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2012

Water heater reviews

Which is the best gas water heater for homeowner

Best gas water heater for homeowner
AO Smith effex water heater Review AO Smith Effex
Read detailed review
Summary:
The Effex can save $30-35 per year, but might cost $400 more than simple box-store water heater. Payback would be 12 years. However the Effex includes powered anode rod which sells independently for more than $225. Warranty is 6 years for original owner and residential installation.
Effex plugs into outlet and possibly requires dedicated outlet to avoid interference. Surge protector is recommended.
Offsetting the long-to-improbable payback is that Effex has other benefits: service manual is available, product manual has clear maintenance steps, customer can usually repair and maintain water heater without paying for service call, powered anode rod keeps tank from rusting and helps solve possible odor problems, error code shows if power anode malfunctions, digital LCD readout with error codes for simplified troubleshoot, easy temperature control at eye level, and water heater can be reset after FVIR incident instead of needing replacement.

Same as Effex

American high efficiency gas
Same as AO Smith Effex
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Review Kenmore Elite Gas water heater
Same as AO Smith Effex review
At Sears
At Kmart
Kenmore elite product manual
Kenmore PCC water heater service handbook: Read AO Smith service handbook

Eye-level temperature read-out and error codes
Review American Residential high efficiency PCG6240
Same as AO Smith Effex review

Review State High efficiency atmospheric gas water heater
Same as AO Smith Effex review
State high efficiency product manual
Review Whirlpool High efficiency Atmospheric Vent water heater
Same as AO Smith Effex review
Whirlpool high efficiency manual
Marathon water heater
Review Rheem Marathon Electric
Read detailed review

Summary:
Rheem Marathon is ordinary 240Volt residential electric water heater, except with foam tank instead of metal tank.
The purchase price is 4x ordinary water heater, and Marathon offers few advantages that cannot be achieved with less expensive water heater.
Marathon will not pay back the purchase price in most instances, but there are benefits for buyers wanting longer tank warranty for home installation, those wanting tank that can be installed in damp environment with possible reduced warranty, those needing lighter weight tank, and those experiencing chronic odor problems caused by anode rod found inside all steel-tank water heaters.
There are no toxic chemicals from Marathon water heaters. 
Marathon 85 and 105 gallon size will work for oversized bathtub.
Marathon can replace any ordinary electric water heater without additional wiring or significant change in plumbing pipes.
Marathon water heater is lightweight
81 lbs
Whirlpool flue damper serices Review Whirlpool Flue dampered water heater made by Crastmaster/ AO Smith
Read detailed review

Whirlpool 12 year warranty offers labor for first year, and parts each year after. Phone number for warranty coverage 1-877-817-6750
However warranty sheet does not appear in product manual, so coverage is not clear. For example is warranty transferrable?
2" insulation
40 and 50 gallon flue-damper water heaters with EF .67 cost $271 per year to operate and save about $28 per year over ordinary EF .60 non-dampered water heater.

 Payback 2-8 years compared with less efficient non-dampered series make this good offer. Payback assumes 120volt electric outlet is available within 10' of installation. The damper and electronics require electrical outlet that should be dedicated and should be protected from electrical surge that can knock out water heater controls. This water heater is repairable following FVIR event, saving money over water heaters that must be replaced.. Plastic drain valve and air intake on bottom of heater are workmanlike. There is no specific service manual posted for water heater. Warranty is 12 years tank and parts for single-family residential installation.
Kenmore energy-star water heater Review Kenmore energy-star water heater/ Made by American/ AO Smith
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Kenmore warranty is usually printed clearly in the manual, and in year 2012, Kenmore warranty exceeds typical residential warranties for clarity of coverage.
40 and 50 gallon flue-damper water heaters with EF .67 cost $271 per year to operate and save about $28 per year over ordinary EF .60 non-dampered water heater. Price about $700 for 50 gallon tank, $525 for 40 gallon tank. Payback 2-8 years compared with less efficient non-dampered series make this good offer. Payback assumes 120volt electric outlet is available. The damper and electronics require electrical outlet that should be dedicated and should be protected from electrical surge that can knock out water heater controls. This water heater is repairable following FVIR event, saving money over water heaters that must be replaced.. Plastic drain valve and air intake on bottom of heater are workmanlike. There is no specific service manual posted for water heater. Product manual has good instructions for maintaining and repairing water heater. Warranty is 6 years tank and parts for single-family residential installation.

Same as Kenmore Energy Star

Kenmore energy-star water heater Same as American residential with flame guard Product manual
Similar to AO Smith flue damper series Sell sheet
Same as Whirlpool 333595 and 333594 energy efficient 40 and 50 gallon Product manual
Same as State high efficiency damper Product manual
attach vent to damper
Customer can easily install water heater
Review GE heat pump water heater
GE heat pump water heater
Read detailed review

There are no service manuals posted for GE heat pump, and GE will not connect customers to tech support, so customer cannot learn about, or repair the product, without paying for service. And this means you should not buy the product. Most people don't think about repairing washing machine or refrigerator before purchasing the appliance, but this is a water heater and service calls average $400, so independent folks should demand up-front access to basic part and sensor replacement instructions before buying.

