Power vent water heater question

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by B&H, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    In searching around BW's website, they have both direct vent and POWERED direct vent systems. Here's one of them http://www.bradfordwhite.com/images/shared/pdfs/manuals/238-47936-00C.pdf, and depending on the size of the piping you use, you could have up to 95' (when you use 4", it's 55' if you use 3" pvc) if you can get by with only one elbow...that should be enough for nearly any house.
  2. B&H

    B&H New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Central NY
    On BW's site, they claim about 104" from the centerline of the exhaust pipe on top of the tank, to the outside wall surface. This is on their direct vent 40 gallon tank in my link on page 1, with their standard size vent pipe and no turns. Unfortunately I need to go 120". I see that they advise to call for a different pipe size maybe, for longer distances.

    Judging by what I've read on this site, it would be better to use a direct vent vs a power vent, so maybe it's time to call BW and then a plumber.
  3. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    That's sounds like a good plan. I typically discourage Power Vents/Power Direct Vents and try to make others work instead.

    Now to throw a monkey wrench in it all, have you considered an 80 gallon electric as well? Might find it does what you need and costs have changed in many areas where electric can be just as economical. Then no vents, fuel piping, holes in the wall etc.

    But get a CO detector anyway. :)
  4. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I like an electric water heater. Very simple and easy to get parts. No vent and no gas. Unless you use ALOT of hot water cost of the electricity is not an issue.. The cost of the appliance is cheaper and so is the installation. New codes get thrown at gas appliances all the time while electric heaters are being made the same for years. I have a 12 yr old 50 gal rheem electric that have the original bottom element but I did change the top one after Hurricane katrina. I converted my heater to 110v for a generator to heta me some water,so I used a 1500w 110 element and direct wired it to the element. After an hr or so I would have some really hot water.

    Summary.....I like electric heaters for a warm climate especially.
  5. B&H

    B&H New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Central NY
    When we bought this house 20 years ago, we had no gas, so we had an electric 40 gallon tank. 2 years after we moved in, we converted to NG and installed a gas WH. The savings from only switching from an electric to gas WH was significant!

    Fast forward to today, we are a family of 3 and certainly don't use a lot of hot water. Our son is 16, so in a couple of more years we will be empty nesters. I wouldn't know how to calculate the cost of heating water using gas or electricity. Help! We have a NG whole house back-up generator, so power outages aren't a problem. Going back to an electric WH could be a nifty solution!
  6. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Any big tubs to fill? Washing clothes in hot water? You would need to know the cost of your electricity per kilowatt.. It's probably on your power bill.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  7. B&H

    B&H New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Central NY
    At our current rates, it would cost about 2.5x to heat with electricity than NG. Yikes, no thanks! So with the guidance of those here, I decided to "rearrrange" the area that the water heater is in (move the new unit closer to the exterior wall) so as to be able to use a direct vent instead of a power vent. New water heater is in my basement (40 gallon Bradford-White) and the longest vent kit had to be ordered directly from the manufacturer. In the short term, a power vent would have been easier to install, but I think the simplicity of a direct-vent made moving a wall the better choice for the long haul. Thanks!
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