Home Depot Water Heaters vs. Licensed Plumbing Contractor: Understanding the Quality Difference in Rheem Water Heaters

If you’re considering a Rheem water heater for your home, you’ve likely come across two primary purchase options: big-box retailers like Home Depot and licensed plumbing contractors. While each avenue has its own advantages and disadvantages, one critical factor to consider is the difference in the quality of the units sold. Let’s delve into the specifics.

Rheem Home Depot
Home Depot Rheem Water Heater with Plastic Drain

Buying a Rheem Water Heater from Home Depot


  1. Cost Savings: Home Depot often provides lower prices due to its economies of scale and high volume of sales, attracting homeowners on a tight budget.
  2. Variety: Home Depot offers a range of Rheem models, allowing you to compare multiple heaters in one location.
  3. Convenience: For the DIY enthusiast, Home Depot offers the benefit of immediate pick-up, paving the way for same-day installation if you’re comfortable doing it yourself.


  1. Generic Advice: Home Depot employees, while knowledgeable in many areas, may not specialize in water heaters, meaning the advice you receive may not be specific to your needs.
  2. Limited After-Sale Support: Home Depot’s wide product range can sometimes mean limited after-sale support for specific items like water heaters.
  3. Quality of Units: The Rheem models sold at Home Depot often contain plastic parts to keep costs down. While they are indeed cost-effective, these units may not last as long or perform as effectively as their higher-quality counterparts.
  4. Installation Concerns: Home Depot outsources installation to local companies, meaning the quality of installation may vary depending on the contractor.
Pro model rheem water heater
Rheem Professional Water Heater with Brass Drain

Buying a Rheem Water Heater from a Licensed Plumbing Contractor


  1. Expert Knowledge: Licensed plumbing contractors are experts in their field. They offer detailed advice about different water heater models and can suggest the best fit for your specific needs.
  2. Professional Installation: Purchasing from a licensed contractor usually includes professional installation, ensuring the job is done correctly and safely.
  3. Quality of Units: Contractors sell professional-grade Rheem models. These units often include high-quality brass components, enhancing durability and performance over time.
  4. After-Sale Support: Licensed contractors offer comprehensive after-sale support, so if you have any issues with your heater, expert help is a phone call away.


  1. Potentially Higher Costs: The upfront cost can be higher with a licensed contractor due to the specialized service and high-quality units they offer.
  2. Scheduling Required: Unlike a trip to Home Depot, buying from a contractor usually requires scheduling an appointment for consultation and installation, which might not be as immediate.

The decision to buy from Home Depot or a licensed plumbing contractor ultimately depends on what you prioritize: cost and convenience, or expert advice, professional installation, and quality of the unit. Regardless of the path you choose, Rheem water heaters are a solid choice. Always feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need more information.

About the Author

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Eric Strand is a highly experienced master plumber and the owner of Water Heating Experts LLC, a reputable plumbing company based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. With over two decades of industry expertise, Eric has established himself as a trusted professional in the field of plumbing and water heating services.

Eric began his plumbing journey in Colorado in 1995, where he obtained his master plumber license. His dedication to his craft and commitment to delivering exceptional workmanship quickly earned him a stellar reputation among clients and colleagues alike. Throughout his career, Eric has consistently demonstrated a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and a passion for providing reliable and efficient plumbing solutions.

In 2004, Eric expanded his professional horizons by acquiring a certified plumbing contractor license in Florida. This enabled him to bring his extensive knowledge and expertise to the vibrant plumbing market in the state. Recognizing the growing demand for specialized water heating services, Eric established Water Heating Experts LLC to cater to the unique needs of residential and commercial clients in Palm Beach Gardens and surrounding areas.

Prior to founding Water Heating Experts LLC, Eric also owned and operated DesignerPlumbingOutlet.com. Through this venture, he gained valuable insights into the plumbing industry and developed a deep understanding of customer preferences and the latest trends in plumbing fixtures and accessories. This experience further enhanced his ability to provide comprehensive and customized plumbing solutions to his clients.

As the owner of Water Heating Experts LLC, Eric Strand continues to lead his team of skilled professionals in delivering top-notch plumbing services. From water heater installations and repairs to plumbing system maintenance and emergency plumbing assistance, Eric and his team are known for their prompt response, technical proficiency, and dedication to customer satisfaction.

Eric's commitment to excellence extends beyond his business endeavors. He actively stays up-to-date with the latest advancements in plumbing technology and techniques, ensuring that Water Heating Experts LLC remains at the forefront of the industry. Additionally, Eric maintains strong professional affiliations, regularly participating in industry associations and fostering collaborations with other plumbing experts.

With his impressive track record, Eric Strand is regarded as a reputable and reliable authority in the plumbing industry. Whether it's resolving complex plumbing issues or providing expert advice on water heating solutions, Eric's expertise and customer-centric approach make him a go-to professional for all plumbing needs in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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