American Water Heater Reviews [2020]

| Last Updated: April 16, 2021

If your water heater is not heating to its usual standards, then you probably need a change, especially in this cold weather.

This article lists and reviews the best American water heaters.

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Everything you need to know before buying from cost and efficiency to size and other aspects is listed here.

How Does American Compare to the Competition?

American is a fairly old and well-tested company. It manufactures both commercial and residential water heaters of different fuel types i.e., gas, electric, tankless, and solar. Some of the ways it stands out as a reliable company is:

Affordable

American makes top quality and durable water heaters at a much lower price than its competitors.

Variety

You have various fuel and design options to choose from. It has gas and electric water heaters for normal use. The tankless and solar water heaters provide more energy and an environment-friendly alternative. Both commercial and residential users can buy from American. You can also buy accessories like expansion tanks, pump tanks, anti-scale system, and more.

Customer Support

American has a great customer support system. Their website contains details about checking the health of your water heater to determine if it needs replacing or fixing. You can order replacement parts as well. Its customer service and technical support helpline are active every day of the week.

Mobile App

They have a mobile application for both Android and iPhone users. It helps them determine which water heater is the right choice for them by comparing it with the existing model.

Comparison of the Best American Water Heaters

To help you get a quick overview of all the best products by American, you can check the comparison list below.

Product Name

Unit Size (Gallons)

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Energy Efficiency (SEER)

Cost of Unit Only

PG10-34-150-2NV

34 

0.95

$3,549

PG10-34-130-2NV

34 

0.96

$3,324

PG10-34-100-2NV

34 

0.95

$2,759

GT-510-PI

34 

0.82 

N/A

PG10-34-150-2PV 

34 

0.95

$3,629

PVG62-40T50-NVS

34 

0.70

$3,629

Quick Take: Best American Water Heaters

These are our recommendations for the best American water heaters:

  1. PG10-34-150-2NV
  2. PG10-34-130-2NV
  3. PG10-34-100-2NV

Review of the Best American Water Heaters

Water heaters work on different fuel types, and their performance depends on it. These are the best American water heaters according to their fuel type. 

Gas Water Heaters

The following are the best gas American water heaters.

Best Overall:
PG10-34-150-2NV

PROS

  • Ultra-quiet blower and burner
  • Uses helical thermal heat exchanger
  • Two front access panels for serviceable parts
  • Touch screen for temperature control and diagnostics
  • Enhanced ultra-low NOx burner is energy emission compliant

CONS

  • This product is not certified by Energy Star

Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater is from the Polaris line. Its tank and heat exchanger are made by using the 444 stainless steel to minimize corrosion and remove any need of an anode. It is very quiet and produces no noise. It has a Power Direct venting system and an optional vent kit.

The large touchscreen display lets you control the temperature easily and monitor equipment status and health. Any components that might require servicing or changing are easily accessible through the two front vents. It uses a modulating burner to maintain efficient energy consumption. This water heater has a 10-year warranty.

Bottom Line

This water heater is for residential use. Its BTU input and efficiency result in exceptional recovery time. It is from the Polaris line that is one of the best domestic water heaters. Its tank and coil both are extremely resistant and durable.

The 444 stainless steel ensures long life in every condition. There is no need for a chimney for venting; it can be done through PVC, CPVC, or polypropylene because of its low emissions and high-efficiency. It meets the thermal efficiency and standby loss standards of the U.S Department of Energy.

PROS

  • Ultra-quiet blower and burner
  • Touchscreen for temperature control
  • Uses 444 stainless steel for corrosion resistance
  • Can be vented through PVC, CPVC, and polypropylene
  • Ultra-low NOx emission that meets the latest standards

CONS

  • It is a direct vent water heater

Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater is from the ProLine XE Polaris water heater line. Its BTU input is not as high as the first water heater, but it is still efficient compared to other natural gas heaters. Its thermal efficiency is exceptionally high, at 96%. This results in minimum emissions.