Heat pump water heaters can save energy under specific conditions, but they are more expensive to buy than typical electric water heater.
Heat pump water heaters use ambient room temperature to heat water, and release cool air into same room, so ambient room temperature is decreasing each time heat pump turns on. Heat pumps work against the furnace in winter by using furnace-heated air to heat the water. Locating heat pump next to refrigerator will let heat pump use warm air produced by refrigerator.
Heat pump water heaters require specific maintenance to maintain efficiency. This maintenance is in addition to typical maintenance suggested for all electric water heaters, such as flushing each 6 months and inspecting anode rod each 1-3 years.
All costs are energy.
Heat pump water heaters save money for specific applications, including 1) Homes in warm climate or with warm incoming water temperature, 2) Homes with 1-4 people who have low hot water consumption habits 3) Homes that do not require very hot water over 130F, 4) Homes without whirlpool bath or large garden tub ....
... but Heat pumps only save money when 5) Heat pump unit does not require repairs.
Repair GE heat pump water heater
Clean air filter at least once per year using water and soft rag
Energy Smart Review Whirlpool energy smart
Made by American water heater company, and sold under Whirlpool and Craftmaster labels at Lowes and other outlets. Good solid water heater with additional features. Select modes and control temperature directly on top of water heater. The control box is not a timer. Selections must be made manually.
New version of this water heater has interface for home automation, but unclear what interface connects to water heater in 2012. It would certainly be easier to buy ordinary water heater without electronics and then install timer or home-automation relay.
Temperature setting on top of unit lets consumer Raise temperature to 135 degrees F on laundry day, and reset to 120 F for rest of week to save energy.
Service manual is available. Product manual is easy to read. Error codes are good start-point for troubleshoot.
Except for elements, parts must be ordered, but parts are simple to replace. Homeowner can install and maintain and repair this water heater
Other than control box, this is ordinary electric water heater, and there is no energy-savings unless consumption is cut >> but same is true for all water heaters.
My experience shows that people mess with the control box for a month or so, and then just set water heater to convenient setting and forget it.
Six year single-family residential original-owner warranty. Customer can install water heater without voiding warranty.
Pex-lined dielectric nipples. Plastic drain valve. Standard tank and anode rod.
Warranties by brand
Kenmore water heater warranty is printed in each product manual Example Kenmore water heater warranty
Rheem:  Example 6 year Rheem water heater manual from 2003
Rheem warranty claim form
Rheem parts warranty claim form
American Residential: Example American residential warranty 2006
Reliance gas water heater warranty
Rheem Marathon: Example Marathon warranty
GE Heat pump GE Hybrid water heater manual
Bradford White :Bradford White warranty policy and coverage
GE: GE water heater warranties
Rheem Heat pump warranty 2009

What do water heater warranties mean?

What water heater warranties mean

Unless water heater is specifically sold for commercial installation, then warranties are for original-owner, single-family, residential installation, and apply only when water heater is installed and maintained according to printed information in product manual.
Most residential warranties are non-transferrable, but when warranty is transferrable, then coverage is considerably reduced.
If water heater is not rated for commercial application, the warranty is void or considerably reduced when installed in commercial building or apartment. 
Warranties are broken into two parts: Tank and tank parts. Tanks are warranted not to leak during warranty period. Parts are warranted against failure due poor workmanship. There is no 100% guarantee that water heater will work flawlessly and without needing service. Every product manual says that water heater must be installed correctly and maintained
Customer reviews at Whirlpool, possibly edited

Clean solar panels

Solar water heaters

Solar panels on roof need to be kept clean to maximize solar input.
Should you buy solar water heater system?
Make your own solar water heater
More detailed reviews are coming as time permits
email question and I can look up specifics for you
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American powerflex water heater review American Powerflex water heater/ power direct vent
PVG62-40T42-NV
PVG62-50T42NV
Power vent. EF .67 Cost to operate $270 per year, no pilot light.
Takes air supply from outside the home and does not work against heat-air. Can be installed inside closed room.
24" clearance front of water heater, 4" on each side for inspection and service. Typically, gas water heaters require minimum 18-24" clearance at top of water heater. Can be installed on combustable floor such as plywood. Do not install on carpet.
Use 2" or 3" Schedule 40 PVC or ABS vent pipe. Use long-sweep elbows only. Vent requires condensate drain to keep condensate from entering blower.
Brass drain valve.  1/2" gas connection  2" foam insulation.
Plugs into 120Volt outlet. Intellivent gas control can be reset after FVIR event.
Factory heat traps save $2 energy cost per year but can cause clogs. Better to install own heat trap.
6 year warranty, 2" foam insulation
Maintenance p 18
Replace parts 19
Troubleshoot & error codes p21-22
single-use ECO
Spec sheet
Product manual
Gas control service manual
Powerflex parts
Powerflex energy guide label
Powerflex warranty
50 gallon At Amazon
At Lowes PDVG62-50T
Bradford White Flue damper series Bradford White energy factors
Bradford White flue damper series .67 EF/ same rating as AO Smith flue damper series
Kenmore Power meiser
Icon gas valve Honeywell icon gas control valve
Bradford White ICON gas water heater timer
Objective: Save energy
Gas valve communicates with timer and other features.
Gas valve connects to timer
Intellivent gas control Intellivent service manual
American Pacific timer Review American Pacific gas water heater timer
Review power anode rod

