I do water heater research for specific purpose.
I see complaints about every brand except the brands that are no longer in business
Most complaints about gas heaters involve burners & pilot.
Here are some things that might help you decide:
New water heaters have to meet regulations
for clean-burning and efficiency.
As a result, water heaters exposed to poor incoming air supply, and poor venting are more likely to be affected by chronic pilot light problems.
Bradford White manual I was reading said, to remove chemicals from same
room as water heater
corrode water heater parts. This would affect the pilot light as well.
'Spray propellants, cleaning solvents,
refrigerants, swimming pool chemicals, calcium and sodium chloride,
household bleach, waxes and process chemicals are corrosive at very low
levels with no odor."Yearly maintenance
: you're supposed to clean burner and combustion area with a wire bush and vacuum each year.The FVIR
is another consideration today. Flammable Vapor prevention.
Consult the manual before buying the product.
Many gas water heaters have a screen located on bottom of water heater. When the screen clogs with dust, the reduced airflow will stop the burner. Unless the water heater legs are set on bricks, then you can't get under to clean the screen.
If the FVIR trips because it detected a flash-over condition, you have to buy parts for all water heaters except the Bradford White. BW has a re-settable FVIR.http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/2679.htmlhttp://411plumb.com/bradford-white-defender-water-heater-reviewThe 411plumb,com website is a good source of information
The Tank is a good place to post water heater questions
: Those guys are professional plumbers.http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/
Maintaining your water heater is important.Look for a brass drain valve
instead of plastic.http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.htmlAnode rod
If water heater has two anode rods, the tank will last longer.
Inspect anode rod every 3 years.
Loosen anode rod before installing tank so it will come out easily for inspection
Or if it has a powered anode rod, it will supposedly last 'forever' ... until the burner gives out.http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
Other water heater ideas:http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html
Oct 2010. If you have more questions, add a comment at bottom and it sends me an e-mail
There are a lot of good sources in the links above.