Hot water tank - power vent or not ?

Hi all,
I have a question regarding water heaters. I am in process of switching from oil to gas with a new furnace and water heater. Up until today I thought that Rheem PowerVent was the way I was gonna go, but one of contactors I had over for furnace estmate advised me to go with regular WH with venting through chimney. The reason he recommended regular WH is due to the extra electricity consumed by venting motor. So my question is, what should I do? To get a regular WH, I have to get a liner for my chimney. For powervent, I do not. How much more does the motor really consume? The annual cost of operation in literature is arpound $146. Also, today speaking with one of previous contractors, who has quoted me reg. 50gal AWG water tank for $860 (CAN) (I can have 50 gal powervent for $760), he has told me the install for PowerVent is around $1200 (is that even possible - is there any difference btw them besides venting? - he was talking something about some special valves or something) So who is right? BTW, the only requirement for the install is to bring down gas pipe from ceiling level (about 10' max). All the other connection are there from the existing water heater (incl. nearby floor drain). Thanks for help.
Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Martin wrote:

Talk to some more installers. The draft motor electric consumption is negligible; the tiny motor only runs while the burner is on.
The only thing special about the install is a 120V recept for power plus a hole thru the sidewall somewhere.
Noise *IS* a consideration; the blower makes a considerable whine which can be annoying. That may dictate where you locate the exhaust. It's also possible to put the heater on a timer so that it can't run when the noise would be a problem.
Get some estimates.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree. It also sounds like the conversion contractos want to "blitz and blow" as installing a power vent unit is a bit more involved.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've got a power vent, and not sure why anyone would ever want one. They're more expensive to replace, more complicated to replace because of the vent piping. ..and, I once had a problem when the sensors in the vent motor hood (that tell the burners the vent motor is working) malfunctioned and it kept putting my pilot light out. Damned near never figured out what the problem was. M.B.
"Martin" <none> wrote in message

from
had
the
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They're
hood
kept
problem
IOW, wait until the technology sorts itself out? :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 13:15:46 -0400, "Martin" <none> wrote:

I pay $20(CDN) a month to rent a power vent one. Installation was free and I have had enough problems (leaks, diptube) that it is actually cheaper to rent than buy. No idea what it adds to the electricity bill, but can't be a lot as the motor isn't on very much. Hopefully uses less gas because of no pilot light. I can't imagine it costing that much for installation - only a couple of hours work plus gas line.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
From what I know powerwents are allways more expensive to install. Estimates I got so far (Toronto, Canada) Powervent 50gal: about 1000$ Regular: 513$ Big difference. Contractor did not recommended to have powervent due to higher price and more noise. One thing I read on internet is that if you switch from low eficiency furnace to high eficiency furnace, your regular water heater now has to heat chimney all by itself (high eficiency furnace do not use chimney) and that would be more problematic (not sure how much more).
Regards,
"Martin" <none> wrote in message

from
had
the
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I installed a Bradford White power vent unit 5 years ago, so far trouble free. It is vented out the sidewall with 2" pvc, pretty cheap!!! Also has electronic ignition so there is no pilot which makes up for the extra power used for the power unit, and when running the power vent isn't distractingly noisy, it is right next to the family room and below the master bedroom, no problem or complaints from anyone, happy with choice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Martin" <none> wrote in message

from
had
the
Line the chimney, and go with a standard heater. In the long run it will be cheaper! A standard heater will require zero maintainance, other than a once a year tank flush, which hardly anybody does. The first time your power vent heater breaks down the price will rival the replacement cost of a standard heater! I have installed and serviced both. I have a customer right now that has a Bradford-White with a noisy venter motor. The motor is not a serviceable item, you need to replace the complete venter assemby, which runs about $425, add a hour of labor and you have $500 or so. He is letting it run till it quits. I would guess 1/4 of the power vent units we install have problems and are often expensive repairs. The standard gravity vent heaters we never see again for service! I will not put one in my house! Power vent units have their place, but if you have a chimney avalable, go with a standard heater. Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.