A.O. Smith water heater sold by Lowe's

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Anka

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I recently heard that these A O Smith sold by Lowes are not orginal A O Smith heaters.
Does anyone could explain is it true and if yes,where to by orginal A O Smith?
thanks,Anna
 

Sylvan

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I recently heard that these A O Smith sold by Lowes are not orginal A O Smith heaters.
Does anyone could explain is it true and if yes,where to by orginal A O Smith?
thanks,Anna
Anna,
Do you really believe that a manufacturer would allow any other company to use their name on a product?

Do you think AO Smith (terrible company in my opinion) would bother to make one heater less reliable than another?

Whomever you "heard it from", what are their qualifications?

What is considered an "original heater"?

Did you also know there is a manufacturer who manufacturers a few water heaters under different brand names?>

Sears for example with Kenmore product line
 

Treeman

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If memory serves, that rumor appeared on this site. Master Plumber Mark:


"According to this SMITH supplier , all that has happenned is they have put a WHIRLPOOL heater into a box that says Smith on it......its exactly the same Whirlpool heater and just the name has changed .. the parts are the same ... And they are sub standard parts compaired to what goes on a SMITH water heater"
 
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Sylvan

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If memory serves, that rumor appeared on this site. Master Plumber Mark:


"According to this SMITH supplier , all that has happenned is they have put a WHIRLPOOL heater into a box that says Smith on it......its exactly the same Whirlpool heater and just the name has changed .. the parts are the same ... And they are sub standard parts compaired to what goes on a SMITH water heater"

Does it really make sense to knowingly use "substandard" parts and give a long warrantee or leave yourself open to lawsuits for product failure?
 

Anka

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Lowes carry the A.O. Smith Signature series heaters. Then I looked at Supplyhouse.com and they have A.O. Smith ProLine series.There must be a difference!I
There is a piece of truth in every rumor:)
 
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Jeff H Young

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just because it has a different model name doesn't mean there is difference companies often market identical products under different names. that said it certainly doesn't mean that a company wouldn't manufacture a similar model with some different parts for a store or under a different name
 

Fitter30

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Kraft mack and cheese million of people love it. Did a start up and service at pasta plant in st. louis for 11 years. 29 different labels the difference was how much regrind ( pasta that was boxed didn't meet specs) went into it. What hit the floor over or under cooked pig feed. 11 million lbs a year. Kraft 0% cheese was their own. All factories are the same different specs different labels and maybe colors.

 

Cliffyk

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Here's a great "who makes what" chart for tools, some are well known, others are surprising:


power-tool-brands-parent-companies.jpg
 

Cliffyk

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Kraft mack and cheese million of people love it. Did a start up and service at pasta plant in st. louis for 11 years. 29 different labels the difference was how much regrind ( pasta that was boxed didn't meet specs) went into it. What hit the floor over or under cooked pig feed. 11 million lbs a year. Kraft 0% cheese was their own. All factories are the same different specs different labels and maybe colors.

I often wonder where people think the superstore "house brands" (especially OTC drugs) come from? Walmart/Target/Kresge/et al do not have processing and manufacturing facilities of their own.
 

Jeff H Young

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I often wonder where people think the superstore "house brands" (especially OTC drugs) come from? Walmart/Target/Kresge/et al do not have processing and manufacturing facilities of their own.
I've never thought that much about it, But I think its common knowledge for Adults or high school age kids.
What I don't think is clear, are the differences of products purchased that seem Identical with different model numbers and brands but purchased from different places . Kohler fixtures bought at big box vs a plumbing supplier, or AO water heater from Lowes vs whirlpool, vs one from supply house? I just bought a special fitting on Amazon for 99 bucks and cant tell the difference between Ferguson for 185, or hirsch Pipe in So Ca for not sure exact price but counterman told 200.
The main thing in question is AO water heaters I'm not sure or convinced that its because you buy it at at a big box the quality will automatically or intentionally lower and that a huge supplier like Ferguson wouldn't stoop to say to manufacture hey give us the cheapie you sell to "brand X big box store" to save on price nor would they pay 5 bucks more for one that's just a wee bit better than the other supply houses get
 

Cliffyk

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I've never thought that much about it, But I think its common knowledge for Adults or high school age kids.
What I don't think is clear, are the differences of products purchased that seem Identical with different model numbers and brands but purchased from different places . Kohler fixtures bought at big box vs a plumbing supplier, or AO water heater from Lowes vs whirlpool, vs one from supply house? I just bought a special fitting on Amazon for 99 bucks and cant tell the difference between Ferguson for 185, or hirsch Pipe in So Ca for not sure exact price but counterman told 200.
The main thing in question is AO water heaters I'm not sure or convinced that its because you buy it at at a big box the quality will automatically or intentionally lower and that a huge supplier like Ferguson wouldn't stoop to say to manufacture hey give us the cheapie you sell to "brand X big box store" to save on price nor would they pay 5 bucks more for one that's just a wee bit better than the other supply houses get
^^^This,

When HD, Lowes, Menards, etc. (and especially Walmart) source a product they use their "bully power" to tell the manufacturer what they will pay for it--the maker can cut corners and meet that price, or walk away and let some other manufacturer have the contract.

These goods very often have model numbers unique to the re-seller's inventory, which assists them in their "lowest price anywhere (must be same make/model)" assertions...
 

Cliffyk

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If memory serves, that rumor appeared on this site. Master Plumber Mark:


"According to this SMITH supplier , all that has happenned is they have put a WHIRLPOOL heater into a box that says Smith on it......its exactly the same Whirlpool heater and just the name has changed .. the parts are the same ... And they are sub standard parts compaired to what goes on a SMITH water heater"
Hardly an unbiased source--also if so, pretty silly of Smith to put their name on a product of known questionable/lesser quality.

All said however I do not doubt some anonymous "Smith supplier" stated this; the spreading of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) is a common sales tactic; and usually a sign of a vendor's desperation...
 
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Valor Plumber

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If memory serves, that rumor appeared on this site. Master Plumber Mark:


"According to this SMITH supplier , all that has happenned is they have put a WHIRLPOOL heater into a box that says Smith on it......its exactly the same Whirlpool heater and just the name has changed .. the parts are the same ... And they are sub standard parts compaired to what goes on a SMITH water heater"
Not a whirlpool heater. An Ashland Tennessee tank. Waterheaters are only made in three manufacturers. The parts are different. One notice for me was the foam insulation in a little lighter. There’s a plastic tank drain. The t and p valve is off brand. Is it still the same. Yes in a way. The tank will still last. The expensive gas valve and blower motors may not have the same quality control. I’d install one in my home. Especially with warranty (but I can fix most of the issues I run across in that seven years period). In my 30 years experience only a few water heaters are lemons. 90% of the ones I fix are environmental issues. Installed in a dirty room. Gas pressure not correct. Or just plainly improperly installed or incorrectly sized. When it comes to tank life I’d recommend two out of the three manufacturers. But, not the one with “Hydro clean”. With Minnesota hard water I replaced too many of them.
 

Jeff H Young

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^^^This,

When HD, Lowes, Menards, etc. (and especially Walmart) source a product they use their "bully power" to tell the manufacturer what they will pay for it--the maker can cut corners and meet that price, or walk away and let some other manufacturer have the contract.

These goods very often have model numbers unique to the re-seller's inventory, which assists them in their "lowest price anywhere (must be same make/model)" assertions...
How about Fergusons do they have any buying power whatsoever ? my guess they sell many hundreds of thousands likely a million a year they just pay whatever?
 
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