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Rheem Tankless Water Heater Reviews – 2020 Guide

Rheem Tankless Water Heat Reviews on Water Ripple Background

Finding the right tankless water heater for your home or business can be a tricky affair. There's no shortage of manufacturers vying for your attention, all promising that their models out perform their competitors; and if you haven't considered Rheem, you definitely should. They produce a quailty product with plenty of bells-and-whistles, not to mention, they are competively priced.

Finding the right tankless water heater for your needs is well worth the time and effort. They're not only better for the environment than a tank-style water heater, but you'll also save money on your monthly utility bills. And, maybe best of all, you'll have an endless stream of hot water, so you'll never need to worry about running out of hot water in the middle of your shower again!


About Rheem

Two brothers, Richard and Donald Rheem founded Rheem Manufacturing Company in Emeryville, California in 1925. They began their business by manufacturing steel drums, but soon added other products, such as shipping containers and even musical instruments, to grow their business.

In 1930, the company began manufacturing water heaters, boilers, and tanks, and in the 1950's Rheem began focusing on their HVAC product line.

Rheem acquired Raypak in 1985 which allowed the company to expand into the swimming pool heater and commercial boiler markets. And a short time later, Rheem became a wholly owned subsidiary of Paloma Industries of Nagoya, Japan. Paloma is among the top producers of gas appliances.

Rheem can be reached at their website, which through a series of questions, redirects you to the proper channel.

 

Rheem Products and Lines

Rheem makes a tankless water heater for nearly every need. Their wide product line contains heaters that operate using natural gas, propane and electricity. There's indoor and outdoor models, and within each product line, there's a variety of models that can deliver varying levels of hot water.

There are three model categories: Tankless Condensing, Tankless Mid-Efficiency, and Tankless Electric. Within the Tankless Condensing and Tankless Electric line-ups are two distinct subgroups: The Performance Line and the Professional Line.

The Performance Line is a good match for smaller or normal-sized homes, and are sold in many home improvement stores such as Home Depot.

The Professional Line is suitable for commercial use or large households that have a high demand of hot water. They can be purchased through a Rheem authorized dealer and the price often includes the installation. Although, the Professional Line is also available through Amazon.

Rheem Model Line-up

Condensing Tankless Water Heaters - Rheem's condensing tankless water heaters are a popular choice among consumers. There are a total of thirteen different models broken between the Performance and Professional Lines, with many different sizes available.

They range between delivering a maximum flow rate of 8.4 to 11-gpm (gallons per minute) of hot water, with a UEF (Uniform Efficiency Factor) rating of up to 0.93. Each unit comes with a 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger.

Both natural gas and propane models are available, as well as indoor and outdoor configurations. Many are ENERGY STAR certified.

Rheem RTGH-95DVLN-2 Tankless Water Heater, Grey

Mid-Efficiency Tankless Water Heaters - These water heaters are not as energy efficient as the condensing series, and have a UEF rating of 0.82; none are ENERGY STAR certified. They deliver a maximum flow rate between 7.0 to 9.5 gpm. You can find both natural gas and propane fueled models, as well as indoor and outdoor configurations in the Mid-Efficiency line-up.

Typically, you'll find these heaters less expensive than condensing water heaters. However, there is one important thing to consider when comparing gas tankless water heaters, and that's installation. 

Rheem's Mid-Efficiency Tankless Water Heaters are considered non-condensing, which means, if you purchase an indoor unit, your installations costs will be much higher. But we'll talk more about that later.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters - Rheem also offers a wide selection of electric tankless water heaters. The Professional Classic Series can be identified by the RTEX model number.

Both the Performance and Professional lines offer a 5-year limited warranty and are indoor-only appliances, with 99.8% energy efficiency. The top producing models can deliver a maximum flow rate of 8.8 gpm.

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Rheem Tankless Water Heater Features / Buying Guide

Rheem tankless water heaters are uniformly excellent across many major metrics. For instance, tankless models range from 0.82 to 0.94 UEF. The Uniform Energy Factor, known as UEF, rates a unit's overall energy efficiency, and a higher number is always better.

Higher numbers indicate that the tankless water heater raises liquid temperatures with less energy, either through orginial energy expended or from recapturing energy already spent.

BTU inputs can also vary somewhat across models, ranging from as low as 157,000 to as high as 199,000. BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the heat emitted from the burners. 

Higher BTU numbers equates to faster water heating. So the higher the BTU number the better able the tankless water heater will be able to deliver hot water, especially to multiple faucets at the same time.

Below are a few of the features that makes Rheem's tankless heaters so popular:

Condensing Technology - Rheem offers a wide variety of condensing tankless water heaters to choose between.  Condensing tankless water heaters are typically more expensive upfront, but they are less expensive to install because they don't require high cost venting material to remove the acidic gases.

