The heat is on: The latest in water heaters from all the major players.
Today’s water heaters aren’t just dumb boxes in the garage
Of all the things a plumber will become intimately familiar with due to experience on the job, the water heater has got to be one of the most common of all. In all of its forms — tanked, tankless, hybrid, solar — a fair number of calls center on water heater service and repair, or even replacement.
Since every residence and many businesses require water heaters of some sort it shouldn’t come as a surprise there are a host of companies offering a myriad of products in the segment. Here at Reeves Journal, we’ve spent the past few months collecting up information on the latest water heaters for this article. Here, in no specific order, is what we’ve found out.
Trutankless’ Vero electric tankless water heaters measure 17.2-inches high by 23.8 inches wide by 5.5 inches in diameter. They offer easy installation, 99% efficiency, no venting, and eliminated scale build-up and maintenance. The patent-pending Velix technology heats water as it flows rapidly through the 24 linear feet of heating element. The sheer length combines with the unique horizontal orientation and ceramic thermal insulation to maximize output and prevent element failure. The horizontal design creates a self-flushing effect so efficiency is never compromised by mineral buildup, as with other water heaters.
ASWH Commercial HE series
American Standard Water Heaters’ Commercial High-efficiency series are available in natural or LP gas, 70 or 100 gallons and range from 125,000 Btu up to 250,000 Btu. Equipped with Magnesium anode rods and Energy Star certified to 96% efficiency, the models are outfitted with heat exchangers and heating coils that ensure longer lifetimes. Designed to reduce clearance space the units can be installed directly on the floor, exceed both SCAQMD & BAAQMD air quality standards and are non-CFC foam insulated. Warranty is upgradeable from 3 to 5 years including the standard 1 year parts and labor warranty.
Rheem Prestige series
Rheem’s Prestige series condensing tankless gas water heaters save water, energy and installation time. The line is equipped with performance and exclusive integrated diagnostic features, including a water savings setting, maintenance notice setting and hot start programming. Plus, units in this line quickly pair with the demand based recirculation pump kit to provide instantaneous hot water at the tap. These models also have a minimum flow rate of .26 gpm and minimum activation flow rate of .40 gpm. The tankless units are compatible with ½-inch gas lines and have a built-in condensate neutralizer and low-cost PVC venting compatibility.
A.O. Smith Polaris
A. O. Smith’s Polaris High Efficiency condensing gas water heater, which operates at a cost-saving thermal efficiency of up to 96%, easily installs and pairs with recirculating systems or domestic space heating systems. Available in 34- and 50-gallon models, it achieves energy efficiency through an enhanced ultra-low NOx modulating gas burner. It features a durable tank and heat exchanger built of corrosion-resistant stainless steel. Compatible with both natural gas and propane, it features a power direct vent design that fits with PVC, CPVC or Polypropylene (solid core only) through a sidewall or roof. It can also be paired with an optional concentric vent kit. Additionally, two front-access panels give contractors simple access to all serviceable components.
Stiebel Eltron MiniE
Stiebel Eltron’s MiniE thermostatic tankless water heaters are an electronically controlled version of the mechanical Mini water heaters. They come with several additional features. The electronic control board and automatic flow control allow the models to deliver water at factory preset temperature of 100° F. Custom preset output temps are also available. They’ll maintain temperature, even with pressure fluctuations in the water supply which is ideal for installations where output temperatures are limited by code. The MiniE 6-2 can be plumbed to supply warm water to multiple sinks in warm climates. The unit offers a seven year warranty against leakage and three years on all components.
Bradford White ElectriFLEX
Bradford White Water Heaters’ ElectriFLEX Heavy Duty field convertible commercial electric water heaters are ETL Certified and can be converted quickly on-site to provide a commercial application solution for almost any situation. It offers 12 different convertible wattages from 6kW to 54kW and six convertible voltages, including 208V, 240V, 277V, 380V (Canada), 480V and 600V. Available in immersion thermostat models, they’re available in 50-, 80-, and 119-gallon capacities. They all feature the Hydrojet Sediment Reduction System and Vitraglas tank lining.
Navien’s NPE-A series condensing tankless water heaters feature an internal circulator and buffer tank. It features: ½-inch gas pipe capability, 2-inch PVC venting, dual stainless steel heat exchangers, ComfortFlow recirculation including pump and buffer tank, field gas convertibility and an elegant compact design. Up to 16 units can be cascaded together without an external control and are ideal for commercial and residential applications. Highly efficient at 0.97EF or 0.96 UEF: NPE-180A, NPE-210A, and NPE-240A. The max input for each is 150,000 Btu, 180,000 Btu and 199,900 Btu respectively. They are also available with on demand activation and NaviLink wi-fi control.
State Water Heaters tankless series
State Water Heaters’ series of concentric venting, non-condensing tankless water heaters is designed make installations simple and flexible through a gas convertible combustion system. The models come in three sizes and are designed to easily convert from natural gas to propane — with all necessary components already in the box. Available in 140K, 190K and 199K Btu versions and ULN-certified, the series scores a 0.82 EF rating. These new models also come equipped with integrated controls that make temperature adjustment and diagnostic review easier. The GTS-310C-NI tankless water heater uses up to 190,000 Btu of natural gas or liquid propane to deliver a max flow rate of 8 gpm. This model meets Ultra-Low NOx emission requirements and has a 15-year limited warranty on the heat exchanger on residential applications.
Weil-McLain Aqua PLUS
Weil-McLain’s Aqua PLUS line of indirect-fired water heaters feature high output stainless-steel heat exchangers that deliver great first hour ratings and recovery. The units’ compact size allows for easy installation in low-ceiling basements or storage rooms, and thermostat connections are already installed for quick wiring. Other features include a magnesium anode rod for corrosion resistance and large inspection port providing convenient access for tank cleaning and inspection. Built with durability and longevity in mind, these AHRI-Certified units are available in five sizes to suit any application.
Noritz’s EZTR40 residential condensing tankless water heater is designed to replace a conventional 40-gal. tank-type water heater for two-bath residences in warm-weather climates. Top-mounted water connections allow for quick and easy reconnections without the need for new plumbing. The unit’s flexible polypropylene tubing threads directly through the existing vent, and it uses the same ½-inch gas line as the old tank unit. The EZTR40 measures 18.3-inches wide by 27.2-inches high by 9.4-inches deep and weighs 50 pounds.
Bosch Greentherm 9000
Bosch’s Greentherm 9000 series offers nine models for high-efficiency domestic hot water in residential or commercial applications, adding features for easy installation, operation and maintenance. The series features an energy factor of 0.99, an operating range between 9,000 and 199,000 Btu, and achieves temperature stability of plus or minus 2° F through the active bypass. The integrated Wi-Fi control enables remote user-control of water heater via free mobile app. The built-in recirculation pump allows easy plug-and-play installation of the home recirculation system.
Bradley’s Keltech tankless tempering systems deliver instantaneous ANSI-required tepid water to emergency safety showers and eye/face washes. Drawing energy only when needed, these tankless water heaters are highly efficient and precise in supplying tepid water at a second’s notice, even in extreme work environments. Installation is easy since only one electrical connection and a cold water line are needed, saving labor time and additional costs.