Are Bradford White Water Heaters Reliable & Good? (9 Helpful Tips) (2023)

Are Bradford White Water Heaters Reliable & Good? (9 Helpful Tips) (1)

These days most families are putting their water heaters to greater use, ensuring they are clean and healthy. We often don’t think about our water-heater until it stops working and our lives are significantly interrupted. If you are here because your water heater has stopped working or you are thinking about replacing your current tank, hopefully, this article will help you in the decision-making process.

I did some research and here’s what came up about Bradford White water heaters:

Bradford White is one of the leading manufacturers of reliable and good water heaters. Bradford White is an employee-owned company that takes great pride in producing high-quality products here in the USA. The company is well-known for providing unequaled customer service and technical support. Bradford White is committed to continually growing in its production of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll explore who makes Bradford White water heaters, their durability, cost, warranty, and how they rank against other water heater brands.

Quick Article Navigation Show

Who Makes Bradford White Water Heaters?

Bradford White is a team of American-owned companies that produced the Bradford White water heaters. From their humble roots dating back to 1881, the goal has been to provide quality, American-made products.

Initially, the idea of a wholesale-only philosophy was not well received, especially by the banks. But their substantial growth has shown their determination has indeed paid off. The corporation has grown into a full-line manufacturer of residential, commercial, and industrial products.

Despite this substantial growth, the corporation still places a high value on customer service. Feedback from customers has helped the corporation to improve and stand out in the market.

Bradford White is committed to continually growing in up-to-date technology that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The corporation prides itself in using the finest raw materials and components worldwide to deliver high-quality products that are Built to be the Best®.

Bradford White provides hands-on product and sales training throughout the year to contractors, engineers, wholesale distributors, and sales reps from contractors, engineers, wholesale distributors, and sales reps from their state-of-the-art training facilities in Rochester, New Hampshire, and Middleville, Michigan.

The training center in Middleville, Michigan, also called International Technical Excellence Center (iTEC), is a cutting-edge LEED Gold certified complex. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system used to certify buildings using less energy and water, avoid waste, save on maintenance costs, and create fewer environmental burdens overall on their community.

This certificate is further proof of Bradford White’s dedication to providing innovative designs that meet and exceed the expectations of the green market.

How Durable Are Bradford White Water Heaters?

(Video) Best Residential Water Heater - Bradford vs Rheem and AO Smith - Twin Plumbing

While it’s impossible to know how long any water heater will last, Bradford White has shown their commitment to making quality products that last decades.

Some of their exclusive features include:

  • ICON System – A control system that provides consistently accurate water temperatures and makes it easier for the homeowner to control. While being an electronic valve, it doesn’t require outside electricity.

The control uses Bradford White’s proven millivolt technology to convert heat energy from the pilot flame into electrical energy. Hence the name ICON – Intelligent Control.

  • Defender Safety System® with ScreenLok™ – This patented screen prevents flammable vapors from exiting the tank. An essential feature considering our water-heaters are usually in areas where flammable items are also stored (i.e., paint cans in the garage).
  • Hydrojet® Total Performance System – This system alone sets Bradford White apart from other manufacturers. Over time, sediment builds up in the tank, putting a strain on the water heater. If the sediment is not removed, the buildup will eventually kill the water heater.

The Hydrojet® Total Performance System uses a cold-water inlet, or dip tube, with a series of “jet ports.” These “jets” create turbulence in the tank, preventing sediment from accumulating, essentially self-cleaning the tank. Another essential feature of this system is that it thoroughly mixes incoming water with stored water, evenly distributing hot water throughout the tank.

Cold and warm water layers form if the water is not kept at an even temperature, creating the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to grow.

  • Vitraglas® – An exclusive enamel lining that protects the tank against the corrosive effects of hot water. The unique compound structure of this enamel allows the lining to expand and contract with the steel tank. It is standard equipment on nearly all Bradford White tank water heaters.
  • Eco-Defender Safety System® – A high primary air radiant burner design reduces Nox (Nitrogen Oxide) by 75%. A digital thermal sensor detects any changes in temperature within the combustion chamber. When a change outside of the normal use is detected, the information relays to the Honeywell gas control, and the system safely shuts down.

