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A. O. Smith Water Heaters
A. O. Smith Water Heaters
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.29/5
  • 5 stars
    2
  • 4 stars
    1
  • 3 stars
    1
  • 2 stars
    0
  • 1 stars
    41
Based on 45 ratings submitted in the last year
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A. O. Smith Water Heaters

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474 A. O. Smith Water Heaters Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Rated with 5 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 16, 2019

Installed an A.O. Smith water heater about a year ago for a customer. The unit failed at the dielectric fitting. After speaking to their customer service they issued a full exchange at Lowe's. I was expecting a hassle at Lowe's and it was painless. Great customer service all the way around. Thanks.

Be the first one to find this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 11, 2019

BUYER BEWARE. My plumber bought this from Lowe's in 7/17 and after troubleshooting by changing elements it worked for 6 months. Same issue of not enough hot water so he changed them again and now the same issue! Their pop product is horrible but their customer service is worse! Should have returned it in the 1st place!

2 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 10, 2019

Almost immediately after my 50 gallon A. O. Smith hot water heater was installed by a local plumbing contractor, it started making a high pitched whine that could be heard through my house. The plumbing contractor replaced the burner assembly which did not resolve the problem and indicated that I would have to contact A. O. Smith directly for warranty service. To the company's credit they provided work order numbers for five service calls for an outside contractor and after replacing just about every part except the tank were not able to fix the problem. After numerous phone calls to the manufacturer they finally agreed to replace the unit but are insisting that they will not pay for the labor because the heater is over a year old. I have explained that the problem (documented) was reported well within the first year and they should not be able to "run out the clock" if they cannot fix the problem within the first year.

As frustrating as this is, dealing with their telephone customer service department is even worse. In the last week I have made more than a dozen phone call and each time keep being passed back and forth from the warranty department to the recall department. I have been told on several occasion that I cannot be transfer to a supervisor or manager and must wait for a call back which usually occurs the next day.

My advice is if anyone needs to replace their hot water heater DO NOT buy an A. O. Smith water heater and if you are using a plumbing contractor, insist that they not use this product either. And if anyone from A. O. Smith reads this comment, please feel free to get in touch with me. You know who I am, David from Manhattan Beach, CA.

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2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 18, 2018

Purchased this water heater in September 2014. I had to replace the pilot assembly three years later - almost $200. Today - December 17, 2018 - the burner assembly burst. A.O. Smith could not get someone out to fix my water heater for over a week. Every service provider I spoke with talked about the problems and issues A.O. Smith is having with their water heaters, a recall, that they're overwhelmed. I have talked with their recall department 7x this evening. Long story short: they can't do anything. They can't get a part to me for over a day; their only service provider in my area doesn't know when he can schedule a visit - he says for at least 6-7 days. Other service providers will charge me an out-of-area charge of approximately $400. DO NOT BUY A.O. SMITH WATER HEATERS - they are having recall issues, technical issues.

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 15, 2018

The hot water heater was installed in 2017 so it is still under warranty. The tech support requires multiple efforts (with different technicians in a call center) on customer's end to trouble shoot - pictures, re-do vent, sent parts 2 times and still no hot water or resolution. I would never buy their product again and could not recommend this company's products to anyone. When a customer's quality of life is impacted by a product's failure, replacement should be immediate. This company has failed to honor a warranty. I cannot recommend this company or their products at all.

4 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 3 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 12, 2018

Our 22 year old Reliance failed (all over the floor) a few days before Thanksgiving, and we purchased the A.O. Smith replacement water heater that was manufactured 8/2018. Installation was in a small closet in a tight hallway, but everything seemed fine. The water heated up fast, but every time we ran the hot water the house vibrated like a huge UFO had landed and was idling... The installer came back four times over the week, and I spent an extra $285 to have the vent pipe replaced to no avail, when the senior installer who came out that day realized that it was the model of A.O. Smith that had issues with the burner assembly brackets.

He contacted AO Smith and they gave us an authorization number and referred us to a local company (Frontier Plumbing) that was handling the repairs. They came out twice and adjusted the bracket, but the sound got worse, so I contacted AO Smith. They called me back quickly and Hunter apologized and overnighted a new burner unit, which he assured would eliminate the defective part. Frontier came out immediately the next day, installed it and all is fine. The reason for three stars is that no actual recall or notification was put out on this issue because it was a "hit and miss" problem with the water heaters, and I feel that a company with huge historical magnitude as A.O. Smith is should have sent out a recall notice for "potential" issues. The three stars are a strong appreciation that they stood behind their product and made it right.

