High Efficiency Water Heater: Wall vented: Abandon chimney

I think its time to make my chimney a purely decorative item. The newer furnace already vents out the wall, leaving only the old (10+ years) hot water heater still connected to the chimney.
This summer, we are going to replace the roof, so this would be a good time to cap the chimney and get a new wall-vented hot water heater. I really can't find much information about them, but i do know that they are more expensive.
What experience/advice do you have regarding this type of water heater? Any particular recommended brands, cautions, or thoughts on my reasoning are welcome.
Tom Milwaukee
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Milwaukee Tom wrote:

GOOGLE State Industries, or Rheem. for their Power Vent heaters or Direct Wall vent.
I like the Power Vent because of the flexibility in where you can locate the heater. The exhaust is at quite a low temp, which says that eff is high.
Before you get in too deep, ask your local bldg inspector what requirements have to be met, especially with regard to spacing of vent from windows, etc.
They ARE noisy; some of them have a draft inducer fan that wails like a banshee. One fix for that is to add a 24 Hr timer which prohibits it running at inconvenient times. You can also use the timer to increase savings by not running at night.
The controls are far more complex than a std heater and repair costs are high (if needed). Check what the warranty actually covers.
Jim
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If you are replacing the roof, you may want to tear down the chimney to below the roof sheathing and roof right over the chimney, and in the bottom of the chimney, plug all equipment connections with masonry to prevent accidental use.

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Milwaukee Tom wrote:

I have a GSW direct vent and I like it fine, but it's only a few months old. It has no fan, so requires no electricity and is not noisy. The direct vent can't be very long, so the unit needs to be near a wall where you can fit a largish vent outside.
Chip C Toronto
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If you arereally looking to save money water heating look into Tankless, Rinnai has a very good unit of 88% efficiency, Bosch and Takagi are 82-83%
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