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Old 01-04-2016, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default AO smith vs Bradford W

I have always preferred BW water heaters, elec, gas, commercial, etc but they are not a Fergusun rep. I do most my business w Fergusun and get a much better buy out from them and their service and knowledge here is Great. What are your opinions for AO smith. The ones I have installed seemed every bit as good as BW. With the newer regulations how has AO Smith do be vs BW? I have heard of past AO problems. Water heater choices seemed very linked to Demographics. I have never installed a Rheem or sone other popular brands back east.

Thoughts or comments appreciated. I am new to the site... Nice to meet you all... Thanks
Justin
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:26 PM   #2
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i bought a bw from fergy this morning.
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:26 PM   #3
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Post an introduction and properly join the zone
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:33 PM   #4
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Do an Intro Post here...

And you'll feel the love...

No big deal just a bit about yourself...
Where you plumb... doesn't have to be precise, a state or province is good...
The kind of work you do...
And anything else you'd wanna tell us...
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Painless...



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Old 01-04-2016, 10:55 PM   #5
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Ok got the intro done.
forgot to tell you I'm from Oregon.

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Fully licensed for all work I do
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:25 PM   #6
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The Bradfords are going down hill fast around here...
The Smiths seem to be a better quality as far as length of lifetime...

We are dealing with bradfords going out in less than 5 years all the time
and this has been on-going for probably 5 years... I guess they are not baking a good glass liner onto the inner side of the tanks anymore....
they are popping like pop-corn and I am gonna be glad when we are finally out of the woods with them... We stopped using them in 2010 when the Icon valve came out but and are sticking with Rheem only....

we dont see as many Smiths going out under warranty as the bradfords are and we rarely have issues with Rheem

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Old 01-04-2016, 11:41 PM   #7
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I keep records of what I replace here in the midwest. The AO Smith tanks have an average lifespan of 21.7 years out of the last 19 I have replaced. Bradford White tanks have a 13.4 year average out of 38 I have replaced.

Those are real averages but I have to bring up that there weren't many Bradford White tanks installed before 1995.

AO Smith, State, Whirlpool had a lot of issues once they went to a sealed combustion chamber (2004-2007). They may have worked those issues out but I still have an occasional call from a 2 yr old AO where the pilot has gone out. I also see a decent amount of BW tanks that are 3-6 years old and leaking from the tank. Usually on the 50's in a closed system and high water pressure.

I stock both brands. One thing that will cut the lifespan in 1/2 or more is a water softener, especially when the supply lines are copper.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:57 PM   #8
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I think AO Smith's FVIR Design flat out sucks...

It draws combustion air into the water heater from underneath and reminds me of a Hoover Vacuum Cleaner sucking dirt into the flame arrestor...

Bradford White draws the air from the side of the unit and has a reset button on the thermostatic switch protecting from an FVIR event...

Rheem draws combustion air from the side but has a glass vial which breaks in an FVIR event and cannot be reset...

I'll put Bradford White in 1st place, Rheem in 2nd place... and AO Smith in last place...



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Old 01-05-2016, 12:36 AM   #9
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I switched from AO to BW five years ago because my distributor switched due to pricing that's the story I got anyway. I have only had one go so far it was a power vent that had a short in the wiring at start up while I was diagnosing the wiring issue I noticed that it was leaking. I have replaced lots of competitor installed ao heaters under warretny lately or just out of warranty. I have had a couple customers lately that wouldn't let me install another AO they were so upset about how the last couple of water heaters had lasted. So I guess I am happy with switching to BW!
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:45 AM   #10
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I install Bradford White, but online reviews are horrible. DIY guys bash them because they can't get parts. DIY guys are proud of themselves for installing Rheem from Home Depot and post how great they are. How many homeowners post how great a plumber installed BW water heater is?
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