Consumer Complaints and Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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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!!!
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.
MINE EXPLODED AND NO ONE IS RECALLING THIS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS PRODUCT!!! I bought mine at Ace Hardware online ($519.99). Had a plumber install it ($125), had Suburban Propane Company set it up and convert it to propane with the kit that came with it ($95). The screen attached to the bottom of the heater caught fire and melted. Called Reliance, the guy came to the house and said I had the heater too high on (A) setting and to cut it back to hot and that I would have to order the new screen at my expense. The reset button kept popping and the heater never stayed lit. I called Reliance and their guy comes out again the same problem nothing is fixed except temporary. Propane guy comes out twice after that and charged ($95) each time. Last time, it exploded and I am lucky that no one was killed and it didn't take out the entire block as it was propane!
Faulty hot water heater gas control valve/thermostat. Only 3 years old and started leaking. No company that sells the Reliance water heater carries any parts. The website only list a few dealers. Had to order from factory. Part is under warranty but paid $30 for overnight shipping. I should have read Consumer Review before purchasing a Reliance heater. Thought my local dealer/friend carried good products. Ace. Our last heater lasted 30 years with no problem. I'll read ConsumerAffairs before I purchase anything else!
I have had my water heater/boiler on 2 occasion cause extensive damage along with no hot water now for the 3rd day and I have called Reliance over 21 times since August 31st and I have still no solution. I have a problem with our government allowing such companies operate when they are in fact scam people, lie, mislead, make false promises and thus far, they have demonstrated absolutely no accountability on their part. Since September 20th, water has been dripping from the boiler and no one has come to address it and they expect me to climb through a hatch, change towels and containers every few hours? They promised after the service call next morning first thing a call to set up repair call, it is now 24+ HOURS and nothing has been done.
I have called them 6 or so times and no one seems to be able to get a hold of a supervisor! How could they serve 1,2 million customers and yet no one can get a hold of them? I recently read legal action against them due to negligence on their part and it appears that, I am only left with that option as I have wet ceilings, floors, carpets, baseboards, door frames, damaged furniture and I am lost for words that they have not addressed these matters.
How can they call themselves 24 hrs, 7 days a week and yet when I called both times to report water dripping, they stated that they are booking for next day. Do they know what an emergency means? Do they know that they have a legal obligation to provide timely service? Do they know that they have a legal obligation as their rental units are causing damage? I'd appreciate people who have had similar issues... I would NOT recommend RELIANCE to anyone... HONESTLY they have been absolutely horrible on every level. They subcontract and there is no accountability and there is no respect for other people's home or property.
I bought two of these at the same time from Grover's and within 6 months started having trouble with them. I got Grover's to take one of them back and replace it with a new one at the end of the six weeks after buying them new. It is less than two years since I bought them and neither of the tanks will light. Had the gas company out to try and light them, no luck. Called reliance on their 800 number only to find out their warranty is a farce. They refuse to stand behind them. I paid close to $1,000. for the both of them. A total loss of money and a lot of time trying to light these things. In my opinion Grover's should take them out of their stores and not sell them to people. My experience with Reliance was totally bad. I advise people to not buy anything made by Reliance unless you don't mind getting ripped off.
I purchased a home 3 years ago not knowing that the previous owners contract with Reliance Water heater would be automatically transferred to me. (Very very sneaky you **.) Now I just realized that I am paying $11 more a month for a smaller water heater than at least 8 of my friends and family pay for theirs. Now I'm told that the only way I can ever get out of their contract is if the water heater breaks down beyond repair... I called the city and they basically told me there is nothing I can do, it is what it is. Reliance tells me if I want out I am more than welcome to get out of this contract, all I have to do is pay $570. WOW! All I want to know is what kind of government will authorize a contract like this. Whose pockets were greased?
I just bought a new house in June. I am a first time home owner. The previous house owners had signed a seven year contract with Reliance. I was not aware of the seven year contract. I was under the impression they were on a month to month rental basis. Our lawyers paperwork only mentions the water tank was a rental that's the only thing I have ever seen in paperwork about hot water tank.
I called Reliance and they had told me that by paying the first months bill and that I had agreed to continue the previous owners contract. If I wanted to buy it out I would have to pay 1300 dollars. I told them I had never seen a contract and I never signed anything stating that this is it was a five-year continuing contract. They told me they would send me a copy of the contract and now two weeks later I have received nothing. I called Reliance again today and the guy told me that I should have refused to pay my first bill because that would have given me grounds to fight. I told him it wasn't fair that I was entered into illegally binding contract not knowing what I was entering into. I feel I was taken advantage of. I want out of this contract and I am willing to pay a penalty but $1300 is out of the question.
