Bradford White vs Rheem

Bradford White and Rheem are two well-known brands in the water heater space. But which one can be a better choice Bradford White vs Rheem?

We’ve reviewed both and compared their efficiency and durability to help you choose.

Replacing your old water heater with a new one is, usually, a matter of urgency. And, when you have to do something and to do it fast, you may be rushing into making a decision.

With a growing market of residential water heaters by 4.6% per year, it’s obvious that tankless water heaters are the future.

However, when choosing the right water heater for your household, you’d want to educate yourself more on the topic and about the top-level brands, such as Bradford White and Rheem, in the first place.

Both Bradford White and Rheem are indeed well-known, reputable water heater brands that have their own advantages and disadvantages we’ll discuss in detail down below.

For instance, Bradford White provides a top-notch customer experience but may be a little bit too much for some buyers in terms of the price. Rheem is, on the other hand, a competitive brand that offers water heaters of high quality at a lower price. [1]

Bradford White vs Rheem Comparison


Overall we could say that Bradford White will be on our list before Rheem. They  have less reported issues and they are reliable in the long term.

Bradford White Water Heaters


Bradford White has been supplying both homeowners and professionals with high-quality water heaters. They offer gas, electric and indirct models of water heaters as well as other home heating devices. Their reputation is made through quality, safety, efficiency, and innovations that they chase. That’s why they are on market for more that 135 years now.

One of Bradford White’s most selling models is the #RG240T6N gas water heater.

This water heater is practically maintenance-free, and comes with a safety system feature, an ICON system that provides intelligent gas control, and a flame arrestor to name a few superb functionalities.

Gas Water Heaters

  • 17 models to choose from
  • Bradford White residential gas water heaters are equipped with the Defender Safety System that ensures maximum reliability of each and every unit
  • The Eco-Defender Ultra Low NOx models emit fewer emissions while still ensuring optimal performance

Tankless Water Heaters

  • 5 models to choose from
  • Infiniti tankless water heaters’ smart, Scale Reduction Technology ensures maximum performance and exceptional efficiency
  • ENERGY Star quality assurance

Electric Water Heaters

  • 8 available models
  • A plethora of wattages, voltages, and phase configurations to choose from
  • Space-saving Lowboy models

We reviewed the best electric tankless water heaters for cold climates.

Indirect Water Heaters

  • Work with both existing and new boilers
  • Models with up to 111 gallons capacity
  • Hydrojet Total Performance System improves performance and reduces sedimentation


  • Most models are backed up with 6-year warranties
  • Any standard warranty can be upgraded to a 10-year warranty
  • Extended warranties cover both the parts and the tank

Rheem Water Heaters


Rheem water heaters came to life in 1925 and stayed on the market up to this day.

However, the business started booming once this brand introduced the first automatic gas storage heater, which, at the same time, helped them differentiate themselves and gain a competitive advantage. Millions of Americans put their trust in Rheem because this company is popular for high-quality, yet reasonably-priced water heaters. [2]

The only noticeble downside of Rheem is that some people complained about their customer service. If you are buying products from Home Depot make sure that product box is not previosly opened or damaged. Some people complained that they saw small telltale holes on boxes.

Rheem RTEX-18 is among the best-selling electric tankless water heaters by this manufacturer. It comes with an external LED display and advanced self-modulation that allows you to set it up to meet your hot water demands.

Tankless Water Heaters

  • Available in natural gas, propane and electric models
  • More than 38 models are available on their website
  • Save up to 12,000 gallons per year thanks to the built-in recirculation pump
  • Low operating costs ($196 per year), which can save you $1,000 in 10 years approximately

Gas Water Heaters

  • 40+ models to choose from
  • 40-gallon capacity
  • This can be found in a quarter of American households

If you are wondering if a 40-gallon water heater would cover your needs, you’ll want to check out this article.

Electric Water Heaters

  • Hybrid electric models can save you up to $500/year in energy costs and up to $1,000 in the form of local utility rebates and federal tax credits
  • 4 times more efficient than standard electric tanks
  • Vacation/away mode, auto shutoff valves, and advanced diagnostics


  • Rheem offers up to 12 years warranty period


  • Rheem published that they had a recall on water heaters sold exclusively at Home Depot. You can check recalled series numbers here.
  • They have had a few recalls for oil furnaces, indoor tankless water heaters and Robertshaw R110 Series Water Heater back in 2005. All of these recalls are just thing of the past. [3]

We did a comparison between Rheem and Ao Smith water heaters as well so make sure to check it out if you want to explore all of your options.

Related: Rinnai vs Rheem

Rheem vs Bradford White – Reliability


To give you the definite answer to this question, we will discuss several factors – efficiency, durability, and pricing so you can conclude yourself whether Bradford White or Rheem water heaters are more reliable.

Bradford White produces truly energy-efficient water heaters thanks to the Total Performance System they invented. Thanks to this system, Bradford White water heaters have fewer problems with sediment buildups, which not only improves efficiency but also makes them last longer.

On the other hand, Rheem has put an emphasis on technical innovation and they implemented features such as EcoNet WiFi connectivity, away/vacation mode, and energy use tracking to make their water heaters more energy-efficient. This brand also has hybrid and solar-powered models.

However, although the gap between these two brands is small, according to customers, it seems that Bradford White has gained the edge when it comes to efficiency.

As already said, Bradford White water heaters are quite durable because of all the features they are equipped with that ensure that these units can stand the test of time as well as wear and tear. In fact, they are probably the most durable water heaters on the market.

Rheem’s water heaters’ thick tank construction protects the unit from external damage. There are also models that don’t rust or corrode (the famous Marathon heater), although, in general, Rheem is slightly less resistant to wear and tear than Bradford White.

For these reasons, Bradford White is the second and Rheem the third best-selling water heater brand in the US when it comes to the commercial water heater market. [3]


Bradford White Water Heater Problems

Some of the common Bradford White water heater problems include:

  • Water heater not heating,
  • Water heater leaking,
  • Too hot water heater,
  • Water heater not lighting.

If your Bradford White water heater is not heating, it could be an issue with the thermocouple, dip tube, heating element, ignition module, or gas valve and thermostat assembly.

If the unit is leaky, then the temperature/press relief valve may be faulty or the drain valve should be replaced.

A too hot Bradford White water heater may be having issues with the gas valve or thermostat (a defective thermostat should be replaced as soon as possible), or it could be that the heating element is shorted out.

Finally, if your Bradford White water heater is not lighting, it could be that the igniter, pressure switch, thermocouple, or spark electrode failed.

Read Also: Bradford White vs Navien


Our general tip is to avoid low-end models at big stores like Home Depot, etc. Instead, go for quality units through your local plumbing and HVAC supply house. You can even add a four-year extended warranty (on your base six year warranty) to the supply house model. This feature is not available at the big box stores that I previously mentioned.

Overall, my choice will be Bradford White as it provides a longer warranty and durability.

If you decide to buy Rheem, definitely pick the Platinum and Prestige series. Water heaters from these series are the higher-end models.

However, I advise you to find a licensed local plumber who may install and purchase the perfect water heater for your needs.

Read Next: Rinnai vs Navien