Reliance Water Heaters
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Reliance Water Heaters

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Last updated: Oct. 29, 2017

160 Reliance Water Heaters Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 29, 2017

I purchased a model 6-40 EORT 100 on 3/3/2017. Every time I turn on hot water it spews gases, sometime, viscous gases... I called Reliance, talked to an agent, she told me I could change the rod for $40.00 plus freight. And would not guarantee that it would take care of my problem. I rejected her recommendation. I still have the problem, would not purchase another Reliance product.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 23, 2017

June 8, 1991 purchased & installed a Reliance 501 natural gas hot water heater. Model #5-40-NORT6-F (manufactured 1988). Sad to have to replace it now TWENTY-SIX (26) years later. This Ashland, TN company ranks right up there with Scotch Tape, McDonalds & Kleenex & Rheem.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 21, 2017

My current Reliance water heater is less than 50 days old and is very efficient at heating the water I use and maintaining it. I'm very pleased as is my family with its performance thus far. I selected it from several available and it met what I was seeking. As I have owned this brand in the past I knew it would meet my expectations. Reliance water heaters perform well over long periods of time. They are quality built and easy to adjust settings. They are also good for the pocket making them a great value. They came in quick order. The installers were very courteous and were very careful to remove the old one with the new without disturbing the area or making a mess throughout the process. It was not a lengthy time so my day was not overly disturbed. They arrived at the time that was scheduled which I appreciated.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 20, 2017

The water heater is okay, not too shabby. I like how it warms up the temperature. It feels great. I like it very much and could not live without it, but I dislike that it's bulky and old school looking.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 17, 2017

The water heater works great. It has good hot water and good pressure. I am happy with it. It is a good brand. The water heater was in my home when I bought it, and I would buy another one if I had to replace the old one. I would suggest it to friends and family if they needed one.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 15, 2017

The water heater is right about okay. But we have lime in our water from being south of the Potomac. So we have to change out our water heaters more than people from other states do. Even though we have the lime issue, this water heater (cross your fingers, knock on wood) has held up quite well. However, I wish it came with a filter to stop the lime from getting in the water heater to begin with. Then we wouldn't have to change them out so much.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 14, 2017

Heater failed, spewed water all over the wall and had to replace it. Company would not honor warranty, had to buy a now one, from a different company. The one that failed was from Reliance. Have a new tankless and love it. Do not have to remember to turn it off when we go on vacation. Never run out of hot water. Small and takes up very little room in the garage. But cannot keep the temp regulated as well as I would like in a shower, gets hotter, and I have to readjust. Got the same brand that we put in the rental the second time as a water heater breaks. Handy man that I use for my rentals put it in, he had no trouble. The new one seems to be fine and tenants like it, too.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 14, 2017

I purchased a Reliance 30 gallon water heater Model Number 630LORT 301 and have had nothing but problems with this appliance. I have purchased many appliances through the years having lived in CA, AZ, OR and ID and have never registered a complaint. Any issue I have ever had was at least addressed and although not always working out as I had desired at least feel that I was treated as person and treated with respect. Reliance looks to say no and make any communication difficult as soon as you contact them with a issue. The water heater has never heated above the "vacation setting" and turns off as soon as you increase the heat to "low".

When contacted the first thing out of their customer service mouth is wrong installation. What? I had Suburban Propane install and Ed Staub Propane Service recheck the installation. They both verify that it is in the proper room with proper ventilation and plumbing. Reliance will ask for pictures and more pictures and tell you that they will return a call once the photos are received. They DO NOT return calls and when you call them once again and again just repeat wrong installation.

This is the worst company with the poorest customer service department that I have ever had the displeasure to deal with. I would suggest that you avoid this manufacturer and product. Choose another propane water heater from an ethical company. Oh how I wish that I could turn back time concerning this purchase. Read all the other complaints and choose wisely! PS - another brand's propane water heater was in this exact location for 30 years and never had a problem, just wore out.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 13, 2017

I am very satisfied with my new Reliance hot water heater that I purchased for my home. It's a very reliable and good quality brand. It will last for years in my home. Also, I received very good customer service. I liked everything about this purchase and there were no issues. Very good experience.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 12, 2017

