Bradford White Tankless Water Heaters Review and Buying Tips

A review of Bradford White tankless water heaters from Infinity series, powered by natural and propane gas and designed for residential and light commercial applications.

Explore the advanced features, including the SRT technology, differences between non-condensing and condensing operation, and how it affects the efficiency, performance, durability, and comfort.

Type and model review

There are two gas-powered tankless models available from Bradford White; RTG-199HE as the ultra-efficient condensing and RTG-199ME as the mid-efficient non-condensing model, both models utilizing advanced features - listed below. 

One of the main differences is that the condensing RTG-199HE is equipped with two heat exchangers, so it can provide high 0.91 thermal efficiency and 8.3 GPM hot water flow rate, making it Energy Star compliant.

The model RTG-199ME does not utilize condensing technology as it is equipped with only one heat exchanger, resulting in lower efficiency of 0.84 and hot water flow of 7.3 GPM - but still supplying a sufficient amount of hot water to homes with 2-3 baths.

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Features

Scale reduction

New Infinity tankless water heaters are developed with exclusive advanced features such as the Scale Reduction Technology – SRT. This results in extended heater's life, less maintenance, and much better performance than the older Everhot models or models from other manufacturers.

Several elements are involved in the SRT feature; a vertical modulating burner that provides even heat distribution with lower stress on the heat exchanger, dual fan configuration – also distributing the heat evenly, and the internal turbulators for the turbulent water flow through the heat exchangers.

Powerful burner and clean combustion

All the Bradford White tankless water heaters can operate in the range from its minimum 19,900 BTU to the maximum power of 199,000 BTU, thanks to the modulating gas valve, but only the condensing RTG-199HE model is Energy Star compliant. The modulating valve and the Ceramat gas burner ensure energy and money savings, and with the cleaner gas combustion and power optimization, resulting in ultra-low NOx emission and better environmental protection.

Stable operation

The Infinity tankless units provide lots of hot water with a reduced number of cold-water sandwiches or hot water temperature fluctuation, mainly due to the modulating water valve and superior temperature stability and accuracy. An active bypass feature is found on the model RTG-199HE, and it improves temperature stability and comfort.

High efficiency

Dual fan setup is found on both models, while the condensing RT199HE model has two heat exchangers; primary, made of copper, and secondary, made of lightweight aluminum that utilizes the latent power from the flue gases and for a considerable increase in thermal efficiency.

The model RT199HE has only one heat exchanger made of copper, including all the inside waterway pipes. With two heat exchangers, the efficiency is higher, bigger elements mean more hot water, while the cascading kit allows you to connect up to 24 Bradford White tankless water heaters into one system for more power and hot water.

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Electronics

At the front of the unit, there is a round-shaped innovative digital control panel with the setup buttons and an LCD screen used to control and monitor the temperature and programming. The user can also get useful info about the heating process, parameters, real-time diagnostic and history of problems, and with the displayed error codes, even troubleshoot.

Safety

Bradford White tankless models are built for indoor and outdoor use, in both cases protected against sudden temperature drops and freezing – it utilizes the heating elements. Other safety elements include ionization flame rod sensor, overheat sensor, inlet, and outlet temperature sensors, backflow, and exhaust gas temperature sensors.

Venting

Installation is as easy as for many other models and brands; tankless water heaters can be installed indoors or outdoors, utilizing common features such as the single concentric venting system or twin system, horizontally or vertically terminated, with the PP, ABS, PVC, CPVC material, and up to 126 ft (4" venting), for indoor models.

The outdoor models are vent-less, venting pipes are not needed but the outdoor kit, and it is recommended to install them inside the recess box.

Summary

Bradford White provides an extended warranty of 12 years on heat exchangers, residential applications, and 5 years limited parts warranty. The warranty is usually shorter in commercial applications and when the tankless is used in combination with water heating/space heating and recirculation.

All Bradford White tankless water heaters are small and compact – the size is the same - approximately 31 "x18" x11" but the weight is different, RT199HE weighs 74 pounds while RTG199ME 67 pounds. This is what makes them convenient for wall and tight installation, saving you the floor space for other use.

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