Bradford White Water Heater Review

As a homeowner, I understand how important it is to have a reliable and efficient water heater. That’s why I decided to look into Bradford White water heaters, an American-owned manufacturer known for their residential, commercial, and industrial water heaters. To give you an idea of their products’ performance and reliability, I have gathered information from various reviews and sources.

Bradford White offers a range of water heaters, including natural gas, electric, and propane options. Many users have praised the URG250T6N model as an exceptional product, citing its heavy insulation and fast heating capabilities. However, there have also been some reported issues with leaks, bad anode rods, and pilot lights going out. While these problems can be concerning, the company has scale reduction technology in their tankless models to help boost overall performance and reduce maintenance costs.

Overview of Bradford White Water Heaters

As a homeowner, I am always searching for efficient and reliable products for my household needs. One such brand that I’ve come across is Bradford White, a company that has been in the water heater industry for over 135 years. They manufacture an impressive range of water heaters suited for different energy sources and requirements. In this section, I will discuss their electric, gas, tankless, and hybrid water heater models.

Electric Water Heaters

When it comes to electric water heaters, Bradford White offers many options with different capacities and energy efficiency levels. Their products are designed to be durable and corrosion-resistant, thanks to features like the Vitraglas enamel lining that protects the tank’s interior, and a protective anode rod that helps to prevent rusting. Many models are designed for low maintenance, featuring accessible top-mounted washable air filters. In terms of heating efficiency, the heating elements in these water heaters ensure quick and consistent hot water supply.

Gas Water Heaters

Bradford White’s gas water heaters are available for both natural gas and propane. These water heaters are known for their energy efficiency and durability. Many of them are equipped with the Defender Safety System, a pioneering technology that safeguards against the risk of accidental fires and explosions by preventing the ignition of flammable vapors. In addition, they also feature the company’s patented ICON system, which allows for easier temperature control and accurate water temperature management.

Tankless Water Heaters

Being an alternative to traditional storage tanks, Bradford White also offers tankless water heaters powered by natural gas, propane, and electricity. These water heaters provide hot water on demand without the need for storing it in a tank. This results in energy savings and lower utility bills. Tankless water heaters are compact, making them an excellent choice for smaller spaces. Furthermore, they are built to last, with a longer warranty period compared to other types of water heaters.

Hybrid Models

For those who want the best of both worlds, Bradford White has hybrid water heaters, which use either gas or electric energy, depending on the demand and mode selection. These water heaters are designed to be energy-efficient, maximizing performance while keeping operational costs low. One such example is the AeroTherm® series heat pump, which operates on electric mode during warmer temperatures and switches over to gas mode when needed. It boasts a wide operating air temperature range of 35-120°F and 2″ Non-CFC foam insulation, ensuring heat retention and efficiency.

In summary, Bradford White water heaters offer a wide range of options, catering to different energy sources and demands. The brand has a strong reputation for producing reliable, durable, and efficient water heaters, providing peace of mind to homeowners and professionals alike.

Key Features and Technologies

Hydrojet System

As a Bradford White water heater owner, I appreciate the Hydrojet system that helps reduce sediment accumulation in my tank. This system uses water jets to create turbulence inside the tank, which helps prevent sediments from settling on the bottom. This prolongs the tank’s lifespan and maintains the heater’s efficiency over time.

Vitraglas Lining

My Bradford White water heater is equipped with the Vitraglas lining, which adds another layer of protection against corrosion. This special enamel coating creates a tough, durable barrier between the tank’s steel surface and the water, ensuring my heater’s longevity and reliability.

Icon System

I find the Icon System to be one of the standout features of my Bradford White water heater. This advanced control system features a digital thermal sensor that allows me to set and maintain consistent water temperatures. The control panel is user-friendly and makes it easy for me to adjust settings according to my needs.

Defender Safety System

Safety is a top priority for me, and Bradford White’s Defender Safety System ensures that my gas water heater operates securely. This feature includes a resettable thermal switch, flame arrestor, and a combustion chamber that prevent ignition of flammable vapors outside the water heater. It also has a NOx reduction system, which lowers emissions for a more environmentally friendly performance.

ScreenLok Technology

The ScreenLok Technology in my Bradford White water heater adds another layer of safety by preventing the pilot light from being extinguished by outside air. A special sight window allows me to monitor the pilot light and ensures that my water heater is functioning properly.

Performance and Energy Efficiency

First-hour Rating and GPM

When it comes to Bradford White water heaters, the performance is impressive. Their 40-gallon RG240T6N model, for example, has a first-hour delivery rating of 76 gallons. With such a high capacity, I can assure you that hot water demand will be met efficiently throughout my household.

Energy Star and Energy Efficiency

Apart from their performance, Bradford White water heaters are also known for their focus on energy efficiency. Features like the Hydrojet® Total Performance System help reduce sediment build-up, improving the overall performance, and extending the life of the water heater.

Although not all models are ENERGY STAR® certified, the energy efficiency of their units is notable – a 40-gallon unit has an Energy Factor (EF) of 0.62.

Heat Exchangers

Where heat exchangers are concerned, I have found that Bradford White water heaters come with either conventional or low-NOx options. Their Eco-Defender Safety System is designed specially for low NOx heaters, providing increased efficiency while being environmentally friendly.

