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Old 06-05-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
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What to look for in water heater


I am getting a new 40gal storage type water heater.

Home Depot carries GE
Lowes carries Whirlpool
Sears carries kenmore

all similar spec & price, ~ $500.

A local mom and pop plumber shop carries AO smith for $380.

Can anyone with experience recommend which brand to go with? Is the big chain stores worth the extra money? I'm mostly concerned about reliability.


Last edited by acerunner; 06-05-2011 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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What to look for in water heater


I had an AO smith that lasted 21 years. So i had no reservations buying the same as the replacement. Can't say i've used any of the others.

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Old 06-05-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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What to look for in water heater


Might be a time to consider the pros/cons and ROI of going tankless.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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What to look for in water heater


id go with the A O smith. unless you decide to go tankless
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
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What to look for in water heater


I would go with AO Smith. I have had issues in the past of having to wait for days to get a thermocouple because it had reversed threads. AO Smith uses universal parts. Also check Prices on a size up and a size down for the water Heater. Some places sell 50 gallons for a lower price then the 40's.... last but not least do not forget to look at actual plumbing supply stores... no harm in shopping
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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What to look for in water heater


i've considered tankless, but for the price will take me a long time to recoop in savings. Also the whole cold water sandwich issue... I think tankless needs some more development before I jump on board.

thanks for the input everyone, i think i will go with AO smith. If 50gal is in fact close/cheaper in price, i will go for that. I was kinda going back and forth whether i should get 40 or 50 (i have 2bath/4bed, 5 occupant house). Most calculators recommend 50 for that size, but currently we stagger our showers enough that we don't have issues, so i decided I didnt need to pay extra for a 50gal tank AND pay utility cost in keeping 50gals heated.

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Old 06-06-2011, 06:45 AM   #7
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What to look for in water heater


Bradford White is another good brand, I know a couple plumbers who use them. You'd have to go to a plumbing supply shop to find that brand. But I've heard good things about AO Smith.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:57 PM   #8
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What to look for in water heater


I have seen quite a few posts on here with people having problems with AO Smith product, GE is as good as any, as a matter of fact most brands are ok it's the installation that counts mostly.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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What to look for in water heater


I agree Cold Iron... Each has its pros and cons... I have not had any more or less problems out of AO Smith or State than I have had out of GE... I was turned off of GE when I went to a job that needed a thermocouple and GE wanted me to test other things first before they would cover the part and then they wanted to charge for shipping. Not all of the water heaters have the reversed thread thermocouples but, when you get one it is a pain in the wallet for a customer... Imagine saying to a customer... I apologize if this was a normally threaded thermocouple it I could replace it now for 175 but because it is a reversed thread it will be $135 for today and $175 when I come back to do the work. Almost always the response is "ARE YOU CRAZY!" That is why I tend to stay away from them
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #10
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What to look for in water heater


AO Smith

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