Bradford White

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

We installed a commercial grade expensive water heater when the restaurant was built four years ago, the heater started leaking past week. We called two different plumbers and they both are saying that the tank is rotten from inside and therefore leaking, there is no way to fix it and needs to be replaced. They are estimating the cost to be between $4500-$8500. When you buy such an expensive high quality water heater, you expect it last at least 10-15 years. I would like to request a new replacement water heater at no cost, I will pay for the labor which could be anywhere from 1000-1500 dollars. Thanks.

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Would not buy this brand again. Since I got this BW HW heater 1.5 years ago, the temp control has been terrible. It's either way too hot or not hot enough. Move it just a scootch, and it changes unpredictably. I had the installer check it and they said nothing they can do. Very annoying. Either I have to have way too hot water, and be paying to have it way too hot, or not hot enough. Terrible quality.

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The Bradford White Gas Power Vent water heater failed without warning overnight causing extensive flooding and water damage to a finished basement. Water heater was almost 10 years old. Should be built with a safety water cut off valve that ceases water supply to water heater if incoming water rate is greater than exiting flow.

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I have owned this Bradford White water heater for 3yrs at a cost of $1700. Installed. And every year since it needed repair, the (vapour sensor) at a cost of $170. Twice so far. And every year I have contacted Bradford White for warranty by emails with no results. So would I recommend one of these. Definitely Not.

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We had the Bradford White gas 40 gallon hot water heater B/Wmitw40s6fbn installed 3.5 years ago after being surprised that the prior Bradford White unit lasted over 13 years. I thought we would have the same luck, but it started leaking from the side somewhere and leaking down the unit after 3.5 years. The pilot light seemed to also be going on and off a lot. Luckily my wife, Melinda discovered it leaking and cleaned up the puddle before it went into our finished half of the basement and into my office. My 3 sons, 13, 15 and 18 as well as Mindy and I had to do without hot water for a few days as it happened during February vacation and we were going skiing. We returned on the weekend so had to take showers at the country club for a few days.

The plumber said that Bradford White would charge $140 for the new tank for shipping and the fact that it was a newer and better model. It looked exactly the same as the other unit. Plus it cost me $300 in labor to replace it. I will keep a close eye on this one after reading all the negative reviews. It seems as though Bradford White have done a 180 since we bought the last one 17 years ago when it was with our newly purchased home. It is made in the U.S. so I can't blame it for being made in China! There is obviously a defect with this 40 gallon tank.

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I purchased water heater in 2008 that failed under warranty a few years later. The company agreed to replace it under warranty free of charge with the exception of labor. This newer unit is now having issues and I paid for the repair of two thermostats because it assumed the remaining warranty of the original failed unit, and no longer has a warranty. Customer service informed me that they may have been willing to offer a discount on price of repair if I would have called them before it was completed. Not available though after the repair. It is difficult to understand how the newer unit does not also have an original warranty. Now penalized twice for one failed unit and one that is also malfunctioning after a few years. I will not purchase this brand again and will be very clear about when a warranty starts and ends when I purchase a replacement.

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I spoke to a representative Danielle on Friday Feb 17, 2017. My water heater that was a replacement of a warranty issue that was replaced in the end of 2014 and has now had the same issue as the previous one. We have had this 1 for 2 years. I spoke with the representative and she explained that the warranty for this new heater goes off the warranty start date of the old heater, even though the heater has broken 2 years later and that the issues and complaints against their heaters list goes on and on.

I explained that I do not feel that I should be liable to replace a heater that was a replacement on a faulty 1 they provided in the first place. I asked her if there was anything she can do for me and explained I am 7 months pregnant and have a 4 year old and buying a water heater should not be forced into my budget when a defect was provided. I said "so what you are saying is you cannot do anything for me and possibly nothing for me next week since it is the weekend?" She said "that is exactly what I am saying". I asked to be connected to her supervisor and I was transferred to a Amy. I left a message and of course had to follow-up again Tuesday (today 2/22/2017) in which I was told she did not get my message, odd because it was her VM that I left it on.

