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Best Electric Water Heater?

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Herndon, virginia
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[#1] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 4:00:49 PM
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We are going to have to get an electric water heater, approx 50 gallons. We've contacted a number of plumbers and each seem to "push" a certain brand. Some have suggested an AO Smith, but the reviews I have read are terrible. Others recommend against a GE because the tank is "thin". And many don't offer a warranty beyond the minimum, and try to get us to purchase an "extended warranty". Any suggestions, and what should be a standard warranty? thanks

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Kenmore, WA
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Best Electric Water Heater?
[#2] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 4:46:20 PM
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Hi,

There are only six water heater manufacturers in the U.S. and all-totaled they manufacture more than 100 brands of water heaters. Rheem makes the GE water heater as well as 18 other brands, so the idea that the tank is "thin" is kind of ludicrous. I'd be interested to see if any of the brands that were recommended in opposition to the GE were made by Rheem as well.

If you are going to buy a conventional tank type electric type water heater they are all similar in design and most share parts provided through the same jobbers that are manufactured by the same manufacturing companies, so claims that some are superior to others are specious.

You can take a very cheap electric tank type water heater, place it next to an expensive tank-type water heater, perform regular periodic maintenance on the cheap water heater and ignore maintenance on the expensive water heater and the cheap water heater will cost about the same to operate and will last as long, if not longer, than the expensive water heater. How long they last and how well they perform will depend entirely on the quality of water in your area, the way you use hot water and how much and what type of maintenance you perform on the water heater. You can be sure of one thing - your experience will differ from others'.

I've read some of the water heater, furnace and other home electro-mechanical system reviews online and have learned one thing; don't believe a whole lot of quality reviews posted by anyone online because no two products produced by the same manufacturer, installed by different techs and owned and maintained by different consumers is going to perform the same way. Consumer expectations, maintenance and service life results will be all over the place.

Want one that will last? Buy one made by AO Smith, Bradford-White, Rheem, State, American or Lochinvar, read the instruction/installation manual - you know, the one in the plastic pocket on the side of the tank that most people have never bothered to even look at let alone read - and then ensure that the tech that installs it has read that manual too and installs it to those specs, and then maintain it religiously in accordance with the instructions found in that manual.

Do that and you'll be happy with your choice. Don't do that and you'll be one of those caterwauling on the net in a few years about the terrible product you'd purchased and the lousy customer service you'd received.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.
I've removed your duplicate post. These are busy guys. They get a little irritated when they see multiple posts about the same topic here and never fail to let me know that it irritates them. Ed.

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Rochester, New York
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Best Electric Water Heater?
[#3] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 4:55:35 PM
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Specious, jobber and caterwauling in the same post. Oh my.
Chad Fabry
StructureSmart Home Inspection Rochester, NY
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Best Electric Water Heater?
[#4] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 4:59:35 PM
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Jeeze,

I had a nice reply I tried to post, and it was denied because the thread had been removed. Must have been the duplicate one.

Oh well.

My water heater is a 20 year old Richmond, but they don't make them like they used to.

Brandon

Portland Home Inspector
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[#5] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 5:00:16 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Specious, jobber and caterwauling in the same post. Oh my.
You do realize that I'm in Seattle and that those of us living in what's known as "The Emerald City" tend to be kind of OZ-like, haven't you? Come-on, pull back my curtain, I dare you. I'm not wearing anything underneath. Bwahahaha!

Seriously, want a trip to OZ? You've got to come to Seattle and poke around Freemont for a day. They take weird to a whole new level down there; they've even got a parade where the participants are nude. You'll swear you must have gone to OZ.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Chicago, IL
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[#6] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 5:02:00 PM
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To shorten up the points a bit.......

Globalization and consolidation of mfg's. leads to there being no clear "best" when it comes to water heaters (or anything else).

Go with the guy that is the best technician/installer, and hope that you get a good water heater.



Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


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[#7] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 5:35:42 PM
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GE costs just a bit more but has the longest warranty.
Bill Kibbel, Historic & Commercial Building Inspections - Old House Resources
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[#8] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 6:01:02 PM
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I'm committed to at least considering a heat pump water heater when mine gives up the ghost. Virginia is a perfect climate for them.

If you don't plan to live there long, it's probably not worth it, but if you're there for the long haul, they can reduce the cost of heating water with electricity by up to 62%. That's not bad. And, they're the water heater on the market today that earns an Energy Star Certification, which allows you to offset the cost to install it by up to 30% - another plus.

http://www.consumersearch.com/...s/review

Here's GE's model and what Consumer Reports had to say about it.

And, here's how it works.

Of course, I'm not in a hurry, so I'll be watching this form of water heating pretty closely.

Hope this helps.

Mike

"This above all: to thine own self be true." - William Shakespeare
Friday Harbor, WA
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[#9] Posted: 09/22/2010 - 7:44:59 PM
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Marathon heaters have an "as long as you own your house" warranty on the tank, but cost more than twice as much as a conventional type.

http://www.marathonheaters.com/

Reno, NV
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[#10] Posted: 01/10/2013 - 6:10:16 PM
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Stay away from American Water Heater. Anything but. They don't back up their product and are experts on the customer service run-a-around. I'm in Reno Nevada and you can't find a distributor here, simply because none want to hassle with them. Dip tube issues several years ago and now thermocouplers. Note American is now pushing their products through the big box stores under the Whirlpool name. Beware.
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[#11] Posted: 01/10/2013 - 6:28:11 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Williams

Stay away from American Water Heater. Anything but.

