I need advice on a natural gas water heater?

I had a Whirlpool that gave out ofter two and a half years. I got a cred it at Lowes for the current full price, but decided to buy elsewhere since 96 out of 98 reviews were a 1 star and everyone is or has had the same problems. I had a Rheem put in and after 4 trips out I am still getting not enough hot water that I need to turn my cold on. They wanted to come replace more parts, and when I asked for a new unit they said they just want to come get it and let me buy another brand. I want a good brand that will not only last, but will give me hot water when we need it. I looked all over the internet and couldn’t find much information from places like consumer reports, etc. I would appreciate any suggestions or stories about good or bad experiences with natural gas water heaters?
I have the water heater set at the factory setting which Rheem recommended when I called. The company who installed it told me to put in on the next to the highest setting, but Rheem said that is way too hot and would scald me at 140 degrees. Even at that setting, which the installer tried, I didn’t get very much hot water and it gave out before she could take her shower. I had heard AO Smith, but the place I got this one at said they stopped due to problems. And, a lot of articles on the internet gave Bradford White bad rating. Although the Whirlpool gave out, it was great up until it did. I guess it is too much to expect that. The place I got it at offered to come replace more parts, but I am not comfortable with a week old unit that is continually breaking down or needed a part replaced.

9 Responses to “I need advice on a natural gas water heater?”

  1. Brown Bag Posse Says:

    Bradford White if you are dead set in going with a tanked water heater. If you decide to upgrade to a tankless I would go with Rinnai. I have had better luck with these two brands than any other and I have been installing and working on water heaters for 15 years.

  2. John from Ct. Says:

    I replaced my tank natural gas with a tank less unit, cost more to purchase, but you save on gas because the pilot isn’t running, and your not heating hot water when your not using any. Also the tax rebate for an energy saving device covered 1/4 of the cost.
    something to check is your anti scald valve in the shower (if you have one) also make sure you don’t have a mixing valve in the system somewhere.

  3. bryan o Says:

    What is the thermostat set at? 120 Deg is usually recommended, but if you want it higher you need to change the setting. If it is set correctly, then it sounds like a valve/burner problem.

    Rheem heaters are generally reliable. In fact, Home Depot used to sell them repackaged as their own. I replaced my old tank with a Rheem 6 years ago with no problems since. Probably time to check that it’s still healthy.

    Rheem Brands:
    Rheem and its sub-brands: Ruud/Richmond/GE. Some heaters made by A.O. Smith and Bradford White. And some of Smith’s subsidiary, State.

  4. William B Says:

    get a electric one

  5. Gary Says:

    Did anyone check the diptube.I’ve sold Rheem for 30yrs and not had many problems at all.But I do understand you frustration.

  6. B-Notable Says:

    I have to admit something sounds amiss here. Is it possible the heater was set up for propane and not ng? If you do end up with a new one look at Lochinvar. You can’t beat their boilers. Here is a link for you. GL http://www.lochinvar.com/products/Default.aspx?type=productclass&classid=21&categoryid=13

  7. mckindle26 Says:

    I think Bradford/White tanks are the best. I install them all the time and they are very reliable. They are also now coming with a new gas valve that is very user friendly. It has a diagnostic light that tells you when the pilot is lit so you don’t have to get down on your hands and knees and look into the pilot glass. It also has a spark ignitor and oxygen depletion safety installed on the unit and also a high limit switch. If you are looking for endless hot water on demand then you want a tankless hot water heater. As described above they are really nice but they cost a lot more than a traditional tank. You do get a 30% tax credit so that helps out a lot. Now if your tankless breaks down it is more costly to repair most of the time because there are more exclusive parts to the tankless heaters. There are many choices out there, you just have to figure out what fits you best.

    Whrilpool traditionally have been good water heaters. They made a huge mistake when they manufactured their heaters with an exclusive thermocouple that was reverse thread and a larger size. The thermocouples were failing in big numbers after only a year or two of service. Lowes is providing upgrade kits to the customer for free. The only problem is you have to pay someone to come install it and then fight whirlpool to pay the bill.

  8. roberto Says:

    a rheem is a good one,have you tried to raised the thermostat dial. it may just set to low.open the small door on the bootom front set at 135 degrees,hopefully that’s it. 65

  9. Homelinepros.com Says:

    Natural gas water heaters are efficient for the return you get on your investment. Whirlpool to date, has failed to remedy the problem with their water heater and continue to provide poor customer service to the owners of these heaters. They have started a revolt among their loyal customers not only with this heater but with their overall product quality control. Tank type and tank less water heaters must be sized correctly for the demand that will be placed on the appliance during peak requirements. We have had to add supplemental heaters for new water heaters that our clients had installed by contractors because it was undersized which rendered the heater inadequate for their needs. Link us @ Homelinepros.com.