometimes resetting the unit might work for some people but I only recommend this TITAN N-120 to my worst enemies….

  99. i now own a stiebel works just fine, beware of titan mention above, i had a n120 kept breaking, last time i sent it in with a check for repairs, they did cash check ,but sent me back the n120 unrepaired, as it was when i sent it to them,now they will not answer any thing i sent or do. they are knowen for this, many, many complaints. type in (complaints titan n120)you will get a site of horror stories on titan n120, i seen it on ebay and i have learned, if its on ebay leave it on ebay, a nest of scammers

  100. Another tankless water heater, not mentioned in the article, is the Titan from Niagara Industries, http://www.tanklesswaterheater.com/products1.html. I bought the N120 model and am relatively happy.

    It was actually our only choice, because it was the only one I found that will work in a home with 100 amp electrical service. It uses 54 amps, the others were at least 80. This means, however, that it’s just (barely) powerful enough for a good hot single shower at a time–unless you live in hotter areas where it may work better because of higher incoming water temperature. I live in Northern California, and it does work well even in the winter as long as no one runs the sink and shower at the same time. I actually had a minor intermittent problem with mine–very occasional cutting out– and the company was great about sending me a new one, no fuss, even though I didn’t buy it directly from them. (That said, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place, of course). Anyway, I think it might be ideal for single bathroom situations in warm climates, like condos, which they seem to be targeting. It costs about $250, which isn’t bad.

  101. I am having the same problems as the rest of you with SETS. Got it 11 days ago never worked. Getting no help, lots of run around. I did find out some interesting things about the owner that explains alot. E-mail me if you want to know what I found out at vettelvr@nvbell.net You can also check out the owner Jerry Morabito at http://www.classicrealitygroup.com which he also owns.

  102. I guess I’m in the same boat as these other dissatisfied SETS buyers. I bought mine a long time ago, but due to delays in my remodel, I just had it installed last fall, so the warranty is pretty much worthless. The temperature fluctuates between chilly and scalding, and when I reduce it one “blip” on the LED scale, it is barely warm enough to shower. I am frankly afraid that I will need to buy another unit non-SETS, of course. My challenge right now is that I’m unemployed, so I don’t exactly want to blow money on a new water heater…I feel embarrassed that I didn’t do my homework before I bought and installed this unit.

  103. I got my SETS in 2002. This is the 3rd time I have had to send it to the company for repair. The first time, they actually paid shipping both ways (early 2003). Since then, I have had to pay shipping each way. This time the repair took 20 days for them to complete. Customer service is a joke. They even told me it was my responsibility to check with them to see if the unit was repaired, rather than theirs to tell me it was ready. Who ever heard of a company taking that position? While the unit is working, I have not had any real problems–once adjusted, only minor temperature fluctuations. It is when it does not work that things are awful. Luckily I have a backup system for when the SETS needs to be repaired.
    Be aware, BBB rates SETS-Systems an F. If I had known they would be going downhill like this, I never would have bought the system. Avoid this company like the plague.

  104. I also bought this tankless hot water heater a few months back. I did get some problems at first, like water not warm but instead cold water came out. After going back to the company, they decided to give me a new replacement for free.

    It ran fine in the first 2 weeks, but slowly the water starts to get less warmer, and i went to check the water heater to see if I had did something to it. Everything is ok. nothing. So i decided to give up this tankless water heater and go for another brand instead.

  105. Run hard and as fast as you can from SETS. I’ve ‘fighting’ with them for a over a year and a half. They sent me a damaged non working unit. I finally got permission to return it in exchange for another unit. Second unit arrived and guess what, the temperature fluctuates from 85 degrees to 135 degrees. After speaking with a truly rude person at SETS, they finally agreed to allow me to return the second unit for a refund. The only problem is , they would only refund 60% of the price I paid. What a way to make money! Purchase deffective product at full price, return deffective product but only refund customer 60%. After a year and a half of calling, requesting the full refund, them not returning phone calls, rude people and lies, I have finally thrown in the towel.

