Bradford White Water Heater Reviews: 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: July 29, 2021

Hot water is one of the greatest benefits of the modern world. Even the simplest water-related task like washing dishes, doing laundry, or bathing requires warm or hot water. Imagine doing these things with only cold water. This is where water heaters come in.

A water heater is a man-made wonder that helps us, regardless of the season. We rely on hot water to keep our homes, clothes, dishes, and bodies clean and sanitary. This demand lends to the production of a large range of water heaters being produced by various manufacturers. One of those trusted manufacturers is Bradford White. In this article, we have rounded up the best Bradford White water heaters for you to look at and decide which one will provide the most value for your hot water needs.

Most famously known for its excellent customer service, Bradford White is an all-American brand, designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA. They have two plants located in the Michigan cities of Middleville and Niles, and a third in Rochester, New Hampshire.

As one of the oldest water heater companies, Bradford White rates as one of the best brands among subcontractors, while providing high-quality products with durable technology and long lifespans. If you’re looking to invest in a Bradford White water heater, here is a guide to what you need to know.

How Do Bradford White Water Heaters Compare to the Competition?

Bradford White is the oldest and the most respected manufacturer of water heaters. They offer the best overall value in terms of safety, efficiency, and long life. We have highlighted some of the features that make the heater different from its competitors. 

A Wide Range of Products

There are many products and capacities to choose from. They even have a variety of gas, electric, and heat pump models. Not every manufacturer addresses customer needs in such a diverse manner. 

Safety

No matter what type you choose, safety is their number one priority. They have a Defender Safety System to protect their consumers, which is a step ahead of their competition. 

Energy Star Certification

Many water heater models by Bradford White are Energy Star certified. Energy Star is the EPA program that helps protect the environment and save money. With other companies, you have to shorten your showers to conserve energy and save on bills. But with Bradford White, you can have a long, soothing bath without having to worry. 

Hydrojet Engineering

Dregs settling at the bottom of the water heater have a huge impact on its performance. Bradford White has anticipated this issue and come up with Hydrojet engineering. It reduces the amount of sediment in their systems and helps them run smoothly. 

Defender Safety System

Operating a water heater is a risky business. While most manufacturers solely focus on the inside, Bradford White goes the extra mile with their Defender Safety System. It even senses external gas threats and shuts off before an accident happens. Bradford White has certainly protected its product not only from the inside but on the outside too. 

Comparison of the Best Bradford White Water Heaters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall and best Bradford White electric water heater
  • Comes in different voltage variations
  • Non-CFC foam insulation covers the sides and top
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  • Different kinds of operations to suit different needs
  • It includes 4500-watt elements
  • Has a built-in Bradford White hydro jet total performance system
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  • Best for the money
  • Comes with fully automatic controls
  • It has a fast-acting surface
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  • Has a Large 50 Gallon Capacity
  • Energy efficient to save money
  • Complies with the federal, regional standards
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  • Best Bradford White 40 gallon gas water heater and best Bradford White gas water heater
  • Utilizes a draft divider
  • Suitable for various applications
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Over the years, Bradford White has come up with a wide variety of water heaters. Their range consists of gas, electric, and heat pump water heaters. There are different capacities for different models. Some contain tanks and others are tankless. With a diverse range, it is good to have prior knowledge of different models before you go out to buy one yourself. Here we have compared the specifications of some of the best Bradford White water heaters. 

Model NameHeight x Diameter (in.)Energy FactorIntended HouseholdFuel TypeFirst Hour Delivery (Gal.)
BWC RE350S647.75 x 240.953-4Electric67
BWC RE250T659.375 x 220.953-4Electric67
RE16U616.5 x 141Electric
D4504S6FSX64.75 x 223-4Gas and Electric
RG240T6N60.125 x 200.622-3 Natural Gas76
RG1PV50S6N58.25 x 220.652-3Natural Gas86

The Best of Bradford White

Known for their impressive dedication to innovation and customer experience, Bradford is a household favorite brand of water heaters. Here are a few of the reasons why:

ICON System 

The ICON System, a gas valve technology exclusive to Bradford White, is designed to give customers better control over their hot water usage. Firstly, the system provides Advanced Temperature Control via a microprocessor that monitors and operates the burner.

