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Water Heater Rating Sources

Total of 35 Sources
1. Amazon.com
As of August 2013
Water Heaters
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com makes it very convenient to browse through their water heater selection because you can sort by average rating, best sellers or for a specific brand. Traditional storage-tank water heaters get few reviews, but some tankless models receive feedback from more than 100 customers. A few Rheem models are the top-rated water heaters in multiple categories, including natural gas and high-efficiency, while Ecosmart and Ecotemp models dominate the tankless category.
2. BuilderOnline.org
March 31, 2008
2008 Builder Brand Study
by Editors of BuilderOnline.org
Our AssessmentThis 2008 survey of 3,428 builders and contractors compares 13 major brands of water heaters (among many other products). Conducted by market research company Hanley Wood, the survey covers brand familiarity, actual usage and quality ratings. Rinnai Tankless holds the lead. Water heaters branded as A.O. Smith rank much higher than other brands made by that company (including Whirlpool); Kenmore and Maytag rank last.
3. Lowes.com
As of August 2013
Water Heaters
by Contributors to Lowes.com
Our AssessmentSeveral water heaters sold at Lowes.com earn hundreds of reviews from owners addressing features, design, value, ease of use and quality. Many of the storage-tank water heaters, though not all, are branded as Whirlpool, made by A.O. Smith (which also makes water heaters sold under the Kenmore brand). Most of the water heaters earning hundreds of ratings maintain averages of 4 stars out of 5 or better, making it difficult to choose a standout winner.
4. 411Plumb.com
Not Dated
Water Heater Reviews
by Editors of 411Plumb.com
Our AssessmentWater heaters by several manufacturers receive reviews here by an experienced plumber, but without any evidence of testing or head-to-head comparison between models of the same type. One specific review names three water heaters the best of 2010, including the Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300, GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater and Rheem Hybrid Electric Water Heater.
5. WaterHeaterRescue.com
Not Dated
The Basics: The Best Water Heater
by Editors of WaterHeaterRescue.com
Our AssessmentThis website is dedicated to water heater products, tips and resources for both contractors and consumers. While no specific models are mentioned or discussed, the authors touch on the best features to look for and address some general trends and issues with overall brands, including Rheem, Whirlpool, A.O. Smith and Bradford White.
6. GreenBuildingAdvisor.com
Sept. 6, 2012
The Difference Between Storage and Tankless Water Heaters
by Alex Wilson
Our AssessmentThis informative article addresses the differences between storage water heaters and tankless water heaters. The review is well balanced, noting pros and cons of each type. However, no specific water heater models are recommended.
7. TopTenUSA.org
As of August 2013
Top Ten Water Heaters
by Editors of TopTenUSA.org
Our AssessmentTopTenUSA.org ranks a number of home appliances based on energy savings and a variety of other features. A detailed description of how the top picks are chosen is provided, along with a breakdown of Energy Star standards for each product category. The top 10 water heaters are selected in each of four categories: large tankless water heaters, electric storage water heaters, medium tankless water heaters and gas storage water heaters.
8. WaterHeaterTalk.net
As of August 2013
Electric Water Heater Reviews
by Editors of WaterHeaterTalk.net
Our AssessmentThis site dedicated to water heaters includes information on the various types, installation videos and recommendations for the best brands. In two of the most recent articles, the Ecosmart ECO 27 is named the best overall tankless water heater as well as the best energy-efficient model. It's not clear who is behind this site, however, and whether the recommended models have been tested.
9. ConsumerReports.org
August 2013
Water Heaters
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org doesn't rate or rank water heaters, but they do offer an informative buying guide. Editors offer tips on choosing the right storage capacity for your home and compare the different types, including storage tank, tankless and hybrid hot water heaters.
10. Bob Vila's Home Site
Not Dated
Tankless Hot Water Heaters: Should I or Shouldn't I?
by Gale Steves
Our AssessmentAuthor Gale Steves says she uses a Rinnai tankless water heater in her home and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using this type. Cost savings over time are the biggest benefit noted. A few readers also weigh in with comments. Feedback is mixed on whether tankless water heaters actually save money.
11. TerryLove.com
As of August 2013
Water Heater Forum & Blog
by Contributors to TerryLove.com
Our AssessmentPlumbing and building contractors discuss water heaters and other plumbing topics here. Multiple contributors frequently update the forum, with posts dating back to 2006. There are some troubleshooting questions and answers, as well as general feedback on brand quality. Some of the brand comparisons and stories about getting repair parts are quite insightful.
