A.O vs Bradford White

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jadnashua

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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.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Master Plumber Mark

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200yrs from now. Not 200yrs from the year 1700 ;-)

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.




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
 

Phog

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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
 

Clog

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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.
 

Dj2

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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.
 

Norcal01

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Just for grins & giggles, my State water heater was installed in 1982, which for a water heater is prehistoric.
 
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