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What brand of water heater

Douglas Hansen

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I see more old Rheems than any other brand.

I agree with that, but I don't know if it's due to Rheem quality or the fact that plumbers got a good deal for selling them so they pushed them over over brands, i.e., there's simply more of them out there. At least, there is in Chicago.

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I just replaced my State with a Rheem. The State was a disappointment, lasted only ten years. We've good water here and 30 year old water heaters are not uncommon. No anodes here, never seen one.

My new Rheem doesn't look like my old State at all. Ports are all in different places and dimensions different. It runs out of hot water sooner though, despite same water capacity and element rating. Thinking of adding another one, exact same model, in parallel.


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I have AO Smith tanks. At home I have two 50's that are 14yrs old and have been flawless. I also have couple of 40's that are 18+yrs old at office. I suspect the same unit(s) has several other labels. For me, I want a unit that is no trouble at all. AO Smith would be my choice.

PS: Like Kurt we see equal amounts of Rheem/Rudd and AO Smith.

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Several reasons I like the Rinnai.

1. Endless hot water.

2. Only runs when hot water is in use.

3. No tank for bacteria and gunk to collect in.

4. Takes up very little space.

5. So far flawless operation.

The only negative I can find is the cost.

Do you think it cost less for the amount of water you use?

BTW, we are one step ahead of a cream can on the wood stove!

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I ditched tankless. Long wait to get hot water to the 2nd fl., and use at the kitchen is aggravating because turning the water on and off repeatedly (like one does at the kitchen sink) results in what the industry calls the "cold water sandwich"....the sensors get messed up (or something) and it takes a while to get the hot water rolling again. Maybe that's just the early generation models, but I found it aggravating.

Also, the water bill nearly doubled.....no one gets out of the shower, they just stand there. I've got a 12" rain head running a lot more than 2.5 gpm which is part of the problem.

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I think Les is right on the labeling part. I also suspect a lot of these things are just re-badged units from the same manufacturer/supplier.

Exactly.I had to change a gas valve for a state water heater the other day,Bought a gas valve for a Richmond from menards.

Exactly the same part.

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I was an early adopter. Bosch. Maybe they've figured it out. 6 seconds I can easily deal with. We were waiting 90 seconds-2 minutes. It was ridiculous. Lots of wasted water.

The cold water sandwich part....if they figure that out, I may go back in. In my perfect world, I'd be in brand new with a circulating loop and fully insulated pipes. Then, it's probably perfect.

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I don't know what the ideal solution is. In most houses there is one water heating appliance for all applications, and we live with the long wait times, wasted water, heat loss from piping runs, various recirc schemes, etc. The main issues are at sinks, where the cold water slug is a problem and the faucet might not even flow enough to cause a tankless to kick in (ours had a 5/8 GPM threshold). I have installed small electric tankless units inside the sink cabinet on a few jobs recently and they are pretty satisfying in terms of performance. You have to run a huge wire from the panel, and you have to spend some money to avoid buying a cheapo heater, but if you can afford it, it works.

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There are only a few W/H manufacturer's left in the USA. So many products are 're-branded' for the applicable vendors.

The W/H age files that are in the TIJ Library break some of those down.

Below is a cut/paste from InspectApedia and their information relating to USA-made W/H's. Not the best layout for easy viewing, but still ... data is data.


United States Water Heater Manufacturers & Distributors

Mr. LeMarr points out that presently in the U.S. the remaining actual manufacturers of domestic hot water heater heaters are American, A.O. Smith, Bradford White, and Rheem companies, though their products may be branded among the many names listed just above.

LeMarr also informs us that water heaters made in Japan and China are entering the U.S. market. Whenever we have updates to this water heater age and identification chart we'll post the latest version of it here.

Water heater label-brands currently distributed in the U.S. include Ambassador water heaters, American water heaters, ACE water heaters, A.O. Smith water heaters, Apollo, Aqua Temp, Aqua Therm, Best water heaters, Bosch water heaters,Bradford White, Cafos, Champion, Crosley, Energy Saver, Envirotemp water heaters, GE water heaters, Glascote water heaters, Golden Knight water heaters, GSW, Hotpoint water heaters, JC Penny, Jetglas, JW or John Wood, Kenmore water heaters (Sears Brand), Lochinvar, Lowes, Mainstream, Maytag water heaters, Montgomery Wards, Knight, PermGlas, Reliance water heaters, Revere, Rheem water heaters, Rheem/Rudd/Richmond water heaters, Rinnai, Security, Shamrock water heaters, Standard water heaters, State/Reliance/Sears brand water heaters, Thermo-King, Vanguard water heaters, US Craftsmaster, US Water Heaters, and Whirlpool water heaters.

URL to above source:

W/H Manufacturers/Brands

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