Best 50 Gallon Gas Water Heater

Best 50 Gallon Gas Water Heater

We know that buying a gas-powered water heater in this day and age might be a little contentious. But what would happen to your hot water supply if there is a power outage?

Can an electric heater really compete in reliability and running costs? There’s a reason that there are still plenty of gas water heaters on the market even now.

They work, they’re reliable, and they’re cost-effective to run. All of which adds up to a peaceful domestic situation and smooth running house. 

We know how the anxiety of experiencing a power cut can really ruin your day. You like to think you’re prepared for anything and that you’ll make sure your family is looked after if anything out of the ordinary occurs. 

The fact is that in the event of a power outage, you might have a torch with fresh batteries and spare batteries where you can easily lay your hands on it.

You might have a camping stove to make sure dinner will be on the table no matter what happens to the electricity, but what about the hot water?

Without a water heater, you’re going to have some cold and cross little critters on your hands. We know the pioneers did it, but nobody really looks forward to bathing in cold water.

In our modern, developed society, we should be able to expect better things, like hot running water, that we can rely on. With power outages in the United States at an all-time high for this century, we can expect more of the same for the future.

So, if you want to make sure your daily routines aren’t impacted by power cuts, then a gas-powered water heater is probably worth considering.

Maybe you’re sick of your electric water heater biting you in the wallet every month, or maybe you just want to replace your current gas-powered water heater with a more efficient model.

Either way, you’re in the right place because we have put together a list of some of the best water heaters available on the market now. Now you can make an informed decision that will keep you and your family’s lives running smoothly.

We’ve also written a handy buyer’s guide and FAQ section which will help you learn what you need to know about getting a new water heater and will explain the different factors you’ll need to consider when making your choice.

1. AO Smith GDHE-50-NG Residential Natural Gas Water Heater

This is one powerful tank heater. The fifty-gallon capacity means that you shouldn’t run out of hot water even if you have a large family.

High thermal efficiency and the quality insulated storage heater mean that you’re not wasting power by losing heat when the water has been heated.

The user-friendly display is a bonus, too, since most of us aren’t water heater engineers. A clear information display is going to come in handy. 

Pros: 

  • 96% thermal efficiency – This means a lower running cost and less energy consumption, which is good for your utility bills. 
  • Control panel – The easy-to-read LCD control panel means you can easily understand any communication from the unit. We all have better things to do than to spend your time searching Google for whether the light on your heater is technically flashing or flickering. 
  • Large capacity – The large tank means that it can meet the hot water demands of a large family. 

Cons: 

  • 6 year warranty – this is a relatively short amount of time for a water heater warranty. We hope this doesn’t reflect the unit’s life expectancy. 
  • High initial cost – You can’t put a price on a reliable water heater that will last for a long time, but the manufacturers can, and it’s a little on the pricey side compared to other similar products. 

2. Rheem PROG50-42N RH67 PV Professional Classic Residential Natural Gas Water Heater

This natural gas water heater uses gas to power it but used indoor air for ignition. The blower vent will spirit away any fumes and gasses through its hundred-foot venting length.

That will make installation a lot easier. The motor is surprisingly quiet despite this function. It’s also fast, which is great if you want continuous hot water in a hurry. 

Pros: 

  • Maintenance-free – unlike some other devices, this heater has no filter to clean, so as long as your water heater is regularly serviced, you don’t have to lift a finger to maintain it. 
  • Protected anode rode – Rheum exclusive R-Tech anode rod provides tank protection for years to come.
  • Short heat-up time – reliable and speedy at heating large capacities of water. 
  • Quiet motor – the blower on the venting system is very quiet, which is a good thing if you don’t want a constant background humming in your home. 

Cons: 

  • Basic control panel – No fancy display on this one. Just a functional flashing light to alert you to any problems. 
  • Low efficiency rate – despite the short time it takes to heat water and recover, this heater’s efficiency rating is very low. So low, in fact, that some states may not permit it to be sold. 