Energy Costs and Savings

Opting for an energy-efficient water heater like the ones offered by Bradford White can save on energy costs in the long run. While the initial installation cost might be higher compared to other brands, the potential savings in energy make it worthwhile. Furthermore, reduced maintenance costs and longer service life are key factors that contribute to affordability over time.

By combining top-quality performance, energy efficiency, and extended lifespan, Bradford White water heaters have earned their place in my list of reliable options for meeting hot water demands. With the range of models and features available, you can choose a water heater that suits your specific needs in terms of energy source, venting options, and capacity.

Installation and Maintenance

Installation Process

As a homeowner, I found the installation process of Bradford White water heaters to be quite seamless. They are designed to be space-saving and versatile in terms of venting options, which made it easier for me to choose where to install the unit. I ensured that the outlet temperature was set correctly for safety and efficiency, and followed the manufacturer’s guidelines for venting and recirculation.

Maintenance and Tips

Here is my list of tips and maintenance practices to keep the water heater running efficiently and prolong its life:

  • Hydrojet Technology: Bradford White’s hydrojet system helps to prevent scale buildup and maintain efficiency by creating turbulence during water heating. This eventually reduces sediment buildup and contributes to longer tank life.
  • Energy Star Certification: I chose a Bradford White water heater that was Energy Star certified, so I knew it was designed for optimal energy efficiency. This helped me save on my energy bills while maintaining a high level of performance.
  • Corrosion and Rust Protection: To protect the tank from corrosion and rust, I made sure to inspect and replace the anode rod when necessary. It’s crucial to monitor the condition of your anode rod regularly, as it plays a significant role in tank protection.
  • Scale Reduction: All Bradford White water heaters come with Scale Reduction Technology. This unique feature is designed to prevent scale buildup and maintain the system’s optimal efficiency.
  • Venting and Recirculation: I followed Bradford White’s guidelines for proper venting and recirculation of my water heater. Good venting ensures that combustion gases are removed safely and effectively, while recirculation protects the system’s internal components and maintains performance.
  • Annual Maintenance: I perform annual maintenance on my water heater, including inspecting the T&P safety valve, flushing the tank to remove sediment, and checking for any signs of corrosion or leakage.
  • Warranty: Bradford White offers a 6-year warranty on their water heaters, giving me peace of mind knowing that my investment is protected.

In conclusion, proper installation and regular maintenance of a Bradford White water heater are crucial to ensure efficient and safe operation while extending the lifespan of the unit.

Price and Warranty Comparison

Bradford White vs. Rheem

In my experience, Bradford White water heaters generally have competitive prices compared to Rheem. Both brands offer a variety of gas and electric water heater models, as well as tankless options. As for warranties, Bradford White offers a standard 6-year warranty on most of its models, while Rheem warranties can vary depending on the model.

As an example:

  • Bradford White RG240T6N (40-gallon gas water heater): Approx. $600
  • Rheem PROG40-38N (40-gallon gas water heater): Approx. $560

Keep in mind these prices may vary depending on your regional market and installation costs.

Bradford White vs. A.O. Smith

When comparing Bradford White to A.O. Smith, I’ve found that Bradford White tends to be more affordable. However, it’s essential to consider the differences in features and quality between the two brands.

From the search results provided earlier:

The only one-to-one comparison we have is the gas-fired model: Bradford White’s tank is over $400 dollar cheaper than A.O. Smith’s.

In terms of warranty, both Bradford White and A.O. Smith generally offer a 6-year warranty on their water heaters, but A.O. Smith’s higher-end models may have longer warranties.

Bradford White vs. Rinnai

Rinnai is popularly known for its tankless water heaters, so I’ll be comparing those to the Bradford White tankless options. Rinnai’s tankless water heaters can be more expensive than Bradford White’s tanked models, but the energy savings and endless hot water supply might make the price difference worth considering.

For example:

  • Bradford White RG240T6N (40-gallon gas water heater): Approx. $600
  • Rinnai V65iN (Natural Gas tankless water heater): Approx. $680

It’s important to note that installation costs for tankless water heaters are often higher than those for traditional tank models. Again, warranties can vary, but Bradford White typically offers its standard 6-year warranty on its water heaters, while Rinnai also provides a 6-year warranty on its heat exchanger and a 5-year warranty on parts.

In conclusion, Bradford White water heaters often have competitive prices compared to other popular brands, and their warranties are generally standard for the industry. When making a decision, it’s helpful to consider what features and energy-saving benefits are most essential to you and how those align with each brand’s offerings.


In my experience, the Bradford White URG250T6N water heater is a well-received product, with users praising its exceptional performance, heavy insulation, and fast heating abilities. Installation and setup are also relatively easy, according to some users.

However, as with any product, there have been instances where customers experienced leaks, issues with the anode rod, and pilot lights that continually went out. The Better Business Bureau documented 30 complaints against Bradford White in the past three years, ten of which pertained to warranty issues, while the remaining 20 were related to product or service concerns.

Another notable Bradford White water heater model is the RE16U6-1NAL. This electric device features a compact design and a 6-gallon water capacity. Its standard model operates on 120V and has fully automatic controls. The tank is lined with an enamel formula to protect it from corrosion and rust.

It’s essential to carefully consider all factors before deciding on a water heater brand or model, including product performance, maintenance, ease of installation, and how the company handles customer complaints. In my experience, Bradford White offers reliable and efficient water heater options, but it’s vital to weigh these aspects alongside potential concerns when making a decision.