Which Electric Tank WH Rheem Model at Home Depot? Model Breakdowns Inside

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by CleanSC, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    Morning fellas. I searched for this but oddly no takers...

    I purchased a house that has a Titan electric tankless unit (ugh) installed in place of the original tank water heater. The extent of the electrical upgrade was changing the breaker from 30 to 60 amps. The original 10 gauge wire was NOT changed. Yes, that's right. They only swapped the breaker and left the old 30-amp wiring in place. Apparently the lowest bidder is just that for a reason. The breaker is quite a ways from the WH location so he skipped it. Nice.

    Anyhow I pulled the disconnect on that the day we closed. It's been dead ever since. I want to replace the tankless with a new tank unit as originally designed.

    Home Depot sells three Rheem models. Here's how they stack up in the 40-gallon flavor:

    Performance: 6/1 year, copper elements, no exterior controls or lights. $278
    Performance Plus: 9/2 year, copper elements, exterior LED element indicators. $348
    Performance Platinum: 12/3 year, Stainless Steel Elements, full LCD screen and temp control. $448

    As far as I can tell, besides the above they are otherwise the same. Which would you get for your house? Is the stainless element unit worth that premium? My buying style is usually the best, once, and be done with it. But I am also on a budget so money *is* an object. If the stainless unit will in fact be better, I'll do it. I put no value on the LCD displays and other gadgetry. Altho the on board diagnostics on it are nice.

    What say you? Are there better choices elsewhere?

    Thanks, all!
  2. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Florida
    Rheem branded Water Heaters are new to Home Depot. Until recently they only carried GE (made by Rheem). I just bought my most recent water heater just 8 weeks ago from them and all they carried at the time was the GE Branded ones.

    I've had good luck with their 50 gallon GE/Rheem 6 year tank in South Florida. I've installed them in 3 homes in South Florida and never a failure.
  3. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    426
    Location:
    California
    Paying premium for an additional warranty is in most cases a waste of money.

    Go with the 6 year tank. Use is for a year or two, then replace the best elements, for a lot less than $170 (the difference in price).
  4. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    Ahhh this is why I never found any info on here. Ok this thread will serve to help any future searchers on the matter.


    Excellent. Where does one find the SS elements? The ones they sell in HD are not labeled as to what material they are. So I'll assume copper even tho they are SS-looking, likely just coated with something.

    EDIT: The energy factors are different. .90 versus .93 versus .95 on the SS element unit. Is that enough to pay up to the better unit with the alarms and lcd display? Pic below.

    I'm replacing a tankless so I'd like confirmation on tank size since I have nothing to go by.

    This house has two heaters. This one will service:

    Washer, Kenmore HE front loader, uses little water
    Laundry tub (barely used, maybe to wash hands)
    Kitchen (one sink, one DW)
    A half bath that sees no HW use (its in the garage, yay me)
    Master Bathroom (wife takes HOT showers)

    I was aiming for a 40. Should I go 50? Difference in price is a whole 40 bucks.

    Will do a recirc pump retrofit as this is an older house. Also may look into tempering.

    Thanks, fellas! Always appreciated.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,670
    Location:
    IL
    You might expect that an electronic control to be more reliable, but surprisingly the old mechanical stuff seems to be more reliable.

    Regarding size, does wife shower until the water starts to cool? That could guide your choice.

    An insulating blanket over the water heater pays.

    If you want to be able to remove your anode to check or replace later, I would loosen while new, and reinstall with teflon tape and less torque. Otherwise it would take a strong impact wrench to remove it later, and even that does not always succeed. A big breaker bar with a 6-point 1-1/16 socket may be sufficient when new. Most people never check the anode. The water heater maker may suggest doing that, but they don't make it easy. http://www.rheem.com/docs/FetchDocument.aspx?ID=aedbbc95-9a6b-4780-aa23-b0ed9abe41cd
  6. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    Great tip... In fact I have a rental unit for several years now, methinks I should check out the water heater in it. I've never done anything to it. That's for a new thread later.

    Anyhow. No, I don't think those controls are more reliable, in fact, it's just more stuff to break. Haha I know that well. It was more a question of functionality/features and if they were worth it to have for the efficiency ratings which are different.

    Thanks again!

    EDIT: The wife. Right now she's on a tankless so it never cools. Her showers are not long, just very hot. Under ten minutes typically unless she's trying for the home sauna after a rough day.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  7. wondering

    wondering Member

    Messages:
    106
    I thought the energy factor (.90 .93 .95) was dependent on how well the tank is insulated instead of the type of heating elements (copper vs stainless steel) but I may be wrong about this??? Interesting to know.
  8. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Florida
    A water heater living in a Florida garage is relatively inexpensive to run compared to being up north. Inlet water is relatively warm compared to up north so required 1 hour heat rise needed is lower.

    FP&L estimates it costs less than $20/mo to feed it. Cost to keep water hot due to heat loss is only $2/mo.

    Last time I spent the time to calculate my usage it was closer to $12/mo. Going from a .90 to a .95 efficiency would save you less that $1/mo.

    A 40 gallon WH for a 2-3 person household here is fine (especially with 5500 watt elements) UNLESS you want to fill a large soaking bathtub, but if you have the room go for a 50 gallon.
  9. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    Probably as you go up in the range the insulation gets better, causing the different energy factors.