12. Dulley.com
As of August 2013
Water Heating Topics
by James Dulley
Our AssessmentJim Dulley is a mechanical engineer and home-improvement specialist who writes a nationally syndicated column about energy use. All of his water-heater bulletins are detailed and informative, including information on solar water heater kits, tankless water heaters and energy-saving tips. He doesn't mention many specific models, but his buying advice on different types of water heaters is useful.
13. Energy.gov
Aug. 29, 2012
Selecting a New Water Heater
by Editors of Energy.gov
Our AssessmentEnergy.gov is the official website for the nation's energy department, offering advice and resources to consumers on making energy-efficient choices for their homes and lifestyles. This article is a buyer's guide to selecting an energy-efficient water heater, including the various types available, fuel types and costs. Links to type-specific resources are also included, with more in-depth articles outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each type of water heater.
14. Apartment Therapy.com
Sept. 5, 2012
The Pros and Cons of Switching to a Tankless Water Heater
by Jason Yang
Our AssessmentWhile no specific tankless water heater models are mentioned in this article, writer Jason Yang provides a thorough analysis of the pros and cons of switching to a tankless water heater. He covers the cost of installation as well as what homeowners can expect to save over time, in addition to how well these units heat up a continuous water supply compared to traditional 40- or 60-gallon tank water heaters.
15. DoItYourself.com
As of August 2013
Best Electric Water Heater
by Contributors to DoItYourself.com
Our AssessmentAt DoItYourself.com a few contributors discuss water heaters, noting electric models use a lot of energy. A few brands are named best, and overall, users say heat pump water heaters, hybrid and tankless models are best for their lower energy consumption.
16. Family Handyman
Not Dated
Choosing a New Water Heater
by Editors of FamilyHandyman.com
Our AssessmentThis undated article appears to have been written prior to 2011, based on dates mentioned in the content. There are no specific water heater models mentioned; rather, this is intended as a buyer's guide covering the different types. Pros and cons of each are listed, and diagrams supplement the written content.
17. ConsumerEnergyCenter.org
Not Dated
Water Heaters
by Editors of ConsumerEnergyCenter.org
Our AssessmentThis buyer's guide to water heaters provides an analysis of different types of water heaters as well as a thorough explanation of how to interpret the Energy Factor used in ratings and specs. Electric versus gas is discussed, along with the advantages and disadvantages to on-demand hot water heaters. No specific models or brands are mentioned.
18. HVAC-For-Beginners.com
As of August 2013
Water Heater Ratings
by Editors of HVAC-for-Beginners.com
Our AssessmentThis website provides ratings for water heater brands on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 indicating that the editors would install that brand in their own homes. Ratings are based on manufacturers' data combined with their experience installing and repairing units in customers' homes. Only three brands earn a 5-star rating: Everlast, Freedom and Reliance. Marathon and Richmond round out the top five with 4-star ratings.
19. Good Housekeeping
Not Dated
The Good Housekeeping Green House - The Tankless Water Heater Video
by Renee Lewin
Our AssessmentIn this short video, Renee Lewin shows off the Nortiz Tankless Water Heater used in the Good Housekeeping Green House. Lewin points out that the tankless water heater is both energy-efficient and supplies as much hot water as needed on demand. She also notes that tankless models take up less space in the home and are easily hidden out of the way.
20. Okaloosa Gas District
October 2009
Water Heater Test Results
by Editors of Okaloosa Gas District
Our AssessmentObjective tests conducted in 2002 compare a now-discontinued Rinnai gas tankless water heater, a natural gas storage tank model and an electric water heater. The tests are based on the average use of a four-person household and cover fuel costs for all three, as well as the amount of hot water delivered before the tank runs out and recovery time. The Rinnai tankless water heater is superior on all three factors.
21. InspectorsJournal.com
As of August 2013
Best Electric Water Heater?
by Contributors to InspectorsJournal.com
Our AssessmentThis thread dates back to 2010, but there is some valuable information to be gleaned here. Community members respond to a request for the best water heater recommendation with various insights on the best brands. Several commenters note upfront cost isn't as important as ongoing maintenance and care.
22. Contractor Magazine
Dec. 1, 2009
Editor's Choice 2009 Products
by Editors of Contractor magazine
Our AssessmentThe Rheem HP-50 hybrid water heater wins a 2009 Editor's Choice award with this publication aimed at building contractors. The January 2010 issue also gives an Editor's Choice award to American Hometec tankless water heaters, praising the 15-year warranty as well as the coil-less design that keeps the heating element away from water. A June 2009 article by the magazine's editor-in-chief discusses the potential impact of tax credits and other incentives on water-heater choices.