My regular plumber installed my water heater. He selected the brand and I trust his judgment. I am very pleased with my water heater. It has worked great. My water is always nice and hot. Even when we have company and everyone takes a shower, there is always plenty of hot water for everyone. So far it has worked out well for me and my family. As long as it works well, I am happy.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 11, 2017

The Reliance Water Heater has been great thus far. It's been durable and the best I've ever had. I like that it has been reliable and better than past brands we have tried. It works great and we haven't had any issues with it. I've had problems with others in the past so this one has been a blessing. The only issue would be that it takes awhile to heat up but that's nitpicking.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 10, 2017

I trust the brand Reliance. The water is heated in a timely manner. All the representatives have been great to me and my family too. I have never met more friendly representatives who enjoyed their jobs. They answer all questions we have and they have proven to be very knowledgeable. I enjoyed the small talk, as did my husband. Installation was fast. My family had no issues and the installers were friendly and they were very personable. The service was superb. The price of the water heater could be lower though - I don't like the rising prices. Having a water heater should not be a luxury. However, I would not switch brands solely based on the price of the water heater. It's been a great experience.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 9, 2017

The Reliance water heater worked swimmingly and it's surprisingly durable. Haven't need much need of repair over time. When something did go wrong, the easiest thing to do was to shut it off and restart it again with a, simple flip of a switch. The installation process wasn't an issue. It was such a dangerous process, a professional was hired who, in his credit, did a fine job with a pleasant attitude. It can never be understated how splendid it truly is to have warm water in those cold nights when all one could ask for is a decent shower. All in all, a top notch experience.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 6, 2017

One day a man from Reliance knocking on my door. He say he is change hot water tank in my area. I ask, "It will cost me anything?" Answer was, "No." I said, "Ok." A month later, I get a bill. I call they told me their monthly rental. "No bring my back I own my." They say, "Ok." Never being. 3 years later they send me to collection.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 6, 2017

The installation process was very fast and easy. My experience with the company customer service was amazing and they were very kindly. The water heater is just amazing. It's very convenient and easy to use. I just love that I don't have to worry about my water anymore. Hopefully I could get my family to get one just like I did. It really does help a lot and it's something everyone would love to have in their house. I do recommend this a lot but not use if all the brands work as good as mine. It doesn't take a lot of space and it works perfectly fine. I've tried other ways but this water heater makes life easier and nice.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 5, 2017

I like the size of the water heater. It seems to fill up pretty quick and it seems to be pretty quiet as well. I also like the instructions located on the water heater unit itself. It's very understandable for average people like me. The installation went easy. It was done by a professional in the family. However, I have had to work on it or make adjustments on many occasions. Had to turn the temperature up on the unit just to make sure I had a full hot shower. I have also had to replace the pipe and fittings already. I feel that my heater might be faulty. My hot water doesn't seem to last like it's supposed to and very frequently I end up with half a hot shower. This is my biggest dislike. And, my dealings with customer service have been choppy at best. It takes awhile to get a hold of customer service and they don't really act like they know what they are doing.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 4, 2017

I love my water heater. The experience I have had with since the very first day that I had it installed has been nothing but positive and has never given me any problems. I like the brand that I choose by myself. It was reasonably priced and the installation was nice and convenient.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 3, 2017

Reliance water heater is pretty reliable and once it was adjusted, it ran like a dream. A bit noisy sometimes in the quiet wee hours, but that is just a nitpick. It is very quick to heat the water back up after use, which is very good. It has brought down my energy bill significantly when compared to my last brand. I like it pretty well. Also, the installation was quick and easy. The installer was nice, well informed on the water heater and answered all of my questions. Very reliable and put forth a good face for the company. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 2, 2017

The installers were very friendly, professional, kind and courteous. I was very comfortable with the service tech in my home. I very happy with every aspect of their customer service and also technician. Reliance Water Heaters is dependable and worth every penny. It was an upgrade in the house we built. I would definitely buy another one. It's small and extremely efficient. It's never runs out of hot water. I think Every house needs one and I would definitely recommend this water heater to my friends and family. Although it's hard to find replacement parts, that's the only issue that I have had with it. I'm very happy with my water heater.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 30, 2017

