Rheem vs AO Smith Water Heater

I just got a new water heater and furnace installed, and the contract I signed says they would be putting in a Rheem water heater, although no model number was specified. Now that it's been installed, I notice they actually put in an AO Smith Promax Plus 50 gallon water heater. I don't know anything about water heaters, so is there any difference in quality between the Rheem and AO Smith water heaters? Also, I was surprised to see it uses a pilot light whereas my furnace has an ignitor so there isn't a pilot light always burning. Are pilot lights still the norm on gas water heaters?
Thanks, Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First, be glad they didn't install the Rheem water heater. They used to be a top quality water heater, but they became complete trash when they redesigned them a couple years ago to meet the new mandates. Even though I do prefer the Bradford White over the A. O. Smith. the A. O. Smith is a decent unit.
Second, pilot lights on water heaters are still normal on natural draft units. If you had upgraded to a power vent unit, it would have been electronic ignition. This again is nothing to concern yourself with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

in buffalo ny: in case of a power failure: it depends on your purchase choice. on a basic pilot light natural gas water heater, when the power fails you still have additional hot water [unless you have an electrically operated gas valve]. if you have gravity fed or city water, you will have cold water and hot water. if you have electrical ignition and/or a flue blower, running your water heater is only good for its last tankful until the electricity is restored. so your hot shower just became a valuable commodity. with a basic natural gas stove: if you can use a portable barbecue lighter to launch the spark pilot in the oven/broiler you can broil and perhaps bake depending on the requirements of the oven's gas valve. if your gas stove requires 110v to operate its burners thru an electronic control, you may be out of cooking heat even though the natural gas supply is present. follow your stove manual's instructions. if you unplug the gas stove's 110 volts, can you manually light a top burner? -the oven/broiler?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 03 Jul 2007 22:17:50 -0700, Ed B. wrote:

AO is a good heater and pilot lights are the norm. Now you can sleep better at night.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the pilot lights tiny gas used does help to heat the water, so its not tatally wasted.
had a 3 day power failure once, i was really glad ours was a pilot light model, we had hot showers
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.