Review of Rheem MR85245

Tank-style water heater goes non-metallic

Rheem MR85245 Marathon 85-Gallon Tall Electric Water Heater
Rating:(4.3 out of 5 stars)

BrandRheem
Type of Water HeaterElectric Tank
Dimensions66.25 x 28.25 x 28.25 inches

Rheem MR85245

Just when you thought you’ve seen everything in the water heating industry, Rheem comes out with a rust- and corrosion-resistant tank water heater. Known as the Marathon series, this non-metallic tank-style water heater is made of polybutene that is blow-molded and without seams. Compared to typical tank water heaters, this series is more durable, weighs less, and is guaranteed to be leak-proof. One such unit is the MR85245 Tall Electric Water Heater that has a capacity of 85 gallons of hot water.

Review Details

The tank is made durable with several layers of filament wrapped around the fiberglass, and is insulated to conserve energy. The upper heating element (thermally fused) protects against dry fire, and the lower element prevents the formation of lime. The Rheem MR85245 is also scratch-resistant and dent-proof because of the tough molded polyethylene casing.
This particular unit has an energy factor of 0.92 and is Energy Star rated.

The unit comes with pre-installed components, which means you can save on parts (vacuum relief valve, control box conduit and temperature pressure relief valve are all included). The result: a first hour rating of 91 gallons per hour (GPH) and a recovery rate of 20 GPH at 90 degree rise.

The good

The Rheem MR85245’s pluses include:

  • Ease of installation and service
    Due to its light weight, the tank can be easily moved and positioned. It also drains completely because of the bowl-shaped bottom and anode rods are not necessary due to its all-plastic construction.
  • Standard parts
    Replacement parts for this unit can be easily bought at local hardware stores.
  • Exceptional customer service
    One owner cited that Rheem’s customer service immediately took action on the defective air check valve of earlier models of this particular unit. The company immediately shipped the replacement part at no cost. Check that your unit has the new 2” brass valves and that the air holes are on the sides. If this isn’t the case, contact Rheem.
  • Warranty
    The manufacturer stands behind its product with a lifetime warranty on the tank and 6 years on the parts.

The not so good

Online reviews of the Rheem MR85245 are scant, and the very few existing ones only had nice words to say about the unit. However, if you have to name one thing, it’s

  • Price
    There are cheaper water heaters in today’s market (but are they’re cheaper in the long run?)

Our Verdict

If you are looking for a tank-type water heater that supplies sufficient hot water for large demands, then the 85 Galon Rheem MR85245 Marathon is a good choice. It is priced similarly to metal tank water heaters, but unlike them this plastic water heater appears to be made of sturdier stuff and eliminates the hassles commonly associated with metal tank water heaters.

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