Tank Water Heaters – Bradford White

There are many different choices out there on the type of tank water heater to have installed in your home. And we will explain to you why we choose Bradford White over many of the other brands.

When your spouse doesn’t have hot water do you want to wait over the weekend while waiting for parts to come in for your other brand water heaters? Bradford whites parts are readily available for same day repair. There should be no reason you go that weekend or even a night without hot water when you chose to install a Bradford White product.

While many other companies have moved manufacturing facilities out of the country, Bradford White stays invested in American Jobs and Growth. As demand grows they continue to grow their manufacturing facility in Middleville, Michigan.

Types of Water Heaters

There are many different types of water heaters to choose from. If you already have a specific type installed it is recommended you go with the same type.

Direct Vent

Direct Vent water heaters utilize a co-axial (pipe inside a pipe) vent pipe that takes air in from the outside (outer vent) and vents combustion gases directly back to the outside (outer vent). It is perfect choice for situation with insufficient combustion air. Direct vent water heaters water is heated by the heat of fuel combustion. A Direct vent system typically results in lower heating costs, because the exhaust gases are vented vertically, with no extra power required as in the case with the power vent water heater. No electricity required. Used in both LP and Natural Gas applications.

direct vent

Atmospheric Vent

This is the most common gas water heater. Its called “atmospheric vent” because warm air rises, the hot gases created by combustion are pulled by natural convection up a vertical metal flue through the roof to the outside. The air around the base of the water heater is pulled into the burner chamber for combustion by the same convection flow. Its a very simple system that does not require electric power or moving parts. Which is why you see these used in most applications.

There is also a Damper Atmospheric Vent model that feature an automatic flue damper that helps reduce stand by heat loss. The flue damper, combined with additional insulation and heat traps, These units have one of the highest Energy Factor (EF) ratings for atmospheric vent models.

atmospheric vent

Power Vent

Power Vent models are power vented for positive exhaust. They offer greater installation flexibility with the ability to vent through the wall or roof, with either 2″ or 3″ PVC, ABS or CPVC pipe. Power vent water heaters use a blower or fan to exhaust gases by pushing them through the vent pipes that are horizontal. In some situations, this may be the only type of water heater that makes sense, because a chimney or vertical vent is not necessary. Some locations don’t have access to a chimney or vertical vent so your options are limited. These are nice because a Power Vent can be vented by simply running inexpensive pipe horizontally.

However the drawback to this type of water heater is the total cost considering the blower/fan portion of the vent requires electricity to operate as well as the cost of the blower and running a power line to the unit. Noise is also a disadvantage from the blower fan running. But when installed properly the noise can be minimized or nearly eliminated.

power vent

Power Direct Vent

Power Direct Vent models are the solution to installation that lack sufficient air for combustion and require installation flexibility. All models of power direct vent water heaters can vent vertically or horizontally and are also approved for direct-vent, closed combustion applications. Solid core PVC is used for the exhaust vent and Cellular core PVC is used for the combustion air in. This application does require electricity to power the direct vent.

High Efficiency

 High Efficiency (HE) water heaters  extract heat out of the exhaust gases to heat the water, just like your standard Atmospheric Vent water heaters. But they include a secondary heat exchanger that maximizes the heat transfer process to extract as much heat energy as possibly out of the combustion process.

Sealed Combustion water heaters maintain the “seal” by using designated intake and exhaust pipes to connect them directly to the outside. They are controlled so when hot water is needed the blower kicks in and draws air directly from the outside into the combustion chamber, with the fuel, and the exhaust gets power vented directly out of the building with the same blower that drew it in but through another designated pipe rather then through a chimney.

Condensing is the next key process to achieve higher efficiency. A second heat transfer process is achieved by lengthening the exit path the exhaust travels using a secondary heat exchanger, frequently featuring a coiled design for maximum surface area, though some models use a reversed travel path (down, up, down again) And as this heat transfer occurs, the exhaust gases cool to the temperature where water vapor condenses out of the exhaust’s air stream back into liquid water (just like water from the air condenses on the outside of a cold drink), releasing the latent heat of vaporization which is used to further heat the water in the system. (The resulting liquid condensate leaves the system via a designated condensate drain.) The exhaust gases end up cool enough that PVC can be used for the venting, but those gases also lose stamina as they travel, which is why all HE units are power vented (fan assisted).

high efficiency water heater.png

Warranty

When dealing with warranty issues you commonly have to deal with customer service. Normally that would be a headache. But with Bradford White you know you are getting better quality customer service than any other manufacturer and will make sure you are happy with your product.

Warranties are among some of the biggest concern to the customer, with good reason. Which is why we stand behind Bradford White. When your tank fails and is under warranty there is a process that we must go through to get your tank paid for. We must pay for the new tank being installed and wait for reimbursement from the manufacturer. If we did not  originally install the product there is a chance that you may have to pay for the water heater and get reimbursed from manufacturer. Bradford White water heaters have fewer problems than any other brands. And when there is an issue they will go out of their way to make it right for the installer and the consumer.

