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My contractor asked me to choose a direct vent water heater and have it delivered. I (generally) understand the difference between direct vent and power vent, having read up on how they both work.

I see that some manufacturers actually have "Direct Vent" as part of the product name. It appears that either Rheem does not name their products this way, or I have not selected the right product.

Does the fact that the product name and description say nothing about venting mean that it's direct vent?

The model number is XG75T06ST76U0, and a similar product that has "Power Vent" in the name has this model number: XG75T06PV75U0. "ST" for standard, "PV" for power vent? Also, the "ST" model is slightly cheaper than the power vent, which would align with the research I've done (that direct vent is slightly cheaper).

I called Home Depot, and they said it is not a direct vent water heater. When I asked what type of venting it has, they said "it's just a natural gas water heater". That did not make sense to me.

Product in question: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-Performance-75-gal-Tall-6-Year-76-000-BTU-Natural-Gas-Water-Heater-XG75T06ST76U0/204317751?N=5yc1vZc9waZ2bcu0v#product_description

If this is indeed a direct vent water heater, how can you tell?

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Standard Vent - no dedicated air intake, a flue exiting the house, almost always through the roof. Not much different from 1920's technology.

Direct Vent - Generally a concentric pipe with air intake in the annulus between pipes, and exhaust in the center. Frequently a horizontal through-wall vent. Will be mentioned in product install literature.

  • May also be two parallel pipes, depending on make/model/size. – keshlam Sep 2 '15 at 15:02
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If it's power vented, that's a neat trick, because the installation manual never mentions supplying it with any sort of electrical feed...

From a cursory look through the documentation, it appears to be standard vented. Also note the combustion air intakes on the sides and the design of the vent hood.

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