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6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 9, 2018

Our brand new water heater moans every time it comes on. They sent out a plumber that adjusted this and tweaked that, but it did nothing. I found the exact issue on YouTube and told them I would need a new burner. That was the last I've heard from them. Filed a BBB complaint and they simply ignored it. As far as I can tell, the same factory puts out Whirlpool water heaters, as well. Just put a different badge on it. I will never touch one of these products again.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 6, 2018

We had a brand new A. O. Smith 80 gallon water heater (ECT 80 120) professionally installed in September 2014. Just before Thanksgiving 2018 it started leaking. The water looked rusty, so we inferred the bottom of the tank had begun to rust. Our plumber surmised the tank was defective from the start. We contacted A. O. Smith and were told "to feel free to replace the water heater with any other brand", since they no longer make 80 gallon tanks, and "to keep the receipts and the rating sticker on the old tank". No word on how the 6-year warranty on the water heater was going to be honored.

Well, it was not. A. O. Smith proceeded to offer to "buy us out" of the warranty, at a low-balled fraction of the cost that it would take to replace the leaking tank with a like-for-like model of another brand. They are very hard to get a hold of, and have little interest in talking to customers, especially if you insist they honor their warranty on their products. They also acted incredulous at my assertion that there was a difference between honoring a warranty and trying to buy somebody out of one. A. O. Smith is a dishonest company, which does not honor its warranties, does not stand behind its products, and does not care about its customers. Save yourself the trouble and buy another brand. A. O. Smith does not deserve to still be in business. My guess is they won't for much longer, and there is no reason to miss them.

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5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 4, 2018

The hybrid heat pump operating mode in my new water heater can only be switched to the all-electric operating mode for a period of 48 hours max. There is no 'winter' operating option that will let you operate in all electric mode for an indefinite period of time. The problem is, in the hybrid mode, this model water heater draws heat out of my attached garage during the winter and makes my garage 10 to 15 degrees colder than its typical wintertime indoor air temperature of 45 degrees.

While cooling my garage is a great idea in the summer, it is not what I want when the outside air temperature is in the 20 to 30 degree F range. I called the A. O. Smith technical assistance hotline for help and was told there is no way to override the 48 hour limit on the all-electric operating mode. These new, hybrid electric water heaters by A. O. Smith should not be sold in cold weather regions of the U.S. without a specific warning to consumers about the cooling effect these units will have in your house, or in your garage.

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4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Resolution response: Dec. 1, 2018

Lowes resolved my issue by taking the Hot Water tank back. They did an outstanding job after a face to face conversation with them.

Original review: Nov. 26, 2018

I bought this 40 gal. electric heater on Black Friday at Lowe's. It has never worked. Lowe's refuses to exchange it without a return authorization. I am still dealing with A. O. Smith and they continue to have me test something else. I am ready to stop any business with Lowe's and A. O. Smith. No way to treat a customer.

7 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 19, 2018

Installed a brand new A. O. Smith Water Heater 2 weeks ago, now its burner keeps going out. I was told by A. O. Smith I need to build a separate venting for its water heater. A. O. Smith can't share the venting pipe with my furnace, which goes through Chimney, but my previous water heater has been using the same venting pipe for the last 15 years without any issue. However, A. O. Smith is firm that my venting pipe is the problem. It will be a very costly project to build a separate venting for this water heater. So anyone who consider buying A. O. Smith, be prepared to build a new venting system for A. O. Smith.

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 7, 2018

I bought 2 within 2 years. Both were red tagged as dangerous by gas man for faulty gas valves. Seems if this is a continuing error on multiple tanks maybe there's an error in how it's built. Warranty only covers part. I bought my heater. After it was installed I saw it was already 2 years old.

10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 4, 2018

Eight and a half years after purchase and light use, water heater leaked. This is a scam, fraudulent company. They should be arrested and their entire families should be stripped of all of their possessions and sentenced to hard labor for the rest of their miserable lives. You scum bags! Burn in hell.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 30, 2018

I purchased a water heater 6 weeks ago from A O Smith. It has never worked since day one. They had me change out thermostats, and heating elements. It still never worked. They are now saying that it has been too long since we purchased it, and they will not do anything for us. I will never buy their water heater again.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 28, 2018

We repiped our home in January, 2017. Since our water heater was more than 18 years old, (we never had an issue with it), the company suggested that a new water heater be installed at the same time. The water heater that was sold to us was an A.O. Smith 50 gallon gas water heater. The model #GUC-50 400. The BTU'S: 40,000. The cost was $850. On the evening of October 23, 2018, we did not have any hot water. My husband attempted to relight the pilot, to no avail. The next morning, we called the re-pipe company to tell them of our problem. We were told that they do not repair the water heater, but it is under warranty. They gave us a name and phone number to call. When we called, they could not come out for at least two days, and gave us the name of another company to call. We called and were told that the tech would be out that day and would call us to let us know that time that they would be at our home.

