Plumbing, Water Heaters

Reliance Water Heater Reviews (8 Things You Should Know)

reliance water heater lg

Water heaters are a critical component of every home, and they take up a large portion of the expenses for an average home every month. It raises the question, which is the most effective and reliable water heater brand on the market? 

If you plan on buying a new water heater, Reliance is a great brand to consider. The brand offers quality heaters that incorporate incredible technology and energy efficiency. The company is reputable for producing water heaters that are Energy Star compliant and with the highest energy factors. 

In this article, we look at everything you need to understand about the Reliance water heater brand. 

A Brief History of Reliance Water Heater

Reliance was started in 1981 as part of the State industries. The company was then bought by A.O. Smith in 2001. Even then, the company continued to operate as a full subsidiary. 

Even though Reliance doesn’t have the reputation of A.O. Smith, the company is known for producing some of the most environmentally friendly heaters on the market. 

The company incorporates technology in its design and development process to make water heaters more quality. Most customers now know that owning a Reliance water heater means reliability and quality. 

Today, Reliance manufactured both commercial and residential water pump tanks and water heaters. In 2017, Reliance’s parent company A.O. Smith generated global sales of $3 billion. 

The company’s water heaters are sold exclusively by home improvement and state stores. 

Nowadays, Reliance has invested in the production of tankless water heaters and electric and gas residential tank water heaters. All the 34 tankless models are Energy Star rated. They also have about 23 high-efficiency models that are Energy Star rated. 

The company designs water heaters that reduce the buildup of sediments and lime in the tank. It is seen especially in the Reliance self-cleaning 909 and Sta-Kleen 1212 water heaters. 

Is Reliance A Good Hot Water Heater?

Reliance water heaters are some of the most reliable water heaters on the market. Several features make these heaters reliable and have a better value.

First, with these water heaters, you’ll get more hot water at a time. They come with higher input, gallon size, first-hour output, and recovery. The water heater is also affordable compared to other products on the market. 

If you buy this water heater, you’ll find a self-cleaning feature. This feature is there to save you money in the long term. 

Let’s look at some of the most reliable Reliance water heaters:

Reliance Hybrid Water Heater

This water heater is designed with a factory-installed pressure and temperature valve that makes everything convenient for consumers. The heater also comes with a 10-year warranty, thus being incredible in the long term. 

The overall construction of this heater is done professionally with enough features in place to improve energy efficiency and heat conduction. 

This water heater is glass lined with anode rods to limit corrosion, thus improving its lifespan. It also has an electronic control system that offers a large LCD for easy usage, operational status, and precise temperature control. 


  • The heater has an energy factor of 3.45
  • It is designed with dimensions of 26.5″ x 69″


  • The heater is incredibly reliable and durable
  • It has a warranty of 10-years
  • The heater has an environment-friendly construction that has non-CFC foam insulation
  • It’s lined with anode rods that prevent corrosion, thus offering an improved longevity
  • It comes with factory-installed pressure and temperature for easy usage
  • The product is designed with an advanced electronic control system


  • It’s expensive

Reliance 40 Gallon Short Natural Gas Water Heater

This product stands out from others thanks to its limited warranty of 12-years. The water heater is also designed with built-in warning and leak detection functionality for smooth operation.

Its electronic thermostat is very superior and doesn’t have any mechanical parts that could wear out. 

The heater is also designed with a dry fire protection system which ensures that your heater won’t turn on unless it’s filled with water. It has an electronic touch screen interface that easily sets the temperatures and operates the heater. 

The unit, therefore, has all the features you would be looking for in a perfect water heater. 


  • The heater has dimensions of 22″ x 47.75″
  • It is designed with an energy factor of 0.93
  • Self-cleaning feature reducing maintenance
  • First Hour Rating of 67 gallons


  • It comes with an incredible 12-year warranty
  • It’s highly durable and reliable
  • The heater has an in-built warning and leak detection functionality for smooth operation
  • It has an electronic thermostat
  • It comes with a dry fire protection feature


  • It’s somehow difficult to install so professional installation is recommended.

How Long Do Reliance Water Heaters Last? 

Just like other water tank options, Reliance tank water heaters last for between 8 to 12 years. The tankless water heaters can last for up to 20 years. 

There is also a variation in lifespan when it comes to electric and gas heaters. Reliance gas water heaters last between 8 to 12 years, while their electric counterparts last 10 to 15 years. 

However, there are certain practices that you must implement for your reliance water heater to be effective and last longer: 

Test the TPR Valve

  • Shut off the cold water-water supply valve and the power
  • Put a bucket below the pipe linked to the TPR (temperature-pressure-release) valve on the side or top of the tank. 
  • Lift the tab of the valve to let some water out. If water continues to flow, replace the old valve with a new one.

Check the Anode Rod

  • Place a hose on the drain valve and allow a few gallons of water out. 
  • If one 1/16-inch socket on the rod’s head and unscrew the anode rod. If it’s coated with calcium or is less than 1/2 -inch thick, buy a new one. 
  • Some anode rods are attached to the hot water outlet requiring some disassembly to access it.

Drain Your Tank and Wash Out Sediment

  • Drain any remaining water in your tank into a bucket. Stir the sediment at the bottom of the tank by opening the cold-water supply valve briefly. Repeat this until you see clean water. 
  • You can close your drain valve, refill your tank, and power the heater. 
  • Even in self-cleaning models, flushing the water heater should be apart of your routine water heater maintenance schedule.