    Okay more reason to go with 6/1 unit. Good to see solid numbers, as I was debating on a gas fired unit as well but chose electric due to logistics, cost (bringing the gas line into the garage & hiring a gas fitter), gas in a working shop garage (many flammable materials/vapors), and perforations in a brand new barrel tile roof.

    I'll go with the 50. I got tons of space (garage corner) and it's only 40 bucks more.

    Thanks again all! With the money saved I can splurge on a Redytemp recirculator. :cool:

    Love this place.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  10. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Florida
    A recirculating pump retrofit has the advantage of getting hot water faster at a fixture far from the water heater. It also saves slightly on your water bill being that your not turning the shower on for 1 plus minutes before you get in.

    The big disadvantage is it wastes lots of energy (electricity) due to heat loss in pipes and this will drive your electric bill up significantly with an electric water heater. You will constantly be reheating water in the uninsulated pipes that cool off under your slab.

    The way around this us to install a switch where you could turn on the pump only just prior to needing hot water.

    I gave up and just live with running the shower full hot for the 75 seconds prior to entering my shower stall.

    JR
  11. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    Jerry:

    Thanks for the input. I plan to only run it when needed, either by switch or by timer during peak hours.

    I was looking at it not only for the long shower wait, but also to help with the washer and the dishwasher. Both use little water, and likely not ever purge the lines enough to get their own supply of hot. So I figured those three reasons would be good ones for a recirculator.

    Do you think a timer or occupancy sensor in this scenario is still a significant energy waster? I've always read good things so it's good to see a local viewpoint on the matter.

    Thanks, Jerry!
  12. waterheater1758

    waterheater1758 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Alabama
    From Rheem

    If money is the object, keep in mind that the performance platinum has an energy saver mode. It will save you upto 60 dollars per year (compared to the label on the side). Although, the DOE regulations prohibit Rheem to advertise this, but the mode is there.
    Even neglecting this mode, the Energy Factor itself is higher for performance Platinum. It loses hardly any heat in standby.
    Also, the electronic control is capable of connecting to the Grid (also not advertised) and Rheem thermostat (if you have one for your HVAC).
  13. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    Interesting first post. Are you a Rheem representative?
  14. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Florida
    Jose,

    I'm fortunate in that my washer laundry room is in the house just on the other side of the wall where the WH resides. It gets hot water very quickly.

    My dishwasher and kitchen sink take forever to get hot water. The dishwasher has its own heating element to heat water so it's not an issue.

    My main shower is another story. It's on the opposite side of the house and it takes forever to get hot. We have 2 shower heads in that shower. I usually turn both to full hot then shut one down before I enter the shower. With both heads running it gets hot pretty quickly.

    What I noticed is that the hot water in the pipe from the WH to the shower cools off very quickly. If I wait just 5 minutes after my wife takes a shower the hot water runs cool.

    My thought was to install a recirculating pump with a manual switch in the bathroom that would run the pump for maybe 5 minutes then time out and shut down the pump. Currently the only time the master bathroom sinks get hot water is immediately after a shower. Fortunately my "cold" water is not really cold. I just checked it and the cold water is 76.5dF.

    Jerry
  15. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    75 seconds is a long time. You seem to be a great candidate for recirc using the on-demand method, especially since your cold water is lukewarm already. 75 seconds of water flow out of two shower heads is a LOT of water to lose down the drain twice a day or more. If you use it on-demand there's no waste of hot water, and you save all that water plus time.

    Water is very cheap here but still: What changed your mind? I don't see any downsides for you besides cost of pump. I'm still learning all this so I'm trying to see what you see that I can't.

    Thanks, Jerry!
  16. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Florida
    75 seconds is with only one shower head turned on. Still that lots of wasted water. Two showers a day, 30 days a month is about 250 gallons of wasted water a month, or 3,000 gallons a year.

    I'll eventually put a recirculating pump in but it's a matter of priorities.

    We just moved into this house about 6 months ago and I've been busy with a lot of renovations; all new floors, 2,100 sq feet travertine, 150 sq yds carpet, all new kitchen and appliances, new vanities and granite in 3 baths, new sink fixtures, new Toto toilets, new water heater w/tempering valve, 20 new Dahl angle stops, new alarm system, wifi thermostats, security cameras, central vac, new pool heat pump, etc etc etc.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  17. CleanSC

    CleanSC Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Miami, FL.
    AH, ok so you are in fact in favor of it. You said you gave up and just let the water run so I got the impression you thought they weren't worth it. I hear you on the priorities, I'm in the same boat, except almost TWO YEARS into this house and NOW looking at a water heater hah! Trust me, I feel that pain. Had to do so many other things first and now the WH is up for some attention. (We shower in the guest bath that has its own Titan tankless (blah). At least this one (they put 2 of these wretched things in the house) is wired properly with 6 gauge wire. So it stays for now. But the other one on 10ga wire and 60a breaker is the subject of this thread.

    I tried to go gas but got quotes at over $4,000 for two tankless units and required new gas plumbing. Yea no thanks. That included the gas company subsidy. Haha

    So anyway what recirc system are you thinking of using? Any brand preferences? I was liking the Redytemp and they way they do it.

    Thanks, Jerry.
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