3. A.O. Smith GPVL-50 Gas Water Heater

Reliably able to produce 50 gallons an hour of hot water, this is a versatile water heater. It boasts a reduced NOx gas combustion compared with other heaters and is Energy Star approved, so you know it will be an environmentally conscious choice. 

This flexible water heater can be fitted vertically like a traditional water heater, or horizontally via your roof. The blower has a three-position rotation capability to allow for the tank and vent to be positioned in a number of ways in your home. 

This water tank also has a hot surface igniter, which is more reliable and consumes less energy than a standing pilot igniter.

The LED control panel clearly explains the operation status of the water heater, so no need to guess what that particular flashing light means if there’s a problem. 

Pros: 

  • LED control display – easy to read, LED control panel displays current status clearly. 
  • Eco-friendly – 2-inch thick insulation foam will keep heat in and cold air away from the tank. This will reduce heat loss and energy consumption. Energy Star approved, we know this is an energy-efficient water heater if ever there was one. Good for if you are anxious to do your bit for the planet. 
  • Flexible positioning – This heater can either be installed vertically or horizontally, depending on your space arrangements at home. The blower outlet is rotatable, venting can be flexible too. 
  • Hot surface igniter – this is an alternative to the traditional standing pilot system. 
  • Consistent temperature – DynaClean II system helps to identify and balance out cold spots within the tank. This will help all the water to be at a consistently hot temperature. 
  • Extra safe – The Blue Diamond Glass coating protects the system and a shielded sensor makes for a safety-conscious appliance. The two-pipe combustion system can vent up to forty feet. It draws in fresh air from outside your home, so you don’t have to worry about ventilation. 

Cons: 

  • Heavy compared to similar units – This water heater weighs over two hundred pounds, so definitely have some help lined up if you’re planning on installing it yourself.

Buyer’s Guide

Next to your house and car, your water heater is likely to be one of the biggest investments of your life.

Forget about the initial cost of buying the thing, you also have to factor in the running costs, the expense of maintaining it, and the immediate cost of replacing it if anything goes wrong.

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to communicate some of the factors that should guide your decision. 

There are lots of things to consider when deciding on a water heater, so let’s go through the list: 

Gas or Electric? 

The eco-conscious will say that an electric heater is the absolute best choice, but is it as simple as that? With global warming increasing the frequency of freak weather, there are more and more intense storms and weather conditions every year.

The majority of power outages last year were caused by storms or other weather-related events, and most of those occurred in summer. While most people dread a disruption to their power, a power outage doesn’t necessarily have to mean a disruption to your day.

If you choose natural gas-powered over electric, you don’t have to worry about your hot water running out if the electricity cuts out unexpectedly. That means that you can at least keep warm and stay clean, whatever else you can’t do.

It’s no small consideration, especially if bad weather is the cause of the power cut. That means it’s probably not ninety degrees and sunny outside, so you won’t be able to substitute the kids’ bath time with a dip in the paddling pool. 

While it’s great that more and more of our electrical grids are becoming reliant on renewable energy, it actually doesn’t statistically make it reliable.

You can’t use wind power if there’s no wind, and you can’t use solar power if there’s poor weather or visibility. The sad truth is, that gas-powered water heaters are more reliable than eclectic ones as it stands. 

To Tank or Not To Tank? 

One serious consideration is whether to get a traditional immersion tank water heater or get a tankless one. What’s the difference? It’s pretty simple; A tank heater stores a certain amount of water in a large tank and heats that water up.

The bigger the capacity of that tank, the longer it may take to heat, but then the more you have. If you have too small a capacity, then it could mean that one shower later and there’s no hot water to do the dishes after dinner. 

On the other hand, a tankless water heater will heat water up as it is needed, not in case it is needed. This ensures that no energy is wasted in heating or reheating water that may or may not get used.

A tank heater has to heat the whole capacity of the tank and then needs to refill and start over when it’s gone. This takes time and energy, but a tankless water heater will never run out of hot water as long as there’s a steady water supply. 

