RHEEM WATER HEATER WARRANTY
Rheem was founded in 1925 in Emeryville, California. In the nearly hundred years since its founding, Rheem has developed a diverse range of products as well as become a market leader in the water heater industry. It is the largest manufacturer of water heaters in North America.
Despite Rheem’s heritage, there is a very clear focus on the future. Each year, Rheem produces a Sustainability Report that sets goals for the near future. For example, in 2020, the Rheem 2025 goals focused on developing more long-term products that operated with greater energy efficiency. What this means for the consumer is that Rheem Water heaters are designed to last longer. This should ensure that Rheem warranties are getting longer – or at least that the products are more durable.
However, it’s still best to understand your warranty in the short term – what is and isn’t covered and how you can determine whether you even have an active warranty. This guide will walk you through all of the key information you’ll need.
WHAT DOES A WARRANTY COVER?
If you have a newer water heater (i.e., one bought since 2017), you will most likely have a 6-year warranty. For older models, your warranty may be eight years, ten years, or 12 years. You’ll need to check online to find out the exact length (see below on how you can do that on the Rheem website).
If your warranty has expired, you can usually buy an extension. This extension will come with a ‘kit’ that you’ll need a plumber to install. This kit contains replacements for some of the most commonly corroded items, such as the anode.
It may surprise you to know that manufacturers are not exactly generous when it comes to their warranty coverage. The section below will explain in more detail what is not covered, although your general rule of thumb should be to assume that anything other than the very basics is not covered.
Your warranty will cover the following:
These will only be covered if all of the following conditions are met:
WHAT DOES A WARRANTY NOT COVER?
As suggested above, there are a lot of scenarios not covered by a warranty. For example, if any of the parts of your water heater are damaged and require replacement, some manufacturer’s warranties will not cover the cost of labor – you’ll need to pay for that out of pocket.
Similarly, if a specific component breaks, your warranty will only cover that exact component. It will not allow for the entire tank to be replaced. The only time you’ll have an entire tank replaced is when it is leaking. In this instance, you’ll be provided with a new tank, although, again, you may need to cover the cost of the labor yourself.
A warranty also won’t cover any damage caused as a result of a malfunction. Water damage is some of the most common – and most expensive – types of damage you can experience as a homeowner. A leaking hot water tank can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. However, this will fall under the remit of your insurance, not your warranty.
In addition, if your broken water heater causes you inconvenience or requires you to change your daily routine, this will not be covered by a warranty. So if you have to check into a hotel while you’re without hot water, that hotel bill is your own responsibility (it may be covered by your insurance policy).
To put it another way, a warranty is designed to ensure that a product lasts as long as the manufacturer says it will – and nothing else. If your anode corrodes ahead of time, you’ll get a new one for free. And that’s about it. For everything else, you need your insurance or your own wallet.
WHY DO YOU NEED A WARRANTY FOR YOUR WATER HEATER?
Warranties come as standard with most water heaters – they’re effectively the manufacturer’s way of saying that they believe their product will last a long time. If you’re in the market for a new water heater, choosing one with a long warranty is usually a good mark of quality. In some cases, manufacturers will offer unlimited warranties. In others (as is the case with Rheem), you’ll have the option to extend your warranty once the initial period is up.
The simplest answer for having some sort of warranty coverage is peace of mind. If your water heater breaks down, the costs involved in repair can very quickly add up. To give an example of the costs involved in water heater repairs, the table below has an overview of the most common malfunctions.
Pilot light won’t ignite (gas heaters only)
Replace either the valve or the thermocouple
$45 - $150 per hour
Strange color or taste to your water
Replace the anode rod (which has usually corroded)
$20 - $50 per hour, plus materials costs
Water won’t heat to your desired temperature
Replace or repair the dip tube
$150 per hour, plus materials costs
A warranty will cover these standard repairs if they are caused by wear and tear. Most water heaters last for about ten years, and many of the components begin to degrade after about six years. This is usually within the warranty period of a water heater.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY RHEEM WARRANTY?
Registering your product with Rheem will not only ensure your warranty is approved and active but will give you access to additional benefits, allow you to extend your warranty when the time comes, or get access to support services.
If you have a Rheem water heater and you decide to use the manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll need to register and verify your water heater. The easiest way to do this is online. The first step is to go to the website using the following link (LINK HERE) with the serial number of your water heater to hand. You’ll need the last ten digits for the web form. Enter in the information and verify your name and other key identifiers.
Stay up to date
You’ll also need to keep Rheem updated on any change in circumstances. For example, if the water heater changes ownership or is repaired by a third party, it may void your warranty. It’s always best to check directly with Rheem in this instance, or you may have a nasty surprise when it comes to paying for damages.
Be careful, though: even if your warranty shows up as still active on the Rheem website, it may not be. Rheem only provides an estimation of the warranty. If your plumber or the place you bought the water heater tells you that it is out of warranty, it may contradict what the Rheem website says. If this is the case, assume it is out of warranty.
Find a pro
If you need repairs to your water heater, Rheem has a list of approved third-party providers who have passed their prestigious ‘Pro Plumber’ test. This certification means that they are sanctioned to work with Rheem products, and their services may be covered under the Rheem warranty.
CAN YOU BUY A THIRD PARTY WARRANTY?
It is not only the case that a manufacturer’s warranty must cover your water heater. In some instances, your home warranty may cover damage to a water heater (and damage from a malfunctioning water heater).
A home warranty is effectively an agreement between a homeowner and a warranty company that provides discounted repair work should a piece of home equipment break. It’s distinct from homeowners’ insurance in that it’s not strictly monetarily based. If your water heater were to break, the costs might not meet your insurance deductible; with a home warranty, you’d be able to get it fixed either free or at a discount, depending on your exact warranty.
Home warranties are effectively umbrella policies that cover a range of household appliances – the most common being:
HVAC (including water heaters)
As with any type of insurance, it’s well worth the investment – you’ll appreciate it when something goes wrong.
Ultimately, knowing what’s involved with a warranty is not an exciting or glamorous task. However, it is one that can save you time, money, and stress if the worst happens. A key mistake to avoid is thinking that a warranty is synonymous with insurance – it really isn’t. Even when dealing with a company such as Rheem, which places so much emphasis on sustainability, it still has relatively narrow terms for its warranty.