At 8:00 pm, we still had not received a call. We then called the tech to see when he would be at our home. He said that it would be much later that evening, and not to wait up for him. (Our heater is outside and easily accessible). At approximately 11:25 pm he arrived. We heard his truck come into our driveway. At 11:50, he left. He had to replace the Chamber Temperature Sensor, made "adjustments and modifications," relit the unit and left. This cost us $195 in labor since it is not covered under the warranty.

We now know after reading so many negative reviews on this product, that this unit should not be sold to an unsuspecting public. A.O. Smith continues to put out an inferior product knowing full well what a piece of crap it is. They are "RIPPING OFF" the consumer while they laugh all the way to the bank. We know that it is only a matter of time until something else goes south with the unit. We will NOT put another dime into it. We think all of us who have posted reviews need to band together to file a class action lawsuit against A.O. Smith, and contractors who continue to push their product. Our next step is to contact the Consumer Affairs Bureau in our state (CA) and file a formal complaint against this company. We are so sorry that we were all duped and taken advantage of as consumers.

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18 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 22, 2018

The guy at Lowe’s steered me wrong, telling me this is a good electric water heater. My hot water developed a strong sulphuric smell. I called my water company and they knew right away it is the anode rod in the water heater. I had the rod removed but it cost $375 because it takes three men to get it out. When I called AO Smith headquarters, they told me it would take three men. They also told me this issue isn’t covered under warranty because it’s the minerals in my water reacting to the aluminum rod. They say it’s environmental and they’ll sell me a rod made out of zinc for $75. Creeps! Make it right before selling it to the public.

21 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 17, 2018

I see a lot of negative reviews about A. O. Smith Water Heaters. Well I can say we install A. O. Smith Water Heater in 1994 new home. I have less than good well water but heater has last 24 years and counting. I realize I’m on borrowed time. I also realize no matter what brand I install it won’t last. It’s amazing that in 2018 the reliability of today’s appliance is far worst than years ago but are far more expensive.

22 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 12, 2018

Bought a water heater from A. O. Smith. Failed after three yrs. Still under warranty so company replaced, however labor not included. $1200.00. Thermostat failed on new heater after 3.7 yrs. A. O. Smith wouldn't replace thermostat, or discount replacement. This product appears to be defective. Would never buy A. O. Smith again.

13 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2018

I had an Element replaced after being in use 2 MONTHS, now less than a year later still in warranty, no labor covered the thermostat is out - the people (Armour Plumbing of Conroe that AO Smith recommended to use) wanted $350 to drain and put in new one. Didn't use them - found out the heater doesn't have to be drained to put in thermostat. Will not buy another AO Smith.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 14, 2018

I have had my AO Smith for ONLY 11 months. Three times the pilot light has went out. Called customer service and they said it was the burner unit that needs to be replaced due to the 6 blinking lights. They sent out a whole new burner unit. Before I installed the new burner unit I wanted to clean the bottom vent that sits below the pilot light of any dust or debris (it's in our laundry room). After cleaning the vent with a shop vac. it fired right up and was good for about 2-3 months. The problem with this unit reminds me of our old Sears Kenmore that did the same thing. So frustrating!!!

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 10, 2018

I bought an A.O. Smith water heater 2 years or less ago. The gas valve failed. It was warranted, but AOS said the valve would take up to 7 business days to arrive. So I had to pay $50.00 out of my own pocket to ship it so I'd have hot water. That's BS warranty coverage!

19 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 5, 2018

I had an A. O. Smith gas water heater installed Nov 2016, still new and under warranty, I had a leak from the pressure release valve, called and they will pay for the part which is $25 but the plumber cost $200. When asked A. O. Smith how the valve broke in less than 2 years, their response was that it was made by a third party. I paid a lot for the higher end water heater and they subcontract someone who is unreliable. I don’t understand how a business can keep going with so much bad reviews and terrible rating.

18 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 3, 2018

My hot water heater is 11 months old; I want to take a sledgehammer to the unit! Brand: A.O. Smith Signature propane purchased @ Lowe's last year. The unit worked consistently up to June 2018. We had trouble with the unit; the unit would not re-light itself when it needed to and the water would start to cool down because it would not relight itself.

