Home & Garden

Difference between Direct Vent & Power Vent Hot Water Tank

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 27th, 2010 6:31 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 15, 2006
913 posts
24 upvotes

Difference between Direct Vent & Power Vent Hot Water Tank

Does anyone know the differences between a direct vent and a power vent gas hot water tank? I see Home Depot and Sears only sell the power vent type. Where is a good place to buy these?

I'm looking to replace my aging electric water tank with a high efficiency gas water tank. I've read about tankless here and elsewhere but I'm sticking with the tank for the time being.

Thanks!
8 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 24, 2004
963 posts
75 upvotes
Direct vent, vent's directly. Power vent has a blower to force the exhaust out.

CM
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2005
4110 posts
644 upvotes
Kitchener
http://www.uniongas.com/residential/nat ... terheater/

Water Heating Venting 101

A natural gas water heater requires air for combustion and igniting. The air required can either come from outside or from the home itself. There are three types of venting for natural gas water heaters, each offering benefits depending on your installation limitations and requirements:

Direct Vent
A direct vent does not require a chimney, but vents through an outside wall and also brings air for combustion in from the outside. Some types of direct vent water heaters must be located close to an outside wall, while others may be located further away. Replacing

This style of venting is most often convenient when:

Replacing an electric water heater and a chimney is not available

You do not have an electrical source close to the water heater to power the vent

Fact: Neither a direct vented nor a conventional vent water heater requires electricity. If there is a power outage you will still have hot water.


Power Vent
A power vent water heater does not need a chimney, but uses an electrically powered fan to move combustion products outside.

This style of venting is used when:

Replacing an electric water heater and you do not have ready access to a chimney

You have access to a dedicated electrical receptacle within six feet of the unit

Conventional Vent
A conventional vent is required on most standard natural gas water heaters. Conventional vents can be either type B, double-wall metal vents or a tile-lined brick chimney. The conventional vent can be shared with most standard mid-efficiency furnaces or boilers. This type of vent draws the air it needs from inside your home. In airtight homes it is important that there is an adequate air supply from outside.
Jr. Member
Jul 20, 2007
191 posts
12 upvotes
The power vents can also push the exhaust quite a distance whereas direct vent you are limited to a max distance depending on code. The power vents are relatively expensive and some complain about fan noise and general reliability issues. If your existing tank is close to an outside wall the direct vent is the way to go if there are no issues with clearances around the vent.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
25442 posts
2676 upvotes
Ottawa
And if you have a power failure, you have no hot water. No fan, no work.
Get a direct vent if you can.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3339 posts
388 upvotes
Valleywood
Pete_Coach wrote:
Feb 18th, 2010 6:21 pm
And if you have a power failure, you have no hot water. No fan, no work.
Get a direct vent if you can.
That makes sense for a heater with pilot light, but what about a tank with electronic ignition, where is that power going to come from?

How many water heaters have pilot lights these days?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 15, 2006
913 posts
24 upvotes
Based on the posts so far, direct vent seems more suitable for me. Where can I buy one? The obvious places like Home Depot, Rona, Sears only sell conventional and power vent tanks from what I can find on their websites. Thanks!
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 25, 2003
10453 posts
1186 upvotes
Markham
enigma54 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2010 8:30 pm
Based on the posts so far, direct vent seems more suitable for me. Where can I buy one? The obvious places like Home Depot, Rona, Sears only sell conventional and power vent tanks from what I can find on their websites. Thanks!
fredder wrote:
Apr 27th, 2010 5:27 pm
Isn't this one direct vent?

http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stor ... PartNumber

home depot have it
canadian tire has it http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/8 ... ?locale=en

sears has it http://www.sears.ca/product/kenmore-md- ... 10S?ptag=1
64TB Mediasonic H82-SU3S2 / 48TB Raid 50 on Mediasonic H8R2-SU3S2
32TB Node 304 / i5-3570 / Server 2012 Essentials
11TB HP Mediasmart EX 495 (E8400, 3.0GHZ, 4GB Mushkin), with Server 2012 Essentials
16TB Qnap TS-459 Pro / 6TB HP Mediasmart EX 485
× < >

Top