How to Buy a Water Heater

Top Brands

Water Heaters > Top Brands
  1. Bradford White
  2. Rheem
  3. Rinnai
  4. A.O. Smith
  5. Bosch
  6. Noritz
  7. General Electric
  8. Whirlpool
  9. Takagi
  10. Kenmore

There is a dizzying array of brand names in the water heater space. Selecting the optimal brand is further complicated by the fact that a number of manufacturers sell their water heaters under several different brand names. So when you think you are looking at products from two different companies, you may actually be looking at two products that are both made by the same company. Worse yet, sometimes the same company will manufacture different products at different facilities, resulting in inconsistencies among sub-brands under the same corporate umbrella. We have done our level best to untangle this brand name mess and, moreover, to identify the top ten manufacturers that we believe create a set of high quality products which may be relied upon for decades of reliable service.
We present our list of top ten brands in the list above, with relative placement indicating rank.

Thus, Bradford White receives our highest rating
, Rheem our second highest and so forth all the way down to Kenmore, which just makes the cut. In compiling this list, we conducted extensive research, analyzing expert opinion, product specifications, and feedback from plumbing professionals.

However, we assigned the greatest weight to reviews from consumers just like you. We scoured sites, forums, blogs and other information outlets for reliable viewpoints expressed by individuals who had direct experiences with installing and using water heaters in their homes. We compiled hundreds upon hundreds of consumer reviews from a multiplicity of sources, including ConsumerDemocracy, Amazon, PlumbingZone, ConsumerReports, CompareTheBrands, Epinions, Buzzillions, Viewpoints, AssociatedContent, WaterHeaterRescue, ConsumerSearch, MySears, GreenOptions, HomeImprovement, GardenWeb, and SharedReviews, among others.

We analyzed all of this data, then processed it together with the expert opinions and our independent research to arrive at a consumer scorecard for each of the major water heater brands on the market. We then used the scorecards to rank each brand relative to each of the others. Finally, we put the rankings together to arrive at our top ten list, sorted from strongest to weakest.

We have a high degree of confidence in recommending Bradford White, Rheem, Rinnai, and A.O. Smith. These are all manufacturers who have been in the water heater space for many decades and who have done an excellent job of delivering safe, effective, and long-lasting products. Consumers uniformly praise these companies and their water heaters.

Bosch and Noritz are both excellent water heater manufacturers which, while not as popular as the top brands, nevertheless deserve to be considered in any head-to-head comparison for a new water heater. They offer solid products at competitive prices and should not be discounted by any means.

Companies such as General Electric and Whirlpool are manufacturing giants for whom water heaters represent just one of many customer market segments. As a result, they provide products which generally get the job done, but are not necessarily the most innovative or highest quality in their class.

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