How Long Do Bradford White Water Heaters Last?

Bradford White’s trademark is Built to be the Best®. A Bradford White water heater can easily last 10 years if:

  • the water heater was installed by a qualified professional
  • has been properly maintained by a qualified Bradford White technician
  • has not been moved from the original install location

While most water heaters can last a long time despite being neglected in the corner of the garage, it’s a good idea to give your water heater a little attention from time to time. Here are few simple things to be on the lookout for to help gauge the health of your water heater, ultimately extending its life expectancy.

  • Appearance. Is the tank or water itself showing signs of rust? Do you see signs of a leak around the tank?
  • Temperature. Is your hot water maintaining or losing its heat? Is it taking a long time to get hot?
  • Noise. Do you hear a popping noise when the tank starts up?
  • Age. Is your water heater nearing the decade mark? Perhaps a little passed?

Some of these symptoms may be easy to fix, but it’s best to leave that to the professionals, especially if you have a warranty.

Where Are Bradford White Water Heaters Manufactured?

Bradford White Water Heaters are manufactured exclusively in America. There are currently four locations: Middleville, Michigan; Niles, Michigan; Delton, Michigan; and Rochester, New Hampshire, with over 2,000 people employed.

The goal of Bradford White is not to be the biggest manufacturer but the best. This desire influences every decision from where they locate manufacturing plants to whom they hire. While other companies have chosen to sell products through large retail box stores, Bradford White Corporation has taken a different path. This decision has resulted in their products costing more upfront, but it has allowed them to maintain their high-quality standards for all their products.

Cost Of Top Bradford White Water Heater Models

After learning about Bradford White’s water-heaters and what they have to offer, the next logical question is, “How much will a new water-heater cost me?” A quick Google search will yield results ranging from $700.00 to over $4,000, depending on the size and energy source of the tank you settle on.

Because Bradford White is determined to make the highest quality products, they do not make their products available to mainstream retailers. If you’re interested in purchasing a water-heater from the Bradford White Corporation, you will need to contact a trained and licensed plumbing contractor near you. Bradford White feels strongly about their products being installed and serviced by qualified, licensed professionals only.

An online search or even asking a friend will usually result in you getting several options for a local professional. However, if you are not internet savvy or are new to your area, you can always go to the official Bradford White website and use their search tool to find a professional in your area.

(Video) Watch This BEFORE You Buy a Gas Water Heater - Plumber's Advice

While this may not be as convenient as walking into your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, there are quite a few advantages of having a professional install your water heater. Often more is required than simply switching out units.

For instance, if you consider replacing an existing unit, this may involve running new gas lines, rerouting plumbing piping, and even retrofitting utility hookups. A licensed professional will be familiar with the code requirements for your local area. They will also be able to assist you in determining which water-heater best suits your needs based on the size of your home, amount of usage, installation requirements, and energy source.

Another advantage in hiring a professional is they will be familiar with Bradford White products, which will serve you well when it’s time to service your water heater.

How Is The Warranty On Bradford White Water Heaters?

Bradford White water heaters come with a limited warranty, meaning your water heater will be covered for either 6 years or 10 years, depending on the type of unit you purchased.

One important fact that separates Bradford White from other companies is that they do not prorate the warranty, meaning their warranty coverage does not diminish over time. However, keep in mind that the warranty does not cover installation fees.

The limited warranty covers both the glass-lined tank and parts for leakage or other malfunctions caused by materials or workmanship defects as long as the unit is in its original installation site.

A few details could void your warranty, such as having someone other than an authorized Bradford White professional service the unit and if the parts used are not purchased through an authorized Bradford White dealer. If it turns out you need a repair or replacement, this is where having a professional installer comes in handy – Bradford White works directly with contractors on all warranty claims.