I love this water heater. It lights easy and quick. They had it set up and working in ten minute. They checked all the lines and made sure there was no leaks. They even waited till the water was hot before leaving. It was a very good customer service. We have had our water heater for three years and never have had any problems. You can adjust it to be how hot you like it and it never runs out of hot water no matter how long you shower or bathe. We can all take baths and it's always still hot. I couldn't ask for a better water heater. It's the best one I've owned. I would definitely buy another one at any time and I would recommend it to anyone I know.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 29, 2017

We needed a replacement and we purchased the Reliance water heater, have been impressed with our choice. Purchased last year and was in perfect price line for us to purchase. Husband was able to install by himself. Installation was done quickly and very simple. Had hot water in short amount of time. Heater was a perfect size and fit for the area our previous one was in. I like everything about Reliance water heater and it does excellent job. Has been very dependable and a great investment for our home. Provides more than enough hot water for our home. Water gets hot quick, stays hot and rarely run out hot water. Would highly recommend to any one looking for a replacement.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: June 7, 2017

I purchased a Reliance heater in August of 2017. Within a couple of weeks, it started humming and moaning when the burners turned on. After contacting the warranty dept they said they were aware of this issue with other heaters out there. They sent a part out and said I could change it myself. It required removing the burners and gas supply line. I refused so I would not void warranty. They sent a plumber. He changed it. Problem was not fixed. Two weeks later and countless phone calls, another part arrives. So does their plumber and guess what? Problem still exists. Two days off work so far.

They asked for pictures. I sent them and they say the 90 degree elbow for the exhaust is not right. I changed it, still have a problem. As of today June 7 2017, I was told that the venting on the roof would have to be changed. It was not right for this heater. It may or may not resolve the problem. Removing part of your roof is no joke or is it cheap. What we have here is a lemon, a substandard unit and they are running down every option to avoid changing it or they are using my unit as a test to fix all the other ones with the same problem. I have had it with Reliance and their runaround and do nothing but blame everything else for their inferior product. DO NOT BUY RELIANCE AT ANY COST. I will buy a new heater, anything but theirs and throw this one away.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 3, 2017

Wish I would have read all these reviews BEFORE purchasing a Reliance water heater. Anything but reliable. DON'T BY A RELIANCE WATER HEATER unless you wish to have the warranty department completely care less about your experience. I did unfortunately buy one from Freidman's in Petaluma and had a nightmare time getting it to stay lit. When it first went out and refused to stay lit after the initial install I called the warranty dept as instructed on the heater. They determined it was deemed the dreadful "improper install" and a word they stuck by and used like 20 times to the end and thus refused to honor the defective lemon.

When I called to inform them it would not stay lit, they said it needed to be direct vented. Fine. So with that handy info, I then hired another contractor for more money to direct vent it. Again, after all that work that was done to direct vent it, the gosh darn water heater STILL would not stay lit. Unfortunately for me, it would not stay lit while I had new guests in the flat and it was a wedding party of all guests. The bride and groom. No hot water. So in an emergency situation, I called back the contractor to take another look and he concluded it was simply defective because all the water heater was doing was going out repeatedly time and time and time again. Nothing we did would keep it lit. It just would not stay lit.

So in order to immediately appease my guests and provide them with accommodations which they expected which included of all things hot water, the contractor immediately removed the RELIANCE water heater and replaced it with a Whirlpool Heater which I also had to buy. I'm now in this $2500.00 for two water heaters, installation, removal and re-installation. From the moment the new Whirlpool heater was installed we have not had a single problem at all whatsoever. Wow. Just WOW. So, now that the new water heater is working I went back to Freidman's in Petaluma and asked not only for my money back but for reimbursement for the extra costs to reinstall another heater. Well good on Freidman's Petaluma for reimbursing me the cost of the heater but they refused to reimburse me for the extra costs to reinstall the other heater. Totally unacceptable.

So I called back the Reliance warranty department in Kentucky or wherever, told them my bleeding cash story and all the lady could say was, "Well it was an improper install from the get go". Yet she failed to acknowledge that her exact department on my initial call instructed me to verbatim, "Just direct vent it and it should work" which is EXACTLY what I did and it still did not work. So they used the lingo of "improper install" to get out of covering a defective heater. Total BS. They said because it was improperly installed originally that it's not covered for reimbursement even though the improper install was corrected. Not once did she say, "Wow I'm sorry for all the hassle you experienced". Nothing of the sort. Instead just completely matter of fact. So much for compassion.

