Water heaters are rated by their overall energy efficiency rating. This is often referred to as the EF(energy factor) rating. This rating is a measurement of all things that contribute to heat loss, with the higher the number or rating the more efficient the heater. They range anywhere from 0.59 to 0.74. A rating of 1.00 would mean that there was absolutely no heat loss.
Water heaters come with different thicknesses of insulation. This Insulation is also rated by what is called an R - factor. The higher this number is, the better. R - Factors range from approximately 8 to 17. Water heaters with thicker insulation should have the highest R - factor.
Water heaters that burn natural gas or propane have burners. Try to purchase a heater that has a cast iron or stainless steel burner. They tend to last longer.
Below you'll find a listing of some of the manufacturers. At Brinks, we recommend Bradford White and A.O.Smith.
(By the way, there are many more “labeled-name-brands” (35) of water heaters. The “labeled-name- brand” may be produced by one of the manufacturers (5) listed below. For example: Rheem makes Rheem, Ruud, Richmond and General Electric tanks.)
American Water Heater Group
500 Princeton Road Johnson City, Tennessee
A. O. Smith Water Products Company
5605 N. MacArthur Boulevard Suite 360 Irving, Texas
Bradford White Corporation
323 Norristown Road Ambler, Pennsylvania
Rheem Manufacturing Corporation
P.O. Box 244020 Montgomery, Alabama
State Water Heaters
500 Tennessee Waltz Pkwy Ashland City, Tennessee
Always install your hot water heater so that it is level and plumb. Since we live in an earthquake-prone area, apply strapping or other hold-down devices so that it does not fall over in an earthquake.
NEVER install a shut off valve on the hot water outlet pipe. If someone accidentally turns this valve off and your pressure relief valve malfunctions, your hot water heater can become a giant bomb. They have exploded before with catastrophic results!
Always install a new temperature and pressure relief valve with your hot water heater. Be sure it is sized right for the heater!!!! The hot water heater manufacturer will indicate the proper size in the installation instructions.
Always check your water pressure regulator for the correct pressure and make sure it has the code-required “By-Pass” function and that it is working.
If you have metallic water supply lines, install die-electric unions or flexible water supplies with die-electric unions to isolate the supply piping electrically from the hot water heater. These unions are inexpensive and help prevent corrosion.
Drain approximately 1 -2 gallons of hot water from your heater every two months to remove rust and sediment from the bottom of the tank. Do this procedure as you are running hot water from a faucet elsewhere in the house. This will help to agitate the water in the bottom of the tank.
Consider installing a water filter if your incoming water is exceptionally hard. The water filter may reduce the amount of minerals in the water.
Absolutely install an expansion tank when installing a new hot water heater. This tank will extend the life of your hot water heater and may be required by your local code.