Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 19
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by woodworkerx3m Failure at startup
I installed this on Wednesday 6/15/2016. When I tried to start it I got an error code that indicated a "Flammable vapor sensor lockout". I called technical support ( I would give them a 5+ star review). He walked me through a reset procedure that's not in the manual. Still not working. He then asked if I had a DVM to check the resistance reading thru the sensor. I did and it showed the sensor was no good. It was already past the ship time for that day but he sent one out the next day for early Friday morning delivery. Outstanding service. This water heater had a sticker that indicated it had tested OK by AX4222. Their testing must not involve actually checking to see if the water heater works. My family was not happy with being without hot water for 2 days. I know we're spoiled in this country, but one expects a water heater to work when initially installed. Other than that, it's a great unit and I'm very happy with it now that it works.
June 27, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Scott hybrid tank/tankless heater
Reheats fast and we do not run out of water. Looks good and has small foot print. Needs outlet within 8 feet to operate. Not hard to put in for most do it yourselfers but an extra step during install. Had to reset the unit a few times when it was first turned on as the burner did not want to stay lit. Now it is working great. Hope to get many years out of this efficient water heater.
August 9, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by DrgnRebrn The Right Choice
This was the right choice. I was torn between this & two other Rheem options, both of which are 55 gal capacity Performance Series models. One of them was 45k BTUs with a recovery rate of 46 gal/hr. The other was 50k BTUs with a 51 gal/hr recovery rate. Neither were Energy Star certified & both had an est annual operating cost of $277. The 45k BTU one cost $850 & the other cost $950.
The XR90 has several features that drew me to it. First, the cost is $650 with an est annual operating cost of $233, and it's Energy Star certified. That's pretty good considering the performance ratings (comparable to the two options listed above, considerably better than most 50 gal 40k BTU options, and simply blows almost all 40 gal appliances away). Second, this is Rheem's Performance Platinum Series, which contains their top models for efficiency & performance. Third, the recovery rate. This little giant has a 60k BTU burner that produces 61 gallons per hour of hot water! Finally, the size. The dimensions are almost identical to the old 40 gal 32k BTU appliance that I replaced. This was, almost, a "plug-and-play" replacement.
Installation was easy, and I was able to do everything by myself. I had to switch my venting to Type B double wall, but this unit can use either 3" or 4". I switched my inlet & outlet piping to Shark Bite flex line, with the inlet having an integrated ball valve. Luckily I had an accessible outlet for the 8' cord to easily reach.
Post install was, a breeze! The pilot automatically lights. It works. I had her fired up & heating water in no time, with HOT steaming water at the tap in about 12 minutes! Seriously, my kids all took a bath within 30 minutes of me firing her up, and I was able to take a nice hot shower after their baths. I have the temp set to approximately 155, and it is wonderful!
Admittedly I've only had this installed a short time, since 2/25/16; however I couldn't be more pleased & impressed with everything thus far. I highly recommend this water heater. My biggest hesitation was the small talk size, but I'm telling you the performance MORE than makes up for that!
February 28, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Willie Great water heater
This water heater doesn't have legs so I decided to put a base under it to keep it elevated in case my basement gets water in it. I used four 4" cement blocks I purchased at Home Depot to make the base and it worked out great. Water heater was easy to install. This particular water heater requires Type B venting (double-wall). Water heater works great and heats up very quickly when more water is demanded from it. There is a fan mounted on the top of the water heater that generates a little bit of noise but it is not excessive.
March 29, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Goldenpiggy A hybrid between tankless and traditional
Had the house re-piped and took advantage to change water heater. This particular unit is unique in that it marries a small (29 gallon) traditional water heater to a high-powered (60K BTU) burner. The concept works beautifully. It takes a lot of energy to keep 50 gallons of water heated, so keeping 29 gallons warm is much more efficient. But to make up for the difference in smaller storage and still be able to meet demand and recovery, it needs to be able to heat water fast much like a tankless water heater. Most tank-based water heaters have 40K BTU burners. This one has 60K burners. It's a big enough burner to necessitate an induced draft system -- that's the fan assembly at the top to pull air in. Contrary to what you may read on the internet, this particular model is NOT a power vent unit. It is induced draft. You can go through your chimney using existing flue. No need to vent directly to outside. It needs to be plugged into an outlet. The fan makes noise, but still quite a bit quieter than a furnace blower. You do need to have enough air in the space. I leave my basement window cracked just a hair. The ignition is electronic -- no pilot. Comes with a 3" to 4" flue adaptor and 3/4" galvanized NPT heat traps on hot and cold. The unit is petite, but as tall (or taller) than any standard 40/50 gallon tank. Don't let the size fool you -- it is quite heavy. Two people lift going into the basement, for sure.
