Choosing The Most Efficient Nat Gas HWH

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by BPI Rob, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. BPI Rob

    BPI Rob BPI Building Analyst

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Phladelphia, PA
    This project involves abandoning a chimney and replacing a Natural Gas HWH. We were going to go solar (with condensing direct vent back up), but after realizing how efficient the new generation HWH are, the savings of going solar are quite small, the payback after incentives AND self install still around 20 years.

    Our decision is to just get the most efficient, durable HWH out there and forgo the added expense of solar thermal. We currently have a conventional 50g, 40k BTU with an 89 FHR. Our family of six has been well served by the capacity of this HWH. We currently have no space-heating requirements of the HWH. I'm having a hard time finding a 95% or better efficient HWH in this size and capacity. The best units (listed below) seem to be much larger and often designed for space heating as well. We are not adverse to spending $2-$4k as long as there is real value.

    We will be adding a 200 sq. ft. room addition in the next couple years. It's long side faces due south and passive solar heating opportunities abound. Maybe one of these larger WH with side mounted taps would be wise for a radiant slab in the future addition? Is it wise to put radiant in a solar thermal mass? I have seen it done before, locally, but never experienced it.

    I have narrowed it down to:
    A.O. Smith Next Hybrid (http://www.hotwater.com/lit/spec/res_gas/AOSYG45000.pdf)
    A.O. Smith Vertex (http://www.hotwater.com/products/residential/rg-vertex100.html)
    Phoenix (http://www.htproducts.com/phoenix.html)
    Bradford-Whites Residential Ultra High Efficiency Energy Saver Gas Water Heater (http://www.bradfordwhite.com/products2.asp?id=1&product_id=345).

    Does anyone have experience with these units, recommendations of others, or a different strategy to offer?

    Many Thanks!
  2. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Why leave out the Polaris?

    There is a thread just above this one that sounds exactly the same [?]
  3. compugru

    compugru In the Trades

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I too am looking for the answer on this?

    Mine must be direct vent.

    Any comments?
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'd do the Bradford White.
  5. Ronny00

    Ronny00 Guest

    Currently using patio heater but want to change it, does any one know Can I convert my propane patio heater into a natural gas patio heater?
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california

    Heating water with a patio heater is about .5% efficient. Use a propane torch on a 5 gallon bucket.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Attaching a 'new' subject to an old thread isn't the best way to get good answers, but to convert any propane device to natural gas requires changing the regulator and the jetting. Natural gas operates at a lower pressure and requires a larger jet to get the same (often less) output. IF it can be done on that device, you'd want to get a kit from the manufacturer. then, running the gas line would likely require a permit and a pro to install.
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