Anyone seen the Vertex?

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by SteveW, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Just saw a news release in "Family Handyman" magazine that AO Smith has a new tank water heater called the "Vertex." Has a helical coil heat exchanger, is 90% efficient, has hot and cold recirc. taps, and apparently can deliver 3 gpm continuously, like a tankless unit.

    What's the catch? Retail price = $2240.

    Just wondered if any of the pros have seen or installed one yet, as an alternative to a tankless unit.

    Steve
  2. GoTanklessToday

    GoTanklessToday In the Trades

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Renton, WA
    A supplier employee here put one in his home, he says it sounds like a 747 taking off. Glass lined, 3 gpm. Limited life expectancy due to the glass lined steel tank, but I'm sure they will work well in the right applications. Not on par with tankless, but it looks like a viable option in some situations. It would be ay easier to recirc with one (than with tankless), but I believe the cost will put it out of reach for most. MSRP is up there.

    AOS/State makes a good product, so you can't go wrong there.

    http://www.hotwater.com/products/residential/rg-vertex.html

    Update: From what I have learned, AOS has addressed the noise issue with the blower. They are much quieter now.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2007
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,126
    Location:
    New England
    Once you empty the tank of hot water, you can get about 3 gallons/min with a 40-degree rise continuously. I checked the numbers, and with the 76KBTU, seems about right. Depends on where you live, most places, 40-degrees isn't enough to take a decent shower. But, it has decent first hour capacity and good recovery rates - 90% is good, too for efficiency. Most of the pros here don't seem to feel this company makes good products...not sure about this one.

    This is a tank, so until you empty it, you can run whatever flow you want. It is only AFTER you've used all of the stored energy (i.e., hot water) in it, that you reach a steady state of that 3-gallon example of a flow rate. Note, most showerheads are rated at 2.5gpm max, so your temp rise would be greater than that and you'd probably be able to run for quite a long time continuously if running a shower. If you waited a little time, it would recover fully, and you'd have the full tank's volume back.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2007
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,797
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    vertex

    It appears to be an inverted Burkay heater with the flue, instead of the water, inside the coil like the Burkay heaters and the addition of storage capacity. The longer the flue gases remain in contact with the water the greater the efficiency and output.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Based on all the replacements I have done on State / AOS that were inside the 6 years, you could never convince me they were a quality unit. They are by far the worst, as far as tank life goes, in my NSHO.
  6. GoTanklessToday

    GoTanklessToday In the Trades

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Renton, WA

    Although I am a licensed plumber, I have spent the past 20 years specializing in hot water systems. I have installed thousands of water heaters here in Seattle and I see no trending to which brand is better. I replace just as many Rheems, BW's, State's (Kenmore, Reliance), Americans (whilrpool, Craft King, etc), as I do AOS. AOS is used extensively here, and they last just as long as any of the others. Our average life here is about 10 years.

    I wonder if there is some difference due to the hard water there where you are. Have you experimented with different anodes? We can use either magnesium or aluminum here with no problems either way.

    Which brand seems to last longer there in your area?

    We prefer BW now, but we have stocked and sold all the brands over the years. The only dud that I can really comment on is the Sepco. Well, the State Duron was a dud too.
  7. Phil H2

    Phil H2 New Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Tujunga, CA
    Does anyone know if the Vertex is rated with an energy factor that can be compared to other heaters. Also, is it efficient enough to qualify for a federal tax credit?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,126
    Location:
    New England
    It doesn't show on the list referenced at www.energystar.gov, but they don't update that all that often. In order to get the credit, you need the certification number from the manufacturer...check their website or call them.
  9. Fubar411

    Fubar411 New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    So is anyone seeing the Vertex at plumbing supply stores or anywhere for that matter? Looks like a good idea, especially if you're going to have to do power venting anyway.
  10. I would not touch one



    CASS...

    I agree completely.... Smith, State and Sears are all junk..

    If smith makes it , it probably wont last 6 years.

    I would never trust their quality especially for almost 2500 bucks.


    you are better off to risk putting your money into a
    Tankless for that price...




    In Seattle they must have almost pristene water,

    but in the midwest we have the owrst water in the USA

    and it is the best place to test heaters for endurance and quality...

    Bradfors White and Rheem are the best in this region
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm going to fully agree IMNSHO!

    Recently on another forum I saw a posting for a new player in the world of water heaters offering similar technology. They look pretty interesting! I haven't seen one yet but I'm planning on looking into them further. The manufacturers claims make it look more viable than many tankless units for installation here in the frozen north where we get those super cold incoming water temps in the winter.
    http://www.eternalwaterheater.com/
    They have a modulating burner that ranges from 47,500-180,000 Btu on the 26 gallon tank and 47,500-236,000 Btu on the 32 gallon tank models.
    The tank is stainless steel and has a 20 year residential, 10 year commercial warranty.
    The initial delivery is 15.8 GPM/26 gallon and 20.8 GPM/32 gallon until the tank is depleted then drops to 3.5 GPM/26 and 4.8 GPM/32 with a 90 degree rise.
    As far as exhaust emissions go it is probably the lowest out there and meets SCAQMD requirements.
    http://www.eternalwaterheater.com/files/pdf/products/gu26.pdf
    Here is a link to find your nearest rep.
    http://www.eternalwaterheater.com/products/where_to_buy.aspx

    [​IMG]
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    AO Smith is the parent company responsible for State, American, Reliance, Maytag, Whirlpool, Kenmore, and others. The issues with the FVIR have left a bad taste in a lot of folks' mouths. Rheem and Bradford White got the FVIR right, and they did not. Now, it seems that Rheem as again got it right on the new ULTRA low NOX in Southern California, and AO Smith has not.
  13. Smith has screwed the pooch again???

    JIMBO I am interested in hearing how Smith has

    "screwed the pooch" again in Southern California??


    I stopped useing Smith when they came out with
    the PRO MAX line back in 98 and never tested the line
    before sending them out to us...

    the pro max line condensated terribly
    and sweat so bad in the mid west that we had to take out about 20 of them...

    we have almost made a living doing warranty replacements
    for Smith over the years...


    what have they done to put themseives into the spotlight this time????




    that new hybred heater sort of reminds me of the internals of
    the antique I have in my window....





    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yea...
    It probably worked well for a long time!
    Not something that A.O, Smith or, Cesspool would know anything about!
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