It had to manually be re-lighted and still has to be manually re-lighted. The top of the tank would be relatively cold and the bottom of the tank would be extremely hot. A.O. Smith warranty people called two plumbers to get a look at it. First plumber had a bull crap theory that there was not enough propane coming into the house; our propane company then installed a brand new receptor on the tank and we ruled out the first plumber's theory. This plumber was from Sears A&E and was on the phone for 45 minutes than he was in my basement. This guy was not a plumber but a professional phone talker at best. He was at my house for an hour.

Second plumber was a master plumber with 23 years of experience and had his own company. He drove 58 miles from Pittsburgh's South Side to my place. The master plumber was at my house for FIVE hours. He tried everything and finally left my house with no real solution why the propane heater was not working. However, the master plumber must have told the warranty people that the unit was not vented properly but while the master plumber was at my house, he never said a word about the structuring of the vent.

With the master plumber's theory being released to the warranty; the warranty people have "suspended" our warranty on the unit. While the master plumber did not say a word about the venting to us, A.O. Smith argued that the venting pipe has to be at a 180 degrees angle. A.O. Smith wants us to hire an HVAC guy to see if we can make a proper vent with pipe going straight up from the basement and this would not be covered with the warranty.

The master plumber's theory could be bull-crap but we are not going to prove it. The venting pipe only has one function and that is to release the carbon monoxide emission. I strongly believe A.O. Smith made some phantom observation where an excuse was made to not have their defective tank replaced. A.O. Smith is now a company that I would not purchase from, again, & would not recommend; I have lost $700 because A.O. Smith has failed to fairly take effort into standing by their equipment.

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17 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Aug. 30, 2018

Bought a A. O. Smith Hot Water Heater exclusive to Lowe's. Brought it Home and installed it where my Old Water Heater was, using the SAME 240V Grounded Wall Plug in the Garage, but did buy a new Power Cord for it. THE NEW WATER HEATER DID NOT WORK. Called A. O. Smith and they said that they would not come out to look at it until I Rewire It to My Junction Box. Also A. O. Smith WILL NOT WARRANTY ANY of their Hot Water Heaters unless it is Wired directly to the Junction Box. No Matter what the States Building Codes are. I'm in Texas and this is not Code Required. So if you really want one of A. O. Smith Water Heaters, you need to figure in the cost of a Certified Electrician.

13 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 29, 2018

For years, I have had water heaters with my water softener. Never an issue. Recently, I bought an A.O. Smith HPTU-80N hybrid water heater. Replaced a GE Geospring which failed after a year. Three months after install, the tank developed a thick, milky-white goo-like substance on the bottom of the tank that was getting into the water. Was told by A.O. Smith that the soft water was attacking the aluminum anode rod and producing aluminum hydroxide.

The A.O. Smith rep explained I needed special new anode rods, which were not covered by the warranty. I explained this unit was only three months old, that the unit failed of its essential purpose if it could not correctly heat soft water and, therefore, A.O. Smith should provide these "special" anode rods free of charge. I was told that not only would A.O. Smith not provide the rods, it would not even split the cost with me and, in fact, would charge me to ship them to me in Arizona. Again, having had a number of brands of water heaters over the years in Arizona and using soft water, no other brand has this problem. A.O. Smith should ensure its water heaters can function with soft water, not produce a precipitate that potentially endangers my family's health, and shortens the expected life of the unit.

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16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 27, 2018

I purchased a well water tank at Lowe's in Union City, Tn. Installed it for 200 dollars labor and two days later the bladder failed in the tank. Lowe's will replace the tank but not sure if the tank they have is any good or one brought back as mine was scratched on the paint on top when I opened it and there was not any packing in the tank to secure it either. They will not pay any money for installation. I asked if I got another one and it happened to go bad again in the five year warranty would they pay any cost and they said no. So, one tank cost me 200, another bad one cost me 200 and then another one cost me 200 if it happened that the other one is bad. A. O. Smith out of Ashland, Tn. would not pay for any installation since they will not accept my degree in plumbing since I do not have a paid state license. So, my advice is to buy only from a company that will pay for your downtime if they have a tank that is defective.

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 17, 2018

We purchased this water heater from LOWE'S in Feb of 2018. It broke in June of 2018. We replaced both upper & lower elements and it still will not heat water. Had Lowe's to check it out and they say the company is responsible. A.O. Smith says they are not responsible for it because we should have taken it apart & tightened up the components. We are at our wit's end trying to get a credit for this $%00.00 water heater. Very upset with A.O. Smith company & added them to our Consumer Beware website. Poor workmanship & lousy customer service.

