New Water Heater: Traditional Vent vs Power Vent, What Brand, What Size

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Reicherb, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Reicherb

    Reicherb New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Linden, MI
    I'm replacing a 10 year old 40 gallon traditional flu vent WH that has a slight leak in the pressure relief valve. I attempted to exercise it and its frozen solid. We also run out of hot water when the kids (little) take baths. Based on all of these factors, I assume it’s not worth fixing. We have a family of 4 and don’t have any large tubs

    My questions are:
    1. Should I go power vent. It’s in a basement near an outside wall where going power vent won’t be an issue but is it worth the extra cost? Is the efficiency increase enough to offset the cost if the unit?
    2. What brand? I’ve got a Home Depot (GE, Rheem), Lowes (Whirlpool), and Sears (Kenmore) near me as well as a plumbing supply store that sells AO Smith.
    3. What size tank should I go with? Are we running out of hot water because the current 40 gallon is failing or is it simply too small? Should we go 50 or 75 gallon?
    4. How long of a warranty should we get? As far as I can tell, they all sell basically the same unit with 3 different warrantees. Am I reading that right? If so, I’m inclined to go with the shorter warranty.

    Thanks!

    Brad
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,644
    Location:
    IL
    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=WHC may have useful info.

    On your leaky relief valve, did you dry lifting the lever fully to drain off a few gallons a few times, and then press down on the top of the valve?

    Did you try a really big pipe wrench? The hard part is to keep the water heater from moving. Hmmm... somebody should make a crow's foot pipe wrench attachment for an impact wrench. If they did, it might cost as much as a water heater.
  3. Reicherb

    Reicherb New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Linden, MI
    I tried to move it but didn't reef. I didn't want to break it.
  4. Murphy625

    Murphy625 Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Michigan
    I would just go get a 50 gallon replacement unit... Don't go through all the extras as its not really worth it.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,295
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've been pulling out bad five five year old GE tanks.

    I've been installing new Bradford White or Rheem water heaters.
    I would think 50 gallon gas, and if that's not enough water, add a tempering valve. That allows you to run the water heater on high, and blend cold to the hot to mix it down to 120 degrees. Done that way, a 50 outputs like a 75.
  6. Reicherb

    Reicherb New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Linden, MI
    Thanks all. I'll go with a 50 gallon standard vent. Based on om my band options, What should I go with?

    I'm kind of thinking cheap as I'll be replacing the boiler in a few years and could get a system that heats the water as well.

    Brad
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