We pull and replace more defective ao smiths and state than any of the other water heaters. Bradford white,three of our supply chains went to Bradford white a few years ago two went back to Rheem.In our area Rheem has flooded the market.
I wonder if that is because AO Smith has been around since the start and there are probably more of them out there or are you talking about new ones having to be replaced?
Bradford white, AO Smith, and State are the best tank water heaters in my opinion and run dont walk away from Whirlpool gas water heaters. Rheems dont make the cut on my reqs. However, not just anyone can go and buy one of the better water heaters off the shelf of a big box store. Our Bradford White Reps used to tell us that you can't buy BW's anywhere but from supply houses. Then one day I saw them at an Ace hardware. Apparently Ace stores can buy them from supply houses and sell them at their stores.
Rheem,AO Smith have been around a very long time. Wasn't Rheem the old republic heater in the 60's?State was purchased by ao smith.When I say we pull more smith and state I am talking the last ten years with heaters less then ten years old.
Before Rheem was the choice of home centers it was Bradford White and also state.They take bids from the manufacture and take the lowest bid.
The worst heater in my mind was the old Mor Flo heaters.With all water heater manufacturers it takes 6 weeks or more to receive the warranty replacement checks.