In order to improve the efficiency of their products, manufacturers have developed a new breed of tanked water heaters that have unique designs incorporating efficient insulation to maintain the water temperature and reduce energy usage.
Fuel Type: Depends on the specific product; for example, the Marathon runs on electricity while the Vertex is powered by natural gas.
Capacity: The gas Vertex holds 50 gallons and can deliver 3GPM endlessly. The Marathon comes in a variety of sizes from 15 to 105 gallons.
Efficiency/Operating Costs:The Vertex and Marathon both have an EF of 0.90 because their high insulation levels mean that, for the most part, they are only heating the water you use and not letting it radiate into surrounding space during periods of non-use. Currently, either of these water heaters can qualify for a Federal tax credit.
Installation Cost:The new breed of tanked water heaters are much more expensive than traditional tanked water heaters; but, their efficiency qualifies them for many of the same government rebates as tankless and hybrid water heaters, plus some utility companies offer additional rebates which can reduce the installation costs. The Marathon electric water heater can cost less than the Vertex gas heater because it does not have the same code requirements for the gas piping. The Vertex gas water heater can be vented using PVC piping, which is less expensive than the venting for a traditional gas water heater.
Safety: To avoid scalding, the water temperature must be reduced at the faucet by adding cold water to the heated water. Features such as thermal expansion tanks must be added to the installed water heater to meet Georgia Plumbing Code for safe operation of the water heater. And, if the water heater runs on gas, the gas line, gas valve, and drip leg must also be installed to plumbing code to ensure your safety. The electric Marathon water heater has no risk from fuel leaks, NOx emissions, or carbon dioxide.
Life Span/Warranty: The gas Vertex heater has a limited 6 year warranty. The electric Marathon boasts a life time warranty that can be transferred to the new owner when the house is sold. This is due to a unique rust-free design.
Environmental Benefits: Because they use less energy, these new high efficiency tanked water heaters are better for the environment in many ways, but they are still very large pieces of equipment that require a lot of materials and energy for their production. the gas Vertex water heater produces about 30% less NOx emissions and less carbon monoxide than a traditional tanked gas water heater. The electric Marathon produces none, of course. An additional benefit of the Marathon is that it will not rust so it will not need to be replaced as often and there will be less land fill or recycling needed.