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Question DetailsAsked on 7/30/2016

what water heaters do you recommend?

Considering Whirlpool and A O Smith water heaters which is best?

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1 Answer


State, American, AO Smith, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Reliance (and a couple of other brands) are all made by AO Smith, but not necessarily to A O Smith designs - but the brands pros prefer for longevity and minimal failures in the first 10 years, in my experience, are AO Smith first, Kenmore and State about evenly, then American - with Reliance and Whirlpool having a lot of recalls and failures, especially Whirlpool's goofy ignition system (at leat in some years/models) which can't seem to keep working. However, the commercial/industrial rated Reliance models are popular.

My personal preference - Kenmore (made by A O Smith, not when Whirlpool made them) because our family has always had very good luck for over 50 years - generally getting right about twice the rated life out of 8-15 year rated heaters before they hole through, and no problems with ignition system. A O Smith would be my second choice - they have had a fair number of gas controller and thermostat problems over the years (on those not using standard Honeywell units), but do have a reputation for the longest tank life amongst the non-stainless brands.

Don't know why Whirlpool has poor ignition and tank life - most of their appliances are among the longest lived and lowest maintenance - maybe AO Smith bought some company tomake that brand and has not cleaned up the problems in their designs.

You can find more opinions in the Home > Water Heaters link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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