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QuaffAPint
A Big Thanks To The Troops

join:2001-01-10
Downingtown, PA

Water Heater Brand Recommendations

We have a 9 yr old Bradford White Liquid Propane 48gal 40K BTU water heater.

It's working fine currently, but we are finishing our basement, and many (6 or more) homes in our development had their same water heater fail - some quite early on. I've done no maintenance with it and don't see a way to replace an anode rod or such to check on its status inside.

So, we want to replace it to be on the safe side. I'm looking for brand recommendations. In other threads people recommend Bradford White, but now I'm hesitant given the number of failures in a relatively young life.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
Have you looked at the "heat pump" type water heaters? I realize it would be more expensive up front and possibly require a larger electrical service run.

I only ask that based on what I know propane costs me for heating the house. The heat pump style has the added benefit of supplying some dehumidification which is usually a good thing for a finished basement.

Tim
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to QuaffAPint
I was going to recommend Rheem, but not sure if they have LP. Friend put in a Rheem Pro 48gal model (NG)... has 8yr warranty. But he's only had it 2 years...
Can check out www.rheem.com.

I've a 9yr GE (again, NG, not LP).

I recommend a water pan, or way to have any potential failure/leak run to drain/sump. If on upper floor, DEFINITELY have pan with drain pipe to exterior...
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QuaffAPint
A Big Thanks To The Troops

join:2001-01-10
Downingtown, PA
reply to pende_tim
said by pende_tim:

Have you looked at the "heat pump" type water heaters? I realize it would be more expensive up front and possibly require a larger electrical service run.

I only ask that based on what I know propane costs me for heating the house. The heat pump style has the added benefit of supplying some dehumidification which is usually a good thing for a finished basement.

Tim

I briefly looked at them, but was concerned by the fact that it extracts heat from the air. This will be in a finished basement in the unfinished side. The finished side will only be heated by electric baseboards. So, I was afraid that it would make things too cold, or not have enough heat to be efficient.
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jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to QuaffAPint
There are only a handful of (American) tank manufacturers anymore:
A.O. Smith, Rheem, State, Bradford White, American Water Heater Co. to name a few.

Shop for the best value for the tank size, recovery and warranty that you need.

And Tankless heaters are really not worth the extra money they cost, in the long run, economically speaking.
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SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to QuaffAPint
Quietside ODW-199A with LP conversion kit (ODW180-199LPKT)

»www.quietside.com/Quietside/inde···temid=96

That's the model I installed in my home- 199,000btu. I have the propane version, but it can also run on natural gas and it's super efficient. I've had 3+ showers going at the same time with plenty of hot water.

If you're going to upgrade, tankless is the way to go!


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to cableties
said by cableties:

I was going to recommend Rheem, but not sure if they have LP.

We have a Rheem LP water heater. I think it came with the house, so that means it's about 14 years old.


herdfan
Premium
join:2003-01-25
Hurricane, WV
reply to jack b
said by jack b:

And Tankless heaters are really not worth the extra money they cost, in the long run, economically speaking.

I had a power vent Lochinvar 50 gal fail. It was about 8 years old. Got a quote from a local plumbing company to replace. They wanted $1950 to replace it.

Ordered a Rinnai tankless off Amazon for $850, add in another $200 in venting from local plumbing supply and about 8 hours of labor and I was good to go.

I think it will pay off economically.


aannoonn

@optonline.net
reply to QuaffAPint
I think there are only 3 tank manufacturers in the US. My water heater owner's manual doesn't have the brand name on it anywhere! That way, the manufacturer can sell the water heaters to multiple companies and they just include the exact same manual.

My plumber recommends Bradford White. I have a 50 gal tank with a 65,000 BTU burner, so it recovers really fast.

My plumber says he's had trouble with A.O. Smith and refuses to sell them.

I had a Rheem model that was 25 years old and still going strong when I proactively replaced it.

