Recommended water heater

I need to replace my water heater, and my options have boiled down to two: Home Depot has a 12-yr warranteed, GE 40 gallon natural gas heater for $380, which I would install with my dad; or a local plumber (whom I trust) will install a Bradford-White for $900 (same specs). I've heard a few pretty good things about Bradford-White, but are they really that much better than GE? Any thoughts would be helpful.
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I can't tell you which is better but if they're the same specs, then I would imagine they are pretty similar in quality. Here's a site that may help you choose:
http://waterheaterrescue.com/pages/WHRpages/English/Longevity/the-right-hot-water-heater.html
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James, thanks for the link. I'm printing it right now.
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No worries Paul. I haven't delved too much into the link myself but figure I will. I've got a 12 year old gas water heater that I know will probably go south on the coldest day of the year! I do remember they recommend buying something like a 6 year model and upgrading with their anodes etc..... Of course they are there to make some cash but some of what they said makes some pretty good sense. I think one item to look for, which most brochures don't tell you, is the insulation R value that is used. The higher the better obviously. Good luck with it! Cheers, jlc
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Hey James, as it turned out, the leak was simply coming from the pipes above my water heater, and let the water drip down the middle of the water heater, out the bottom. When I started catching the water dripping from teh pipe, there was no more leaking at the bottom. And so 15 bucks worth of pipe will fix this, instead of 300 or more for a new water heater. In the event, however, of needing a new heater, I've decided to go with a 12-year heater. I get a heater replaced if it goes bad up through 12 years (at least the GE ones at Home Depot are like this--that's what the HD folks are telling me over the phone). Plus, you save on the gas bill, so I'd rather shell out an extra 80 bucks or so and get that back over the life of the heater, than save 80 just to get a new one 6 years from now. Anyways, thanks again for the links. I'm glad I found out the real cause!
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The only diference between water heaters according to consumer reports, is the price and the amount of insulation.
If you buy a cheap heater, but an extra insulating blanket for $12.99 for it, you can save $600.
No water heaters last all that long, they all have to be replaced. Most of the time you can get by with draining the scale out of it, although that doesn't hurt anything, and either knocking the scale off the elements or replacing them....this should make your heater last about 15-25 years.
It's an absolute waste of money paying more than $200 for a heater.
Heaters are like cars, there is no correlation between price, size and quality.
The best cars in the world are smaller, japanese cars that are cheaper than the largest biggest ones for example. It's all marketing and hype, and water heaters is the same.
--
bd

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replying to Paul, jerry attrick wrote:

Had good service with lochinvar
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