Bradford White get HORRIFIC reviews vs. Rheem? What?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by ST1300Rider, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Hey there!

    New to the board...Been reading lots of great advice.....

    Got my choice of WHs narrowed down to

    Rheem Fury 42VR50-40F (about 450...50 gal gas 82 FHR)

    or

    Bradford White Defender 50 gal.....MI5036FBN (50 gallon gas 86 FHR)



    The reviews on the BW are HORRIFIC on all the Gas models ..I saw this on the 50 gallon variant of the BW


    3 of the 7 reviewers had to 1 to two units in the six year warranty from BW!

    OTOH...The reviews for BW on Pex are 5 star.


    The reviews on the Rheem are much better-just shipping related complaints.....

    I've heard Rheem is made in Mexico and BW in MI...

    Three BW reviewers (2 of the reviewer went through two in 6yrs) out of seven needing replacements is a bit disconcerting.


    Long to short...any idea why Rheem is not getting as many bad reviews like BW is?

    It is bad enough to worry about delivery damage worries but are the BW made better than Rheem and just getting a bad rap?

    Scary enough to just go pay the 125 extra and get the GE badged Rheem at HD....It has a 12 yr warranty vs Rheem's 6.

    BTW...Anyone have any idea how much "downspec'ing" the GE's get from Rheem when they are rebadged as GE for HD......

    The same Rheem heater sold as a GE has a plastic drain valve; instead of the rheems's brass....Wonder if they cheap out on other parts?

    Thanks in advance for your expertise/opinion!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  2. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If the Rheem has a brass BALL valve, thats a good sign.

    Looks like Bradford White may have moved MFG to mexico and so you might as well buy on cost.
  3. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    In laymans terms......


    Are you referring, when you say ball valve, the drain on the WH? And what does "buy on cost mean"?

    Both the Rheem and BW have Brass drain valves-so I am confused.

    Could you please elaborate? Perhaps you were refering to the GE that Rheem makes and switches in a plastic valve when it badges it as a GE for HD?

    BTW.....I thought BW still had that 800K sq/ft plant in Middleton MI?

    Thanks!
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    That would be a good thing. Hope its so.

    Problem with a hose bib, plastic or brass, is that it does not pass solids, and they plug up. The port is tiny. To actually clean out a water heater you need to stick a hose or plastic rod INSIDE the hole and stir up the crud with incoming water.

    Take a look at American water heaters, been good to me and made in USA.
  5. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    American makes Whirlpool.......

    Yikes...I thought they were the company to avoid after the Whirlpool debacle. Cjeck this.....

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/american_water_heater.html

    I remember when the "Tow Truck Drivers" car of the year award went to the Yugo in 1979.

    Is this how it is for WH's.....? Is repeat work on an installed heater (out of labor warranty) profitable? 100+ dollars labor to swap a FVIR valve is profitable if it takes 30 min?

    If so; why not sell the most unreliable models and gain repeat business?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,295
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Ballvalve is talking about "electric" water heaters.
  7. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Thanks !


    'Twas getting confused!:confused:
  8. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I like the Rheem/Ge heaters. Follow the instructions as to the install and they work great. Sizing the heater correctly is important also. The Rheem/Ge tanks do have a safety feature(so they say) that others do not. Its a thermal release device aka TRD. Its a one shot peanut oil filled glass vile that holds a spring loaded disc that will shut the air supply off to the unit. Replacements are available. This is to prevent a sustained vapor burn in the burn chamber from a flammable vapor. Without this feature the water heater would siimply burn the vapor until the vapor was gone. These TRD's can activate if the temp gets too high in the burn chamber. Thats why its important to install it according to the instructions. What may have worked for the Pre FVIR models may not work for the newer heaters. Bad i9nstalls or service conditions can cause the safeties to activate. This si true with all FVIR water heaters.

    The Ge has a plastic drain and the Rheem has a brass drain. That and the paint is the only difference between the two.

