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Thread: Hot water heater question

  1. #1

    Default Hot water heater question

    I'm wanting to install a hot water heater. Which is the best to go with? Dual or single element? Also, I have a choice to pay and extra $100 and go with a Bradford white vs a GE (made by Rheem) at lowes.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Installing anything from Blows or Homecheapo is a no no. You be better off spending the extra money. There are good reasons the box store water heaters are cheap.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    GE is sold at HD, not at Lowes, the last I looked. Lowes sells Whirlpool, which I would stay away from.

    Rheem is a good brand, and Bradford White is preferred by many plumbers as a top quality choice.

  4. #4
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    A dual element heater is generally taller and the second (upper) element kicks in only when the water temperature at the exit(top) gets low.

    The Dual vs single element decision is generally based on space and cost.

    A larger Dual element heater will give you more even water temperature and can provide more hot water.

    A smaller single element hot water heater will generally use less standby electric, but can leave you taking a cold shower.

    As for brand, look at the type of tank and the warranty.
    Stainless steel tanks are the best. Lined tanks are good. "Anode Rod" tanks are the cheapest.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I like AO Smith, or Rheem.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I got 2 words for you...
    Bradford White!

  7. #7
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Yup... Brad White like Redwood said...or a Rheem if you can get one...The GEs although made by Rheem may not be the same as a Rheem.

    Forget a 1 element heater go with 2.

    GE at Home Cheapo

    Whirlpool junk at Low*s

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Bw

    Bradford White advertises that they are only sold to plumbers. But a single element heater is usually a cheaper one, and often has a shorter warranty.

  9. #9

    Default Is Brad White Having Problems??

    Had plumber in house to connect gas line to new furnace 2 days ago. While there I asked if he wanted to quote a pro-active replacement of a 15 year old A.O. Smith (which some pros here seem to 'dis'). His response, "if it ain't broke don't touch it". Actually surprised me.... Asked what he suggested and he said A.O. Smith or Brad White and definitely avoid Big Box store models.

    But here's the kicker, he say that after years of preferring BW they are avoiding them as BW has been having problems lately. When pressed for details he simply stated "leaks"... He did say that all mfgrs heaters have become more problematic with the new vapor detection technology....

    Any comments from the Brad White crowd???

    ADDED INFO: WH is in basement with drain and if leaks there will be no damage other than cleanup effort.
    Last edited by wraujr; 09-06-2008 at 05:35 AM. Reason: Additional Info

  10. #10
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If the heater is in an area that a leak will cause water damage and there is no pan under it, at 15 years old I would consider replacement and a drip pan.

    As for the leaking BWs I have not heard about it...yet.

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    No problems here either!

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default heaters

    Go to any store that sells water heaters and you will find a lot of returned/leaking tanks of various ages. ANY of them can have a short life, it depends on many factors, most of them beyond the company's control.

  13. #13

    Default

    I just had a BW start leaking after 4 years of service. I was able to get a swap out under warranty, but is still cost a several hundred $ .

  14. #14
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    A brand new one can leak...

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default cost

    I was able to get a swap out under warranty, but is still cost a several hundred $ .

    Depending on the type and model, it is not inexpensive to replace under warranty, but in most cases, after 4 years the new heater only has the remaining two years of warranty on it.

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