This helps customers consistently achieve precise water temperature levels for the most comfortable experience. The software of the system provides better first hour delivery ratings and advanced temperature control mechanisms, while the intelligent diagnostics help you identify issues with your water heater and provide troubleshooting methods to help remedy the issue. To add to this, the system has a Pilot-On indication so you know at a glance if your pilot light is out. It also gives easy instructions for lighting the pilot when necessary.

Defender System

The Defender Safety System is incorporated into Brand White’s gas water heaters to resist igniting flammable vapors that may arise outside the system. It works using their patented ScreenLok Technology which is designed as a flame arrestor to prevent flames from drifting backward and igniting any vapors present. If large amounts of vapors are detected, the burner and pilot light turn off automatically.

Energy Efficiency

Bradford White offers 24 water heaters that have been awarded the Energy Star seal. The Energy Star is given to products to demonstrate their high level of energy efficiency in comparison to the regulatory standards in this area. These products demonstrate that they far surpass what is required, to provide maximum energy-efficiency and lower utility costs.

Their tankless model is included in this range for those looking for on-demand heat, and so are their heat pump models. Their list also includes a handful of atmospheric and power vent models, such as the RG2F40S and RG2PV50T, as well as power direct vent models, such as the RG2PDV50S.

Vitraglas Enamel Tank Lining

Corrosion can be the killer of tanks as it eats away at the material, eventually causing the tank to leak and break. Bradford White is dedicated to ensuring the quality of their products throughout their lifespan, while extending that longevity as much as possible.

With this in mind, they have installed Vitraglas, an exclusive enamel tank lining, into their tanks. When applied to the inside of the tank, this enamel lining forms a protective barrier between the corrosive components in hot water and the metal tank.

Having been put through a number of stressful laboratory tests, Bradford White sticks by the “unsurpassed protection” of Vitraglas over competitive tank linings. By using such a high-quality tank lining, this increases the durability and longevity of the tank.

Scale Reduction Technology

Limescale buildup on the inside of water heaters can affect their performance. Limescale not only degrades the materials, it also collects as sediment. This affects the longevity of your water heater system. Bradford White aims to reduce the chance of limescale buildup by employing their Scale Reduction Technology into their Infiniti Tankless Water Heater range.

As limescale is prone to collecting in hotspots of water, the technology creates turbulence in the water to prevent these hotspots. The technology has been proven to be very effective, preventing damage to components. This not only increases the lifespan of the water heater, it also reduces extra maintenance costs.

24/7 Support

Bradford White takes real pride in their customer service and is known for being a helpful and friendly brand. They understand that customers may have water heater issues, day or night, and are dedicated to ensuring they are on hand to deal with any issues.

This US-based telephone support team is made up of technical service and warranty support. This telephone support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is delivered by highly trained Bradford White experts, who have been through extensive training to help diagnose issues for customers and provide on-the-spot solutions.

Impressive Ranking

Bradford White has impressive ratings with subcontractors on the market. According to the J.D. Power and Associates/McGraw-Hill Construction 2006 HVAC and Water Heater/Boiler Subcontractor Satisfaction StudySM, Bradford White was one of the most highly revered companies in comparison to other water heater and boiler manufacturers.

The study took into account the satisfaction levels of subcontractors when using various companies, with Bradford White coming out among the most favorable. This included categories on warranty and repair service, the ordering process, delivery, price, product, sales, marketing support, and more. Bradford White excelled, especially in the areas of warranty and repair, and in product quality.

Photo credit: phcppros.com

A Major Drawback of Bradford White

One of the main issues that customers have is that the warranty for the products does not cover labor to install or repair the product.  Labor costs for a certified plumber can be significant and unexpected in the case of a manufacturer defect. Thankfully, these defects are not common. 

