Choosing model series from Rheem and Bradford White

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by HDClown, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. HDClown

    HDClown New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Greetings all. I am in the process of trying to finalize if I'm going to get a new tank, or go tankless, to replace an 18 year old Champion branded 40 gallon short-height (on an 18" pedestal) GAS hot water heater. So far, I'm leaning towards a new tank, and upgrading to a 50 gallon. I can fit a short height on the pedestal or a full height one without. This is for residential use. I'm located in Orlando, FL area, and my water heater is in my garage, and my house has been repiped with PEX. Current HWH is atmospheric vented through the roof (single story home)

    I've confirmed with plumbers I don'tneed an expansion tank added based on my county water supply (do not have one currently for that matter). I've contacted a few plumbers thus far who carry Rheem, State, Rudd, and A.O. Smith. Based on research on the forum, of those 4 brands, it seems I should go with Rheem. I also see Bradford White is popular and I've found a local dealer for them (who has previously quoted me on a tankless).

    So, to make sure I'm getting pricing quoted appropriately. I want to verify what model line of Rheem and Bradford White I should be focusing on, and any tips to decypher the model lines, as I'm having a hard time figuring that out based on the manuf. websites.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  2. Rheem is good, very, very good

    the Rheem guadian is a good water heater,,
    with the 6 year warranty...

    the Rheem Pro has an 8 year warranty and you
    get the 100 tax rebate with it..

    the problem with the PRO is is it a huge heater and might nit fit where you presently ahve one...

    I would just go with the normal guardinan unit......
    --------------------------------------------------------------


    Bradford White is starting to give me a small rash....
    which I hope does not turn into a full blown problem...
    I hate it whan that happens cause it usually cost me a lot of time and money....

    I am starting to have issues with the Bradford White heaters due to the new ICON valves they are now starting to use...

    the Bradford White Icon appears to OK, but it is much , much more complicated valve and it is not as user freindly as just the common thermostat that is on the Rheem valve,.,

    I just tangled with an ICON valve on a brand new 40 gallon short gas , a few days ago and ended up just changeing out a brand new heater cause I could not get parts quickly to make repairs to the new heater..
    ..
    to me , thats called the beginnings of a rash.....

    I would rather keep things simple like they havebeen for decades., now, and I am leaning twoards the Rheem again....

    I am finding that the Rheem is certainly more DIY freindly and you can make your own repairs to it over the Bradford...
  3. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    Mark- Can you share what was the issue with the Icon gas valve?

    Thanks
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
  5. redwood you are right

    yes mr redwood, that might be right,,,

    you should write an article on it and I will gladly read it all from top
    top bottom...

    and I have watched the videos on teh bradford site already

    as far as problems go, it wont be a problem once we
    get enough FREE parts on hand to take care of troubles that might arise

    it cost me 135 per repair pack today,
    I bought two of them for my trucks


    all I know is if you are out installing a heater and you shut it off
    to show the customer how to re-light it and it wont come back on

    you got troubles.... and their are not parts for 18 miles around you..

    I decided to just change it out instead of standing there with my thumb in my ass trying to make reapirs without parts...


    you just go get another heater , change it out and move on



    I am just going to have to tear into a few of them
    top to bottom...


    but I do no tlike the fact that they are not DIY freindly

    you cant just change out s simple thermocouopling here...
  6. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    Not trying to pry Mark but was there a particular issue with the Icon valve itself?

    *****Edit*****


    Ok I see now....would not come back on after turning it off...


    You know the plumber had a heck of a time relighting mine too....seemed like it took him about 25 clicks before the thing would come on...hmmmmmm


    One would think one click and on?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  7. no prying taken

    It is just something new....
    and I am a big pussey

    and I have always hated being a experimantal guiniee pig
    and nothing good has ever come of being the lab rat for fancey talking salesman makeing promises to me about how
    great somethign is..
    .

    My salesman tells me their are all sorts fo real neat upgrades that can be done with this fancy technology...
    you can run wires to your alarm, your thermostat,

    and even to the White House and Obama can give you a new free heater if it fails...:D.

    all I want it to do is heat water

    too much technology involved , for just heating water...
    that is the drawback to me...

    There is nothing basically wrong..
    and every thing on it can be repaired,
    but you will have to carry special parts
    specifically for this heater in your truck
    and the home owner cannot easily repair one
    like on the Rheem models..........

    what I need to understand is what exactly was
    the matter with what they had already???
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    back in 03 when they came out with the new fvir heaters,
    I bought a semi truck load of 150 old style RHEEM heaters to get me over the hump a month before the change over

    ...then I scraped up another 150 heaters that I could get my hands on in mid to late 03... My building was literally filled to the gills with water heaters....

    but considering they were still 70 bucks cheaper than
    the new FVIR heaters, I could not resist buying everything
    I could get my greedy hands on...
    every 10 ....03 heaters I bought saved me 700 bucks.....


    eventually all the bugs were worked out with the newer FVIR heaters for both Bradford and Rheem.