The hot water is almost instantaneous, and it gets very hot. I have mine set at the 3rd lowest notch. Mine emitted some obnoxious odors first few days of use.
One word of caution when transporting the unit home: DO NOT flay on its side! I know, so how am I supposed to get it home? Rent a home depot truck if you have to and stand it up/strap it well. I made the mistake of transporting home on its side in my minivan. The draft inducer assembly (cast aluminum) is so heavy that it ripped right off. The casing got banged against something and dented (but did not affect operation.) I had to use bigger machine screws to screw draft inducer back on. if you must transport on its side, be sure to either strap the draft inducer to the casing so the top can't rip off, or support the bottom somehow.
I had mine professionally installed. There wasn't enough height to put it on those 18" stands Home Depot sells, so it just went on some concrete pavers. You're supposed to elevate it to prevent combustible vapors (e.g. gasoline) from entering the unit, but it does have a flammable vapor sensor. Check your local code. My plumber did not put dielectric -- he said those heat traps that were preinstalled are the dielectric. I'll have to check on that.
Note there is a $10 cheaper unit with 6 year warranty. I can't tell the difference from looking at it, but mine is 12 year. Probably meaningless. Also, not all Home Depot locations carry this model.
All my previous water heaters have been Bradford White and never an issue. We'll see how far this one goes. So far so good. at $639, cheaper than a tankless of similar recovery rate, much less install cost, and near-instant, very consistent hot water.
August 16, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Chris Very happy, not too loud
I installed myself with no previous experience. Connected directly to my old water heater's type B vent pipe which is allowed by code and explained in this article http://www.ruud.com/documents/xr90-1437--xr90-venting (Ruud is the Menards brand of Rheem.) so make sure your permit inspector is aware of that. I was worried about the reviews that the fan is really loud but in my opinion it is just fine. Yes I can hear it through my un-insulated interior walls however it is not loud enough to be bothersome at all. It is a little less loud than my gas furnace that is from 2010.
I have not run out of hot water yet even when running the dishwasher and both my and my lady taking showers one after the other. I chose this water heater because of how powerful it is and how efficient it is. After showering the water heater will run for no more than 10 minutes to be completely recharged, even after a heavy use. I typically only notice it running once or twice per day when not being used which to me shows that it is not wasting a lot of heat and is well insulated.
The water heater is pretty tall and I was able to move it out of the box and into position by myself however the fan unit on top seems to be the heaviest component. The fan unit on top gets really hot so make sure it is in a safe area away from kids or pets.
I have not had any trouble with mine at all and I have had it installed for 2 months now, will update if anything changes. Overall very happy with this water heater. I got a $100 rebate from Centerpoint energy for this water heater in 2016 - make sure you check your gas supplier for any rebates. Home Depot also matched Menard's 11% rebate when I purchased the water heater and I got the rebate in the form of a Home Depot gift card.
April 15, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Dadof6 90 gallons of hot water in a small water heater
I have an older house and when my 25 year old heater went out the new heaters were too wide to fit onto the space. The only heaters that would fit were the 29 gal heaters but that is not enough for my large family. I found this 29 gal 60,000 BTU heater that makes 90 gal of hot water in the first hour. That is more than my old 50 gal heater.
I read the reviews and decided to try it. I did the instal myself with the help of my sons with no problems. It works better than I had expected. We have a large family and we have not tried to skimp on hot water. We have showers, baths,clothes washer,and dish washer all going at the same time and we have never run out of hot water.
We can hear it when it is on because it is in a closet in the hall. The fan isn't noisy but we can hear it. It only seems to run for a few minutes after we stop using hot water so it gets all heated up really fast
An on demand gas water wasn't an option for us cuz it couldn't keep up with our needs and we would have to run bigger gas lines and special exhaust. This 60,000 BTU heater is a great option for us. I would highly recommend it.
March 8, 2016
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by JaimeN Follow up from Ohio for 2 Faulty Water Heaters
Follow up on 2 faulty water heaters with 4 replacment parts. On Jan 26, 2016, I received vmail they had finally decided to pay the claim for labor costs. On Jan 27, I received email from Rheem stating they would like to "get involved and resolve the difficulties the best they can." "Your complete satisfaction is my goal." Well this is after battling them for 3 weeks to honor warranty to pay labor costs. I wrote this review at Home Depot site, sent letter to BBB in Atlanta (site of corporate HQ), and sent multiple emails directly to Rheem. Regarding performance of water heater, it is now working properly. It just took over 2 months to get to this point, but it is not finished! - until I get the check to reimburse the portion of the costs covered by the warranty. Check should have been sent Next-Day Air - if Rheem is serious about providing great customer service.
January 28, 2016