Choosing a water heater

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by CarlH, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. CarlH

    CarlH New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Since my current water heater is 14 years old, I decided I would look into a replacement water heater before it becomes an urgent matter. Based upon the comments here I plan to go with a Bradford White. The problem is there are a few models to choose from. I am looking at replacing a 50 gallon natural gas atmospheric vent model. There are two models that I am looking at, the M2XR(maybe M1XR) and the M4.

    Any thoughts on these models? Do those heat traps installed on the inlet and outlet ever cause any problems? Anything else I should consider?

    No power vent models. I like reliable hot water even when the power is out.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2009
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have had no problems with Bradford White water heaters...
    It just might be why I use them!:D
  3. wraujr

    wraujr Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    MD
    In Same Boat

    Same thing as you Carl. 50 gallon Nat Gas with regular draft hood, no power vent.

    Is the 101-B spec sheet series good?? Model # M-I-5036FBN
    Residential Atmospheric Vent Energy Saver Gas Water Heater

    What do you get by going to 10 year warranty?? Is mfgr process different?? This would be model M-I-50310FBN

    Are there any BWs to avoid??
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  4. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Going with Red here. BW makes quality stuff. But hey, if you like aggravation you can get a Whirlpool :D
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The difference between a 6yr & 10yr is the price!
    You get the same water heater and pay more for it.
    The supply house punches in a different number for guarantee purposes and you get the same water heater.
    Buy the 6 it should make 10 easy.
    Fool the bank!
  6. wraujr

    wraujr Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    MD
    Thanks great advice on 6 vs 10

    I was looking at the basic model for NG with Atmos Vent.

    Any advantage to these fast recovery, etc. versions???

    I assume FVIR is mandatory???
  7. CarlH

    CarlH New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Northern VA
    wraujr,
    I goofed when I was posting the model numbers. I was looking at the MI5036FBN and the M45036FBN. The M4 version is a high Energy Factor(EF) model. It think it is probably nothing more than some extra insulation over the MI and probably a higher price. The XR Extra recovery models look like they have a higher BTU per hour rating (larger burner?) and are able to get back to usable hot water faster than the other two model. I don't think I need the XR model since we generally do not run out of hot water that often. Most of the time we wash clothes with cold water and the all of the shower heads are 2gpm models. Either way it looks like there should not be any problems with either of these models.

    nhmaster,
    I'll pass on the Whirlpool Flamelock. I thought I said I wanted reliable hot water:), not guaranteed aggravation:mad:.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Rheem Water Heaters would be a good choice also...
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,341
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I concur with the previous responders. Either the Bradford White or the GE/Rheem would be good choices. I would not pay for the extended warranty either. Those are never a good deal. Assume you go for 8 or 9 years and it fails. They will only pro rate the cost of a replacement, and you will get far less than the extra cost you paid.
  10. wraujr

    wraujr Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    MD
    Diff is in Insulation

    Description for M-4 EF is:
    2" Non-CFC Foam Insulation—Covers the side and top, reducing the
    amount of heat loss. This results in less energy consumption, improved
    operation efficiencies and jacket rigidity.

    While the M-I is only 1"

    So your guess was right, its the insulation.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    ???????????Have you ever exchanged a water heater under warranty? If so, and they prorated it, you were cheated. EVERY company's warranty is a no-charge, except maybe for paperwork fees, replacement up until the day the warranty expires.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2009
  12. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    To correct the misconceptions about extended warranty on regular residental, water heaters,
    #1 all extra warranty heaters have a extra anode rod, under the hot water nipple
    #2 they have a brass drain valve, not plastic like the 6 year heaters

    #3 the extra money is for the insurance policy to cover the extra years in case of failure,

    if you have to replace a water heater under warranty either 6 yr. Or 12 yr.

    You get the prorated warranty " not" a whole new warranty,
    the property owner pays for shipping and handling charges, plus paying for the change out labor,parts, and any required permits

    this is in writing in the small print as they say !

    Nothing in life is for free don't you know !
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Jerry Bradford White is the same water heater for 6 or 10!
  14. forget the efficinet one Just PUT A BLANKET ON IT

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2010
  15. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    While I can't speak for Brad White... Rheem and A.O. Smith will give you another 6 yr. warranty if you are up grading from the old style to the VIFR style and pay a $70.00 up grade fee...so that is not to bad....another 6 yr. warranty for $70.00
  16. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I replaced a few Bradford Whites (the ones with old styles burners) under warranty, there is a mandatory upgrade fee for the VIFR unit which does come with a fresh warranty. Now if it a VIFR unit that was defective, when replaced it will just have the remainder of the warranty of the heater it replaced.

    Now only time I ever got hit with paper work fees by the supply houses is when I am not the one that originally purchased the heater. I as well as my customers find this annoying. Also with Bradford White, AO Smith, and Rheem suppliers I always end up paying for the warrantied heater and get reimbursed when they get reimbursed. As for State water heaters, I never got charged paper work fees and they never charge me for the heater. They do have the upgrade fee as well though.
  17. CarlH

    CarlH New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Northern VA

    Thanks, that is good to know. I'm surprised that they charge that much more for the extra insulation. No rebates in this area as far as I know, so there isn't much extra incentive to get the .62 unit. I guess I'll do the blanket thing on the regular 50gal.
  18. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Very, very, bad ideal ! ! !

    On putting blanket on gas water heater, because you must make sure not to cover "any" air openings and with the side vents it's very easy for the blanket to slide down blocking the air inlets, and according to the law you are required to post all "safety" warning labels on the outside of the blanket

    all above reasons why mfg's make extra installation water heaters,
  19. CarlH

    CarlH New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Warning about the blocking the air vents noted, although I will be certain not to do that in the first place.

    The funny thing about warning labels is that the people that should read them don't and the people that know enough have read them. The real reason why they are there are for liability reasons. For a plumber, it would be a bad idea to cover up that label for a customer for liability reasons. I will take this into consideration before buying an installing a heater blanket.
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    blankets

    And then some manufacturers put a sticker on the heater "do NOT use an insulating blanket on the heater".
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