American was bought by GSW (Canadian) in the early 2ks. AO Smith took over GSW in the mid 2ks.

Look at the components of any recent AO Smith, GSW, Reliance, State, John Wood and American residential water heaters. They're all AO Smith products.

Bill Kibbel, Historic & Commercial Building Inspections - Old House Resources
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[#12] Posted: 01/10/2013 - 7:57:08 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by mgbinspect

I'm committed to at least considering a heat pump water heater when mine gives up the ghost. Virginia is a perfect climate for them.

If you don't plan to live there long, it's probably not worth it, but if you're there for the long haul, they can reduce the cost of heating water with electricity by up to 62%. That's not bad. And, they're the water heater on the market today that earns an Energy Star Certification, which allows you to offset the cost to install it by up to 30% - another plus.

http://www.consumersearch.com/...s/review

Here's GE's model and what Consumer Reports had to say about it.

And, here's how it works.

Of course, I'm not in a hurry, so I'll be watching this form of water heating pretty closely.

Hope this helps.

Mike


Seems like a lot of hardware to accomplish a fairly simple task. First I've heard of them, so. . . what do I know?

'Course it'd be interesting to re-configure and get ice water all summer long. Now, where are those plans for my better mouse-trap?

Bob Kenney
www.IndependentHomeInspectionMD.com
"We are masters of the unspoken word, and slaves to those we speak." Winston Churchill
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[#13] Posted: 01/10/2013 - 9:12:16 PM
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Quote: Dip tube issues several years ago and now thermocouplers.


Having a thermocouple that goes bad is hardly a reason to not buy a water heater. They cost a few bucks, take a few min. to replace, and last for years.

Brandon

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[#14] Posted: 01/10/2013 - 9:20:37 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Williams

Stay away from American Water Heater. Anything but. They don't back up their product and are experts on the customer service run-a-around. I'm in Reno Nevada and you can't find a distributor here, simply because none want to hassle with them. Dip tube issues several years ago and now thermocouplers. Note American is now pushing their products through the big box stores under the Whirlpool name. Beware.
That's his first. My guess is that it it is probably also going to be his last post. He probably won't come back again unless someone says something positive about American brand water heaters, in which case he'll probably show up to mope some more.

Sometimes folks get ticked off at a particular manufacturer over something and then they google the name and spend all of their free time going to those sites on the net to post negative stuff about the product they're unhappy with.

I suppose if one doesn't have anything better to do......

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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[#15] Posted: 01/11/2013 - 02:40:56 AM
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Lookin at my 9 yr old American WH here in the office.. .. not one issue.. I believe Mike is right.. it's multiple things.. probably highest is water quality and amount of usage.. I'd say a certain amount of 'less' use, more problems.. wouldn't you?
'don't assume anything'.. period..
Edwardsville, IL
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[#16] Posted: 08/08/2014 - 2:24:33 PM
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I agree with some of you about water heater mfgs. Yes they all use the same components and a few companies make all of them. How you care for your water heater determines a lot on how long it lasts. One must drain it and refill at least once a year.

As for warranties go and those that have had trouble with companies it is their customer service for the most part. If you want to buy 5000 heaters A.O. Smith will build them and put your name on it so you have your own brand. Of course then you have to honor the warranty and deal with A.O. Smith to back it up.

For the most part the difference between a 5 yr warranty and a 10 yr warranty is the cost you pay for it. The 5 yr heater for the most part will last a minimum of 10 years and the 10 year heater is warranted to last 10 years

I had an electric water heater in my home for 17 years before it leaked.

NS
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louisville, ne
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[#17] Posted: 08/08/2014 - 4:44:20 PM
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The secret to making any water heater last in my experience is to open the drain and flush 5-10 gallons of water and sediment out of the bottem every month,I know of many base line water heaters that Ive installed with 20 plus years on the because of this simple trick.
Lansdale, pa
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[#18] Posted: 08/08/2014 - 8:01:36 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by plummen

The secret to making any water heater last in my experience is to open the drain and flush 5-10 gallons of water and sediment out of the bottem every month,I know of many base line water heaters that Ive installed with 20 plus years on the because of this simple trick.


The secret is that it is a crapshoot. Some go bad in a year and some last 20. I drained my last one on a regular basis and it lasted 9 year. My present one is 15 year old and was never drained.

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[#19] Posted: 08/13/2014 - 9:20:40 PM
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Depends on how good your water is.
Hofuf, AlHasa
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[#20] Posted: 08/25/2014 - 03:56:58 AM
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Hi there
how to select the capacity of the water heater. is there any chart shows the heater capacity versus the number of people?

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Gaston, Oregon
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[#21] Posted: 08/25/2014 - 08:07:25 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by nasser

Hi there
how to select the capacity of the water heater. is there any chart shows the heater capacity versus the number of people?


Gas or electric?

Teenagers or adults?

Jim Katen, Oregon
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[#22] Posted: 08/25/2014 - 2:36:13 PM
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Rain heads-side sprayers-turbo car wash type showers or green acolyte water saver lifestyle?

What's the fixture load, i.e., how many baths, sinks, laundries, dishwashers, etc....?

Kurt in Chicago

"If I smell it, it goes in the report".............Phillip Smith...2012


   
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