Equally, their anode rod is made of magnesium, which produces quite a bit of hydrogen if in hard water areas. It can be a little smelly as it interacts with bacteria, making the water have a strange odor. The odor is harmless but may indicate it is time to replace the anode rod. 

Some customers have also complained that some of the tank models tend to corrode relatively quickly in hard water areas (after 6-7 years), therefore causing leaks.

Review of the Best Bradford White Water Heaters

Bradford White is the pioneer of efficient and high-quality water heaters. They have a huge variety of products to suit the individual needs of their consumers. They have different models that utilize gas, electric, or heat pump type water heaters. They offer a variety of size ranges to fulfill the demands of a full family household down to a single-person household.

Here we have reviewed some of the best Bradford White water heaters in each category to help you determine which one is best for you. 

Best Overall and Best Bradford White Electric Water Heater

Bradford White BWC RE350S6

Bradford White BWC RE350S6-1NCWW 50GAL 240V

Specifications

Storage Capacity (DOE): 45-gallon

First Hour Rating (Gal.): 60

Uniform Energy Factor (UEF): 0.92

Recovery Rate at 90°F Rise: 21 GPH

BTU/hr Input: N/A

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Why it Stands Out to Us

This model stands out to us as the best water heater in every way. It is an energy-efficient product that is good for residential, as well as commercial use. The automatic controls make it easy to operate. Foam insulation is an added benefit that helps reduce heat loss.

In addition, the factory-built Hydrojet Total Performance is a cold water inlet sediment reducing device that inhibits sediment build-up in the tank. It also minimizes the temperature rise on top of the tank. It is a durable, high-quality device that comes with a long life. All of this makes it the best water heater to top our list. 

Bottom Line

This water heater from Bradford White is the epitome of perfection. It is energy-efficient, automatic, safe, and easy to use. It works great for both residential and commercial purposes. Different voltage variations make it easy to select one that suits your requirements. Strong and durable with enameled interior and sleek exterior, this is one product that you should definitely consider getting for yourself.

With all the safety, protective, and energy-efficient measures installed in this, Bradford White certainly surpassed itself when they manufactured this design. Although it requires expert installation, once it is operational, you have a life-long partner to fulfill all of your hot water demands. 

Pros

An installed T and P release valve

Has heat traps to reduce energy waste

Factory-installed manual reset energy cutoff

Fast-acting surface-mount thermostat controls

Magnesium Anode rod provides long, trouble-free service 

Cons

It is hard to configure

An expensive product for residential use

Large and requires more space for installation

Runner-up

Bradford White BWC RE250T6

Specifications

Storage Capacity (DOE): 45-gallon

First Hour Rating (Gal.): 64

Uniform Energy Factor (UEF): 0.92

Recovery Rate at 90°F Rise: 21 GPH

BTU/hr Input: N/A

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Why it Stands Out to Us

This is an efficient water heater that can stand the test of time. It offers long-lasting performance to ensure that you don’t have to do water-related tasks with cold water for years to come. It comes with a different voltage setting so you can choose the model that best suits your voltage requirements.

A 50-gallon capacity is also a plus point. It’s single-phase, and triple-phase operation modes enable it to heat water quickly and effectively. A sleek and stylish exterior with features like automatic controls, foam insulation, and Hydrojet Sediment Protection, it’s no wonder that it has grabbed the second spot on our list. 

Bottom Line

This water heater gives you the most effective heating because of extra insulation. It has a 50-gallon capacity that instantly supplies hot water to the entire house. It is heavy so you will need a team of experts to carry and install it. With a 67-gallon first hour delivery, it is an energy-efficient and time-saving product. Its durability and reliability make it a good choice for any household. 