So poor Friedman's Petaluma has to eat the cost of repaying me back out of their pocket for the water heater but can't repay me for extra charges for extra re-installation (This is usually what the warranty dept does) which was the right thing to do since the heater was clearly defective. Proof being that when the new WHIRLPOOL heater was installed it worked just fine. Instead, the all knowing warranty department refused to issue a return authorization number. What a joke. The warranty department could not have come to my dire need and rescue when I needed it most while my bride and groom needed to shower with 4 other guests. Life happens and the warranty department said I should have called them when this happened. No. That was not an option in the heat of the moment. I just needed to fix it and that I did.

Then I called them after the fact with the story and details thinking they would be reasonable and understanding. So not at all. I won't even give them a single star rating. We need negative stars here. I'm thoroughly appalled at how a corporation like theirs can just turn their head and not care nor dive deeper to see if indeed the heater they sold Friedman's and in turn they sold me was in fact defective. All it would take is a look see. They refuse. This all took place over three months and for three months I was battling with why it would not stay lit.

Off note: When I initially purchased the heater from Friedman's it had a dent on the top of the heater by the flue area and there was this stuff all sticking all over the top of it. Like some foam insulation stuff. Yellow thick gunk sprayed close to the flue vent opening, center of the heater on top. I think deep down it was defective perhaps from it being dropped before I got my hands on it. I just don't know. But what I do know is that the warranty department seemed to care less about how this entire ordeal has impacted me both financially and stressfully.

$2500 later to install 2 water heaters to make it right seems completely ridiculous. The right thing to have done was to reimburse me for the extra charges to replace the UnRELIANCE defective water heater. They refused to even look at it at this point. It's sitting at Freidman's and the warranty department has outright refused to do anything else at this point. So much for warranty's and for customer service. DON'T BUY A RELIANCE WATER HEATER. GO FOR WHIRLPOOL. SO Frustrated.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 14, 2017

They sent the wrong replacement part first. Then they sent the only other part there is and that replacement part too was defective. Our plumber, Tim of Rhino Plumbing in Ojai, CA, said he sees this all the time and that this is THE worst heater on the market, bottom of the pile, there is no worse one.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 12, 2017

I fail to understand why you should charge me to close an account with your company. If you feel you need more money then why not leave my account open as it will not bother me. I don't recall you charging me to open an account which took longer to do and was likely free. Says payment due of 45.20 for inspection and closure fee.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 3, 2016

Reliance Water Heater Model 501 (50 gallon tank) - I came on here because I wanted to tell people about a product that I have been happy with for a long time. Then I saw all the negative reviews written by people unhappy with their water heater purchases and the lack of customer service they encountered from the manufacturers. I know that things can go wrong with products, and companies should respond better than so many do to consumer complaints. And consumers share their experiences on review sites such as this when they are unhappy because they feel so helpless when they feel that companies have treated them badly. So I thought I would share my experience with my Reliance model 501 hot water heater.

It was put in 18 years ago and I have never had a problem with it in all these years. I've never done anything to maintain it either (drain some water out annually to remove sediment that might have settled on the bottom). I didn't know I was supposed to. Except for the occasional pilot light relight, I've NEVER had a problem with this old workhorse of a water heater--until this week. The pilot light went out again, but this time, I couldn't get it re-lit. So I researched what the problem might be on the Internet and read that it was most likely the thermocouple. It looked easy to do myself, so I bought a thermocouple at Home Depot and replaced the one on my water heater.

Once again, my Reliance 501 water heater is doing what it has been doing for 18 years - heating up water and doing it reliably! When you call a plumber out to replace your water heater, you are usually only offered what they stock as a replacement, but if you get a choice, I would recommend using Reliance. I have been extremely happy with mine Reliance water heater!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 30, 2016

Reliance 50 gallon electric hot water heater - Had hot water heater for approx. 1 year or less. Have had nothing but issues melted the power wires in the tank and in the breaker box. Thank god I was home to smell plastic burning. We've had to replace both upper and lower elements. I have paid $800.00 to electrician to put in a new breaker box. DON'T BUY ANYTHING OF RELIANCE PRODUCTS.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 2, 2016

I purchase a Reliance 606 natural gas water heater in august 2012 from Ace Hardware. I am a retired appliance tech so installing the water heater was no problem. The water heater work great until March 2016. I came home from work and found out that the water heater was spraying water. My wife and daughter was home so they turned off the water to stop the leak.

