Bradford White is the only water heater manufacturer that is made in the USA. Other manufacturers will claim it but usually only applies to a small percentage of units produced.
Many homes built within the last 20 years have Bradford White water heaters and many people who have owned one will tell you they have never had a problem with it. In fact we replace many 16+ year old Bradford White water heaters that are still in working condition and even more impressive they still produce plenty of hot water.
A Bradford White water heater is lined with glass on the inside of the tank. The glass holds up extremely well against corrosion but must be protected against thermal expansion in order to maximize tank life.
The newer homes in Johnson County built within the last 16 years primarily have Bradford White water heaters. A majority of these homes also were required to have a Pressure Reducing Valve installed inside the home to regulate the incoming water pressure. Any home with more than 80 psi of water pressure must be regulated.
While the Pressure Reducing Valve is designed to protect your plumbing system it’s not a sure way to prevent dangerously high water pressure inside your home. It can actually act as a backflow device which can cause for pressure build up from thermal expansion.
Bradford White water heaters seem to have the most reliable gas valves on the market. If you have a Bradford White water heater that doesn’t put out enough hot water it’s likely due to a broken dip tube which can be replaced without having to put in a new unit. However if the water heater is 10 years or older it might make more sense to just replace the unit. 12 years is the most common age that we see Bradford White water heaters start to leak. And almost every time we replace a Bradford White it’s due to a leak and is often still in working condition.
Expansion tanks play an important role in protecting Bradford white water heater tanks from leaking prematurely. Not only should you have a expansion tank in place but it should also be inflated to the proper air pressure and installed in an upright position. An expansion tank will usually fail before the water heater so plan on replacing it every 6 years. Once an expansion tank has filled with water it will usually need to be replaced.