  106. It seems that the Sets-System is truly a worthless piece of junk. I purchased a unit just over a year ago and since the day it was installed, it has been nothing short of a nightmare.

    My experience with the machine and the company is similiar to the other posts on this page. They seem to care more about the protocols of the warranty and enforcing them with the customer, rather than producing a machine that functions without problems or providing SUPERIOR CUSTOMER SERVICE as mentioned within their mission statement.

    I have had a multitude of issues dealing with temperature fluctuations. When I called, I experienced a very condescending tech department that wanted to only attribute the problem with flow restrictors within the faucets on the water line ( I read the instructions the day of the install and had already removed them by this point).

    The problem was definately within the machine itself. The first time I sent it back for repair was within 4 months after the install. On the phone prior to receiving authorization to send it for repair, the technician argued with me about the route cause of the temperature fluctations.

    I spent nearly $350 for packing materials and overnight shipping (both to and from) to ship the heater for repair. In following up, it was determined that there was an issue and subsequently repaired. SETS returned the product, however, the person who packed it did not take care in repacking my machine . I received it back with cosmetic damage that occurred during the ship.

    The machine was reinstalled and worked for another 3 weeks before the temperature fluctations again returned. I refused to spend any more money on shipping (especially since it was just there). This time I asked to swap the machine. Being that it was less than 1 year old and repaired once, I felt that this should be an extremely fair request. The person I spoke to made it clear that this is not their policy and its not the protocol of the warranty.

    Four different times between this last repair and preceding 8 months, I spent more time troubleshooting and repairing the machine. I have received replacement parts for just about every component of the machine.

    I have asked repeatly for a new machine and each time the same reply: they will not honor my request. In additon, customer service and the tech department have played games by giving me the run around on the phone, false promises, and furthermore, have not returned any of my calls.

    Fed up and frustrated I was able to track down a company executive, Jerry M to discussed my issues. Unfortunately, his only concern was that I abide by the warrany protocols and spend more money and time to ship the machine back for more repairs. Seeing that he was nothing but inflexible with my problem, I gave up. I have replaced the unit with a Bosch Powerstar AE125. Although only installed for a short period, it is working beautifully.

    I have also registered a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I reccomend that anyone else who has experienced these issues do the same.

    Its true that NASA has had a hand at developing this machine, as a quick search on their website will show. My advice to them is, considering their reputation and credibility, I would really be careful who they decide to “get in bed with.”

    I am sick that I spent $800 on this piece of crap.

  107. Stay away from S.E.T.S water heater

    Anybody at Sets Systems who cares:

    When I heard about SETS tankless water heater, I called in to make inquiry
    and left a message in the voicemail. Two days later, I got a respond and the person I talked to did not have any technical info and transferred me to another person, unfortunately, the person was wasn’t there. So I hang up and did more
    read up from SET website and after reading good and negative feedbacks from
    blogs from users that owned the SET units. I was having doubts about SETs after
    reading so many of the negative comments.
    I decided and called to Home Depot and placed the order for the tankless units
    that they have. I even paid $50 extra for them to ship out to me in 2 days.
    Two hours after I placed the order, I got a call from Stacy of Sets and we had a good conversation. I did mention to her all the negative feedbacks from existing owners and she said, people write anything they want and we don’t know if they
    are true or not. I gave the benefit of the doubt for what she said. She said if I can stop the order from HD, she will expedite to ship out their unit to me. After being
    convinced by her, I decided and placed the order. She asked me to call back the next day to check on the status.
    So I called back the next day and somebody told me she is at another office and
    took my number for her to call me back. I got no callback or response.
    I called back a day later and the same gentleman said the same thing to me, to leave my number and he will have her call me.
    I waited and waited and 7 days later, I called again and the same gentleman recognise my name and was surprised that I never got a callback.
    So he asked me to leave my number again for her to call me back. I was furious and mad at that time. When I left my number twice and never got any return call,
    what is the point for me to leave the number again. I refused, instead I asked him
    to check my order status. Two minutes later, he tells me that my order never got shipped out from the warehouse. Right that instant, I asked to cancel my order.
    For 17 days since I ordered, I never got any emails response or call back for a simple order.
    Not only I cancelled the order from HD and pay the $50 non-fundable shipment charge, I am stuck with no hot water for 3 weeks and the frustration for dealing with company like yours. No matter how good your system is if you cannot ship
    equipment out to your customer, what’s the point. I should have listened to all the unsatisfied customers of yours. There are reasons reasons why people write
    negative stuff about some company, because they are not satisfied and disappointed. Now I am one of them that got “screwed” badly.
    Now, I have to waste another week of no hot water as I need to re-order from
    Home Depot.