Adjust The Temperature

  • Locate the temperature dial on the tank and unscrew its cover. Using a screwdriver, adjust the temperature to 120 degrees. For every 10 degrees reduction, you’ll save at least 5% in energy costs. 
  • Always turn off the heater or turn down the thermostat if you plan to be away for at least three days. 

Insulate The Pipes

  • You should purchase self-sticking 3-8-inch foam pipe insulations. 
  • Slide the foam over your cold and hot-water pipes. It will prevent condensation during summer. 

Insulate the Heater

  • Cut your insulating water heater blanket to fit around the TPR valve, temperature control, and pipes.
  • Seal cuts and wrap tank sides using foil tape. Avoid covering the top of the heaters. 

Where Are Reliance Water Heaters Manufactured?

Reliance water heaters are manufactured in Ashland City, Tennessee. As we have seen above, the company is reputable for producing commercial and residential water pump tanks and heaters. 

Reliance water heaters also double as a subsidiary of A.O. Smith water product company. The company has its headquarters in Ashland City, Tennessee. 

To show how successful A.O. Smith is, it made sales worth $3 billion in 2017 alone. The annual sales have continually been growing through the years. 

You should also understand A.O. Smith is a huge company that operates in many countries. The other popular brands by the company include Lochinvar, U.S. Craftmaster Water Heaters, State Water Heaters, and American Water Heaters

Cost Of Top Reliance Water Heater Models

Reliance water heaters are among the affordable products in the industry. However, you might also come across some expensive products. 

The cost of a Reliance water heater depends on a variety of factors. For instance, you’ll notice that the price varies with the unit size and capacity of the water heater. The higher the capacity in gallons, the higher the cost. 

The cost of the water heater also depends on the type of fuel used. You’ll even notice the price being higher for products that have more warranties. 

Point of use2.5$243
Point of use6 $289
Electric Low Boy38$660
Electric Short40$513
Electric Tall40$601
Electric Short50$694
Electric Tall50$710
Electric Hybrid50$1710
Natural Gas Short30$678
Natural Gas Tall40$595
Natural Gas Short50$737
Natural Gas Tall50$779
Natural Gas Short, Power Vent40$1346
Natural Gas Tall, Power Vent50$1715
Natural Gas Tankless, Small$886
Natural Gas Tankless, Large$1560

How Is The Warranty On Reliance Water Heaters?

The benefit of buying a Reliance water heater is that almost every product comes with a warranty. In most cases, the warranty applies for both the parts and tanks if failure results from manufacturing defects. 

The exact warranty varies depending on the model. For instance, residential electric water heaters have warranties of 3, 6, 9, and 12 years. Residential liquid propane & natural gas water heaters have a warranty of 6. 9. And 12 years. 

All residential electric heat pump heaters come with a warranty of 6 years. If you decide to buy a residential tankless water heater, you’ll get a warranty of 10 years. There are also residential heat pump heaters that have a warranty of 10 years. 

You can check the Reliance website for complete information on warranties.

How Reliance Compare To Similar Brands

Reliance is a renowned water heater brand. The heater is designed with some quality features that make it stand out from other brands. Let’s look at some of the features: 

The Self-Cleaning Feature

It’s among the most important features of this brand. Almost all Reliance water heaters are developed with a self-cleaning feature that assists in prolonging the brand’s life for extended periods. 

With the self-cleaning feature, you will be guaranteed that the heater’s tank has sediments in a moving state all the time. It ensures that the sediments don’t settle down and lead to a buildup. 

The self-cleaning feature ensures that you have efficient heating, have a full tank, and reduce any possible leaks. It is one feature that isn’t available in other brands. 

Lifespan And Durability

As we have above, Resilience water heaters are high-quality products. The tanks are lined with glass which makes the heater durable. It also makes it possible for the tank to retain more heat. The tanks are also built with anode rods to prevent any possible corrosion. It means that the heaters will have a long life compared to other brands. 


A reliance heater comes with a long-term warranty. The warranty involves both the parts and the whole product. Most water heater products have 6 to 10-year warranties. Since the products are designed with high-quality materials, the manufacturer has a belief in them. Some premium gas water heaters have 12-year warranties.


Reliance water heaters are among the most energy-efficient products in the industry. These heaters are also environmentally friendly due to their low NOx emissions. Almost all Reliance heaters are Energy Star certified. 

What Are The Common Problems With Reliance Water Heaters? 

Reliance water heaters encounter problems that you must troubleshoot and correct. For instance, you might notice that your water heater isn’t providing hot water as usual. The status light, not flushing is a common problem that also requires a quick fix.

In some cases, you might encounter slow water recovery. It might result from several issues, including a small water heater capacity. 

Another common problem is the lime or sedimentation buildup in your tank. A thermostatic mixing valve could also encounter a problem and cause water not to heat enough. The temperature of water might be high or low. 

Other common problems include: 

Final Thoughts

Water heaters are vital additions to a homestead, and buying the best option must be a well-thought-out decision. Resilience water heaters are among the best products on the market that you can select. 

Reliance combines practical design and smart technology to provide reliable results for consumers. There are also several Resilience water heaters to choose from. It would be best to go for an affordable product with a reasonable warranty and energy-efficient. 

If you’re seeking a reliable heater, you can select from any of the products we have mentioned above. However, do enough research before purchasing a water heater. 

We hope that you secure an affordable and energy-efficient heater. 


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.