Recommendations for long-life lowboy / under-counter water heater


Premium Member
May 30, 2021
Charlotte NC
Model Number
-major brand-
Less than 1 year
I'm renovating an apartment in a building that was built in 1965.
The water heater currently installed is 22 years old and if blows it would be a huge mess (unit is on the third floor).

So I'm trying to figure out the best replacement plan.
See the pictures below, but the unit is in a very crappy location in the blind corner of the kitchen base cabinets.
Since the water heater was last replaced hardwood floors have been installed as well as new stone countertops.

Since it's going to be such a job I'm willing to spend-up to get a high quality unit.

The existing unit is whirlpool E2F40LD045V

Height: 31.75" / Diameter: 24.00" / Gallon Capacity: 38

It does not meet current insulation standards (of course) but takes up 100% of the available space,
but I guess (think?) if I buy a "blanketed" model ... I can make it fit???

I was also looking at this Rheem Marathon unit. It's only 20 gallons compared to my current 38 gallons,
It would never need replacing ...
Somehow they claim on the website that I can take an infinitely long shower ... how's that work? :unsure:

Any and all suggestions & input appreciated???

Thanks! Jim


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Thanks Dan!

I wasn't thinking as clearly as I should have been when I posted that last night ... ;-)
I didn't mention all the "constraints" ...

The electrical service to the apartment is only 125A which would make an electric on-demand unit dicey,
and gas is not available...

If I end up with a less-than-40 gallon tank unit which is possible ... I might install one of these with the new unit:

I don't know how long they have been around, but it seems like a pretty clever idea as an "extender" / booster...
They are around $350 I think so not cheap but possibly worth it.

Thanks Dan ...
Sorry I did not get alerted that there was a reply....

I'm going to try to call Rheem (again... ) this coming week for some details on this unit:

If I learn anything of general value I'll post back... !
I just spoke to a Rheem tech. support specialist and he polled the other techs thru some kind of chat tool they have ...
The consensus was that the marketing department doesn't know what the "sideways 8" means and that ...
NO you can not take an infinitely long shower....

My customer is going to be disappointed to learn the truth ... :ROFLMAO:
"Infinitely long" alluded to the fact those models are tankless ... because anything with a tank is limited by how much hot water is in the tank. Take away the tank, take away the limitation so long as the heater can heat fast enough while cold water is running through it?

I don't envy you. It looks like they built the cabinets around the water heater. Can it be relocated? I'd be tempted top tear out walls or floors one time rather than tear out cabinets to get to that. And any renter would appreciate the added cabinet space as a result.
As a homeowner, like a drain replacement, spending money on repairs or replacements is never fun. A little preventive maintenance can save you a lot of money (and headaches) down the road.
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