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Rheem XE50T10HD50U0 Review

By: Carl Laron on September 11, 2017

Bottom Line

If a gas water heater is not a practical consideration, the Rheem XE50T10HD50U0 is an excellent alternative. While electricity is typically costlier than natural gas, this GE hybrid electric hot water heater uses heat pump technology to squeeze that usage down to a relative trickle. It is suitable for families of up to four

Pros

  • Excellent energy efficiency; Energy Star Qualified
  • 50-gallon capacity
  • Digital controls; optional Wi-Fi
  • Good warranty

Cons

  • More expensive than conventional electric water heaters
  • Wi-Fi module gets so-so reviews
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Performance

More hot water, less electricity. The Rheem XE50T10HD50U0 Performance Platinum 50 Gal. 10-Year Hybrid High Efficiency Electric Tank Water Heater is one of a new breed of electric water heaters that have turned to heat pump technology (think of an air conditioner or refrigerator, only working in reverse) to produce plenty of hot water without guzzling kilowatts of energy. Using a hybrid design, the XE50T10HD50U0 also uses standard heating elements to heat water during periods of high demand, or when air temperatures get too warm or too cold for the heat pump to work at peak effectiveness. Users can set operating modes to meet their needs, or let the XE50T10HD50U0 operate in its default (hybrid) mode to automatically balance water needs and energy usage. The digital controls and display are easy to use, and control via a smartphone app is possible via an optional module, though reviews for the Rheem REWRA631EWH Home Comfort WiFi Module for Electric Water Heaters (Est. $100) are not the best. If you need a higher capacity hot water heater, the 80 gallon Rheem XE80T10HD50U0 (Est. $1,900) is similar.

Efficiency

It's an energy efficiency star. Conventional electric heaters are simply too inefficient to earn Energy Star status. Not so the Rheem XE50T10HD50U0. It's Energy Star qualified and has a peak Energy Factor of 3.50. According to the maker, that means that the XE50T10HD50U0 can save a family of four up to $340 per year in energy costs. However, efficiency can be negatively impacted if you choose to set the water heater to rely more heavily on the standard heating elements to provide a boost in hot water output.

Reliability and warranty

Great feedback, long warranty. The Rheem XE50T10HD50U0 has amassed a good track record thus far. At HomeDepot.com, we spotted more than 150 reviews, and this hybrid hot water heater earns a score of 4.4 stars, with recommendations from 90 percent of owners. The 12-year warranty for parts (1 year for labor) is relatively long.

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