Reliance Water Heater Warranty
Reliance prides itself on offering one of the best water heater warranties in the industry. However, in reality, it offers many of the same limited provisions as its rivals. The warranties may be slightly longer, although it is not possible to experience a damaged water heater without it costing you at least some money out of your pocket.
Being savvy with your warranty is one of the best ways you can limit your financial exposure to any damages. This guide will show you how you can ensure you get the most out of your warranty – and how you can supplement it. This will not only help you keep costs low if the worst happens but will also mean you’re more likely to avoid the worst happening in the first place.
WHO IS COVERED?
The first step with a water heater is to know if you are eligible for coverage in the first place. Even this is not as simple as it sounds. Just because you own a Reliance Water Heater does not automatically mean that you are part of the warranty plan.
Unlike some other company’s warranties, Reliance only allows its warranty to remain with the original customer. Some companies allow warranties to transfer if, for example, the homeowner changes. However, if you move into a home with a Reliance water heater (and you weren’t the original purchaser) then there is nothing you can do.
A key caveat of all domestic Reliance Water Heaters is that the terms change if the use is not residential. If you use your water heater in a commercial, industrial, or multi-family setting, then your warranty terms only extend to one year.
Furthermore, Reliance water heater warranties only extend to those models bought and used in the United States. If at any point, you have taken your water heater outside of the United States, then your warranty is invalid.
WHAT IS THE LENGTH OF COVERAGE?
The length of coverage varies from model to model, although it generally falls somewhere between one and 12 years. The below table outlines the warranty lengths for a Residential Electric Water Heater. This assumes that the user is eligible as defined by the terms above.
Tank Warranty Term
Parts Warranty Term
Labor Warranty Term
Your warranty terms will be printed on your warranty sheet. However, if you are in any way unsure as to the terms of your warranty, you can easily look it up using the model number printed on your water heater. The first part of your model number corresponds to the Warranty Code. For example, if your model number begins with a 10, then you have a 10-year tank and parts warranty (and one year’s labor). If it begins with a 9, then it’s a nine-year warranty and so on.
WHAT ARE RELIANCE'S WARRANTY RESPONSIBILITIES?
Although the specifics of coverage do vary from model to model, using the example of a residential electric water heater (i.e., one of the most common models), the warranty covers the following:
The Inner Tank
The inner tank is where the water is stored within the heater. If this breaks, the most common problem is water leaking out. If this breaks within the term of the warranty, then Reliance will provide a brand new water heater. If the model has become obsolete – which is unlikely given that the warranty terms are 12 years maximum – and Reliance cannot find a direct replacement, then they’ll provide you with a comparable model.
Components and Parts
If, as is perhaps more likely than the inner tank leaking, a single component of the water tank breaks, then Reliance will send a replacement. However, as with many water heater warranties, this does not include Anode rods, which are considered to be ‘consumable maintenance parts,’ meaning they degrade over time.
Returns and shipping
If you do claim under your warranty and require Reliance to replace any parts (including the entire water heater), then you’ll need to return the defective part so that Reliance can examine it. This happens at the owner’s expense, and Reliance will only honor the warranty if the parts are packaged correctly. In the case of the water heater, this means that you’ll need to send it with the date plate label; for component parts, you’ll need to tag each part and identify them with the product number, model number, serial number, date of purchase, and date of installation.
Once you’ve returned the parts, Reliance will make a decision on whether you are within the rights of your warranty. You’ll need, therefore, to do everything perfectly (and document everything) to ensure you get the full fruits of your warranty – and even then, you’ll be forced to pay for the shipping.
WHAT IS NOT COVERED?
As is perhaps suggested by the limited extent of Reliance’s responsibilities, there is a great deal that is not covered. Rather than leave it open to speculation, Reliance (as is standard within the industry) has a list very clearly stating the limits of their obligations.
Any of the following will cause the warranty to be declared void, meaning you’ll be on the hook for the full amount:
And as mentioned above, the user is responsible for all shipping and handling costs. Perhaps most importantly, any labor costs involved in a warranty claim (even if the claim is upheld) are not included in the warranty, meaning the consumer will need to pay that out of pocket.
In some states, the exact terminology may differ due to local consumer protection laws. Be sure to check your warranty sheet for exact information.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS?
On the basis that the warranty provides only limited coverage, meaning it’s still almost impossible to avoid any out-of-pocket expenses (particularly since you’ll need to pay shipping costs for any replacement parts), it’s worth looking at alternative ways to protect yourself.
Home Insurance Premium
The most obvious way is through beefing up your home insurance premium. This has the benefit of being relatively cost-effective, especially if you already have a premium – indeed, you may already be covered). In addition, a home insurance policy will most likely cover the damage caused by a broken water heater, which a limited manufacturer’s warranty will not. There are plenty of circumstances with a home insurance policy where you can make a claim, and it costs you nothing out of pocket.
Perhaps a lesser-known alternative is a third-party warranty. These are warranties offered outside of the manufacturer’s warranty that function in broadly the same way. The key difference, however, is that the third-party warranty offers much wider coverage and can often cover multiple appliances at once. Because the companies providing these warranties are often exclusively focused on this (i.e., they don’t manufacture any products), they are far slicker in their customer experience and are easier to claim from than manufacturers.
therefore, you need to decide what is right for your home, your family, and your appliance. The truth is that most appliances last longer than most warranties. This means that there is a strong chance that your appliance will break outside of its warranty. In addition, the many warranty exclusions mean that – even if your appliance breaks during the warranty period – it can be tricky to actually get some kind of compensation.
The two alternative options outlined above are both preferable options, and you can usually find coverage levels for every budget. It’s well worth getting quotes from as many different providers as possible. That way, you can price up what the options are and make the right selection for you. Just accepting the manufacturer’s warranty means that you are putting yourself in the hands of companies with very little incentive to pay out, and that’s never a solid long-term strategy.