Big Box Stores

Typically when choosing a water heater a customer will go to a Big Box Store and pick one out themselves. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but with water heaters you are not getting the quality of product that we can get from our distributor and often times you are spending more money for that water heater. This is being said from years of installing both products and seeing parts fail more frequently on models from big box stores. The parts for these water heaters are not as readily available for a quick and smooth repair. In many cases when going with a Big Box Store for your water heater install you will be dealing with their warranty department which can typically be a 7 day wait. With Bradford White water heaters, you know you are getting a quality product at a reasonable price. If any parts do fail on your Bradford White at any point it will be possible to have a same day repair. Compared to having to wait 2-5 days for parts to come in on your other models. With our customers best interest in mind we strongly suggest to stray away from Big Box Stores brands.

Energy Star

There are a few things to have in mind when considering installing an energy star water heater. They advertise a rebate associated with having a certain EF Rating of .67 (Energy Factor Rating). This rebate comes to around  $70 in Larimer County and may be even less depending on your County. Getting a water heater with this EF rating will cost you more money upon install. Usually 300-500 dollars more.You will on average save 7% annually. When considering this install you should also consider future repairs and how long you may have to wait for these parts. This should be a huge deciding factor because often times you may have to wait 2-5 days for your parts to come in and will have to suffer without hot water.

Overall we feel Bradford White is a better install option for our customers.

atmospheric vent diagram

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Short Cycling Boilers

Boiler Short Cycling is when the boiler overheats and shuts off before reaching peak efficiency. If your boiler just recently started short cycling, there can be many different factors causing this issue.

Thermostat

If your thermostat is out of calibration your burner will be bouncing on and off. If your thermostat has a mercury switch first make sure the thermostat hangs level on the wall. Also look to see if the thermostat is in a cold draft area or possibly hanging on a poorly insulated wall. These could all be contributing factors to your thermostat getting incorrect readings. Then causing your boiler to fire inconsistently.

Air Vents

Air vents are crucial to your system running correctly. If your vents are clogged air will become trapped in your system and it will pressurize causing an air bubble which water wont pass through. Your boiler wont be cycling the water at this point and will overheat quickly causing it to shutoff before being able to distribute hot water throughout the house. Often this will be caught in a boiler maintenance and fixed before causing any issues.

Over sized Boilers

If your boiler is over sized it will satisfy the space heating demands too quickly , then shut down until heat is required again. This is bad because the longer your boiler runs the more efficient it will be. This can often happen when you have multiple zones in a home but only one of them is calling for heat. Therefore the amount of water flowing through the boiler is a fraction of what was expected. When you have an on-off boiler (no modulation) this becomes more prevalent and the more the boiler is over-sized, the more often it will occur. A modulating boiler does good in this circumstance because it will adjust the flame according to the load, rather then just shutting down on high limit from lack of flow.

Circulating Pumps

Circulating pumps are used to force hot water from the boiler through the radiating devices such as hot water baseboards or radiators. The circulators are switched on as needed or in some cases they will be designed to run continuously. If your pump stops working it will no longer be able to circulate the water in the zone causing your boiler to overheat and begin short cycling.

Boiler Dry Cycling

When the boiler currently at the temperature set point and is in stand by mode as no further heat is required from the system load (no zones calling for heat). Due to the ambient radiated heat loses, together with the flue drought heat losses (standing losses) The boiler will naturally cool down over time which may cause the temperature controls to instruct the boiler to re fire and return the boiler back to the set point temperature. In this case the heat is not being used by the heating system it is only replacing the “standing heat loss” and therefore wasting energy.

Boiler short cycling is unhealthy overall for your system. If you have any boiler issues in Northern Colorado, call Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, Today and schedule an appointment with one of our heating specialists.

 

The Advantages of Installing a Boiler for Your Heating

Boilers were among the first of whole home heating systems, so they’ve been around a long time – but don’t let that imply they are not up to date with today’s standard for energy efficiency. Today’s boilers have average efficiency ratings of 89%, in addition to providing other benefits for your home heating. But quality installation is just as important as having good equipment, so if you are ready to install a boiler in Northern Colorado, make sure you call the people you can trust: Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air.

Two Types of Boilers

Boilers are part of a hydronic system, meaning they use hot water or steam to heat your home. There are two ways in which the water can be heated

  • Water Tube
  • Fire Tube

With a water tube boiler, the water is held inside metal tubes that are heated on the outside via flames or hot gases. In a fire tube boiler, the opposite occurs : tubes are placed inside the water container; the tubes are then heated with combustion gases. and the heat from the tubes transfers into the water. The two most common fuels used are gas and oil, but other fuels like wood or wood pellets can also be used.

Advantages of Boiler Systems Comparative to Furnaces

Boiler systems have a few advantages that make them attractive to homeowners:

  • Good for allergy sufferers – hydronic systems do not rely on forced air distribution, instead utilizing radiant heating systems or radiators. As such, there is no circulating dust to worry about, which can be very beneficial should you have allergy sufferers in your home.
  • Even gradual heating – the heating of a boiler system is very gradual, as outlet points radiate the heat as opposed to blowing it out, as with a forced-air system.
  • Easy zoning – the piping used with a boiler system can be easily zoned then duct-work. Also allows for more comfort from room to room with designated zones.
  • Quiet operation – the only time you hear noise is when your boiler is heating the water in your system, otherwise, the operation is very quiet.
  • Retains heat longer for better over all efficiency. With a furnace, if you open your door you lose a lot of your heat and have to recover that gradually. With a boiler your heat stays retained within the pipes keeping your floors warmer with significantly less heat loss.