    I just charged a lady $300.00 to repair her in warranty 12 yr tank whirlpool heater (American) with its honeywell smartvalve. The 1st trip the valve didn't flash a trouble code and functioned perfectly but had shut down several times over the preceeding 2 weeks the owner said. It was 4 years old so I opened the burn chamber and cleaned the arrestor plate and re-assembled and checked the vent pipe and water heater flue for any obstructions. Everything checked out and the heater was working perfectly. 100.00 for 45 minutes work. A week later she called and it was shut down again. I went out and re lit the heater and it shut down and flashed its code. Faulty control valve. We tried to call whirlpool but they are not open on the weekends. 100.00 service call visit. She called Whirlpool the following Monday and the new control arrived on Thursday morning. It took another 45 minutes to install it and another 100.00 service charge.

    So the whirlpool 12 yr tank with the honeywell smartvalve that cant remember its trouble codes cost her 300 bucks to repair. Now shes about 1300 deep into a 40 gal water heater LOL
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  9. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Hackney....

    Xlnt post!

    Thanks....Interesting info on the TRD!

    Yeah...this great forum kept me clear of the American(Whirlpool) junk they sell at Lowe's.

    I can order the Rheem for 125 less than picking it the GE/Rheem up at HD..

    I installed the last GE Profile 9yr(rheem from HD) 11 years ago(per code) so I am comfortable with either the 9yr or 12 GE 50 gal gas. Both have the same looking "dumb" valve as my 11 yr old GE Profile(Rheem)-Not an ICON-that's reserved for the GE Energy Star ones that require a 120V outlet



    Thanks so much for your input and sharing that disaster story your client had.

    Best Regards....
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  10. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I will give a brief explanation of why its so important to size a water heater properly. When you take a hot tank and fill it with cold water and heat it you get a fair amount of condensation. The amount varies but it could be as much as a couple quarts. This excessive condensation is corrosive to the outside bare steel tank and flue. Rust flakes off and will drop into the burn chamber and onto the burner restricting the water heater air flow and causing the burn chamber temp to exceed limits. Excessive condensation can also extinguish the pilot on gas models.

    This condensation can also cause the tank to prematuraly fail by corrosion from the outside in. In electric water heaters it can also cause thermostats to fail by corroding the electrical contacts.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  11. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Hackney.....

    Amen....Thanks for that info....

    I am looking at the FHR/Recovery difference between two Rheem Fury 50's Gas WH's (or GE @HD)


    One has a FHR/Recovery of 83/40.4 (42VR50-40F) and 90/38.4 (22V50F1)


    Ironically the one with the higher FHR is a 38K BTU lower end model....

    Our 1 story house is large and I am very concerned with sizing and moreso the time it takes the H to get 100' from our garage to our MBR suite. Avoiding a 40 as it is 50 dollars less and may hurt future marketability.


    Maybe a recirculatory pump would help?


    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yes a circulator pump would work. Dont circulate water over 140 degrees as it can precipitate minerals that will cause the entire system problems with sediment. I suggest a circulator pump with 3 speeds. Depending on how you set up the circulator would determine what speed you used for a 200' loop......100 there and 100' back to the water heater. If you chose to let the circ pump run 24/7 I would use the lowest speed setting to keep the water at the temp you want. If you set it up on a timer for example on at 4am and back off at 9am...back on at 5pm and off at 10 pm you would most likely still use the low speed setting. If you set up the circ system to work off a motion switch or a manual switch you may would consider using the highest speed setting to deliver the water a bit quicker. For example a motion sensor senses that you have entered the bathroom,you use the toilet and by the time you need to wash your hands the circ pump would have time to purge the cold out of the line and replace it with hot. This last type install with the motion can contribute to a water heater "thermal stacking" which can cause excessive temps and water heater malfunctions.
  13. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Hackney......

    Thanks for that info!

    I was worried about the temp/flow rate as the house is plumbed with 3/4" Flowguard Gold CPVC (11 yr old) which I do not want to stress out with too high a temp.

