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Richmond Water Heaters Review

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

The name Richmond might not at first seem too familiar, but it’s a name worth noticing. This brand has several top-quality models and was established as a subsidiary of Rheem in 1983. As all Richmond water heaters are manufactured by Rheem, they are among the most reliable and efficient on the market.

Richmond water heaters

Gas and Propane

Richmond gas water heater reviewOften considered the most efficient of traditional fuel sources, gas and propane water heaters have a lower UEF than electric heaters, but run at a lower overall cost. NOX emissions are a concern in older models, although most newer models significantly reduce the amount of emissions.


Richmond puts a focus on efficiency and longevity, with their warranties lasting up to 12 years. Their three major lines boast rigid foam insulation and a host of features to help combat heat loss and improve the lifespan of each unit.


Ranging from .58 to .83 UEF and 29 to 87 gallon capacities, the Encore line is designed to fit a range of household needs. All four models are rated Low NOx and and three are ENERGY STAR compliant. This is a really good series when you want an efficient and environmentally friendly model at a reasonable cost.


Consisting of both atmospheric and direct vent options, the Essential series is a prime example of Richmond quality. These heaters range from .57 to .69 UEF and 29 to 98 gallon capacities. Depending on the model, you can expect Low or Ultra-Low NOx emissions, ENERGY STAR compliance, or even the EVER-Kleen sediment reduction system.

Essential Plus

When you want a line of gas heaters that require less hassle to maintain, it doesn’t get much better than the Essential Plus. These models begin at .58 UEF and include a wide range of potential features such as self-lighting ignitions or Richmond’s Ever-Kleen sediment reduction system.

Tank sizes range from 38 to 98 gallons, providing enough hot water for even large, busy households. As with other Richmond products, the Essential Plus line is Low-NOx to reduce your environmental footprint.


Richmond electric water heater reviewA common site in homes, electric water heaters provide a higher universal energy factor than gas units, but also have higher requirements for ENERGY STAR and LEED compliance. A good electric model will run at a low cost and help reduce your home’s carbon footprint without running out in the middle of that pre-work shower.


Richmond’s electric water heaters have a range of possible features, depending on the model. Heaters with a 9 or 12 year warranty feature the Ever-Kleen system, which reduces the amount of sediment in your tank.

These models also have LIFEGUARD stainless steel heating elements, which last longer, reduce the risk of dry-fire burn-out, and further combat sediment buildup. Regardless of the model, you can count on rigid foam insulation and durable construction.


The Encore series makes its mark in the electric water heater market with 40,. 50, and 55 gallon tanks. Rated at .92-.93 UEF, this series boasts a 12-year warranty, Ever-Kleen technology, and the EcoNet WiFi control system. A premium grade anode rod helps extend the tank’s lifespan, further ensuring these tanks qualify for a number of incentive program.


Ranging from 2.5 gallon point-of-use models and tabletop units to 50 gallon tanks, the Encore line has plenty to offer. The tabletop unit offers .81 UEF while the rest provide between .90 and .93 UEF. The point-of-use models are all UL-listed and actually include a 30 gallon size.

The higher-end of this line include Ever-Kleen technology and an over-temperature protector that shuts off the heating element if the water exceeds safe temperatures.

Essential Plus

These 40 and 50 gallon tanks come with a UEF of .93 and resistored steel lower heating elements to extend the premium grade anode rod’s lifespan. This, alongside the Ever-Kleen self-cleaning device means your tank will last longer and require less maintenance. Essential Plus water heaters boast low-cost, high efficiency service, making them compliant with many incentive programs.


Living up to its name, Marathon water heaters use an all-plastic design, eliminating the risk of corrosion and need for anode rods. These lightweight tanks come in 30, 40, 50, and 100 gallon sizes rated at .92 to .93 UEF. A titanium lower element resists lime buildup, while the bowl-shaped bottom ensures no sediment is left after a tank flush.

Multiple layers of filament wound fiberglass and polyurethane insulation mean these tanks won’t break or vent heat on standby like many traditional models. It’s really impossible to go wrong with a Marathon series heater when aiming for a low-maintenance, high performance water heater.


