(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Power vent water heater?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    DIY Member topshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    45

    Default Power vent water heater?

    I'm removing my roof vent (for furnace and WH) in a remodel so was looking at getting a power vent model rather than going with electric since it's still much cheaper to heat with gas even today. However, after reading here it seems the new FVIR req has made the gas heaters pretty cantankerous (and much more expensive).

    I need a 40 gal. Local supply house has the PV Rheem for $1100+. The other has A.O. Smith for $818. Didn't locate a Bradford White here and I understand they'll only sell to pros anyway. I could also get Richmond or Whirlpool (j/k on that last one - don't even offer a PV that I could see).

    I'm guessing a direct vent would be much cheaper, but I'm too far from an exterior wall and don't really want to move the heater to where it wouldn't be in a central location even though I'll be doing a pex manifold also.

    Should I just go ahead with an electric model? If so which brands should I stay away from?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Smile

    I have been using a Richmond (Rheem) power vent for several years and I really like it. Since I installed mine, the venting requirements have changed a great deal. I have to use 4" pipe and was limited to just a few feet. (I don' recall exactly how much) Today, you can use small pipe and run it quite a long distance. There are two negative issues that I can see with a power vent. They cost considerably more than standard vent models, and if you remove the old vent and close the hole in the roof, you are pretty well committed to stay with power vents or go to additional expense to reinstall a conventional vent. Those may or may not be serious issues for you, but I think you should be aware of them.

  3. #3
    DIY Member topshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    45

    Default

    I do plan to remove the old vent and that's why I'm looking at the options. A vanity will cover over where it used to be upstairs. After seeing the issues with most of the new gas WHs because of FVIR, maybe I should just go electric. I know we'll have a lot of scale buildup though.

    My old gas heater still works fine, but it's at least 14 years old (it was here when we moved in).

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,434

    Default

    Rheme and Bradford White seem to have reliable gas WH, so I wouldn't let the FVIR thing be an issue. The tank will likely be taller, but if you are putting in a new vent, that shouldn't be a big deal.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Member topshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Are they worth twice the cost of the Richmond (made by Rheem) or even more than that of an electric?

  6. #6
    DIY Member TheOak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    48

    Default

    If you are going to convert to natural gas, and you are going to run new venting anyway ... have you thought about a tankless?

  7. #7
    DIY Hillbilly Southern Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    530

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by topshot View Post
    Are they worth twice the cost of the Richmond (made by Rheem) or even more than that of an electric?
    You've got to do the math on the relative fuel costs. When I lived in Upstate NY with high electric rates I bought an expensive direct fired oil hot water heater and it paid for itself in less than two years. But where I live now I can't justify the cost.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •