A.O vs Bradford White

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by J0501, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. J0501

    J0501 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2020
    Location:
    Tucson
    Hello everyone,

    Trying to get some opinions on which water heater I should go with. Looking for something efficient and reliable

    I’m looking at the A.O. Smith:

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/A-O-Smith-...r-Limited-Natural-Gas-Water-Heater/1000567665



    However my Plummer says he installs Bradford Whites frequently and asked me to take a look at this one:

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Bradfor...idential-Atmospheric-Water-Heater-Natural-Gas



    So, trying to decide between A.O. Smith and Bradford White. I would appreciate any feedback, thanks.
     
  2. Sarg

    Sarg Enjoy Learning

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    Recently retired
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    The Bradford unit has the anode rod as part of the hot water outlet and are a pain to change. The Smith has a separate anode. If you intend to do maintenance I would avoid the hot water outlet anodes. If you intend to have it installed and then let it run until the tank rusts out ........ it doesn't matter.
     

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  4. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

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    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
    A.o. Smith has plants around the world. Bradford white is a all american manufacturer and company
     
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  5. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    AOsmith from Lowes is basically a whirlpool heater with a smith sticker on it...
    in my opinion , they are dog shit...

    bradford is a better brand all around compaired to the smith unit.... I do not like
    the thermostat on them but they seem to work ok... I would rather put in a Rheem
     
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  6. J0501

    J0501 New Member

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    Why you like Rheem so much?
     
  7. phog

    phog Active Member

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    Location:
    Rochester NY
    I vote to go with whatever your plumber likes. To pick the best brand of water heater is a lot like picking the best brand of car. Highly subjective and if you ask 3 different people you'll get 3 different answers. If you're hands-on enough to care about what brand of water heater you have, then you're probably also hands-on enough to do the installation yourself & not need a plumber. Since it sounds like you're hiring the job out, and it sounds like you trust your plumber, just stick with what he knows and likes. It will make both your lives easier if you ever have a service call.
     
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  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
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    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Whirlpool is only a licensed trademark name placed on AO Smith Water heaters for Lowes. Same as GE water heaters at Home Depot, a licensed named on a Rheem water heaters. Sears Kenmore water heaters are made by State Industries owned by A O Smith.

    https://www.energy.gov/articles/us-department-energy-implements-criteria-energy-star-water-heaters
    All water heaters are subject to the latest energy requirements since 2009. Every water heater of the same type by different manufactures are nearly identical as far as energy efficiency is concern. All manufactures use the same parts to put together a water heater. For some the gas valve may be a little different. Water heater manufacturers essential make the tank and the other shell. Bradford & White generally sell to plumbing suppliers for the licensed plumbers. Bradford and White has a brass drain valve where has retail water heaters will be a nylon or other type of plastic.

    I would go with the Bradford and White. Since you are having a plumber installed it, he'll back up with his supplier should there be a problem or should it leak under warranty. Retail stores it is a PIA for warranty. Labor is usually covered for one year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
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  9. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    I like Rheem because they are basically using the original tried and true gas thermostats on them
    that have been used for decades , long before the Honeywell valves have come out.... They are simple
    and very easy to service and repair...

    check out the gas control on this one..... it is by far better than the plastic Honeywell blinking light control on both Bradford's and the crappy Smith units from Lowes...

    o (14).jpg
     
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  10. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

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    Yep, don't fix what not broke. The pressure on manufactures is everyone want control via WiFi on everything and if it can be marketed to save energy or monitor energy use, it'll get done. For gas units a new kind of valve, electric units a digital controlled thermostats. Wait until you can talk to the water heater! You can do it for HVAC thermostats. I rather talk to a ghost than Alexa to turn on my lights.
     
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  11. J0501

    J0501 New Member

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    Thank you all for your feedback.
     
  12. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of

    Bradford white came up with the ICON valve thinking that the snowflakes and tech crowd would just come running to
    buy them to control the heater from their phones...... but it was a total disaster and huge flop back 10 years ago.......

