The XR90: A Tiny-But-Mighty Water Heater

In the market for an energy efficient new water heater? If a tankless model isn’t an option, Rheem‘s new XR90 Extreme Recovery Gas Water Heater might fit the bill. According to the manufacturer, this Energy Star qualified heater requires just 29 gallons of storage space but can heat water faster than a standard 50-gallon gas model, with lower annual operating costs.

The tiny-but-mighty XR90 can produce 90 gallons of hot water in an hour, which in many cases exceeds the amount of hot water provided by a standard 50-gallon gas water heater within the same time span. It’s also 42 percent faster than the 50-gallon model in terms of how quickly it makes hot water avaiable and replenishes it.

Rheem XR90 water heater

image via Rheem

Customers who replace a standard 50-gallon tank with Rheem’s XR90 model also stand to save around $54 a year on gas bills, as average operational costs are estimated at $261 for the XR90 (versus $315 for a standard 50-gallon gas model). The water heater exceeds the requirements for Energy Star Phase II qualification, and may qualify for certain local and state rebates for energy efficient appliances.

More information on rebates available for Rheem products, by region, is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • Justin

      My fiasco with the Rheem XR90 began back in November when I decided to go a bit ngreener (and pay a lot more) for it instead of going with a much cheaper nalternative for a tank water heater.nnThe first XR90 was installed nprofessionally and found to be defective. After several hours on the phone we nwere told that there were no parts available, and that the only way to fix it is nto send an entirely new unit. nnSo no hot water while I waited for XR90 #2 nto arrive, and then a complete uninstall/reinstall of the defective unit with nthe new one.nnUnit 2 is intalled and, lo and behold, ALSO found to be ndefective (this time 2 parts were not functioning correctly!). They offered to ntake parts off the first one that worked to make the 2nd one work, and I said n”hell no”, so they offered a 3rd new one.nnI was given a very slight ndiscount for my troubles (half of which was taken by the installers because ntheir time was wasted as well), and a 3rd unit was ordered (again, no hot water nfor multiple days).nnThe 3rd one had no immediate defects after ninstallation, but it’s a very inconsistent water heater, and frankly, I’m not nsure if I’m going to keep it. Why I allowed a third attempt is beyond nme…nnAnyway, one has to question Rheem’s quality control (if they even nhave it). To get not one, but two defective water heaters from the factory says nsomething. I’ve attempted several times to get an official response from Rheem nover this mess, but have been largely ignored.nnThink twice about getting nthis unit, or a Rheem system at all.

      • Justin

        As an update to this…

        Apparently my review on one of the sites got the attention of Rheem, and they (management, even) have since contacted me.  Not only did they apologize, but they refunded the entire purchase price, which was completely unexpected.

        They claimed that there was an issue with the very first models that came out but they have since addressed the issues.  It makes sense as I was one of the first to receive one of these units.  Since then, the XR90 has won a very prestigious innovation award at a recent expo, so they must be doing something right.

        Anyway, my issues have been resolved, and my faith in Rheem restored.  They [I]do[/I] care about their products, and the feedback they receive from folks makes a difference.
         
        I thought it fair to Rheem to post a follow up.

    • juans

      Well just like justin. I have decided to go a little green. I purchase what was suppose to be a top of the line water heater . Brought it home works fine for about 4 hoursit was than it dies out it was thursday. Next day return it back to the store got another unit exact same problem called RHEEM on friday they send over a technician he came on sunday he checks it and he can’t find nothing wrong with the unit. He called Rheen tech support told him to check the burner sure enough. THE UNIT HAD A PROPANE BURNER.It has been a few days now with no hot water. So they order the par.To overnight the part on a sunday won arrive till tuesday.Tomorrow will see.