So I have been happy with my AC/Air Handler (furnace) and water heater units. Until today when I am trying to sell my house and I was told the info about my lease agreement (terms of my lease) & buy out would take 2-5 days to get delivered to me. So I asked for the details if not the paperwork. After 20 minutes hold I got transferred to someone who could help today. Phew...
Purchased a water heater from them maybe 2012, water heater pilot light continued to go out. Re-light go out after several months, called them constantly never any result. Mailed a screen kit, but did not work. Default with them over and over again. They know what they are doing - wait until your warranty is out then tell you it has expired, also treats you like you are a plumber and know what's going on. If I did why would I be calling you. What good is a warranty if your customer satisfaction fails. Have to purchase a new heater but will not deal with a company that carries RELIANCE. Do not buy any RELIANCE products. BEWARE.
Purchased Reliance 606 in 2012. Pilot started going out. They sent a memo to keep dust screen cleaned. It didn't help so the company I purchased the heater from talked Reliance into replacing my heater. Worked for seven months and pilot started going out. Sometimes it will stay lit for two weeks and start going out. I just received a new pilot assembly kit but I doubt if it will make a difference. If not, it will be SCRAP. Never again.
Bought a water heater in 2007. It started to leak in 2013. The warranty covered it and it was replaced with another Reliance water heater. This past weekend it started to leak. We were told it had no warranty because it was a replacement for a defective one. Since the warranty on the first one has expired there is nothing they will do. Needless to say we will not be replacing it with another defective Reliance water heater.
Water heater went out, couldn't get the pilot light to stay lit after releasing the button. Tried three days, three people tried, nada. Of course this happened on a weekend when you can't get customer service. Reached them this a.m. and she wants email address. I ask why. She wants to send me some information regarding the RESET button. I say "there's no mention of a reset button in the manual." "Well, we don't publicize that because we don't want a child or someone to turn it off." I say "I'm a 74 yr. old woman with dogs, just tell me where the freakin reset button is." She did, I pressed it, started the pilot light and the status light started blinking and the water heater is still running.
I don't know what makes me angrier. That they don't TELL you there's a reset button or that I'm having conspiracy thoughts. Collusion between the appliance makers and the plumbers so we'll either throw up our hands and just buy a new one or so we'll have to call a plumber?? No one I have talked to (not even the salesperson where I bought it) knew there was a reset button. Unbelievable.
Reliance 606 Gas Water Heater - Installed my Gas Water Heater Feb. 1, 2012. About a month ago, the pilot went out. After several attempts, I was able to relight it. It went out again yesterday (5/26/15). The pilot will light, but it will not stay lit. After reading several reviews, I will not waste my time and money on hiring a plumber. It's heading to the junk pile and I will purchase a new reliable (Not Reliance) heater today.
Reliance 606 Gas water heater - I am on my 3rd water heater in less than 6 years! I bought it at Atwoods, where they have made good on the other two. On the first one, I contacted Reliance and they tried to say they would not honor my warranty because it was not installed by a licensed plumber. Which it was! I was wondering how they could come to that conclusion! They are CROOKS!
Purchased water heater 8/22/12. Product quit working 3/19/15. Representatives would not honor a replacement. I decided that the company deals in poor products and I do not want another water heater from this company. Therefore I want to warn other people of this to save them time and money.
I bought Reliance Water in July of 2014, everything was fine as usual until this past Monday night! Went to bed - hot water, got up Tuesday morning - no hot water!!! Checked breaker and changed breaker still no hot water!!! Had my neighbor check the voltage, went through with a phone call to Reliance to check my warranty but to my surprise the lady whom I talked with stated that my paperwork shows only the Manufacturing of the unit and it was in January of 2014!!!! How can you tell me when I got this water heater? After fussing back and forth then she tell me that "You have the product registration I sent in." Then she tells me that a serviceman could come but I would have to pay out of pocket!! Something doesn't add up here but after going back and forth with her I'm sick and mad as hell!!!!!! Reliance water heaters are no good and I wish I never bought it!!!
My wife and I bought a house about two yrs. ago. This house was built in 2007 and had a Reliance 606 water heater in it. Jan 6, 2015 I was at work and my wife was gone also. She came home and found the home was totally flooded. To make it short my insurance company contacted Reliance and needless to say they will do nothing at all. So the heater was out of warranty at 6 yrs., and it cost me around $1500.00 out of pocket. Around $20 thousand from my Insurance Co. I am 53 yrs. old and never seen a tank blow out like this. So it's either bad craftsmanship of the heater or poor quality of the pop off valve. Anyway I would not recommend this brand. Thanks Reliance.
