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issue: November 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

43rd Annual Report on HVAC
Hot Water


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by Erin Biesen, Associate Editor

As homes are growing in size, water heaters need to provide for larger showers with multiple showerheads.

According to Bradford White Corporation, the Super High Efficiency EF-60T-125E-3N generates over 150 gallons of hot water every hour, while having enough capacity to provide space heating for hydronic applications. It has a thermal efficiency of 96 percent, and delivers 200 gallons of 130°F (54°C) water in the first hour of operation.

As homes are growing in size, water heaters need to provide for larger showers with multiple showerheads. This results in fuel and thermal efficiency issues for the consumer. “We are seeing showers with multiple body sprays that have 1- or 2-gallon per minute output, and there may be 4 or 5 body sprays installed in addition to the shower head. You might see consumption of 6, 8 even 10 gallons a minute,” says Eric Cytrynowicz, product manager for Bradford White Corporation. “The industry is going to need to produce more hot water, but not consume that much more fuel.”
Already the industry is developing products to meet this demand. A.O. Smith released the high efficiency water heater Vertex in April of this year. “There was a distinct need for the product in terms of high efficiency and also the increased hot water demands from consumers with whirlpool tubs and body spray systems,” says Matt Schulz, product manager. “There is more demand for larger output of hot water in conjunction with high efficiency. We felt like there was a distinct target market for this product.”
State Water Heater introduced the Premier Power Vent to help consumers who feel like they never have enough hot water. “Anybody who has dealt with a traditional water heater may have experienced a time when there wasn’t enough hot water for one more shower,” says Jeff Storie, State Water Heater brand manager. “Our Premier Power Vent slogan has been ‘There’s always enough for one more shower.’”
The company also sees more households moving up to units that deliver more hot water. New homes are being built with large whirlpool or garden tubs and are being outfitted with 50- or 75-gallon water heaters to accommodate increased hot water needs.

Flammable Vapor

Several years ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approached the water heater industry with a concern about potential for fires ignited by water heaters’ pilot light or burner. For example, if paint thinner is stored in the same area as the water heater and it spills, there is potential for the vapor from the spill to be ignited by the standing pilot light on the water heater.
“In 2003, the Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistance standard came into effect for water heaters with inputs of 75,000 BTUs and less, and 50, 40 and 30 gallon capacities,” explains Cytrynowicz. This North American mandate requires that water heater manufacturers
use new design features that would prevent ignition of flammable vapors outside of the water heater.
Phase two was put into effect in July of this year for 30, 40 and 50 gallon capacity power vented water heaters with inputs of 75,000 BTUs, and less.

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
A. O. Smith Water Heaters
Bradford-White Corp.
 

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