Ruud Water Heater Review: Reliable & Good? Helpful Tips and Comparisons

Are you looking for the most energy-efficient and reliable water heater that will operate without failing? 

Ruud water heater is among the world’s top brands, and the company is reputable for being a leader in producing cooling, heating, and water heater products. The company is owned by Rheem, a reputable company when it comes to producing water heaters.

Ruud is reputable for manufacturing electric and gas tankless and tank water heaters. It also produces solar and Ruud heat pumps. 

In this review, we look at everything you need to know about Ruud water heaters. 

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A Brief History Of Ruud Water Heaters

Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer, working for George Westinghouse in 1889, designed the first automatic, storage-tank type gas water heater. His design incorporated a temperature-controlled gas valve and a bottom gas heater. The problem with this design was that although the water became hot, it did not stay hot inside the heater. 

For over 130 years, Ruud water heaters have been and continue to be reliable and of excellent quality. Here are some tips and comparisons regarding Ruud hot water heaters if you are in the market for a new water heater.

After receiving his patent, he established his own company called Ruud Manufacturing, where he produced water heaters for commercial and residential use.

Ruud Manufacturing grew quickly, taking over two other heating and plumbing companies in 1908. 

The owner of James Hay Company, James Hay, dissolved his business to become president of Ruud Manufacturing. At the same time, J.H. Folsom of Folsom-Webster Co., a heating and plumbing contracting firm, ended his partnership within the Folsom-Webster Company to serve as chief of the Ruud’s Cincinnati branch. 

Just seven years later, in 1915, the Ruud Manufacturing Company had offices in Pittsburgh, Kalamazoo, Toronto, and Hamburg, Germany.

Since then, the company has transformed into one of America’s biggest manufacturers of quality cooling, heating, and water heating products for commercial and residential purposes. 

In 1960, Rheem, a heating and cooling product manufacturer, purchased the Ruud brand and continues to this day to produce water heaters under both the Rheem and Ruud names.

Today, the company operates manufacturing facilities that employ state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained workers. The product line has also improved, changed, and expanded as new manufacturing technologies and better design techniques are available. 

The company’s history remains intact through the commitment to manufacturing long-lasting, efficient, and reliable equipment. 

Edwin Ruud: The First Automatic Gas Water Heater Invention

Before Edwin Ruud, instant hot water was a luxury inaccessible even to the most affluent Americans. Edwin developed the first automatic gas water heater while working for George Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. 

Edwin’s units went into production in 1889, and patents soon followed. Ruud acquired the rights to his innovation and developed his own company to start manufacturing water heaters in 1897. 

Small and large breakthroughs followed afterward as Edwin Ruud became a top pioneer in commercial and residential water heating products. By the time he left the scene, his innovations had changed the way people had used hot water in homes. 

How Reliable Are Ruud Water Heaters? 

Ruud water heaters are among the most reliable heaters in the industry. These water heaters are designed for high durability and excellent efficiency. 

The heater also requires minimal maintenance, with each product having features that make them perfect at what they do. 

Therefore, the company is a leader in the water heater industry with a presence in Canada, United States, and Mexico. You’ll also fall in love with the reliable customer support offered by the company. Another benefit of buying a Ruud product is the exclusive water heater backing. The company guarantees full protection for your system. 

There are several types of Ruud water heaters as we’ll explore below:

Ruud employs the best parts to develop their water heaters. The company manufactures four major heaters, including electric, tankless, gas, and hybrid-electric water heaters. Let’s explore them below:

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters require a lower cost to operate compared to electric heaters. Of course, it depends on your area’s utility costs. 

Apart from the low operational costs, gas water heaters can preheat water within a shorter period. The tanks on these heaters last about 12 to 15 years, which is longer than the lifespan of electric tanks.

Ruud gas water heaters can also operate with stored energy if there is no power. This is one feature that you won’t find in electric models. 

Electric Water Heaters

An electric water heater is the best option, especially for homes employing traditional energy sources. These water heaters are available in different tank sizes and are readily available. 

The water heaters don’t need much upkeep, are straightforward to install, and have a lifespan of up to 15 years. 

