4 Worst Water Heater Brands and 7 Most Reliable Brands (Buying Guide)

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

Winter is just around the corner and the need for warm water to take on the errands of the coming colder days is becoming more imminent.

Being very essential to homes especially in low temperature locations, you need to be very meticulous when it comes to choosing water heaters.

While a cliché, most of the time, reputation has an effect on our choice, so we need to know the best water heater brands out there. 

In this post, we shall look at some of the worst and best water heater brands out there for you to have a narrowed down choice of which water heater brands to consider or totally evade. 

worst reliable water heater brands

4 Worst Water Heater Brands 

Not all water heaters are built the same. Some just cannot make the cut when it comes to performance and reliability. In this section, we shall give our take on the five worst water heater brands rated in the market today.

The basis for this list would be customer reviews, consumer reports, and overall brand rating. 

1. A.O. Smith Signature

ao smith water heater

This brand is known to the market because it is the most advanced in producing high efficiency products. They are also popular because they are known as best in making gas water heaters, electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.

No matter how efficient, their water heaters could not just meet the expectations of their customers. 

The most common complaints in reviews in terms of performance would be its weak water flow and its low-quality wires.

Installation was also a problem because some models frequently show multiple error codes. On top of these, consumers also report poor customer service. 

Related: Rheem vs. AO Smith Water Heater: Difference and Comparison (A Complete Guide)

2. Bosch – WH27 (Tronic 6000 C-Tankless)

bosch tronic water heater

Bosch is a popular German brand that manufactures electronic items and home appliances internationally.

This is also a reliable brand but like the A. O Smith, there has been a lot of problems and consumer dissatisfaction which resulted in having many negative reviews in online forums and major review sites. 

Some of the cited downsides of this brand would be improper guide for installation at home, does not heat well, and water gets cool in less than a minute.

3. Bradford White (RG240T6N – Natural Gas Water Heater)

51jeWr4KoLL. AC SL1000
Source: Amazon

This brand has gained its reliability with its advanced screen lock technology, the Bradford White ICON system, and intelligent gas pressure control.

Despite these, they are still considered one of the water heater brands to avoid because of lots of consumer complaints and low reviews online. 

Most say that this brand is highly expensive but its durability and longevity are questionable, among others. Aside from this, it is also very costly to maintain, installation cost is expensive and it is said to have gas leaks in the second or third year. 

4. Whirlpool (E50H6-45 – 50-Gallon)

whirlpool water heater

This brand has been known all over the world in terms of reliability, longevity and durability of the products it produces. However, some models do not meet the expectations of the customers.

Some of the noted downsides of specific Whirlpool water heaters would be their vulnerability to rust. 

In terms of build, reviews note of low-quality drain valves as well as questionable longevity. Their customer service is also complained to be bad and the warranty coverage as very limited. 

7 Most Reliable Water Heater Brands 

Now that we have squared the worst water heater brands to avoid, let us now dive into some of the most reliable water heater brands available in the market. This list is based on consumer testimonies and reviews as well as consistent brand ratings in consumer reports. 

1. Rheem Water Heater

rheem water heater

This brand has been so popular because of its contribution in the water heater industry. Started in 1925 and has gained utmost reliability among consumers all throughout these years.

96% of consumers have been satisfied with this brand due to its high-level service and durability, not to mention its low maintenance brand.

Some of its upsides include easy indoor installation, high water flow rate, high energy efficiency, and automatic water saving feature. 

2. Bradford White Water Heater

bradford white water heater

This brand is an American Company which is highly known for its tankless water heaters as well as gas and electric models that are widely available in the market.

Some of its pros would be its energy and water efficiency. It also comes with a 10-year warranty and good customer assistance. Overall, customers reviews give it a consistent 92% rating. 

3. A.O. Smith Water Heaters

ao smith 100 water heater

This brand has been established during the 80s and is not only known because of the water heaters they produce but a number of home appliances that are highly useful and widely available in the market. 

One of the best things about their water heaters would be variety and technology. From tank to tankless, to hybrid and solar water heaters, they have everything under their belt. A.O Smith is recommended by 90% of consumers because of the specific high energy efficiency it provides and durability. 

4. Rinnai Water Heater

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Rinnai is one of the world’s largest Japanese water heater manufacturers. It is a consistent top-rank water heater brand because of its energy efficiency.

It is also well loved for its high-volume output, ease of installation, and its space-saving nature thanks to its compact size. 

