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 Bradford White vs. A.O. Smith water heaters
Author: JReality (NJ)

The contractor wants to install a Bradford White 50 gallon power vent unit. I notice that the instructions indicate that Bradford White has pilot light that gets lit by an ignitor that generates a spark, and then the pilot shuts off after the thermostat is done calling for heat. (not sure why the pilot would need to be lit the whole time the burner is on, but that's what the manual indicates) The A. O. Smith power vent units have a "hot surface ignitor" and no pilot whatsoever.

Which type of ignition is better (will last the longest), or are they equal?

Will the kind of ignition that generates a spark cause electrical interference? Our WiFi router and FIOS ONT box aren't all that far from where the water heater is. The water heater is in a closet off of the laundry room, and the router and FIOS box are at/near the wall on the opposite side of the laundry room as the closet.

EDIT: I notice Bradford White documentation (installation manual, etc.) has a California Proposition 65 warnings that it contains at least one chemical that can cause cancer or reproductive harm, but the A.O. Smith documentation doesn't indicate this. Should I be concerned about going with Bradford White?

Which brand, in general, is better or are they comparable?


Edited 4 times.

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 Re: Bradford White vs. A.O. Smith water heaters
Author: packy (MA)

the pilot stays on once lit.

bradford white is bought by plumbers because it is reliable.

A O Smith is sold by big box stores to homeowners. 'nuff said

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 Re: Bradford White vs. A.O. Smith water heaters
Author: JReality (NJ)

Thanks. On this model the pilot shuts off until the next time the thermostat calls for heat:

Normal Heating Sequence
1. The thermostat senses a need for heat.
2. The control checks the pressure switch condition.
3. If the pressure switch is open, the control sends power to the blower motor.
4. The blower starts moving combustion air through the combustion system.
5. The pressure switch closes.
6. The control senses the closed pressure switch and starts the ignition
process by providing a spark at the pilot electrode and allowing gas to flow
to the pilot.
7. When the pilot is lit, the gas control senses the pilot flame and opens the
main gas valve.
8. The main burner is lit.
9. The main burner and blower continue to operate until the thermostat is
10. When the thermostat is satisfied the main and pilot gas valves close.
11. The blower operates for a short post purge period before shutting down.
12. The water heater remains in the stand-by mode until the next call for heat.

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 Re: Bradford White vs. A.O. Smith water heaters
Author: packy (MA)

sorry for the mis-diagnosis.

i miss the words "power vent".

i stand by what i said about bradford white vs. a o smith

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 Re: Bradford White vs. A.O. Smith water heaters
Author: bsipps (PA)

I also prefer Bradford white they are built very well and are extremely reliable, don’t worry about the igniter for the pilot burning out I’ve yet to see that happen due to age only rodents

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 Re: Bradford White vs. A.O. Smith water heaters
Author: hj (AZ)

Remember, the more complicated the process is, the more likely it is to fail and the more it will cost to diagnose and cure the problem.

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