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on February 9, 2012
Best bang for the buck in 40 gallon gas water heaters. But, this is the third heater I received. I had to return two identical heaters back to Amazon because of shipping damage. The shipments were rejected and returned to Amazon by the delivery driver. Even this third one was slightly dented at the bottom but a close examination reveled it was only the tin at the base that was affected. Self installed easily, ignited easily, heats great. Anyone ordering a large heavy item must inspect the item as it comes off the truck by removing the packing to be sure there is no shipping damage under the packing. It's easier to have the delivery driver take it away at the time of delivery than to arrange for return to Amazon later. Don't accept damaged goods.
Just make sure you write Rejected because of damage. Amazon immediately and without question refunded my money for the two damaged heaters. I simply reordered a replacement immediately after informing Amazon of the rejected damaged heaters.
22 comments| 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 25, 2011
I've replaced several 40-gallon water heaters in my time. However, this unit has more insulation than most, therefore is a bit larger (wider and taller) than your average 40-gallon water heater. It's also a bit heavier, almost as if it was half-full when installing new. Our temperature is set fairly low, as this heater really packs a punch. Delivered to my home on a truck, well packaged, well cared-for in transit. I'm glad I bought this unit. Locally, we have very few options. This whole town is suffering with cheap water heaters due to poor local availability. It was very nice to have this online purchase option!
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on February 14, 2012
To start with, I just received this water heater today. It took less than a week to get here to California. And incidentally, this is a High Efficiency, Ultra Low NOX CARB approved model. So it is ok for California. Grrrr!

Anyhow, my old water heater was almost 20 years old and still worked pretty good. Only reason I replaced it is that the temperature sensor was flaky and wouldn't consistently keep the same water temp. Sometimes scalding hot and sometimes regular hot. So instead of replacing that part for $200-$250, I decided to go for this new unit.

So, as I said, I received this water heater today. The CEVA truck came and the box was a little torn up but the unit inside was perfect! First impressions; this unit is very well made! The design is very much like the GE that Home Depot sells (except this one is MUCH less expensive)! Mine is a dark gray textured finish. Very classy. Not like the white/blue one pictured. The body metal seems to be quite thick as I wasn't extremely gentle with it and it never dented. There also seems to be about 2" of substantial insulation between the outer shell and the tank. It has the venting at the bottom that houses the device that closes off the combustion chamber, same as the GE. I guess that is a safety device that prevents/limits ignition of flammable gases that may be present in a garage. The Temp Control is well designed and includes a piezo-electric ignitor to light the pilot (very cool). The temp control is NOT the same as the cheap, unreliable ones of 20 years ago. The drain spigot/bib is a high quality brass. And here is one of the major benefits of the unit, it has easy access to the magnesium sacrificial anode at the top of the unit. [...] for more about that.

So it took about 1 hour to remove the old one and install the new one by myself. Installation was practically identical to the one I took out. Turned on the cold water supply and let it fill. Followed the lighting procedure, click, click, click. And voila, new water heater! The unit heated the water quickly and almost completely silently! The only way I could tell that the water was heating was to put my ear to the side of the unit.

Bottom line; This water heater has a 6 year warranty. I don't know why since it looks like it will last for many more years than that. Especially if I drain it once a year and replace the anode at regular intervals. I would HIGHLY recommend this water heater to any and all! Besides, with the shipping being free, you don't even have to go to the local stores and haul it home! They'll bring it right to your door!
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on June 21, 2012
This was a great deal for a Rheem hot water heater, which you normally can only get through a licensed plumbing contractor. Im only giving a four star because like some of the other reviewers, ours arrived with a dent at the bottom. It did not effect the installation or the operation, but i believe the freight company they use could use a little more care in handling these during shipment!! My Dad, who owns a plumbing company and is a licensed plumber(but lives in another state or I would have had him get it for me:) recommended we get a Rheem when I called him because our hot water heater was leaking. We were considering a 50 gallon but my dad said the 40 gallon should be plenty for our family of four. I told him our current 40 gallon would run out of hot water after a 25-30 minute shower. He said a new one would do better because over time a hot water heater will not get the water as hot. He was right this new 40 gallons water is hot, hot, hot and we have not had an issue with running short on hot water!! Also, the price was better than a lesser brand at our local home improvement stores! Took my husband and our neighbor about an hour to an hour and a half to install.
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on August 16, 2011
The product is well built, heavy unit. Quite when burner is on. Easy to install. Heats water as expected. Fast ship from UT.

Update: After 2 1/2 years (4/14), I decided to contact the Company regarding the thermostat. The knob seemed loose and would not hold an accurate temperature setting....very frustrating. The temp would be warmish or very hot, hard to get it in the comfortable in-between setting. Honestly, it seems I had this problem since day one, but I sort of ignored it with wishful thinking. In short, without any hassle, Rheem CS is sending me a replacement thermostat for me to install. Hopefully, this will solve the temperature problem.
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on December 18, 2012
We have had this model for 4 years. It worked great until this year, when we started having problems with hot water supply. Rheem's warranty includes parts only, not labor. For the first repair needed, the part was not covered by the warranty (hot water valve at top of heater), so we had our plumber take care of it. Second problem was temperature gauge/valve. It took 3 weeks and many phone calls to get them to send a replacement part. Their technical support approach is to have the homeowner do numerous "tests", for which the instructions often change....time consuming and confusing. So, we paid our plumber to replace the part Rheem sent. Now, 5 months later, we are again having problems. Rheem insists that it is the same part problem as before, or a problem with "other plumbing in your house". They will not replace the heater. They are talking with our plumber, who installs Rheem all the time, and has never had this issue. We'll see if he can get them to replace the heater.
UPDATE August 2015: This water heater is now 9 years old and has just completely failed. I will not consider purchasing Rheem again because of their poor warranty/customer service practices.
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on November 27, 2012
I did a lot of hard shopping and internet reading before I settled on the Rheem 42VR40-40F High Efficiency Natural Gas Water Heater. Comparable water heaters (by regional manufacturers) at the Lowes just a mile from my home were a couple hundred higher. The carrier called to schedule a convenient delivery time to my doorstep(actually to my backyard patio)and the shipping (thanks Amazon)was free ! Because some reviews said that units had been delivered with hidden damage, the driver and I removed the cover and inspected it prior to my signing for it,and I parked it until I was ready to make the swap. I had been out of the market for a while, at least 20 years, so I was unprepared for how good-looking this heater is; the dark gray color is such a nice change from the boring white ones. It is almost a shame to hide it in its louvered enclosure. Of course, the real test is not the cosmetics, but performance, right? Once connected, it fired up right away, and after a few months of use, I have absolutely no complaints. There is no noise because it seldom runs, due to the increased insulation, I'm sure. Be prepared for how tall these heaters have become, especially if it is going into a closet-like enclosure; it was a challenge to do the hookups because of the limited space, but it was worth the hassle to achieve the considerable savings. Because we have hard water here in El Paso, I plan to regularly drain the heater (every 6 months), so I was glad to see a beefy brass drain valve instead of the plastic one my old heater had (which broke off 15 years ago). I highly recommend this unit!
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on September 23, 2011
Please note that this model is NOT Energy Star certified, although the Amazon product description says it is (or said it when we bought it). I bought it, planning to get a $50 energy star rebate from my gas supplier, but realized when we got it that this model does not qualify.
Haven't installed the actual HWH yet, so I'll update my review after we get it installed!

UPDATE: It's now one year later... we have had the HWH installed for a year now, and so far so good! My husband and father-in-law installed it themselves, not too hard if you have a little know-how and can do basic plumbing/pipe work. The HWH supplies our 2000 sq. ft. home, kitchen, two bathrooms, dishwasher, washer, four person family with plenty of hot water all the time. We have had a houseful of people and never run out of hot water. I think our gas bill even went down a bit, after upgrading from our 20-year-old hot water heater! I definitely recommend this as a good value.
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on December 29, 2011
Water heater arrived promptly as promised. This water heater is very quiet as comparing to my old unit (14 years old Rheem). This 40 gal unit is even wider and taller than my old 50 gals. That's good, it means more installation. I'm very happy with this unit except this unit comes with a build in "heat trap" which causes the water pipe rattle. It's not a very noise but it is a nuisance. I think it is part of the new federal energy efficient requirement. Oh well..
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on January 23, 2013
Very satisfied so far having had it installed today. I read all the reviews and it appears the primary problems folks have had deal with shipping. Mine arrived within a few days of ordering. The driver was completely understanding as I wanted to cut the box open and inspect prior to signing. The box was undamaged until I cut it open and the water heater was perfect.

5 days after delivery, I had a plumber come by and install it ( I had to have it installed in a new place and gas lines and supply lines moved )... it could easily be installed with a buddy if you know water and gas. It fired up and I've got nice hot water. It makes no noise that I can hear. I'll write an update as time passes, but so far, on day one of use and delivery issues noted, I'm very happy.
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