The A.O. Smith Vertex is an Energy Star qualified gas water heater. The Vertex is available in both power-vent and direct-vent natural gas and propane models. Vertex water heaters are available in 50 and 75-gallon capacities, with gas burners that range from 76,000 to 100,000 BTU. The Vertex offers up to 96% thermal efficiency. The Vertex comes with a brass drain valve, and select models feature a digital display.
I've had 2 of them. GDFE 50 gallon water heaters. First one was bought and installed 1-2-2010. It failed after 3 years almost to the day. Replaced under warranty, but it still cost me $500 for re-install costs. 2nd one was installed 1-4-2013. I was on vacation last week in California when my father-in-law called telling me there was a problem. His wife was walking the dog and noticed water spewing out of the exhaust vent on the outside of my house. Father-in-law was notified and turned off the water as soon as possible. The heater had failed for the second time – same issue, the inner tank had ruptured. It was leaking onto the floor but the drain was keeping up so far. Luckily he was there. If he hadn't been, my basement would have flooded disastrously. This heater also supplied my in-floor radiant heat tubes. Well, it had been snowing that week and was down in the 30's temperature- wise. My father lives in my house and had no water or heat during the next 4 days while we dealt with the replacement. The original heater cost me $4500. Add the $500 for the re-install. So far, $5000. I had a Polaris water heater for 15 years when I built the house before the Vertex's – I am the original owner of the house. So, due to the crappy product, and from the average, at best, experiences the distributor and installer had had with AO Smith, and not being at home (still on vacation in California), I told the installer to put another Polaris back in, and I would deal with AO Smith when I returned. I contacted AO Smith, they asked for serial numbers and pictures. I supplied them and a few other facts. The emails continued for 3 days, getting nowhere. The end was "too bad, so sad- your warranty is up by 2 extra months"… No acceptance for shoddy product or care. Another $4500 down the toilet. Their only help was "we recommend you have a good maintenance schedule for your new water heater". Well, duh. How about – you build a better product! You stand behind it! 2 water heaters in 6 years and 2 months. Can you spell c r a p? Don't buy one. E v e r .
"AO Smith water heaters are horrible"
I bought my house 3 years ago. I have a 7-year warranty on this AO Smith water heater. A month ago my water heater went out and I was only receiving cold water. I called AO Smith's warranty line and they said that I need to call a plumber to come out and diagnose my water heater before they can do anything. They gave me three contacts to call that were supposed to be in my area. One of the #'s was out of service. The second # the plumber said he does not work on my model. The third plumber did not pick up. So I called 4 other plumbers. All four plumbers came to my house on different days and all said, 'I don't work on AO Smith's water heaters'. This is a different type of setup. Now it's over 3 weeks and I have cold water. No one knows how to fix this issue and I am calling the Warranty Customer Service and they keep telling me you need to find someone to diagnose it. So I finally got through to the 3rd plumber that they referred me to. They came out and I had to pay for them to diagnose the issue. I then had to pay to have the part shipped to me. Lastly, I had to pay for them to install the part that went out. I asked the AO Smith warranty people why do I have to pay for all of this if it's under warranty, they said only the part is under warranty not the labor. I was very upset. I then asked, so if this part goes out again after a month I have to pay for all of this all over again? And they said unfortunately yes. Stay away or be prepared to come out of pocket $400 even though you have a warranty. This company is a joke and the water heater is crap.
San Jose, CA
"Don't waste your money"
Thought I was buying a grade A water heater at 1800.00 dollars. But, what I've gotten was nothing but junk. I am now on my 2nd water heater in 6 years and of course the 2nd one has no warranty. Just had to replace the igniter and gas valve on the 2nd unit 3 weeks ago at a cost of 800.00 bucks..and now 3 weeks later the tank is leaking…and it's 3 years old. The 1st one lasted 3 years, 2nd one only 3 years. I have soft water not hard no lime deposits nothing. Just plain old junk for the price. Never again AO Smith…
"Slow leaker replaced with gusher!!"
Went A.O. Smith Vertex instead of tankless secondary to concerns re: volume of hot water in large master shower. First disappointment is that the 50 gal A.O. Smith won't carry the load. Second disappointment was when the three year old water heater went out secondary to slow leak. Third disappointment was when the replacement tank started gushing six months later!
"Great Water Heater"
I own the Vertex GPHe50 water Heater, I have owned the unit for 6 months now and I am happy to say that I am very pleased with the Unit; it is quite and delivers a large amount of seemingly never ending hot water. I could have gone with a cheaper unit, but being as energy efficient as this unit is, it more than makes up for the extra price I have had to pay for the unit. It was an easy installation process, I was able to move the unit to the side of the house that actually required hot water, the water is always hot, and with the big 50 gallon tank I never have to worry about waiting on the tank to fill up to do my business. And my wife loves the unit, so I guess it goes without saying, no more cold showers for me, that's for sure.
Online reviews of the Vertex water heater are mixed. Consumers on terrylove.com praised the unit's efficiency and fast recovery, but there were several comments about clogging and corrosion issues, as well as issues with the display board. Reviewers on another thread compared the Vertex with a similar Rheem model, with the majority of consumers preferring the Rheem