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Bradford White Water Heater Reviews

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You might be surprised to learn that Bradford White is one of the oldest names in the water heater industry. They focus on producing  high quality products with solid technology, and if you're in the market for a water heater, Bradford White is worth a look.

The company has earned a reputation of quietly going about their business and churning out trouble-free water heaters. But don't let that fool you, they're also known to be on the cutting edge. It's not uncommon for the company to innovate something new that impacts the entire industry. 

> > Read our full breakdown & in depth tankless water heater reviews < <

History of Bradford White

Bradford White, started in 1881, and was first known as the Pennsylvania Range Boiler Company. The founders vision was straightforward and simple "Serve the plumbing and heating professional with high quality, superior products made by American workers." Today, Bradford White still adheres to this vision.

As a proud American company, they only paused their production lines to support the war efforts. And during both WWI and WWII they shifted their production to build pressure vessels.

The company reorganized in 1959 and changed their name to Pennsylvania-Bradford Appliance Corporation, and then in 1968 merged with White Products. 

Although the vision of the company may not have changed, their drive to innovate did. In 1985 they began selling the first power-vented water heater, and other industry leading innovations followed.

Bradford White is employee-owned and leads the way when it comes to innovation, consumer satisfaction and quality.

Contact Information

Bradford White can be contacted through their website contact form or by calling 800-523-2931. 

Water Heater Key Features and Innovations

Bradford White takes great pride in both their quality products and their cutting edge innovations. Here are a few of the features that make them a top performing water heater:


Bradford White lines all of their water heaters with Vitraglas to protect the steel from corrosion. Vitraglas is applied to the tank, base, head, and flue tube, and then fired at 1600° F which bonds it to the steel surface. The result is a superior, corrosion-resistant lining.

This innovative feature, created by Bradford White, set the standard for glass-lined tanks in the water heater industry.

Hydrojet Total Performance System

Another feature on all of Bradford White's water heaters is the Hydrojet Total Performance System. This system is unique to Bradford White and utilises a dip tube system where the incoming water flows through altering jet ports.

The dip tube design causes the water to counter-rotate in a turbulent fashion as it fills the tank. With the added turbulence in the water, the sediment is unable to accumulate and forced into suspension.

By preventing the sediment to build-up on the bottom of the tank, the water heater's service life will not only be extended, but the unit will run more efficiently and use less energy.

ICON System Gas Control Technology

This isn't your ordinary pilot light. The ICON System has all the bells-and-whistles to ensure your heater is operating at peak performance.

You can expect consistent and accurate temperatures, a pilot "on" indicator, tight temperature differentials, and solid First Hour Delivery ratings. In addition, there's even set-up and troubleshooting assistance with intelligent diagnostics.

Defender Safety System

Let's face it, most water heaters are located in a garage, a utility room or a basement, and there's often  flammable liquids stored nearby. Bradford White uses FVIR (Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant) Technology as an added safety feature.

Designed with ScreenLok Technology, the Defender Safety System is a patented flame arrestor. If flammable vapors do enter the system and ignite, the flames are prevented from travelling backwards through the flame arrestor plate. Thus preventing a fire outside of the water heater.

Scale Reduction Technology

The Infiniti Tankless Water Heater Series utilizes Scale Reduction Technology (SRT). By disturbing the water flow, hotspots are reduced where scale would be prone to accumulate.

With less scale build-up, the water heater's overall performance improves, maintenance costs decrease, and the service life increases. 

Eco-Defender Safety System

With the success of the Defender Safety System, Bradford White created the Eco-Defender Safety System for their Low NOx heaters. 

This system uses a different burner that can not only maintain the Low NOx emissions, but also resist igniting flammable vapors outside of the water heater.

Bradford White Warranty

Bradford White's limited warranty covers the glass-lined tank as well as component parts against malfunction and leakage. The warranty is transferrable, provided the heater hasn't been relocated from it's orginial place of installation. Warranty's vary in length depending on the model of the water heater.

You can check the warranty information for an existing water heater on the Bradford White website. Simply enter the model number and serial number of your heater to see the length of the warranty, manufacture date, and when the warranty expires. This is especially helpful if you moved into a home with an existing Bradford White water heater.

One unique option with Bradford White's warranty is the ability to extend coverage for a few additional years. Not all water heaters qualify, but if yours does, you can purchase the BuiltBest Extended Limited Warranty Upgrade which will cover the glass-lined tank and component parts for up to four additional years.

