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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heats water fast, can handle large demand.
As a partner in a chain of restaurants, I have experienced a few water heater problems.

A restaurant have high demand on hot water in some hour of the day, to meet these demand, double 150gal,199,000BTU commercial grade heavy iron heaters are installed in series. To save space for business, many of these heavy units are installed on second floor or attic. With...
Published 9 months ago by Bill Tang

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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great when working, but high maintenance
I've had the 34 gal model in my home for 6 years. The first problem I had was a failed igniter. Fortunately, it was still under warranty. If you have any silt in your water at all (I have trace <5 micron), expect to replace the H/C mix valve every few years and you should take it apart and clean often. Now, it looks like I have to replace the burner. As it is...
Published on August 7, 2010 by DWheels


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great when working, but high maintenance, August 7, 2010
This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
I've had the 34 gal model in my home for 6 years. The first problem I had was a failed igniter. Fortunately, it was still under warranty. If you have any silt in your water at all (I have trace <5 micron), expect to replace the H/C mix valve every few years and you should take it apart and clean often. Now, it looks like I have to replace the burner. As it is with high-tech equipment, the more complex, the more likely you will have failures.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unreliable -- not recommended, March 6, 2012
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This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
I purchased the propane version in 2004. A few years ago the igniter failed. Seems to happen to a lot of people. Now (feb 2012) the water heater failed completely. Water is leaking into the combustion chamber on the inside. The first symptom was that it didn't ignite and the control module signaled two flashes, which means that the pressure switch doesn't sense sufficient airflow. That must have been because water was dripping into the blower reducing the airflow. At that point, with some trickery I could still start the heater (It wasn't entirely clear where the fault was). Two days later I could clearly hear water in the blower when I tried to turn the heater on and when I removed the blower/burner assembly in the evening the blower was full of water. I can see corrosion on the inside of the heating chamber.

Given that the tank has a 10 year warranty I'm expecting a "free" replacement, we shall see, but even then we've been without hot water for two days now and by the time I get a replacement and get it all plumbed-in, who knows how many days will go by. The only comfort is that judging by the number of people posting very similar issues on the web I'm in good company... Sigh.

I strongly recommend you avoid being the next victim by purchasing a different type of water heater. I've now barely had 6 years of operation out of this unit, so most likely I'll have to purchase something different in another 6 years. That will be a major expense entailing expensive replumbing and when you consider the purchase cost of this unit it shouldn't be happening.

If you wonder about the installation I have: concentric vent kit through the wall, careful attention to the vent lengths, inlet air filter, and operation with a 160F set-point.

I gave the heater two stars because it's relatively quiet for a power vent unit and it delivers the BTU to heat our house.

Update: see my comment for full description, but the warranty exchange heater started leaking after 3 months. I'm now on my 3rd polaris heater :-(
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and efficient, but not reliable, December 4, 2010
This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
Provides unlimited hot water for showers and radiant heat. However, the main control unit suffers from a problem in one of the relays going bad. I'm on my third control unit in 7-years (first one went bad in less than 1-year). You should also keep a spare ceramic ignitor on hand if you buy one of these. If it was reliable, it would be a great water heater -- but its not.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heats water fast, can handle large demand., March 6, 2014
This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
As a partner in a chain of restaurants, I have experienced a few water heater problems.

A restaurant have high demand on hot water in some hour of the day, to meet these demand, double 150gal,199,000BTU commercial grade heavy iron heaters are installed in series. To save space for business, many of these heavy units are installed on second floor or attic. With neglect and heavy usage, these units often leak or not work properly after three years. The electronic controlled units are even harder to fix.

Five years ago, based on my research online, I've decided to replace two 150 gal units with one Polaris 75 gal commercial grade 199,000BTU units to test if it can handle the work load.

It took five men with pulley to move the old units down stairs but only two easily carried the Polaris heater up. The new unit took half as much time to heat up the water... on a busy holiday weekend, water temperature never dropped below normal.

The good: The stainless tank have served twice as long without trouble and saves around $120 in gas per month. The bigger hot water user will save more! The energy saving alone have more than enough paid for my heater.

The bad: The hot surface ignitor seems to only last around two years, OEM or not... and you may need a contractors license to get them. The original OEM part are expensive and hard to find. I was able to use Robert Shaw 41-401 as replacement on mine unit without problem.

The small 3 inch air filter get clogged often in dusty environment, I've swapped it with a aftermarket car intake filter. just measure your intake pipe size before you order.

When the unit failed the second time, after changing two igniter, I found the control unit circuits burned behind the circuit board. Full 100+ watt current flow though the thin trace line without a protection fuse !! A soldering iron and few inch of copper wire fixed the board. I've just ordered a back up controller unit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unreliable, December 31, 2012
This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
I have been using Polaris Water Heater for more than 10 years now. I have to replace the blower twice on the first unit . It is very expensive to replace the blower not to mention that it is very hard to replace the blower. I am on a second Heater and I can hear the blower noise now. I am worry that it is going to die any time soon. I should have switched to a different brand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Polaris-- The God of empty wallets, skinned knuckles and increased alcohol intake..., October 13, 2014
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This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
I bought one of these for my radiant floor system and domestic hot water. (If you need only hot water, you shouldn't be spending this kind of money on this kind of unit, so save yourself reading on...) I thought I was so smart to get rid of the tankless unit, because the little units kept breaking on me, every five or so years. Honestly, the first six months using the Polaris were great, the utility bills were just a bit lower, not as much as I expected frankly, but maybe 5% lower. I could fill the bathtub (I'm a bather) and wait less than 30 minutes to do it again. Which isn't bad. A tankless is better, but remember, i was heating my house, too. On the other hand, I could run showers and washers and the kitchen all day without a problem--it was only emptying 50 gallons at a time that caused a delay in more hot water. I think 20-30 minutes is pretty good for the recycling efficiency.

