A.O. Smith, in joint venture with one of the nation’s leading design engineering firms, has developed a 76,000 BTU conventional tank-style water heater that promises a thermal efficiency rating above 90% and virtually “endless hot water.” We at Rocksteady Plumbing are extremely excited about its possibilities. Just imagine: the reliability of a tank style heater that just about every house is already plumbed for with the energy saving benefits of an on-demand heater. Not to mention the nearly endless supply of hot water that up until now only tankless heaters could provide.
The development of the Vertex™ was part of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project. With an average 78 percent thermal efficiency, the conventional tank-style water heaters left some room for improvement. The Vertex™ jumps to 90 percent thermal efficiency and still provides an estimated 127-gallon first hour delivery and a 93 gph recovery rate. It’s like getting the output of a 75-gallon water heater without the gas bill you’d expect.
The Vertex™ gains by replacing the standard straight vertical flu tube with an internal helical heating coil. This increases the surface area over which heat is transferred to water in the tank and allows the unit to accept 76,000 BTU. “Higher input with more efficient combustion produces much more hot water, with lower operating costs,” A.O. Smith.
Another huge plus is the simplified install. When changing a conventional water heater to a tankless heater often times there are changes required to the plumbing of the home. Gas lines need to be changed, venting is sometimes a major consideration, water lines need to be rerouted, etc. With the A.O. Smith Vertex heater many of these existing systems can be used as is. This saves hundreds of dollars on the installation. Many times the price of a tankless heater itself is matched by the parts and labor to install it. Rocksteady Plumbing is experienced with the installation of these new heaters and can guide you through the process.