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  • Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

    All the suppliers in my area have been selling them for several years now. there are a few things I don't care for about them. some of the original thermostats are taller than the replacements, so if you use a replacement one....it may be just short enough that the wires don't reach

    I have had to grab them with pliers and pull a bit to get the extra length I need.

    also, they put the ground connection inside under the cover. that can be a problem when there is only say, a few inches above it to make the connections. when in open space, no problem.

    The worst part is the fact that the T&P valve connection is recessed too far under the case jacket...so if there's a small leak on the connection....it could take days to show up and screwing up the electronic on the fixture. simply because you cant see down in there too good.

    they should weld a longer nipple on the top or reduce the insolation like it used to be...They also put the anode rod on the hot side outlet.....bad idea.


    And it seems they are going out quicker within 2 to 3 years..causing a warranty issue.....people don't want to replace their heater that often and I only warranty for one year on everthing...maybe you go longer.

    while i can get them a free heater within 6 yrs, i still charge for the installation if it's over a year.....

    water heaters are starting to be a pain sometimes. I'm going up a small % just to cover for this type of event.. or try to sell them a warranty to cover the labor part. but ya know what that causes....


    how do you handle your heater issues? if you don't mind me asking...
    Last edited by Flowofmoney; 01-15-2009, 12:33 PM.
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  • #2
    Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

    I started installing the Richmond brand. Been putting them in via owner supplied for years. Have not heard bad things.

    A.O. Smith heaters on average cost more than $50 per heater than the other named brands.

    If they all last about 10 years, what difference does it make?

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    • #3
      Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

      I've not had good luck with A.O. Smith. I once saw one in a basement that was seven years old blow the bottom out of it and flood the place about two feet deep.

      I've had a lot of trouble chiseling out the holes in the top of the tank so that the nipples would fit.

      As to Richmond, I cleaned the sediment out of one two days ago. Lots of sediment. I sell Rheem and it takes much longer for sediment to build up. Seems that they just a plain old dip tube on the Richmond. Rheems have something that keeps it in suspension. Same company, not the same heater. Typically, a Bradford-White and a Rheem the same age will produce about five gallons and 1 gallon of sediment respectively.

      I really like Rheems. My own is a Rheem - manufactured March of '99 - and has never needed any service at all. (Electric) The typical life here between cleanings is about three years.

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      • #4
        Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

        Dam Flow I know what you mean about the wires they suck when they are not long enough sometimes like you said they can be pulled with neddle nose but sometimes i gotta make the wire longer and the anode rods down here always go bad quicker then other brands. I like Ruud overall, but I tell you i have been installing whirlpools and for the price you can get get 10 years out of them.
        Last edited by PlumbingParamedics; 01-14-2009, 08:33 PM.
        You can lose with me, but you can't win without me!.... PPI

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        • #5
          Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

          Originally posted by PlumbingParamedics View Post
          Dam Flow I know what you mean about the wires they suck when they are not long enough sometimes like you said they can be pulled with neddle nose but sometimes i gotta make the wire longer and the anode rods down here always go bad quicker then other brands. I like Ruud overall, but I tell you i have been installing whirlpools and for the price you can get get 10 years out of them.

          My problem is all the plumbing supplies around me, mostly only sell A-O-Smith......the only option is to try the home centers..........and that won't work out too well. I would rather buy from a supplier where it's easier to return the bad product.......But, don't buy A-O-Smith, complete junk.
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          • #6
            Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

            Originally posted by Herk View Post
            I've not had good luck with A.O. Smith. I once saw one in a basement that was seven years old blow the bottom out of it and flood the place about two feet deep.

            I've had a lot of trouble chiseling out the holes in the top of the tank so that the nipples would fit.

            As to Richmond, I cleaned the sediment out of one two days ago. Lots of sediment. I sell Rheem and it takes much longer for sediment to build up. Seems that they just a plain old dip tube on the Richmond. Rheems have something that keeps it in suspension. Same company, not the same heater. Typically, a Bradford-White and a Rheem the same age will produce about five gallons and 1 gallon of sediment respectively.

            I really like Rheems. My own is a Rheem - manufactured March of '99 - and has never needed any service at all. (Electric) The typical life here between cleanings is about three years.


            You're right, Rheem is all they used to sell in this area.....then all the suppliers quit selling Rheem because they started selling to the home centers..I never had a problem with Rheem....
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            • #7
              Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

              Originally posted by Herk View Post
              I've not had good luck with A.O. Smith. I once saw one in a basement that was seven years old blow the bottom out of it and flood the place about two feet deep.

