I have a 10 year old A.O. Smith power vent water heater that is probably close to needing a replacement. I will be hiring a professional to do the job when the time comes. My question is: Is it possible to replace it with a non-power vent heater? If so, is this a fairly simple job for a pro? Or is it a better idea to buy a replacement that also has a power vent system? The system vents through the side wall of the house.
you will need a "warm chimney" to help draft the gas out of the heater if you revert to an old-timer. since the power vent units cost more than a little more than a standard one, you have to have a reason to go that route.
to avoid opening a can of worms that led to this heater 10+ years ago, which might include backdrafting of carbon monoxide gas, replace with another power vent heater.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
I assumed that was probably the case. Thanks for replying.
I have a direct vent gas water heater that doesn't have a power vent. The brand is State the model is Select. It has a stainless steel double wall exhaust and intake that goes up and out the wall above the water heater. It replaced once very similar to it.
This unit has a sealed combustion chamber using air that comes in via the double wall exhaust line.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Length and direction of the chimney run is what usually dictates if you need a power vent or a conventional chimney. Since a power vent costs quite a bit more than a non-vent, I would speculate that you have to replace it with another power vent if everything stays in the same location. There is no logical reason to use a power vent if none is needed so you are probably stuck with a same type replacement.
Why is it that you think it's up for replacement? If it's a decent water heater, ten years is about mid-life for a gas unit. There are only a few working parts to a gas WH so unless you suspect that the tank will leak a little maintenance could put replacing off for several years.
Swapping out one tank for another in the same location with the same type WH is a fairly easy job for a pro. Down side is that if you do replace, a power vent WH is going to set you back at least $1,300 and likely more. Plus labor to replace it.
i agree with jaybee. why the replacement?
is the tank busted? 10 years is young for a water heater 20 25 years is about right. then i dont replace it untill it gets the floor wet
Thanks for the replies.
I read somewhere about a lifespan of 10-13 years for water heaters. (??)
I'm really just trying to plan ahead and be prepared. Not willing to spend the money until there is a real problem.
Ten to twelve years is a good average for ELECTRIC water heaters. At that point there is likely damage to the elements and thermostats. Also, electric water heaters seem to rust out faster than gas units - possibly some galvanic action going on from electrical current.
If your only reason for this fairly expensive replacement is to plan ahead, I'd just let it go. If you really want to be careful and the WH is in a room that could have floor damage if it ever leaked, then have a pan and a drain installed under the WH just in case there ever is a leak.
there is some things you can do to prolong the life of your heater
shut off power or gas
shut off water to heater
hook up hose to bottom of heater and drain to the outdoors
unscrew the drain valve after it is drained
disgard the plastic drain and plastic nipple
with a rod or clothes hanger try and clean out any debree up in the tank. their is usually calicum deposits at bottom of tank
replace the drain valve and nipple with a brass nipple and a brass ball valve
install a brass male thread x hose thread adapter in the end of ball valve
fill with water
turn on power or gas
a clean tank is a happy tank and will last longer
water heaters are expensive, a electric heater can be rebuilt by replacing t stats and elements saving you money. in my opinion. a heater should not be replaced intill its leaking
a gas water can be rebuilt by replacing gas train and burner assembly. a lot cheaper than a whole tankThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Frodo,
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