The Reliance Water Heater Company is the subsidiary of the largest producer of water heating equipment in North America, the A.O. Smith Corporation.
The Reliance company designs and manufactures electric and gas-powered water heaters for residential and commercial applications, mainly storage tanks and tankless types.
Reliance electric water heaters come in many sizes and models and with a warranty ranging from the industry standard of 6 to 12 years.
Models with an extended warranty of 12 years are the best choice not only due to corrosion protection but as they utilize the quality elements and features such as the heavy-duty anode and self-cleaning system.
Most models, especially the tall and standard electric type, utilize two heating elements that provide a 0.9 efficiency and faster recovery. Those water heaters that combine the electric elements and the heat pump have an energy factor of over 2.3 making them ultra-efficient and Energy Star compliant. These are known as hybrids or heat pumps.
Reliance gas water heaters can run on natural or propane gas, and as the electric series, are found in many sizes and types; storing hot water inside the tank-type models or heating on-demand as tankless.
This review covers only the best of Reliance gas type, including mainly Energy Star approved, where the energy factor is at least 0.67, including high water recovery for high demanding homes and low NOx emission units.
The best models include water heaters from the atmospheric, power, and power direct group, while the most efficient are condensing.
The tankless group of Reliance water heaters does not utilize the storage tank but a heat exchanger, which allows on-demand water heating and an endless and continuous supply of hot water.
Reliance tankless units are small and compact, allowing easy and space-saving installation mainly on the wall. The high-efficiency operation is its greatest advantage, especially the condensing type, which carries the longest warranty of 15 years.
The best features found among the tank-type Reliance water heaters are the Sta-Kleen and automatic self-cleaning system, which helps in reducing sediment build-up, and non-sacrificial power anode that protects the metal tank from corrosion.
In contrast, the tankless models include condensing technology and advanced electronics that make the problem diagnostic easy.