Bradford White CombiCore - would you do it again?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by packardv8, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. packardv8

    packardv8 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Thanks to Terry Love and all the pros here who share their hard-won wisdom. It's the one place facts can be found.

    Based upon what I've been reading here, it seems we've gotten exceptional service from our 65 gal Bradford White CombiCore domestic/radian combination water heater. It's lasted 15 years with a water softener attached.

    Just last week, it began leaking. Second thing I've learned from recommendations from the pros here - whatever unit replaces it, there will be a drain pan and pump under it. I wish the mechanical company had suggested it originally.

    When they installed the radiant heat, they selected the BW and are now recommending it as a replacement. In the discussion, having gotten the advice here, I asked about separating the domestic and the radiant functions into separate units as many here recommend. The rebuttal was there wasn't room for two gas heaters and two gas heaters can't be vented into the same chimney.

    Questions to help get to the best solution:

    1. What, other than the 65gal BW CombiCore, would you recommend for combined domestic/small radiant load?

    2. Any technical reason two gas water heaters can't be vented into the same chimney?

    3. Other than the inconvenience of servicing the rear unit, how close together would you install two 22" diameter gas heaters?

    4. Any technical reason two natural gas heaters couldn't be supplied off the same 1/2" drop with a valve for each?

    5. Since it's not an if water heaters will need removing/replacing, just how often, then why are so installed without unions in both lines? In the installation under discussion here and at my daughter's home, both were installed with copper hard lines and no unions.

    6. My dad, a union steamfitter, always said, a professional uses as little material as possible to get from one place to another. A fitting or a joint is a potential leak and a definite cost, so do they have to be there? Reason for asking, both these are older homes and have a mix of galvanized and copper, plus now some PEX. In the radiant heat installation, the mechanical company used all three and it just looks odd. If it were your home and your nickel, would you get rid of as much copper and galvanized as possible on this go-round or keep it? What are the +/- of mixing three species of piping? Less out-of-pocket not to change what isn't broken, but appreciate the education on how you'd do it.

    Again, thanks for the recommendations.

    jack vines
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2014
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,416
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    When I was looking into the combi core recently, I noticed that they may have changed to a PVC power vent. If that is the case, it will change your installation.
    The new Bradford White website is much slower than before. And finding docs on installation are now harder for me to find. We need to get up to speed on some of the changes.

    Sizing for gas can be done by chart. We would need to know the distance from the meter and how many BTU units you are supplying. Every gas fixture on that line, and meter.

    You can also find combi heaters in tankless that do both. Though your Bradford White seemed to have done a good job already.
  3. packardv8

    packardv8 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Hi, Terry,

    Thanks for the reply. AFAIK, the CombiCore only comes in 65gal and 85gal. The 65gal has been OK for our use. Also, the space is right for the 22" unit.

    If BW has indeed gone to a power PVC vent, that does change things. Could it still be vented into the chimney? When I upgraded to a high-efficiency furnace with power PVC vent, I learned that dual piping going across the room and outside is a huge space hog versus one smaller pipe going up the chimney which was right beside it. I'd hate to tear out everything to make room for another two huge PVC pipes.

    What do you know about the requirements of venting two conventional gas water heaters sitting side-by-side? Could they be vented into the common chimney duct? IIRC, both the furnace and the water heater were common ducted before the furnace went PVC.

    Again, thanks for the help.

    jack vines
Similar Threads: Bradford White
Forum Title Date
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Bradford White RTV-75 Drain Valve Sep 13, 2014
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Review of Bradford White 40 Gallon Natural Gas M140T6FBN-337 Jun 16, 2014
Water Heater Forum, Tanks What's better than a Bradford White dual outlet (radiant and domestic) gas heater? Jun 13, 2014
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Actual costs for Bradford White water heaters? Jun 13, 2014
Water Heater Forum, Tanks BradfordWhite elec not so hot anymore May 16, 2014

Share This Page