Pros

It comes in different voltage settings

Hydrojet System reduces sediment accumulation

Capable of single-phase and three-phase operation

Capable of direct heat transfer with immersed elements

Simultaneous and non-simultaneous operations available 

Cons

It is quite heavy

Does not work well with hard water

Best for the Money

Bradford White ‎RE16U6

Bradford White RE16U6-1NAL

Specifications

Storage Capacity: 6-gallon

First Hour Rating (Gal.): N/A

Uniform Energy Factor (UEF): N/A

Recovery Rate at 90°F Rise: 7 GPH

BTU/hr Input: N/A

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Why it Stands Out to Us

When it comes to a limited budget, this is the best water heater you can get from Bradford White. With a 6-gallon capacity, it is perfect for single person usage. It is safe to use and heats up water in a short time. Plus, it has a number of excellent features. For instance, the insulation ensures reduced heat loss so that you get to enjoy more hot water. All in all, it provides the best features for its cost. 

Bottom Line

In terms of price, this is the most economic Bradford White water heater. It is suitable for a fairly small household. If you are looking for a product that can heat water for a house full of people, then this is not the product for you. With all the features it contains, it is one of the easy operational products that lives up to all its claims.

Pros

Sides and top insulation reduces heat loss

Vitraglas lining provides superior protection

Single immersed element heats water directly

Magnesium anode rod protects against corrosion

True dielectric fittings extend the life and ease of installation

Cons

It has a small capacity

Can short out in the rain

Intended household is limited to a single person

Editor’s Pick

Bradford White D4504S6FSX

BRADFORD WHITE D4504S6FSX 50 GALLON RESIDENTIAL DAMPER ATMOSPHERIC VENT HIGH EFFICIENCY LP HOT WATER HEATER 115/60/1

Specifications

Storage Capacity: 50-gallon

First Hour Rating (Gal.): N/A

Uniform Energy Factor (UEF): N/A

Recovery Rate at 90°F Rise: 42 GPH

BTU/hr Input: N/A

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Why it Stands Out to Us

This product offers the lowest operation costs compared to gas or electric-powered alternatives. Once you install it, you can get your investment back in as little as four years. Moreover, its energy efficiency makes it one of the most cost effective options for providing your whole house with hot water. 

Bottom Line

Indeed it is an expensive choice, but in the long run, it will not only pay back its cost but also save you a lot of money because it’s energy-efficient. Moreover, it comes with a huge capacity, making it suitable for big families as well. 

Pros

Comes with a large capacity

Operates at a very cheap cost 

Features an atmospheric vent 

Energy-efficient, making it environment-friendly 

Cons

Requires regular cleaning 

Price may not suit everyone 

It needs an open space to work properly 

Best Bradford White 40 Gallon Gas Water Heater

Bradford White RG240T6N

Bradford White 40 Gallon Natural Gas Water Heater #RG240T6N

Specifications

Storage Capacity (DOE): 38

First Hour Rating (Gal.): 75

Uniform Energy Factor (UEF): 0.64

Recovery Rate at 90°F Rise: 43 GPH

BTU/hr Input: 40,000

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Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater is a high-quality product that lasts a long time. It is the best gas-operated water heater from Bradford White. Its installation is so easy that you can even do it yourself. It is maintenance-free and does not require regular cleaning of air inlet opening or flame arrester, which most gas water heaters need regularly. This truly makes it stand out as the best gas-fueled water heater. 

Bottom Line

This is a great heater that can hold up to 40 gallons. Along with that, it is the best gas water heater by Bradford White. Its atmospheric vent and separate immersed Thermowell make it a low maintenance product. It is a desirable addition to your household and one that will fulfill all its hot water demands.

Pros

It has a resettable thermal switch

Atmospherically vented for good airflow

Contains a separate immersed thermowell 

Perfect for standard water heating applications 

Has a sight window to view the combustion chamber

Cons

It can become dented

Has some reported instances of leakage

Pilot light has some issues with staying on

Bradford White Power Vent RG1PV50S6N

Specifications

Storage Capacity (DOE): 48

First Hour Rating (Gal.): 78

Uniform Energy Factor (UEF): 0.69

Recovery Rate at 90°F Rise: 43 GPH

BTU/hr Input: 40,000

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Review

A power vent water heater, this tank model is powered by natural gas and has a capacity of 50 gallons. It delivers 86 gallons in the first hour and has a 40,000 BTU input. This device is designed to be applied in locations where atmospheric units cannot be utilized. With this model, exhaust gases are directed straight out of the roof or wall using positive pressure via a powerful blower motor.

