Exploring Reliance water heaters for domestic water heating. Check out models with the highest energy factors and Energy Star compliance and models that have the lowest impact on the environment, including features to look for.
The review covers several groups of heaters; electric-powered and gas-operated tank-type heaters for single applications and whole-house water heating, and tankless gas units with and without the condensing technology.
The Reliance electric water heaters' group consists of various kinds and models, from small point-of-use heaters with only 2.5-gallon capacity to large 100-gal tanks. The manufacturer provides warranties from 6 to 12 years, where the models with the longest warranties are equipped with premium or commercial-grade features. The group of water heaters with a 6-year warranty offers the largest model selection with tank sizes from 20 to 50 gallons. They are also the most affordable to buy.
Tall and short models are mainly used in whole-house water heating, where the tank size of 50-gallon is the most popular. Point-of-use, compact, and lowboy models are designed for homes with limited space, vacation homes, apartments, and offices.
Electric models are not Energy Star approved, while the heat pumps are.
To select the best electric water heater from Reliance, choose a model that comes with a 12-year warranty, the highest first-hour rating (around 79 gallons), and an innovative electronic user interface for more convenience, better comfort, and safety.
Those models also come with the self-cleaning system, leak detection sensor, heavy-duty sacrificial anode rod for better protection against corrosion, and premium heating elements with dry fire protection, providing the most kilowatts, which is 5,500. These are advertised as premium electric water heaters that can be recognized easily due to the built-in touch-screen display located at the top of the unit.
Reliance heat pumps, or hybrids, are electric water heaters that use heat pump technology and two 4500 kW heating elements to heat the water efficiently. Hybrid heaters are designed to extract heat from the air and move the heat from one place to another (air to water) or combined with direct electric heating to deliver more power during winter.
Reliance offers three models or sizes and includes tanks with 50-, 66- and 80-gallon capacity, providing a recovery rate of 21 gallons and a high first-hour rating from 66 to 86 gallons. The 80-gal models are ideal for homes with a family size of 5+.
All the models are Energy Star approved, so if the federal tax breaks and utility program savings are offered, you can get a pretty good deal. According to the manufacturer, heat pumps can save you a few hundred dollars per year when compared to the electric type.
While the conventional tank-type electric water heaters have a simple design, Reliance heat pumps are more complex and advanced. These hybrids units utilize innovative features such as the electronic user interface with the LCD and options to choose one of the four operating modes (designed for different climates while providing higher or lower efficiency).
The group of Reliance gas water heaters is quite extensive. Models are available with atmospheric, power, direct, and power-direct venting, offering many home types choices. Some gas models are powered by natural gas or propane, while others can use both but with the proper gas conversion.
The best gas models come from the high-efficiency group with the flue damper and power vent systems, and they can achieve high energy factors, making them Energy Star approved. Flue damper models can produce hot water with the first-hour rate of 84 gallons, while power vent models up to 124 gallons, including ultra-low NOx gas emission. Both series include advanced diagnostic gas control valves and are available in two sizes of 40 and 50 gallons.
Reliance also offers Energy Star and condensing models with ultra-high efficiency of 90 and 96%, in sizes of 50 and 75 gallons, but a shorter warranty of 6 years.
If you are looking for more affordable units, you can get gas water heaters with a 12-year warranty, self-cleaning system, heavy-duty anode rod, but with a lower efficiency which is around 0.62. Models with similar features are also offered with the 6- and 9-year warranty, in more sizes, and costing even less.
Specially designed gas water heaters are also available, and they include direct vent models, models for mobile homes, or where the ultra-low NOx gas emission is required.
Reliance tankless water heaters are small and compact units that do not store hot water as the tank-type but use on-demand technology to heat water only when needed. While it is running, hot water is delivered in endless supply to one or multiple applications.
Tankless models are available as non-condensing or condensing, as outdoor models, which are ventless and indoor with concentric or dual vents. Non-condensing models are cheaper, but the energy efficiency is lower - around 0.82. Condensing water heaters cost more, but they are usually the best and most advanced from the manufacturer. They heat water with an ultra-high energy efficiency of over 90%.
Tankless condensing water heaters heat water fast with reduced heat loss and ultra-low NOx gas emission, using eco-friendly burners and state-of-the-art electronics. They come with the diagnostics system, modulating power control, and have long warranties of 15 years, providing better accuracy, reliability, and enhanced comfort and convenience.
This review will show the best of tankless and how one homeowner can quickly troubleshoot problems and get more hot water if needed.
If you are unsure which one to buy, use this article tank vs. tankless to get informed about benefits, advantages, and disadvantages.
Reliance water heaters are owned by AO Smith Company, one of the biggest HVAC companies in North America. You can buy Reliance water heaters offline in Ace Hardware stores or online, such as Amazon.com.
They offer over 100 models, including tank-type, tankless, gas, electric, solar, hybrids, small and tall, for residential point-of-use and whole-house heating, mobile homes, commercial, budget-friendly, and with the most advanced features and technology.
How to contact Reliance:
500 Tennessee Waltz Parkway
Ashland City, TN 37015, 1-800-807-7014