This water heater is designed to have two venting options i.e., horizontal and vertical. This reduces accidental fires that can occur in the presence of flammable vapors. You can control the temperature through a large touchscreen available on the tank. The 444 stainless steel alloy ensures no corrosion and high durability.

Bottom Line

This water heater is almost similar to the first one with the difference in BTU input. They have similar designs and fuel requirements. Choosing which one to buy will depend on your budget and how efficient you want your water heater to be.

All of the American water heaters are made from high standard materials and come with installation and user guides. This water heater, as well as two service access points, work to make the maintenance easier.

Best for the Money:
PG10-34-100-2NV

PROS

  • Has a 96% high thermal efficiency
  • Meets UBC, CEC, and ICC national codes
  • 444 stainless steel for corrosion resistance
  • Electronic touch screen for temperature control
  • Helical internal heat exchanger for efficient fuel consumption

CONS

  • Only 1-year warranty for the parts

Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater is a budget-conscious alternative to the other PG10 natural gas heaters. This, of course, results in lower BTU input than the others, but compared to other natural gas heaters, it is still high enough.

It has all the features of the XE Polaris water heaters at a lower price. It has side-mounted hot and cold recirculating taps and helical heat exchanger. The high 96% thermal efficiency rating makes it stand out among others. It follows all the air quality emission standards.

Bottom Line

This budget-friendly model from the Polaris line should not be dismissed because of the low-price. It is still made from quality materials and follows all the high American standards that have made this company one of the best.

Its maintenance is easy, and you can use them in the installation guide for help installing. It is super quiet and easy to use, as well.

Best American Water Heater 40 Gallon Gas:
PVG62-40T50-NVS

PROS

  • It has a higher capacity
  • Energy Star qualified for high efficiency
  • 3-position rotatable blower outlet power vent design
  • Self-cleaning technology to reduce sediment collection
  • LimeFighter dip tube to minimize cold water regions in the tank

CONS

  • No digital control for diagnostics and temperature settings

Why it Stands Out to Us

This water heater uses different features to ensure minimum heat loss and high efficiency. The dip tube is designed to increase inlet water pressure that, in turn, reduces cold water regions. It has 2-inch foam insulation and built-in heat traps on water inlet and outlet for a reduction in heat loss.

The self-cleaning action makes things easier by removing any sediment at the bottom of the tank. The 40-gallon water capacity is higher than the others. It is an Energy Star qualified product, which means its emissions are extremely low.

Bottom Line

Energy Star is run by the U.S environmental agency and the U.S Department of energy. It gives details of energy consumption by different products. This water heater is qualified by them, which means that it does not waste a lot of energy, which results in better and more efficient consumption.

It has a UEF rating of 81%. It has a hot surface indicator and a solid brass drain valve, some of the many features that participate in the energy efficiency of this heater.

Liquid Propane Water Heater

American also has a range of liquid propane water heaters. Let’s review these one by one:

Best American Tankless Water Heater:
 GT-510-PI

PROS

  • Easy-link up to 4 units
  • Commercial-grade copper heat exchanger
  • Category III stainless steel venting system
  • Comes with a power cord and remote control
  • Low NOx emissions that meet the latest standards

CONS

  • It is a non-condensing water heater which is less efficient than condensing heaters

Why it Stands Out to Us

Tankless water heaters save a lot of space and money on fuel. They are more efficient than traditional water heaters. You get instant hot water and don’t have to wait for hours. They last much longer than other water heaters.

They remove ‘stand by’ loss by not continuously reheating water when there is no need. It uses copper for heat exchange, which has optimum thermal properties. Moreover, it has low NOx emissions for cleaner air. The stainless steel venting and copper make it resistant to corrosion and highly durable.

Bottom Line

They are more suited for smaller homes with fewer people about 3 or 4. They are extremely efficient alternatives for larger water heaters and save a lot of money on monthly bills. This water heater is from the 510 series that is made for residential and small commercial use.

