Calling all professionals - What is the best, most reliable water heater available?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by allthumbz, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. allthumbz

    allthumbz New Member

    When I needed to purchase a new vacuum cleaner I talked for an hour with a local repairman. I learned SO much about all the different types, the pros and cons, most frequent repairs, etc. I truly appreciate that kind of information and help. It's invaluable.

    So I'm asking because at some point in the near future I'll want to replace my water heater.
    My previous water heater (can't recall what kind) lasted reliably for 20+ years without any repairs, whereas it seems the newer ones (or at least my Reliance model which does not live up to its name) not only have all kinds of problems that require repairs/replacement, but just don't seem made to last. Shouldn't all w/heaters last 20 years or more? Are we dealing with built-in obsolescence?

    So I'm asking repairmen and homeowners for their experience and opinion. What is your choice? What makes it better than another? What do you look for?

    And if you are a sales rep for a water heater company you are disqualified
    from this little survey. :p
  2. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm. But even a Bradford will fail prematurely if you have an idiot install it. My licensed plumber left mine leaking at the hot outlet. Luckily I spotted it, cut the pipe and did the job properly.

    Nevermind, I only used him to get the Bradford anyway. He was my "water heater mule".

    I think you have to be "licensed" to get a Bradford. Evidently my plumber was, licensed to drive that is.

    So pay a professional to buy it and deliver it. And then ask him to leave it at the door.

    He'll be happy to get home early and you'll be sure the job's well done!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    I think you just had bad luck with your installer.
    You will notice that there aren't really any complaints on installation, but on product when it comes to heaters.
    Except yours.
    At least your installer left the leak where is was easy to find.

    I sell Bradford White and Rheem.
    I've had good luck with those.
    But then I always use new connectors for water and gas.

    And I like Marks page on heaters. Good information there.
  4. Terry......

    I seem to be getting more fond of the Rheem water heaters....

    been having a few more failures with the Bradfords lately... at 3-4 years old..

    most of the Rheems I put in back from 98 through 2004
    have done pretty well.....

    have you been noticeing any problems lately???

    both are good heaters, maybe I just need a change
  5. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    lol Keep the faith brother, keep the faith...
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The manufacturer has absolutely NO WAY to control the life of the water heater. The controls are made by a specialty company and the heater company buys them. They make the tank and glass line it, but NOBODY can tell if the glass lining completely coats the interior of the tank, and even it it does, the tank will eventually corrode, and the rate of corrosion is directly proportional to the amount of water that is used, AND the temperature the tank is set for. EVERY manufacturer has heaters that last 15 years, and the one that was made after it lasts 3 or 4 years. I do not consider 8 years for an electric heater to be premature failure or built in obsolescence. Gas heaters usually last longer, but I had to replace a 5 year out gas Bradford White last week, and a plumber had to return a 75 gallon gas one after 2 days, last month.
  7. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Cincinnati OH
    I prefer Rheem,installed too many to count.Installed one at my mother`s
    and at exgirlfreinds both in 1991 and still going strong.I inspect them yearly as
    to keep track and never had a call back on any I installed.
  8. CHuntMD

    CHuntMD New Member

    Rheem Fury still going and going

    17.5 years old and my Rheem Fury 70 gal natural gas is still going strong. I might have drained it 3 times over all these years but that is it. I'm near Washington DC and while the politics stick the main water provider (WSSC) has excellent water.

    I did notice a little paint bubbles kinda like rust near the top where the side meets the top. The tank sits in the basement next to the sump pump and the washer and dryer are in the same are so it does have more moist air than the rest of the basement.

    My ?: Are the new HWT any more effieicent? Those AO Smiths ones have goten a lot of press/tv but I want something to last as I can't afford to move ;) I am also thinking about a GeoThermal system to replace my 17.5 year old furance/ac so I also get a desuperheater and storage tank. Do storage tanks add to the life of the HWT since it does not have to heat the incoming water as much?

  9. onealmr

    onealmr New Member

    I'd go with Whirlpool. Excellent heater, great customer support, and best warranty on the market.
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Are you a glue sniffer or something?

  11. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Cincinnati OH
    This guy must work for whirlpool.
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    I believe thats a fact Jack!
    Either that or, Lowes...
  13. batmanspawn

    batmanspawn New Member

    I would tell you to stay away from Whirlpool, Ive had mine a little over a year and Ive had the plumbers here 2X in the last 2 days, Ive almost spent enough money to get a new one and the problem is not fixed, I have to get a manifold door cover, cause the pilot light won't stay lit.

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