Hydronic heating is a safe, comfortable and economical way to heat your home. Hydronic systems circulate hot water through baseboards, radiators and or radiant tubing in your floors or ceilings. There are many advantages to heating your home using a hydronic system, whether it is a new install or retrofit for your existing system.

The Importance of Boiler Maintenance

One of the most significant reasons why good boiler maintenance is so important is because it helps prevent unexpected shutdowns which could not only be inconvenient but also costly for after hours calls. Getting set up on a scheduled boiler maintenance and inspection helps increase the life of your boiler and takes all the worry out of the last minute service calls.

This scheduled maintenance is especially important to check for leaks on your flues and heat exchanger. If your flue or heat exchanger is damaged from lack of maintenance you are putting you and your family at risk of Co2 exposure. Your boiler technician will check for Co2 levels to make sure your family is safe against this silent killer. This also goes for a heat exchanger on your furnace.

Side Arm Tanks

Side arms tanks are used so that the boiler can provide both space heating and domestic hot water (DHW). The tank stores a consistent temperature water similar to a hot water tank so when there is a call for heat in the home your hot water use will not be compromised. These can really make a huge difference in your home comfort if you already have a boiler without a sidearm that also provides DHW for your home. The thermal mass of the side arm tank stabilizes domestic hot water delivery temperature during long demand periods. This help reduce fluctuation in delivery temperature throughout your daily use.

 

 

Boilers have been around a long time for good reasons. If you think a boiler system in Loveland is a good fit for you, call Ace Hi Heating and Air Conditioning, Today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation specialists.

Tankless Water Heaters And Cold Shots of Water

The Navien Advantage

Only Navien tankless heaters offer “Comfort Flow” Technology to eliminate cold water shock associated with other tankless systems. Navien’s unique buffer tank in conjunction with the recirculation pump assures faster delivery of continuous heated water and no shots of cold water.

Navien was also first to offer dual stainless steel heat exchangers, rather than copper. This extends the life of the unit by resisting corrosion. Also backed by the industry’s strongest residential warranty, 15 years on the heat exchanger, 5 years on parts, 1 year on labor. The units are also LP/NG convertible.

Efficiency

Unlike systems that waste energy to heat large tanks of water. Navien tankless units utilize 99 cents on every dollar to heat your water. Unlike the conventional tank system, it only fires up when hot water is needed allowing great utility savings and a lower impact on the environment. Navien tankless heaters even reduce CO2 output by 1,216.8 lbs.* per year compared to the traditional tank type heaters. This would equal to saving 62 gallons of gasoline in your car.

The NPE-240A  is the best residential tankless unit, it has a 199,000 BTU rating. Meaning your unit will heat up more efficiently and have better water distribution. For instance while in the shower you will have the same continuous hot water and pressure even if someone decides to use the washer at that point in time. Units with a lower rating of BTU’s will have issues with GPM (gallons per minute) and keeping continuous hot water flow to all fixtures. Therefore making the NPE-240A the only unit we like to install.

Addition Features

The NPE-A series offer a couple different addons which give your unit an upper hand on efficiency and personal comfort.

First being the Navien Hot Button, The Hot Button activates the recirculation pump and gas-fired burner to heat up the water in the supply lines. Compared to the pump running 24/7 or on a timer. This gives you hot water when you need, rather than waiting for it to make its way to your shower, tub, etc. This add-on accessory saves you water and money.

Next, The H2Air kit utilizes the NPE-A pump to circulate the hot water for the use in a hydronic air handler. This removes the need to purchase an additional circulating pump for the heating system. Designed for both retrofit and new construction residential applications. The H2Air Kit consists of an add-on controller that allows for space heating and DHW system integration between NPE-A series tankless water heater models and a hyrdronic air handler. Also compatible with single or dual-stage thermostats.

Last but surely not least, The Navi Link wifi remote control system. This will enable customers to use their smart phones or tablets to control the temperatures remotely, access usage data and receive diagnostic notifications on all Navien products (NPE-A, NPE-S, NCB-E, NHB). Existing installations/stock may require the purchase of a new main PCB (control board) and front control panel.

 

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is responsible for sending 20,000 to the emergency room every year. 400-500 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year.   If you have any gas appliance in your home it needs to be inspected yearly .  If your appliance is not checked for carbon monoxide it could be causing you or your loved ones to feel sick or sleepy all the time.

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased from any home improvement store.  The basic one cost is around $20.  There are better products that have a digital read out to give you peace of mind.  Make sure to read the packaging to see how the detector works.  Some do not go off until the readings reach 30 ppm.  This could be dangerous to an elderly person or for someone who is on oxygen.  They would need a detector that will alert at 5ppm.

Furnaces,water heaters,fireplaces,gas stoves and boilers all should be inspected yearly and test for carbon monoxide. ‘