    I would rather let someone else work out the bugs,
  8. HDClown

    HDClown New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I don't see a Guardian series on Rheem's residential listing. I see the following atompsheric vent series:

    (series - tank warranty yr/parts warranty yr)
    Imperial - 10/10 yr
    Professiional - 8/8 yr
    Professional Heavy Duty - 8/8 yr
    Fury - 6/6 yr
    Fury Heavy Duty - 6/6 yr
    Warior - 5/1 yr


    Maybe the fury replaced the Guardian, as that's the only 6 year listed ?

    The plumber quoted me on a 6 year model, so that sounds like it was the Fury, which is th eminimum I'd want to go I assume.

    What's the difference in the regular and "heavy duty" models, outside of the heavy duty models being in larger sizes. At the 50 gallon mark, there is a 50 gal in regulary and 48 gal in heavy duty series. EF is the same, so why have the overlap in sizes? Must be something different?

    Outside of warranty, physical size, and the tax credit on the Pro model, they have a 50 gal in the same EF as Fury, and one slightly higher (0.58 vs 0.62). Anything else majorly different about them that would make me want to pay extra for one?

    ---

    On the Bradford White front.. if we threw aside the Icon valve being new/parts harder to get, is there anything superior about the tank and that valve that would make me want to focus on a BW unit? There are a few local dealers, but not nearly as many as Rheem.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,183
    Location:
    New England
    Look at the BTU/hr capacity of the WH then look at the first hour delivery rate. Then, look at the efficiency ratings. These differentiate 'standard', heavy-duty, etc. A difference in a warranty period often (almost always) is just an insurance policy...the tanks are the same - you pay more for that insurance on a longer warranty.

    On the same size WH, you might see 40K btu burner on one, and a 100K btu burner on another. The 100K burner will produce more hot water in the same hour as the 40K one since the larger burner can heat the incoming water faster than one that can only produce 40K. You may not need long draw periods or super fast recovery rates. They both start out with the same amount of water heated, the larger one can just replace it faster. You pay for this, so it is wise to figure out what you actually need. A heavy duty one might let you get by with a smaller tank based on first-hour delivery rates, but at a cost in the tank and potentially a larger flue or supply line.
  10. HDClown

    HDClown New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks jadnashua... the heavy duty series do have higher BTU output and recovery rates to go with it. dimensions are pretty much the same, so it will be a matter of getting some pricing
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    As far as I'm concerned the FVIR Trumps.

    Rheem and Ruud are the same unit and same company.

    The "Thermocouple" is no longer a thermocouple but is a "Thermopile" that both provides flame sensing but generates the millivolt power to operate the control so you do have to hold it in the pilot lighting position longer until it heats up and starts generating the voltage required.

    Ultimately it will prove easier to service with the on board diagnostics and the ability to change out parts to a component level whether it is the thermopile, thermistor, gas valve etc.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  12. HDClown

    HDClown New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I understand what FVIR, but that's about. Someone told me that modern units don't need to be on pedestals due to FVIR, and you don't have to be as careful about keep things in front of the unit.

    I assume you are saying Bradford White's FVIR tech is better than Rheem?

    WIth my current unit being on a pedestal, I keep some items that are no more than 12" tall in front of the pedestal (the pedestal is 18" high). If I got a tall unit and removed my pedestal, I would want to keep these items in front of a new unit. Would this not be something I should do, and does different FVIR tech factor in here?

    I do keep some gas canisters in my garage and other flammables, but they are at the door end, and the tank is at the opposite end. I do park a car in the garage (2 car garage, extra wide/extra deep).
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Whether or not you need a pedestal depends on the year code that is used.
    In theory FVIR says no pedestal needed but an older code adopted in your area may state it is required.

    I believe the sheer size of the flame arrestor screen on the Bradford White makes it a lot less likely to plug up than any other manufacturer. The ability to reset after an FVIR event is also a big plus.

    Rheem/Ruud at least share the air inlet on the side with the Bradford White making them 2nd best.

    All the others with the vacuum cleaner design (air inlet on the bottom) are just plain hurtin...
  14. HDClown

    HDClown New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Local code doesn't require a pedestal. My question was more in regards to if I could put items directly in front (only a couple inches clearance) of a water heater that is seated directly on the ground. If not, I'd probably opt for a short model and keep the pedestal, so I don't loose the ground storage space.

    If an FVIR event occurs on a Rheem unit, what must be done to "Reset" the unit, and how does that differ than the Bradford White units? If I keep combustibles away from my unit, I assume FVIR events would not be something I'd expect to have to deal with?
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,183
    Location:
    New England
    The FVIR is required on certain size WH and application units, so you probably won't have a choice since most residential applications fall within the requirement. The FVIR keeps flamable vapors from potentially exploding as a result of the WH flame, whether the pilot or the main burner. The idea is that it will keep the house from exploding, at least because of the internal flame. You should not store stuff around any WH. They tried to accomplish this by putting them on a pedestal (since many gasses accumulate at the ground up), but eventually it could build up and ignite. Since it was higher up, more gas could accumulate. The FVIR design prevents the WH from being the ignition source...won't stop anything else from doing it, though.
  16. dargo

    dargo New Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    MA
    For me, if you read the manual and follow it, screens etc all will last a long time.
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