American 50-gallon
Gas Water Heaters Review

Which model of the American 50-gal gas water heaters is the best and why? What is the difference between Direct Vent, Flame Guard, Power Vent, and other 50-gallon water tank heaters?

Model selection

American gas water heater

American Water Heaters Company manufactures a variety of 50-gallon water tank heaters, for regular and most demanding use. This review will show you models, which are highly advanced and Energy Star compliant, plus affordable water heaters with their characteristics.

Most of these American 50-gal gas water heaters come with the warranty of 6 years, while the ones with the better quality offer you 9 and 12-year protection. They are all designed for residential water heating, for homes with up to 2-3 bathrooms and up to 5 people, while some are made for the manufactured or mobile homes.

Most of the American water tank heaters are equipped with the FVIR system, or Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant system, which reduces the risk of accidental fires of the flammable vapors. Below is the selection of the available models:

  • Direct vent
  • Flame Guard
  • Polaris
  • Power Direct vent
  • Power Vent FVIR Compliant
  • Ultra Low NOx

Direct Vent models

Direct vent water heater, DVG62-40S38-NV, comes from the ProLine series that vents the products of combustion directly outside, either horizontally thru-the-wall or vertically thru-the-roof. The water heater is designed with the enclosed combustion, so the fresh air is drawn from the outside, while the inside air stays intact. This 50-gal unit was designed to provide 38,000 BTU, 38.5 GPH recovery rate, and 0.59 energy factor.

Flame Guard series

The Flame Guard series consists of several gas water heaters with the three types of warranties: 6, 9 and 12 years. They are all using the standard atmospheric venting and are equipped with some of the most advanced features:

  • Self-powered electronic gas valve uses the energy generated by the Thermopile.
  • Intelligent Control Logic uses the microprocessor for optimal performance and better precision.
  • Diagnostics system uses the LED indicator to monitor the water heating operation and allows better troubleshooting.
  • LimeFighter Dip tube helps in sediment reduction.
  • Heavy duty anode rod for better protection against the corrosion.

American 50-gal gas water heaters with the 6-year warranty:

  • BFG61-50T40-3NOV
  • BFG61-50T50-4NOV
  • BFG62-50T40-3NOV has the highest energy factor of 0.62
  • BFG62-50T50-4NOV
  • FVG62-50T65-4NOV has the highest gas input of 65,000 BTU and recovery rate of 66.5 GPH, but low energy factor of 0.58. This is the only 50-gal water heater from this group that is FVIR compliant.

Gas water heaters with the 9 and 12-year warranty:

  • BFG91-50T40-3NOV is the water heater with the 9-year warranty that is designed with the 40,000 BTU gas input, 40,5 GPH recovery rate, and 0.58 EF.
  • BFG122-50T40-3NOV has the highest energy factor of 0.62 and 40,000 BTU gas input and 40.5 recovery rate.
  • BFG122-50T50-4NOV - this water heater has the 50,000 BTU gas input, 0.6 EF and the highest recovery rate, 50.7 GPH.


Polaris model is the ultra-high efficient gas water heater that offers amazing 95-96% efficiency. Polaris is one of the best American 50-gal gas water heaters and wider, which is built strong, with the stainless steel tank and can be used for space and domestic hot water heating. Thanks to the high quality and durable tank, American can offer an extended 10-year warranty on this element.

There are several options you can choose from, and they are built with the gas input range from 130,000 BTU to 199,000 BTU and recovery rate from 166 to 257 GPH:

  • PG10 50-130-2NV
  • PG10 50-150-2NV
  • PG10 50-175-3NV
  • PG10 50-199-3NV

Power Direct Vent

American 50 gal gas water heaters from PowerFlex series consists of the two Power Direct Vent models, which are using thru-the wall horizontal or thru-the roof vertical venting.

With the high energy factor of 0.67, both models PDVG62-50T42-NV and PDVG62-50T60-NV are Energy Star approved and FVIR compliant also. The difference between them is in the gas input; 42,000 vs. 60,000 BTU and recovery rate 42.6 vs. 60.8 GPH.

They come with the Self-Diagnostic Control System for easy troubleshooting.

Power Vent FVIR compliant

PVG62-50T42-NV and PVG62-50T60-NV are two water heaters that are coming from the PowerFlex series and are using the power vent capability to transfer the products of combustion through the wall that is up to 125 feet away. Even with the different gas inputs; 42,000 and 60,000 BTU, they can achieve high-efficient operation, making them Energy Star approved.

Ultra Low NOx

Ultra Lox NOx consists of the two environment-friendly water heaters that are equipped with the new, tougher burners that produce fewer greenhouse gases and last much longer than the standard burner. Both models come with the FVIR system and use the latest advanced features, such as the diagnostics system with the LED indicator, Intelligent Control with the internal microprocessor, self-powered electronic gas valve, sediment reducing dip tube and heavy-duty anode rod for more extended protection.

UG61-50T40-3NV is a gas water heater with the 1" thick insulation, so the energy factor is lower, 0.58, while the unit UG62-50T40-3NV has thicker 2" insulation, which makes it wider and with the higher EF, 0.62. Both models have the same recovery rate of 41 GPH and gas input of 40,000 BTU.

American 50-gal gas water heaters are sold mainly with the 6-year warranty and some of the standard built-in features as the heavy-duty anode, except Polaris model, LimeFighter dip tube, CSA and ASME rated temperature, and pressure relief valve and safety elements such as the ECO overheat protection.


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