    Frustrated and Mad

  108. Stay away from SETS Systems. I purchased two of the units for a new construction and have had nothing but problems from them. After numerous phone calls to service, numerous parts installed (by me), and consistently having to send the units back for service, I am purchasing a standard water heater. They even make you pay the return shipping after they “fix” the units. STAY AWAY!

  109. I purchased a SETS Systems electric tankless and I hate it. It fluctuates during a shower. The company responses have been pathetic. They sent me parts. I paid to replace them. They sent me more parts, I replaced them myself and the company sent me no instructions, so who knows if I did it right. They have been unresponsive to my requests to replace my unit. The cost of installing the extra electrical wiring and the fact that SETS tells you to REMOVE ALL FLOW RESTRICTORS! means that you aren’t being as conservative as you could be. I’m terribly disappointed. They made something simple–hot water–complicated. Believe me, you don’t want a hot water system with brains, you end up with a hot water system with a personality disorder!

  110. If you are looking for a tankless water heater I would recommend the Titan electronic tankless water heater. I purchased one years ago and I enjoyed it so much I actually started a company selling them. The titan don’t have the temperature variation problems that other units have and they are protected from dry-starts. They are very compact, very powerful and made in the USA by Niagara Industries who have over 23 years of experience. For more information please visit me site at http://www.etankless.com or you can call me at 888-688-8010

  111. Hi,
    Am Mr kelly and Sons net and will like to order some Electric Tankless Water Heaters

    from your company to west Africa Ghana.I will appreciate you email me back with those that you have in stock as well as their price ranges and also your terms for payments too.I will like to be one of your honest customer’s and hope you answer to my request ASAP.Thank you very much and waiting for your soon responds.
    Best Regards,
    Mr kelly

    1. Do you ever have any problems with the breaker cutting out when running a bath? We bought a Scr 3 N 160 and had it wired to the specifications but can’t seem to get an answer from titan whether this is a common problem.

  112. I had perpetual failures due to draw/venting issues on my old gas tank water heater, in spite of lots of expensive service visits and mods. I wasn’t willing to risk more rounds of the same problems with gas tankless. So, I went electric tankless about six months ago. I wouldn’t consider anything else at this point. It is excellent.

    My choice was made easier because I was already on the green power option we have here in Portland, OR. I think the answer is to get better generating technology, such as distributed, rather than getting the worse water heater technology.

    The electric tankless I got is the Seisco. One of the selling points on it is that it uses standard, off-the-shelf electric water heater elements. So, if they burn out, you get your replacement part at the nearest hardware store.

    I was lucky in that I had the unused capacity in my panel for it, but it is worth noting that panel capacity might be a substantial extra cost issue for most people.

    I hope to put solar hot water upstream of the Seisco one of these days, but I’m waiting for the cost of that to go down. Somebody needs to get the cost of entry on that down.

  113. Hi,
    Like your reviews site.

    One thing to consider in buying any electric heating device (including tankless electric heaters) is that every kilowatt hour generated at a coal fired electric plant results in about 2 lbs of greenhouse gas — this is about 4 times worse than othere common fuels.
    Most of US electricity is generated at coal plants.

    A tankless gas water heater would be a better choice from a greenhouse gas point of view.


  114. I have often found myself contemplating getting one of these. But I think in my instance right now with a pretty decent water heater, the cost tends to outweigh the benefit of the return right now. I think if I were going to put in a new one, I would most definitely check this out as an option though.

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