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Water Heater Vent Types Demystified, Which Type Do You Need?

by | May 15, 2015

Which Type of Water Heater Vent Do You Need

Have you ever stopped to consider what type of vent would be best for your new water heater? In some cases, the type of vent is already established and cannot be changed. In other circumstances, like a remodel, it may require a change in your water heater vent type.

Often people do not realize that the vent to their water heater is not only an essential part of their home plumbing system, but also that there are several options available.

Which Type of Water Heater Vent Do You Need?

When it comes to water heater vent types, it is best to consult a professional licensed master plumber like those at Waterheaters.com. Let’s look at a few water heater vent types options available to homeowners today.

Every gas powered water heater requires a ventilation system to filter out the byproducts, or flue gasses, generated during use. Not only does the water heater vent system safely filter out these gasses, it also pulls in fresh air from the outside so the process of combustion can be maintained.

The water heater vent type needed for your water heater will depend on both the location of the unit and the model of the water heater. The three main water heater vent types that are used to handle flue gasses in residential water heater installations are power-vent, direct-vent, and atmospheric.

Power-Vent Water Heater Vent Type

This type of vent relies on a series of motorized fans to help move the gaseous by-products of combustion outside the home, where they dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere. These vent types offer greater versatility in installation as the piping can be installed both horizontally and vertically. Additionally, the unit may be installed a fair distance away from the point of termination. However, these systems are some of the more expensive options available. These heaters must use stainless steel or other metal venting pipes as the by-product is too hot and acidic to be moved through other less-expensive pipe options.

Direct-Vent Water Heater Vent Type

Direct-vent systems are air-tight and designed with a sealed combustion chamber. This vent type relies on a horizontal pipe system to move the by-product that goes directly through the external wall to the outside. They use a separate vent pipe to draw in fresh air and require a zero tolerance for the safe movement of the flue gasses. This vent type is more flexible in terms of venting installation than the atmospheric type while also being quieter than the power-vent.

Atmospheric Water Heater Vent Type

The atmospheric ventilation system is the most common system used in residential homes. The system makes use of the natural atmospheric movements to filter the flue gasses up and out of the combustion area. These heaters make use of a metal pipe affixed vertically to the main body of the water heater. The flue gasses make their way up the pipe, which extends to the outside of the home. This unit is popular due to its inherent low cost of installation and operation, as well as the low up-front cost of the unit itself.

Remember, when deciding on a water heater vent type for your gas water heater, you must keep in mind the installation restrictions, area of installation, and local installation laws and guidelines. If you would like to know more about the types of water heater vents or other water heater information, contact the knowledgeable and professional water heater representatives at Waterheaters.com today.