Bradford White vs Rheem Water Heaters for 4 Categories

Bradford White vs Rheem water heaters, which are the best? Take a look at the difference between them in 4 categories in this article.

Bradford White Rheem
PurchasingProfessional plumbing supply houseBig box stores
Professional installation required    
Mostly limited  
Mostly prorated  
Self-cleaning system X

Are you ready to get a closer look at the difference between these water heaters? Then check out the extended comparison coming up next.

running water
By the end of this guide you’ll be able to choose the perfect water heater for your home!

Bradford White

Bradford White is an American water heater company that first set up their business over 135 years ago. But how do their water heaters shape up when compared with Rheem? Take a look at the following information to find out.


Let’s start the ball rolling in the purchasing department. We’ll take a look at what you have to do to get your hands on a Bradford White.

To buy a Bradford White water heater, you will need to do one of the following.

You will not be able to get one at your local homeware or big box store.

Ok, so perhaps getting hold of a Bradford White is not that convenient. But their purchasing system ensures that there is someone on the end of the line helping you to choose the best product.

Their professionals will make sure that your water heater suits your needs. In some cases, a contractor will visit your home to discuss your options. Bradford White will guide you through everything from the initial buying stage.


Now we’ve spoken about purchasing, we should also consider installation. How easy is it for you to have a Bradford White water heater installed?

Take note of the following information about installing a Bradford White water heater.

  • Only qualified licensed professionals can install Bradford White water heaters
  • You can get in touch with a local contractor that sells Bradford White products. The contractor will install your water heater.

I get it, this may seem like a bit of an inconvenience. But, professional installation has many benefits. It ensures that everything is done as it should be. If the unit starts to malfunction after its installation, you will have no problems getting it fixed. Also, professional installation ensures that everything is done safely.

plumber working on sink
Only qualified licensed professionals can install Bradford White water heaters


Now here is something really important to consider before you buy a water heater. That is, the warranty. What kind of warranty is available for Bradford White water heaters? Well, that does largely depend on the type of heater that you buy. But here are some of the fundamental things you should know about their warranties.

  • Most Bradford White warranties are limited. Their limited warranty covers the glass-lined tank and component parts. It covers the malfunction of the materials or any errors in the installation. This will help you if you need any replacement parts or even a new water heater.
  • The limited warranty covers the first buyer. It also extends to any subsequent owners. (This is if the water heater remains in the same place that it was first installed in the US.)
  • You can contact your personal distributor to make a claim on your behalf for the warranty. They will sort out the claim for you so that you don’t have to.


A water heater with a self-cleaning mechanism will save you a lot of time and energy. And you’re in luck because Bradford White water heaters are made with this very mechanism. Let’s find out more about how it works.

  • Bradford White water heaters use a hydro jet self-cleaning system. This system sprays water out of jets on the inside of your tank. This system kicks into action every time you run the hot water.
  • The self-cleaning system helps to prevent a build-up of calcium and sediment. Although sediment will still build up, it will not do so in big chunks.
  • It is still recommended by the manufacturers that you perform periodic maintenance. This is to get rid of any pesky sediment that the self-cleaning system could not get rid of.
  • Because sediment will not build up in big chunks, the operating noise of the water heater is low. It operates quietly because there aren’t any chunks of sediment knocking about when you turn the hot water on.
  • The self-cleaning system helps to prolong the life of the water heater


Rheem has been making products for almost 100 years. It is the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America. But what can we say about how their water heaters compare to Bradford White? Take a look at the following information to find out.


Purchasing a Rheem water heater is super simple. Here’s what you can do to find one for your home.

  • You can find one of their models at any big box store
  • You can receive help choosing the right heater from a Rheem dealer
  • Rheem sells their water heaters directly to homeowners

You do not have to buy Rheem water heaters through plumbing supply houses or contractors. This makes it easier for you to quickly buy a new water heater.


Ok, so the purchasing was dead easy. But what about the installation? Here’s everything you need to know about getting a Rheem water heater into your home.

  • You do not need to have your Rheem water heater installed by a professional or a local contractor

The easy installation process of a Rheem water heater makes it cheaper for you to have yours installed.


What kind of warranty options are available for Rheem water heaters? Here’s a run-down of the most important information about their warranties.

  • Rheem offers 6, 9, and 12-year warranties. The more you pay, the longer the warranty for your unit.
  • The warranties are prorated. This means that they will only cover you for part of the initial cost. If there is a major problem with your Rheem water heater, it could be expensive for you to fix. This is especially the case if yours is already a good couple of years into its warranty.


What can we say about the self-cleaning ability of a Rheem water heater? Unfortunately, not much. This is because these water heaters are not made with a self-cleaning mechanism.

If you have a Rheem water heater, you will have to do the following.

  • Regular maintenance on the water heater. This is to drain the build-up of calcium and sediment inside the unit. Regular maintenance will help to keep the noise to a minimum. This is because sediment, when left to build up for a long time, is noisy as it moves about in the tank. This is especially the case when you turn on the hot water.
  • As the tank does not have a self-cleaning system, its life expectancy is shorter. This is especially true if you have a lot of scale build-up inside the tank. If you live in a hard water area, the life expectancy of your water heater could be significantly reduced.


Bradford White vs Rheem water heaters. Which is the best for your home?

You should choose a Bradford White water heater if:

  • You would like a personalized buying process with a contractor to help you choose the best unit for you
  • You want the peace of mind that comes with professional installation
  • You would like a limited warranty that offers a simple claim process
  • You need a water heater that has a self-cleaning system to cut down on maintenance

You should choose a Rheem water heater if:

  • You would like the freedom and the ease that comes with buying the water heater at a big box store
  • You would like to save money on installation

Has this article been helpful to you? Then make sure you check out some of our other articles and free guides. You can even sign up to our email list.

Have a great day!