Rheem RTE 9 & RTE 13 Reviews (Best Budget Model)

The most affordable tankless water heater that fits in your budget.These two are beginner models that comes in 3 & 4 GPM flow rates

As a certified HVAC technician, I’ve seen a lot of products come and go.

Some are too expensive to be popular; some lack the efficiency to stay on the market for long; some are genuinely good products that just don’t catch on.

Rheem is a brand that defies all of these expectations. Not only do they sell solid, inexpensive products, but their tankless water heaters can also cut your energy consumption in half.

But which Rheem product is right for you?

Which will best suit your needs as a homeowner?

Rheem RTE 9 & RTE 13 Reviews

Let’s take a look at two Rheem electric tankless water heaters.

Rheem RTE 13

best budget tankless water heater

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Rheem RTE 9

best cheap tankless water heater

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Here are the models we’ll be comparing today:

As you can see, their most notable difference is their rate of gallons per minute (GPM). They also deliver different wattages (9,000 and 13,000 respectively).

They have the same basic functions, however, and they’re even the same size. So when choosing between these products, the technical details are probably what will make your decision.


Both the RTE 9 and the RTE 13 are electric units, meaning they work through a system of internal sensors and heat exchangers rather than firing up a live flame. This is great for homeowners who don’t want to deal with complicated ventilation systems.

One drawback of electric heating units is that they might not meet all of your hot water needs if you live in a large home or require “simultaneous usage” of hot water appliances.

In fact, both the RTE 9 and the RTE 13 are what’s called “point of use” units, meaning they should be installed directly at the sink where you want the hot water. You may have to install several of these units around the house to fulfill all of your needs.

Heat Output and Flow

Both the RTE 9 and the RTE 11 can comfortably offer water as hot as 100°F. This is excellent news for residential buyers who never need showers that fiery! Washing clothes or dishes might be a point of concern, but it should be noted that 100°F is more than enough to kill germs and bacteria.

In terms of flow, customers do report that your GPM rate will depend on how hot you want your water.

The higher the temperature demands, the less your GPM. So that’s something to consider if flow rate is a deciding factor in your purchase.

In better news, flow delays are quite small with Rheem. This isn’t a unit where you have to wait 60+ seconds for water to come flowing out of the tap. You’ll get hot water instantly and for as long as you require it.


Depending on the circuitry of your home and the tools you already have on hand, you might need to purchase a few supplies for installation:

  • Conductor wire
  • Double pole amp breaker
  • Conduits
  • Connectors
  • Junction boxes

The good news is that despite all their parts, both the RTE 9 and the RTE 13 are relatively simple to install.

A Rheem technician can do it in a matter of hours, and this is the recommended method so you don’t void your warranty, but even if you’re going at it as a DIY project, you shouldn’t face many difficulties.

General Use

I always advise my customers to look at the pros and cons of an item before they take the plunge and actually buy it.

It’s just smart shopping. Here are a few advantages/disadvantages of the RTE 9 and RTE 13:


  • Simple interface
  • Small units that are easy to install and operate
  • Less expensive than other electric heating units

    “Rheem RTE 13 would be a more better choice when it comes to both performance and value for money.


  • Not suited for larger homes
  • GPM slows as temperature rises
  • “Point of use” units may require multiple purchases

Customer Reviews

Customers love the RTE 9 and the RTE 13. Rheem is a popular brand for a reason, and that reason is because they create sturdy, long-lasting products that work as advertised.

In terms of which model you should buy for yourself, it really depends on your likes and dislikes in a heating unit.

The RTE 9 is less expensive, but according to customer reviews, it also offers less savings on the whole.

The RTE 13 has a higher flow rate, but on the flip side, customers report that its flow delays are slightly longer.

>> Check out customer reviews on Rheem RTE 13/RTE 9 <<

What functions and features are most important to you?

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a no-fuss tankless water heater, you can stop your search with the Rheem RTE 9 or the Rheem RTE 13. Not only are they inexpensive, easy-to-use units, but they’re also fantastic for energy savings and living a greener life. Check out their product pages on Amazon to learn more!

Rheem RTE 9 –  Check Price 

Rheem RTE 13 –  Check Price 

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