Q. What's the difference between a water heater with a 5 year warranty and one with a 10 year warranty?

A. The price.

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to QuaffAPint
maybe americanwaterheater all stainles steel tank polaris. »www.americanwaterheater.com/prod···0908.pdf I can't see the tank ever going bad, and it has one heck of a recovery rate.


boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1
said by iknow:

maybe americanwaterheater all stainles steel tank polaris. »www.americanwaterheater.com/prod···0908.pdf I can't see the tank ever going bad, and it has one heck of a recovery rate.

that thing is a beast!
--
my site


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to QuaffAPint
Always a tough decision.

First step regardless of brand is to check out the guarantee and number of anode rods, two is preferable. The guarantee itself is probably useless but it gives you some idea of life expectancy. If you change out the rods before they are used up the heater should last "forever" but no one, myself included, seems to be able to pull that off.

When we built our house in 1982 installed a Bradford White electric heater. When that failed in 1992 I went with Sears Power Miser 10 Series Electric. At the time it was the only heater I found that used foam, rather then fiberglass insulation. Since electric heaters do not need a flue with enough insulation standby losses are ineligible. In 2008 I was doing some plumbing around the water heater and replaced it with a Sears Power Miser 12. Had not yet started to leak but at 16 years figured it was only a matter of time. I have no idea who makes them they seen to have somewhat unique construction.

For fun cut it open did not seen any rust, except a little on the welded heating element fitting. Most likely would have been good for a long time.

These are electric water heaters so have no idea how life expectancy compares to Propane units. I looked at replacing our Electric unit with an ultra high efficiency Propane (PVC flue powered draft) but the vent duct work was not practical and at least here in Southern NH Propane is not cheap compared to Electricity.

Besides your plumber have you checked your Propane supplier for recommendations?

/tom


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
reply to QuaffAPint
I like my Rheem....

»New Water Heater!


macsierra8
Baby Newfoundland
Premium
join:2003-11-30
Minden, NV
reply to jack b
said by jack b:

And Tankless heaters are really not worth the extra money they cost, in the long run, economically speaking.

Pure BS, it very much depends on the individual circumstances of the installation. If that was true tankless heaters would gone into extinction long long ago. Especially in Europe where tankless are outnumbering tank heaters.
--
Hey There, Voter! Do you remember that on Inauguration Day (Jan 20th) 2009, the national average for a gallon of gasoline was about $1.78? How's that "Hope & Change" working out for you? Anyone But Obama Nov. 2012.


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
In my neighborhood, forward thinking people who have put them in have had trouble finding plumbers who know how to fix the machines when they malfunction.


boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1
reply to macsierra8
said by macsierra8:

said by jack b:

And Tankless heaters are really not worth the extra money they cost, in the long run, economically speaking.

Pure BS, it very much depends on the individual circumstances of the installation. If that was true tankless heaters would gone into extinction long long ago. Especially in Europe where tankless are outnumbering tank heaters.

in europe that's more due to space constraints than it is for their efficiency
--
my site


macsierra8
Baby Newfoundland
Premium
join:2003-11-30
Minden, NV
said by boogi man:

in europe that's more due to space constraints than it is for their efficiency

Not really, at the cost of fuel and tank standby heating considerations efficiency ranks number one. My bill is half what it was with this consideration, with only 2 people in the house the standby heating was keeping a utility room warm I didn't need warm and water warm I didn't need..
--
Hey There, Voter! Do you remember that on Inauguration Day (Jan 20th) 2009, the national average for a gallon of gasoline was about $1.78? How's that "Hope & Change" working out for you? Anyone But Obama Nov. 2012.

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to boogi man
said by boogi man:

said by iknow:

maybe americanwaterheater all stainles steel tank polaris. »www.americanwaterheater.com/prod···0908.pdf I can't see the tank ever going bad, and it has one heck of a recovery rate.

that thing is a beast!

yep, and you don't have to worry about anode rods, or the tank rusting!. and that's the 50 gal. most people might be happy with the 30 gal. model of this, as the recovery rate is so huge!.


boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1
reply to macsierra8
said by macsierra8:

said by boogi man:

in europe that's more due to space constraints than it is for their efficiency

Not really, at the cost of fuel and tank standby heating considerations efficiency ranks number one. My bill is half what it was with this consideration, with only 2 people in the house the standby heating was keeping a utility room warm I didn't need warm and water warm I didn't need..

youo don't mention the age/quality of the previous water heater. side by side with current tanked units the difference is fairly small. the green aspect is being pushed hard and fast as there are many old tanked heaters that when replaced with either type of heater will see a drop in heating costs. i'm glad you are happy with your purchase.

and yes tankless in europe is due to space concerns first efficiency second.
--
my site

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
reply to QuaffAPint
said by QuaffAPint:

We have a 9 yr old Bradford White Liquid Propane 48gal 40K BTU water heater.

