Best Bradford White Gas Water Heaters Review and Buying Tips

Bradford White gas water heaterBradford White gas

Explore the main features of Bradford White gas water heaters, including the ultra-efficient, high input and recovery, low and ultra-low NOx models, and models with the power, direct and atmospheric venting systems. Compare the best features from tank-type and tankless models.

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Bradford White gas water heaters for residential use

There is an excellent selection of Bradford White gas water heaters powered by natural gas and propane (LP) gas, tank-type and tankless, and using various venting configurations such as atmospheric, power, direct, and power-direct vent.

Tank-type gas water heater series

  • Defender series
  • Eco-Defender series
  • Ultra-Low NOx series
  • EF High-Efficiency series

Selecting a water heater based on the venting configuration

Gas water heaters that need venting usually require the correct venting material and size to operate efficiently and safely. Proper installation and unobstructed travel of the exhaust gases are mandatory.

Atmospheric vent

Atmospheric-vent water heaters are considered standard because they are the most common type.

They use vertical or upward sloping metal ducts so the hot exhaust gases can rise through the venting and out of the house.

Power vent

Bradford White gas water heaters with the power venting system utilize electric blower fans to remove the exhaust to the outside atmosphere. One of the greatest advantages of the power vented models is their ability to use longer horizontal or vertical ducts, making them more flexible to install. They often use metal or PVC vents, depending on the heater type.

Direct vent

Direct vent water heaters are designed to use coaxial or pipe within a pipe venting, where one pipe is used to draw the air for combustion from outside and another pipe to remove the gases to the outside atmosphere. They are recommended for homes with insufficient ventilation. The vent pipes are usually short and run through the sidewall.

Power-direct vent

Gas water heaters with the power-direct venting are recommended for homes that require flexibility around the installation in areas that lack sufficient air for gas combustion. They use electric blowers to pull the air from the outside to the inside of the water heater and, at the same time, to remove fumes directly to the outside. As the power vent models, they have to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

Most tank-type water heaters from the above groups are designed with Bradford White's exclusive features, strong and durable elements to deliver improved performance, higher efficiency, greater reliability, more operating hours, and savings.

Features and benefits

  • Defender Safety System or Eco-defender system with the ScreenLok Technology for increased safety and reduced gas emission.
  • ICON system for better accuracy, advanced diagnostics, more savings, and comfort.
  • Hydrojet Total Performance System is designed to reduce the sediment deposits inside the tank and components, ensuring excellent performance and longer life.
  • Low gas emissions for a healthier environment.
  • 2" thick foam insulation for greater energy retention and reduced energy losses.
  • Higher energy efficiency makes them qualified for the Energy Star approval.
  • Some models are equipped with two heavy-duty or commercial grade anode rods, and when combined with the Vitraglas enamel tank lining, metal components are protected from damaging corrosion so they can last longer.

Best Bradford White gas water heaters to buy

When searching for the best gas models, look for the components and features using the following expressions; commercial-grade, professional, advanced, high efficiency, Energy Star, high first-hour rating, water flow, and recovery rate.

Explore the benefits of the top Bradford White gas water heaters from the categories with different venting options, such as the following 50-gal tank-type models:

Atmospheric Vent High EF Blower Model (RG2F50S6N)

  • Energy factor of 0.71 and Energy Star compliant
  • Hydrojet Total Performance System
  • High-efficiency blower
  • ICON System
  • Defender Safety System with ScreenLok
  • First Hour Rating is 81 gal.; Recovery Rate is 41 GPH
  • Brass drain valve

eF Series High-Efficiency Power Vent Model (RC2PV50H6N)

  • Energy factor of 0.79 and Energy Star compliant
  • Vertical dual pass heat exchanger system
  • Two heat exchangers, both protected by Vitraglas
  • ICON System
  • Hydrojet Total Performance System
  • High gas input of 76,000 Btu/hr
  • Two anode rods
  • Brass drain valve
  • First Hour Rating 131 gal., Recovery 93 GPH
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Power Direct Vent Model (RG2PDV50S6N)

  • Energy factor of 0.71 and Energy Star qualified
  • ICON System
  • Defender Safety System with ScreenLok
  • Hydrojet Total Performance System
  • Heat traps
  • First Hour Rating 83 gal., Recovery Rate 43 GPH

Ultra-Low NOx Direct Vent Models (URG2DV50H6N)

  • Ultra-low NOx gas emission
  • Eco-Defender Safety System
  • Ultra-Low NOx Burner with Primary and Secondary Air Distribution Devices
  • Hydrojet Total Performance System
  • First Hour Rating 83 gal., Recovery Rate 43 GPH

Note that the above eF Series High-Efficiency Power Vent Model is the condensing model. Condensing water heaters are designed to use the latent heat from the flue gases to preheat the incoming water and therefore increase the energy efficiency for greater savings. They often use two heat exchangers, as mentioned in the review.

Another model with the ultra-low NOx means is a water heater that produces less harmful gases than the regular type. This is great for nature since less greenhouse (nitrogen oxide-NOx) gasses are produced.

Best tankless models to buy

The best Bradford White tankless water heaters come from the condensing series - RTG-199HE. They are small and powerful, designed to heat water on demand, and with an ultra-high efficiency of over 90%. This high-performing unit is built for indoor and outdoor installations, providing an endless supply of hot water with the high water flow, making it ideal for homes with up to 3 bathrooms.

Bradford White model RTG-199HE is equipped with several innovative features, which make the system have high performance and thermal efficiency, enhanced safety, reliability, and durable operation:

  • Condensing technology and dual heat exchanger system for better efficiency.
  • Scale Reduction Technology (SRT) for scale and sediment buildup reduction.
  • Ultra-low NOx vertical gas burner with full modulation for cleaner air and better comfort.
  • Dual fan configuration.
  • Advanced control panel with temperature control and diagnostics for easy troubleshooting.
  • Greater temperature stability for less temperature fluctuation.

The most common problems with Bradford White gas water heaters

Every water heater can break, including Bradford White models.

They can stop working anytime for various reasons. Some are regular wear and tear, element failure, sediment buildup, user negligence and lack of maintenance, and bad water quality.

Here are the most common problems reported by the homeowners:

  • No hot water
  • Not enough hot water
  • The water is too hot
  • Sediment buildup
  • Noise
  • The pilot light keeps going out or won't light
  • The burner will not light

Use this troubleshooting guide to find out more about symptoms, causes, and repair tips.

Use the following guides to find more about maintenance and cleaning, flushing, and draining.

Some of these problems can be easily fixed, while others, more complicated ones, require professional assistance.

Conclusion

The manufacturer of Bradford White gas water heaters gets many positive reviews from its users, which is why we recommend these products for heating potable water in residential applications. They are sold, installed, and serviced by qualified professionals and distributors only, and not big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe's.

The above is just an overview of the main characteristics, but if you want to know more about these and other products or read the manuals and service bulletins, check out the official website.

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