I was then told the same thing about the warranty (EXP 9/2016) and I expressed the same thing I did to Danielle. I was offered possibly replacement parts if I hired a plumber to take a look and access the findings and then on my dime I would have to pay to get the plumber to replace the parts. Plumbers are not cheap so I told her I would access the cost of that "offer" and probably go with a new heater. Two heaters in 4 years and to put more money on one that may not even last 1 more. I am very disheartened that the company would not make right on this issue. I try my best to buy American made products and support companies like this one but to be let down and bullied into buying a new heater when the ones they provided were faulty.

During my call I heard the word "unique" situation. Well if you look at reviews, problems with their heaters are not uncommon. Also their reliability on doing the right thing is anything but reliable. I would hate for another consumer to purchase a heater from this company and have to go through a issue like this one. Please take a look at the other reviews for their heaters, your finding will be the same and you will be glad you took the extra time to avoid the aggravation in the future.

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Our BW 40 Gal. natural gas water heater has taken care of our family of 7 for 12 years so far. I have not had to do any repairs or call a tech in that time. So I have been very happy with it so far. The reason for the review was because I was surprised at all the negative reviews and wanted to share that I have had a totally opposite experience. Has the company changed? Why all the negative reviews? Hot water heaters are not that complicated. Yes my pilot light has gone out a few times in the last 12 years, but I don't think it is anything to complain about. It sounds like a lot of the complaints are dealing with the company. I have had no experience in that area, because I have had no need to contact them.

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Bradford White Hot Water Heater Model Number M440T6FBN, Serial Number JM17492394 with Honeywell Smart Valve, Installed March, 2013. Bradford White, its executives, its procurement decision makers chose to change to the Honeywell Smart gas control valve (from White Rodgers gas control valve) a technology flawed part which fails shortly after tank installation systemic problem affection 1000s 10,000s owners of Bradford White gas hot water heaters. Bradford White has trained and instructed employees to keep silent to owner inquiries seeking explanation of equipment problem relating to lack of hot water in gas hot water heater which includes warranty representatives, technical support, regional sales offices, local plumbing vendors.

By the company's representatives and its regional sales office, preferred vendor plumbers silence, owners are at the mercy of plumbers who take advantage of a known technology parts problem over charging owners who are not able to operate their household without hot water. There is not one action on the part of the company and its representatives supporting the customer/owner of a company known flawed part affecting the hot water heater's performance. The like part to like part replacement solution where by the part must be presented to the distribution center first, in order to obtain a replacement part and then charge the owner for travel time, is not an acceptable process or fix. It puts extra money into the hands of the license plumbing company for what is a delivery driver work and the part will fail again.

The company, regional sales office and Hawthorne Plumbing need to look closely at the favorable statements made on their respective website for accuracy. Hawthorne Plumbing neither provides nor posts any written explanation of their Tier charge structure. It can and likely is applied discriminatory. It cannot or will not be explained by their employees when asked.

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50-gallon hot water heater was 55 months old and suddenly started leaking. Warranty was for 72 months BUT did not cover labor or any ancillary costs for delivering a new boiler, paperwork, etc. Total cost to replace my "warranty covered" unit... SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS.

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I'm a contractor and have found Bradford White water heaters failing at an alarming rate over the past six months (believe to have had four with the fifth coming today). Most of my problems seem to be with the Honeywell control either leaking or not working right (overheating). I have one customer that I replaced Honeywell control because it was overheating, 2 months having same problem and now out of warranty. Today's customer has a water heater that I installed 1/19/16 and has a leak. Bradford White is no longer my water heater of choice.

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Had 2 - 40 gals twin water heaters in attic on 2 story house. Both eventually started leaking from the thermostats. Took both of the thermostats out of tanks and found that the plastic covering both probes had split and it is where the water came back thru the thermostat housing and leaked thru my ceiling down to the first floor. Obviously a defective water heater assembly and thermostat from Honeywell.

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40 gal MI403S6FBN - All 40 gallons emptied into our finished basement. Considering that the water heater is 4 years old, this should never have happened. Will never buy Bradford White again. And will make sure to advise friends and family of the same.

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New water heater installed March 21, 2016 pilot light will not ignite. This has happened several times and won't be a year old for two more months. Davis & Davis Plumbing Company, Louisville, Kentucky has been great. This is the first time we have had problems with what is a new hot water heater. Never will I purchase another one from this manufacturer.

