does a reliable power vent hot water heater exist?

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A couple parts in my A.O. Smith Power Vent Design GPHE-50 hot water heater have failed. I don't have the parts cost yet, but the fellow estimates they will cost $700-800. As it is seven years old, it probably makes more sense to replace the whole unit.
I need a direct vent. I have no flue available. It is 50 gallons.
Looking at Amazon for what units exist, I find reliability issues posted for every one I can find. Some more severe than others. Are there any of these units that are reliable?
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Amazon does not have everything. Go to a local plumbing supply where the pros go. They can tell you what units they sell the most replacement parts for.
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On 12/7/2015 7:41 PM, John G wrote:

That's misleading as it doesn't tell you how many units are being serviced (with those repairs) nor how many are being SCRAPPED (instead of repaired).
I used that reasoning to try to evaluate large TV's, LCD monitors, etc. -- look to see which ones were being recycled (scrapped) AS defective and avoid those brands! "Gee, I've NEVER seen a Footastic TV! They *must* make the most reliable sets!!"
"Wow! Never seen a Curtis Mathis TV! I guess those are truly as good as folks suggest!" etc.
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On 12/7/2015 6:05 PM, Don Wiss wrote:

Given the seeming high cost of these units and their repair parts, have you considered an electric water hearer? You'll have to factor in the initial cost, estimated life, and comparative utility (gas vs electricity) bills to determine if it is worth your bother to continue with gas.
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On Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 7:59:21 AM UTC-5, Peter wrote:

Have 10 years experience here with a direct vent State. No problems until recently, when it started to have a problem, would lighting intermittently. Took a look and there was a lot of rust that had fallen down and accumulated on the burner and it was interfering with the flame sensing rod. I took the burner out and gave it a good vacuuming. They have a wire screen that goes over the top of the burner. Not sure what it's purpose it, the flame goes through it. That had badly deteriorated, was falling apart and was the source of most of the rust. So, I replaced it and all is well again.
Have experience with another gas State that is around 15 year old now. It's not direct vent. When it was maybe 5 years old, the thermocouple went. I called up State, it was under warranty and they had a replacement one here for free in 2 days.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with State.
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Only to unconsider them quickly. Electricity is very expensive in NYC. Natural gas is so low to be almost free. I have tenants that use a lot of hot water.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 12/8/2015 9:57 AM, Don Wiss wrote:

I'd suggested to get a couple more quotes. I now see you're in NYC, which helps explain why your quotes are expensive. Everything is expensive.
--
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To further complicate your suggestion I would need to get ConEd to bring in new wire from the street. That would take months. The wire now is what my electrician calls temporary. I think he estimated 6 gauge.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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I got some prices. The warranty on my existing heater is six years. The parts costs are (with labor): motor $713 pressure switch $190 total $903
The same high efficiency unit is $2875. The regular one is $1895. And it will come with a 10 year warranty.
With natural gas prices so low a high efficiency makes no sense.
I have a choice of Bradford White or AO Smith for the same price. Model numbers not yet available. The HVAC guy (who is also my plumber) says the two manufacturers are the same. Are they?
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 1:38:42 PM UTC-5, Don Wiss wrote:

You can buy a direct vent water heater starting at ~$900. Buy one and put in in yourself. Typical direct vent is already high enough efficiency, you'd never recover the extra $1000 cost. A $1000 saved. I know you're in NY, but this is still nuts, IMO. I can see those prices for a new install, where the venting needs to be run, etc. But not for a replacement. Same thing for the motor. If it just needs a part or two, buy them online, Ebay, etc, put them in yourself.
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There is no way I can get a couple hundred pound water heater up and down the cellar stairs. Plus I have it under a maintenance contract. No way would they service one I put in myself. Plus do it yourself gas plumbing is not recommended. And I may have to reconfigure the PVC vent piping. And the water feeds. Doing all this is not me.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Not a DIY job - but my big old propane unit was replaced recently by a new smaller unit - the lone installer was here & gone in under 4 hours - basement stairs / plumbing / wiring / gas all done ... and he had to replace the ~ 20 ft. vent pipe also ! I was quite impressed. It's a rental unit - Bradford White. John T.
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On Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 5:04:06 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

That would seem to depend on who's the "yourself".
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wrote:

That's all part of the cost of being a slum landlord.
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On Tue, 08 Dec 2015 17:16:39 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Slum landlord? I get $2900/month rent for a 1-1/2 bedroom apartment.
The replacement was scheduled for Wednesday morning. But after listening to the noise from the fan, I'm thinking the fan has water in it. That would explain the hot fan motor. Pushing water is a lot more effort than pushing air. And it would explain the pressure sensor being set off.
Unfortunately they don't have an evening rep in Brooklyn this evening. So Wednesday morning they will first check if I'm right.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 12/8/2015 5:22 PM, Don Wiss wrote:

You have an interesting website!
--
Maggie

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Thanks. It is almost 20 years of hand coding whatever interests me at the time. (Or writing programs that generate the web pages.) These days I put most effort into the historical websites. I always have lots of things to scan, or scans and photos to get onto the web.
The web pages most relevant to this newsgroup aren't even on that page. I have PDFs and links for *all* the equipment in the house. And similar pages for tools, office equipment, etc. I use the house page as my way of communicating with my architect what I want for my kitchen renovation.
I spent much of November on this page: http://jwissandsons.com/family/grand-tour/ Many title cards were wrong and required research. (If you download the film, the last title card hasn't been corrected yet.)
Don. Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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On 12/8/2015 8:26 PM, Don Wiss wrote:

The source code looks like html nice and neat, too.

That's a lot of info! All I can say is WOW. (NICE!)
--
Maggie

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On Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 4:33:05 PM UTC-5, Don Wiss wrote:

I would think those maintenance companies are happy to service anything because they make lots of $$$ doing it and their contracts have plenty of exclusions, like "not covered: problems due to incorrect installation". If you have a contract and apparently it's having some kind of motor issue, why isn't the maintenance company fixing it for free?

I do it and I sleep well at night. I've seen plenty of jobs totally screwed up by "pros" too.

God forbid, cutting and gluing some PVC pipe.
And the

Then I guess you'll just have to pay $2K.
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It is not a maintenance company. It is not a warranty agreement. It is the company that installed my HVAC and water heater. The agreement just means I get two free checkups each year, guaranteed response and a discount on service.
Very typical for HVAC around here.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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