A Direct Vent Water Heater is a type of Gas Water Heater. All gas water heaters require five things to make them work safely and properly. (Six things if you include tankless and power vented models.)

  • A fuel source
  • Combustion air
  • Ignition
  • Venting
  • Water
  • (Tankless and power vented models require electricity.)


What is Combustion Air?

According to the Housing Industry Research Center:

  1. Air that is supplied to combustion appliances to be used in the combustion of fuels and the process of venting combustion gases. Inadequate combustion air can lead to dangerous problems.
  2. The duct work installed to bring fresh, outside air to the furnace and/or hot water heater. Normally 2 separate supplies of air are brought in: one high (for ventilation) and one low (for combustion).


Direct Vent Water HeaterDirect vent water heaters afford you the ability to have a gas water heater in areas where there is inadequate combustion air to serve the water heater. This is accomplished by a concentric type of venting that has a smaller pipe inside a bigger pipe. This allows one chamber to draw fresh air in while the other is used as the exhaust.
The benefit of direct vent water heaters is that there is no AC power required. They can be vented vertically as well as horizontally. Direct venting works with the vertical pipes as the heated warm/hot exhaust fumes are lighter than cool air, so it is moved up and out naturally.

In a case of horizontal pipes, the sealed combustion chamber is what helps in the extraction of the combustion and air intake. It is important to always consider placement with a direct vented water heater. The closer to the fresh air source the better.

Other benefits include virtually silent operation since there is no blower motor, and the chance for any carbon monoxide leaking is slim due to the sealed concentric piping.

Another type of direct vented water heater is the Tankless Water Heater.

If you are looking for a direct vented water heater, or would like to see if this is a good choice for you, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Champion Plumbing & Drain Cleaning in Canton, GA has installed many direct vent water heaters and would love the opportunity to install yours.

Do you have questions about water heaters? We’ve got answers! Join our Facebook group Plumbing Questions and Answers, or check out our page About Plumbing. If you want to learn how to properly maintain your water heater read our article about Water Heater Maintenance. Feel free to call us at 770-480-5077.