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Old 10-15-2012, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Plumbers or Plumbing Sales advice?

I'd appreciate any recommendations from any of you professional plumbers or plumbing sales folks. My Electric water heater is 18 years old and is on its way out. I need to replace it with another electric, and it has to be the same configuration, which is a low boy. It is installed in raised crawl space utility area. The one I have now is a 40 Gallon AO Smith. It has been a very good heater... -O- zero issues, not bad but not great energy efficiency and great recovery for a family of 4 that uses a lot of hot water.

I was going to replace it with the same unit, except now they don't make a 40. Its either 38 or 50 gallon. I was told to do the 50. However, I was also told to go with a Bradford White as its more reliable and better effeciency? I don't see how it could be more reliable, as the AO Smith had absolutely no issues for 18 years with o maintenance. Can anyone give me some additional unbiased advice? Thanks
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've been doing plumbing for 41 years. Bradford White is made in the USA. I believe A.O. Smith are now made in Mexico. The 38 gallon vs the 50 depends on a lot of factors. How many people live in the residence? How many are teenagers who take 1 hour showers? Hot water pipes insulated, etc? My $02 - I go with the Bradford White and the 50 gallon if it will fit. Typically the cost difference between the 38 gallon and 50 gallon is minimal.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've been doing plumbing for 41 years. Bradford White is made in the USA. I believe A.O. Smith are now made in Mexico. The 38 gallon vs the 50 depends on a lot of factors. How many people live in the residence? How many are teenagers who take 1 hour showers? Hot water pipes insulated, etc? My $02 - I go with the Bradford White and the 50 gallon if it will fit. Typically the cost difference between the 38 gallon and 50 gallon is minimal.
Thanks. 4 left in the household. Yes sir, the kids like their long showers and leaving hot water running. Wife is just as bad when rinsing dishes etc. I need the low boy model, but it looks like Bradford White makes a 50 gallon low boy as well. Thanks
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsoftail View Post
I've been doing plumbing for 41 years. Bradford White is made in the USA. I believe A.O. Smith are now made in Mexico. The 38 gallon vs the 50 depends on a lot of factors. How many people live in the residence? How many are teenagers who take 1 hour showers? Hot water pipes insulated, etc? My $02 - I go with the Bradford White and the 50 gallon if it will fit. Typically the cost difference between the 38 gallon and 50 gallon is minimal.
30 year master plumber here. I agree with the above. However, my personal favorite water heater is a State (made in Tenn.). They make a 40 and 50 gallon lowboy. You can also add a thermostatic mixing valve such as a Sparco and have even more capacity. Turn your 50 gallon heater to the max setting on the thermostats (approx. 150) and set the Sparco to 125. This will do two things, kill bacteria and increase your useable capacity. Seek out The Granite Group plumbing wholesalers in your area.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Not to hijack this thread but our H20 heater is going out. I was going to replace it with almost the exact same Rheem model 22V50F1 for $522. Another supply shop had a State model for $441 but I have never heard about them until yesterday.

Bob, how do you like Rheem to State?
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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30 year master plumber here. I agree with the above. However, my personal favorite water heater is a State (made in Tenn.). They make a 40 and 50 gallon lowboy. You can also add a thermostatic mixing valve such as a Sparco and have even more capacity. Turn your 50 gallon heater to the max setting on the thermostats (approx. 150) and set the Sparco to 125. This will do two things, kill bacteria and increase your useable capacity. Seek out The Granite Group plumbing wholesalers in your area.
Always good advice frpm you YankeeBob....I'll look into the State?
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Rheem is made in Mexico.
All but State and apparently ( I didn't know) Bradford-White are made in USA.
Face it, water heater technology is antiquated. They have been making the basic glass lined water heater since WWII. Not much has changed. Manufacturing techniques, steel tank, glass lining, etc. The glass lining of old was much thicker than today, as was the steel. The newer units are made as thin as they can get away with.
That being said, if you are on a budget or are planning on moving in a few years, then get the heater with the 6 year warranty. Otherwise, pony up for the 10 or 12 year warranties. Especially if you have a history of replacing heaters. They come with 2 anode rods which will extend the life of an otherwise identical heater.
My personal favorite is still State. They will fail just like their competitor will. They all will. But, they have been a family owned company until just a few years ago when they were purchased by A.O. Smith. They are made in the USA. They are not sold in home centers. That means a lot to me.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A former plumber here also. The thing I noticed is the insulation is better now days than the old fiberglass. Your new one will probably
not last as long as your old one.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Heat pump water heater, 30% less energy used
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Rheem I am replacing was made in 1985. If I can get half that number of years I'll take it!
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The Rheem I am replacing was made in 1985. If I can get half that number of years I'll take it!

My thoughts exactly...lol
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Good advice here. The biggest issue you may run into is dealing with a plumbing wholesaler. Hopefully the group Bob has mentioned is friendlier to the diy guys then whats around here. I wound up in the big box for my last one just because of the chit I took off the counter guy at the wholesalers.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing post about plumbing Perth. I found plumbing services at hiltonplumbing.com.au that provides emergency plumbing, repairs, gas fitting, hot water systems and home renovation plumbing.
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