AO Smith Vertex VS Rheem Prestige

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by njbillt, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. njbillt

    njbillt New Member

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  2. black88mx6

    black88mx6 New Member

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    I have also been interested in both of these units. I have yet to find any reviews on the Rheem unit; but like the Rheem brand more than AO Smith. The RHE50 is the model for Rheem that I have been looking at.
     
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  4. njbillt

    njbillt New Member

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    The RHE50 is the unit I am leaning towards too, mostly because of the negative reviews on the AO Smith and their customer service and warranty complaints. I was really hoping someone in here had some first hand opinion.
     
  5. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    the smith vertex is a dog and should be avoided at all costs...

    I recently tangled with a customer that insisted on getting one from someone else a few years ago and it never worked right from the get-go..... I was able to warranty out the 50 gal vertex for a 75 gallon power vent through Smith... that would have solved all their problems with the circuit board issues

    I bent over backwards for them but they were only interested in this if I were to do it all for free, They would not pay me a dime to get them out of a jam.... The wife claims that they are selling their 350k house this spring and hope to pass their problems on to the next owner.
    ..... They are still fighting with it to my knowledge.... so piss on them....


    the Rheem is just a better name.... but I really dont trust any of them

    I would rather stay away from both of them because you are the guniee pig that
    they are experimenting on... if you have troubles then its hell to get a service tech that knows what he is doing asap

    A 75 gallon power vent is a better choice over a 50 gallon vertex or rheem unit.. simply because they have all the kinks out of the power vents.... and you have more volume with less troubles
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  6. njbillt

    njbillt New Member

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    Thank you. This is the kind of response I was hoping for, and pretty much what I have read about the Vertex. I may still go with the Rheem though unless somebody has a negative experience to share. The Smith does have some bad reviews online.
     
  7. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    The Vertex has undergone several revisions since it's first incarnation. I woudn't assume the current versions to have the same issues as the early revs from "...a few years ago...", but can't guarantee that you won't. They shipped way too many units before the design was really ready for prime-time, and are paying for it in bad reviews. There are many happy customers out there even using them for space heating combi units (which they are rated for), and there are customers like Mark's who sound like the type who would ever be happy unless the thing did their laundry for them while they were away or something.

    Sounds like Mark's real problem is with the insane client who insisted on getting stuck with an early rev lemon and don't believe in paying for competent service or advice.

    It's not entirely clear that going with a first-generation Rheem will be any better, given that it's design with no track record in the field.
     
  8. njbillt

    njbillt New Member

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    Thank you for this input. I talked to someone at Smith and they said the unit is as good as the installation. If I read between the lines from what he told me, the problem was condensation. But it's a condensing unit, so I don't know what to think. Rheem may be a new product too, but their customer service has a better rating. AO Smith had complaints about service no matter which unit people owned.
     
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  9. Daves-feet-R-wet

    Daves-feet-R-wet New Member

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    Did you purchase the Rheem? I find myself preparing to replace (preventatively) a 10 year old Rheem and my current plumber is recommending the OA Smith. A very good plumber, but they may simply support Smith because they get favorable dealer terms?
     
  10. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    remember that plumbers sometimes install something that gives them a kick-back
    Smith has a rewards program incentive that gives the plumber points towards TVs and plane tickets, so remember this when getting advice ........


    I dont need a kick back to install a Rheem heater....they are the best
    . but I certainly would want something to install a Vertex, cause I know I will be probably be paying dearly for this decision down the road....wehn I am standing on my head trying to repair the unit a year from now.....
     
  11. PAtrick Campbell

    PAtrick Campbell New Member

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    Now that the Rheem RHE50 has been out a while, what are folks thoughts on it? I'm interested in putting this in my home and it's a toss up between this and the Rheem Heat pump hot water heater. The 1st hour rating is a lot higher on the RHE50 so I think it will work better for a busy household like mine. Thanks.
     
  12. PAtrick Campbell

    PAtrick Campbell New Member

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    No feedback on the RHE50p?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  13. MrStop

    MrStop Member

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    I went through the same dilemma a couple of months ago. I wasn't able to find much information on the RHE50 either. I ended up going with a HTP Phoenix Light Duty. Here's some threads going through my thought process that landed me on that unit:

     
  14. PAtrick Campbell

    PAtrick Campbell New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Seems like you are happy with the Phoenix then?
     
  15. MrStop

    MrStop Member

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    I hope to finally have it up and running tomorrow, so now real world experience just yet.
     
  16. PAtrick Campbell

    PAtrick Campbell New Member

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    One thing I couldn't find the Westinghouse or Phoenix in the EnergyStar list of most efficient tanked water heaters. Why is it missing from this list, or did I just miss it?

    The Rheem has a .82 EF, listed as the most efficient along with the AO Smith.

    https://www.energystar.gov/productfinder/product/certified-water-heaters/results?scrollTo=114&search_text=&sort_by=energy_factor&sort_direction=desc&fuel_filter=Propane&type_filter=Gas Storage&brand_name_isopen=&input_rate_thousand_btu_per_hour_isopen=&page_number=0&lastpage=0
     
  17. MrStop

    MrStop Member

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    I looked into the same thing. The issue is a function of how energy star rates things. Due to the max output of the burner (although it modulates), it is placed into a different category and rating system. The AO Smith you have listed is a different product. IIRC, the larger AO Smith Vertex falls into the same issue due to the BTU's delivered.
     
  18. PAtrick Campbell

    PAtrick Campbell New Member

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    Thanks - that explains why they don't show up.
     
  19. MrStop

    MrStop Member

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    I got it up and running last night. I was amazed at how fast it brought the water up to temperature. You can monitor the water temp on the display. I haven't put it through it's paces yet, with multiple back to back showers but it handled a couple of short ones just fine.

    My only negative at this point is that there is a loud fan which looks like it cools an electric board. I still have part of the case off, so I hope that sound diminishes afterwards. It's in a utility room in my basement, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue. Other than that, the unit is totally quiet. I could not hear the burner nor the power vent. The only indication that it was working was the temp increasing on the display.
     
  20. MrStop

    MrStop Member

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    Gave it the torture test tonight: Four consecutive showers with one partially overlapping. Hot water was to be had by all!

    I have the water heater set to 140 degrees. After which, a mixing valve tempers the water down to 120 degrees. As my family was showering, I occasionally monitored the water heater temps. I noticed that in the bathroom with a low flow head (1.85 GPM - Delta Faucet 75152 Water Amplifying Adjustable Showerhead with H2OKINETIC Technology), the water heater kept up with and slightly surpassed the hot water demand. The other shower has some older off-brand hand held that is probably 3+ GPM. In that bathroom, the water heater couldn't quite keep up and you could see temperature slipping. Near the end of the 3rd shower (which had a slight overlap with the second), the water heater temp was down to about 95 degrees. I took the fourth shower and the water was plenty hot. I went downstairs about 3-5 minutes afterwards and the water heater was already back to about 140 degrees.
     
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