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Elec to Nat Gas Water Heater

Hello, I currently have a aging elec water heater in the cellar of my home. I have Natural Gas to the house and would love to change to a Nat Gas water heater. So here is my question. Can I vent the water Heater out through the side wall, or would I need to get a blower unit with my water heater?I would like to avoid the extra cost of the blower. I have gotten differing answers about this and know that propane for sure needs to be power vented or a verticl chimney, But how about Natural Gas. Thanks

Re: Elec to Nat Gas Water Heater

I don't know about the vent issue, but I can tell you that going from an electric to a gas water heater you'll want to get a unit that hold about double the gallons you have now - the reason for this is that electric heats the water quicker and the recovery time is very short. Gas water heaters on the other hand take a much longer time to heat up the water and need to keep a larger reserve of hot water heated.

Re: Elec to Nat Gas Water Heater

Gas water heaters vented through the side wall have to be power vented as far as I know. While nat. gas & propane are different the requirements for burning & venting are essensially the same.
My experience is gas water heaters have a shorter recovery time than electric.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Elec to Nat Gas Water Heater

conventional tank type water heaters first hour recovery times are faster with gas fired then with electric.

you might have issues with reaching sufficiently above grade with a direct vent horizontal conventional gas fired tank type water heater since you mentioned the water heater would be in the cellar.

A Direct Vent (horizontal) type water heater doesn't require a power assisted exaust if you have one designed to do so usually a zero or nearly zero clearance to the outside wall and usually limited to a maximum vent length of about four feet to atmosphere.

State for example makes their "select" line of dual channel venting system direct vent conventional type gas fired water heaters. they require no electric connection and no power assisted venting if installed within specifications (am familiar with these, there are others).

Tankless direct vent gas fired water heaters also available.

If you have to make a climb and a bend and your total vent length would be extended, also if you require a different path for combustion/intake air, so you'd probably require a power vent water heater if you still wanted to go mostly horizontal to get high enough above grade from the cellar if you still wanted to go out the side wall and not the roof.

your local adopted code rules might further restrict your choices. your local region would also influence - for example if you need to make provisions to avoid the exaust hood from freezing over or being covered over by snow accumulations and such. If you wanted to move it to the first floor perhaps you could still go side vented and direct vented. otherwise you might be stuck with power vented up with up to two bends then exiting horizontal or going straight up with a regular vent.

our provider requires an account to sign on for information on the different types of water heater options. I found this article which is similar from another company which is open to the public but it is a pdf document. It compares the types of heaters and the things to look for. http://www.citizensgas.com/pdf/NGproducts/waterheaters.pdf

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