Condensing Storage Water Heaters
by Jim Lunt
Our AssessmentThis review aimed at plumbers discusses condensing water heaters. The author recommends storage-tank models (such as the A.O. Smith Vertex) over tankless condensing heaters, noting some of the drawbacks of tankless models.
24. WaterHeaterRescue.com
As of August 2013
Heat Pump Water Heaters - GE vs. Rheem
by Contributors to WaterHeaterRescue.com
Our AssessmentThis forum discussion, although dating back to 2010, compares the GE Hybrid water heater with one made by Rheem. Although GE water heaters are made by Rheem, there are significant differences between their hybrid units. The GE hybrid takes the edge because its anode rod is replaceable, and the design is more efficient. It also gets reviews here, one right after installation and another after a month or two of use.
2011 Water Heater Market Update
by Prepared by Verinnovation Inc.
Our AssessmentThis report, produced by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, evaluates trends and consumer preferences in relation to water heaters, specifically those related to energy efficiency. Findings indicate that consumers are interested in energy-efficient water heaters yet skeptical about actual savings. Gas tankless water heaters are the most popular type among "alternative" models. The report also points out that A.O. Smith, Rheem and Bradford White are the dominant water-heater manufacturers in the U.S.
26. Bestcovery.com
As of August 2013
Best Water Heaters
by Kerri Ryan
Our AssessmentBestcovery.com features several different reviews of water heaters in various categories, including electric, point-of-use, tankless, natural gas and solar water heaters. Reviewers' recommendations aren't based on any actual testing but do reflect expertise in comparing models for important specifications and features. Some of the models listed are no longer available. The Whirlpool 80-Gallon Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater is named best in two categories.
27. WhirlpoolWaterHeaters.com
As of August 2013
by Contributors to WhirlpoolWaterHeaters.com
Our AssessmentThis retail site is dedicated to selling Whirlpool water heaters as a licensed partner. Customers can post comments on water heaters they've used, and some models have accumulated several hundred.
28. HomeDepot.com
As of August 2013
Water Heaters
by Contributors to HomeDepot.com
Our AssessmentHomeDepot.com publishes owner-written reviews and ratings of the water heaters it sells. Brands are limited, but sizes and types vary greatly. Models get mostly positive reviews, but a few from Rheem and Ariston stand out.
29. Ryan's Inter-Online Web Blog
March 31, 2008
The Rinnai 2520, a Few Years Later
by Ryan Tucker
Our AssessmentThis is an update to an earlier review of the 180,000 Btu Rinnai 2520 tankless water heater that was done shortly after its installation. Despite some minor drawbacks, Tucker is very happy about his choice.
30. Ryan's Inter-Online Web Blog
March 31, 2008
The Rinnai 2520, a Few Years Later
by Ryan Tucker
Our AssessmentThis is an update to an earlier review of the 180,000 Btu Rinnai 2520 tankless water heater that was done shortly after its installation. Despite some minor drawbacks, Tucker is very happy about his choice.
31. CompareTheBrands.com
As of August 2013
40 Gallon Gas Hot Water Heater Reviews
by Editors of CompareTheBrands.com
Our AssessmentSeparate reviews here rate budget-priced, gas, storage tank and tankless water heaters, comparing a few brands for each. The comparisons are based on analysis of reviews found elsewhere, and while they're not exhaustive, the sources are well documented and ratings and top picks are based on clear reasons. A few dozen owners also weigh in with comments and opinions, including some brand recommendations. However, it's not clear how recently these reviews have been updated.
32. HubPages.com
Not Dated
Saving Money with Tankless Hot Water Systems
by "Past Master"
Our AssessmentThis article covers a lot of details about tankless hot water heaters, used alone or with a solar hot-water heater. While no ratings or reviews of specific models are offered, this comprehensive article is a good resource for buying advice, specs and features to look for, as well as statistics.
33. Lowes.com
Not Dated
Water Heater Buying Guide
by Editors of Lowes.com
Our AssessmentIn addition to its owner reviews of water heaters sold on the site, Lowes.com also offers a buying guide covering several types of water heaters, as well as accessories and ratings to look for.
34. ConsumerAffairs.com
Not Dated
Whirlpool Water Heaters
by Contributors to ConsumerAffairs.com
Our AssessmentThis site publishes owners' complaints, so there are no positive reviews here. Recent complaints center on leaks and missing or malfunctioning parts, including the burner assembly and control valve.
35. Popular Science
November 2009
Hybrid Electric Water Heater
by Editors of Popular Science
Our AssessmentThis brief review highlights the energy savings of the GE Hybrid water heater without documenting any testing. A handful of readers add comments.
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