15 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 10, 2018

I am the manager of a 134 unit apartment complex, each unit has its own water heater in the unit. We have been buying AO Smith water heaters because the property has some units that are 20+ years old and still work so I thought they must be good units. The last three units I have bought all failed in a very short period of time. The most recent one was installed on 3/5/2018 and failed yesterday 8/9/2018. We pulled the electrodes out and they where completely corroded and shorted out. AO Smith said we would have to install water softeners or reverse osmosis filtration on all the units and they will not warranty the units because our water is to hard?

I looked through all the paperwork and I did not see anything saying "Do not use with hard water". The complex was built in 1968 and we have never had this problem. I would recommend do not use their units if you have hard water, which is all of my area (Southern California). I don't think a water heater that cost just under $500 should require water filtration or a water softener just to work. I am very disappointed and I think the workmanship has just been lost, no product quality any more. I am not sure if they just got cheaper on their materials or if there is some regulation that is making them use less quality materials.

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20 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 4, 2018

Water heater purchased in 2013 with a 6 year warranty for my tenants in a 2-family duplex. Water heater failed after 5 years, and required over $700 in repairs. However, due to my being a "landlord" rather than the actual homeowner/user, they FAILED to uphold their warranty because it was a "commercial" installation, since I didn't live there. BOGUS!! NEVER trust a company that misleads customers in this fashion. I decided to pay more for a new heater than place any trust in A.O. Smith.

14 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 24, 2018

We purchased A. O. Smith (model SAS 10L) geyser unit from a dealer in Chennai on 26/09/2016 and installed the same. In our gated community we get water from nearby bore well/well. Initially the geyser worked ok for a year. Thereafter we started getting a foul smell from the water coming out from the geyser. Since I faced the problem only in the specific restroom, we felt some issue in the water supply (We recirculate STP water for flushing purposes) and hence we were looking in that angle. Also I never experienced this foul smell issue in the last 40 years with any geyser. Finally I contacted the company last month who promptly sent their technician very next day. He opened the geyser, cleaned the heating element (deposits), tank etc and fitted it back.

Due to summer the geyser was not used. Also this restroom is meant for guest etc. I was again getting foul smell again from the geyser last week when we used it. Hence I made another complaint to the customer care. One of the offices from the company told me that you have to use the geyser regularly or at least draw some cold water through the geyser. According to him this geyser has an "Anode rod" to take care of the tank corrosion. But we were neither told by the company nor their manual tells about it at the time of purchase/installation.

A O Smith technician told that he can replace the anode rod but on cost. I refused for payment as the unit is still under warranty of 2 years and also due to their poor communication of instructions. Technician went back without replacing the spare. We would like to caution other friends who intend to go for this brand in view of the wastage of water even if the unit is not used as well as periodical replacement of anode rod. Thank you.

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15 people found this review helpful
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A. O. Smith expert review by ConsumerAffairs

Sold exclusively by plumbing wholesalers and plumbing contractors, A. O. Smith offers a broad range of residential and commercial water heaters, boilers and storage tanks. They have delivered hot water solutions to consumers for over 70 years.

  • Types: A. O. Smith offers a wide range of residential and commercial water heaters. People looking for a residential water heater can choose from multiple options including gas, electric, tankless, hybrid or solar. The gas units range in capacity from 30-98 gallons while electric units range in capacity from 19.9-80 gallons.

  • Remote monitoring: iCOMM Elite is A. O. Smith’s remote monitoring technology for commercial water heaters. It allows them to interact with, monitor and manage commercial water heaters. This minimizes down time for repairs which lessens the time a business is without hot water.

  • Vertex water heater: The Vertex water heater was designed by A. O. Smith to have a lower manufacturing cost and save consumers a significant amount of money in energy costs. It comes in a 50-gallon power-direct vent model and a 75-gallon power-direct vent model. It has improved thermal efficiency and is easily installed.

  • Product selector tool: For consumers unsure of which water heater to buy, A. O. Smith provides an interactive tool to help consumers pick the right unit. By answering a few simple questions, a list of units with prices is generated.

  • Product support: Consumers can find a product support tool online in case they need product manuals, spec sheets or catalogs. If the product name or model number is unknown, there is a pre-made list of types that will guide consumers to the right model.

  • Best for: Consumers looking for a wide range of residential and commercial water heater options.

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The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

A. O. Smith Water Heaters Company Information

Company Name:
A. O. Smith
Website:
www.aosmith.com
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