Consensus here seems to be that AO Smith and American Water Heaters and their kind seem to have a lot more issues than their Rheem and Bradford White counterparts. Issues seem to do with the air intake system, whether it gets clogged up easily with lint or it just does not take in enough air to combust properly...could it be because the Vanguard was the older style with the open burner that it got all the air that it needed? I don't recall any soot or smoke/smell issues...my diagnosis if you will is that the issues I am seeing SEEM to point to a primary or a secondary air issue......in looking at the Bradford White design vs the Kenmore design it appears to me that the Bradford White air intake system and FVIR setup is superior to the Kenmore/Smith/State etc...would you agree with that?
Looking at the pictures I have been posting can you honestly say I should cut the Sears plumbers any slack???? As a professional plumber you should be appalled at the work these guys did...I've said on many occasions that I wish the plumbers who frequent here lived close to NH because I don't think I would be having any of these issues if one of you did the install in the first place...... would not say it is anywhere near a case of a guy merely doing his job.....bending pipes down and over to make them fit? Chewing up the connections with channel locks? Not caring about the condition of the the floor knowing that the air intake is on the bottom of the heater? I mean there was sand and lint all over the place and when I wanted to clean it up all I got was "I install these on dirt floors, doesn't matter"....and then that goofy sloppy connection at the T??
I'm sorry I'm just getting worked up but guys like that give you good plumbers a bad rap
I really do value your comments HJ and not arguing......but would you say that Rheem or Bradford White makes a better more air intake efficient water heater than Kenmore?