New water heater questions.

I am a new home owner. I have a 20 year old high efficiency furnace that vents out the side of the house. My water heater still vents out the chimney. When I bought the house the inspector told me that it's not a good idea to have the water heater venting into the chimney by itself. He said theres a chance the gases could roll back into the basement. I have a carbon monoxide detector in my basement and it has never alarmed in the year that I have lived there. Well, now my water heater is leaking and it's time for a replacement. My question is, should I replace it with a standard unit or should I buy a power vented model that can be vented out the side of the house? If I do go with the power vent, what should I do about the chimney? Just cap it and let it be? I'd appreciate a second or even a third opinion. Thanks.
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The inspector is correct, Even if the H2o tank is venting into an interior chimney you can still damage it where it goes through the attic and out, the bricks/liner never really get up to temp and this can cause the unit to not vent and ruin the structure. I would like to see it 'lined', and by the time you pay to have that done you may as well have a power vented system installed. Also, the PV system can save you considerable energy over the standard atmospheric draft unit.

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"The inspector is correct, Even if the H2o tank is venting into an interior chimney you can still damage it where it goes through the attic and out, the bricks/liner never really get up to temp and this can cause the unit to not vent and ruin the structure. I would like to see it 'lined', and by the time you pay to have that done you may as well have a power vented system installed. Also, the PV system can save you considerable energy over the standard atmospheric draft unit."
Ditto !

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wrote:

compared to a standard atmospheric water heater will save you money? Consider also that they cost almost double of what a standard water heater costs (each time it gets replaced). The OP "may" also consider going with an electric water heater. Bubba

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Sure Bubba, I will be happy to show you.
First, atmospheric systems are dependent 100% on draft, draft changes. The best you can do with a typical atmospheric is 70% without a barometric damper system. The PV you can control the draft over fire to obtain the proper secondary air, thus, controlled efficiency.
Secondly, the newer AO Smiths that are power vented are MUCH higher efficiency right out of the box, over 80%
Thirdly, when you consider the energy savings and the cost of the chimney liner its almost a wash.
Now, if one uses a water softener and also changes the anode every year, (Don't use Aluminum but Magnesium) the tank will last a very long time.
Rich
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70 something to 80% is NOT "Much" higher. I consider that marginal and I checked their site and dont seem to easily find the actual AFUE numbers on their units.

atmospheric model.......... Plus the fact that a power vented unit has a venter motor running that an atmospheric doesnt.

Hell, my customers wont even drain the sediment from the bottom of the water heaters much less go for a yearly anode rod change.

Rich, Im not arguing..........Im just saying that Im not sure a power vented model is actually cheaper to run than an atmospheric. Id like to see the numbers on paper. It would be much more convincing. Bubba
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It is if you have three daughters such as myself...... Secondly, the Vertex residential is double my cost, and the initial installation is more, but future ones dont' require the venting again. Also, the Vertex is 90%, I mistakenly typed 80% So, there is a 30% savings and then you don't have the off time venting robbing you of money both in hot water but also 24/7 of usage of indoor air for combustion.

That vent motor hardly uses any amperage at all..

Agreed, but if they do they will last.

If you have grandma who takes a shower once a week no, maybe she should go to an instant type tank.
You know, this isn't any different than a higher seer AC or higher COP Heat Pump, the argument can always be, 'Will I get my money back', this has to be decided out in the field, I've just offered the information......
Rich
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I forgot the link , DUH!
http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/np_supplyhouse/article/0,2623,HPRO_22396_4720411,00.html
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:-) Id like to see an actual comparison of some sort showing what the operating costs of both would be under the exact same conditions. It's just like air conditioning SEER's. It takes a lot of savings to make up for the cost of the high eficiency SEER units. Bubba
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I agree 100% with you. And every job is different.
This fall I'm putting retrofitting my heat pump to heat my hot water in summer and during off times in the heating season. My electrical rate is a third of my gas rate per therm..
Rich
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[[[ Loads and Loads of jibberish removed from this area]]]

Sounds interesting. Do you have an air to air heat pump? Is this going to be a "home grown" project or something "off the shelf"? Bubba
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I missed your idea of and electric tank...
Things to consider:
First he'd have to run another power supply, cost of wire, breaker, box's. The cost of an 80 gallon is about the same as a PV system, low recovery, possible energy cost increase depending on cost per therm of electric vs. fossil fuel. If he's in a town with inspectors he may have to take two permits out, one electrical and one plumbing.
BTW, I think the original post was his concern about venting, chimney damage, so, I think the PV system is cheaper than a liner which isn't the best solution unless you can use B-vent.
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I just did one in a condo. The guy had a 50 gal power vented water heater. He wanted to change it so I gave him a price. He was shocked as most are. Anyways, I started asking a few questions. I found out he was THE ONLY person in the condo. I asked if he ever had family or friends over to spend the night. He said not enough to warrant a bigger heater just for those couple times. I asked if he had any large whirlpool of hot tub. He said no. I sold him a 50 gal electric water heater. Main panel was about 15 ft of wire away and no holes, ceilings or walls to go through. Many spaces left in the panel to accept a new double pole breaker. I installed a 3" pvc cap on the old vent. Electricity is relatively cheap here compared to gas so it was a no brainer. Bubba
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I agree with you on this one, I've done it as well, especially when Ohio Ed offered KW discounts of 3 demands to use them, but they required an 80 gallon except for condos and apartment buildings.
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I am a new home owner. I have a 20 year old high efficiency furnace that vents out the side of the house. My water heater still vents out the chimney. When I bought the house the inspector told me that it's not a good idea to have the water heater venting into the chimney by itself. He said theres a chance the gases could roll back into the basement. I have a carbon monoxide detector in my basement and it has never alarmed in the year that I have lived there. Well, now my water heater is leaking and it's time for a replacement. My question is, should I replace it with a standard unit or should I buy a power vented model that can be vented out the side of the house? If I do go with the power vent, what should I do about the chimney? Just cap it and let it be? I'd appreciate a second or even a third opinion. Thanks.
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I am a new home owner. I have a 20 year old high efficiency furnace that vents out the side of the house. My water heater still vents out the chimney. When I bought the house the inspector told me that it's not a good idea to have the water heater venting into the chimney by itself. He said theres a chance the gases could roll back into the basement. I have a carbon monoxide detector in my basement and it has never alarmed in the year that I have lived there. Well, now my water heater is leaking and it's time for a replacement. My question is, should I replace it with a standard unit or should I buy a power vented model that can be vented out the side of the house? If I do go with the power vent, what should I do about the chimney? Just cap it and let it be? I'd appreciate a second or even a third opinion. Thanks.
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