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Customer reviews for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater

85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater

The 85 Gallon Tall Marathon lifetime electric water heater provides hot water with peace of mind. Plastic tank eliminates the need for anode rod and prevents smelly water. Rigid foam insulation covers the entire tank for maximum efficiency. Bowl-shaped tank bottom drains completely for easy service and sediment removal Lower titanium heating element for superior resistance to lime buildup. Factory installed temperature and pressure relief valve offers added protection. Lifetime limited warranty on tank and 6 year limited warranty on parts. Meets or exceeds National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) requirements.
Overall rating:
4.6 / 5
4.6
 / 
5
(55 reviews) 55
Open Ratings Snapshot
90%of customersrecommend this product46 of 51reviews
Rating Breakdown 55 reviews
4.6 out of 5.0
5
(44)
4
(6)
3
(2)
2
(0)
1
(3)
Ease of installation 
4.5 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5
Quality 
4.6 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5
Value 
4.2 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5
90%of customersrecommend this product46 of 51reviews
Customer reviews for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
Review 1 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Richland, WA, USA
Age Range:65 or over
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Should be the last water heater I buy.

PostedFebruary 18, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
The installation was easy. I only needed to buy brass nipples and flex tubing to connect. Should last forever. The only thing that might fail is the heater element.
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
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User submitted photo
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 2 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater

Great Water Heater

PostedApril 30, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ordered this water heater a few weeks ago. HD matched a lower price at Menards. Delivery was exactly on time, with a lift truck to drop off at my home on pallet. Surprised at how light it was. Had done a lot of research and this unit always came out on top and with a lifetime tank warranty and excellent recovery time. I used this unit to replace 2 80 gallon units that had lasted 28 years.
It is well made and installation was incredibly easy- took about 20 minutes total. Had hot water in less than 20 minutes. All looks great and only hope it lasts 25 years !
Highly recommend.
Pros: Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
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+12points
12out of 12found this review helpful.
Review 3 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Alabama
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Really nice unit!

PostedMay 13, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I looked at a lot of options for replacing my 26 year old Rheem unit. In the end, a lifetime tank won out over all the fancy and VULNERABLE digital doodads of some of the others. I like that I have a permanent tank and tried and true thermastat/element system that will be simple and cheap to replace when necessary. I've have more than my share of sensitive electronics failures.
This thing is HUGE, but that's because it has a ton of insulation built in. It's light enough for one person to handle and install and the fittings are standard, so installation is a snap unless you have to move plumbing to accomodate the larger physical size.
I've had good service from Rheem products, and am glad to see this one in my house!
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, No Leaks, looks good
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0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 4 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Boston, MA, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

As advertised, easy to move and install.

PostedFebruary 26, 2014
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Installed a 85 gal. unit on February 15, 2014. Unit is easy to move and transport. The box is big, it fit in the back of my highlander sticking out the back hatch somewhat. The installation directions are easy to understand and install was straight forward even for a first time water heater install project. Took about 2 hours total from draining old unit to turning on new one. We had hot water in about an hour with very cold cold water.
Pros: Easy to Install, Good Instructions
+5points
5out of 5found this review helpful.
Review 5 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Richmond, VA.
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Unit was defective

PostedJanuary 29, 2014
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
My installer had much trouble getting this unit in. Then when he finally installed it, the unit was leaking. I was so excited to buy new technology. Since I was in a bind after this unit was defective, we had to make a hasty purchase for a GE 85 gallon old unit (I was not happy), because the Marathon was not carried in store. Now I am stuck with an old technology hot water heater which I was trying to avoid. Yes, I will have hot water but I will not have the energy efficiency that I wanted as well as the rust-proof plastic tank technology (and I had to pay my electrician/installer three times the hours to install, remove, then reinstall this GE). I am not happy.
Cons: Leaks
+3points
6out of 9found this review helpful.
Review 6 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Kennewick, WA, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Very nice unit

PostedJanuary 11, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Very nice unit. Makes more hot water than we've been able to utilize. High temp mark made for 166F water (we turned it down to something reasonable). Easy install but had a bit of a time getting a leak free seal on the cold water inlet. But... that might just be me.
My only complaint is that I wish they'd had made the thermostat covers easier to get on / off and with better fasteners. Other than that, very nice unit.
Pros: Easy to Install
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 7 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Kansas City, MO, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Satisfied - Would Recommend