Cost of Running a Water Heater

There's many costs associated with purchasing and operating a water heater. First, you have the obvious cost of the water heater itself. According to Home Advisor, purchasing  a new water heater can cost between $400 and $1,600. 

As a general rule, the higher-end models have better warranties, better technology, and higher quality materials and components. Because of this, you can assume, with the proper care, they'll also have a longer service life.

Next, you'll need to have your water heater installed. Many homeowners choose to do this themselves, but check the fine print on your warranty before putting your tool belt on. It's not uncommon for manufacturers to require professional installation.

Bradford White requires professional installation on all of their water heaters. You can expect to spend between $150 to $600 to have your heater professionally installed. 

Many homeowners appreciate talking with a professional to help them find the right water heater for their needs. Not only can a professional help you select a heater, but you'll also know the total cost upfront.


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Operating Costs

There are several factors to consider when it comes to utility expenses and the easiest way to compare is to check the UEF rating.

Every water heater has a UEF (Uniform Energy Factor) rating and it's the Department of Energy's measurement for the energy efficiency of water heaters. A high UEF rating means a water heater is more energy efficient and will cost less to operate.

Fuel Source

The type of fuel the water heater burns is also a contributing factor to the operating cost. The national average energy costs are as follows:

  • Electricity: $0.12 per kWh
  • Natural Gas: $1.09 per Therm
  • Propane: $2.41 per Gallon

Energy Star

Bradford White has many ENERGY STAR certified water heaters and all of their high-efficiency heaters qualify. 

Bradford White Maintenance

All water heaters require maintenance to maximize their service life. The tasks are relatively easy and can be done by the homeowner, or you can call a professional to perform them for you.

As a general rule, every year the T&P safety valve should be tested and the sediment flushed from the tank. Once the heater is a few years old, the anode rod should be checked annually. It's also a good idea to check the fittings for corrosion and/or leakage periodically.

Bradford White Problems

Bradford White builds a quality product and there really aren't any design issues with their water heaters. In 2002 they did voluntarily recall several models of their 75-gallon gas water heaters. The company was concerned that there was a defect in the flue gas baffles that could cause an excessive amount of carbon monoxide emissions.

Another concern many do-it-yourself homeowners have is the structure of the Bradford White business model. Since they are a wholesale company, their tech support team will only deal with professional plumbers or contractors. Although this may be frustrating to some, Bradford White takes great pride in their products and wants them to run at peak performance.

Where to Purchase a Bradford White Water Heater

As mentioned earlier, Bradford White is a wholesale manufacturer, which means that their product line can be purchased through a professional plumber or contractor. 

This can be a bit cumbersome for DIY-types, but the process does have advantages. A professional will help you find the right water heater for your household, and you can be sure that it's properly installed.

Although, you won't find Bradford White water heaters at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes, Amazon does carry a limited supply of some of their popular units.


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Best Bradford White Water Heaters

Here are two of our favorite Bradford White water heaters:

40-Gallon Defender Gas Water Heater: RG240T6N

Bradford White 40 Gallon Natural Gas Water Heater #RG240T6N

This 40-gallon natural gas water heater (model #RG240T6N) comes equipped with the Defender Safety System as well as all the standard upgrades that consumers have grown accustomed to seeing with Bradford White.

The RG240T6N uses an Atmospheric Vent and boasts Low NOx emissions at less than 40 ng/J. It even comes with a 6-year tank warranty.

Bradford White 40 Gallon Natural Gas Water Heater #RG240T6N
  • Bradford White ICON System
  • Advanced ScreenLok Technology Flame Arrestor Design
  • Resettable Thermal Switch
  • Maintenance-Fre
  • Factory-Installed Hydrojet Total Performance System

50-Gallon Electric Water Heater: RE350S6

Bradford White BWC RE350S6-1NCWW 50GAL 240V

The Bradford White electric 50-gallon tank water heater (model #RE350S6) is a popular and solid performer. This particular model runs on 240v, but it's also available in 120v, 208v, 277v, and 480v.

It comes with a 6-year tank warranty, VitraGlas tank lining, brass drain valve, a magnesium anode rod, and the hydroject total performance system. If you're looking for an electric water heater, this is an excellent choice.

Bradford White BWC RE350S6-1NCWW 50GAL 240V
  • Includes 4500 watt elements
  • Non-simultaneous
  • Protective magnesium anode rod - provides added protection against corrosion for long trouble-free service
  • Country of Origin: United States

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Last update on 2024-04-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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