Bradford White Hot
Water Heaters Review

Review of Extra Recovery and Energy Saver models with Defender Safety System

Reviews  | Submit a Review

Bradford White hot water heaters from Extra Recovery series, are designed as Energy Saver heaters, with atmospheric venting, with and without Defender Safety System, with the standard and ultra low NOx burners. These gas-powered water heaters are built for residential and light duty commercial use, recommended for potable water heating and space heating, in homes where the extra recovery is needed.

Why Extra Recovery

Extra Recovery series, when compared to the standard gas models, simply means more hot water for your shower and in less time. No more waiting for hot water and dealing with the models with low recovery rates.

Example: If we compare the recovery rise of the two 50-gal Bradford White hot water heaters; Extra Recovery model provides 69-gallon per hour, while the standard model up to 53 GPH. That is 16 gallons of hot water more per hour for Extra Recovery models.


Bradford White hot water heaters extra recovery

Bradford White hot water heaters with the Defender System and from Extra Recovery series can be found in three sizes only: 40, 48 and 65-gallon that provide the power from 40,000 to 65,000 BTU.

The main features found on water heaters from this group are the FVIR or Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant system, Hydrojet Total Performance System, Advanced ScreenLock Technology and the ICON system.

There is also one 75-gallon model that is available without the Defender System, but with the more advanced Hydrojet2 Total Performance System.

Ultra low NOx models from Extra Recovery series are also found in four sizes, but when compare its technical data you will see that power, first hour rating and recovery rate are similar or slightly lower than from the previous group (see the comparison table below).

Energy Saver Series
74 43
79% 50
A 6, 10
103 69
79% 59 A 6, 10
127 69
79% 63 A 6, 10
- 82
80% 62 A 6, 10
Energy Saver Ultra Low NOx Series
40 72 43 78% 50 A 6, 10
55 91 57 78% 59 A 6, 10
55 116 57 78% 63 A 6, 10
76 - 82 78% 64 A 6, 10

The main differences between the above groups are the ultra low NOx burner with primary and secondary air distribution devices and millivolt powered control so no electricity is required to run these devices.

Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant System - FVIR

The main features of the FVIR system are:
  • Advanced flame arrestor

  • Re-settable Thermal Switch

  • Piezo igniter

  • Sight window

The calibrated multipurpose thermal switch is used to recognize when the flame arrestor stops the flammable vapors from traveling backwards and its ignition outside the chamber; it shuts down the pilot and main burner. The advanced flame arrestor uses ScreenLok Technology to block the accidental fire.

Another dangerous situation is when the airflow is restricted by lint, dust or oil accumulation on the arrestor plate. This switch, then, deactivates the burner and pilot flame.

Pilot flame and spark action can be checked thru the sight glass, located on the inner door of the water heater.

emergency plumber

Hydrojet Total Performance System

Hydrojet Total Performance System, helps in reducing the sediment build-up. It uses the hydro-jets near the bottom of the dip tube to create the turbulence in water and therefore, prevent deposits at the bottom of the tank.

Hydrojet2, which is found on 75-gal models, works the same as the standard Hydrojet Total Performance System; minimizes the sediment buildup, increases delivery and reduces the thermal stress, but is designed for higher input applications due to the presence of the additional jetports.

ICON System

All the Extra Recovery models are equipped with the ICON system, designed for the enhanced performance and intelligent operation.

Thanks to the ICON System, first-hour delivery is improved and advanced temperature control system provides consistent and accurate hot water temperature control, so the temperature fluctuation is decreased and "cold water sandwiches" during the shower are reduced.

Intelligent Electronics

Bradford White uses the built-in piezo igniter to light the fire and intelligent gas control with millivolt powered technology to convert heat energy from the pilot flame into the electrical energy, needed to power the gas valve and microprocessor. That means no external electricity is needed.

If having any problem with the operation of the Bradford White water heater, intelligent diagnostics with the LED light provides diagnostic codes for easy water heater troubleshooting.


Vitraglas Lining is found on every metal tank from BW and it provides superior rust protection from the aggressive water action, thanks to the exclusively enamel formula that is fused to the steel tank surface.

The magnesium anode rod is another element used to protect the metal tank from corrosion.

Energy Saver

To keep the efficiency of the water heater high and reduce energy waste, Bradford White uses the heat traps and 2" foam insulation.

Where BW can be used

Bradford White hot water heaters are factory set to work on natural or LP gas where the propane water heaters are equipped with the titanium stainless steel burner.

While the above units are designed for residential and light commercial applications, these cannot be used in mobile homes.


Bradford White hot water heaters from the High Recovery series are more expensive than standard models, but the power is almost double and the first hour delivery much better. The heaters from this group sell for over a thousand dollars, while standard atmospheric Energy Saver models for a few hundred. See the latest prices here.

(Photos courtesy of Bradford White)