A Condensing tankless uses the hot exhaust to heat more water, which means they operate more energy efficiently and frequently achieve ENERGY STAR certification.

Connect-ability - For larger homes or offices, Rheem tankless appliances can be connected to one another for additional hot water or power supplies. Cable connections and ports are provided on many of the units, particularly those in the mid-range for energy efficiency and price. 

Recirculation Pumps - Many Rheem tankless water heaters utilize recirculation pumps. These are specialized components that recirculate already heated water if it isn't used by an open faucet. As a result, energy efficiency is further increased, and you'll save even more money.

Recirculation pumps are very popular because they reduce, and nearly eliminate, the wait time for hot water. If you want hot water on demand, you should purchase a tankless heater with a recirculation pump.

Low Gas Emissions - Any of the Rheem tankless water heaters that use natural gas meet the Southern California SCAQMD and Low-NOx qualifications and requirements. This showcases Rheem's overall dedication to energy efficiency and environmentalism.

Rheem tankless appliances are a great pick if you want to minimize your carbon footprint, and since it applies to all of their gas tankless water heaters you can rest at ease that your model meets the requirements. 

Wi-Fi - Many of Rheem's tankless water heaters come with their proprietary EcoNet wireless technology. EcoNet allows you to control and monitor your water heater and other Rheem products from a central control panel, and if you download the app to a smart phone, you'll be able to receive alerts and make adjustments even when you're away from home.

Rheem models that don't come with EcoNet can often be upgraded with the feature. In this way, you can easily purchase a tankless water heater that doesn't have Wi-Fi compatibility upon installation, then add Wi-Fi compatibility after if you decide you need the feature.

Natural Gas, Liquid Propane, Electric

Rheem tankless water heaters run on all three of these energy sources, though which, depends on the model you purchase. Both the natural gas and liquid propane water heaters require professional installation and usually take up more space in your home . . . although, not as much space as a tank-style water heater.

Electric tankless water heaters have a number of benefits over their gas cousins. First, they require less space, and since they are more compact, they can be installed in much tighter locations. They are also far easier to install because they do not require venting.

But perhaps the biggest benefit of an electric tankless is their potential to lower the overall cost of heating water. Since they are over 99% efficient, nearly all of the energy used to operate the tankless goes into heating the water!

Gas Compatibility -  The larger Rheem gas models don't require an  upgrade to ½-inch gas lines. Many competing brands require swapping out ½-inch gas lines to ¾-inch pipe. This helps simplify and reduce the installation costs.

 

Best Rheem Tankless Water Heater Reviews

With so many great water heaters on the market today, it's hard to decide which one to purchase. Even if you've narrowed your choice down to purchasing a Rheem, there's still plenty of models to choose between.

To help you get started, we've selected two of our favorites, a gas unit and an electric. Both of these are excellent units, but as you determine the right water heater for you, just keep in mind, that it's hard to go wrong with a Rheem!

 
 
 
 

Rheem Prestige RTGH-95DVLN-2

Rheem RTGH-95DVLN-2 Tankless Water Heater, Grey

The Rheem Prestige RTGH-95DVLN-2 is powered with clean-burning natural gas and is one of the more energy-efficient models in the Prestige line-up. It comes with a stainless steel heat exchanger, and even has a built-in condensate neutralizer.

If you choose, you can upgrade this unit with Eco-Net and a recirculation pump, which will allow you to modifiy your new system to meet your individual needs.

With a maximum flow rate of 9.5 gallons per minute, this unit is an excellent choice for homes that have multiple outlets in need of hot water simultaneously. 

  • Maximum Flow Rate: 9.5 gpm
  • UEF: 0.93
  • BTU: 199,900 Maximum BTU 
  • Heat Exchanger: Stainless Steel
  • Exhaust Technology: Condensing
  • Emissions: Ultra Low NOx
  • Energy Star Certified: Yes
  • Warranty: 12-year Heat Exchanger 

 
 
 

Rheem RTEX-24

Rheem 240V 3 Heating Chambers RTEX-24 Residential Tankless Water Heater

Rheem's RTEX-24 is an electric tankless water heater capable of delivering a maximum flow rate of 5.9 gallons per minute. The three copper immersion heating elements allow the heater to adjust the power up or down in order to meet your hot water needs while using as little energy as possible.

Although not Energy Star certified (most electric heaters aren't) the RTEX-24 converts 99.8% of the energy it draws into the heating of water. And since it's electric, it'll be inexpensive and realitively easy to install. This is an excellent electric tankless water heater and it's ideal for multiple fixtures running simultaneously.  

