View Full Version : What Water Heater To Buy

11-23-2004, 07:46 AM
Hello again all :)

We purchased our home last October knowing that we would need to replace the water heater sooner than later. The house was built in 1994 and the water heater was the original one put in the house when it was built. We live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I have NO idea if this is electric or whatever....I have read here that there can be different kinds :p anyway, it's whatever was standard to put in your basic home built in 1994. So, we need to replace it and I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction for what to buy. What type is better, electric or others...can you replace one with another kind? Any comments are greatly appreciated as always :)

Thank you for your time


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11-23-2004, 08:02 AM
First, you need to look and see if you have gas or electric. Usually, you do not have an option to use either. If yours is gas, there may not be a 220 volt service available ; if yours is electric, you probably do not have a gas supply and flue.

Water heaters are like cars: there's Fords, and there's Buicks and there's BMWs. They all get get you from point A to point B. Some with more "bells and whistles"; some will last longer; some cost more than others.

With the WH, more money will get you a longer warranty, possibly a little higher energy efficiency, possibly a self-cleaning feature. There are only 5 companies in the US making water heaters. Every brand you come across is made by one of these companies. So a lot of what you read in newspapers or other advertising is just hype.

11-23-2004, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the info :)

11-23-2004, 05:57 PM
I agree with everything Jim has said. Primarily because he once rode a train through my state of Kansas. He didn't stop and I think it was at night :eek: .
There has not been the difference in water heater quality like there is in faucets and toilets.
However if yours is gas, then I mention that this summer the burner design changed for all of them. Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant (FVIR). If flammable vapors (gasoline) get into the heater the flame cannot now get out resulting in an explosion from being ignited by the pilot lite. All five manufacturers have developed simular but different systems with different parts. We are just beginning to have some infrequent problems with these heaters and cannot tell yet which ones will be more trouble free. Also heaters are going up about another 20% in January :eek: .

11-24-2004, 09:13 AM
If going electric, I would go for the Rheem Marathon. Going to cost a few bucks more up front, but you have a lifetime heater. Even makes a good selling point when you are selling your home.

11-24-2004, 12:46 PM
Thanks PEW, can you tell me where I might purchase a Rheem Marathon?? I looked on the internet and it says Home Depot sells Rheem but when I went to their website and typed in Rheem into their search engine I couldn't find it :confused: .

Thank you

Bob's HandyGuy
11-24-2004, 12:56 PM
The Home Depot website only lists selected items. I was wanted to search fiberglass insulation last week and only a few products were online. Ask at the store.

11-24-2004, 02:06 PM
You may want to look in your yellow pages for who carries Rheem in your area. I don't remember if Rheem has a locator on their web site, but you may want to look there anyway.


11-24-2004, 04:16 PM
Home Depot sells GE water heaters which are made by Rheem. They don't carry the Rheem branded models, but might be able to order.

11-24-2004, 06:30 PM
You might want to check the warranty restrictions on a "lifetime" water heater. Many consider "lifetime" to be until you sell the house. I had a customer who purchased the house partly because it had a lifetime water heater, but when it failed, (and most lifetime heaters are made of plastic), he learned that since he was not the original purchaser of the heater the warranty was voided.

11-30-2004, 05:14 AM
In the case of Rheem Marathons, as long as they do not change dwelling place the warranty continues.


11-30-2004, 09:44 AM
Thanks for the update on that PEW, greatly appreciated! :)

12-19-2005, 08:29 PM
I have a 1982 RUUD electric water heater,it works well despite its age...I replaced the lower element last year,now the supply of hot water is limited,I suspect the upper elemnt is gone,I tried to remove it in but it seems litteraly frozen,any suggestions or tricks of the trade??;if I ever get it out should I replace the thermostat (it seems to be working).
Thank you

12-20-2005, 04:18 AM
I if one element went out on a 23 year old heater I would replace all elements and stats.

12-20-2005, 05:29 AM
One thing about water heaters. They are not like Fords and BMW's. They are more like Ford, Mercury, Lincoln Zephy, or Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Cadillac Cimarrons. In other words, the important part is the same, all the brand changes is what it looks like. There are about four major manufacturers, Rheem, American, State/A O Smith, and Bradford White. Most of the others are one of these four with a different cover on it.

12-20-2005, 05:34 AM
While that is true The Rheem, or any other brand name, with a different cover may not be built to the same specs.

12-20-2005, 07:07 AM
If it's 23 years old, replace it.

At the end of the day, why not just buy a regular 5 yr. or 10 yr. water heater. I'd opt for the five year. I think they are the same tank. You just pay more for more warrenty.