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Poor instruction manual -- My plumber installed a Bradford URG230T6N water heater. I asked him for the instruction manual. He said the instructions were a decal on the water heater. Two later, no hot water because the burners shut off. So I looked for instructions to relight the heater. They were on the heater as the plumber said but because the heater is fastened to the wall by two big bands, the bands covered up the instructions I needed to relight the heater.

So after spending time on the internet, I found instructions on the Bradford site. But it was hard to determine which applied. Downloaded an instruction pamphlet for my heater only to find that the instructions I needed had been revised. Worse yet the revised instructions for relighting the heater were miniaturized so that they were unreadable. So I scanned them and enlarged the image so that I could read them. BUT the instructions were inaccurate. Although the picture of the thermostat was correct, the instructions were not. First, they said to turn the knob off the thermostat by turning the knob to the right. There is no knob on the right, it is on the left. Moreover, the instructions were incomplete. Nothing happened.

What they didn't tell you is that you must turn the knob to clockwise to a temperature, then push the knob and at the same time, push the igniter button. Never explained is that when you are turning the knob to "off" or to a different temperature, you DO NOT press the knob. Moreover, the knob is hard to turn without pressing it. Best to use a penny or dime in the slot on the knob. Bradford White should provide an accurate writ instruction pamphlet with the heater and not rely on the instructions pasted on the heater, and make them coherent. But most of all build a heater that doesn't just stop heating.

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Have only had this gas Bradford White gas water heater since March 1, 2016, and it is already out. No hot water for 2 days now with a household of 6 people. Lee Company who installed it is trying to work me in today to check to see what is wrong & if it is under warranty.

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I purchased 2 of their small 6 gallon electric hot water heaters to replace the same size Rheem units in my office. I decided to spend the extra cash on the Bradford White instead of a direct replacement from Rheem, thinking I'd rather buy a quality unit now and not have to worry about it for another 10 years. Only one of my Rheem units failed after the 8 years, but I figured the other was sure to go soon so I replaced both. What a mistake it was to go with the BW units. After 3 weeks the element on one unit blew out, I called for service. They told me I would have to pay their tech to come out and diagnose and if it was deemed a defect, they would cover the repair.

Knowing this would end up being a useless expense because they could always find a million reasons to say it wasn't them, I replaced the element with an aftermarket - unit worked good for a while until now the thermostat crapped out. (It was working fine after element replacement and did not cause it, I cycled the temp adjustment to make sure it turned on and off properly and checked with a multi-meter.) I replaced that with an aftermarket too. So I basically bought an overpriced tin can because the electronics are trash. Thinking maybe one unit was just a rotten apple or something went wrong on install, I figured all is well now that I replaced the parts. A month later, the element on the second tank went in the same fashion. Ok now Bradford, either man up and stop patting yourself on the back with your BS quality awards or change your name to Bradford and Wong, because these have to be manufactured in China or something.

Two separate tanks, on two separate water lines with the same exact problem??? Highly doubtful that this is MY problem. Well it is my problem, but definitely not my doing - well maybe it's even my doing for buying a BW in the first place. However I called customer service again for the second unit and got the same speech about paying their tech... It just wasn't worth it to get suckered in again by this company for a repair tech to "diagnose" (aka Yep it's broken - here's your bill) and replace a part they would probably weasel their way out of paying for anyway. I ordered the part online myself for $15 because I already know what the problem is.

The problem is BW making garbage products... I replaced two Rheem units that lasted 8 yrs under the exact same conditions, both Bradford and Wongs died within a month or two of installation. Thankfully I'm handy enough to diagnose and fix these problems myself. Now I know what you're thinking, you're not a plumber and probably installed them wrong. This is a direct replacement of a unit - it's 2 pipes and 3 color coded wires, not much room for error there. My "Diagnosis" - Bradford and Wong makes a garbage product, your bill is in the mail.

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I purchased a Bradford White 40 gallon gas water heater from an individual who had bought one, then decided not to use it. The hardware store would only give them an exchange, so they listed it for sale. I contacted Bradford White directly, and they said the warranty was transferable, that they used the manufacture date to establish warranty periods. So I bought it. Less than two months after installation, the gas pilot assembly failed, meaning the pilot light would not stay lit and the burner would not light. That was the beginning of a serious runaround. I contacted Bradford White, who told me to call a plumber and have him call them to diagnose the problem. Plumber service call: $150. Bradford White advised the plumber to contact the original point of sale and get a replacement unit.

