Best Gas Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Check out the review of the best gas water heaters from the top three manufacturers in North America: Bradford White, Rheem, and AO Smith. The top models include the conventional tank-type and high-efficient models that provide fast water heating with a high recovery rate and are designed with advanced features only.

To get an answer to the question "what is the best gas water heater," we are going to compare several models from the most trusted and popular manufacturers in North America. It is not easy to find the best model because there are so many options out there offering equally good features and amazing specs.

The best gas water heater is one that is efficient, reliable, and durable. It heats the water fast, recovers quickly, so your family will have enough hot water anytime it needs it.

When it comes to the question, "What brand to buy," the answer is simple. Since most of the gas water heaters are built similarly, it is your preference which one to choose, as long as the elements can last and do what they supposed to do, are reliable, have a decent warranty, and there is a service provided in the case of a problem.

Selection of the best gas water heaters

Bradford White PV High Efficiency

Bradford White TTW

Bradford White M-4-XRTW50T6FBN is the power vented and the high efficient 50-gallon unit, that is, because of its amazing features, among the best gas water heaters.

These great features allow superb performance, as shown in the high energy factor of 0.67 and first-hour rating of an amazing 108 GPH. So this is what makes this unit Energy Star compliant and eligible for many rebates.

The water heater is coming from the TTW series, as it uses Through-the-Wall venting. TTW venting does not utilize the chimney, and with the positive pressure, the water heater can be vented horizontally through the wall or vertically through the roof and up to 180 feet in length, which makes the installation very flexible.

The model M-4-XRTW50T6FBN is equipped with the FVIR and ICON system, which incorporates the microprocessor for advanced temperature control and improved performance, a diagnostic system for easy troubleshooting, and intelligent gas control with the pilot light indication.

The water heater is equipped with a specially designed flame arrestor plate that protects the unit and users from the accidental ignition of the flammable vapors coming from surrounding chemicals, gasoline, and other flammable materials.

This system also reduces the time spent on maintenance, as there is no regular cleaning involved.

Another top feature found in best gas water heaters from Bradford White is the Hydrojet system, which reduces the sediment buildup inside the water tank. This way, the first-hour rating is significantly increased. Moreover, the efficiency is improved, as the foam insulation has a decent thickness of 2 inches and an R-insulation value of 16, plus the factory-installed heating traps.


  • Gas input - 65,000 BTU
  • First hour rating - 108 GPH
  • Recovery rate - 70 GPH
  • Energy factor - 0.67
  • Warranty - 6 years (extended up to 10)

AO Smith Effex

One of the best gas water heaters from AO Smith is the Effex model, an atmospheric model with one of the highest energy factors of 0.7. Effex is a conventional water heater equipped with a pressurized combustion chamber, advanced air intake blower, and specially designed flue baffle, resulting in enhanced water heating.

The GAHH-50 model is very similar to the standard-type, atmospherically vented water heaters, except for the mentioned air-gas optimizer. The installation is as simple as the conventional type; it easily connects to the existing B-type vent.

Instead of the pilot light, the water heater uses the electronic ignition represented by the long-lasting hot surface igniter.

There is a control panel with the LCD at the top of the unit, which allows convenient temperature change, monitoring, and display of the diagnostic codes when the problem occurs.

Inside the Effex, different is the improved powered anode rod which does not deplete over time, and it gives good results for any water hardness.

DynaClean dip tube is designed to maximize the hot water output by reducing the lime and sediment buildup.

Green Choice gas burner has a significant role in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases as its burner produces fewer NOx gases.


  • Gas input - 40,000 BTU
  • First hour rating - 81 GPH
  • Recovery rate - 43 GPH
  • Energy factor - 0.70
  • Warranty - 6 years

Rheem Power Vent

Rheem PowerVent with the electronic control 43VP50E2-E was selected as the best gas water heater from this manufacturer because of the following advantages and benefits it brings to your home.

A water heater is an energy-saving unit since its energy efficiency is 0.67 that also complies with the Energy Star requirements.

It is equipped with the following advanced features, which are, again, very beneficial for conserving energy, saving you money, and protecting the environment:

Eco-friendly and low NOx burner produces fewer greenhouse gases than the standard type.

The heater is equipped with an electronically lit pilot that lights the main gas burner. Each time when there is a demand for heating the water, the pilot is automatically lit.

The self-diagnostic system monitors and signalizes if there is a problem with the water heater.

The Guardian system provides FVIR protection, maximizes the hot water output by optimizing the air/gas ratio, and reduces the time spent on maintenance since there is no filter to clean.

The water heater features the induced drafting with flexible venting. The venting system uses PVC or ABS pipes with horizontal and vertical termination and lengths up to 100 ft.

The EverKleen system helps the water heater reduce the sediment and limescale buildup inside the water tank, keeping the high-performance year after year.

One of the main features of the Rheem 43VP50E2-E is the PV electronic control. The electronic control utilizes the LCD screen where you can get the info about the remaining hot water in the tank and allow the local or remote programming. It also lets you adjust the water temperature or set a vacation mode option (it sets the temperature settings too low). The control can alert you when water is too hot or when service is needed (the problem can be identified with the failure code).


  • Gas input - 42,000 BTU
  • First hour rating - 87 GPH
  • Recovery rate - 42.4 GPH
  • Energy factor - 0.67
  • Warranty - 6 years


As seen from this review, the best gas water heaters incorporate many great features that reduce energy loss, bring the costs for operation down while giving you a better overall experience and durable unit.


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