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Although today’s water heaters are designed to require little or no maintenance, the converse of this benefit is that when they break it is usually a permanent situation. When your water heater bites the dust, you will want to consider all your options before purchasing a new one. For this reason, we have created this Reliance water heater review to help you figure out your options for a new water heater.
What Is the Reliance Water Heater?
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Reliance water heaters come in many makes and models. In fact, you can select a wide variety of Reliance water heater review options to read because the company has so many varieties of water heater. Before you start looking at specific models, ask yourself:
- How long is a typical shower in my house?
- How many people might shower at once or back-to-back?
- What is the largest bathtub in my house?
- What other items in my house rely on the water heater?
Knowing the answers to these types of questions will help you as you read this reliance water heater review to determine what option is right for you.
A Reliance water heater review would certainly be leaving information out if it did not mention the specific options offered by Reliance. They include:
- High efficiency water heaters
- Gas and propane water heaters
- Electric water heaters
- Tankless water heaters
- Commercial water heaters
- Pump tanks
In this Reliance water heater review, we will focus on the electric models, since electric water heaters are extremely popular right now. However, do not forget that there are many other Reliance water heater review options right here on this website if you want to explore other models as well.
The Reliance electric water heater comes in various sizes and may be installed in multiple locations, including under counters or in crawl spaces. The heater has a side-mounted cold-water inlet and a side-mounted hot-water outlet to make installation even easier.
The heaters come with basic parts and plumbing and, unlike many water heaters, Reliance still offers repair parts and a long, six-year warranty.
California Proposition 65 Warning
This Reliance water heater review must include information about California’s Proposition 65 warning about this water heater. This law requires warnings be provided to California consumers when any product could expose them to a chemical on the California risk list for potential carcinogens and reproductive threats. California is the only state warning against this water heater.
The warning is not specific to this product but may be a result of California considering electrical cords to be a threat in terms of “cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm.” The state recommends you wash your hands after handling electrical cords such as the one associated with this Reliance water heater review.
Prices listed in Reliance water heater review posts range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the model. The Reliance water heater review here features a six-gallon heater that costs about $250; although some venues offer it for less on Amazon.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare:
- EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater
- Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 36
- Atmor Electric Water Heater
- Ideal for under counter or crawl space installation
- 6 gallon short, 6 year warranty, electric.
- Single 120 volt 1650 watt copper heating element.
This Reliance water heater review focuses on the Reliance 6-Gallon Compact electric water heater. People who own this unit reported they really liked the way it heated water and used it to supplement their other water heaters or in some smaller living spaces. You can use this Reliance water heater review to get an idea about how this specific model works and the type of service Reliance provides its consumers.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
This heater is easy to install thanks to its side ports for bringing cold water in and dispensing hot water. It is also a very fast solution if you do not like waiting for your water to get hot in a kitchen that is far away from the larger water heater, or in a bath with the same issue.
Because Reliance uses standard water heater parts, owners find they can easily replace pieces if necessary. The only issue with installing this heater is that it does not come with a cord, so you will have to permanently install it into your electrical system or purchase a separate cord kit.
This product has a variety of appealing features, including:
- Relatively light weight of just under 34 pounds when empty and 100 pounds when full
- Good dimensions for installing under a sink or in a crawl space 6 gallon capacity
- Inclusion of all components except the cord
- No batteries required
Buyers of this water heater love the design because it is easy to install and its in most small places. It holds enough water to allow your larger heater to take over before it runs out. The only issue anyone reported consistently was the heater runs a bit loud, creating the need for an insulation blanket. Some buyers also complained that non-Reliance vendors did not package the product well, but insisted that other than delivery, the little heater is a “five-star product.”
Reliance offers a six-year warranty on both the tank and the parts.
- Great size to install anywhere
- Side cold-water inlet and hot-
- water outlet
- Good warranty
- Fast heating
- May not work with water softeners
- You will need a cord kit or permanent installation
- May run a bit loud depending on location
- Savings of up to 50% on water heating costs. Dimensions :17H x 17W x 3.625D inches ;Pipes fittings :3/4 inch NPT
- Digital temperature control in 1-degree increments allows control of hot water; Activation Flow: 0.3 GPM
- Copper and stainless components designed for efficiency, durability and easy replacement.