Other than this, it is also relatively affordable compared to other water heaters of its size and performance. Its safety features and 12-year warranty are perhaps some of the best things that it comes with. It is no wonder why it gets 95% customer satisfaction and recommendation annually. 

5. GE GeoSpring Water Heater

geospring water heater

This brand is new to the industry but has been gaining popularity in the US due to its premium-quality manufacturing.

Sleek and very cost-efficient, GE water heaters have easily become the most popular and preferred water heaters in the market in just a span of over six years.

What is best when using this brand is that water heaters reduce carbon content emission making it an environment-friendly product. Given the short time of establishment, over 90% of consumers love and buy water heaters of this brand. 

6. EcoSmart Tankless Water Heater

81Plpbv8P3L. AC SL1500

When you are looking for the best yet affordable water heat pump brand, this one is best suited to your needs. This one is known for their water efficiency, durability and true to its name, being environment friendly.

They are also known for their cheap tankless water heaters with smart-boost technology which makes a product a lot more efficient for a tankless water heater. 85 % of consumers recommend this brand because of the cute model designs that can save up space and affordability per se, both on the product and installation process.

7. Stiebel Eltron Water Heater

51m71 yLWBL. AC SL1000

This one is the most reputable brand when it comes to water heaters especially when it comes to technology and innovation.

With 40 years of reputable service, its consistent 92% customer rating is not shocking. Some of its other upsides would be its energy efficiency, low maintenance, and ease of installation both indoors and outdoors. 

Most of all, some of their newer models offer a hot water system which provides a complete eco-friendly hot water solution for homes that need constant hot water. 

How to identify a bad water heater 

As have been mentioned, water heaters are not built the same. Aside from the upfront faulty build of some water heaters, there are also other ways to identify a bad water heater in accordance with other factors such as frequency of use and age. 

1. Water leaking from the heating tank

Leak is one indication that your water heaters might need repair or worst, replacement. When you see a dripping water on its tank, it is best to observe it for quite a time and decide if it is a leakage which might be a sign that your water heaters are already failing. 

2. Age of the water heater

If you have water heaters that are a bit old already, it is a must that a regular inspection is done. Most companies apply a label with an installation date on it or you can contact the company where you bought the product for your knowledge and reference. 

In case of an old water heater failing, it is not recommended for you to do a repair, instead, it will save you a lot to just buy a new one so you can enjoy the heat your water heaters can provide.

3. Running out of hot water quickly

If you run out of hot water more frequently check your water heater. There are only two reasons for this: you are not flushing your hot water regularly or have a high volume of sediment in your water that settles in the tank.

When this happens, make sure that you get it fixed right away because waiting too long would cause greater damage to the failing water heater which will make you spend larger or worse have it replaced or have no water heater at home at all. 

4. Inconsistent water temperature in the shower

Water temperature inconsistency is an indication that heating elements are broken. Always make sure that you check your home appliances regularly for an early identification of a problem rather than waiting for a problem in the unit.

It is best to also to know when to seek professionals given the damage your water heaters can be given the different failing indications.

5. Discoloured water coming from faucet

When murky or rusty colors come out of your faucets, it is a must that you check our water heater for a verification of the water heater failing.

Water heater tanks are known to have a coating that slows corrosion, though it does not last long. However, once the coating begins to thin, rust forms fast, thus, the discoloration of water coming from your faucets. 

6. Unusual noises coming from the water heater

If an unusual noise is coming out from your water heater tanks, this is an affirmation that your water heaters are failing. Though unusual noises can mean other things too, it is best that you check your tanks for sediments and other issues to prevent them from breaking.

For a more definite answer to your water heater tank noise problem, seek the advice of professionals and make it a point that you follow their solutions afterwards.

7. Lower water pressure

Having low water pressure can be a sign that your water heater needs service rather than repair or replacement. When having a low water pressure at home, sediments tend to build faster. So, when having this kind of problem, the number one step is to seek the help of professionals to know whether to fix it or not. 

Mistakes to avoid when buying a water heater

1. Buying the Wrong Sized Unit

This one is considered as one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when buying water heaters. When purchasing one, always see to it that the machine you are buying matches the size of the home and the plumbing structure. 

A small water heater means a poor service it can provide, thus, the lesser comfortability it adds in a home. So, if you do not want to repair and replace your purchased heat pumps, always choose the right size.

2. Not Considering Energy Efficient Units

Energy efficient units are known to be much more expensive than just the standard ones that is why most people do not opt to have this water heater feature given the price. 

However, consumers must know that the higher the energy efficient rate of a product, the higher the chance of lowering your electricity bill. This will enable you to save as much as you did not expect when buying a water heater that has a high energy efficient feature. 

3. Basing Your Decision Solely on Price

Price need not be the basis because comparing the price of one brand to the other makes you think twice. Remember to not opt for the cheaper ones that do not have specific features. 

Choose the ones that are affordable and can give you a lot of help, comfortability and efficiency wise or the ones that are high in cost but can provide you a much better service in the long run. 

4. Not Consulting a Professional Plumber or HVAC Technician

If you are sure of a water heater purchase, always make sure that you’ve got the best suited water heaters for your homes.

If you are not sure of the best brand and right size for your homes, it is best to contact professional plumbers or HVAC technicians for an easy identification of your needs. This enables you to save time and at times, save money given their brand and company recommendations. 

5. Ignoring Commercial Water Heater Service Options

Most consumers do not base their purchase of the life service of the water pump they are buying. The brand and price always come first. Having a well-maintained water heater can last up to two decades.

However, failure to read or know about the product’s commercial settings means an unhealthy water heater service. When buying products, make sure to ask about warranty policies and always look into the commercial water heater services available. 

6. Lack of Proper Research

When purchasing products used in the home or businesses, always make it a point to make research first before purchase.

Seeing that you have proper knowledge about the product and its features for the brand, design and cost of the product you are purchasing is a significant portion of your whole operational cost. 

Many consumers tend to skip this first step when purchasing but mind you, having background even on small items must be observed by consumers to keep a better buying habit. 

7. Not Considering Water heater tank capacity

Water tanks typically can hold 40, 50, 55 gallons or more. Remember that the kind and size of the water heater tank you are purchasing depends on the number of users.

The lesser the number, the smaller the tank and vice versa, thus a need to consider the capacity of your water heater tanks to save electricity as well. 

8. Comparing brands and prices

When purchasing your water heaters, refrain from comparing especially for the prices which have nothing to do with the service they can provide to your homes.

If you are really in need of a water heater, it is best that you choose among the best brands and see key features which can help you in the long run rather than to base your purchase on the price.

9. Buying a Second-Hand Water Heater

This one is a big no-no when purchasing a water heater. Though most brands are known to be long lasting, it is still best to look for the best even if quite pricey water heaters because the price will justify the years it will serve you. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Heater Brands

How many years does a water heater last?

Water heaters are a very useful appliance found mostly in homes where it provides warm or hot water in case needed. However, it is also right to know how many years your water heater lasts to know when to repair or replace the product. 

For most water heaters, depending on the brand and care, they typically last for about 6 to 13 years. The years of its service also depends on how you keep it safe and clean. Hence, if you want to have a long-lasting water heater, make sure to clean it up regularly or seek advice from professionals as you see fit. 

What is the best brand of tankless water heater?

The best tankless water heater brands which have the best service in terms of efficiency, portability, reliability and point of use are the Rinnai Water Heater Brand. This brand has the most consistent 90% and up rating from customers through the years. 

Rinnai, having been considered as one of the largest Japanese manufacturers of water heaters and received high consumer ratings because of the advanced technology and high energy efficiency, is no doubt the best brand of a tankless water heater.

Is Rheem water heater a good brand?

Yes. Rheem brand built its reputation to a large number of consumers because it manufactured durable and reliable water heaters that are best for homeowners. Rheem brand also has special features like the Econet WIfi Kit which is an EcoNet System that can send you alerts in case of failing parts of the water heaters. 

This feature does not only help you identify the problem but gives you confidence in owning a water heater since it gives warnings beforehand so you know what to do with your water heaters, whether to change or repair. 

How much does it cost to flush out a hot water heater? 

If you have doubts about DIY flushing hot water from your water heater, you can always have a professional do it for you at around $100 and above.

Flushing out the hot water from the water heater is a maintenance procedure that you should always employ to ensure the good performance and longevity of your water heater.

Not flushing out hot water regularly leads to valve corrosion or sediment buildup. Flushing out of hot water should be done at least once a year. 



Water heaters are a must have for homeowners especially those that are in low temperature locations. This one is a cost worthy appliance that is not only useful during winter but for other seasons as well. Knowing which brands to avoid and which to consider is very important not only because of the upfront cost of water heaters but also because we need them to be in their pristine condition for a long time. 

Fortunately, in this list, a rundown of the factors that should help you in landing on the best choice is already provided for your reference. Aside from this, some of the strong and weak points of the most popular water heater brands are also furnished for your consideration.