The 30 gallon natural gas hot water heater was purchased in July 2012 and installed at same time. They have had to send replacement parts twice already. Hot water heater went out again so we called and got no help whatsoever. Now mind you this is a six year water heater and didn't last two years. I would not purchase this brand again nor recommend it to anyone else. I would rate this product as not reliable.
Here is our Story: Dec 2, we woke up to a cold house, called Reliance and I had a service appointment for that day. The gentleman came in and said that he cleaned the rod and the problem was fixed. Heat was on when we went to sleep. Dec 3, woke up and the heat was not working, the house was freezing again. Heat would not turn on. Called Reliance and I had a service appointment for that day. The gentleman came and said that he had bad news and that the Secondary Heat Exchanger was Defective and that we needed a new furnace since the Carrier unit we had was over 12 years old. He went on to say that we would need a new air conditioner too because when they open up the unit it will be dirty, they will find things in there and mold, etc. Wow he must be psychic, I thought to myself.
We were in shock since the man the day before said it was fixed. Makes you wonder how you can get two different diagnosis from what are supposed to be trained Reliance personnel. Not to mention that we have two little children in the home. He then shut the furnace off and left. At 9pm a Reliance sales man came to our house to sell us a new furnace and air conditioner. Wow again, this guy didn't waste a second! For a model that was similar to the one we have in terms of size was going to cost us $9800.00 in full or $139 per month for 7 years. Needless to say we were stunned. This was all too much for us and we felt like we were being forced into everything. Since we have a family full of contractors we told the sales man that we would be getting a second opinion before we made any decisions.
I asked him to provide me with the costs and details in writing and he told us that he could not and that the notes I took down while we spoke was it. I found that very unprofessional. I asked him a series of questions since we had never been through this before. Is there interest? Who are we paying, Reliance or the new unit manufacturer, etc.? We were basically assured that there were no catches. Dec 4, we got a quote from a random heating and air conditioning company for $5000.00 to replace both units. Another asked us why would we ever replace the air conditioner during the winter and if Reliance checked to see if the Heat Exchange was under warranty. I met with the sales man and once again I asked him to visually provide me the details, even send me an e-mail so that I can read "the fine print" and he could not.
Being soo confused I asked him more questions and the end of our meeting I still was not sure which way to go and remembered to ask him, at the end of the 7 years, is the furnace/air conditioner ours? And he said No, you have to buy it out. Pardon me? I asked over and over again what else is there I should know. So when was I going to be told this, after I signed the contract? Lesson: Never make a quick, rash, abrupt, sudden decision before thinking it through. There actually are others out there that will not make you feel hopeless and that genuinely care for your family's welfare. Dec 5, he called asking what we decided. I told him we were still working on it and that honestly I was leaning towards renting at $139 per month up till I had to ask what happens at the end of the 7 years. Not sure if that is just common sense but it was not to us since this has never happened before in our over 10 years of being home owners and we are not renters.Dec 5, one of our other heating and air conditioning contacts called us and says that the part is under warranty and he was picking it up today. Dec 2 to Dec 6, these were very hard several days for our family. Since we do not have any family close by, kids have school, work is close by, we basically had to deal with the freezing cold temperature of our home. Portable heaters repeatedly blew fuses and were basically no help. Not to mention the added stress at this time of year.
Dec 6, in the late afternoon, the new part was installed for FREE and the furnace is working. We have been with Reliance for many years and for a company which we trusted to put us through this especially with two small children and during Christmas is extremely horrible, ghastly and repulsive. Needless to say, we are disappointed and hope that by sharing our story we can save others from unnecessary debt!!!!
About 4 months I needed a new hot water heater and contacted Reliance to rent one from them. They sent a local contractor to install the hot water heater. It leaked from the bottom and even though the workers who came out didn't know why it was leaking, they installed a new release valve on the top. The water was definitely not originating from there, as I had newspaper wrapped there to see if it got wet. The only place that got wet was under the tank and then it trickled along until there was a puddle running downhill on my basement floor. On the 2nd service call, they installed another water heater and took the first one away. This one leaked in the same fashion, so this too was replaced.
Now on tank number three and it is leaking even faster than the other two!!! There is no other water source or place where water could leak from, and it originates from right under the tank. The tank was installed flat onto the basement concrete floor. No water from any of the valves, pipes or anywhere else. I am at my wits end and waiting to hear back from the sub-contractors tomorrow. I have spent hours reading up all I could find on the internet to try and understand this problem and all I can come up with, is that the tanks are leaking inside - so I am starting to doubt if the tanks being installed are in fact new!
