Why a Power Vent Water Heater?
LESLIE: Rusty in Wyoming, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
RUSTY: Hey, I’ve got a question about water heaters today.
RUSTY: With the power vent water heater, as opposed to a regular water heater …
RUSTY: … what dictates my having to use a power vent water heater since they’re so much more expensive? I do have a horizontal run in my exhaust of my water heater of about 15 feet.
TOM: That’s why. Because usually if you have a higher-efficiency water heater you have to use one that has a power draft …
TOM: … and basically, you know, what this is is a fan that sucks the gases out of the water heater; sends it down the horizontal pipe and out the side. It’s a forced-draft water heater is what it is. And unless you have a water heater that can gravity-draft into a regular chimney, then you need to have a forced-draft water heater and that’s why it’s more expensive. It’s also more circuitry so that the power goes off, the water heater goes off and so on. But that’s what it’s all about.
RUSTY: OK, and what about a direct vent?
TOM: Well, it is a sort of a direct vent. When this thing goes across the 15 feet does it go outside?
RUSTY: Yes, it does.
TOM: That is a direct vent water heater. Yeah, you need to get the exhaust gas from the water heater outside and that’s why it has to have a powered vent like that.
RUSTY: Alright, well that answers that question. I was wondering why that was so much more expensive and now I know.
TOM: Yeah, that’s why. More moving parts, Rusty. (Rusty chuckles) Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.