In the meantime during that short time of spraying hot water it flood part of my bathroom, bedroom and hallway. When I inspected the water heater the pilot was still lit and bottom of the tank was dry. The plumbing was also dry where the water supply feeds and leave the water heater. I found the leak after turning off the gas and started draining the water heater. When I disconnected the water supply so air will push the water out, the drain faucet water started spraying warm water out the pipe that the gas valve is mounted on. This pipe is welded to the tank. The bottom of the tank was not leaking.

When I contacted Reliance because the tank has a 6-yr warranty the first thing they told me is the water heater is not registered. I did register the water heater 4 yrs ago. Anyway I fill out their form and they was only concerned about the installation of the water heater. Their main concern is with the gas valve which is working fine. The room has plenty of fresh air and is vent go from the water heater straight up and thru the roof to the outside. I already removed the water heater and installed a different brand water heater. It is installed and working fine. I did this because the tank is leaking water and proof of the leak source will show by just adding water to the water heater using a garden hose. That is a safe test to prove a defective tank.

Reliance wanted me to reinstall this unsafe water heater. The water heater cannot be fully installed because the tank does not hold water. The tank has to be full of water before the pilot can be lit. I ask them if they was going to pay for the water damage to my home if that is done. They declined to comment. I can understand their request if I had a gas valve problem. The water heater tank should hold water installed or just adding water from the top where the water supply connects. They will not do nothing unless it is reinstalled and a city inspector check the install. That shows this company is looking for a mistake and blame the water leak on it. Also, before I had any problems, my gas line was replaced by the gas co who checked the line and lit the water heater. If I had a mistake the gas company would not have lit the water heater so I can use it. Hopefully everybody will stop buying Reliance water heaters.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 15, 2016

One yr old Reliance water heater seemed to work ok for 13 months and then started going out. Couldn't get it to re-light. Called Reliance customer service and then the female I talked to seemed only interested in finding a way of denying us our warranty. She tried to tell us that we lived in a mobile home. We don't. She claimed that the water heater was incorrectly installed. It isn't! I asked to speak to a supervisor and was placed on "ignore" for 15 min after which we hung up.

We found out later that she had voided our warranty. We then called Ace Hardware where we had purchased the heater. They were very gracious and very helpful. Only after Ace called the Reliance Co. did we finally get a call from a Reliance manager. He was very helpful and finally told us about a reset button to push after which it worked. This is all I wanted in the first place!!! Moral, if you can ever get to a manager you'll be ok but as far as the customer service dept. goes, it really sucks!!!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 31, 2016

Same problems with lighting issues, 3 year old Reliance Water Heater, just bought new, but now A.O. Smith operates under the following brand names around the world: A.O. Smith (United States, Canada, China, Europe, Turkey and India), GSW (Canada), John Wood (Canada), State Water Heaters, American Water Heaters, Reliance Water Heaters, Lochinvar, Takagi and U.S. Craftmaster Water Heaters.

Reliance expert review by ConsumerAffairs

Operating as a sub-brand of A. O. Smith, Reliance offers a wide variety of water heater sizes and capacities. Consumers can find high- efficiency, gas, electric, tankless and commercial water heaters.

  • Types: Reliance offers high-efficiency gas and propane, electric, tankless, commercial and pump tank water heaters. Each type includes varying capacities, types and technology. Consumers can go online and apply filters based on their needs to help narrow down their choices.

  • Electric heat-pump water heaters: Reliance boasts an energy efficient, electric heat pump water heater. It operates by pulling in heat from the surrounding environment to heat water. ┬áPer Reliance, consumers can make their money back in three years based on how much they save in energy.

  • Self-cleaning: Reliance offers two types of self-cleaning water heaters. Self-cleaning helps prevent sediment buildup over time which can cause leaks and take up space. This option is more expensive but can save you money in the long run.

  • Commercial water heaters: For consumers looking for a commercial water heater, Reliance offers four types: Light-duty gas, dairy barn electric, medium-duty gas and medium duty gas-low NOx. LowNOx is only available in Texas and meets the low NOx emissions requirements.

  • Availability: Consumers can go online for a full list of stores that carry Reliance water heaters and locate the closest one.

  • Best for: Consumers needing a residential or commercial water heater.

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