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  • Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

    Just saw a GE Power Vent 38-gallon water heater at Home Depot. $497. (Wife was in a hurry so no time to inspect it.)

    Heat loss 24/7:
    The air heated by the hot water in the tank convects up the center tube and out of the house through the vent.
    That warm air flow up the vent creates a slight vacuum which draws cold outdoor air into the basement, chilling the basement, heating ductwork, and main level floor.
    That fresh cold outdoor air rising up through and out of the water heater tank also chills the water, causing the burner to come on more often.

    Will a power vent stop the constant heat loss from the water heater and consequently from the basement?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 04-11-2012, 07:47 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: Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

    SORRY ROBERT, We need to talk to Your wife before We give You advice on any more possible purchases !!
    Please Have Her call Mark 1-800- EIEIOO0
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

      Shop Direct Vent 50-Gallon 6-Year Gas Water Heater (Natural Gas) at Lowes.com=

      Energy Star 40 gal. Tall 6 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Power Vent Water Heater-GG40T06PVT at The Home Depot
      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: Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

        The lowes water heater is a direct vent. It does not have a power vent on it and It may not work in your area. The Home depot one is a power vent and is a little more efficient. The only time I would use a power vent is due to vent restrictions. I would never buy a water heater from Lowes or Home Dill HOLE. They are JUNK. It sounds like you are wanting to stop the draft of the cold air going out through the direct vent water heater you already have. If that is the case, then a power vent may help, but it is still going to suck the air out of the room. I would look at a water heater that has an Intake and an exhaust. Polaris is one that is very efficient, or you could go Tankless. Eternal has one that is being used a lot in the Denver area. I don't know what all of the codes and limitations that you would have, and the cost of the Polaris is around $4,000. Is there that Much air Loss? It may be worth finding someone with an thermal camera to take a look and see if there is somewhere else you are losing air.
        "don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been"

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks. Must be sure to notice "Power" vent, not "direct" vent.

          The constant heat loss from the water heater is terrible.
          Plus, that heat convecting up the vent pulls cold air into our basement, chilling the whole basement.

          With an electric water heater being 100% efficient and not pulling cold air into the house, would it be a better investment?

          With the furnace being powered inducedraft, I could eliminate the downdraft diverter and prevent warm air loss from the basement.
          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


          • #6
            Re: Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

            Originally posted by Plumbingbyjay View Post
            The lowes water heater is a direct vent. It does not have a power vent on it and It may not work in your area. The Home depot one is a power vent and is a little more efficient. The only time I would use a power vent is due to vent restrictions. I would never buy a water heater from Lowes or Home Dill HOLE. They are JUNK. It sounds like you are wanting to stop the draft of the cold air going out through the direct vent water heater you already have. If that is the case, then a power vent may help, but it is still going to suck the air out of the room. I would look at a water heater that has an Intake and an exhaust. Polaris is one that is very efficient, or you could go Tankless. Eternal has one that is being used a lot in the Denver area. I don't know what all of the codes and limitations that you would have, and the cost of the Polaris is around $4,000. Is there that Much air Loss? It may be worth finding someone with an thermal camera to take a look and see if there is somewhere else you are losing air.
            the water heaters sold at home depot, lowes, menards, etc. are all made by Rheem (rebranded as GE, Richmond, etc.). look at the model/serial tag and you'll find "Rheem water heater co." clear as day. IMO there is nothing wrong with those heaters. decent product from a reputable manufacturer. i choose to install Bradford-White because they are endorsed by PHCC, not avail in the big box stores, and IMO gave the best controls on the market.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Thanks. Must be sure to notice "Power" vent, not "direct" vent.

              Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
              The constant heat loss from the water heater is terrible.
              Plus, that heat convecting up the vent pulls cold air into our basement, chilling the whole basement.

              With an electric water heater being 100% efficient and not pulling cold air into the house, would it be a better investment?

              With the furnace being powered inducedraft, I could eliminate the downdraft diverter and prevent warm air loss from the basement.
              you will spend more money on energy heating water by electricity than by conventional vent gas. gas heaters also recover a lot faster than electric.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Thanks. Must be sure to notice "Power" vent, not "direct" vent.

                Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
                you will spend more money on energy heating water by electricity than by conventional gas. ....
                Considering the chilling of the basement and furnace and heating ductwork, and the main level floor, would morexpensivelectric water heater still be cheaper by ending the heat loss from the basement?
                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


                • #9
                  Re: Thanks. Must be sure to notice "Power" vent, not "direct" vent.

                  You could install aand wire in a damper for the water heater but material cost and labor would far exceed the energy savings. I understand its more of a comfort thing but seriously there isnt enough draft on a gas heater to cool a basement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Thanks. Must be sure to notice "Power" vent, not "direct" vent.

                    Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                    You could install aand wire in a damper for the water heater but material cost and labor would far exceed the energy savings. I understand its more of a comfort thing but seriously there isnt enough draft on a gas heater to cool a basement.
                    Some flues create quite a draft - our vent is probably 30 vertical feet - and that draft is constant, 24/7.

                    I would install a damper but have no way to switch on power to it to open the damper.
                    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


                    • #11
                      Re: Thanks. Must be sure to notice "Power" vent, not "direct" vent.

                      Have you considered building a closet around the water heater and bringing in combustion air just for the closet???

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Thanks. Must be sure to notice "Power" vent, not "direct" vent.

                        Originally posted by fresnoplummr View Post
                        Have you considered building a closet around the water heater and bringing in combustion air just for the closet???
                        Yes. That seems the only solution if I cannot close a damper to cease the heat loss from the basement.
                        But heat is still lost from the tank and up the flue 24/7.
                        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


                        • #13
                          Re: Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

                          Originally posted by swade plumbing View Post
                          the water heaters sold at home depot, lowes, menards, etc. Are all made by rheem (re-branded as ge, richmond, etc.). Look at the model/serial tag and you'll find "rheem water heater co." clear as day. Imo there is nothing wrong with those heaters. Decent product from a reputable manufacturer. I choose to install bradford-white because they are endorsed by phcc, not avail in the big box stores, and imo gave the best controls on the market.
                          ,

                          i don't know about menards but lowes water heaters are whirlpool brand mfg, by
                          "american" water heaters and not rheem
                          JERRYMAC
                          E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
                          CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
                          FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
                          SINCE JAN. 1989

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

                            Speaking of water heaters, just installed a State Select water heater (local Ferguson supply stocks them), 6-yr warrantee, 40,000 BTU gas.

                            As soon as I fired it up gas leaked from the junction between the thermostat and the hose connecting the burner. Called up State and they sent a new thermostat and burner unit with connecting hose. Didn't install yet, I cranked down hard on the existing threaded hose connection and most of the leak stopped so I have an extra burner if I can't get all the leak to stop all the way.

                            Is State especially good/bad otherwise?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Your thoughts on power vent water heaters from Lowe's and Home Depot?

                              Originally posted by JERRYMAC View Post
                              ,

                              i don't know about menards but lowes water heaters are whirlpool brand mfg, by
                              "american" water heaters and not rheem
                              I've never bought or installed a heater from Lowe's, but American Water Heaters is the same company that makes A.O. Smith and State. All part of the same parent company.
                              Here are the links to the American WH site and the A.O. Smith sites (notice that the products pictured are identical except for color scheme).
                              Residential High Efficiency - Products
                              A.O. Smith

                              I believe that 95% or more of conventional tank type water heaters sold in the US are made by the big 3 (or their subsidiary) Rheem, A.O. Smith/American/State, and Bradford White. The rest would be Lochinvar or other small brands.

                              I have installed plenty of Home Depot and Menards heaters (supplied by homeowner). Home Depot and Menards carry GE and Richmond respectively and are both manufactured by Rheem and re-branded for the big box stores so as not to offend Plumbers and wholesalers (supply houses). When Home Depot first started carrying water heaters, they said Rheem right on the box. The fallout from that made Rheem start re-branding.

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