I have seen several posts say that the airhandler is a weakness of the Rheem Ruud line. I assume the definition of of an air handler is a blower associated with an ouside a/c unit and no furnace. What is the problem and does it affect a gas furnace and a/c unit?
Nothing to do with gas furnaces or A/C units.
The design with the calrod elements wrapped around the blower was very unreliable in the past with the 5 kw elements. Now they are 3.5 kw and that poses some real wiring issues. I'd bet many are installed against NEC. The outlet of the blower needs a special schnozzer sticking out 1-2' for proper airflow.
One of their product manager told me years ago a new line was right around the corner. Sure, a new line of the same stuff. The RHQA was great!
I absolutely mourned the loss of the *HQA air handlers. Many supply houses that sold Rheem or Ruud equipment were also selling an aftermarket air handler (actually the Goodman "A" series air handler) in order to make for easier replacements of the *HQA air handlers.
The Goodman "A" model air handler just coincedentally was the same dimensions as the *HQA models were.
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I'll think you'll find that since the BHA is gone many of the issues are gone also. The "Shnoz" as bald calls it is called a static regain box and not required unless the duct system is marginal.(find my post on "static regain, once and for all") The heater elements are not similar to many other heater kits that are basicly strung wire, they are more like your electric stove elements.
Installed per NEC has nothing to do with the brand, it has to do with an installer who cant read the instructions and has no regard for the National Electric code.
The real problem is that a large numnber of installers want all equipment to be built the same way so they dont have to address different instructions when installing equipment, but then the same ones complain when brand B wont fit in the small space they have and then they like that little Rheem air handler. You really have to wade through legitimate complaints and whining.
Ultimately there are good things from model to model and many people want to have a unit with the best of every design so they dream up a unit that has all the best features from each brand and then use that dreamed up unit as a benchmark for comparison. For instance, they like the coil desing from Brand X, the drain pan from Brand Y and the wiring compartment from Brand Z. Now they have an XYZ that would "Be the best".
One improvement that could be made is a bigger electrical knockout area. I find it hard to some of the larger romex connectors carrying 2 wires through there without room issues.
Another issue is when in the horizontal position there seems to be a problem with water getting loose in the cabinet. No ability to put in splash shield.
Other than that they are great for compactness and durability.