Richmond tankless water heater reviewTankless water heaters provide greater efficiency than traditional tank models, heating water as needed instead of storing large volumes in a tank where the water is constantly trying to cool off.

Because they heat water as it’s being used, there’s no risk of the water going cold in the middle of your shower. This also means you don’t have to worry about your water heater running when nobody’s there to enjoy it.


All of Richmond’s tankless heaters take up a fraction of the space compared to traditional heaters while easily matching or exceeding the amount of hot water provided.

Both gas and electric models are available, and all include advanced self-diagnostics capabilities, precise temperature control, and an EZ-Link cable that allow you to combine two units for increased functionality.

Encore Condensing

When you want to find a tankless water heater that’s ENERGY STAR rated and has a UEF of up to 0.93, this Encore line should be your first stop. Boasting a built-in condensate neutralizer and self-diagnostic system, each model in this line has an Ultra-Low NOx burner and stainless steel condensing heat exchanger for high efficiency and a low environmental impact.

All condensing units have EcoNet capability so you can check the health or settings of your heater from virtually anywhere.

Encore Mid-Efficiency

With a .81 to .82 UEF, these indoor and outdoor models feature all-copper heat exchangers and EcoNet compatibility. A great advantage to these units is the inclusion of a maintenance notice option which can be set to notify you after 500 hours of use that it’s time to call for a service check.

An Ultra-Low NOx rating means you can sleep easier knowing your heater is leaving minimal impact on the environment.

Tankless Electric

While the majority of tankless heaters use gas, Richmond knows that some households don’t have the option or prefer to remain all electrical. For this reason, they offer a full range of tankless models that run off of electricity without sacrificing efficiency. Both point-of-use and full-house models include an on/off dial control, adjustable digital temperature display, and self-modulating power control.

The copper heating elements in this line are both durable and easily serviced. Other parts are similarly designed for easy replacement, making these tankless heaters far easier to maintain. Best of all each model boasts a 99.8 percent energy efficiency, so you’ll never have to worry about high electricity bills from a busy bathroom.


Richmond refuses to be left behind in the solar market, offering both the Solaraide HE and Solpak system. The Solaraide HE is designed to work with residential direct solar systems and includes 4500 watt resistor heating elements for greater heating efficiency, meeting or exceeding NAECA requirements.

Meanwhile, the Solpak active system provides a comprehensive solution for your first solar water heating experience, including double collector systems, storage tank, multi-speed pump, thermal expansion tank, glycol solution, and a controller. A 4500 watt heating element provides a reliable backup for when the sun’s not cooperating with your family’s laundry night.


Richmond hybrid water heater reviewWhen you want efficiency, it doesn’t get much better than a hybrid, and Richmond’s Encore hybrids are among the best examples of hybrid technology. Using the power of a heat pump, these units draw heat from the surrounding air, run it through a compressor to increase the intensity, and then transfer that heat to the tank’s water. This process saves a large amount of money and creates an insane 3.55 to 3.70 UEF.

All models are ENERGY STAR compliant and include the EcoNet wireless control system for easy settings changes on the go. A built-in water sensor alerts you when external moisture is detected, allowing you to avoid potentially disastrous leaks.

Best of all, these units can deliver hot water faster than traditional electric models, making them one of the best investments you can make while on the path to going green.

Best Richmond Water Heater Models






Richmond 6GR50SPVE2-36


Richmond 6EP30-D


Richmond 6GR40SPVE2-32P

Richmond Water Heater Parts

All Richmond models include either a 6, 9, or 12 year warranty. Even with regular maintenance, various water heater parts may need to be replaced to extend the life of your water heater. Some of these parts include anode rods, heating elements, thermostats, gas control valves, dip tubes, and others. You may also wish to add a drain pan. Most of these parts are easily replaceable by their owners.


Where to Buy Richmond Water Heaters

Richmond water heaters can be found at Home Depot, Menards, and various other local and online retailers.

Richmond Water Heater Contact Info

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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