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I am aware that Rheem and Rudd are brands of the same company. Is the Rheem gas water heater with a 12 year warranty that's sold at Home Depot the same build quality as a Rudd, Rheem or Bradford White gas water heater with a 6 year warranty sold at plumbing supply companies? I've noticed that Bradford White is slightly more expensive than the "R" brands. Are they worth the extra price?
 

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BWs are sold to plumbers only, so the units are more $$ and the installation has to be done by a plumber, which adds to your cost.
Rheem and Ruud are pretty much the same, they are sold to the public. I'm not sure that Ruud is available everywhere Rheem is sold.
Are Home Depot water heater inferior? frankly, I don't think so. They may have some different parts, like a plastic drain bibb as apposed to brass, however that is pretty much a nonissue.
IMHO, how good your water heater depends on your luck.
A word about the warranty: If you buy a 12 year warranty, you pay for the additional warranty. Problem is to get the MFG to stand by the warranty.
I only buy 6 year water heaters, some last 15 or more. Last week I replaced a 9 year old WH.
There are ways to make your water heater last longer, but 99% of the consumers don't do them.
Just buy one and enjoy the hot water.
 
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