PostedJune 18, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Unit is very tall which likely requires some re-plumbing from your old unit to the new unit. That is to be expected, by the way. Unit is light weight and easy to install but having an extra set of hands available is advisable because of the diameter.
Performance is very good so far (4 months). No issues, plenty of hot water without a spike in electric usage.
At this point I would say the unit is worth the additional cost and I would recommend it without reservation.
Would/will give highest rating available if things remain great at one year mark.
Pros: Easy to Install, Reliable, Good Instructions, No Leaks
+9points
9out of 9found this review helpful.
Review 8 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Maine
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Initial issues

PostedJuly 16, 2014
Overall rating 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Ease of installation 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I would agree with most of the positive comments posted earlier. However, several issues arose during the install. First, there was a leak detected during the air pressure test (all new plumbing in new house) in the cold water inlet. Took 3 different nipples to make a leak-free connection. Could it have been the nipples and not the tank fitting? Possible. Second, strange noise from hot water fitting. The manual stresses care when making up connections so I emailed customer support. Never a reply. Called customer support, was told there would be 2 minute wait and after 10 minutes on hold gave up. Called customer support next day and was told there would be 46 minute wait!!!! Gave up. For such an expensive item I would have expected MUCH better customer support. Will have to see if the problems are still there or not.
Cons: Leaks, terrible customer support
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 9 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Bennington, VT
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Excellent heater, very pleased

PostedJanuary 13, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Just finished installing this 85 gal unit in my home, replacing a GE heater that prematurely failed from an internal short and am very pleased with it. I have well water and was experiencing rotten egg odors on the hot side from bacteria growing in the tank, which was underused for about a year during home construction. After considering swapping the anode to al-zinc (which GE doesn't offer) - the magnesium anodes tend to promote bacteria growth in the tank if present in the well, I found this tank which being plastic, needs no anode. Then the GE tank failed under warranty, which was actually a blessing. The Marathon tank also allows 150 deg water, which will kill off all problem bacteria (more specifically, foul smell creating as well as legionnaire's disease critters). I installed a mixing valve to temper the water to 120-125 deg at the faucets and can now hold a higher, bacteria killing temp in the tank itself.
Very easy to install, looks great, excellent insulation, very tough outer skin and with the mixing valve nicely solves, on the hot water side at least, two main problems of contaminated well water feed, magnesium anodes and low tank temps.
The only minor negative I'd comment on is the slightly crooked thermostat covers. Fairly easy to fix by drilling new screw holes but why the factory floor can't fabricate simple alignment jigs for these tanks so that the assembly worker, who could care less about how straight things are, can mount these covers straight and plumb without a fuss or time lost. It just unnecessarily reflects on overall quality when you see covers misaligned. Totally unnecessary and counter-productive, IMO. You also have to take care not to drain off hot water when draining the tank (easy procedure), otherwise, the thermal shock to the inner tank can potentially damage it.
The one thing I'd like to see HD offer would be the 3800 W unit. We have hard well water in my area, which is a bit easier on the 3800 vs 4500 W elements. I'll swap them out when it comes time for new elements.
Other than that, an excellent product at a good price at HD. Very happy I found it.
PS: For anyone interested, Marathon has a video on the production process on its website. Obviously, they're proud of the technology.
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
Cons: factory should take care to align covers properly
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 10 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Alaska

Good looking water heater? Never thought I'd say that.

PostedSeptember 4, 2011
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I never thought I'd say there is a good looking water heater. The Marathon 85 gal. is cool looking. We call it our cryogenic tank due to its size, finish and looks. We have been using it for three weeks and so far it is perfect. It was very easy to install. You do need about 25% more space in all directions than a comparable WH. It has a large amount of insulation. The 85 gallon unit will not fit in a standard drain pan or if your old WH only has a couple inches of open space around it you will need to do some careful measuring. Don't forget the height. You could need to alter the plumbing above the WH to make room for this unit. All fittings are standard size (3/4"), male hot water, female cold water and pressure release. If you need to replace the heating element you can NOT just pick one up at the local plumbing supply store. You will need to oder one from Rheem. They range from about $50 - $90 depending on the type (Reg., SS, Titanium). No anode needed.
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User submitted photo
+11points
26out of 41found this review helpful.
Review 11 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Gainesville Ga
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Awesome product!!!!

PostedJuly 1, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Water is hot within seconds, and the product installation was super easy. No complaints whatsoever!
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, No Leaks
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 12 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from San Saba County, TX, USA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

It works, which is all I can say, since it's only been installed for a month.