  • Maximum Flow Rate: 5.9 gpm 
  • UEF: 99.8%
  • Heating Elements: Copper with Brass Top
  • Heating Chambers: 3
  • Energy Star Certified: No
  • Warranty: 5-years 

Cost of Rheem Water Heaters

As with all tankless water heater installations, the cost is not just the price of the appliance. You'll need to factor in installation costs, operating expenses, and regular maintenance.

As mentioned earlier, purchasing a condensing gas tankless water heater will have a higher upfront cost, however, the installation expenses will be lower. And since condensing units run more efficiently, you'll spend less each month on your utility bill. We highly recommend purchasing a condensing tankless, in the end, they are more cost effective. 

If you're debating between buying a gas tankless or an electric tankless there are a few things you should consider. Electric tankless water heaters are extremely energy efficient, up to 99.9% of the energy goes directly into heating your water. They are also less expensive to purchase and install.

But, electric tankless water heaters do have a downside.  They simply can't deliver as much hot water as a gas tankless appliance. For many homes, an electric tankless will work just fine, but for larger families and commerical settings a gas appliance is probably better suited.

Rheem Tankless Water Heater Installation

Many DIYers like to save a few dollars and do the installation themselves, but having your Rheem tankless water heater professionally installed is highly recommended. In fact, failure to do so could void your warranty.

Installing an electric tankless water heater is far easier than a gas unit, but even these appliances are worth seriously considering professional installation. They require a tremedous amount of electricity to heat the water, and there may even need to be modifications made to your home's electrical. 

When it comes to installing a gas tankless water heater there's even more involved, not to mention safety concerns. The appliance will need to be properly vented and the gas lines and connections correctly installed.

A professional who's trained in working with Rheem heaters will be able to get your new tankless up and running, and you can have peace of mind that everything was done correctly and your warranty won't be in jeopardy.

Ultimately, the cost for a Rheem tankless water heater installation will combine:

  •  
    The overall price of the unit, including any extra features
  • The installation fees
  • The price for additional supplies

Whether you're purchasing a gas or electric tankless water heater, we highly recommend having it professionally installed. After all, you're making a big investment by going tankless and it's best to simply factor installation costs into your overall price.

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Rheem Water Heater Warranties

Rheem offers a competitive warranty on all of their tankless water heaters. For gas units, the heat exchanger is covered for 12-years, Since this is the primary component and the "heart" of the appliance, this is the most critical part of the warranty. Electric heaters have a 5-year heating chamber warranty, which is the critical part of the warranty for electric units.

The warranty is automatically included in any purchase you make unless you install the tankless water heater without the assistance of a licensed professional. The only exception to this is for electric heaters, which may not require an installation specialist depending on your setup. 

Rheem Water Heater Maintenance/Life Expectancy

If properly maintained, a tankless water heater can have a life expectancy of up to 20-years. Proper and frequent flushing is critical to prevent limescale build-up within the heat exchanger and other components.

Failure to flush the limescale regularly will cause your tankless appliance to work harder to deliver hot water, and result in a shorter service life. It may even void your warranty!

Flushing is easy and can be done by the homeowner. However, we do recommend annual inspections for gas heaters by a qualified professional to ensure the appliance is properly calibrated and working as it should.

Preventative maintenance is always a better choice than breakdowns. In the long run, giving your tankless water heater a few hours of preventative maintenance every year will add years to the appliance's service life.

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Rheem Tankless Manual

Each new Rheem tankless water heater will come with a printed "Use and Care Instructions" manual which will guide you through how to operate your appliance and perform maintenance tasks. It even has a troubleshooting guide, complete with error codes.

It's a good idea to tuck your manual away some place safe where you'll be able easily find it when you have a question down the road. However, if you're like most people, manuals tend to get misplaced and aren't available when they are needed most. When this happens, it's nice to know that Rheem has a copy that you can download from their website.

Rheem vs. Other Water Heater Brands

Whether you've just started your search for a tankless water heater or your nearing the end, you've probably noticed that Rheem is a big player in the industry and is very competitive to other brands.

They have an extensive line-up of tankless water heaters across both gas and electric models. Many other manufacturers such as Rinnai, only offer gas models, or Stiebel Eltron, who only has electric appliances.

They also offer an excellent selection of upgrades and features like recirculation pumps across many of their models. And, in an era where we're all more concerned about the environment, the fact that all of their gas models are Low-NOx is a big plus.

You may have discovered that their are many excellent tankless manufacturers, but many of them are less well-known. One major advantage with Rheem is the fact that they are a big player in the market. You shouldn't have any trouble finding someone trained and certified by Rheem to install, repair, and perform regular maintenace on your new tankless water heater.

 

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