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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    22
    I know this isn't HVAC but as a homeowner, I didn't know where else to post. I currently have an 18yo Bradford White that is working well - but it's old. I'm replacing it while I am having my furnace and AC replaced.

    My contractor is offering AO Smith but part of me wants to go with BW again due to my existing one and its longevity. Should I ask my contractor if he can get BW? Anyone have opinions on which might have better reliabilty and longevity - Bradford White or AO Smith?

    It'll be a 50g power vent. thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    12,911
    I "like" BW but they both are good tanks.
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Waterford Michigan
    Posts
    2,668
    A.O. Smith

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Central Kansas
    Posts
    1,145
    The new VFIR systems requried to be installed in all residential waters vary from one manufacturer to another. BW uses a simple replaceable switch should flame roll out occur- AOS needs many more parts replaced if the VFIR system reacts. AOS has a screen that needs to be cleared of lint and debris regularly. Many homeowners will not remember or even know to do this and nuisance shut downs may occur. We used to put in AOS exclusively but chose BW due to the problems mentioned and we felt the VFIR system was simpler and more serviceable with BW. AOS does still make an excellent appliance, along with their other brand lines- State, etc. That said, with all the call backs we experienced with the last of AOS non-VFIR & the first generation of VFIR units, a real sour taste was left in my mouth for AOS. Albeit the later generation AOS VFIR units gave us little trouble. Not one call back so far with BW and the VFIR system they use should be less trouble IMHO. The BW price (at least in our region anyway) is also more attractive. This is what you asked for- an opinion, formed from my own experiences & not 'feelings'.
    Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by Midwest
    - an opinion, formed from my own experiences & not 'feelings'.
    I have developed an emotional attachment to the original water heater...but thats just me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Central Kansas
    Posts
    1,145
    When you say original, are you referring to something like natural hot springs from nature?
    Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by cvette
    I currently have an 18yo Bradford White that is working well - but it's old.
    thx
    that one.


    you gave a good answer mid west,and he might even want a larger capacity than the "original"

    do you have a hot spring?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    22
    Wow! Thanks for the replies everyone.

    The existing one is a 50g power vent and we plan to keep the venting and size the same.

    Midwest - thanks - just the type of info I was looking for. By the way, what's a VFIR?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Very Fast InfraRed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,308
    Bradford White is the way to go - same warranty as the AO but easier to service, lasts longer, nicer tank. PLUS they only sell BW's to dealers, AO will sell tanks to anyone with cash.

    Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    22
    Thanks dougfamous. Today I plan on asking my contractor to go with BW instead of AO Smith and we'll see what he says. Hopefully, he can provide BW and it's no big deal. If not, I'll have to decide if I should stick with AO Smith or drop the water heater from his scope and get the BW seperately from another source/installer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Central Kansas
    Posts
    1,145
    VFIR- Vapor Flammable Ignition Resistant required in summer of '03. (or maybe Very Financially Increased Raping of consumers) Since common sense and all those big warning labels won't seem to keep some folks from storing gasolene and other flammable items away from water heaters it is now required. In short, if a flame up occurs such as from a gaseous vapor, the water heater burner is supposed to shut down immediately by some approved method. BW uses a simple, inexpensive fusable link to meet the standards, others use more complicated devices. I believe mobile home water heaters are on schedule to have VFIR protection next year. What this all basically did was cause an immdediate increase in water heater costs of 50% & coupled with the recent 2-3 years of metal price hikes all making water heaters cost twice what they did before the summer of '03. One thing is certain, it did drive the cost closer to tankless models which helps make the choice a bit easier between a tankless and standard unit.
    Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    68
    Doug - I agree 100% re: only available to dealers. Also, we've had less warranty calls with the BW's. Just installed an NEW A.O. Smith with a defective thermocouple.

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