Which water heater brand to choose, 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. However, 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. 
Today, we are going deep into the Bradford White vs Rheem comparison, explaining all of the potential problems that may occur, and giving you the definite answer to the question most of our readers have asked in the past period – is Rheem better than Bradford White.
Bradford White vs Rheem Comparison
Bradford White Water Heaters
Bradford White has been supplying both homeowners and professionals with high-quality water heaters (electric, gas, and indirect models) for 135 years now. Four words that describe Bradford White best are quality, safety, efficiency, and innovations.
One of Bradford White’s most selling models is the #RG240T6N gas water heater. This water heater is practically maintenance-free, 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 already.
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 competitive advantage. Millions of Americans put their trust in Rheem because this company is popular for high-quality, yet reasonably-priced water heaters. 
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
- More than 35 models available
- 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
- 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 5-6 year warranties
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.
Bradford White vs Rheem – Which Water Heater Brand Is More Reliable?
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. 
So, if you ask us if Rheem is better than Bradford White, we’d have to say – no. Does that mean Bradford White water heaters have no problems? Not exactly! We’re going to discuss them a bit more in the following lines.
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
So, Bradford White vs Rheem? Go for Bradford White if you are looking for a powerful and durable water heater and you don’t care about the price. If you, on the other hand, expect a water heater that can provide full functionality without costing a fortune, you can definitely go for Rheem. We compared Bradford White multiple times, and it’s option that you could always pick.