Bradford White vs GE 40 Gal Electric Hot Water Heater

happsJune 20, 2011

I've read that unlike gas hot water heaters, there isn't that much of a difference in quality and manufacturing (inner parts and components) in electric hot water heaters. I've narrowed down my selection in 40 Gallon Electric Units to Bradford White and the GE (apparently made by Rheem) with a 12 year warranty sold at Home Depot. When getting quotes for the complete job (parts and labor) there seemed to be about a $100 difference in price between the two units. Which unit would you choose to be installed on the second floor of an apartment in a closet next to the pantry?

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lazypup

All though there are some very high end exceptions, as a rule there really isn't a hill of beans difference between electric water heaters.

Basically they have a steel pressure vessel which is usually line with a baked on powder coat ceramic finish which is advertised as "glass lined"

Surround that they have an insulation blanket. Some have a fiberglass blanket but most today have a rigid foam insulation material.

That is all encapsulated in a thin sheet metal sheel.

They nearly all have 4500watt 240v electric heating elements that are made by a third party supplier and with some rare exception, the heating elements are interchangable between brands of water heaters.

They have an upper thermostat which switches between the upper heating element and the lower element and it also has a built in overload control (reset button).

The lower thermostat only turns the element on or off.

In fact, you can buy a universal rebuild kit at Home Depot which has both heating elements and both T/stats for $31.27.

They may or may not come with a T&P valve. If you need a T&P valve it is a universal part made by Watts Corp. that fits into a 3/4" port in the top of the tank.

Some also come with the dielectric nipples packed with the water heater.

Many of them are actually made on the same production line and they don't get a manufactures name until they reach the final labeling and packaging dept.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 3:05AM
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happs

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:37PM
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happs

The hot water heater I will be replacing is 18 years old but has only had about 3 years of actual use. People are suggesting that I replace it as a preventative measure. The next hot water heater I buy will receive 2.5 months of use per year. I've noticed that the GE hot water heater at Home Depot with a 6 year warranty is about $100 less than the unit with a 12 year warranty. Is there a big difference in quality between the 6 and 12 year warranty units?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:37PM
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brickeyee

"The hot water heater I will be replacing is 18 years old but has only had about 3 years of actual use. People are suggesting that I replace it as a preventative measure. The next hot water heater I buy will receive 2.5 months of use per year."

Unless you turn off and drain the heater when it is not in use it is still subject to corrosion.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 3:24PM
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gwilson2

The GE water heater is made by Rheem. Made in Montgomery Al. If you get the GE, get the 12 yr. The parts are of better quality. i.e. brass pitcock instead of plastic. If you want the best, go with an A.O. Smith. JMO

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:00AM
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