I have had a new electric water heater installed by a company renting these. Within 4 months, I am now and the 3rd new tank and they all leak from the bottom. It is a Giant brand tank. It is definitely not leaking from the top or anywhere else, this is confirmed by me and their contractors who do installation. Could it be that they are installing used tanks that just look new.
My husband purchased a Reliance 606 water heater back in 2008, and after four years the wiring in the lower thermostat started to overheat, almost started the tank on fire. Smoke was coming out of the panel. Thankfully we were home to catch it. We called Reliance and they told us that since it was still in warranty, they would replace the whole thing. We got the same exact water heater at ACE in 2012. Fast forward to today, and I'll be darn, it happened again!! After I took a shower, I went into the laundry room and smelled burning plastic. I called my husband and told him and he had me shut off the breaker. When my husband got home he looked at it and called Reliance and they said that the wiring was not done right in the breaker. My husband had an electrician come and look at the box 2 years ago and it was working properly.
My husband being a very handy and smart guy checked out the thermostat on both the top and bottom. He discovered that the top one was faulty, telling the bottom thermostat to keep heating. He was always wondering why both top and bottom elements were running at the same time. He believes that the sensor on the top was faulty. We will be notifying Reliance about this, but expect nothing to be done for it. But if you have a Reliance or know someone who does, I would be checking the thermostat with a voltage meter and if it is not running like it should, call them. I have seen other people having the same problem, and I am surprised no home was burnt down because of it. If we had not been home both times, it would have after a few hours of being too hot. They should have a recall on the thermostats at least.
We purchased and installed heater on November 7, 2014. We own several rental properties and have installed many water heaters, we always bleed the water lines and then get power to the unit. We heard from the renters that evening that they had no hot water. The hardware store replaced this with an identical unit which was installed on November 9th. The tenants again had no hot water that evening. We called the Customer Service Number on Monday, 11/10 and were told we must have caused a dry burn and because it was not installed by a professional.
We sent a licensed electrician over and he reported there was too much resistance in the top heating element, (he stated the Reliance system heats the top element 20% and then switches to the bottom unit and heats it to 20% and continues this rotation - he has never seen a heating system like this) he called the Customer Service Number and basically was told the same thing .... there was a dry burn and there was no coverage for this. The hardware store replaced the upper heating element for us that evening, Monday, 11/10 and we replaced that part. There was only warm water for a short period of time before we again heard from the tenants that there was no hot water. We replaced this unit with a Richmond and have had no problems.
Reliance Water Heater, Model #640DORT - This water heater is only 4 months old. The upper element went out. I called the 800 number 3 times and had to wait for a call back. By the time I finally got someone who could help me, my repairman was already at the house and fixed it. It was an upper element. This water heater has a 6-year warranty. BIG DEAL. The upper element value is only $19.00, so it isn't worth the hassle to get reimbursed with all the questions. They wanted to know how long of a shower someone took before it went out. Frankly, I'm not impressed. I have never had a water heater go out or have any elements go out in less than the warranty time. I hate to think of all the other problems we will have for the next 5-1/2 years it is supposed to be covered. They should change their name.
I just want to start by saying thanks to all the other reviewers/victims of this ill designed and produced product called Reliance 606 water heater. I truly believe if it wasn't for your pro-active measures, my fate would have been much in line with yours. We too had the regulator/thermostat fry after having the temperature exceed 180 degrees F. After reading the reviews, AFTER purchasing and having a miserable week without hot water during the coldest week on record -0's and happening on a weekend to boot, I had a very sick feeling we were going to have to buy a new water heater.
Well my wife called Monday morning and talked to a very pleasant fellow and he was very helpful and gave us some options of ordering from them or we could well call it from nearby distributors who carry these parts in stock. To no fault to Reliance, the places either did not have them in stock or would not sell to an individual without a mechanical license from the state. So my wife called back to Reliance and talked to a very nice woman whom after a little persuading waived the ground shipping charge of $10.00 and gave us a tracking number.
At this point I was still skeptical. Well a couple of days later my wife checked on the shipping status and there was no confirmation anywhere so she emailed Reliance and they were apologetic and gave her a new number and we received the new regulator today. I held off on writing this review until I got it installed and took my first shower. I'm still a little wary of the what's next due to the fact the parts are made in China and the unit itself was manufactured in Mexico.
I gave a four star rating and not a five due to the product failed in the first place only after a year and a half. The new regulator does seem different than the old one as far as temperature at the old settings. It seems to be running cooler than the old one and the light that blinks is now a bluish white instead of the red before. Thanks again to everyone who has made a review. I was told when I was in business for myself some years back, that someone is highly more likely some tenfold to tell someone else of a bad experience than a good one.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
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. Per 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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