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Thread: Need advise on Electric Water heater - Rheem or Bradford White or other

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  1. #1
    DIY Member CountryBumkin's Avatar
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    Default Need advise on Electric Water heater - Rheem or Bradford White or other

    My 22-year old water heater needs replacement. I read through many of the posts here and researched the internet for advise. I have narrowed the choice down to bradford White and Rheem. These appear to be the highest recoomended (best) brands.

    Background: I have a 3000 sq-ft ranch on slab, in central FL. 4 people in house, 65 gal spa/tub, 3 baths. Only electric service (no gas). I currently have a 52 gal tank ("State" model "Censible 510E").
    The product calculator recommends I go with a 65 gal tank.

    My question:
    The Bradford White M-2-65RDS runs around $770 (internet price) and has a "First Hour Available rating of 154 gal" and "40 GPH @ 90F Rise Recovery". Warranty is 8 years and can be upgraded to 12 with protection Plus (whatever that is).

    The Rheem PRO66-2 runs around $800 (internet price) and has a "First Hour Available rating of 71 gal" and "21 GPH @ 90F Rise Recovery". The warranty is 6 years and can be upgraded to 10.

    It seems the obvious choice is to go with the Bradford White. Am I missing any info in this decison process? Is there anything else I should be considering.

  2. #2
    DIY Member CountryBumkin's Avatar
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    Good advise. Thank you.
    I reason for the upsize in water heaters is because I just remodeled my masterbath and installed a large jacuzzi type tub (65 gal). I had a spa-tub before but it was smaller. Honestly, we don't/didn't use the tub much, but I still want to be able to completely fill it with hot water when we do use it. I think that is why the "product calculator" recommended the 65 gallon unit.
    I also want to make sure I don't have to upsize any of the wiring to the heater so staying with the two 4500W elements (which is what I have now) should mean I can do a direct replacement. Maybe the 4500 and 5500W units will not require a wiring upgrade but I don't have any knowledge of this - so I thought I'd play it safe. (I have two 30A breakers (240V) for the service to heater).
    It is odd that the 80 gallon tank is a few dollars cheaper than the 65 gallon unit. Should I go with the bigger unit, or will I just be wasting money heating water above the capacity I need?

    Thanks again. Great forum.

  3. #3
    DIY Member CountryBumkin's Avatar
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    I just reviewed specs again I downloaded, and I notced the Bradford White spec/sizing was recommending two (2) 65 gallon tanks, that's why the First Hour Available is 154 gallons and the Recovery is 40 GPH @ 90 degree rise. I didn't notice that I was comparing two BW heaters to one Rheem heater. In fact, the actual numbers, when comapring only one heater each means the Rheem has the slightly higher recovery rate.
    Well, I'm not going to buy two water heaters. Maybe the 80 gallon tank is the best choice.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If the BW is a M-2-65R6DS, it is a 6 year warranty, and as far as I have ever seen the "extended warranty" makes it a 9 year heater. To be an 8 year heater, and I have NEVER seen one, it would have to be a M-2-R8DS. The performance of electric water heaters is contingent upon the heating elements, and since they are almost all the same, the performances are within a few gallons, and the discrepency can be in the way they are tested and rated.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Why aren't you considering installing a solar system?
    At the moment Florida is offering some heavy duty rebate and grants that you may qualify for.

  6. #6

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    What are your expectations out of the heater? Are you looking for high output? Energy savings? Space savings?

    What sort of usage patterns is it going to see? How many people will be living in the home full time?

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