It's working fine currently, but we are finishing our basement, and many (6 or more) homes in our development had their same water heater fail - some quite early on. I've done no maintenance with it and don't see a way to replace an anode rod or such to check on its status inside.

So, we want to replace it to be on the safe side. I'm looking for brand recommendations. In other threads people recommend Bradford White, but now I'm hesitant given the number of failures in a relatively young life.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Dont you guys rent water heaters from your utility company in States?

I am not sure how cold it gets over there in PA but heat pumps only work well for while the outside temperature is less than -10C. If it goes below then you would need a backup heating system.

Other than that they work well.

Tankless water heater could be another option.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
said by Viper677:

said by QuaffAPint:

We have a 9 yr old Bradford White Liquid Propane 48gal 40K BTU water heater.

It's working fine currently, but we are finishing our basement, and many (6 or more) homes in our development had their same water heater fail - some quite early on. I've done no maintenance with it and don't see a way to replace an anode rod or such to check on its status inside.

So, we want to replace it to be on the safe side. I'm looking for brand recommendations. In other threads people recommend Bradford White, but now I'm hesitant given the number of failures in a relatively young life.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Dont you guys rent water heaters from your utility company in States?

I am not sure how cold it gets over there in PA but heat pumps only work well for while the outside temperature is less than -10C. If it goes below then you would need a backup heating system.

Other than that they work well.

Tankless water heater could be another option.

Rent?

How much do you get charged for that nice feature?


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Actually, if the price is right, it could be a big deal, especially if they swapped it out before it failed and always gave you a very efficient one.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
said by bobrk:

Actually, if the price is right, it could be a big deal, especially if they swapped it out before it failed and always gave you a very efficient one.

Gave you one?

When did the government or a monopoly give you something that you could have bought yourself for a 1/3 of the price in the long run!

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto
reply to mityfowl
said by mityfowl:

said by Viper677:

said by QuaffAPint:

We have a 9 yr old Bradford White Liquid Propane 48gal 40K BTU water heater.

It's working fine currently, but we are finishing our basement, and many (6 or more) homes in our development had their same water heater fail - some quite early on. I've done no maintenance with it and don't see a way to replace an anode rod or such to check on its status inside.

So, we want to replace it to be on the safe side. I'm looking for brand recommendations. In other threads people recommend Bradford White, but now I'm hesitant given the number of failures in a relatively young life.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Dont you guys rent water heaters from your utility company in States?

I am not sure how cold it gets over there in PA but heat pumps only work well for while the outside temperature is less than -10C. If it goes below then you would need a backup heating system.

Other than that they work well.

Tankless water heater could be another option.

Rent?

How much do you get charged for that nice feature?

Oh yeah, rent! Most people in Ontario rent their water heater from the utility company. Its like $25/month and you forget about it. Everything (servicing/upgrade) is included.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:6
reply to mityfowl
Looks like I`m late to the game..

Heaters typically fail due to 1- thermal expansion, and 2- internal corrosion.

If you have a newer home, you probably have a thermal expansion tank installed on the cold water line. These have an air bladder inside that controls the expansion of water. If the air bladder goes flat, the tank is useless. Air pressure in the tank should be within 5psi of the house static pressure, but must be checked with no water pressure in the expansion tank. Expansion is the #1 killer of tank style water heaters, and usually causes a dramatic, large failure.

The anode rod on most bradford heaters is on the hot outlet nipple, meaning the hot outlet pipe must be cut to remove+replace the rod. Other brands (including AOS) have a seperate 1-1/16" threaded plug for the anode.

