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Bradford White VS Rheem Water Heater 

Water heaters are no longer a luxury but a necessity. Having to take a cold shower every now and then due to a lack of hot water can be a struggle. Water heaters enable users to gain access to instant hot water, providing a great experience as they shower.

Today, there are plenty of water heater brands on the market. This abundance of options can make it hard to choose the right one. Bradford White and Rheem are among the most popular brands available today. They provide a wide array of models that are available in different sizes and form to meet different consumer needs.

Bradford White Description


bradford-waterheater-versusBradford White is a Philadelphia based company that dates back to 1881. It has manufacturing facilities across the world that produce all kinds of water heaters. They are well known for producing three kinds of water heaters: gas/propane, electric, and tankless.

  • Gas/Propane
    Bradford White has a wide selection of propane/gas-powered water heaters. They are all built with the company’s patented signature technology. Most units feature a Vitraglas lining for durability and a smart gas control system dubbed ICON. The products are also NAECA compliant and produce low NOx. Bradford has also built a name for having the best warranties in the industry.
  • Electric
    Bradford produces different types of electric water heaters to ensure there’s something for every household. All units are highly efficient and come in different sizes. Similar to the gas/propane powered units, these heaters also feature Bradford’s signature technology (Vitraglas lining) and smart controls. They are widely known for being cost-effective and highly functional.
  • Tankless
    For users that require continuous hot water, Bradford offers tankless water heaters that are significantly smaller than the tanked versions. They, however, offer the same quality and functionality. These tankless versions are portable and compact enough to fit in the smallest of spaces. They are also built with a special flow switch that only activates when the water is flowing. This helps to save energy.

Strong Sides

  • Safe and efficient heating.
  • Electric models offer a built-in ECO mode that prevents overheating.
  • Corrosion-resistant – Vitraglas lining and magnesium anode rods work to protect the metal tanks from unwanted water action which can cause corrosion.
  • Sediment reduction – A special dip tube creates a turbulent flow of cold water to reduce sediment deposition at the bottom of the tank.

Weak Sides

  • The warranty for parts doesn’t last very long.
  • Some water heaters are heavy.
  • Buyers must incur an expert installation fee.

Rheem Water Heater Description


rheem-waterheater-versusRheem is a brand that dates back to 1925. It’s a California-based company that is recognized all over the world for selling some of the most popular water heaters on the market. Its popularity first started in 1931 when it introduced the gas storage heater.

Rheem provides a wide variety of water heaters for all kinds of hot water needs. Products include electric, solar-powered, and gas water heaters. These provide efficiency and productivity, thanks to long warranties and advanced features. Commercial and residential models are available under each class, except for solar. Some of the types offered include:

  • Rheem tank gas water heaters
    Rheem offers more than 20 types of water heaters under this category. They are classified according to size and range from 29 gallons to 98 gallons. They are further categorized into either good, better, or best. The brand’s tanked heaters are quite popular for their affordability and efficiency.
  • Rheem tank electric water heaters
    These are built with either one, two, or three 1,500-watt coils. They vary in capacity and are the least costly. Their only downsides are that they come with high operating costs and are the least efficient. Their recovery time is also slow. Here, Rheem offers capacities that vary from 19 gallons to 55 gallons. The Classic Series offers the best heaters under this category.
  • Rheem hybrid heat pump water heaters
    Hybrid heat pump water heaters collect heat from the surrounding air using a compressor, refrigerant, and coil and use it to heat cold water through electric coils. Tank capacities here include 50, 65, and 80 gallons. The heater’s recovery is quick and provides continuous hot water. The best water heater under this category is the Professional Prestige Series Hybrid Electric.
  • Rheem tankless water heaters
    Rheem tankless water heaters are either electric or gas-powered. They are available in different sizes to serve different consumer needs. The electric variants provide continuous and instant hot water but have a lower gallons-per-minute rating. The top model in the group is the Pro Prestige Series 95 which provides 94% efficiency.
  • Rheem solar water heaters
    These are available with either a complete tank or a heating element that can fit in a collection panel, gas/electric backup, or an existing tank. Models are available in different capacities and range from 75 gallons to 120 gallons. The best model in this range is the Rheem Solaraide HE which can be bought as an element or a complete tank.

Strong Sides

  • Has the largest collection to choose from.
  • Finding parts and service technicians is easy due to the brand’s popularity.
  • Water heaters are available in different sizes for different needs.
  • Tankless models are compact and easy to install.
  • Gas water heaters can be converted to use propane.

Weak Sides

  • Water heaters that feature a tank are prone to heat loss.
  • Electric heaters can use as much as 3-5 times the power needed to run tankless, hybrid, or gas water heaters.
  • Hybrid and solar heaters from Rheem are expensive and costs a lot to repair.
  • Hybrid models have been reported to have poor mechanical performance.

Overview and Conclusion

Rheem offers a wider variety of products compared to Bradford. The latter mainly produces water heaters for wholesale distribution. Bradford water heaters also require professional installation. This gives Rheem the upper hand as it’s less costly and is able to meet individual and residential needs better.

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