Kenmore Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Kenmore water heaters are popular water heating devices found in both Canada and US, and it's been around for over 100 years. This article will give you an insight of the most popular Kenmore models, what features to look for and side-by-side model comparison.

Kenmore hot water heaters together with other home appliances are available and sold exclusively through the Sears stores. They are also known as the Sears water heaters. This big chain hardware store, except the sales, also offers other services such as the water heater installation, maintenance, repairs, replacement parts, accessories, warranty and protection plans.

Now the question is who makes Kenmore water heaters?

Kenmore belongs to the secondary market heaters that are made by State Industries, a subsidiary of AO Smith.

Kenmore water heaters review

As other popular manufacturers of water heating equipment, Kenmore water heaters are also available as gas, electric and hybrid type, but when compared to big three: Rheem, Bradford White, and AO Smith, Kenmore offers fewer models and sizes. Still, there are models for the budget-oriented families, users looking for the "green" features, models that save energy, save on space and so on.

Natural and liquid propane gas models

Kenmore gas water heaterKenmore gas

There are two types of Kenmore gas water heaters; Standard and Kenmore Elite, most factory set to use natural gas, while some are powered by the liquid propane gas. Kenmore offers a variety of models for residential potable water heating, also for mobile housing and commercial applications, such as the 98-gal model. Most of the gas type heaters use the atmospheric venting, and only a few are power vented.

Standard type

A standard group of Kenmore gas water heaters comes in the range from 30 to 98 gallons, where the majority of the models are available in two, the most popular sizes of 40 and 50 gallons. The best models are coming from the Power vent group, a group that offers a 12-year warranty and Low NOx emission.

There are also few Energy Star models, but with the low standard 6-year warranty. From the atmospheric vent type models, it is recommended to check the models with the automatic flue damper due to its ability to keep the efficiency high.

Elite series

Kenmore Elite water heaters are the most advanced appliances, Energy Star approved, and are available only in two sizes, both with the long 12-year warranty.

Top features

As an addition to the above gas heaters, one should look for the heaters that utilize advanced features such as the RotoSwirl that protects the unit from the mineral build-up.

You would also appreciate getting a non-sacrificial powered anode that protects against corrosion, intelligent gas valve and self-diagnostic system for easy troubleshooting, energy-saving electronic ignition or hot surface, Low NOx burner, thick foam insulation with the high R-value and other.


Kenmore electric water heaters, as the gas type, can also be found as the standard type and high efficient hybrid model.

Standard electric type of Kenmore water heaters comes in a wide variety of sizes; from 10 to 50 gallons, from short and compact to tall sizes and from 3-year to 12-year warranty. All models are built for heating potable water in residential applications.

The best electric models are those with the long warranty of 12 years, thick foam insulation of 3" and a high R-value of 24, Super Lineguard heating elements that last long and have great resistance to lime buildup, the RotoSwirl inlet tube that reduces the sediment build-up...

Hybrid series

The best among electric heaters are actually hybrid water heaters that utilize heat pumps and electric heating elements, for the high efficient water heating and Energy Star approval. These models heat water fast and save more than 60% of the energy due to its high energy factor (over 2.4).

The Kenmore hybrid water heaters include several advanced features such as the smart electronics and user-friendly touchpad control, non-sacrificial powered anode rod and several others. These units are pricey, but due to the lower operating costs will pay off after only a few years.

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Popular gas-powered Kenmore models

  • Kenmore gas water heater 33115 is the 50-gal unit that has the most reviews on and is rated with the 4+ stars. This is a standard type, atmospheric and tall, but has a long 12-year warranty; it includes two anodes for great tank protection, Self-cleaning RotoSwirl cold water inlet tube, and 2" energy efficient foam insulation. The price of this model is between $600 and $700.
  • Kenmore 33166 is the 40-gal water heater that is also rated with the 4+ stars as the above 50-gallon unit, comes with the 6-year warranty as it is equipped with one sacrificial anode and Roto-Swirl inlet tube. The price of this model is between $300 and $400.

Popular electric Kenmore models

  • Kenmore 32154 is the 55-gal electric water heater that is equipped with the 3" tank insulation for better thermal efficiency and two anodes for the enhanced corrosion resistance. The unit price is around $500, and it comes with the long 12-year warranty.
  • Kenmore 32656 is another popular 55-gal unit but has only one anode, 2-inch foam insulation, lower first-hour rating, and 6-year warranty. The price is between $300 and $400.

Where to buy Kenmore

Kenmore water heaters are exclusively sold through Sears US and Canada and K-mart stores, but you can buy them online also.

If buying from the Sears in America, Kenmore electric water heaters will cost you between $250 and $700 for the standard type, or close to $2000 for hybrid, while the gas type is between $300 and $1100.

Related articles

Kenmore gas
Kenmore electric
Kenmore hybrid
Kenmore 30-gal gas
Kenmore 40-gal gas
Kenmore 50-gal gas

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