Bottom Line

This model also includes the ICON System, which enables energy savings through its advanced temperature precision controls and troubleshooting features. The ScreenLok Technology and Flammable Vapor Sensor provide added safety features, while the self-cleaning system uses the Hydrojet technology to prevent the buildup of sediment.

Who Is Bradford White?

Bradford White is an employee-based manufacturer of water heating products. Established in 1881, it is a team of American-owned companies that leads the U.S. in the manufacturing of water heating, space heating, combination heating, and storage solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

It is headquartered in Ambler, Pennsylvania, with its manufacturing facilities located in Michigan and New Hampshire. Over the 135 years of its establishment, Bradford White has been delivering high-quality products made by American craftsmen.

Company History

Founded in 1881 Bradford White is one of the oldest US-based brands of water heaters. They are proud to be American and have kept all production inside the USA from their inception, right up until now. Originally named Pennsylvania Range Boiler Company, they renamed themselves after a restructuring in 1959 to become The Pennsylvania-Bradford Appliance Corporation. After joining with White Products of Middleville in 1968, the company became what is today, Bradford White Corporation.

Vitraglas was introduced into Bradford White products way back in 1958, while they invented their first Power Vent in 1985. They introduced HydroJet technology in 1993, just before Bradford White became an employee-owned company in 1994.

What Kind of Warranty Does Bradford White Offer?

Bradford White offers a limited warranty on all its products. It lasts for 5 to 6 years and covers the glass-lined tank and component parts. They warrant the integral components to be free of any fault in materials and workmanship. Any leakage or malfunction caused by faulty materials or weak workmanship is covered by the company.

They strongly promote that water heaters should be installed and serviced by qualified and licensed professionals only.  So claims should only be placed through the service professional repairing or replacing your water heater. They will diagnose and repair the faulty part with Bradford White approved parts and place the warranty claim through their local Bradford White distributors.

The warranty extends from the first buyer to any other subsequent owners only if the appliance is not moved from the original place where it was installed. They also offer the BUILT BEST Extended Limited Warranty upgrade. With this, you can extend the original warranty period on glass-lined tanks and component parts for two to four additional years. To check if your appliance qualifies for the extended warranty, you can go to their website and enter the serial number in the “warranty check” box given at the top. If you do qualify for it, you can contact your professional installer and have your model number readily available should the need arise. 

Choosing a Water Heater 

When choosing a water heater, there are a few things to keep in mind when trying to select between brands.

Capacity

The capacity of the water heater you choose will affect efficiency when you use it in your household. If you have a demand for very high hot water usage, you’ll need a large capacity water heater. If you don’t, you’ll end up causing a lot of stress to a device that is too small. Conversely, if you select a model that is too large for your needs, you may end up warming far too much hot water, and therefore wasting energy. Know the correct size of the water heater you need by using this calculator.

Try to think about your habits. Do you put the dishwasher on at the same time everyone showers at night? If so, you may need higher capacity.

Don’t only look for the gallons of water that it can hold, look for the first hour rating on tank models to see how much it can deliver in the first hour. On tank-less water heaters, consider the gallons per minute to show how much it can produce.

Energy Efficiency

There are many ways to determine the energy efficiency of a water heater. The Energy Star Seal is a good indicator of high efficiency on a water heater. It shows that the water exceeds regulatory standards.

Alternatively, look for the Energy Factor. This number is how well the energy is converted to heat. Products that have 0.82 as their EF rating are 83% efficient. This means that 17% of energy is not being used for heat and is being lost.

Here is a helpful way to calculate the energy factor.

