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Best Bradford White Water Heaters of 2022

Updated
Bradford White is a giant in the water heating industry and we've got everything you need to know.

When searching for a new water heater, it’s always worth keeping Bradford White in mind. Bradford White is one of the oldest and largest American water heater manufacturers. The company is responsible for numerous technological innovations.

Today, the brand is made up of several branches, including Niles Steel Tank, Bradford White Canada, and Laars Heating Systems. With such a long history and so many products, it can be tough to know where to start looking.

To help you choose, we have written three Bradford White water heater reviews and compiled them in this article. They should give you a better sense of the company and the advantages and disadvantages of their heaters.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Bradford Residential RG2F50S6N
Best Gas Water Heater
Bradford Residential RG2F50S6N
  • Spark-to-pilot ignition system
  • Advanced temperature control system
  • Flammable vapor sensor
Product Image of the Bradford Residential RE250S6
Best Electric Water Heater
Bradford Residential RE250S6
  • Hydrojet Total Performance System
  • Surface mounted thermostat
  • Insulated with non-CFC foam
Product Image of the Bradford Infiniti RTG-K-160-N1
Best Tankless Water Heater
Bradford Infiniti RTG-K-160-N1
  • Fitted with scale reduction technology
  • Self-calibrating fan & gas valve
  • Has combustion management system


Product Reviews

To find the best Bradford White products, we scoured the company’s range, got expert advice, and read numerous user reviews. Thanks to all that research, we now have our top-three selection.

1. Residential RG2F50S6N Atmospheric Gas Water Heater

Best Bradford White Gas Water Heater

When writing this list, it was impossible to avoid this gas-powered 50-gallon water heater. Bradford White’s fan-assisted gas water heater is one of the best of its type. It is Energy Star certified and even exceeds those requirements.

One feature that makes this water heater so economical is its high-efficiency blower. This draws in air through a baffle system, which results in higher water heating efficiency. It is also powerful, with a more than 75-gallon first-hour rating.

This unit also has the ICON System — an intelligent gas control featuring a spark-to-pilot ignition system. It prevents a constantly-burning pilot, which often results in higher energy waste. The ICON System helps you save on pilot gas during low-demand periods.

It also features an advanced temperature control system. This constantly monitors the burner to ensure the temperature stays consistent. A green LED light indicates when the heater is on and communicates different diagnostic codes.

Something we find particularly beneficial is the flammable vapor sensor. This is an electronic sensor that prevents the burner from operating if it detects flammable vapors.

Bradford White also claims that the unit is maintenance-free and doesn’t require frequent cleaning thanks to its Hydrojet system. The system will reduce sediment but also increases the first-hour rating by pushing the water around the unit.

Pros

  • High efficiency.
  • Fitted ICON System.
  • Features an advanced temperature control system.
  • Flammable vapor sensor.

Cons

  • Warranty on parts doesn’t last as long as we hoped.

Product Specs

Uniform energy factor 0.68
Tank capacity 50 gallons
Recovery rate 41 gallons per hour
First hour rating 76 gallons

2. Residential RE250S6 Upright Electric Water Heater

Best Bradford White Electric Water Heater

Although Bradford White’s electric water heaters aren’t as popular as their gas models, they still have a lot going for them. Their Residential upright 50-gallon electric water heater is energy-efficient and low-maintenance.

It features a fully automatic control which is a fast-acting thermostat mounted at the surface. The thermostat is fitted with a high-limit energy cut-off, essentially a reset button in case it overheats. Bradford White included immersed heating elements for efficient heat transfer directly into the water.

This unit also boasts the Hydrojet Total Performance System. In tandem with Bradford White’s Vitraglas lining, this reduces the risks of rust and corrosion. They also fused the Vitraglas to the steel tank for extra protection.

The top and sides of the tank are insulated by a thick layer of non-CFC foam. This improves efficiency and allows for less energy consumption.

