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

  1. #1
    DIY Member arfeller's Avatar
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    Default Good Water heater brands? Reliance, Kenmore....

    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. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Member arfeller's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    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.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    In the Trades joemcl's Avatar
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    Rheems 12 yr warranty , add a 2nd anode rod to the tank. Giving you more protection.

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