    It takes a very special odd type of person who wants to adjust their water heater
    from their phone and it can all fall apart on so many levels....

    Even Alexa is kind of a fad and stupid joke in my opinion
    I guess people have to flock to the newest fad sweeping the nation..

    To me, Its like you are trying to make a common outhouse into a tech savvy space shuttle....
    Most average people really do not need some device to wipe their butts for them after taking a dump.....
    Although I DO have an actor freind who spent about $900 for a Kohler toilet seat bidet that supposedly
    washes his butt for him when finished., he attempted to install it himself and almost flooded out
    his home, I had to come to the rescue........
    This was about 8 years ago and I would guess the novelty of hot water shooting up your ass while
    sitting on the toilet has probably worn off by now. or it has broken down....:D
     
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  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Mark,
    Are you saying that when visit here in Washington that you haven't tried out my bidet seat in the main bathroom here? You do notice it's warm when you sit down, right? Of course in July maybe it's not really noticeable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Yesterday's job. This was installed in the basement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  14. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Now, why did you have to post that picture....
    I am gonna want to come back out there again this summer....

    Of course My daughter thought it was sort of different , cause she had never
    seen one or sat on one before.... she did not know what to think.....

    Just the idea that the fellow I knew spent close to 1000 for one seemed a
    little over the top to me..... I have not spoken to the guy in a while and I
    would be willing to bet its already worn out from the hard water in our area....


    so when did they make you install earth quake straps on the heaters???
    has that been the case for a long while in Seattle??.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Earthquake straps? I can't remember which year, but maybe after the San Francisco quake. That one made people rethink some things for the West Coast and all of our quakes that we get out here.
    Still lot's a hiking trails we haven't done together Mark.
     
  16. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Last summer was a good time out there but I feel I sort of left you hanging in the wind
    because I was with the whole family.... and could not manage everything with the time constraints

    I am considering just coming out by myself some time
    or maybe bringing jake again..... I think once everyone is vaccinated then its gonna be party time
    will let you know

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. MASTERPLUMB777

    MASTERPLUMB777 In the Trades

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    Retired Master Plumber
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    Texas
    It started with the 1989 San Francisco EarthQuake But added to by the 1994 Northridge EarthQuake, that is really when everybody got on the EarthQuake Strapping Bandwagon on the west coast, I have seen it in Utah, and here in Texas
     
  18. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    It started with the 1989 San Francisco EarthQuake But added to by the 1994 Northridge EarthQuake, that is really when everybody got on the EarthQuake Strapping Bandwagon on the west coast, I have seen it in Utah, and here in Texas

    It makes me wonder how you secure a water heater when its sitting out in the middle of a basement or
    far away from a wall???
    I am very happy that they have not made it mandatory here in the mid west... water heaters on stands
    in the garages is enough trouble already....

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Terry,
    I just never recalled seeing a picture that you posted of a water heater with the earthquake straps
    installed on them that I can remember anyway...... Is this optional or is it mandatory??
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mark,
    Are you saying that when visit here in Washington that you haven't tried out my bidet seat in the main bathroom here? You do notice it's warm when you sit down, right? Of course in July maybe it's not really noticeable.

    yes I remember your toilet seat being warm when sitting on it..... so did both Amy and Jake....
    Its not all that popular in the mid west I guess..... so this must be a west coast thing..... thay arevery rare
    around here......
     
  19. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Mark,
    On the West coast, water heaters are required to be strapped. In an open space, you can build a wall to strap them too, a few studs floor to ceiling.
    Heck, in 1980 we lost 1,370 feet in elevation in seconds from Mt. St. Helens in Washington. They figured a cubic mile of mountain was blown away.
    My brother Clare and uncle Dana went to Alaska after the 1964 quake to rebuild the water and sewer systems there.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_Alaska_earthquake
     
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  20. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Basements are much less common there, I think.
     
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  21. phog

    phog Active Member

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    Location:
    Rochester NY
    You guys will eventually get an earthquake in Seattle as big as the 1964 Alaska Quake. Probably not for another 200yrs though.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1700_Cascadia_earthquake
     
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