It includes safety features such as troubleshooting diagnostics and surge protection. You get an endless supply of hot water with this heater. This model has an Energy Factor (EF) of 0.82, which is high compared to other gas water heaters that have an EF of 0.5-0.7 commonly.

Best American Water Heater Gas:
PG10-34-150-2PV

PROS

  • Ultra-quiet blower and burner
  • Warranty for both tank and parts
  • Electric display for temperature control
  • More energy efficient than gas water heaters
  • Helical internal heat exchanger for better heat retention

CONS

  • It is more expensive than others

Why it Stands Out to Us

Liquid propane is about two times more efficient than natural gas because it contains more energy. It gives more BTUs per gallon. Propane does not damage the environment like greenhouse gases. It has lower emissions of harmful gases and is one of the cleanest of all fossil fuels.

Other than the fuel difference, its design is similar to the other ProLine XE Polaris water heaters from American. You get Ultra-low NOx emissions and extremely quiet operation. It has a 10-year limited warranty for the tank and a 1-year limited warranty for the parts.

Bottom Line

For gas water heaters, this is one of the most efficient and environmental-friendly units. The replacing of parts and servicing is easy with front access panels. It is compliant with energy emission and efficiency rules. Moreover, no anode is required to resist corrosion.

What Kind of Warranty Does American Offer?

The warranty offered by the company varies from product to product. Warranties are available for both the tank and its parts. The PG10 model water heaters have a 10-year limited warranty for the tank. The GT line of water heaters has a 25-year limited warranty and a six-year limited warranty for the PVG water heaters. When it comes to the parts, they all have 1-year limited warranties except the PVG heater parts, they have a 6-year limited warranty.

The warranty is not transferable, and if used in a commercial setting, it reduces to 1 year only. For the warranty to apply, you need to follow the installation instructions provided with the water heater. If your inner tank leaks or any other parts (except anode) are damaged within the warranty period, it will be replaced with new ones.

The warranty will not apply if the water heater or its parts have been misused, it has not been installed properly, aftermarket and unapproved arts have been added, and its use has not been in accordance with the provided guidelines. For a more detailed list, you can visit the American website.

To claim the warranty, you need to be the original purchaser and provide the model number, product number, serial number, date of purchase and installation, and location.

Who is American?

American water heaters are owned by AO Smith Corporation. It has its manufacturing, research & development, and corporate offices in Johnson City, Tennessee. It offers residential and commercial models of water heaters and their parts. All of the products meet energy emission standards and are extremely efficient in terms of consumption. The company was made in the 1970s and later purchased by Canadian based GSW Inc., which was then purchased by AO smith. It is one of the top water heater manufacturers, and it delivers to international locations as well. The company’s president at the time of purchase by AO Smith in 2002 was Robert W. Trudeau.   

Conclusion

These water heaters all match industry standards and, in this age of environmental consciousness, meet all the latest standards. They are all made from the same top quality material and offer more efficiency than other water heaters. All the other details and specifications can be found on their website. For sure, choosing any one of these will ensure that you get the best unit for yourself for consistent hot water. 

People Also Ask

If you still have some questions regarding its use or maintenance, you can refer to the frequently asked questions below. With these, you can get your confusion cleared. 

How Do I Know When My Hot Water Heater Needs to be Replaced?

Some of the red lights for water heater replacements are:

  • It is older than 10 years
  • It is leaking from years of rust and corrosion
  • Your water is not getting hot fast enough

How Often Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

The normal time of flushing a water heater is every 6 months. But if your water is hard (meaning it has more mineral content), you should do it more often. Flushing the water heater gets rid of any dirt or sediment accumulation in the tank. 

How Old is My American Water Heater?

The American water heater company has a 10-digit serial number with year code in the first 2 digits and the week code in the third and fourth digits. For example, 0704 means that it was made in the fourth week of the year 2007.

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My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.