Five years later, I'm ripping the Polaris out, and might even have a beer bash as I burn it in a bonfire, or use it as a target if I ever start shooting off guns, and let me tell you, I wanted to shoot this thing many times. Good riddance. Is Polaris the god of empty wallets, skinned knuckles and increased alcohol intake? For me it was.

First the ignitor went out. They are cheap and break constantly. I went through three. Then the fan mechanism broke. This stuff always happens during a cold snap too. And the control board went out, and the spare I'd been keeping in a sealed box (by this time I'd read enough to know to have spares) didn't work out of the box, and I was out of hot water and heat during December for over a week.

I echo the other comments about how rude and condescending the warranty and tech line folks are on the phone. I hung up in despair more than once. I mean, really, their people have personality disorders and I don't think I've ever ever been made to feel so awful by a person on a phone. I refused to call them, and took the online chat forum route, and omg, you should read the rage from people having to deal with these units.

I am handy (hence my name) but I didn't have time to take so many days off to do this work myself, recently, so the repair bills were awful. When I do the work myself, I end up hating the thing because it is not really that easy to work with. The screws and panels are so cheap, they strip. But anyway, the bottom line is, how does this company stay in business?? And how do the radiant companies on line keep recommending them? It is utterly insane. And look at how much they cost! Five times what a simple basic tankless unit costs. You must include ample maintenance if you are doing a spreadsheet on which system to buy.

I went back to using the tankless hot water heater for my entire home heating and water usage. Yes, they break because they aren't built to modulate all the time, but they work great for years till they break, and I have NEVER heard of a Polaris going for five years without a repair. And when the tankless breaks after five, seven or when ever years, it costs $750 for a new one, and you just slap it on the wall and hook it up. I can afford to do that every 5 years. I cannot spend one to two full time work weeks out of EACH year futzing with a Polaris. And it never once broke down during warm weather, always during cold weather when I needed it. Whatever money you save on utility bills, you waste on the cost of the thing, repairs and psychotherapy. I am done, people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I WILL NEVER EVER BUY ANOTHER POLARIS WATER HEATER, April 10, 2014
This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
We installed two Polaris 50 gallon water heaters for both hot water and heat when we built our home. Being an engineer, I liked that they are very efficient and high tech (for a water heater). The first couple of years went good, then they started burning out the igniters on a regular basis. However, it was not a big deal to replace them. There are no trained techs in my area to work on them, so when anything else went wrong I had to call their tech line for help. Often it was a long wait for someone to answer. Most of the tech people were very condescending and often obnoxious. On one occasion I suspected the fan impeller had come loose from the blower motor. The tech (idiot named Aron) told me that he was sure I was wrong. When I asked why the motor would be running and no air was coming out the pipe, he told me the "pipe was very long and it took a long time for the air to get all the way through the pipe"!! He got hostile when I suggested that since there was not a vacuum in the pipe, air would immediately issue forth when the fan came on. Of course when I pulled the blower out (a BIG pain) the impeller indeed had broken off at the hub.

The Polaris always seemed to quit on a weekend on the coldest day of the year - a problem when you have a hot water heating system. They also preferred to go out at the start of a holiday when all the family arrived for a visit. Of course the tech guys are not available on weekends and holidays. If they needed to send a part, it was MORE days without heat and hot water.

I finally had enough and ripped out the hot water heating system and installed a conventional furnace. The Polaris experience was miserable and I will NEVER buy anything else from Polaris or their parent company - American Water Heater.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, March 19, 2011
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This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
I purchased this unit to connect to a radiant floor heating system in a greenhouse. The reason I chose the unit is because of its heating efficiency, and since it would be used as a primary heating source for the greenhouse, I wanted maximum efficiency to minimize utility bill.

I have been very pleased. I was able to maintain the greenhouse at 65 degrees when outside temperature got into the low singe digits (F).

I feel it might very well be overkill for a home hot water heater, but as a water source for a radiant heat system, it is ideal.

I have used it through one winter season with no problems.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential, October 24, 2012
This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
The polaris water heater worked great for the first 5 years (except for replacing the ignitor) until it started leaking into the blower from the fire tube. The distibutor of these heaters told us it is a common problem with these heaters and to expect only 5-6 years use before failure. Changing to a more reliable system
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5.0 out of 5 stars As an engineer I liked the heating efficiency and the ability to heat my ..., September 15, 2014
This review is from: Polaris Water Heater PG10 34-100-2NV Natural Gas, Residential
I specified a Polaris 50gal propane unit when I built my home in 1994. As an engineer I liked the heating efficiency and the ability to heat my radiant floors. It is basically a fire-tube boiler. The thing was flawless until 2008 when I had to replace an igniter. At the same time, Polaris sent me free of charge a new fan, gas valve, and ignition controls. Apparently the new fan has an integrated pressure switch for safety. A second igniter failed which I just replaced (9-2014). Two igniter failures in 20 years -- I wish all my appliances were this reliable! I do agree with the comments that your garden-variety plumber/pipefitter is probably out of his league with this type of system. On the other hand, I have been completely impressed with Polaris' in-house, over-the-phone technical service. They are easy and quick to reach, quite patient and knowledgeable and can hand-hold most competent electricians or mechanics through the trouble-shooting/repair effort. The company has changed names a couple times since my unit was manufactured so I wonder if some of the components on the newer units are being built overseas which may contribute to some of the poor reviews... Hmmmm...
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