Doing my research for replacing our 18-year old Rheem atmospheric vent water heater, which I think is running on borrowed time.

I'm set on getting a direct vent model so that we can get rid of the chimney. I don't want power vent, since we have tenants in the basement apartment, and I want the water heater to run as quietly as possible.

Including the tenants, my wife and I, my wife's sister (temporarily while she studies) and our three-year old twins, there are seven people in the house. We have three bathrooms, and a dishwasher and two washers that are used regularly.

I have obviously noticed that Bradford White is the favoured brand around here. However, my concern is with the ICON system that all the BW direct vent models have. Some threads below:

http://www.plumbingzone.com/f2/bradf...cerns-me-6884/

http://www.plumbingzone.com/f7/switc...way-icon-8722/

I'm a big believer in keeping it simple - part of the reason for not wanting power vent - so the extra electronics on a water heater is a concern to me, and those threads seem to indicate potential problems.

So, the question then becomes, are there any BW models out there for me that are direct vent and do not have the ICON system? BW website does not leave me with much hope, but maybe there are some rebranded models out there?

Second question, what would my other options be? Any simple, reliable direct vent models that I should be looking at?

Any input or suggestions would be much appreciated.