Rheem Water Heater Parts
How to Order Parts for Rheem

This article covers the main Rheem water heater parts for both gas and electric residential water heating.

Rheem is one of the largest North American companies and is owned by Paloma, the Japanese manufacturer of water heating appliances. Rheem is using the latest technology for both tankless and tank-type water heater production, and with the limited life expectancy of these Rheem parts, inevitable problems, failures, and issues during the regular service and maintenance, they have to provide high-quality replacement parts.

How to buy Rheem parts

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Rheem hot water heater parts are always available, and with the service and sales network all over the US and Canada, you should have a fast response and quick customer service for replacing parts and fixing the unit.

When ordering replacement parts from Rheem, our suggestion is to use genuine Rheem water heater parts. However, there are also aftermarket products, which can be found through your technician or online, cheaper, and still with excellent quality, but also parts whose quality is arguable.

The Rheem manufacturer complements and recommends two groups of Rheem water heater parts: Preferred and Universal Parts brands, for use on the electric and gas water heaters.

The Preferred Parts line is the premium line of Rheem water heater parts and is approved for the following brands:

  • Rheem and Ruud residential and commercial models
  • Richmond residential appliances
  • PerfectFit commercial water heaters
  • GE and Hotpoint residential water heaters

Universal Parts, from Rheem parts, is called the Value line, an affordable deal with the use for most of the water heater brands.

Before you order Rheem water heater parts, you should specify the following:

  • Model and the serial number of the part found on the rating plate of your water heater.
  • The gas type, natural gas or propane (LP), is also found on the rating plate.
  • Part description and a number of parts desired (i.e., the part number for one of the dip tube parts is SP11269C).
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Parts from storage tank units

  • Heating elements
  • Thermostats
  • Thermocouple
  • Pilot burner assemblies
  • Anode Rods
  • Other important parts

Heating elements

Heating elements are used to heat the water in electric water heaters. There is an upper and lower heating element. As said before, regarding Rheem water heater parts, there are two-part brands; where heating elements are found as Resistor from Preferred Parts line and non-Resistored as the Universal brand.

Rheem recommends resistored stainless steel heating elements as the best choice, while others are either good or better choices.

Resistor stainless steel heating elements are the low watt density, screw-in type heating elements, with the outer sheath of Incoloy 800 to resist failure from "dry firing." Built-in resistor helps prolong anode rod life.

It is designed for voltage range from 120 V to 480 V and heating power from 1440 W to 6000 W.

The resistor copper heating element is the energy-efficient resistor type element designed to fight the lime build-up and prolong the tank life. They can be found mainly as low and high-watt density heating elements. They work in a range from 120 to 240 V and from 1500 to 6000 W.

Non-Resistored heating elements from the Universal Parts group can be found as the copper screw-in elements with voltages of 120 and 240 and wattage range from 1500 to 5500 W.

Non-Resistored higher quality stainless steel heating elements are also available with a wattage range from 1500 to 5500 W. All these models are designed as low, medium, and high watt density. Rheem manufacturer suggests them as the proper choice but at the same time doesn't recommend them for its Rheem, Rudd, and GE water heaters as they can lead to premature failure.


Thermostats are available for both gas and electric water heaters, as the Preferred and Universal brands.

Electric thermostats can be purchased separately, as simultaneous or non-simultaneous, or within the Plumber's Pack Kit, which includes heating elements, gaskets, and both upper and lower thermostats. The temperature range for Rheem electric thermostats is within the range of 100 F to 150 F, and operating voltages are from 208 to 480 V. High limit thermostat is included and set at 170 F.

One of the main Rheem water heater parts is the Robertshaw gas valve and thermostat used for LP, natural gas, or both. Gas thermostats are designed to sense the water temperature inside the gas water heater tank and control the on/off function of the main burner assembly. The maximum working temperature is 160 F, while the maximum high limit switch temperature is pre-set at 200 F.


The thermocouple is one of the parts directly involved in gas firing and correct gas burning. The thermocouple is a bi-metal element used to detect the pilot flame, and created electricity is used to open the gas control valve to transfer gas to the burner.

Based on the gas water heater models, Rheem uses five different thermocouple lengths with the sizes of 15'', 17", 21", 24" and 30". These are parts from the premium line, Preferred, while the Universal line features thermocouples with 18", 24", 30" and 36" in length.

Pilot burner assemblies

A pilot burner is used to light the main gas burner when it gets the signal from the thermostat to run the hot water.

The gas water heater can use both LP (propane) and natural gas, but it cannot use the same orifice size. It has to be changed. The pilot burner assembly uses a 0.0115" size, for natural gas, while LP gas burner assembly is using smaller 0.008" orifice, painted in red for visual identification.

FVIR Rheem water heater parts are coming from two manufacturers, Robertshaw and White-Rodgers, and include a gas valve, pilot assembly, thermocouple kit, piezo igniter for both natural and propane gas.

Anode rods

Anode rods are metallic rods inside the tank, used to protect the metal tank against corrosion. Rheem water heaters use magnesium and aluminum anode rods. Magnesium anode rods can be purchased in two sizes, 44" and 58" lengths, as the flexible 52" in 12 sections or as 42" aluminum anodes. The diameter varies from 0.700 to 0.900".

Other important Rheem water heater parts

  • The TPR valve or temperature and pressure relief valve is just one of the Rheem parts used as the safety device that opens when the hot water temperature and pressure inside the tank become excessive. The TPR valve is designed to operate at 150 PSI and 210 F.
  • The dip tube is used to deliver the cold water to the bottom of the tank. Rheem uses its specially designed dip tube called EverKleen dip tube. This is a unique application, so Rheem suggests you contact them directly to order a part. Other dip tubes are also available, with lengths of 26" and 54".
  • To protect the water heater and other parts from the pressure build-up inside the water heating system and absorb the expanded water, Rheem uses thermal expansion tanks called Therm-X-Guard, designed in sizes 2.5, 5, and 10 gallons.
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Some components are specific for certain Rheem water heater models, PowerVent, for example. Power vent models use Honeywell 24 V gas control valve for residential and commercial applications, pilot burner, and electronic ignition system.

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