Good Water heater brands? Reliance, Kenmore....

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by arfeller, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. arfeller

    arfeller New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    I need to replace my hot water heater and would like to purchase an electric unit 66-80 gallons. 12 Year warranty.

    I live in a small town and have found two units that match this

    Reliance 80 gallon, 12 year warranty (12 80 DART)
    Kenmore 80 gallon, 12 year warranty

    Does anybody have an opinion on the quality of these two units and have a suggestion? Also, is there another brand I should be looking for that would be better then either of these two options?

    Thank you!
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    There is a lot less brand variation between electric WH verses their gas fired relatives. Keep in mind that the extra warranty often only buys you an insurance policy, the tank itself may be identical to a 'lesser' version. IF it were a gas unit, people here like Bradford White and Rheem units (Rheem makes the GE ones for HD), but from what I hear, there's not a lot of differences on electric. The details on the warranty may bare some scrutiny as well. Not all are created equal!
     
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  4. arfeller

    arfeller New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Port Angeles, WA
    Actually, what I noticed was the 12 year warrenty models all had better insulation then the lesser versions. I'm not so much worried about the warrenty as the efficiency as the unit is located in an unfinished basment that gets pretty cold in the winter.

    Also, local PUD and City requires a 12 year warrenty to qualify for the rebates. So really not much additional cost.

    I thought the better insulated units might save me some money. :) Thank you very much for your reply Jim. And good tip, I'll read some more of the fine print on those warrenties.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    All electric appliances show annual use, so since electrically heated things are nearly 100% efficient, any difference in tanks, of identical size, is all in how good the insulation is. But, it has no direct link to the life of the unit. A bit more insulation is cheap when you charge a lot more for the warranty (ummm, insurance) on the thing.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Some companies, such as BW, just charge you a fee to extend the warranty, then give you a new rating plate to validate that the 6 year heater is now a 10 year version. The 12 year heaters often come with 5500 watt elements rather than 4500, but otherwise there is little difference.
     
  7. joemcl

    joemcl In the Trades

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Occupation:
    licensed journeyman plumber
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Rheems 12 yr warranty , add a 2nd anode rod to the tank. Giving you more protection.
     
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