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Thread: Power vent water heater question

  1. #16
    In the Trades Plumber111's Avatar
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  2. #17
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Pay close attention to how to calculate the distance...it's not just the straight, you have to subtract some for each change of direction as well. Then, the horizontal sections need to be sloped like a drain because, often, there will be some condensation and it needs to drain outside rather than back to the WH. On things like mod/con boilers, it slopes the other way, but then they also have a trap and a means to dispose of the condensate which doesn't exist on the WH, or at least those I know of (doesn't mean they don't exist).
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #18
    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    Smell is not your problem when venting close to windows or other openings

    carbon monoxide is that is why the distance

    even if windows are closed gas can still leak into the house !

    Carbon monoxide is odorless,invisible, that is why it is called the silent killer !

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/news.cfm?...&storyid=51094
    Last edited by MACPLUMB 777; 02-22-2012 at 01:12 PM. Reason: ADDED LINK FOR LATEST CM

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  4. #19
    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    12" is all that was required for my power vent water heater and my furnace from a window.

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    that post has little to do with a residence...

  6. #21
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    In searching around BW's website, they have both direct vent and POWERED direct vent systems. Here's one of them http://www.bradfordwhite.com/images/...-47936-00C.pdf, and depending on the size of the piping you use, you could have up to 95' (when you use 4", it's 55' if you use 3" pvc) if you can get by with only one elbow...that should be enough for nearly any house.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member B&H's Avatar
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    On BW's site, they claim about 104" from the centerline of the exhaust pipe on top of the tank, to the outside wall surface. This is on their direct vent 40 gallon tank in my link on page 1, with their standard size vent pipe and no turns. Unfortunately I need to go 120". I see that they advise to call for a different pipe size maybe, for longer distances.

    Judging by what I've read on this site, it would be better to use a direct vent vs a power vent, so maybe it's time to call BW and then a plumber.

  8. #23
    In the Trades Plumber111's Avatar
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    That's sounds like a good plan. I typically discourage Power Vents/Power Direct Vents and try to make others work instead.

    Now to throw a monkey wrench in it all, have you considered an 80 gallon electric as well? Might find it does what you need and costs have changed in many areas where electric can be just as economical. Then no vents, fuel piping, holes in the wall etc.

    But get a CO detector anyway.

  9. #24
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    I like an electric water heater. Very simple and easy to get parts. No vent and no gas. Unless you use ALOT of hot water cost of the electricity is not an issue.. The cost of the appliance is cheaper and so is the installation. New codes get thrown at gas appliances all the time while electric heaters are being made the same for years. I have a 12 yr old 50 gal rheem electric that have the original bottom element but I did change the top one after Hurricane katrina. I converted my heater to 110v for a generator to heta me some water,so I used a 1500w 110 element and direct wired it to the element. After an hr or so I would have some really hot water.

    Summary.....I like electric heaters for a warm climate especially.

  10. #25
    DIY Junior Member B&H's Avatar
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    When we bought this house 20 years ago, we had no gas, so we had an electric 40 gallon tank. 2 years after we moved in, we converted to NG and installed a gas WH. The savings from only switching from an electric to gas WH was significant!

    Fast forward to today, we are a family of 3 and certainly don't use a lot of hot water. Our son is 16, so in a couple of more years we will be empty nesters. I wouldn't know how to calculate the cost of heating water using gas or electricity. Help! We have a NG whole house back-up generator, so power outages aren't a problem. Going back to an electric WH could be a nifty solution!

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by B&H View Post
    When we bought this house 20 years ago, we had no gas, so we had an electric 40 gallon tank. 2 years after we moved in, we converted to NG and installed a gas WH. The savings from only switching from an electric to gas WH was significant!

    Fast forward to today, we are a family of 3 and certainly don't use a lot of hot water. Our son is 16, so in a couple of more years we will be empty nesters. I wouldn't know how to calculate the cost of heating water using gas or electricity. Help! We have a NG whole house back-up generator, so power outages aren't a problem. Going back to an electric WH could be a nifty solution!
    Any big tubs to fill? Washing clothes in hot water? You would need to know the cost of your electricity per kilowatt.. It's probably on your power bill.
    Last edited by Hackney plumbing; 02-22-2012 at 05:31 PM.

  12. #27
    DIY Junior Member B&H's Avatar
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    At our current rates, it would cost about 2.5x to heat with electricity than NG. Yikes, no thanks! So with the guidance of those here, I decided to "rearrrange" the area that the water heater is in (move the new unit closer to the exterior wall) so as to be able to use a direct vent instead of a power vent. New water heater is in my basement (40 gallon Bradford-White) and the longest vent kit had to be ordered directly from the manufacturer. In the short term, a power vent would have been easier to install, but I think the simplicity of a direct-vent made moving a wall the better choice for the long haul. Thanks!

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