However, there are hybrid systems and energy-efficient systems that offset the high costs of electric power. 

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heater employs a coil system to offer instant hot water. These heaters, therefore, offer a continuous supply of hot water. The heaters are more efficient compared to other available Ruud options. 

However, tankless water heaters have a high initial cost. You’ll like the heaters for their easier maintenance. For tips see our guide for tankless water heater maintenance.

The best thing you can do to make your tankless water heater last longer to the flush your tankless water heater every 18 to 36 months to clean the burners.

The heaters are perfect for houses that are connected to a gas line. There is, therefore, no need for an electrical upgrade. 

Hybrid Electric Heaters

A hybrid water heater heats water using electrical wiring sources. There is a heat pump in place that pulls ambient air in the water tank and then extracts it. Heat pumps are known to deliver hot water at least 33% faster than traditional electric tanks. 

There are various gallon sizes perfect for households of different sizes. However, these water heaters cost more compared to electric and gas water heaters. 

How Long Do The Ruud Water Heaters Last?

As we have seen above, Ruud gas water heaters are more durable compared to electric water heaters. The lifespan of a Ruud gas water heater is between 12 to 15 years. Most electric Ruud water heaters also have a similar lifespan. 

The unit’s longevity is affected by; how well and consistently it is maintained, the nature of the water contained within, whether you installed it properly and where the heater is located within the building.

Consider the following list to prolong the life of your Ruud Water Heater.

  • Maintaining your water heater is the best way to make your unit last longer, yet many people aren’t aware of what this involves. For pro tips on how to keep things working well for years, check out our maintenance tips here.
  • The type of water you have in your home affects the lifespan of your water heater. According to calgaryinspection.ca, hard water contains minerals which can build up inside your water heater and cause limescale accumulation. Build-up on the heating elements causes your unit to lose efficiency and makes for more wear-and-tear on the components, including your anode rod.
  • Improper installation of your water heater can lead to major problems, the least of which is a shortened lifespan for your unit. An article on canadianunderwriter.ca details the perils of an improperly installed water heater which include; pressure build-up resulting in an explosion, leaks, corrosion and a denied insurance claim if damages occur. 
  • Placement of your water heater is also important to its longevity. Tips from hunker.com include placing your unit against an exterior wall leaving room for the flue, finding a location that is as close as possible to the hot water taps in the house (the further away, the harder the water heater must work), and choosing a spot that allows easy access to perform maintenance.

The actual lifespan of a water heater varies with the water quality, installation quality, unit design, and maintenance schedule. For instance, regular water heater replacement and maintenance might even increase the lifespan of a water heater to up to 20 years. 

Water heaters might start to experience leaks after lasting for about ten years. At this point, you should do a quick replacement to fix the issue. You might even upgrade the water heater to a more efficient model. 

However, before you carry out a replacement, ensure that you have done some troubleshooting and repairs. 

Troubleshooting Common Issues

One of the common challenges associated with heaters is that water is not as hot as you would like it to be. It can result from a defective heating element or a faulty thermostat. When such happens, check out the following:

Electric Water Heaters

  • Replace the thermostat or heating element
  • Ensure that power is connected and then reset the thermostat
  • Remove sediments from your tank by flushing the heater
  • Insulate your water pipes
  • Increase the temperature setting on the heater’s thermostat

Gas Water Heaters

  • Insulate your water pipes
  • Remove sediments from your tank by flushing the heater
  • Increase the temperature setting on the heater’s thermostat
  • Ensure the pilot light is lit and the gas is connected
  • Clean your gas burner and replace the thermocouple

Other Common Problems and Solutions

  • Sizzling or hissing noises: This could be due to the collection of sediments in your water tank. Here, you should drain the tank till the water clears. Remove and soak the heating elements in white vinegar for about one hour. Scrape the collected scale off. 
  • Leaking pressure-relief valve: Here, you must replace the valve. See our water heater leaking guide.
  • Leaking water supply pipes: Here, you should tighten the fittings. If it doesn’t work, replace the fittings. 

Water Heater Maintenance

Most Ruud water heaters are designed to require little maintenance. However, managing the water heater maintenance tips below will prolong your water heater’s life: 

  • Ensure you drain your heater at least twice per year to remove any collected sediment that might lead to corrosion. It will increase the heater’s efficiency. 
  • Lift the valve’s handle to test its pressure relief and finally let it snap back. It will release a water burst into the overflow drain pipe. Install a new valve if it doesn’t. 
  • Reduce the thermostat’s temperature setting to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It will limit damage to your water tank as a result of overheating. 

Where Are Ruud Water Heaters Manufactured?

Ruud has always improved and changed its processes and product lines by employing better manufacturing techniques and innovative designs. 

Ruud has also set in place rigorous testing practices thanks to its dedication to high dependability and quality. The company has invested in developing both commercial and residential water heaters. 

Ruud also has distribution networks around the ground. 

Ruud water heaters are manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia, along with water heaters under the Rheem name. The headquarters for their water heating products are located in Montgomery, Alabama.    

The Cost Of Ruud Water Heaters

The cost of Ruud water heaters varies with the heating element used. For instance, tankless water costs more compared to electric or gas water heaters. The same is true for the hybrid-electric models. 

In most cases, the price of a water heater doesn’t include the disposal of the old unit or installing a new one. You must therefore have such extra costs in mind while selecting a reliable water heater for your home. 

Ruud doesn’t contain any water heater pricing information on its website. The only better way to determine the price of Ruud professional achiever plus series is to visit a supply store. However, most stores will require you to call them to access the price information, which might be a hassle. 

However, we have managed to find a website that has the price of the Ruud professional achiever plus 50-gallon electric heater and Ruud atmospheric heater. Note that the 50-gallon water heater is the second largest model in the atmospheric gas lineup and the largest for the electric lineup. If you’re looking for something smaller, expect to pay less. 

As per the information from M&L, The Ruud Professional Achiever electric 50-gallon heater goes for $552.64. The Ruud Professional Achiever atmospheric 50-gallon heater, on the other hand, goes for 4726.85. These prices are friendly when you consider the features that these heaters are designed with. 

Certain factors determine the price of a water heater apart from the ones we have explained above:

  • Gallon capacity: The larger the gallon capacity of your tank, the higher the price. However, most tanks are designed with a gallon capacity of 40 or 50 gallons. 
  • Recovery rate: This represents the gallons that your heater heats in one hour. The higher the rate, the more the price. 
  • Size of the heater: In most cases, a larger water heater translates into a high heating capacity. A larger heater, therefore, means a high cost. 
  • Energy efficiency: High energy efficiency heaters are sold at a higher cost. However, they will also save you money in the long run since they save more energy. 

Warranty On Ruud Water Heaters

Ruud is confident of the quality of every product they release on the market – which is why the company backs its products with a limited warranty of 10-year on parts. Even though Ruud products have proven efficiency, problems might occur at times. It is why there is a Protection Plus® extended Service in place. 

When purchasing a new water heater, homeowners are often focused on the make, model, and cost and tend to forget one last consideration, the warranty. 

Warranty coverage is an important factor in choosing your unit, as it can give you peace of mind and allow you to plan for if and when something may go wrong with your water heater.

According to waterheaterhub.com, Every major water heater company has its own warranties and limitations. Ruud water heaters come with a three, five, or six-year warranty for tank and parts. Some warranties also include one year of labor.

The experts at home-water-heater.com advise that when it comes to a standard warranty period on tank-type heaters, you are looking at 6 years, with an extended warranty option for up to 12 years for certain models. Tankless models, for example, have an extended warranty of 12 years.

The protection program allows you to extend your product’s limited warranty up to 10-years. Coverage will begin upon the expiration of your limited warranty. With the protection plus program, you won’t have to worry about any unexpected repair costs. 

Below are reasons why you should go for the protection plus program:

  • It offers labor & parts coverage on electrical and mechanical failures.
  • It offers trusted services. You’ll get the service and expertise of professional contractors for the period of your agreement. 
  • Transferability. You can transfer the protection agreement if you happen to sell your home. 
  • Budget protection. There are no service fees, deductibles, and trip charges for covered repairs. 