PostedJune 6, 2013
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
It's light and installs easily. If you use flexible lines in and out, be sure to grab two 3/4" brass nipples before you leave the store -- the unit's hot and cold are female, and will need to be converted to male. Also, when you order, be sure to order a 30" drip pan. HD doesn't carry them in store or on line. I found one at Grainger. Also, go ahead and order the heating elements and an upper limit switch. The local HD store doesn't carry them, either.
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
+7points
7out of 7found this review helpful.
Review 13 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Gilbert, AZ, USA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Professional

Quality Built

PostedFebruary 14, 2012
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
85 gallon tank is large, but it fits for my application. Being used in a solar thermal hot water application for both storage and normal electric heat. Live in Phoenix, AZ with lots of sunshine. With "evacuated tubes" as my solar collector I have not needed any electric heat for the past 3 weeks. Rheem water heater is awesome. Do not overtighten the fittings! Specialized for this tank.
Images for this Review
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User submitted photo
User submitted photo
+5points
10out of 15found this review helpful.
Review 14 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Pittsboro, NC
Age Range:65 or over
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Looks like a good investment

PostedJune 17, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
This model was bit more expensive than other brands, but it is also larger and has a 15-year-to-life warranty on the tank, so I believe it will pay off in the long run. Because it was larger than my previous one, I needed a plumber to reconfigure the pipes. But the connections--both plumbing and electrical--are well designed and easily connected. The delivery came in 4 days, which was excellent.
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 15 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater

Do not buy; defective unit leaks at top; big mess

PostedFebruary 7, 2014
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
Just like another review, the installers got the new unit in, and the product was defective; top of it leaked.
I had a 45 minute phone call with Rheem and installers are going to have to come uninstall it, take it back to home depot and install a new one.
I have a leaking unit in my basement currently.
I am going to replace it with a 50 gallon Rheem Marathon unit;
just upset that this is a known issue (happened to someone else) and I had the same problem... and now i have to go with a smaller tank.
+2points
3out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 16 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from MA

Very happy so far

PostedSeptember 7, 2011
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I installed this to replace my boiler hot water system for cost savings. My 1st month of use I did not see a significant increase in my electric bill so I may have made a good decision. Though this is a large unit it is easy to move around to get installed. I appreciate the lifetime warranty on the tank and the 7 year warranty on the electrical parts. Since it is not a metal tank I have no rust worries. This is the highest efficiency rating you can get for an electric unless you go into the world of hybrids. I would rather not have the noise and additional moving parts. There 3 females in the house that use a lot of hot water and it has been continuously available.
+8points
8out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 17 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from MD
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Pricey but worth it over the long run

PostedMay 31, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Decided to replace my own water heater after getting an estimate from local plumber to install a generic 50-gallon Rheem unit. Since I plan on staying in my current house until retirement, the Marathon unit with its lifetime, as-long-as-you-own-your-house warranty was a no-brainer (6yr warranty on elements, thermostats, all other components. lifetime on the tank). Price difference between 50 and 85-gallon units is not much, so if you have the space and doorway width to install the larger unit, why not?
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks, lightweight, low maintenance, should never need to replace water heater again
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 18 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Binghamton NY

Great Quality Nice Looking Too !!!

PostedMay 2, 2011
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I am very impressed by the quality and construction of the unit and just looking at it gives you the feeling that it is built to last.Lots of thought went into its design. The only thing I can see that I would change is the height of the base, so that there is a little more room to install the heat return lines. Other than that this is one solid unit.
+15points
15out of 15found this review helpful.
Review 19 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater
from Perrysville Ohio
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Easy install with shark fittings..

PostedMay 14, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
I used shark fittings. Well worth the expense & no soldering. Plastic tank makes it difficult to solder. Also flex lines make the connections easy. Had hot water in 20 min. after lite off. I reset temp. because water was very hot. Well worth the expense in my opinion for lifetime tank. Home Depot does not carry the elements yet for this tank. I hope they get them in. They require a 1"7/8 wrench. Menards has them in stock $49.00 for the top element. Manufacture has informative video on their site as to how they make the tank.. I hope the lines stay leak free. They are like a garden hose so their is a flat rubber washer that seals. Had to channel lock the fittings slightly to stop the leaks.. Instructions are not the same as pdf file on Home Depot site....
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 20 for 85-Gal. Tall 4500 Watt Lifetime Electric Water Heater

Large capacity and lifetime warranty

PostedJune 3, 2014
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Great step up from the metal water heaters. Delivery as fast and reasonably priced
Pros: Easy to Install, No Leaks
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
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