After two weeks of "I will call you back as soon as I find out from my vendor if we can do that," I get a text telling me to bring the unit in. They are going to replace it. Hooray! But wait, three hours later, I get a call telling me they are not sure, that the unit was issued as a warranty replacement in the first place, so they are not sure. Four days later, they tell me they are not going to cover it, not even the cost of the part to repair it. Not because of the transferred warranty, but because it was issued as a warranty replacement.

So they sold a defective product, replaced that defective product, and then when the replacement was proven to be defective, refused to cover it. Either way, Bradford White is refusing to even cover the cost of a $30 part on a unit that has been used for less than two months. So now we have been almost a month with no hot water, and I have to wait another week for them to order the part--at my expense. I WILL NEVER BUY ANY BRADFORD WHITE PRODUCT AGAIN!

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Glad to have found this thread. We had a 40 gallon hot water heater installed 4 years ago, and it completely failed over the Thanksgiving Weekend, leaking all over the basement. Found someone to replace it on Friday, but they used Rudd, which is probably better. Trying to get a refund since it was still under warranty and I just reached out to the consumer affairs office at Rudd. I will post an update with their response, but I hope they will issue a refund for their defective product. Not to mention the water damage in the basement.

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Had a Bradford White Corporation 40-gallon gas water heater model #MI403S6FBN professionally installed in my residence on August 10, 2009. Labor, materials and tax were a total of $672.34, and it had a 6-year warranty. About two and a half months out of warranty, it has suddenly leaked all of its water out from near the bottom of the unit within a very short time period. This time it will cost me about $1,000.00 to have it replaced. Obviously, I am very dissatisfied with the experience.

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I purchased my first Bradford White Gas Hot water heater in 2008, 4 years later (2012) the tank rusted out. It was replaced under warranty and I had to pay 369.00 in labor. Now, in 2016 the warranty tank has rusted out! Both tanks lasted 4 years!! There is no warranty for the second rusted out tank because they back date the warranty to the initial purchase. I will never buy a Bradford White tank again!! My garage has been flooded twice and both tanks lasted only 4 years!!!

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I installed lots of Bradford White heaters as a licensed plumber, but in the past 5 years this company has gone to the trash heap! I have had nothing but problems with their electric and gas heaters. I recently put in a 50 gallon electric in a customer's home. In 3 weeks the element on this unit leaked all over the customer's basement and did a lot of damage! Bradford said they would give me a new heater and pay for my time to install it. Great! NOT!!! they have given me nothing! And they are not responding to my customer's request to make a claim for the damages caused by this garbage??? They have made promises and delivered nothing! Lies and deception. What kind of a company would do this??? Off to the court system we go! And all they had to do was follow up, and make the claim.

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I had a 14 year old water heater that leaked badly. I had to call an emergency plumber who ONLY had Bradford White water heaters. Same thing for the other plumber I called on Labor Day at night. I should have done a few seconds research and just gone to Home Depot myself to by another brand. The water heater and installation cost $1500. Within TWO YEARS, I came home to find water all over my garage and in my house. I only got a $200 credit from Bradford White. I have a rental house in Los Angeles. The tenant said it's not working properly. Had them look and it's also a Bradford Water heater only 3 years old. Now it's not working properly and appears completely broken. Absolutely outrageous how expensive their heaters are, yet in two cases, they only lasted 2-3 years. This is totally unacceptable. Don't EVER use Bradford White under ANY circumstance. They have very poor ratings!

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Eco Defender HOt water heater U140T6FRN - For last 3 months, pilot light goes out periodically. Easy to relight, but a pain. Unit is 6 years old. Two years ago a plumber replaced the whole controller. After reading these posts, I'm going to do all the DIY stuff I feel comfortable with, and, if that doesn't work, I'm buying a new one -- obviously not Bradford White. The next plumber coming out on this matter will be bringing a new water heater. Period. Thanks to all for posting your complaints and issues. If BW does not read and take to heart these complaints, they're not a business. They're just some kind of ** up revenue stream.

