AO Smith Vertex Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Find out how AO Smith Vertex water heaters can provide considerable energy savings in home water heating. Explore the most advanced features from Vertex, features that bring hot water production to a new level.

Vertex water heaters from AO Smith manufacturer can be found in two sizes; 50 and 75 gallons, both built like the tank type coming from the “Best” Proline XE series and grouped into two categories. Vertex is known for its condensing technology - a technology that provides continuous and ultra-efficient water heating, with less energy waste than conventional gas water heaters, especially atmospheric type.

Vertex models have similar footprint as the conventional water heaters, and since they utilize the same connections, they are easy to install and service - even replace the old unit.

Two Vertex categories are available, both with the ultra-high energy efficiency but different venting options:

  • Vertex Power Direct Vent model - GDHE series
  • Vertex Power-Vent model - GPHE series

Vertex Power Direct Vent - Vertex 100

Amazing specs

AO Smith Vertex water heaters from GDHE series or Vertex 100 are power direct vent models found in two sizes; 50 and 75 gallons. Thanks to its fully-condensing design, these models can achieve an incredible 96% energy efficiency and provide significant savings to the homeowners.

An innovative design provides an ultra-efficiency and high recovery of up to 129 gallons, and it includes the advanced helical coil heat exchanger, top-fired burner for high power of 100,000 BTU gas input and condensing operation. Condensing water heaters use the energy of the flue gases so the temperature is lower and venting is cheaper.

Another fantastic factor, which is essential when selecting a gas water heater, is the First Hour Rating of 130 gallons, which makes the Vertex 100 perfect for high demanding families/homes where the hot water output exceeds even larger capacities. These models easily supply hot water up to 4-5 showers running at the same time or hot tubs.

Heat exchanger

When comparing to the standard water tank heaters, which come with the straight flue tube, Vertex 100, with the helical heat exchanger design and increased surface area brings much better and efficient heat transfer, and reduced sediment buildup.

The water heater uses the sealed combustion for burning the natural gas or propane and sealed vents for venting flue gases out and to draw the fresh air in.

Control panel

At the front of the Vertex 100, there is an LCD control panel which provides information about the heating operation, has the advanced diagnostic capabilities, monitors and controls the temperature more accurately.

Vertex models are compatible with the iCOMM, which allows them to monitor the operation from the remote locations.

Quality elements

The metal tank is fully protected with the commercial-grade glass coating which protects both the exchanger and metal tank and two heavy duty and commercial-grade anode rods to fight the corrosion. The dip tube which brings the water inside the tank is long-lasting and is designed for high temperatures, up to 400 F.


AO Smith Vertex 100 is the environment-friendly water heater that is equipped with the ultra-low NOx and top-fired gas burner that significantly reduces the emission of greenhouse gases.


Flexibility is what allows AO Smith Vertex water heaters horizontal and vertical vent installation in a length of up to 128 feet, using the PVC, CPVC, ABS or PP vents.

Thanks to the side water connections units can be used not only for potable water heating but combination space and water heating.

Vertex Power Vent

Vertex Power Vent is coming from the GPHE series and is another 50-gal gas water heater with the condensing technology. It can achieve slightly lower efficiency than the previous two GDHE models, but still higher than the conventional water tank heater, 90%. As opposed to GDHE series, Vertex GPHE water heater is equipped with the Green Choice gas burner that complies with the low NOx gas emission standard.

It is known as Vertex GPHE-50 model, and it offers a metal tank with the 50-gallon capacity, a power of 76,000 BTU, 92 gallons recovery rate and First Hour Rating of 119 gallons which results in producing less hot water; 3-4 gallons per minute or up to 3 baths operating simultaneously.


AO Smith Vertex models are extra performing gas water heaters that are designed for homeowners that have high demand for hot water. When comparing to traditional water heaters, Vertex models use less fuel, have higher gas input with efficient burning to produce more hot water and make the cost of operation lower.


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AO Smith GDFE issues 
I've had 2 of them. GDFE 50 gallon water heaters. First one bought and installed 1-2-2010. FAILED after 3 years almost to the day. Replaced under warranty, …

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