Lowe's is now selling A.O. Smith water heaters, Rebranded Whirlpool

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Dj2

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A.O. Smith bought American water heater last year. With WHs prices through the roof, they had the cash.

Lowe's was carrying Whirlpool water heaters, made by American WHs, but is now switching to A.O Smith WHs. In the stores around me, they were clearing out the Whirlpool WHs at up to 50% off. I managed to get a hold on two of them.

Less competition = higher prices in the near future.
They probably build them in Mexico = less labor costs, meaning more profits.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I dont know why you would want the whirlpool heaters because they are junk...
Even the honeywell controls on them are sub-standard....
I have heard that Lowes pushed for this because their reputation has gone to hell because of the
whirlpool fiasco over the past 15 years... They were sick and tired of this mess that has played out
right in their stores... Its like someone took a huge dump right in the water heater isle of their stores..and the STINK just wont go away .......

I am gonna buy a Smith from Lowes and get a Smith from my local plumbing supplier and I am gonna break them apart to see if they actually are the same..

I am willing to bet that the Smith from the plumbing supply house will be a much higher grade
of water heater versus what they are dumping in LOWES and claiming to be Smiths....

I would bet that the LOWES --Smith heater is gonna be a Whirlpool heater with a Smith decal on it.
basically the same old crap with a new label on it.......

this could be a whole new mess for lowes to deal with if they have not actually up-graded the
quality of the heater itself...

Inquiring minds want to know






..
 

bhoth

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Yes I want to know too. I am now in need of a new 40 gallon natural gas water heater. what is the best bang for the buck?
 

Dj2

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I had to repair a 3 yo Rheem that had a flame out of control.

The pilot gas supply tube loops around the burner chamber on the Rheems, and this one had a burnt up (turned into ash) gas supply tube - and that was the source of the flame. Pretty dangerous.

I replaced the pilot gas tube line and the WH was back in business.

Later I called Rheem to report the incident and to comment on the bad design, they thanked me, but did nothing.

The truth about water heaters is that it's all about luck. Each brand can be good and can be bad. Las Vegas style of luck.

I have 2 American and 3 Whirlpools (also American) water heater in rental homes, which are over 10 years old.

I serviced a 1 year old Bradford White, that also had an out of control flame, which only re affirms the notion that a good or bad water heater can come in any name brand.
 

Onokai

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I have been lucky with all my Rheems so far.Been thru about 3-4 in 45 years.
I hope it hold with my 80 gallon solar Rheem pre heat tank before Rheem WH tank.
I had one in our rental last over decade .
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I had to repair a 3 yo Rheem that had a flame out of control.

The pilot gas supply tube loops around the burner chamber on the Rheems, and this one had a burnt up (turned into ash) gas supply tube - and that was the source of the flame. Pretty dangerous.

I replaced the pilot gas tube line and the WH was back in business.

Later I called Rheem to report the incident and to comment on the bad design, they thanked me, but did nothing.

The truth about water heaters is that it's all about luck. Each brand can be good and can be bad. Las Vegas style of luck.

I have 2 American and 3 Whirlpools (also American) water heater in rental homes, which are over 10 years old.

I serviced a 1 year old Bradford White, that also had an out of control flame, which only re affirms the notion that a good or bad water heater can come in any name brand.



Its luck or just bad dirty gas coming into the unit..... and this can happen to any brand at any time
like when the gas company is working on the lines near by..... I have had almost no issues with
the Rheem brand over the past 15 years... The Bradfords have a good design but they seem to only last
out the warranty by a few months...and then start to leak....
I stay clear of the Smiths because they make the whirlpool and I think the American too....

On average I have had to fool with more
whirlpools and american units than any other brand on the market and I just
wont waste my time working on them any longer.......

Now that Lowes has thrown Whirlpool out the door and you really have no place
to turn to get parts in a timely manner , its much easier to convince them to change
out the water heater....
 

zl700

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I've watched the Rinnai display and inventory shrink at Lowes also (failed experiment). I wouldn't be surprised if the AO Smith Tankless (Takagi) takes over along side their tanks.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I talked to My SMITH dealer in town and they are pretty pissed off about LOWES getting to use the SMITH name on their products....

I asked them if they would warranty parts if someone were to walk in and try to get "hardware store smith parts" directly from them...??

. He tells me that this has already happenned to them with dumbasses showing up with "lowes Smith heaters " and expecting them to bail them out of trouble .....

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

I then asked him if this was deceptive and wont it sort of drag down the Smith name over time once the Whirlpool--Smith heaters begin to fail and they get a bad name ???

This supply house is something that this fellow owns himself and has attempted to build up for well over 15 years now and said he was not very happy about how Smith has pissed in his face and any of this mess that has landed on his doorstep.......f
 

Dj2

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Mark,

In the world of take overs and buy outs, the object is to eliminate competition and to create a monopoly. If it costs AO Smith it's reputation...they don't care, really. They only care about this: when consumers need a new water heater, they have no choice but to buy an AO Smith.

In many markets it's already happening. There are places where you can only get one kind of water heater.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Mark,

In the world of take overs and buy outs, the object is to eliminate competition and to create a monopoly. If it costs AO Smith it's reputation...they don't care, really. They only care about this: when consumers need a new water heater, they have no choice but to buy an AO Smith.

In many markets it's already happening. There are places where you can only get one kind of water heater.

well, that is ok with me if you live in some po-dunkey back water with only one hardware store in 50 miles
that makes sense......

I just think its very deceitful to claim to be one product and actually just be the same junk in another box
claiming to be a better product.... Whirlpool has a very crappy reputation already, and eventually this
marriage between the both of them will drag down Smiths name into the gutter.... just give it 5 years...
 
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