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yuri 03-12-2011 07:57 AM

Rheem Marathon water heater comments
Has anyone installed or tried the fiberglass Marathon water heater? Pro's and Cons, good experiences or reviews or bad?

the_man 03-12-2011 08:26 AM

the only thing i don't like about them is the vacuum relief valve on top. seems to start leaking easily after just a few years. every one i've seen has corrosion on it from that valve. other than that, great w/h's. much more efficient than other tank heaters

yuri 03-12-2011 08:39 AM

Yeah, I was wondering about that. I had hordes of problems with vacuum breakers in the hospital and old folks home I worked in so I know all about them. Does it have a threaded outlet which I guy can screw a plug into?

the_man 03-12-2011 08:43 AM

it's installed on a brass tee, but i was told a long time ago by the parts house that you can't take it out. the tank is PE, and without the vacuum breaker it can make the tank suck in when draining it. don't know how much truth there is to that, but it kinda makes sense :laughing: the valve's only about 30 bucks, and i recommend a new one with any service to the tank just in case

yuri 03-12-2011 08:51 AM

This would be for my own home and I am debating whether to just stay with a steel tank or get a price on one of them. Are they double or triple the cost of a steel tank with 8 yr warranty? I can get everything wholesale but deal mostly with HVAC suppliers and my plumbers don't promote them. Strange world out there. Mom's cheap 40 gallon State is about 25 yrs old with hard water and no sandhog elements and works great. 6 yr old homes beside me are changing out their steel GSWs already. Must have something to do with the amount of usage, 4 person family versus 1 person and how much water they use/flow thru it. Go figure.

the_man 03-12-2011 09:01 AM

a lot of the utility companies around me subsidize the cost of the marathon heaters to get them installed in more houses, you might check with yours to see if they do as well. they're a lot more expensive, and i haven't really decided for myself if it's actually worth it in the long run. great concept for sure... no steel to rust, no glass lining to crack, no anode rod to fail. but they're a lot more expensive and still a pretty new thing so who knows what might happen with them down the road. i'd say if you have the money to do it go for it. if nothing else take pics and show them to customers. might sell a few more if you can tell them you use it in your house :thumbsup:

yuri 03-12-2011 09:06 AM

I am going to wait and see if other people have had problems with them cracking/failing pre-maturely. They have a "limited" lifetime warranty from Rheem. I can get a basic 40 gallon elec for under $300 but if they start going every 6 yrs the novelty of changing them is going to wear off in a hurry.

The logistics of keeping them in stock and inventory cost is a downside for most businesses and when you have to compete with el cheapo 24 hr water heater guys most customers don't really want to spend the extra bucks on one is what I would think management would say. Over $750 already for an elec installed. Water heaters need to be in stock and quick turnaround so the high priced units would have to be special order and time consuming to pick up etc. When I said "my plumbers" I meant co-workers.:laughing:

JanneZack 10-25-2011 10:19 PM

Rheum marathon troubles
My builder highly recommended the marathon because of our aggressive water with copper connections, so we got a marathon. Within the first year one of the 2 elements went out and today we came home from a doctor appointment to find our home flooded because the vacuum valve became a fountain.

Not sure what caused this but the water main for our town had been shut off for an hour or so early this morning, we left for our appointment and returned to a 4-way fountain - full force waterfall coming from the valve. Something is definitely wrong!

I would like to know if this has ever happened before. We have damaged ceilings (the unit is in our attic) and carpets and cellulose insulation and our home is only 3.5years old! What a mess!


Bob999 10-26-2011 09:34 AM

The Marathon electric water heater with the plastic liner has been around for more than 20 years--we installed one in my parents home in the 1980's and at that time it was being sold by Sears. That install is still going strong with the only service an element replacement.

Snowfanatic 09-01-2012 12:40 PM

Marathon water heaters
I know this reply is long after the original inquiry but here goes.

We have a total of 3 in our home which is 10 years old, one at our summer place which is 6 years old and the final one at our ski place which is 3 years old....not a single problem. Love the fact that the insulation keeps the water hot for a long time...apparently the temp frops by only 5 degrees F per day. Ours are all electric. They are expensive but the payback compared to rental for our home was less than 5 years.

noone 08-20-2013 05:02 PM

172 Attachment(s)
I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a Marsthon 85 gallon unit.

Wondering about others experiences here.

Peppe1019 08-20-2013 05:17 PM

Never cap a vacuum relief valve its there for a reason to prevent a vacuum from forming in the instance of a break in the line.. When having work done and the line has to be cut into a vacuum will form as well and the vacuum relief valve prevents this. They are simple to replace and is their as a safeguard..if you can i would go tankless..

Ghostmaker 08-20-2013 07:03 PM

Temperature and pressure relief valve is not a vacuum breaker. It is a safety device that allows release of pressure or hot water to avoid having the tank blow through the roof of your home.

The tank is energy efficient but not much more then the cheaper electric tanks. Since no metal is involved the tank has a lifetime warranty.
The parts do not have that warranty.

You still need to drain the tank yearly to remove sediment and trip the T&P yearly to make sure it has not blocked up.

After tripping the T&P it may leak that is easily replaces with standard hot water tank parts.

What you have to figure out to make an intelligent buying decision is the pay off time involved for the price difference.
Keep in mind that your average maintained electric HWT has a 10 year life expectancy and that the rheem warranty does not transfer at time of sale of your home.

Peppe1019 08-20-2013 07:21 PM

My mistake on the wording of calling it a vacuum breaker further down the paragraph i correctly refferred to it as a vaccum relief valve, obviously a t&p is deifferent and was never referring to a t&p.. A t&p and a vacuum relief valve are two entirely seperate fixtures and function seperately. A t&p relieves pressure outwards( blow off) a vacuum relief relieves pressure inwards(vacuum)..If the water supply to the building is turned off and the water is drained out, the tank will be subjected to "severe" negative pressure, i.e., a vacuum, and the amount of the negative pressure will be in direct corellation to how high the heater is above the drain point. The heater will withstand 300 psi of pressure but relatively LITTLE negative pressure so it will "collapse

TheEplumber 08-20-2013 07:25 PM

199 Attachment(s)
I took a picture of one. We did a cut away on it some time ago.
The insulation is quite thick, as is the plastic inner tank wall.
You can also see the upper element- sort of...

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