To learn more specifics on your Bradford White warranty, visit Bradford White’s website and enter your water heater’s serial number in the Warranty Check Box. You can also send an email to

How Bradford White Compares To Similar Brands

It’s stressful enough being without hot water, and now you are wondering which brand to purchase.

The final deciding factor comes down to what you are looking for in a company and which best meets your needs. Unfortunately, this will require a little research. To help lessen your stress a little, here is a brief comparison of two well-known companies: Rheem and A.O. Smith.


Rheem is an American-owned company that is one of the largest water heater manufacturers in North America. You can find Rheem products in most big-box retail stores. They provide many smart technology options so you can track usage, monitor the health of your tank, and even get alerts if there is a leak or other maintenance issue.

You can even use your phone to check hot water availability. The Rheem website is highly user-friendly, with a wealth of information and helpful videos to educate you on water heaters and how they are reaching their goal of reducing greenhouse emissions and achieving zero waste by 2025.

Read our full Rheem Water Heater Review

(Video) Annual Maintenance on a Bradford White Electric Water Heater- Water Heaters Now

A.O. Smith

In 2004, A.O. Smith introduced its patented Blue Diamond™ glass coating on its best Conservationist® residential water heaters. This patented coating provides twice the corrosive protection compared to another industry-standard glass lining.

Initially, you could only purchase an A.O. Smith water heater from an authorized dealer. In 2017, the company expanded to become the primary residential water heating products supplier for Lowe’s home improvement stores.

Rheem and A.O. Smith both offer the ease of simply going into your local retail store and walking out with a quality unit. But if you prefer to use a company that prides itself on the quality of their products so much so that they only use authorized professionals, then Bradford White is your company.

Read our full A.O. Smith Water Heater Review

Known Recalls For Bradford White Water Heaters

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website, Bradford White issued a voluntary recall of 1,220 75-gallon Power Vented Gas Water Heaters sold between April 2002 to May 2002. The issue was with the gas flue baffle. The flue baffle, or exhaust, is a helical piece of metal designed to slow down and aid the exhaust gases in exiting the unit.

There was a concern that some models were fitted with incorrectly made flue gas baffles. This error could result in excessive carbon monoxide emissions, which could cause serious injury or death. Thankfully there were no injuries, deaths, or other accidents before the recall.

What Are Common Problems With Bradford White Water Heaters?

Common problems with Bradford White water heaters ranged from leaks, bad anode rods, and the pilot light continually going out.

The Better Business Bureau took 30 complaints against Bradford White within the last three years. Ten complaints had to do with the warranty, while 20 complaints were with a product or service. Nine of those complaints were closed within the last year. With each complaint, Bradford White responded, resolving the issue.

While it’s hard to know if these issues are specific to Bradford White water heaters or water heaters in general, you can be the judge.

Final Thoughts

Trying to determine which company to purchase your water heater from is like researching food – everyone has their own opinion. There is a wealth of information on the internet to help – or confuse – you in your search.

Hopefully, this article has at least given you a good start in your decision-making process. But if you’re like me and get overwhelmed by the amount of information and personal opinions, your best option is to ask around.

Ask a trusted friend who they have used or would recommend. Or, better yet, call your local contractor and ask them since they will most likely be the one you call when you need help.


Bradford White Water Heaters

A.O. Smith Water Heaters

(Video) Watch this Before Buying A Gas Water Heater Tank

Rheem Water Heaters

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

(Video) Is your Water Heater Leaking? Here's What To Do!

Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on EmailShare on RedditShare on SMS


How long will a Bradford White water heater last? ›

Bradford White water heaters are Built to be the Best®. With a professional installation and proper maintenance, our water heaters can last 10 years or more.

Why do plumbers use Bradford White water heaters? ›

Bradford White's Hydrojet Total Performance System not only makes its water heaters longer-lasting, but it also improves their energy efficiency. By reducing sediment buildup, this system ensures the water heaters don't have to work extra hard to generate hot water, resulting in lower energy consumption.

What water heaters do plumbers recommend? ›

...a gas tankless water heater or heat pump water heater could work well for you. Both gas tankless water heaters and heat pump water heaters work well for households who don't have a high demand for hot water at any given time. And both can provide considerable savings on water heating bills.

Who makes the longest lasting water heaters? ›

The Rheem Marathon is the best electric water heater on the market today. Its guaranteed 40-year life-span implies it will be the last water heater purchased by homeowners, avoiding the need to replace a water heater every 10 years.

How often do you flush a Bradford White water heater? ›

Typically, we advise to drain off one gallon a month from the water heater to help remove silt and sediment. Preventative maintenance items and intervals, including tank draining, are included in the operations manual for your model. Your Bradford White water heater supporting manuals and documents can be found here.

Why choose Bradford White? ›

Bradford White heaters are built with safety in mind and implement features such as the Defender Safety System to guard against accidental ignition of outside vapors. Water heater installation in Corvallis, OR by qualified professionals at Linn-Benton ensures that your heaters operate safely according to local codes.

What kind of water heater is better? ›

Since heat pump water heaters draw their heat from the surrounding air instead of working to generate it, they are much more energy efficient. In fact, they can be two to three times as efficient as a standard storage tank water heater.

Can a homeowner purchase a Bradford White water heater? ›

To ensure the safety of its customers and the quality and performance of its products, Bradford White Water Heater products should only be purchased through and installed by qualified plumbing and heating professionals.

What time of year is best to buy a water heater? ›

6. Water Heaters. Water heaters turn over in early fall. Time your purchase for September or October, if possible, or wait until the new year (January) for postholiday clearance sales.

What is the most popular type of water heater today? ›

Conventional Storage Water Heaters: You've probably seen a single-family storage water heater before. In fact, they are the most popular home water heating systems. Holding between 20 and 80 gallons, they release hot water from the top of the tank and replace it with cold water at the bottom.

Is a new water heater tax deductible? ›

Beginning 2023, the expanded version of 25C, now called the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Tax Credit (under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022) will provide up to $2,000 in tax credits for qualifying high efficiency water heaters as well as credits for electrical upgrades.

What is the most efficient home water heater? ›

Tankless water heaters, as you probably guessed, have no tank. Instead, the device houses coils that superheat the water as it passes through the mechanism to its destination. The result is on-demand hot water that rarely runs out, making it one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat water in your home.

Which heater company is best? ›

List of Best Geysers under 15000 in India
BrandProductCustomer Rating
HavellsHavells Calido PTC Fan Heater4.1 / 5
BajajBajaj Blow Hot Room Heater4 / 5
OrientOrient Electric Areva Room Heater4.1 / 5
USHAUSHA Quartz Room Heater3.6 / 5
1 more row
Aug 1, 2022

Which water heater saves the most money? ›

Tankless (a.k.a. Demand)

8%-34% more efficient than storage water heaters. Could save $100 or more annually with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.

What is the number 1 hot water heater? ›

Our best overall picks are the Rheem Performance 40 Gal. Natural Gas Tall Water Heater and the Rheem Performance Plus 50 Gal. Electric Water Heater, both of which offer large capacity, durability, and longevity.

What shortens the life of a water heater? ›

Sediment buildup shortens the life of your water heater and adds to your energy bill by reducing its efficiency. Draining two or three gallons of water is usually enough to flush out sediments, but always let the water flow until you no longer see particles in the bucket.

Who makes Bradford White water heaters? ›

Bradford White Corporation

What setting should my Bradford White water heater be set at? ›

Recommended Water Heater Temperature Setting

According to Bradford White, here is the average relationship between time, temperature, and scalding: 120°F - More than 5 minutes. 125°F - 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. 130°F - About 30 seconds.

