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Cant Decide: A.O. Smith Gas condensing WH vs. Indirect fired w/my notsogreen boiler.

DSM_Storm Member Posts: 1
Hello folks, this is my first time posting here. Im trying to make a decision based on my budget and my current situation. I just moved into my home 5 months ago. I had my domestic hot water and heating system inspected by a licensed plumer and my current water heater (16yr old natural gas State tank) needs to be replaced ASAP. I started looking into hot water heaters and learned a bit by searching.  Im currently debating on an A.O. Smith Vertex 100 gas condensing unit with 96% efficiency or a triangle tube smart-80 Indirect storage tank hooked up to my current boiler.

I opened the front hood on my boiler.. my home is currently being heated by a Burnham P204-W Natural Gas model 70K btu. This model was built in 1983 and from what I gathered on the Burnham site, it carries a roughly 82% efficiency rating.

I cannot afford to swap out my current boiler with a more efficient model so it will need to stay. Should I get the ao smith model which will run me roughly $2600 installed by a friend of mine which is a licensed plumber in the state and is giving me a deal?

 Or should I go with an indirect storage tank which will run me roughly the same installed, maybe a bit more?

Most say the way to go is indirect fired, but most of the people posting are using this method with a greener more efficient boiler. The indirect has a lifetime warranty on the tank with minimal cost to swap over to a new boiler down the road. The ao smith will need to be replaced in roughly 6 years or so.

Any help is appriciated. Sorry for any newb postings.


  • george_42
    george_42 Member Posts: 98
    just put in ao smith 4 months ago

    I think your friend is not  giving you  a deal, install price is a little much for a friend. My customer likes the unit and it will give all the hot water you need. I would suggest setting the water temp high and putting a mixing vale on it to get the required temp.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,834
    I'd go with the indirect

    it will outlast any direct-fired water heater, and has more heat-transfer surface than any direct-fired unit. When you replace your present boiler the indirect will remain. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
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