Before you buy a water heater from a big box store…

water heater

(One of the first things I learned as a plumber is, you have to like people and genuinely care about them. Having our Website is part of that. From time to time I will write articles about things I think are important for you to know before making decisions about plumbing.)

Nothing can upset a household quite like a busted water heater. Hidden in a closet or tucked away in your basement, your water heater silently provides a vital service every single time you turn that hot water faucet. When a water heater is well-built and professionally installed, it’s easy to forget about. We just take it for granted that every time we need it, hot water will be there.

And yes, even plumbers take them for granted in their own homes

That is why I would never install a Whirlpool or similar brand purchased from a big box store like Home Depot or Lowes for a do-it-yourself homeowner. Unfortunately, their water heaters not only don’t measure up, there are plenty of disaster stories about these water heaters on the internet that indicate that these appliances can actually be very dangerous. There are plenty of reports of failure, leakage, electrical shorts and even fire!

  • is a good example and there is no shortage of other sites with similar disaster stories from consumers who though it would be okay to cut a few corners.
  • More reviews.
  • The Plumbing Zone A good article on Whirlpool water heaters sold at Lowe’s

As the above links and many more will tell you, there are two main problems with Whirlpool water heaters from big box stores.

First of all, they aren’t even manufactured by Whirlpool. They are made by the American Water Heater Company. Ever hear of them? Neither did I before I started doing some research.

Second, they are flawed in both design and manufacture. The failure rates are remarkably high. If you need a new water heater, especially if your water heater has completely failed, the last thing you want to do is deal with the problem more than once.

So, what do I use? Without exception, I install Rheem. In my professional opinion, these are the best water heaters out there.

I provide my customers with a written warranty on my work. The last thing I want to do is have to go back to an installation and do it again because of a cheap box store water heater.

When I install a Rheem water heater, I know it’s actually an American-made product and that I won’t be going back to an installation to make repairs. All of their water heaters come with some of the best warranties in the business This is quite a bit different than Whirlpool, who will barrage you with around 20 questions. If you answer wrong to any of them, your warranty is void. I have installed hundreds of these water heaters and have only had to return to an installation twice for minor tweaks.

Also, you should never attempt to install a water heater yourself. Even experienced DIY-ers know this. You’re dealing with a large water tank, water, electricity and maybe even gas. Water heaters need to have a proper exhaust system. Deadly gas could escape into your home. Improper installation can cause fires and electrocution: Any time you’re dealing with water, electricity, gas, and combustion exhaust all at the same time, it’s best to hire a pro like me to come in and make all of your water heater problems a thing of the past.

I have installed hundreds of new water heaters. I use proven quality products and I back my work with a written warranty. I will be happy to answer all of your questions, either through the Website or on the phone.

Whatever you do, hire a pro and make sure they install quality products.

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