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  • Replace 10-year-old water heater with -?-

    Since moving into our house in 2008, I flush the water heater about every 6 months. First flush was into the floor drain so I was unable to see what drained.
    Following flushes were into a white bucket to observe the sediment.

    (Is opening the drain bib fully and draining two gallons a sufficient flush?)

    When time to replace, should I get a power vent water heater?
    I want to stop the constant convective heat loss, which also creates a constant draft which pulls air from the basement which pulls in cold air from outside.

    Can a power vent be added to an existing water heater?
    How could it be signaled to turn on?

    Any recommendations?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 05-23-2010, 07:28 AM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: Replace 10-year-old water heater with -?-

    This has been the draw back of tanked residential gas water heaters. Yes the recovery time is a fraction of an electric water heater. The industry has not seen the obvious for all these years. We need a break point on the gas controler that will allow a timer and/or damper end switch. I have never seen a residential tanked gas water heater with a damper. The direct vent and power vent units still allow for convection, so there is nothing gained without a damper. It should also be noted that a damper only accounts for roughly 5% more efficiency. By the time you reinvented the wheel, the cost savings most likely will not justify.

    Tankless is the most efficient way to go with gas. There again you must consider if the gas pipe is adequate and what considerations do you need for venting. How many people will be using the water and when? Tanked or tankless has pros and cons either way.

    I wish Honeywell, Robert Shaw, White Rodgers, and the rest of the yahoos designing this stuff would pull their head out of there *** and put a simple jumper block on the gas valve that could allow for all of these things.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Replace 10-year-old water heater with -?-

      Power vents DO allow heat to escape?
      That is disappointing.

      I bet a damper would make a lot more than 5% savings.

      Sure, there is some radiant heat lost to the basement, but that would be into the house and OK.
      One could also add an insulating jacket to decrease the radiant heat loss.

      On the roof one December evening, I was disappointed at how much hot air was flowing out the vent while the heater was not even burning.
      And that flow is also pulling chilled air into the basement.
      So the furnace and heat ducts and first floor floor are even colder.

      Wish they could connect a switch to the control valve which could switch power to open a damper.
      (I would place the damper in the main 5 inch flue so that both the furnace and water heater could close the flue.)
      Last edited by Robert Gift; 05-23-2010, 10:50 AM.
      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Replace 10-year-old water heater with -?-

        The 5% savings is based on my experience with boilers...and that is about all it gets. I didn't say it can't be done. I just have not seen one manufactured that way yet. If you really want to do this. You will need a 3/4" dry well, an aquastat controller such as a (Johnson A419), a 24 volt intermitten gas valve, an ignition control module, a 24v transformer, the damper, a spark ignition pilot assembly, a high limit safety, and redesign the gas port supply to the burner. Don't forget the CO detector!!!

        It is possible, but is it worth it?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Replace 10-year-old water heater with -?-

          Direct Vent.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Replace 10-year-old water heater with -?-

            Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
            Power vents DO allow heat to escape?
            That is disappointing.

            I bet a damper would make a lot more than 5% savings.
            Wish they could connect a switch to the control valve which could switch power to open a damper.
            (I would place the damper in the main 5 inch flue so that both the furnace and water heater could close the flue.)

            If you damper that way, you would have to have a control system linked to both the hwt and furnace and no standing pilots.

            Comment

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