Bradford White Water Heater Warranty
Bradford White has provided a range of products to the American consumer since the nineteenth century. Although much of the focus has been on commercial sales, Bradford White is increasingly looking to the private consumer market. If you own a Bradford White water heater and something goes wrong, your first instinct may be to look at your insurance policy.
However, before you do that, consider your warranty. Depending on the age and type of your water heater, you may be covered under the Bradford White warranty.
WHAT DOES MY WARRANTY COVER?
If you have not paid for a warranty upgrade (see the section below on the BuiltBest warranties), then you will have the most basic – and limited – warranty available. That’s not to say that you are totally without coverage. However, it just means that you will be covered for only the most limited faults.
The key components you will be covered for are the glass-lined tank and any of the smaller pieces (most typically the anode). You will be covered only for leakage and other malfunctions caused by defective parts.
If your heater also malfunctions as a result of workmanship in the manufacturing process, you will also be covered. However, if this workmanship was part of the installation process or any subsequent repairs, you cannot claim it under the limited warranty.
The most typical duration for a Bradford White Water Heater is six years. This is well within the lifetime of most modern water heaters (which tend to last eight to 10 years before parts start to degrade). Bradford White is effectively covering itself only against seriously premature degradation of parts.
WHO SHOULD I CALL IF I HAVE A PROBLEM?
If something is wrong with your water heater, it can be difficult to know who to call first – especially when you’re either left without hot water or, worse, you have a leak somewhere in your home. However, doing things in the correct way is vital in ensuring that you are covered under any warranty and insurance you may have.
REPORT A CLAIM
If you need to submit a warranty claim, then the easiest (and best) way to do so is through the professional that services your water heater. Bradford White recommends that the professional takes the following steps:
This obviously removes much of the hassle and stress from the consumer and allows for a professional to take care of the bureaucratic side of things. However, before this process takes place, you’ll need to jump through a couple of hoops.
WHAT IS MY SERIAL NUMBER?
The first key hoop to jump through is to get your serial and model number. Since they can be located in an awkward place on the water heater and could fade, it’s best to have them written down somewhere safe. However, both numbers will be on a sticker located somewhere on the heater.
On a gas heater, the two numbers are on the central sticker found about halfway up the water heater. On an electric heater, they are lower down, underneath the yellow safety sticker. In both cases, the model number is immediately under the company name and address, and the serial number is directly underneath the model number.
You’ll need to have both of those numbers when dealing with Bradford White (and any contractors provided by the company). Both of those numbers are also useful when it comes to looking up to see whether your warranty is still active. You can do this easily on the Bradford White website (LINK HERE).
Entering your serial number on the website will also tell you the age of your water heater, which is extremely useful information for your service professional to know.
READING THE SERIAL NUMBER
In addition to using the online tool, you can also use the serial number to determine the date and month your model was manufactured. The first two letters of the serial number correspond to specific years and months. The first letter tells you the year of manufacture.
Use the table below to determine the year of your model (the FIRST letter):
Year of Production
1984 or 2004
1985 or 2005
1986 or 2006
1987 or 2007
1988 or 2008
1989 or 2009
1990 or 2010
1991 or 2011
1992 or 2012
1993 or 2013
Year of Production
1994 or 2014
1995 or 2015
1996 or 2016
1997 or 2017
1998 or 2018
1999 or 2019
2000 or 2020
2001 or 2021
2002 or 2022
2003 or 2023
The second letter corresponds to the month of production. Use the table below to find the month of your model (the SECOND number):
For example, therefore, if your serial number begins PD, then your water heater was made in April of 2017 (or 1997).
FIND A CONTRACTOR
Bradford White runs a directory of contractors on its website (LINK HERE). These contractors are qualified contractors who hold a certification with Bradford White. Wherever possible, if you are planning on claiming based on your warranty, you should use one of these providers. Since they have a relationship with Bradford White and have been certified, they will be able to liaise directly with the company and make the process of getting reimbursed for parts far smoother.
On the website, simply enter your zip code, and you will find providers near you who can follow the steps listed in the ‘report a claim’ section above.
One of the key benefits of employing an accredited service professional to complete the work on your water heater is that they will be able to access the right parts for the job. Bradford White has a policy of never selling products and components directly to the consumer – instead, all sales are wholesale and therefore accessed only by licensed distributors.
This makes it more or less impossible for the average consumer to repair their own water heater themselves. Assuming you don’t have contacts who can source parts for you, it’s much easier simply to hire one of Bradford White’s accredited professionals.
WHAT IS THE BUILTBEST EXTENDED LIMITED WARRANTY UPGRADE?
As mentioned above, the standard warranty that comes with a Bradford White water heater is somewhat limited. However, it is also possible to buy a warranty through the BuildBest plan run by Bradford White. This can significantly increase the coverage available to the consumer.
What does it cover?
The BuiltBest program allows homeowners to extend the warranty period to 10 years from the standard six-year warranty. This applies only to specific water heaters within the Bradford White range and costs $229. It must be purchased as part of the same order as your water heater (i.e., you can’t wait six years and then pay the $229 for an additional four years).
Do I qualify?
Only certain models are able to qualify for the BuiltBest upgrade. To check whether your water heater is eligible, you’ll need to enter your serial number on the website using the link above. This will tell you whether your model is supported and whether it is still in date.
How do I buy the upgraded warranty?
In order to buy the upgraded warranty, you’ll need to speak to the professional who installed the water heater in the first place. They will be able to sell you the upgraded warranty once you give them your model and serial number (see above on how to find those).
Is it worth it?
When weighing up the four-year upgrade, it is worth looking into the comparable cost of a home warranty or a homeowners’ insurance policy. Getting quotes for a range of options will allow you to directly compare – don’t assume that a manufacturer’s warranty is the best deal. At $229 for four years, you’re paying more than $50 per year for very limited coverage. You may get more bang for your buck elsewhere.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to your water heater warranty – admittedly a topic that many of us don’t think too much about. In fact, it’s often better to spend money to ensure you don’t have to think about it. What you need to consider is whether the cost of upgrading your warranty is a better value proposition than buying a third-party warranty and/or a homeowners’ insurance policy.