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Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

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  • Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

    The existing water heater in my home is a 40 gallon power vent unit that is installed in an unfinished basement next to an exterior wall. I would like to replace it with a direct vent model to eliminate the noise of the power vent fan. The direct vent models seem to be special order only, and not something that is typically stocked by the local plumbing supply houses.

    Four weeks ago I gave a.plumber who had quoted me a direct vent Bradford White direct vent water heater and installation the go ahead to order the heater. He said it would take up to three weeks to arrive. Yesterday I was told that three weeks was wrong, now it will take 5 weeks, with the heater being installed 8 or 9 weeks after I originally gave the go-ahead. We've muddled through four weeks without hot water, but I'm not sure I won't have a revolt on my hands if we try to go another four or five weeks without hot water.

    On one hand, I feel we've made it this long without hot water, we might as well just wait it out and get the direct vent unit, but maybe going against conventional thinking is a bad idea, and I should just get another power vent unit and be done with it.

    What is your opinion of a direct vent vs powered vent unit? If you are OK with direct vent units, are there places that keep them in stock?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas on this.

  • #2
    Re: Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

    i work for a plumber in milwaukee,i will ask my boss tomorro about the availability of direct vent water heater,,, bet u are tired of waiting for hot water

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    • #3
      Re: Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

      My only gripe with direct vent is that the hot flue gases are closer to the side of the house. Power vented is a mixed cooler gas that's forced farther away.
      ~~

      ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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      • #4
        Re: Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

        Thanks for the help. I figured the exhaust will be a lot hotter. The installation manual shows putting a small cage around the exhaust vent, or fencing the area around the exhaust.

        And yes, being without hot water is definitely getting old. The last time my water heater went we had two kids in diapers. Now that they're older we can rough it for a while. Wish I had a way to tell when the water heater was about to go.

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        • #5
          Re: Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

          I have a 50 gal in stock (AO Smith). Comes with the exhaust vent cage. Could ship it to you.....

          David

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          • #6
            Re: Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

            after rereading post about direct vent water water heater ,,,,,,,,,you are replacing power vent with direct vent,,,,,,,,,that means you may have to relocate water heater and buy pricey exhaust pipe,,,,,,this could get expensive,,,,,,,how about an electric water heater,,,,,,,,very quiet

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            • #7
              Re: Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

              Originally posted by cheesehead plumber View Post
              after rereading post about direct vent water water heater ,,,,,,,,,you are replacing power vent with direct vent,,,,,,,,,that means you may have to relocate water heater and buy pricey exhaust pipe,,,,,,this could get expensive,,,,,,,how about an electric water heater,,,,,,,,very quiet
              Also, with a worst case scenario using power vent - there is a 3.5" hole in the house (probably 2.5" though) and a cool pipe. Using direct vent there may not be enough clearance in the joist spaces for hot pipe, let alone the hole needed in the side of the house.
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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              • #8
                Re: Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater Advice Wanted

                Thanks for raising the considerations Punky. I do have a power vent unit now. It's installed against an exterior wall in an unfinished basement,and exits through a concrete block wall below the joists. Because of that location, I felt that the power vent was overkill. The house is small, and I wanted to eliminate the fan noise. I know that the opening through the basement block wall will need to be enlarged to accommodate a direct vent unit. I'll see how it goes with the hotter exhaust, and I suppose I can always switch back next time to the power vent.

                Dhal22 and cheesehead plumber, the plumber called me yesterday morning, and changed the installation date to this week instead of four weeks from now. Last Friday I was told the water heater wasn't due to arrive for 2 or 3 more weeks, yesterday he said he expects it in this week. I'm confused as to how the business works where the delivery/installation time frame can change so dramatically, but if he is able to get it installed this week, that will work for me.

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