To further reduce heat loss through the pipes, heat traps are fitted on the water inlet and outlet. Bradford White also claims that the heat traps reduce the operation noise of the unit by incorporating a flexible disk.

Pros

  • A surface-mounted thermostat maintains the right temperature.
  • Fitted with immersed heating elements.
  • Insulated with non-CFC foam as well as heat traps to prevent heat loss.
  • Quiet operation.

Cons

  • Warranty on parts could be longer.

Product Specs

 

Uniform energy factor 0.92
Tank capacity 50 gallons
Recovery rate 21 gallons per hour
First hour rating 60 gallons

3. Infiniti RTG-K-160-N1 Tankless Gas Water Heater

The Infiniti RTG-K-160-N1 is a condensing tankless water heater. It is a powerful little machine that boasts some very useful features.

One of its key features is the SRT or scale reduction technology. Scale build-up in tankless heaters usually results in premature failure or increased need for maintenance. Bradford White’s SRT effectively eliminates this issue.

The need for a recirculation pump and an internal buffer tank has also been eliminated, thanks to the company’s STEADISET technology. This reduces the chance of the “cold water sandwich” effect where the unit suddenly stops producing hot water.

This heater also has a self-calibrating fan and gas valve — a combustion management system. It uses sensors to configure the air-fuel ratio for the gas type, fuel length, and altitude.

Another high-tech feature is the external digital control, which enables you to precisely adjust the temperature. You can choose anything between 100 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Finally, there is the active bypass which manages the temperature and ensures stability.

Pros

  • Fitted with scale reduction technology.
  • Includes STEADISET, reducing the chances of cold water bursts.
  • Features a combustion management system.
  • Comes with a fitted digital control panel and temperature stability control.

Cons

  • Short warranty on parts.

Product Specs

Uniform energy factor 0.92
Tank capacity N/A
Recovery rate 7 gallons per minute
First hour rating N/A

Product Comparison Chart

Product Award Uniform energy factor Tank capacity Recovery rate First hour rating
Residential RG2F50S6N Gas 0.68 50 gal 41 gal/hr 76 gal
Residential RE250S6 Electric 0.92 50 gal 21 gal/hr 60 gal
Infiniti RTG-K-160-N1 Tankless 0.92 N/A 420 gal/hr N/A

Is Bradford White a Good Water Heater Brand?

Despite its long history, Bradford White has remained an innovative company. Over the years, it has introduced new designs, systems, and safety features. Its heaters are strong, durable, and long-lasting, making them a great option for large homes with high hot water demand.

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Which Bradford White Water Heater to Choose

Gas/Propane

Bradford White is renowned as a driving force in gas water heater innovation. It’s no surprise that the company’s line of gas-powered boilers is now very large.

All of their gas-powered models feature patented technology, backed up by arguably the best warranties you can find in the water heating industry.

Most of their units are made with a Vitraglas lining for extra durability. Many also feature an intelligent gas control system called ICON. It’s clear that Bradford White products boast numerous unique and useful features.

Their gas-powered water heaters are also quite energy-efficient. Most of the heaters in their range have a uniform energy factor of at least 0.54. A large percentage of their products are also Low NOx and compliant to NAECA.

Electric

Bradford White’s line of electric water heaters covers all sizes. There should be one for every household, however large its demand for hot water. Its electric models are highly efficient and NAECA compliant.

Much like their gas-powered cousins, these heaters also include Bradford White’s patented technology and exclusive features. This all results in highly productive and cost-effective water heaters.

They also have the signature Vitraglas lining and automatic controls, delivering hot water in an instant. Even Bradford White’s least advanced unit has a uniform energy factor of 0.92, a sign that it is significantly more efficient than many of its competitors.

Tankless

Bradford White’s line of tankless water heaters is considerably smaller than its tank-type series but still of the same high quality. These heaters provide a good option for homeowners who require continuous hot water.