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Purchased an 80 gallon hot water heater for an apartment building. It continuously overheated to dangerous temperatures. The distributor sent out to inspect and repair. No luck. Still overheated. They then sent out a consultant who sent us on a wild goose chase to install an expansion tank at my expense. No luck. They then sent out a company rep. He blamed it on a non-existent waterline leak. Now a month has gone by and no hot water. I asked for a replacement. They said no. I finally ordered another brand at my expense. ALL OK. They picked up the defective unit. I never heard from them again. Stay away from this company. They are masters of stonewalling the customer with no support.

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I bought a Bradford White water heater in 2010 and today the control module and pilot light are not working. I call to get it fixed and found out it is just out of warranty and is going to cost me about half of a new one to get fixed. This is the second one I have got from them and the first went out in 2 years and they go off the first unit on warranty not the new one. I have to say way to back your product up.

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Eight years ago we put in our home a Bradford White energy saver 50 gallon hot water heater and it started leaking last month. Shouldn't hot water heaters last longer than 8 years?

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Bradford-White mod# MI40T5LN10 - I must say that after reading previous reviews on BW hot water heater I just stood up and jumped for joy. I have two gas BW heaters and have not had not one issue with them. OH BTW both are 22 yrs old... yep that's correct... the original heaters that came with the house. A few weeks ago the gas company had to shut off gas to do some repairs and they re-lit both. We went on trip and didn't notice before we left but one heater wasn't heating. Today the gas company came back out to re-light. It stayed on. Now we wait and see if it was a faulty fire up the first time or if the thermocouple is out and needs replacement. But, really whatever. 22 yrs... Been happy happy happy!!!

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I am a plumber from Phoenix AZ and I have had a 50% fail rate with all of the Bradford White Gas Water Heaters I have installed in the last 7 years. Most of the failures are due to the Honeywell Gas Controllers. Both Honeywell and Bradford White should be ashamed of themselves for building such a pile of crap. I have also had quite a few leakers within the first year of installation too. I have switched to RUUD Water Heaters and so far I have had zero warranty issues. The Ruud Residential Gas Water Heater has White Rodgers Gas Controllers and that seems to be a bulletproof control valve. These water heaters make me look bad. I am a native of Michigan and Bradford White Resides in Michigan. It makes me glad I moved to Arizona so I'm not in the same state with such an incredibly poor manufacturing company.

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Warranty service covers parts only?! Biggest scam on the planet. Go get a plumber and we will cover the parts. Yes wow - this amazing ty, serious scammers. Stay away.

Expert Review

ConsumerAffairs Research Team

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.

Bradford White manufactures a wide range of residential, commercial and volume water heaters. They provide energy efficient units to customers with varying needs, including wholesalers, contractors, home builders and homeowners.

  • Types: Bradford White supplies various gas, electric, hybrid heat pump, solar and tankless water heaters for commercial and residential use. Units contain various vent types, including atmospheric, power, direct power and direct vents.  Consumers looking for NAECA approved water heaters can use Bradford White’s cross-reference guide to search for a unit that meets those standards.
  • Energy efficiency ratings: Bradford White provides a rating chart online to show consumers how efficient each model is. Among other figures, the chart shows the estimated yearly cost of each model and its energy factor number provided by the Department of Energy.
  • Innovations: Bradford White has developed multiple energy saving innovations for its water heaters including intelligent control, low emissions and smart diagnostics. Consumers can check out details and features of each innovation online.
  • Accessories: Bradford White has developed two residential water heater accessories: The Heater Hauler and the residential gas water heater stand. The Heater Hauler is a vinyl-laminated nylon bag designed to keep the water heater from leaking on unwanted surfaces during removal. The residential gas water heater stand is designed for garages or anywhere else a gas water heater needs to be elevated.
  • Warranties: Consumers can go online and register their water heater to get warranty details, read documents and check on their warranty’s duration. Also included is a list of items not covered under warranty.
  • Best for Wholesalers, contractors, builders and consumers needing a residential hot water heater.

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Bradford White Company Profile

Company Name:
Bradford White
Website:
http://www.bradfordwhite.com/