Photo credit: sensibledigs.com

Costs

While some models may seem expensive, judging costs can be hard. While high capacity water heaters with an Energy Star Seal may seem more expensive, if you’re in a large family, a model such as this one is more likely to be able to cope with your high demand consistently, while reducing your running costs and lowering your energy bills.

Equally, models that are more expensive are not necessarily better. Choosing higher price models may leave you with a heater way beyond your needs, or you may be paying for the aesthetics rather than the products.

Consider all aspects of the cost including the upfront price, the running costs, and the cost of an extended warranty. Warranties can help prevent extra maintenance costs in the future if repair is needed.

Durability

Consider the technologies installed in the products to help them last longer. You can also look at customer reviews to see how people classify their experience and how long their products lasted. After all, the customer service can be brilliant, but if the products only last five years, this becomes an issue!

In 1996, Bradford White completed the most complex and comprehensive research and development laboratory for its products, putting them ahead in innovation and engineering. By 1999, Bradford White began winning awards for their dynamic technology with the 1999 Consumer Report heralding Bradford White’s Optimizer Water Heater as the best consumer buy.

Today, they are among the highest for subcontractors and have incorporated intelligent ICON Systems into their products to set them apart from the market. They are a leading US brand, with all their products designed and made within the country, and they take pride in providing a top consumer experience.

Conclusion

Bradford White is a well-recognized brand with the reputation of an excellent customer care service. Their products last long with the powerful safety and control tools installed within. The protective components increase their durability and reliability. With a huge and diverse range of water heaters available, it is best to know your hot water requirement before you go buy one for yourself. Also, don’t hesitate to call them if you have any after-sales issues. In conclusion, these water heaters have just the right features, with all the best features. They are built to stand the test of time and outlast their own warranties. 

Bradford White is a recognizable brand with a reputation for being helpful in its service. They provide long-lasting products that include a variety of control and safety features, as well as protective components to increase durability. To make sure you’re making the right choice in a product, also ensure you know your own hot water requirements, and never be afraid to call their customer support team for help in selecting the right water heater for your home.

People Also Ask

Now you know about the best water heaters from Bradford White Corporation. Even with a comprehensive overview, you may still have some questions.  In this section, we have rounded off some of the frequently asked questions for your satisfaction. 

How Old Is My Bradford White Water Heater? 

You can determine the age of your water heater from its serial number. It is encoded as the first two letters of the serial number. The current code date format is YM234567.

The first letter = year of manufacture. Beginning with A = 1964 or A = 1984 and for the latest water heaters made after 2003, A = 2004. Each alphabet cycle restarts after every 20 years.

The second letter = month of manufacture. Beginning with A = January and ending with M = December.

Where Are Bradford White Water Heaters Made?

Currently, Bradford White water heaters are manufactured at Middleville, Michigan. They have a huge manufacturing facility that spans up to 1,000,000 square feet. It finished construction in 2016. It is a completely modernized setup with over 1,000 employees who have all committed to construct products that are known to be the finest water heaters in the world.

How Do You Adjust a Bradford White Water Heater?

You can adjust your Bradford White water heater in just a few simple steps. You will also need a screwdriver. 

1. Turn off the power supply to your water heater.

2. Gently slide off the access panel located on the side to reach the thermostat. 

3. Place the screwdriver into the center of the temperature dial. Turning the dial clockwise will increase the temperature of the water that the heater will produce. Turning it counter-clockwise will decrease the temperature.

4. Put the insulation and access cover back on the thermostat.

5. Turn on the power supply.

Do Bradford White Water Heaters Have Anode Rods?

Yes, Bradford White water heaters have high-quality magnesium anode rods installed in them, which is located at the hot water outlet of the tank. It is not easily accessible when replacement is necessary, as the hot water outlet must be removed to reach it. If you are not comfortable replacing it yourself, you can contact an HVAC specialist to take care of it. 

Where Is the Serial Number on a Bradford White Water Heater?

The serial number of every Bradford White water heater is written on the rating plate. The rating plate is an adhesive sticker at the top center of the warning labels. The serial number and model number are written directly beneath the Bradford White facility address. 



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.