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Thread: Need Help on which BW to choose!!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Yellamo's Avatar
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    Default Need Help on which BW to choose!!

    Currently have two AO Smith 40 gallons running in tandem (previous owner install - 10 years old). One finally quit on me and I'm looking to replace. The other one is showing signs of wear (oxidation on the intake/outake valves, etc). Based on reviews in this forum I'm looking to replace with a Bradford White.

    Just trying to get all my ducks in a row before I schedule an install and had a few questions

    1. Should I replace both water heaters now? I'm guessing the install fee will be the price of 1 times 2.

    2. Is there really a benefit to having two in tandem? I can't go with one large size as the entry space for the heaters is only 21" due to a basement buildout (without knocking out some drywall).

    2. Reading through the BW site, I'm guessing as you add options, the prices go up. Can someone recommend a specific type (Defender, Defender Extra Recovery, etc..) before I call around for prices. I'm guessing the basic Defender series is sufficient?

    Thanks in advance for any information. It is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default heaters

    If the heaters are connected in parallel, then you must replace both or the flow pattern will be disrupted and there is no telling what the results will be. It could be a bit more than twice the cost of a single installation, because there are other factors that come into play with two heaters. If they are in series, then the first one is most likely the leaking one, and the second one could last a long time yet. In this installation, you only have to replace the leaking heater to maintain the original performance.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    The advantage to having two is that your effective burner rate is twice what a single would be, so your recovery time is cut in half. Of course this means the system must be able to provide twice as much combustion air and vent twice as much exhaust. It also means that storage losses are twice as great.

    Sounds like the decision comes down more to what you can fit than what would be most efficient/cost effective to install and operate. How many bedrooms and baths? Is there a large tub to fill (as in 70+ gallons?)

  4. #4
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    You didn't get much life out of it. Could external factors shorten the life of a gas WH?

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default gas

    Very unlikely, usually INTERNAL factors cause the failure of a water heater.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Yellamo's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Had a contractor come out and here's what's up. The heaters are running parallel, so he (along with hj) recommended both be replaced.

    They're putting in two BW 40's tomorrow. Can't go bigger because of space constraints (only 20" of clearance to get them into the area - bad remodeling design by the previous owners).

    Surprisingly, the price is only a couple hundred more than a similar Home Depot/GE install, so I'm happy.

    It was funny though, the contractor quoted (and was pushing for) a tankless system (which I really don't need or want to pay $$$$ for). Guess we know where you guys make the best profit!!! ;-D

    Anyway, this forum was very helpful and thanks to all who provided advice.

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