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Best Water Heaters of 2018

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Updated: Aug. 17, 2018

FurnaceCompare tracks nearly 300 series of water heaters. Of those sold in 2018, which are most highly rated by homeowners?

The list below represents the top-rated water heaters available for sale in the US and Canada. These water heaters vary in efficiency from an Energy Factor of .71 to .95. They also vary in features and price.

Rank Brand and Series Consumer Rating Style Efficiency (Energy Factor) Price Starts At
5. Rheem Performance Platinum 2.56 out of 5 tank up to .93 EF $578
Rheem's Performance Platinum line of water heaters is an electric tank-style model. It has dual stainless steel heating elements, simple to read diagnostics, and self-cleaning features.
4. Rheem Professional Classic 3.2 out of 5 tank up to .93 EF unavailable
Rheem's Professional Classic line of water heaters is an electric tank-style model. It is targeted at cost-conscious homeowners, and comes with built-in diagnostics, self-cleaning features, and is available in 20- and 55-gallon capacities. Rheem\s Professional series is only available to licensed professionals in the trades -- they are not sold directly to homeowners.
3. Rheem Performance Plus 3.39 out of 5 tank up to .95 EF $489
Rheem's Performance Plus line of water heaters is available in both gas and electric models. The Performance Plus comes in 40- and 50-gallon capacities, is self-cleaning and features a premium grade anode rod for longer tank life.
2. Bradford White TTW 4.0 out of 5 tank up to .71 $1,036
Bradford White offers 10 different TTW models, 6 of which are Energy Start qualified. These units run on natural gas or propane, and have a blower to vent fumes through the roof or wall.
1. Rheem Performance 4.08 out of 5 tank up to .95 EF $447
The Rheem Performance is a line of gas and electric water heaters designed for use in many applications, including manufactured housing. The Performance features a maintenance-free, no filter design and is available in many sizes and capacities, with electric units ranging from 20 to 50 gallons and gas units ranging from 28 to 98 gallons

Methodology

Consumers and homeowners have submitted thousands of reviews to this site. In addition to reviewing a particular model of equipment, the reviewer also assigns a rating from 1 ("Very Unsatisfied") to 5 ("Very Satisfied"). The following list ranks the top 5 water heater series from lowest to highest, based on the average of those consumer satisfaction ratings.

FurnaceCompare.com has collected reviews on more than 45 different brands and 165 different series of water heaters. However, we have only included a series on this list if we have at least 5 reviews of that series, and if the series is available in 2018. If we only have a few reviews, there is a risk that a single homeowner will skew the average rating too far in one direction or another.

Pricing

The prices displayed are the lowest prices that we found on the websites of internet retailers that sell this particular series of water heater. Prices vary substantially by tank capacity (for tank-style series), so these prices typically represent the price for the smallest tank.

Detailed Reviews of the Top Water Heating Units

1. Rheem Performance

Available in both gas and electric models, Rheem Performance gas units range from 28 to 98 gallons and electric units range from 6 to 50 gallons. The Gas units have a energy factor of .67 and the electric units have a energy factor of .95. Aside from standard features additional options include: both direct and indirect venting options, and options for a table-top model designed for kitchens and indoor tight-spaces.

Rheem offers a 6-year tank warranty, a 6-year parts warranty, and a 1-year full-in-home labor warranty on the Performance models.

Pros

  • Several owners stated that the unit heats water very quickly
  • Several owners praised the unit for providing a long duration of hot water.
  • Several owners praised the longevity of the units’ lifespan citing more than 5 and more than 10 years in service

Cons

  • One reviewer complained of Rheem having terrible customer service
  • One reviewer complained that the pilot went out within 90 days and there were leaking problems as well
  • One reviewer complained of having the warranty voided because of an inconvenience with flooding, which the warranty did not cover

2. Bradford White TTW

Ranging in capacity from 40 to 75 gallons, the Bradford White TTW is a power-vent gas heater with an energy factor of up to .70. Some models are Energy star qualified. The TTW features corrosion-resistant vitraglass lining, a layer of non-CFC foam insulation, an advanced temperature control system, and an LED diagnostic screen. Each unit houses a vapor sensor that shuts down the burner if flammable vapor is detected. In addition to rust and corrosion resistance, units are configured for vertical and horizontal venting to adapt to any sized environment.

Bradford White offers a 6-10 year limited tank warranty depending on TTW models and a 6-10 year warranty on components (depending on the model).

Pros

  • Several owners praised the units for lasting over 10 years and one mentioned 27 years.
  • One reviewer stated that the 48 gallon model never ran out of water for his house

Cons

  • Several owners complained of the unit dying within 5 years
  • One reviewer complained of terrible customer service

3. Rheem Performance Plus

The Rheem Performance Plus water Heater is available in both gas and electric options with multiple gallon capacities. The gas option comes in either 40 and 50 gallons with a .62 energy factor. The electric models also come in 40 and 50 gallon capacities with a .95 energy factor. The Performance Plus includes self-cleaning capabilities. Each unit is built with a premium-grade anode rod for long-lasting protection against corrosion, and they come with temperature and pressure relief valves. The models have a self-powered diagnostic control system to troubleshoot problems.

Rheem offers a 9-year tank warranty, a 9-year parts warranty, and a 2-year full-in-home labor warranty on its Performance Plus models.

Pros

  • Several reviewers praised the unit for heating water quickly
  • Several reviewers praised the unit for always providing hot water without running out
  • Several reviewers praised the low energy costs of the water heater

Cons

  • Several reviewers complained of terrible customer service
  • Several owners complained of warranty issues with the company
  • One reviewer complained of having 2 water heaters go out within a 9 month period

4. Rheem Professional Classic

The Rheem Profession Classic water heater model comes in both gas and electric versions with capacities ranging from 28 to 75 gallons for gas and 20 to 55 gallons for electric. The gas units have an energy factor of up to .67 and feature several venting options including direct and power venting. In addition, there are Ultra Low Nox models for manufactured housing. The Electric units have up to .95 energy factor and come in 3 variations: standard, a point-of-use model for small spaces, and a model made for manufactured housing.

Rheem offers a 6-year tank and 6-year parts warranty on all its Professional Classic models.

Pros

  • Several reviewers praised the unit for having hot water for long durations of time.
  • One owner stated that unit lasted a long lifespan

Cons

  • One reviewer complained that the unit would not heat the water above lukewarm
  • One reviewer complained that the model had to be repaired twice within 2 years
  • Another reviewer complained that their system sparked and caught fire

5. Rheem Performance Platinum

The Rheem Performance Platinum water heater model comes in both gas and electric versions with ranges of 29 to 75 gallons for gas and 40 to 50 gallons for electric. The Gas units have an energy factor of up to .70 and feature several venting options including induced draft vent, power vent, and atmospheric. The Electric units have a .95 to 2.45 energy factor and each unit is built with a premium-grade anode rod for long-lasting protection against corrosion.

Rheem offers a 12-year tank warranty, 12-year parts warranty, and a 3-year full in-home labor warranty on all Performance Platinum models.

Pros

  • One reviewer praised the unit for being very energy efficient
  • Several reviewers praised the unit for heating the water very quickly
  • Several owners praised the unit for never running out of water

Cons

  • Rheem recalled about 54,000 Performance Platinum water heaters after discovering a problem with the control panel that can cause fires. (Source: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2016/rheem-recalls-to-repair-water-heaters)
  • Several reviewers complained that the units did not last more than 1 year
  • Several owners complained of the units coming with faulty conditions apparent in less than a month or within a day after installation.
  • Several reviewers complained of terrible customer service
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