This water heater comes in many sizes, with the smallest being the Eco 11. Because this is a tankless water heater, the product does not actually hold 11 gallons. EcoSmart’s “self-modulating technology” both controls energy output when the heater is not in use and creates a situation wherein the owner should never run out of hot water, since it can heat up to two gallons of water a minute.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
These heaters are relatively easy to use once they are installed, but they each need a dedicated 240 circuits and a system that can handle at least 125 amps, according to the company materials. Most consumers should have a professional install these heaters to make sure their home can handle the load and that the heater is installed correctly.
The Eco 11 comes with a lot of great features, including, most prominently, instant hot water. However, the upper temperature limit is 140 degrees in order to prevent anyone from scalding themselves. It is possible to get higher temperatures, but some consumers report finding “internal jumpers” to help them reach higher temperatures.
Larger Eco units operate better in colder climates, but the Eco 11 does work well as long as the incoming (cold) water temperature is 67 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
The Eco 11 takes up nearly no space at all because it does not have to hold any hot water. It can be used in colder climates as a “point of use” heater, for example, to expedite hot water delivery to a specific bathroom, and does provide “jumper” options for people who want to customize their hot water delivery.
This heater comes with a lifetime warranty. These are the only tankless water heaters with a lifetime warranty currently on the market.
- Lifetime warranty
- Low energy output
- Need dedicated circuits
- Probably need professional installation
- Different climates require different models
- Digital temperature control
- Proven reliability. No venting required.
- DRAWS 150 A. Requires minimum 300 A electric service. Dimensions (H x W x D): 14.52" x 16.54" x 4.61"
The Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 36 is a powerful tankless electric water heater that offers self-modulating power technology to keep you from wasting energy. This model has been discontinued by the manufacturer but was very popular while it was in production and is still available on websites like Amazon from third-party vendors.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
This heater is relatively easy to use because it fits nearly anywhere, does not require venting, and can use a 240- or a 208-volt circuit.
People love this water heater because it has lots of technological features, including:
- Advanced flow control so there is no temperature fluctuation
- No venting required for installation
- 15-20% savings on hot water portion of electric bills
- Digital temperature control
This heater offers a sleek design and can be carried easily until it is installed. The lack of venting is a design advantage as well because it makes it easier to install this heater just about anywhere.
This particular model comes with a 7-year leakage and 3-year parts warranty, but since it is a discontinued model you may encounter issues with the warranty. We gave it three stars because while owners do not report issues, the longer the model is discontinued, the harder it may be to enforce the warranty.
- Great design
- No venting
- Consistent temperature
- Discontinued model
- Relatively expensive
- Designed for single showers
- Recommended flow rate 1. 65 GPM (Gallons per Minute). Water saver shower head highly recommended for optimal performance
- Requires a direct connection to a 50 Amp single-phase, double pole breaker. Required wire size: 6 AWG. 240 volts.
The Atmor tankless, electric water heater has at least 10.5kW, which means it may be ideal for heating a single shower. Like all electric, tankless heaters, the Atmor heater offers instant hot water without worrying about energy output or running out of water.
- Ease of Use
- Design Quality
These heaters are relatively easy to install and are also easy on your electrical system, since they only require a dedicated 50-amp circuit. However, you must install the included Pressure Relief Device (PRD) in order to make the unit function, and most reviews say it works best with a water-saver showerhead.
This is a very straightforward heater. Once installed, it provided hot water on demand. However, if you plan to use this heater for a shower you may find the output a little light unless you use a water-saver showerhead.
The heater is so compact it can be installed under a sink or on the wall right next to your shower.
These heaters come with a 2-year limited warranty and a 7-year leak-free warranty. You might think you do not need a leak warranty on a tankless unit, but since water flows through the unit, it is a benefit.
- Needs relatively low amps to run
- Great for a one-use location
- Low flow of water for the shower model
- Will not work without the PRD
- You need one for each location
Reliance Water Heaters Take Top Place
After reviewing all the options in this Reliance water heater review, the other water heaters do not compete with the multiple uses and high level of customer service that a Reliance water heater brings. Thanks to easy installation that you can handle on your own in most cases, fast hot water delivery, and multiple, easy locations in which to install a Reliance unit, we give the Reliance water heater four stars overall in this review.
While the tankless options are appealing because of their fast delivery and low energy output, the Reliance model appears to deliver the same benefits for a relatively lower price, easier installation and use, and great service as well as the option to replace parts instead of replacing the entire unit if an issue arises.