Rheem sells out to Home Depot
Until recently, GE was the big name in water heaters sold at Home Depot. The box store giant will no longer be selling GE water heaters and will offer Rheem exclusively. Rheem has been a popular brand for many Plumbing supply houses around the country. Now these wholesale suppliers are being pushed out by the big box store mentality.
If trends continue to go in the current direction, Plumbing contractors will be paying the same price or 10% more than those who take advantage of the Special Offers and discounts they offer.
Yesterday I needed a short water heater and being a Saturday, Home Depot was my only choice. Making an extra trip to get the unit, waiting a half hour for it to come down off the top shelf, and then having to take it back after I found two major dents added up to be quite a bit of work. As plumbers, we are selling a different service that those that pickup items in the box store. We need a different brand that represents quality and not having to hassle with any BS. I have to be able to markup that water heater to pay for the ones that have issues. Sometimes the issues pop up right away and sometimes it’s months after it’s been installed.
I encourage other plumbers that have installed Rheem water heaters over the past to take a step back and decide if they might benefit from moving to another brand. The Home Depot Rheem unit is not the same model number as the unit you would get from the supply house. Like many other things sold at Home Depot, I’m sure it’s a cheaper version with foreign parts to help lower their price. On a water heater, these types of shortcuts usually end up costing the end user and the plumber who has to make the repairs. It’s possible that some plumbers may stop servicing Rheem water heaters for repair.
If you notice problems with Rheem water heaters or any other type of tank, we have created a water heater review guide. It’s time for one guide that has all types of water heaters and is supported by the plumbing contractors that install them.