Another consideration is that of space. Tanks take up a lot of room and aren’t especially beautiful to look at usually, so they require a designated space, ideally where guests aren’t going to accidentally catch a glimpse.

A tankless heater takes up much less room and is generally much neater to look at. They can be wall-mounted easily to keep out of the way and are around 11 x 30 x 20 inches in size.

Whereas a tank water heater will be more like 30 x 30 x 70 inches, so it’s tall and shaped like a cylinder. Tank water heaters are not suitable for installation outside either, so there needs to be space inside your home for it.

Some tankless water heaters need to be for indoor use only, but plenty are suitable for outdoor installation, which saves even more space.  

What is the Warranty? 

This is a big factor to consider when buying a water heater because they aren’t cheap, so they’re not inexpensive to replace if they give up the ghost.

That means you’ll want a reliable water heater which is going to last you and your family for many years to come.

Some warranties extend to as long as twelve years, which should give you an idea of how long you can expect it to last. Anything under six years, and we’d be questioning the quality and longevity of the appliance.

The warranty doesn’t just help if the item needs replacing, but the warranty should also cover replacement parts and labor expenses incurred should any part need to be repaired or replaced.

Engineers and plumbing parts can be expensive, so it’s certainly worth checking out the terms of the warranty, as well as observing the length of them. 

What Capacity of Water Heater Do I Need For My Family? 

You might think that fifty gallons seem like a lot and that you could make do with a smaller one.

Well, fortunately, we can advise you about what capacity of water heater you will need based on the number of people in your household or family. You need to first consider how much hot water you might use at the busiest hot water-using time.

That might be first thing in the morning when everyone rushes to get showered before work and school, or in the evening when washing dishes can coincide with bath time in the same hour.

Bear in mind that the average shower has been shown to use 17.2 gallons of water. The most common capacity for a water tank is fifty gallons because that’s what most households require. If you have a large family, then you might need a larger one. 

As an estimate for a household of 1-2 people, you’ll need a 30-40 gallon capacity water heater, then for each extra person, you’ll need to add on ten gallons of water. It’ll look like this: 

  • 1-2 person household: 30-40 gallons.
  • 2-3 person household: 40-50 gallons. 
  • 3-4 person household: 50-60 gallons. 
  • 5+ person household: 60-80 gallons. 

We can only advise that while larger capacity water heaters can take longer to heat up, that running out of hot water is super annoying, and it never happens when you’re just about to get out of the shower.

It always seems to happen when you’re covered in suds, and that’s not nice. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate in this case. 

Consider the holidays when you have family and friends to visit. If they stay over, then your hot water consumption will need to keep up.

There needs to be a balance between being excessive and being sensible when planning which capacity water heater to get.

Remember that you won’t be wasting water if you get a larger tank than you need. You only use what you need. It doesn’t drain after every use.

What you can waste is energy, as it takes more energy to heat up more water than it does to heat less. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Does a Fifty-gallon Water Heater Take to Heat Up?

This can really vary. It depends on a number of factors. The first thing to think about is the drawing capacity. This refers to how much water it can release per minute.

Water can only flow so fast. The first-hour rating is the next thing to think about, as this refers to how long the tank takes to heat a full tank of water through thoroughly.

Gas heaters tend to be more efficient than electric ones in this respect. Taking around 25 minutes longer to heat a 50-gallon tank than a gas one.

A fifty-gallon gas water heater will take around fifty-five minutes to heat up to 135 degrees, but it’ll take longer if you want it to be hotter. 

How Much Does a 50-gallon Water Heater Cost? 

Somewhere between around $800 and $3000 is the usual price. That’s quite a big range, though, so you’ll need to whittle it down based on the other factors we’ve mentioned in the buyer’s guide while taking into account your individual needs.

However much you do pay, make sure there is a long warranty period, so you won’t wind up having to pay it again in a hurry. Remember, too, that expensive doesn’t necessarily mean long-lasting.

Check the reviews thoroughly and shop around before you make your choice. It’s a big-ticket item, so it’s worth taking seriously. 

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