If you're like most 5-10yr old homes, you probably have a standard atmospheric (chimney) operated water heater. (metal pipe off the top). AO Smith makes a very efficient atmospheric unit, the Effex. Its one of the only atmospheric heaters to qualify for the Energy Star rating..

»www.hotwater.com/water-heaters/r···s/effex/

Or, if you have a power vent heater (plastic pipe off the blower), I would recommend an AO Smith Vertex heater. I install these all the time, the fan is very quiet, they are 94-96% efficient, and make a helluva lot of hot water.

»www.hotwater.com/water-heaters/r···/vertex/

If you have a large family, or have large groups of people over for the holidays, a tankless would work well.. They are typically 2x-3x as much as a tank heater, depending on install. But they do last twice as long, take up 1/4 the space, do not require an expansion tank, and when they leak, its a slow dripper, not a flood. I would highly recommend a high efficiency Rinnai.

»www.rinnai.us/tankless-water-hea···237ffud/

Both the high efficiency Vertex and the Rinnai qualify for a 10% fed tax credit

Any detailed questions, PM me

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


FiReSTaRT
Premium
join:2010-02-26
Canada
Reviews:
·Velcom
Tankless units are almost an "all or nothing" kinda deal. If you just want luke-warm or a trickle of hot, you might not get it, so I'm not a big fan of them, unless you install a storage tank, but then you might as well just go with a standard unit and make sure your tank is sized right for the load.

Condensing (high efficiency) tanks have higher flue gas temperatures than most manufacturers are willing to admit. If it's not already in the specs, pay the few extra bucks and have the first 5' of venting in CPVC as it's rated for higher temps than PVC. Same amount of time and material cost, after markup should still be under $100 extra. Well worth it if you don't like the idea of flue gases escaping into occupied (by you and your family) space.
--
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
—George Bernard Shaw


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to Viper677
said by Viper677:

Oh yeah, rent! Most people in Ontario rent their water heater from the utility company. Its like $25/month and you forget about it. Everything (servicing/upgrade) is included.

Wow!

$3000 for 10 years.


herdfan
Premium
join:2003-01-25
Hurricane, WV
said by mityfowl:

said by Viper677:

Its like $25/month and you forget about it. Everything (servicing/upgrade) is included.

Wow!

$3000 for 10 years.

Does that include the hydro for the tank as well? Sort of like having a street light here where they charge you like $7/mo and it includes the light and electricity and bulbs.


macsierra8
Baby Newfoundland
Premium
join:2003-11-30
Minden, NV
reply to FiReSTaRT
said by FiReSTaRT:

Tankless units are almost an "all or nothing" kinda deal. If you just want luke-warm or a trickle of hot, you might not get it, so I'm not a big fan of them, unless you install a storage tank, but then you might as well just go with a standard unit and make sure your tank is sized right for the load.

Condensing (high efficiency) tanks have higher flue gas temperatures than most manufacturers are willing to admit. If it's not already in the specs, pay the few extra bucks and have the first 5' of venting in CPVC as it's rated for higher temps than PVC. Same amount of time and material cost, after markup should still be under $100 extra. Well worth it if you don't like the idea of flue gases escaping into occupied (by you and your family) space.

Your observations are completely different from those of us here who have and regularly use top brand tankless heaters. I have no trouble adjusting water temps high or low volume.

As for flue pipe and gas temperatures I have no data on that but the Rinnai PVC 5" OD flue pipe I use is metal lined pipe. With the cool flue gas temps I've experienced coming out of the heater I doubt the gas escaping enigma & melting the pipe is a problem with OEM pipe.
--
Hey There, Voter! Do you remember that on Inauguration Day (Jan 20th) 2009, the national average for a gallon of gasoline was about $1.78? How's that "Hope & Change" working out for you? Anyone But Obama Nov. 2012.


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to QuaffAPint
I've been told by a plumber or two that Bock will survive anything but a direct nuclear strike.
»www.bockwaterheaters.com/Product···ers.html

Manufacturers probably quit making Monel water heaters because they never needed replacing.
»www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/···per.html

But, I have a 12-year-old AOSmith that seems to be holding its own. I've replaced the anode rod twice and flush it twice a year.
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