The Tank › Kenmore Power Miser 12 Gas
- November 22, 2005 at 12:14 pm #4155WildmanParticipant
Considering this tank for my home. Any opinions about the quality of this unit would be much appreciated. Also, who makes this tank?
Thanks………November 30, 2005 at 9:48 pm #4186HandyParticipant
According to the label affixed to the top of the water heater, the “tank” is manufactured by A.O. Smith Co. That probably means the entire water heater is made by A.O. Smith. They are one of the top manufacturers.
Am currently trying to decide between that model, and a “Richmond” branded unit sold by Sutherlands and made by Rheem/Ruud. The Richmond anodes are magnesium as far as I can tell, but I’m not sure about the Kenmore. The Kenmore is $50 more expensive. The Richmond says “extra thick” foam insulation, but doesn’t tell you what the thickness actually is. The Kenmore foam is 2 inches (R-16). Richmond energy factor is .62, Kenmore is .63. Kenmore makes reference to a “blue” tank lining which may be the so-called “Blue Diamond” coating that some of the name brands mention. Richmond refers to a proprietary porcelain coating. Richmond comes with heat trap fittings pre-installed. Not sure if they’re the ball or disc type.
I might end up just flipping a coin.November 30, 2005 at 11:56 pm #4187Randy SchuylerKeymaster
Kenmore is made by State Industries, which became a subsidiary awhile back of A.O. Smith. It can have either magnesium or aluminum anodes. Check the hex head to see if there is a bump, per the picture on the product page of waterheaterrescue.com.
As to the insulation ratings, they’ve considerably muddied the waters by dropping R ratings and just using energy factors. R ratings were not completely accurate, but did give a sort of yardstick to judge insulation by. Energy factors include insulation, tank design and other factors, and as you’ve seen, leave you wondering.
Everybody has their own “proprietary lining,” and everybody uses some sort of ceramic glass lining; all tanks have been made that way for 50 years.
If the Richmond has heat traps, they are probably flap type. There were too many complaints about the ball type rattling.
Randy SchuylerDecember 2, 2005 at 1:16 am #4189WildmanParticipant
Thanks very much to both of you for the info.
Appreciate it. 🙂December 7, 2005 at 8:53 pm #4214HandyParticipant
Thanks for the comments Randy. The reference to A.O. Smith was read directly off the sticker on the top of a subject unit on display in the store. There was no mention of State Industries that I saw.
Here’s some news about Richmond:
Don’t trust their published specs. Their top gas unit is supposed to have a brass drain valve, and “extra thick” foam insulation (diameter of the tank is published as 23″) on their web site, and in their brochures.
The one I bought was manufactured in November of 2005. It came with a cheap plastic (round type) drain valve, and its diameter is only 22″. A call to the Rheem tech line got me nowhere on the valve, but an e-mail to marketing resulted in them sending me one by FedEx. Still no word on the discrepancy in the diameter. I think they’ve reverted to thinner foam lining – probably 2 inches like the Sears unit.
As to the Heat Trap Nipples on the Richmond: They’re the “tadpole” type. I removed them, and replaced them with standard lined nipples then used 3/4 copper to plumb the heat traps.
Side Note: The Richmond came with about 4 feet of 1″ thick molded tubular insulation to fit 3/4″ copper plus a third piece specifically cut to wrap around the T&P valve with a hole for the tube. The lengthwise seams of this foam have a very agressive adhesive that holds it tightly closed once the protective film is removed.
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