Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-29-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
What can I find here?
 
Winchester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 188
Share |
Default

Recommended Water Heater??


I'm doing some research for an efficient, natural gas water heater. What are some of the better brands and why?

Should I stay away from the box stores? My local Lowe's carries Whirlpool while the Menards carries Rheem. My current 8 year old model is an A.O. Smith. Some internet research would indicate that the Rheem and A.O. Smith are good brand names??

I'm also considering the move to solar water heat and would like to use the new tank type in conjunction with a possible solar water system.

All comments and feedback appreciated.

Winchester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2008, 02:35 PM   #2
What can I find here?
 
Winchester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 188
Default

Recommended Water Heater??


I should also comment that my current water heater is power vented. Approxmately 14' from the wall. Are these power vents universal? Seems like the more efficient models are not power vented.

What options do I have here? Thanks.

Winchester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
Registered User
 
Termite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,520
Default

Recommended Water Heater??


There's nothing efficient about a tank-style water heater. Sorry. The whole concept is incredibly inefficient.

The power vent is not a standard thing, but may be necessary depending on your home's vent configuration. If that's what you have now, I'd suggest going back in with the same thing.

I see very little difference between the major brands of water heaters. I have a Whirlpool and it has held up very well. Bradford White and AO Smith are very popular amongst the plumbers that I know.
Termite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2009, 12:51 AM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 16
Default

Recommended Water Heater??


I am not an expert on water heaters, but I did some research a while back. As I recall, there are only 2 major manufacturers, AO Smith is one of them (I think Rheem may be the other, but I don't remember for sure). You will see a lot of different names on the water heaters, but most all of them come from only 2 makers.

I ended up going with a Sears Kenmore. I think these are the same as the Lowe's Whirlpool models. The difference is that the Kenmore ones come with a better warranty, for about the same money or less (I think it is a 5 year vs. a 10 year warranty.) You'll also want to check and see if the warranties are pro-rated or not (the warranty on my Kenmore is not). Pro-rated warranties can be kind of worthless depending on when your water heater fails.

I think AO Smith makes the models at Home Depot. (I think the drain valves and burner enclosures look different between the AO Smith and the Rheem, this is how you can tell them apart.) At the time I bought mine, the Kenmore was a better deal.

I found that some of the units with the longer warranties come with better (or more) anodes. It might be worthwhile to inspect your anode occasionally on your new unit - supposedly this will help extend the life of your water heater.

I did not look at what Menard's had to offer, so I can't comment on them.

One other thing, if you decide to change out your water heater yourself, you can usually dispose of your old one at a scrap metal dealer. Sometimes your local dump will take them, possibly as scrap metal.
pweller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2009, 01:20 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,264
Default

Recommended Water Heater??


The bottom line is this:

The life of the water heater is determined by the life of the tank inside it, and the life of that tank is determined by the life of the "glass lining" inside that tank. The "glass lining" isn't glass at all, but a powder coating very similar to the enamel on steel bathtubs.

Unfortunately, powder coating is a "mature technology", and that means that every hot water heater tank is powder coated in much the same way, and therefore, barring accidents like someone dropping the tank from a considerable height, all powder coated hot water heater tanks should have about the same lifespan.

So, given that everyone's tank will have about the same lifespan, it's best to go with the brand of hot water heater you already have. The reason for this is that the water inlet and outlet ports will be in the same location relative to the gas inlet, and the amount of piping required to pipe the new water heater in will be less than if the heater is made by a different company that has the gas connection in a different place relative to the cold water inlet and hot water outlet. So, you'd save on the labour required to install the new heater if the water inlet and outlet locations are the same as your old heater, and the gas supply piping matched up as well.
__________________
Bashing my head against the walls in some of the internet's finest chat rooms.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2009, 01:28 AM   #6
Registered User
 
Termite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,520
Default

Recommended Water Heater??


If the inlets are in a different location as Nestor suggested, flexible water heater supply line connectors are widely available. Flexible stainless steel gas whips make the gas connection very easy regardless of the new water heater's gas port configuration.
Termite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2009, 06:27 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 3,118
Default

Recommended Water Heater??


Consumers tested tank water heaters and found that upper end models were actually more efficient than the bottom of the line, better insulation. As suggested above, even the best are not all that efficient, but the upper end of the line are better. I often use HD's GE heaters, not too expensive, with 12 yr warranty, which is about the average life with no maintenance. Flushing the tank several times a year can help keep up the efficiency, and may extend the tank life. Mine is 18 yrs old.

Just Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Low hot water pressure crebive Plumbing 38 02-26-2013 12:26 AM
Low Hot Water Pressure btennant Plumbing 4 12-09-2008 09:31 PM
Insane water pressure in shower!!! Sarah24 Plumbing 5 12-09-2008 05:27 AM
Electric Water Heater GTSRider Plumbing 31 12-07-2008 11:30 AM
Water Heater tsmith Plumbing 10 12-01-2008 06:24 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.