Recommend a decent gas water heater?

The Tank Recommend a decent gas water heater?

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    Hello….I need to replace my 25 year old AO-Smith and cant believe all the bad reviews for almost all the brands out there. It seems in this country anymore, that you cant buy quality no matter how much you pay. I am looking for just a standard 50 gal. gas heater, with quality components….no bells, whistles, digital things to break. Just want it to work. Seems most companies have terrible quality control (20-40% of their product is bad), and most warranties are in name only. So, can anyone recommend a brand/type/part# to look for or even build dates/components to watch out for? Thanks, Jake

    Randy Schuyler

    Somebody else may have something to say, of course, but I never recommend models. My goal with the accompanying site is to give people what they need to be informed and then they have to decide what’s important for them and do their own research. To keep up on the kind of stuff you’re talking about would be a full-time job.

    You can blame the federal government for a bunch of this. Before they got involved in trying to make water heaters more energy-efficient, they were an appliance that people installed and then forgot, and they worked for long years without causing any trouble at all.

    The FVIR systems that the government required have caused an enormous amount of grief.

    Larry Weingarten and Gary Klein have a better idea. They’re trying to improve efficiency by reducing heat loss downstream of the water heater — in the piping, and recovering heat from water as it goes down the drain. That’s way simpler than making water heaters complicated nightmares.

    Randy Schuyler

    Bec the Tech

    Hi Jake,
    Randy is correct. All the water heater manufacturers were mandated to build these appliance with FVIR technology (a sealed combustion chamber and thermal safety switch). This mandated change was originally for safety reasons, but eventually, the government took it further and further to try to make these units as efficient as possible.
    The type of water heater you require also will depend on the venting options available to you. I personally recommend a power vented tank over the standard chimney vented tanks these days because the system for bringing in primary combustion air is far more superior on the power-vents. I also agree with Randy about brand names. It’s the owners responsibility to do some research and pick the brand that best suits them. One thing some people do is call the manufacturer and ask questions about specific units. Usually, you will get a pretty good idea of the customer service support you will be receiving from a manufacturer when you call in and ask them some questions.
    Another recommendation I can make is to get a good licensed gas technician that you know and trust and will be able to service your unit in the future. The days of the manual just being used as knee-pads for the installer is over. Read your manual and check out the maintenance requirements for your unit. This should help you make an educated decision on the unit best suited to your needs.
    I hope this helps


    Water heaters are one of the major usage of electricity in home.Energy star is one of the best brands which can saves your lots of money rather than others brands.

    Randy Schuyler

    EnergyStar isn’t a brand. It’s a government specification program. One can buy EnergyStar heaters from any of the manufacturers.

    Randy Schuyler

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