What happens if you don't flush your water heater? ›

What happens if you don't flush your water heater? The longer your water heater goes without a drain-and-flush, the more sediment and minerals will accumulate at the bottom of the tank. Eventually, this causes scaling.

What temperature should a Bradford White gas water heater be set at? ›

Gas Control ECO Limit Residential 188°F (87°C), Commercial 199°F (93°C). Residential Temperature Set Point Range 60°F (16°C) to 160°F (71°C) (approximate temperatures). Commercial Temperature Set Point Range 80°F (27°C) to 180°F (82°C) (approximate temperatures).

Is Bradford White water heater made in USA? ›

Bradford White's water heater manufacturing facility is located in the heart of America, in Middleville, Michigan. We proudly support the American workforce and manufacturing that make our products Built to be the Best®. It's a big part of why Bradford White is American Strong.

How does Bradford White warranty work? ›

This warranty covers the glass-lined tank and component parts for leakage or other malfunction caused by defects in materials and/or workmanship. It extends to the first buyer and to any subsequent owner(s) as long as the water heater remains installed at its original place of installation in the USA.

Is Bradford good for law? ›

The Bradford LLB Law degree satisfies the new Bar Standards Board law degree requirements for aspiring barristers and provides an excellent grounding for aspiring solicitors who wish to go on to prepare for the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or the Solicitors' Qualifying Exam (SQE) which is due to commence in September ...

What to look for when buying a hot water heater? ›

7 Things to Consider When Choosing a New Water Heater
  • Quality of the Tank and Heating Element. ...
  • What type of fuel does my hot water heater require? ...
  • Should I rent or buy a water heater? ...
  • Where will it be located? ...
  • Should I choose a tank or tankless water heater? ...
  • What capacity does my household need? ...
  • Is it energy-efficient?

Which is better 40 or 50 gallon water heater? ›

Typically, the rule-of-thumb is that you want a 40 gallon tank for 1 to 4 people, a 50 gallon tank for 4 to 6 people, and a 50 gallon high recovery or 75 gallon tank for 6 to 8 people. Energy consumption for 40 and 50 gallon standard water heaters is quite comparable.

What type of water heater never runs out of hot water? ›

The tankless water heater is—you guessed it—tankless! Because there's no tank, it doesn't work off of capacity; it works off demand. A tankless water heater heats up water as you need it, and it brings hot water to your appliances quickly—and never runs out.

How much is a good quality water heater? ›

Storage tank water heaters can cost around $500 to $800, but costs vary on the size of the tank. Installing a tank-style hot water heater averages between $650 and $2,100. Tankless water heaters have pros and cons and they have gained popularity as people strive to make their homes energy efficient.

Are Bradford White water heaters self cleaning? ›

Are your water heaters self-cleaning? In general water heaters are not self cleaning. Our Hydrojet® Total Performance System helps reduce harmful sediment build-up by the turbulent introduction of cold water into the tank.

What is code 57 on Bradford White? ›

Error code 57, cause & solution

Pilot flame sensor rod is shorted to ground. Check to see if flame sensor wire has bare spots touching metal parts of if flame sensor rod is touching the burneor other metal parts. Replace if flame sense wire is damaged or flame rod is bent.

Is it better to leave the water heater on all day? ›

Generally speaking, a gas water heater should not be turned off unless you are leaving the house for an extended period of time. Even then the better choice for gas water heaters is to just turn the temperature down. In fact, many water heaters have a “vacation” setting on the temperature control.

What makes water heater last longer? ›

Flush the water heater tank once a year

On an electric water heater, turn the electric off to the heater. Shut the cold water off to the water heater. Open a hot water faucet. Connect a hose to the drain valve on the heater and run to a drain.

Can a hot water heater last 20 years? ›

Tankless water heaters typically have a lifespan of 20 years or more. Traditional water heaters with standing water tanks can last around 10 to 15 years before you notice signs of age.