The water heaters are compact and will fit neatly into almost any space. Even so, some models are powerful enough to supply your whole house with hot water.

Being tankless doesn’t mean Bradford White avoided adding some extra technology and features. As well as supplying you with hot water indefinitely, they have a special flow switch. This switch will only activate once you open a hot water tap, helping you save electricity.


History of Bradford White

Bradford White was founded in 1881 as the Pennsylvania Range Boiler Company (1). In the decades since, they have continued to build top-quality boilers, only stopping briefly during the Second World War. During the war, they constructed pressure vessels for the Maritime Commission (2).

In 1951, Bradford White introduced its new water heater — an innovative, glass-lined tank called the Vitraglas. It wasn’t until 1959 that the company began to focus solely on producing water heaters. Around this time, it became The Pennsylvania-Bradford Appliance Corporation.

White Products of Middleville joined the Pennsylvania-Bradford Appliance Corporation in 1968. Following the merger, it became the Bradford White Corporation.

Bradford White introduced its first power-vent water heater in 1985. In 1992, it became an employee-owned company and the Bradford White we know today. It then introduced us to the HydroJet system in 1993.

Bradford White changed the water heating industry in 1996 by increasing tank warranties on residential models. The new warranty would protect storage tank heaters for six years. This isn’t the only industry-first Bradford White can claim.

In 2003, Bradford White released a new model, the PowerStor Series indirect water heater. A year later, it expanded into the tankless water heater market, releasing the EverHot series.

Between 2009 and 2010, the ICON system was introduced, which is a gas control valve. This provided homeowners with improved protection and energy saving.

Bradford White has continued expanding, acquiring Laars Heating Systems and others. In 2012, the company opened a new training facility, the Bradford White International Technical Excellence Center. Here, they focus on developing new eco-friendly appliances (3).

Bradford White Customer Service

If you encounter problems with a Bradford White heater, don’t panic. You can find contact numbers as well as fax and email addresses, user manuals, and other information on the company’s support site.

There are also guides for specific models on the site. These help with any technical difficulties and can assist you in setting up your new unit.

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Where to Buy Bradford White Water Heaters

Bradford White water heaters are, unfortunately, not sold through sites such as Amazon and Home Depot. If you want to purchase a unit, you can do so via a local distributor who sells them.

You can also acquire one through the Bradford White website. Here, you will be redirected to a local distributor once you have chosen your desired product.

FAQs

Where are Bradford White Water Heaters Made?

Bradford White has been an employee-owned company since 1992 and the company has continued to base its operations in the United States, where it was founded more than a century ago. Today, it has more than 2,000 employees and its products are still manufactured in the US exclusively.

Are Bradford White Water Heaters Glass Lined?

Bradford White introduced Vitraglas in 1951, the first glass-lined water heater of its type. Vitraglas was a game-changer for glass-lined boilers and the company has continued to produce heaters with glass lining ever since. They have remained a trademark of Bradford White and something that the company takes a lot of pride in.

What Other Brands Does Bradford White Own?

Since the 1968 merger of Pennsylvania-Bradford Appliance Corporation and White Products, Bradford White has continued to expand. Today, the Bradford White Corporation has four main subsidiaries: Bradford White Water Heaters, Niles Steel Tank Company, Bradford White Canada and Laars Heating Systems.


Conclusion

Bradford White has been producing boilers for more than a century, dating all the way back to 1881 in Pennsylvania. However, it wasn’t until 1959 that the company began focusing exclusively on water heaters. Today, their main expertise is in tank-type gas heaters.

If you’re looking for a tank-type gas heater or a hybrid heat pump, consider a unit from Bradford White, one of the oldest and most respected names in US heater production.

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About the Author

Peter Gray

Peter has been a homeowner for 35+ years and has always done his own repair and improvement tasks. As a retired plumber, Peter now spends his time teaching others how they can fix leaks, replace faucets, and make home improvements on a budget.