In North America, Rheem is among the most well-known water heater brands. The company offers a wide range of water heaters at different price points, including gas, propane, electric, tankless, hybrid, and tank-type heaters. In addition, Rheem water heaters fall into two major categories: Performance series and Professional series.
Rheem Professional and Rheem Performance series water heater models resemble each other closely. However, the particular specifications vary from one model to another. Rheem Performance series has a wide range of budget water heaters, while the Performance series has premium water heaters.
Below is a detailed comparison between Rheem Professional vs Performance water heaters.
Rheem Professional Overview
Rheem professional products are prefixed by “RTGH” or “RTEX.” Rheem and Ruud exclusively sell them as a package inclusive of installation costs. As such, their pricing is rather premium. The water heaters in this product line fall under the following brand names:
- Professional Classic
- Professional Classic Plus
- Professional Prestige
Rheem Performance Overview
The Rheem Performance models are prefixed by either “ECOH” or “RETEX.” They are sold online and in accredited stores. Models from this line fall under the following brand names:
- Performance Platinum Gladiator
- Performance High efficiency
- Performance Mid Efficiency
Rheem Performance and Rheem Professional Comparison
Rheem Performance vs Rheem Professional Features
- Electric vs gas vs propane
- Tank type vs tankless vs tank and boiler combination
- Indoor vs outdoor
- Condensing vs non-condensing
- Direct vs power vs atmospheric venting
- Standard vs ultra-low Nox
- High vs mid-range vs low GPM
- Built-in recirculation vs recirculation kit compatibility option
- Point-of-use vs housing
Quality and Efficiency
Both Rheem Performance and Rheem Professional water heaters offer superior efficiency, with some having a UEF rating of up to 98%. Ultimately, Rheem Professional water heaters have superior durability compared to Rheem Performance heaters. They have better quality gas control valves and copper heating elements.
While the Performance series water heaters are fitted with two copper heating elements, Professional series heating elements are designed with a stainless steel lower element and copper upper element. Stainless steel offers better durability as it is corrosion-resistant.
The Performance series models are fitted with a Honeywell gas control within a plastic case and a plastic drain valve. On the other hand, Professional series models have a RobertShaw gas control within a metal case and a brass metal drain valve.
The average warranty period varies from one model to another ranging between 5 and 12 years. Maximum GMP also varies from one model to another ranging between 0.9 and 11.
The Rheem Professional and Performance product lines incorporate a few smart water heaters that are EcoNet-enabled. Examples of such smart models include the Professional Prestige Hybrid Electric Water Heater, Performance Mid-Efficiency 70 Direct Vent Indoor, and the Performance Platinum Hybrid Electric Water Heater.
EcoNet is a Rheem smart monitoring system that optimizes a unit’s energy savings, safety, and comfort. It utilizes the latest sensor technology to enable remote control. Through an EcoNet app (compatible with both Apple and Android phones), you can be able to remotely control the water heater, receive service alerts, make service calls, and monitor energy consumption.
Rheem Professional Series Stand Out Features
The Rheem Professional series water heaters stand out for the following features:
EverKleen Self Cleaning System
The self-cleaning system prevents sediment build-up in the water heater’s tank. It works by channeling water through an inlet tube to create a high-velocity spiraling water stream. Since the water is constantly in motion, the lime and sediments do not get an opportunity to settle.
The Everkleen self-cleaning system also enhances the water tank’s durability as it prevents mineral corrosion. When there is a sediment build up on the heating elements, the heater takes longer to heat, which results in higher energy consumption. Therefore, the self-cleaning system optimizes energy efficiency by preventing lime and sediment build up on the heating elements.
Rheem Water Tank Lining
The Rheem water tank lining is designed to prolong the tank’s life by preventing corrosion. A thick glass enamel lining keeps away corrosive elements from getting into contact with the steel water tank. Although enamel linings thin out over time, the Rheem water tank lining is quite thick to ensure that it lasts a long time.
Option for Two Anode Rods
The standard design of water heaters incorporates an anode rod. Typically, anode rods are made of either magnesium or aluminum. These materials are more prone to corrosion compared to steel. The water tank and heat exchangers are mostly made of stainless steel. Therefore, the rod attracts corrosive elements from the water, keeping the steel tank in optimal condition. Over time, the rods wear out and need to be replaced. Otherwise, the corrosive elements begin to deposit on the steel water tank and heating element.
Most water heaters have one anode rod. However, better-quality water heaters have two anode rods. The Rheem Professional water heaters come with an option to install two anode rods. Installation of 2 instead of 1 anode rods doubles each rod’s lifespan, protecting the steel tank for longer.
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The Rheem Professional and Rheem Performance series offer a wide range of tankless water heaters for you to choose from. Go for Rheem Professional water heaters if you are going for a 2-in-1 package that includes installation costs. On the other hand, go for the Performance series if you want more affordable water heaters. Whichever type of Rheem water heater you choose, ensure to maintain it properly to keep it working efficiently for a long time.
Rheem Water Heater FAQs
How Can I Prolong the Lifetime of My Rheem Water Tanks?
The two most critical maintenance procedures for all types of water heaters to enhance durability and optimal performance are:
You should carry out annual flushes to remove any sentiment build-up. Failure to do so may cause your tank to leak or reduce its heating efficiency.
Normally, tap water contains calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. White particles in water indicate the presence of calcium carbonate, also known as lime. Before water is harvested by the municipal council or homeowners, it flows over limestone in rivers and wells. As it flows, it collects tiny amounts of limestone. The lime mostly stays suspended as long as the water is moving. If the water gets still, lime settles at the bottom.
In the case of Rheem tank water heaters, the lime settles at the bottom of the water tank. If the water heater is electric, the lime also builds upon the heating elements. The lime particles keep building up until it forms a layer at the bottom of the water tank or heating element. This build-up causes the water heater to lose its heating efficiency. As a result, the heater has to work a little harder to heat or keep the water hot.
In some cases, it causes the water to heat unevenly. Since the sediments do not build up evenly, they create hot spots. These are areas on the tank or heating element where heating temperatures are extremely focused.
Ultimately, limescale causes the water tank excessive wear. In addition, it may cause cracks on the walls of the water tank resulting in leaking. Annual flushes get rid of the sediment build-up and extend the tank’s life span. Furthermore, most manufacturers require you to provide proof of annual flushes when making warranty claims.
The most common sign of excessive limescale builds up in a Rheem water heater is a rumbling or popping sound when the water heater is operating. The sound is produced when steam is percolating the sediments.
Replacing the anode rods
On average, the anode rod should be replaced every fifth year. However, an anode rod’s life expectancy will depend on the level of corrosive minerals in the water. For example, if your inlet water is primarily hard, the anode rods will corrode fasters requiring to be replaced sooner.
As long as there is an exposed metallic part on the anode rod, it continues to attract the corrosive elements. If the metallic part of the anode rod is no longer visible, it means that the rod is completely covered by minerals and needs to be replaced. Replacing the anode rod timely provides continuous protection on the steel water tank.
Unless you have advanced plumbing skills, replacing the anode rods is not A DIY procedure for most people. Therefore, it is best to hire a reputable plumber to do it. Typically, the anode rods are installed extremely tightly, and if removed the wrong way, they could damage the water heater.
How Do You Maintain a Rheem Tankless Water Heater?
Although Rheem tankless water heaters do not have a storage tank, you still need to flush and clean them at least once a year. This is because sediments and limescale build on the water lines. If not cleaned out, it may block the valves and waterlines, compromising the heating unit’s efficiency and water flow to the hot water faucets or appliances.