Anode rods by manufacturer
Review and repair Rheem FVIR

Water heater manuals

Water heater manufacturers

Whirlpool product manuals
AO Smith service manuals
AO Smith product literature
Bradford White service manuals and product manuals
American product manuals
State product manuals
State residential manuals
Reliance product manuals
Rheem posts generic manuals by type of product
American Standard manuals
Heat pump water heater Heat pump integrated with refrigerator

Real science at work that you can apply.
Heat from refrigerator re-used in water heater
Modest home has 88 cent energy bill
Water heater uses refrigerator heat
Low-energy home uses heat pump integrated with heat from kitchen refrigerator pg9
Water heater parts
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Avoid Tankless Hype

Pro-n-con Tankless
Troubleshoot Rheem tankless
Read side-by-side test results
Read hidden cost of tankless
American gas hybrid
Combines storage and tankless technology
Handles peak demand with no minimum flow rate and cold water sandwich.
American-size consumption.


All Costs are energyso total energy-cost equals cost of water heater, plus installation, plus expected repairs-and-parts, plus water softener-and-filter, plus disposal-recycling cost, divided by years of tank life. These numbers are added to monthy energy cost to measure true energy cost & efficiency of a water heater.
Government/industry efficiency numbers consider only energy cost per gallon of heated water.

Water heater manufacturers, brands, sellers, resources

Find age of your water heater
Water heater manufacturers & sellers
American water heater
American Standard
AO Smith water heaters
Amtrol indirect-boiler
Apollo Water heater
AquaMax systems
AquaSense
Aquatherm combo
Atwood mobile products
Bock water heaters
Bradford White water heaters
Buderus solar tanks
Chromagen
Craftmaster water heaters
Dana/AE Anderson
Dux hot water systems
Edson
Eternal
Everhot water heaters
Everlast stainless steel heater
GE/ Rheem water heaters
Giant Factories/AO Smith
GSW Water heating
Hamilton Engineering
Hatco booster heater
Hotpoint at Home Depot 2
Hubbell water heaters
ISE hot water dispenser
Kenmore/Sears water heater*
Laars/Bradford White
Lochinvar water heaters
Marathon/ Rheem
Maytag/ GE water heaters
Nibe water heaters
Phoenix

Water heater manufacturers & sellers (cont)

Reco heaters
Reliance water heaters
Rheem water heating
Richmond/ Rheem
Ruud water heaters
Scout gas heaters/ State
Silicone Solar
State water heaters
Stiebel-Eltron-USA
Suburban RV heaters
Superstore storage tank
Techtanium Indirect tanks**
Triangle Tube Indirect
US Boilers
Vanguard Water Heaters
Vaughn manufacturing
Vulcan/Rheem
Weil-McLain water heaters
Whirlpool water heaters
Wolf solar tanks
Zenith water heaters














Appliance magazine :

620,000 - 650,000 water heaters are shipped each month in US read

Water heater shipments increased in April read









*Kenmore/Sears is only water heater website with customer comments about water heater products


** Indirect water heaters receive heat from external source including boiler, solar collector, wood/coal burning, and geothermal






Water heater market profile
Water heater market profile 2009- pdf
3.8 Mb file


Water heater manufacturers



List of company identifications- pdf
228 Kb


Do-it-yourself-info:

-Water heater self-help forums 1 2 3 4

-Water heater reviews:
Write your own review, compare brands, etc


-Lowes water heater buying info

-Home Depot water heater buying info


Water heater reference chart
-Water heater reference chart

Troubleshoot Rheem tankless

Troubleshoot Bosch tankless
More facts-n-figures


Carbon footprint
Battelle Report- pdf
7.8 Mb file

Tankless gas, storage gas, storage electric compared for:
> Carbon footprint
> Efficiencies
> Life-span with and without water softener


Carbon footprint
PG&E- pdf
21 Kb file
Carbon footprint 
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters  from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

Resources:
How to install gas water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater

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