Rheem Electric Water Heater Review

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Rheem electric water heaters come in a wide range of models and types, from the smallest point-of-use to large whole-house models, where some are less, some ultra efficient, such as the electric heat pumps. The quality and number of features vary so as the warranty; Marathon models come with the lifetime warranty, while the standard units have the industry average 6-year warranty. Rheem electric water heaters can be purchased through the online stores like Amazon, hardware chain stores like Home Depot or through the Rheem dealers/plumbers.


Rheem electric water heaters like its gas counterparts, are equipped with higher quality component parts, where some are patented by Rheem. The list of the main features is below and are found mainly on the tank-type heaters.

Heating elements

Lifeguard electric heating element, for example, is the premium low-watt electric element so it can provide more heating power by eliminating the high heat concentration, therefore, prolonging the element's life. The Incoloy stainless steel sheath is resistant to the aggressive water action and burn-out.

Anode rod

The patented R-Tech anode rod is made of magnesium and incorporates a special resistor that protects the water heater tank from corrosion.

Sediment build-up protection

In order to protect the electric water heaters from sediment build-up, Rheem incorporates the EverKleen self-cleaning system so the unit can provide more hot water while reducing the energy costs.

Tank lining

Every water heater is designed with the Rheemglass feature, a feature that incorporates the porcelain enamel tank lining that extends the life of the tanks by preventing the tank from corrosion.


Rheem electric water heaters are designed for the whole house and point-of-use service, utilizing the storage tank and on-demand (tankless) heating. The new line of heaters replaced the older models such as the Fury, Imperial and several others.

There are three groups of electric water heaters from Rheem: Professional Line, Performance Line (available only in the US) and Specialty Line.

Professional Line

Rheem electric water heater

The Rheem Professional line comes in two categories; Classic and Prestige. The Professional Classic models are designed with the capacity from 2.5 gallons for the point-of-use service to 120 gallons for the whole house and manufactured housing applications.

The smallest point-of-use models are found in sizes from 2.5 to 20 gallons and due to the space-saving and wall-mount design, these are recommended for small homes, apartments, cottages and where the size of a living space is an issue. These come with the single heating element made of stainless steel making them great for supplying one water fixture, for a long time.

Electric water heaters for the manufactured housing come in sizes from 20 to 50 gallons. These are also equipped with the exclusive Rheem quality features such as the Rheem R-Tech resistored anode rod, Lifeguard stainless steel heating elements (one or two, depending on the model), Rheemglass tank lining and EverKleen self-cleaning feature, all working to provide the top performance with low energy loss.

High efficiency models are found in the Classic Plus series, in capacities from 40 to 80 gallons, where the most popular 50-gal units are designed in two sizes; medium and tall. The energy efficiency is high for this type of electric models; it is in the range from 0.93 to 0.95 which provides good energy savings. The high efficiency series doesn't lack great features; good examples are the resistored upper and lower electric heating elements that reduce the sediment build-up and can last for a long time. Another good example is the System Sentinel that uses the LED to show the operating or malfunctioning element.

The standard series is the most extensive group of Rheem electric water heaters that utilize the above mentioned quality features, and the System Sentinel (some models) as the exclusive diagnostic system that indicates which heating element is faulty. These are built in capacities from 30 to 119 gallons and due to the three sizes; short, medium and tall, can be installed in any home.

The Prestige series of electric water heaters comes as the hybrid type that combines the heat pump and heating elements operated and controlled by the advanced electronics. This results in the ultra high efficiency of 2.45 with the greater energy savings.

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Performance Line

The Performance line of electric water heaters is available only in US. It can be divided into several categories;

  • Platinum series - high efficiency group made of the 40, 50 and 80-gal models with the energy factors from 0.92 to 0.95. These are equipped with the PlusOne water management system, a system that provides leak protection, digital thermostat control, and easy to understand diagnostics. Due to the premium grade anode rod, self cleaning system, Rheem is able to provide long 12-year warranty for the tank and its parts.

  • Performance Plus - is another group of high efficient models, but doesn't have some of the advanced features as the Platinum series. The Platinum series is equipped with the dual 5500 kW stainless steel heating elements, while the Plus series has heating elements of the same power, but are made of copper. The Plus and Platinum series have a recovery rate of 25 gallons, which is higher than found on other models. This series is protected by the 9-year warranty.

  • Standard series is the most extensive line with the capacity range from 20 to 80 gallons and all three sizes; short, medium and tall. This is an economy group and with many models available it is the most popular and affordable group. The warranty is 6 years.

  • Manufactured housing models are available only in 30-gal and 40-gal sizes.

  • Table top is made specifically for kitchens and it provides additional countertop surface for use.

  • Point-of-use are designed for installations in limited spaces and the available capacities are in the range from small 2.5-gal to 30-gal.

Specialty Line

Specialty line can also be divided into several groups where two are the most interesting. These are electric water heaters with the tankless technology and Marathon brand with the limited lifetime warranty.

  • Tankless electric water heaters are found as the RTE series made for the US market and the EcoSense built for the US and Canada, both providing a power from 3 kW to 27 kW. What is common for both groups is the compact size that allows installation almost anywhere inside the house and on-demand water heating. As opposed to the standard tank-type units, tankless utilize the modulating heat exchanger for better energy efficiency.

  • Marathon water heaters are probably the most durable heaters on the market today, mainly thanks to the long lasting seamless polybutene tank that is resistant to corrosion and rust, which also eliminates the need for the anode rod. Marathon can be found as the standard type, heavy duty with higher capacities and small for point of use service. You can read the detail review here.

  • EconSense hybrid water heater with the ultra high energy factor.

  • Table Top made specifically for kitchens.

Where to buy Rheem electric water heaters

You can buy the Rheem electric water heater in one of the hardware stores such as the Home Depot, but my recommendation is to check out the online store Amazon.com as it carries millions of products and has great selection of water heaters and plumbing equipment, with an amazing deals.

(Photo credit to Rheem)

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