Bradford-White Ultra Low NOx Water heater Overview
The Bradford White Ultra Low NOx is a gas water heater available in four types: Atmospheric Vent, Power Vent, Power Direct Vent, and Direct Vent. The unit features an ultra-low NOx burner with primary and secondary air distribution device and is maintenance free. A Vitraglas lining and magnesium anode rod help protect the unit from rust and corrosion, and a thick layer of non-CFC foam insulation provides lower standby losses. The water heater comes equipped with a temperature and pressure relief valve and a brass drain valve.
Built new home in 2007. Five years and the water heater leaked. Called builder for warranty and he stated he would be out the next day to mine and another. Builder replaced it free of charge, but stated no warranty would be on the replacement. Inside of a month two, more identical models in neighbors' homes needed to be replaced. Today, 5-1/2 years later, our replacement began leaking. I remember distinctly during the replacement install, the plumber stating it must have had a bad batch because he has replaced many the builder installed. Our softener works fine. This water heater is very poor quality.
My Joy, PA
"Hard to get parts"
The lack of any repair parts is a deal-breaker. Pilot light burned out after 18 months. The metal was carbonized – completely burnt. It was likely assembled incorrectly or was defective material. While part was under warranty, labor to replace it was not ($120 house call). No local plumber had repair parts, NOT even the plumbing company, Empire Plumbing, that installed it. They did not even have a referral. I called Bradford-White the next day and they referred me to their local wholesaler (who supplies Empire Plumbing). I bought the part from him (two days later) for about $5 plus $3 shipping, installed it in 15 minutes and had hot water. B-W market apparently sells to contractors and plumbers for apartments & condos serviced by a master plumbing contact, not individual homes. B-W were not sold in any retail outlets as fart as I could determine in 2003. The heater lasted about nine years before it began to leak. It had a 5 or 7 year warranty.
"DOES NOT HONOR THEIR WARRANTY"
Bradford White water heater failed after only two months and my plumber would not replace until I talked to Bradford White. I was told me to contact them directly or I would void the warranty. Well, Bradford White told me to speak to a repair referral service who connected me with another plumbing business and after 2 days the plumbers sent someone who certified that, yes, it was leaking. I was told to expect a call on the following morning. The following morning, I was told that it was not the responsibility of either the referral service or the certifying plumber to replace the unit and I had to contact the installing plumber again. Wow!
"Very poor instructions"
My plumber installed a Bradford urg230t6n water heater. I asked him for the instruction manual. He said the instructions were a decal on the water heater. Two later, no hot water because the burners shut off. So I looked for instructions to relight the heater. They were on the heater as the plumber said but because the heater is fastened to the wall by two big bands, the bands covered up the instructions I needed to relight the heater. So after spending time on the internet, I found instructions on the Bradford site. But it was hard to determine which applied. Downloaded an instruction pamphlet for my heater only to find that the instructions I needed had been revised. Worse yet the revised instructions for relighting the heater were miniaturized so that they were unreadable. So I scanned them and enlarged the image so that I could read them. But the instructions were inaccurate. Although the picture of the thermostat was correct, the instructions were not. First, they said to turn the knob off the thermostat by turning the knob to the right. There is no knob on the right, it is on the left. Moreover, the instructions were incomplete. Nothing happened. What they didn't tell you is that you must turn the knob to clockwise to a temperature, then push the knob and at the same time, push the ignition button. Never explained is that when you are turning the knob to off or to a different temperature, you do not press the knob. Moreover, the knob is hard to turn without pressing it. Best to use a penny or dime in the slot on the knob. Bradford White should provide an accurate writ instruction pamphlet with the heater and not rely on the instructions pasted on the heater and make them coherent. But most of all build a heater that doesn't just stop heating.
Santa Clarita, CA
"Scared – very scared"
Eight years ago, I had a water heater leak that did $30,000 in damage to my house. I lived with concrete – down to the studs for weeks. It was a nightmare. The contractor installed this product. I did not notice what product I had before. Last month, here we go again. This time, I saw the leak, so the damage was minimal. I like my plumber,so I won't say his name here. More than $1800. I told him that I assume he will use a different product. No, he told me this is usually a terrific, reliable water heater. I should have shopped around, or at least read all these reviews. If I had done so, I would have insisted on a better product. Now I am terrified that this is going to happen again.
Among the few online reviews of the Ultra Low NOx water heater is one on terrylove.com explaining how the water heater works and how it is good for the environment. There are also a couple of posts stating that the Bradford White Ultra Low NOx is a good unit.