What is the most common water heater in the US? ›

Conventional Tank Water Heater

Conventional water heaters are by far the most common type of water heater on the market. These water heaters are composed of an insulated tank typically holding anywhere from 20 to 80 gallons of water, which is heated by natural gas or electricity.

What size water heater do most homes have? ›

Most homes have either a 40-gallon or a 50-gallon water heater. Larger tanks are generally used in homes that have a hot tub, or with serious hot water demands.

Can a water heater last 30 years? ›

With nothing more than a once-per-year flushing maintenance service, a tankless water heater can easily last 20 to 30 years, and some will even last quite a bit longer.

Can a water heater last 15 years? ›

While today's water heaters are better designed than older models, they still require regular maintenance in order to prolong their lives. With regular inspection, draining, and flushing, you can expect a gas water heater to last anywhere from 8-12 years and an electric water heater to last anywhere from 10-15 years.

How much should it cost to replace a 40-gallon water heater? ›

A 40-gallon water heater unit can cost from $400 to $7,000 and installation can cost $1,000 on average, bringing the project total to between $1,400 and $8,000. Costs can rise depending on the amount of labor needed, whether any additional water or gas lines are needed or extra plumbing or electric work.

Does flushing water heater extend life? ›

Flush the tank regularly

Over time, sediment can build up in the bottom of the tank and cause the unit to overheat. This can shorten the lifespan of the unit and lead to expensive repairs. To avoid this, it's important to flush the tank regularly. Most manufacturers recommend flushing the tank once a year.

How often should you drain your water heater? ›

It's generally a good idea to drain your water heater at least once a year, according to both and The Family Handyman. If you live in an area with hard water, though, Angie's List says you may need to drain it more frequently.

How often do you need to replace the anode on a hot water heater? ›

Most water heater manufacturers will recommend inspecting the condition of the sacrificial anode every one (1) to three (3) years and replacing it when it has been consumed more than 50%. This is especially true if you have hard water or use a water softener.

What time of year is best to buy water heater? ›

6. Water Heaters. Water heaters turn over in early fall. Time your purchase for September or October, if possible, or wait until the new year (January) for postholiday clearance sales.

How long after replacing water heater does it take for heat up? ›

Here are some common heat up times for different water heaters, assuming the appliances are new and properly sized for the home: Electric storage tank water heater: 60–80 minutes. Propane storage tank water heater: 30–40 minutes. Propane tankless water heater: 0 minutes.

Should I replace my 15 year old water heater? ›

Water Heater Lifespan

If your tank water heater is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. With proper maintenance, a tank water heater tank should last six to 12 years. A tankless water heater can last for more than 20 years. Check your water heater's warranty for the most accurate timelines.

Should I flush my water heater? ›

It is recommended that you flush your water heater at least once per year. Doing so will help to prevent the potential problems that sediment can bring over time.

What can I do with an old water heater? ›

Many local recycling centers or scrap metal collectors accept water heater tanks. They can scrap them for valuable metals like steel, copper and brass and reuse the materials. Some recycling centers will even pick your water heater up from your house, so before you make the trip out there give them a call and check.

How long should hot water last in shower? ›

The average adult uses about 10 gallons of water per shower (at a rate of 2 gallons of water per minute). If you assume that an 80-gallon tank has about 55 gallons of hot water to dispense before refilling, that means you have 27 or so minutes of total shower time before running out of hot water.


1. How To Light Your Water Heater's Pilot Flame
(Pros DIY)
2. Top 10 Water Heater Problems
(Word of Advice TV)
3. Four Water Heater Tanks Cut Open - Lessons to Learn
(Matt Risinger)
4. Bradford White Water Heater Complete Repair Guide - Error Codes, Troubleshooting, and More!
(Appliance Helpers)
5. Keep Water Heater from Spinning! [Remove Anode Rod EASY TRICK]
(Home Battery Bank)
6. How to Flush a Water Heater? | Flushing Will Probably Not Fix Your Problem
(The Grumpy Plumber)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated: 03/31/2023

Views: 6216

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.