              I've had a lot of trouble chiseling out the holes in the top of the tank so that the nipples would fit.

              As to Richmond, I cleaned the sediment out of one two days ago. Lots of sediment. I sell Rheem and it takes much longer for sediment to build up. Seems that they just a plain old dip tube on the Richmond. Rheems have something that keeps it in suspension. Same company, not the same heater. Typically, a Bradford-White and a Rheem the same age will produce about five gallons and 1 gallon of sediment respectively.

              I really like Rheems. My own is a Rheem - manufactured March of '99 - and has never needed any service at all. (Electric) The typical life here between cleanings is about three years.
              What does the sediment look like?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

                a.o. smith is sold at 1 local supplier. but they also sell american appliance there too

                rheem is sold at 3 different local supply chains.

                15 years ao all we had were american appliance heaters. the factory was 7 miles from the house. even did a plant tour while an apprentice

                i had an a.o. smith go bad on me a few months back. it was less than 6 months old and they didn't want to pay for labor. being in a basement, it sucked. so no more a. o. smith for me.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

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                • #9
                  Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

                  I see the local Farm & Fleet has Reliance on sale. $269 for a 35,500 BTU 40 gallon, never heard of them. Cheap price...cheap heater???

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                  • #10
                    Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    a.o. smith is sold at 1 local supplier. but they also sell american appliance there too

                    rheem is sold at 3 different local supply chains.

                    15 years ao all we had were american appliance heaters. the factory was 7 miles from the house. even did a plant tour while an apprentice

                    i had an a.o. smith go bad on me a few months back. it was less than 6 months old and they didn't want to pay for labor. being in a basement, it sucked. so no more a. o. smith for me.

                    rick.

                    Yep, they're junk.......to tell ya the truth, I'm scared to put them in places like, attic's , shelves , under ac units........cause those are the ones that will be leakers .


                    I'm stuck with them, as all the suppliers around me only handle them....

                    It's not easy being a Plumber....I've been doing this crap for 35 yrs, my own gig since 1995. when I first started doing it for myself..........I was changing water heaters that were 20-30 years old. now they all seem to be 3 to 7 yrs and going bad. guess that's good for more work, but not if you're the contractor who installed it.
                    Last edited by Flowofmoney; 01-15-2009, 12:10 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                      a.o. smith is sold at 1 local supplier. but they also sell american appliance there too

                      rheem is sold at 3 different local supply chains.

                      15 years ao all we had were american appliance heaters. the factory was 7 miles from the house. even did a plant tour while an apprentice

                      i had an a.o. smith go bad on me a few months back. it was less than 6 months old and they didn't want to pay for labor. being in a basement, it sucked. so no more a. o. smith for me.

                      rick.
                      Me too Rick. I had two hot surface ignitors go bad on State (same as AO smith) powervent water heaters. Both heaters were extremely expensive and less than a year old. State costs me money, as I couldn't bill for my labor either. I am staying away from AO smith and State. I started using Rheem, and they seem higher quality....we'll see.
                      Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                      • #12
                        Re: Do you use A_O_Smith water heaters?

                        Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber
                        What does the sediment look like?
                        It varies a bit. Sometimes, it's like little sharp flakes that are very lightweight. Other times it's more like ochre-colored mud. Sometimes it takes the form of the element - you'll get a chunk about 1-1/2" in diameter and three inches long.

                        Funny story I already told on another forum. I did two water heater cleanings this week. I dump the stuff into five-gallon buckets and bring it home, then dump it in my city dumpster.

                        Last night, I took it out to the street and it was pretty heavy. I'd imagine about five gallons total which could be pretty heavy - the stuff is heavier than water.

                        About three-thirty in the morning, I looked outside and all the trees were pretty with frost. It was on everything, even the exposed lawn where the snow has melted off.

                        This morning, I hear a commotion out by the street, and there's the guy with the garbage truck. He's grabbed the dumpster, hoisted it up over the side of the truck, and the icy, heavy dumpster slid right out into the truck. He didn't look happy at all.

                        He drove off to get it cleared out of the truck and about an hour later came back in a pickup to bring another dumpster. I went out and apologized. He had cooled off by then.

                        Sometimes, if the sediment is loose enough, I can get some of it out with my shop vac and a piece of 3/4" PEX pipe. Other times, the shop vac doesn't work at all, and I use a coat hanger bent into the "proper" shape, with a crowbar to scrape the back of the heater.

                        I've replaced commercial gas heaters that were more than half full of the stuff. Open the access hatch about halfway up, no water comes out. Break through to the surface with the crowbar and stand back!

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