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Rheem or Bradford White ?

I know that this question has been asked before in different ways, but quality and company ownership changes over time and I do not find any recent discussions on The Wall.

I will need to be replacing my old gas fired hot water heater. I want to stick with a pilot light system so that I can still have hot water during a power outage. I need a high recovery unit to handle shower time. From reading around the net it seems that many brands are all made by one of three companies. Even though my current unit is AO Smith, I am not inclined to get another. Current AO units seem to have a lot of difficulty keeping the pilot lit. My old unit pilot, while staying lit, seems to burn very inefficently, (very slight but noticable methyl mercaptan odor), but in fairness it is about 8 years old. It was checked by my pro.

According to my pro, I can fit units between 50 and 65 gal storage tank. So far that I can tell, Rheem and Bradford White still seem to be independent manufacturers with good reputations. Rheem purports to have the advantage of generic valves and thermocouples, and a longer warranty available. Bradford claims to have a more sophisticated pilot system. I do not know if this is a good thing or bad. I tend to shy away from computers for things like heating. I find fewer consumer complaints about Bradford but that may be in part because Rheem units are often installed on contract to big box stores. I read that the units are not quite the same as those sold at the supply houses for pro installation.

The units I am considering are:

Rheem Professional Heavy Duty:

RHG Pro50-65F

RHG Pro60F

RHG Pro65F


Bradford White Extra Recovery



Does anyone have any experience with any of these units either positive or negative ?

Any general comments on Rheem vs. Bradford are helpful too.

If this helps, this is what I find currently on who makes what.

Rheem: GE, Rudd, Marathon, Rheem and Richmond.

A.O. Smith: American, Apollo, Cirrex, E-Tech, Glascote, GSW, Kenmore, Maytag, Permaglas, Reliance, State and Whirlpool. They recently purchased Lochinvar too.

Bradford White: Bradford White, and Jetglas.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.


  • SteamHeat
    SteamHeat Member Posts: 159

    Anyone ?
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,047
    Question within your question

    Are tank cos still making standing piot units?
  • SteamHeat
    SteamHeat Member Posts: 159

    Yes, they still are. The units I listed above are just a few of them. If you lose power you lose your heat, but with standing pilot hot water heaters, you can still have a hot shower. I have first hand experience with this. :-(  LOL
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
    Brad white ...

    is a good unit. There are not a whole lot of differences in traditional water heaters.
  • SteamHeat
    SteamHeat Member Posts: 159
    I Appreciate The Response.

    Thank you for the info.
This discussion has been closed.