    I see Grundfos(my well pump MFG) and Watts make them....What brand have you installed? The most prevalent is the Watt's...but it looks a bit cheaply made.

    I know I'll have to deal with warm water with any cold supply demand for a few seconds.


    LMK your opinion on the Pump brand...I did not know they make a multispeed; then again-there is alot I do not know!


    Thanks so much for all your input!
  14. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,034
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is a lot easier for someone to write a bad review than a good one, so the quantity of reviews is immaterial. When heaters fail prematurely, especially multiple heaters, the problem is usually in the building NOT the heater. When that happens with my customers I install a "jumper" wire between the hot and cold pipes at the wall, to eliminate stray currents using the water heater as an electrical path, and that usually stops the problem. Rheem/Ruud did not necessarily "downgrade" their GE heaters, but I think they do not inspect them to the same degree. If a 'deficient" heater is sent to HD and the customer does not return it, then they made money. IF the customer does return it, they did not lose anything because they would have had to scrap it anyway after inspection. I have seen MANY "big box" products with defects that would never have passed a good "final inspection" so the implication is that they never had a "final inspection".
  16. Rheem is the best overall

    we are having a rash of problems with bradford...
    many of them installed with a water softener are only
    lasting a short while before going bad..like 5 years or less
    I dont think they are useing a good quality steel or their
    inner glasslineing is poor.

    the rheems seem to last longer with soft water involved.

    I changed out a rheem on sat morning that we installed back in
    1998 so we are doing pretty well with them overall

    the new issue with Bradfords is the crappy ICON valve that is now
    being crammed down everyones throat.... they are problematic
    and are going to be a service nightmare down the road,,,

    I would be willing to bet that in 10-12 years the plastic body threaded
    into the water heater will either start leaking or become brittle and crack
    but odds are the heater probably wont last 10 years anyway,
    so I guess that is not going to be a problem


    http://weilhammerplumbing.com/products/
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2012
  17. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Thanks HJ!

    "I have seen MANY "big box" products with defects that would never have passed a good "final inspection" so the implication is that they never had a "final inspection".


    My current 10-11 year old heater is a GE 9yr (Rheem)-no problems.

    Twas curious as to your statement about big box defective GE's-what final inspection are you referring to and what are the common defects do you see that QC missed?

    For example...the Rheem 2250VF1 seems to rebadged as the 6/9/12 year GEvariant at HD ranging in price from 429 to 598.

    The FHR/Recovery, Dimensions and weight are the same...so is it the same heater?



    http://www.amazon.com/Rheem-22V50F1.../177-2211301-9590935?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1


    Only diff is the 6/9 year have a plastic drain valve and the 6 is not self cleaning. Is it worth the 170 dollars between the 6 and the 12 based on build quality differences?

    Thanks!
  18. ST1300Rider

    ST1300Rider New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Master Plumber Mark....

    We posted at the same time.....

    Big dilemma here...I can get the GE (Rheem 2250VF1?)) 6 yr for 429 or the 9Yr for 549.....Both have plastic Drains-you have to go 12 yr to get the brass.

    Do you see a big quality diff between the 6/9/12 rebadged Rheems-or are they all the same.

    The Rheem Fury's at least do not have the ICON valve!

    Thanks......the money I save can be used on a Reciculator Pump!


    Have a great day!


    Regards....
  19. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Don't get hung up on the type of drain valve. I doubt any of the ones you are looking at come with the type of valve Ballvalve is referring to:

    a full-port ball valve.

    Some of the pros on this site recommend replacing the cheap valve (be it plastic, or even brass if it's not a full-port brass valve) with a good-quality brass full-port ball valve. That's what I did when my new WHs were installed. Not expensive, and it makes future flushing a lot less trouble.
  20. you are makeing too much out of this ....

    the plastic drain valve will probably last forever
    and its no big deal...
    why not just buy a brass valve if you are worried about it
    and just change it out when you install it fro about $6 bucks..???

    get the Ge and you will be ok...
    get the Rheem and you will be ok

    it only heats water, its not going to the moon.
    both units will work fine....




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