Help Choosing a Gas Water Heater

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by coloradoHO, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. coloradoHO

    coloradoHO New Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    Broomfield, Colorado
    I've never been able to use the jetted tub in the house I purchased, primarily because I currently have a 40 gallon gas power vent water heater. It's 15 years old this year so I figure its time for a new one. The house has 2.5 bathrooms, but the master has the big tub and two shower heads in the master shower (that I'd like to run at the same time). My tub is 111 gal "overflow" and 53 gal whirlpool operating volume, so I figure I need about 80-ish gallons for a nice bath, but since I've never used it that's a complete guess. There's 3 women in the house, but to be honest we only rarely run out of water with the 40 gal unless we run the master showers for more than 10 mins. The only reason I'm not just buying a 50 gal without question is because of this tub. So, questions:

    1) Do I need a nice 50 gal water heater like the BW and AO websites suggest, or should I go for the 75 gal? I have a 3" vent and the space for either. Is 75 gal for a 4 bed / 2.5 bath house just overkill?

    2) I'm currently looking at the AO Proline XE GPVX-75L and the BW TTW RG2PV75H6N. BW seems to be a bit nicer but a bit more expensive. Any strong feelings one way or the other?

    3) I've considered a tankless but if I have the setup for the tank, I don't see the benefit, especially for filling this tub. My water can come into the house at 40-45 degrees so I'm concerned about the volume a tankless would put out as well. The one thing is that my current AO has a fairly noisy blower and it's right below a bedroom. Does anyone have any experience with the BW or AO as to which is quieter? BW mentions a quiet blower, but I'm not sure if that's just marketing. If they're both loud, maybe I look at the tankless again.

    4) I'm planning on installing this with my dad who has plumbing connections. His price at his supply store is a good bit higher than what I'm finding online at some of these online supply sites. Does anyone have any experience with these? What about warranty issues?

    Thanks for the help guys.
  2. Clog

    Clog Member

    Jan 28, 2019
    I've been listening to the crickets in this thread, which reminded me of the crickets I've heard with some questions I have asked here.

    And that led me to wonder why some questions here get answered, and some remain untouched.

    It can't be because the members here are entirely disinterested in being of some help, otherwise there would be zero posts on the forum.

    It can't be because the members here didn't see the question, otherwise thre would be zero reads recorded on the thread.

    So what is it about some questions that get answers, and other questions that don't?

    I tried to figure out how best to answer your questions, if only to get outside of my own box to figure out why some of my questions don't get answered. The first hurdle was that maybe there are too many questions in one post? Maybe prioritize what you would like help with the most, and leave all the rest for a subsequent post?

    It appears to me that the correct calculation of hot water demand will be the principal deciding factor in your decision dilemma between a 50 gallon high efficiency, a 75 gallon, or a tankless. Isn't the correct calculation of hot water demand really the crux of the matter at the first juncture? The starting point?

    If so, I would suggest asking that question alone, and leave out all the other errata about which is quieter, which brand is best, which pricing is best, what about online deals, what about warranty, etc. Is it possible that once pricing, and self installs, and doing an end run around the supply house by going online enters into the conversation, that plumbers on the forum quickly become disinterested, if not turned off?

    I looked up each of the water heater models you posted, even though it appears that you still might consider a tankless, and still would rather install a 50 gallon instead of a 75. Does any particular brand really matter if you haven't quantified demand yet? It sounds like you are already giving a some thought to quantifying demand... considering the gallons in your tub, the number of occupants in the household, the number of beds and bathrooms served (to align with potential jurisdictional requirements). So it seems to me that you might be best served by finishing the task of "doing the math".

    There is a forum member here by the name of "Dana" who demonstrates passion and competency in completing these types of BTU and GPM calculations. If you haven't already read some of his/her posts, you might find them as a useful layperson's example of how to grapple with what appears to be the starting point of your decision process.

    Consider this a bump.
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  4. coloradoHO

    coloradoHO New Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    Broomfield, Colorado
    Thank you Clog for the reply. It did occur to me right after I posted that my last question 4) would turn off some people in this forum, but I decided to leave it in the interest of transparency. I figure half of the questions answered here can be answered by having an experienced plumber out to your home, so there is a good amount of DIY occurring. The truth is that my dad is a retired plumber, but has been out of the industry for a good amount of time and hasn't kept up with the quality of manufacturers or models or the tankless technology. Since my dad has all of the capability, I hope the members can understand why I might want to self-install. He is suggesting tankless or 75gal, so I am leaning towards 75gal, but many of the calculators on AO/BW websites suggest 50 gal might be enough, so I wanted a second opinion to see if perhaps technology had improved. Growing up the "nice" houses has 50 gal tanks, so the thought of putting a 75gal tank in seems lavish to me. I appreciate your referral to Dana, I will go do some searching.

    I suppose at this point, my biggest question is whether or not the AO or BW blower will be as loud as my AO blower from 2004, at which point I will likely want to go tankless.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Sometimes we just get busy.
    If you're filling a large tub with incoming water as cold as that then a tank is the way to go. You could go with a 50 gallon and a tempering valve. The water heater would be set on high and the water blended down to 120 degrees on the output.
    Or the 75 gallon would do it nicely. At fifteen years, you're due for a new tank.
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