A review of the Bradford White direct vent water heaters, used for the whole-house home water heating, and manufactured homes all run by the fuel sources such as the natural and propane gas. There are two groups of direct vent and indoor models that are going to be reviewed here; water heaters built for the residential homes only and models built exclusively for the manufactured or mobile homes.
Direct vent water heaters utilize mainly concentric or coaxial venting system where the inner pipe is for the air intake while the outer pipe is for the exhaust with no need for the electric blower.
Direct venting models require a lot of fresh air for the proper gas combustion and the air is coming mainly from the outside atmosphere through the venting pipes. More about direct venting here.
The first group of Bradford White direct vent models consist of conventional type water heaters that utilize the Ultra-Low NOx combustion, where the emission of greenhouse gases is significantly reduced.
There are three models designed for heating potable water; 40, 50 and 48-gal, where the last model is the most powerful – 50,000 BTU with the greatest First Hour Rating (FHR) of 93 gal and recovery of 54 gal. It utilizes the side water connection, for plugging into the space heating system.
All direct vent models used in residential house are equipped with the exclusive BW features that include the Defender system and FVIR technology with the following advantages and benefits:
The ICON system – is an advanced system where the heat energy from the pilot is used to create electrical energy to operate the gas control valve and microprocessor, making the system independent of the electrical grid.
The Defender system also improves the First Hour Rating, provides more accurate temperature control with less fluctuation, convenient troubleshooting with the intelligent LED diagnostic system, easier maintenance - than the models without this feature.
As said, these direct vent water heaters are electrically independent; all the needed electricity is coming from the heat energy generated by the built-in piezo igniter, gas control and thermopile. The units also utilize the sealed combustion chamber, so with the direct venting system, no electrical fan or chimney is needed. The water heater uses the co-axial type vents - pipe within a pipe, and from the combustion chamber products of combustion are removed directly outside, through the inner pipe. The outer pipe is used for the air intake, from the outside, leaving the inside air untouched.
The maximum length of the vent pipes is 8 ft. and the pipe can be rotated 360 degrees for the added flexibility and convenient installation and service.
As mentioned above, Bradford White direct vent heaters are great performers and one of the main reasons is the Hydrojet Total Performance System – a system that prevents the sediment buildup within the tank and its elements. The problem with the sediments is that mineral deposits can cover the heating surfaces and significantly reduce the heat transfer to the water, heater’s efficiency and durability.
Water on the other side, due to its aggressive action can affect the normal operation if the tank corrodes. This is why Bradford White manufacturer builds heaters with the quality Vitraglass lining and standard magnesium anode rod, for protect against corrosion.
The other group of Bradford White direct vent water heaters is designed for the manufactured or mobile homes that is in accordance with the H.U.D standards. The units are suitable for potable water and space heating, utilizing the direct venting system for safe extraction of products of combustion outside, by using the roof jack. The same system is used to get the fresh air in, for combustion.
As with the previous models, combustion chamber, and gas burning does not get in touch with the room air – the unit is closed combustion type.
Two models are available for the users; 30 and 40 gallons both having the same power of 30,000 BTU, the energy efficiency of 0.62-0.63, FHR up to 59 gallons and recovery rate of 32 gal.
The warranty on all direct vent water heaters from Bradford White is maximum 10 years.
(Photos courtesy of Bradford White)