How Ruud Compares To Related Brands

There are many available residential water heater options in standard sizes on the market today. It would therefore be critical to make comparisons of the available products before deciding on which to purchase.

For instance, for the Ruud Professional Achiever Plus, we can consider similar products from top manufacturers such as A.O. Smith and Rheem. 

Rheem XG50T09HE40U0 Performance Plus 50 Gallons Water Heater

This water heater is Rheem’s closest thing, similar to the Ruud Professional Achiever plus model. The heater features some differences that make it stand out from the rest. 

For instance, Rheem employs dual copper heating elements instead of the stainless steel used in the Ruud water heaters. 

The recovery rate of this performance plus model stands at 21-25 GPH at a temperature rise of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the recovery for the Professional Achiever plus is 21 GPH at a temperature rise of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Like with the Professional Achiever plus, this model also features a UEF rating of 0.93. The two models come with a self-cleaning technology meant to prolong the life of the tank. They are also low-lead compliant and come with both pressure & temperature relief valves. 

The electric Rheem Professional Achiever plus model goes for $509.99

A.O. Smith GPVX-75L ProMax Gas Water Heater

The A.O. Smith GPVX-75L ProMax Gas Water Heater from A.O. Smith is the closest product to Ruud Professional Achiever plus. The water heater is designed with similar features and specifications to the Professional Achiever Plus. 

For instance, the two water heaters are designed with the same first-hour rating or 62-gallons and a UEF rating of 0.93. Both heaters are also designed to self-clean to enable their tanks to last longer. 

The GPVX-75L ProMax comes with a Coregard sacrificial anode that employs a special technology to protect the tank further. There is also a pressure and temperature relief valve to make installation easier. 

The water heater likely has a recovery rating of 21 GPH at a temperature rise of 90-degrees Fahrenheit. The price of this water heater stands at $767.95 from SupplyHouse.com and $728.95 from Home perfect. It is therefore affordable compared to other models. 

Other related comparisons include:

Common Problems With Ruud Water Heaters

Ruud water heaters experience some problems, as we’ll see below:

Condensation

This problem happens when you fill a new water heater for the first time. It’s a normal thing, and the tank normally warms up when the condensation disappears. However, if the condensation is still available, check the fittings and piping for any possible leaks. 

Condensation could also be due to the moisture from the combustion products condensing on the tank’s surface. It is also a normal occurrence and disappears with time. 

Condensation could also result from an undersized tank. If you observe excessive condensation, contact a technician. 

Yellow Flame Or Soot

It could result from a restricted combustion air inlet. Here, you should remove the obstacle to see whether the problem clears. 

The problem could also result from insufficient ventilation or combustion air being supplied to the heater location. 

Pilot Burner Not Lighting

Here, you might pinch the burner tube or the orifice of the pilot burner clogged. Try cleaning it up to correct the issue. 

Rumbling Noise

It results from sediment and scale in the tank. The solution is to clean up your tank. 

Relief Valve Draining and Popping Noise

It originates from pressure buildup as a result of the thermal expansion of a closed system. Here, you should contact a plumbing contractor to help you out. 

Water Too Hot

It might be due to the gas control being set too high. The gas control could also be defective. Contact a qualified technician to assist you where possible. 

Conclusion

Like we have seen above, Ruud is among the best water heater brands in the industry, with the company being an affiliate of Rheem. Ruud specializes in producing gas heaters, electric water heaters, hybrid-electric heaters, and tankless water heaters. 

The cost of Ruud water heaters is affordable compared to other products in the industry. They also require little maintenance for a longer lifespan. The heaters are also designed with the best technologies, including the self-cleaning technology that ensures a longer lifespan. 

It is the product for you if you’re seeking an energy-efficient and reliable water heater.

HomeInspectionInsider.com is owned and operated by Hubert Miles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. HomeInspectionInsider.com also participates in affiliate programs with other affiliate sites. Hubert Miles is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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