A.O vs Bradford White

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

  1. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    The mid-west has its large earthquakes, too. One of them caused the Mississippi River to change course. The NE is overdue for a big one and places like Boston are in for a major shock when that happens as the back bay area is mostly over fill that tends to liquify when shaken by one. That area has some old, very expensive homes, too.
     
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  2. 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


    You better hope its more than 200 years---- cross your fingers and knock on wood...
     
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  3. phog

    phog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    200yrs from now. Not 200yrs from the year 1700 ;-)
     
  4. 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



    I think our great , great, great grandchildren dont want to get dumped on
    in 200 years... neither -----2000 years might be a better thing to hope for,,,,

    If the fault that goes through the mid west and up through Cincinnati were to let loose anything like it
    did back in the early 1800s, it would be biblical ..... lots and lots of death and destruction.... That was really
    not that long ago and I hope we never have to see one like this again anytime soon...
    No one lived around here back then so the death count was low but the huge population today would be decimated by this..... Nobody is prepared for the disaster it would be
     
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  5. phog

    phog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    I know this is off topic, but i find this stuff so interesting. Just to put things in perspective:

    1989 San Francisco Bay Area Earthquake - Magnitude 6.9

    1811-1812 New Madrid Missouri Earthquakes - Magnitude 8.6

    2011 Japan Earthquake (Fukushima etc) - 9.1 Magnitude

    2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami - 9.2 Magnitude

    1700 Cascadia (Northwest USA incl. Seattle) - 9.2 Magnitude (estimated)

    1964 Alaska Earthquake - 9.2+ Magnitude, second largest ever recorded

    1960 Chile Earthquake - 9.4 Magnitude, largest ever recorded

    So yes, earthquake straps are called for in Terry's neck of the woods ;-) Luckily those really big ones only come once every 500-600 years
     
  6. Clog

    Clog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    Location:
    California
    A single strap around the water heater was required in California even before the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. After that quake however, the requirements were upgraded to dual straps, adding more specifics as to the materials and location of the straps around the tank.

    I went with AO Smith over Bradford White, as it is easier to get parts for the AO Smith at more competitive prices.

    With Bradford White's tighter control over the supply channel, the basic economics of supply and demand come into play, and where there is less supply, and the same demand, the prices can be higher. Since AO Smith is less restrictive in their distribution policies, more suppliers, including retailers, can carry AO Smith parts, and the increase of options of availability results in more choices of supply. With the same demand, and more choices in supply, more competitive pricing often follows.

    AO Smith further provides many of the same products under multiple brand names, such as State, Reliance, American, Kenmore, ProLine, Whirlpool, Lowe's, etc... which further broadens the availability of parts through multiple supply houses and retail channels, for professionals and DIY'ers.

    When I purchased my most recent water heater, under the AO Smith brand, I found it's identical twin in the State, American, and Reliance brands, and downloaded the parts diagrams, part numbers, and sell sheets of each of those brands as reference... not only for part by part comparison and verification of identical-ness, but also for future service, should any be necessary.

    Bradford White presented fewer outlets and options in that regard, without any evidence of producing a superior actual product. I've inspected several Defenders, and did not find them to be superior in design, materials, or function over the higher line AO Smith models I also compared.

    Obviously, professional plumbers prefer to promote a brand that supports the profit margins in the plumbing trade, and that offers a product exclusively available to licensed plumbers, so as to prevent the very competition discussed earlier in this post. It makes perfect sense for plumbing professionals to talk up and promote a product that can only be obtained by professionals, and cast aspersions on AO Smith, which no longer "protects" the profit margins of the trade, by allowing their brand to be sold in Lowe's.

    But setting aside business and brands, and looking at the actual water heaters and warranties, I found a water heater that offered a 12 year warranty, with widely available parts, competitively priced, offered under several brand names, with broad and varied channels of distribution.

    Since the opinions of those with the greatest amount of experience can still be tainted with a profit motive or professional agenda, some independent thinking and actual product examination are additional menu items in the feast of information to arrive at an informed decision.
     
  7. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    I've seen 12 year WHs fail after 5 years.
    Last year I saw a Rheem failing after 11 months (gas valve).
    Earlier I saw a Rheem's pilot gas tube melt that turned into dust and caused a mini fire around the burner. Rheem claimed they never heard such a story, but they sent a free burner assembly.
    In the last 10 days I replaced 2 AO Smiths. One was 8 years old (labeled Kenmore), the other 10 years old (labeled AO Smith).
    Buying a WH is a gambler's business.
     
  8. Norcal01

    Norcal01 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Just for grins & giggles, my State water heater was installed in 1982, which for a water heater is prehistoric.
     
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