New Energy Star Water Heater? Is it worth the rebate?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by denver.home, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. denver.home

    denver.home New Member

    Looking for some advice, here in Colorado we have a $100 rebate if we buy a "Green" water heater. With a family of five I have concluded 50 gallons is the minimum, but should I go bigger? and what is more important, gallons capacity or recovery, which I assume is a function of BTUs? So, on energy star's list there are 4 natural gas units with more than 40k BTUs
    1) Bradford White M4XRTW65T FBN 65 Gallons and 67k BTU
    2) Bradford White U4XRTW65T FRN 65 Gallons and 56k BTU
    3) Powerflex PDVG6250T 60NV 50 Gallons and 60k BTU
    4) Powerflex PVO6250T 60NV 50 Gallons and 60k BTU

    I have found the Powerflex units at Lowes, but I can not find an Internet source of pricing on Bradford White. In another post I saw discussions on buying Bradford White on line?
    any thoughts? or should I forget the rebate and just by a nice 75 Gallon 75,000 BTU mombo and feel guilty as I bask in near limitless hot water?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2011
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Energy star qualification, as I remember it, requires a minimum of a 10% improvement over the normal efficiency. You'd want to look at the actual stated efficiency to see if one stood ahead of the other. To obtain that efficiency, it will likely have some sort of automated damper to prevent a chimney effect when the burner is off from cooling the water back off. Bradford White is generally only sold to pros, but sometimes you can buy them yourself (but often at a higher price). Not sure who actually makes the Powerflex. As there are really only a few manufacturers of WH in the US, but lots of brand names, if it is part of the group that makes the Whirlpool, and others, I'd go the extra effort and buy the BW. BW also has some neat add-ons for some models such as a leak alarm, auto water shutoff on leak, and a really simple to install tempering valve with a full hot tap off (for things like the dishwasher, which works better at a higher temp). They also have a setback system, which is more handy if you might only be there on say weekends, but gives you more accurate and easily adjustable setting of the water temp. Any of these can be added on, if the gas valve is compatible - they essentially bolt on and plug in, making it quite convenient. One way to make a WH look bigger, is to run it hotter, but for safety, put a tempering valve on the output. It increases the standby losses (higher Delta-T), but not a huge amount.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    It is made by American Water Heaters the same fine folks that make the Whirlpoo...

    I'd put forth the extra effort to get a Bradford White or, Lochinvar...
    They are both at the top of the heep compared to American which is buried under the manure pile...

    Have a look see at this beauty...
  4. Rheem pro is very good

    I have to chime in on this one .....REDWOOD
    the other plumbing forum has become extremely boring lately

    We install the Rheem PRO .... it comes with an 8 YEAR warranty on the tank...

    the Bradford only gives you a 6 year tank warranty.......

    basically with either of them you save perhaps 40 bucks a year over a normal heater ....

    actually, you can accomplish the same thing by just getting the normal heater
    and simply installing a water heater blanket on it for 25 bucks.... it will save
    you about the same cost on gas....

    usually after you get the rebate, this will cost you about another 100 bucks for the better heater
    and it is a lot larger and can be interesting to install

    so the only real advantage I see is the extra 2 years you get on the tank
    that you get from RHEEM....for about 100 bucks

    the rest of the green savings could be deemed as a total wash in my oponion
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    As to are some numbers:

    Gallons per hour is approximately ONE gallon per hour per THOUSAND btu.
    FIRST hour is the sum of recovery PLUS the full tank you started with. It is computed at 70%. SO , a 65 gallon, 65 K unit would have FIRST hour of 65 + 45, about 110 gallons. That should give you few good showers. ( 2 gallon per minute, 15 minute shower + 30 gallons)

    I often find that the rebate vs. the annual energy savings don't pencil out. You can run you numbers.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Of course we have to realize that Rheem's FVIR is a one time shot oil filled glass vial and when it breaks its over...

    And That water heater I linked was 95% efficient vs. 60%....
  7. that is the ultra delux one...

    we are having pretty good luck with the rheems, as far as the
    glass vial goes, I have only seen 2 or three of them become an issue in
    8 years now...

    the Bradford heater you linked cost a bundle...

    Is that really cost feaseable for most home owners..???.
    I think my price for that puppy is over 2500 plus installation...

    as far as comparing apples to apples its not the same at all.

    I have noticed a decline in the average life span for the bradfords since 2003.. Ihave a 2007 to change out tomorrow...its pretty routine for me every week to do one or two of them..

    The rheems I rarely have to change out under warranty ...:cool:
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