Which water heater brands are better?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by mountain-top mike, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. mountain-top mike

    mountain-top mike New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Lake Arrowhead California
    Good Morning. First post here. I am in the process of researching tank type natural gas 50 gallon heaters. I have been installing my own for the last 30 years or so and have been using American Water heater group exclusively. They have been 100 gallon models and I get about 20+ years life from them. I have not had a single problem from any of them throughout their life and would like to get another one from them. But since I have not needed a heater since 1994, it seems that their quality has gone down hill. Internet reviews have been less than stellar on this brand as well as from Bradford-White, a brand I am considering. My suppler has discontinued carrying American. They now carry American Standard. I have always had good results from A S as far as their toilets and sinks are concerned. I have not seen any negatives from American Standard. As far as Bradford-White is concerned I hear numerous complaints from tanks leaking after a short period of time to bad thermo switches. It could be bad maintenance on these units or maybe just bad product runs.
    I maintain my heaters fairly well, I think that is why they last.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  2. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    California
    Buying a water heater is a hit or miss, regardless the manufacturer. Just put your money and hope for the best.

    Servicing a WH on a regular basis, helps.
  3. mountain-top mike

    mountain-top mike New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Lake Arrowhead California
    Are American Standard 50 gl. nat. gas any good? Thanks.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,242
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    First you have to realize that there are NOT a lot of different water heaters, just a lot of different brands. Rhemm, Ruud, RIchmond, GE, Hotpoint, Vanguard, etc. are the same heaters. American, Whirlpool, and a few others are made also made by a single company. But no matter which heater you buy it is a crap shoot, because yours may last a few years or decades and there is no way to tell ahead of time which you will get.
  5. rayh78

    rayh78 Member

    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Virginia
    Any opinion if the rheem with the lifetime composite/plastic tank is worth the high cost in my case. I do have a water heater in an attic that is hard to change and will do more damage than normal if it ever leaks. Up until now I have just been changing it out about every 5 years just to be safe.
    Thanks
  6. mountain-top mike

    mountain-top mike New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Lake Arrowhead California
    Thanks, HJ. All of mine have lasted decades because of the good care that they have had. Anything will last a decent amount of time if the proper care is exercised! I may go with American Standard due to the lack of negatives I have heard about. But any heater i purchase will have an inline wye stainer on the inlet due to the large amount of sediment that my 100 gallon collects. Since no 50 gallon heater I know of has a cleanout, the strainer should catch most of the sand I encounter here.
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,793
    Location:
    IL
    I think you could use a whole house filter. I like the Big Blue 20 X 4.5 inch filters. There is a large selection of reasonably priced elements for that housing.
  8. mountain-top mike

    mountain-top mike New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Lake Arrowhead California
    Thanks for the info on Big Blue, Reach. I will research that one.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,508
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    With all of the electronics in a Gas heater, You need to buy one with the best warranty, That covers the electronics.

    The Tank Warranty is the least of your worry. All of the Safety Devices can Fail. Or buy Plain Jane.

    Install a Electric one. Or better yet Solar heating.


    Good Luck.
  10. mountain-top mike

    mountain-top mike New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Lake Arrowhead California
    Thanks, Don. Something to think about.
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