Discover How Polaris Water Heaters
can Help you Reduce your Energy Bills

A review of Polaris water heaters, the most energy-efficient tank-type gas model from the American water heating company, and in the industry.

Explore superior features and amazing specs of this condensing unit. See how Polaris is an ideal solution for homeowners looking to buy a water and space heating unit that can last and save tons of money year after year.

emergency plumber

Polaris water heaterPolaris

Are Polaris water heaters worth the investment?

Polaris is not a standard gas water heater with cheap components and average quality that can last only ten years. Polaris is a beast. It is expensive, but for good reason. Once installed, you won't have to worry about it leaking, corroding, or breaking apart.


Read the review further to explore its commercial quality elements and superior features. Also, you don't have to worry about whether it will provide enough hot water for your large home, oversized bathrooms, jacuzzi, hot tub, or demanding teenagers.

Keep in mind when searching to buy a Polaris water heater, this brand name is also offered by AO Smith, Giant, John Wood, and GSW. The AO Smith manufacturer is the parent company of these four mentioned.


Why Polaris water heaters?

According to the American manufacturer, Polaris heaters "are one of the main reasons behind the American brand's great reputation." This statement highlights just how great these units are. Polaris comes from the Proline XE series and is considered by the manufacturer to be the "BEST."

Polaris water heaters are gas-powered and condensing units that can use both natural gas and propane or LP gas, making them an excellent option for regions with high electricity rates. They are recommended for both residential and commercial applications. If you have a large house, big family, and require plenty of hot water not only in one or two fixtures but in multiple demanding applications such as a dishwasher, bath, shower, and washing machine, then this is the perfect heater for you.

One of the reasons Polaris is the best choice and the desired unit for demanding applications is its ability to provide up to 253 GPH in recovery, which is significant compared to conventional tank models.

Selecting the right model

Polaris water heaters are available in two tank sizes: 34 and 50 gallons. There are seven residential gas models to choose from, with power ranging from 100,000 BTU to 199,000 BTU:

  • PG10—34-100-2NV-34
  • PG10—34-130-2NV-34
  • PG10—34-150-2NV-34
  • PG10—50-130-2NV-50
  • PG10—50-150-2NV-50
  • PG10—50-175-3NV-50
  • PG10—50-199-3NV-50

Models with a tank size of 34 gallons are shorter and lighter, only 48.5 inches in height and 150 lbs in weight, while 50-gal units have a height similar to most conventional models - around 64 inches - and are heavier by approximately 30 pounds.

The 34-gal units are recommended for families with up to 4 members, and the 50-gal units for families of 5 members or more.

The PG10—34-100-2NV-34 model is the only one with a first-hour recovery rating of 179 gallons, while this information is not provided by the manufacturer for the others. Regarding the recovery rating, it ranges from 129 to a maximum of 253 GPH (90 F temp. rise), found on the PG10—50-199-3NV-50 model.

All models come with the same 10-year warranty. With over 95% thermal efficiency, Polaris models are Energy Star approved and eligible for rebates and additional savings.


What sets the Polaris water heater apart from most gas models, whether from AO Smith, American, Rheem, Bradford White, State, Kenmore, John Wood, or any other, is its innovative design that utilizes impressive commercial-grade features.

Innovative design for better heat transfer

The submerged combustion chamber and helical flue are the main reasons why the unit has a superior efficiency of 96%.

Thanks to the spiral flue design, which makes the tube longer with a larger contact surface, the heat from the flue gases can be almost entirely transferred to the surrounding water instead of being wasted outside.

According to the manufacturer, the standby heat loss is only 1%, and the exhaust gas temperature is very low.

This allows for cheaper and simpler vents. As the water heater produces condensate due to the lower temperature of the exhaust gases, a proper drain line must be installed.

Quality tank

The water storage tanks are long-lasting and reliable, as they are built from high-grade 444 stainless steel, which is resistant to corrosion and rust. As the unit's tank is not susceptible to corrosion, an anode rod has been eliminated, resulting in less maintenance and service, as well as no worries about the rotten egg odor and rusty water.

An efficient and clean combustion system

Another element with superb quality is the metal fiber burner, with excellent resistance to thermal and mechanical stress and corrosion. A burner that is located in the sealed combustion chamber works in the high-intensity blue flame mode, resulting in a clean, uniform, and high heat production and transfer.

A radial brushless DC blower is combined with the gas burner, mixing air and gas in the correct ratio for clean and quiet operation.

Unlike most economy models, which are equipped with the pilot light, Polaris utilizes the hot surface igniter for gas ignition, which is more durable and reliable.

Due to the clean combustion, there is less pollution. So it can be considered that the Polaris water heater is an ultra-low NOx unit, recommended for regions with strict emission rules, such as California.

Flexible venting system

Polaris is an indoor water heater that uses the direct venting system to remove gases. All combustion products are vented out through the spiral flue pipe.

Thanks to flexible vent installation options, Polaris hot water heaters can use affordable PVC, CPVC, and ABS plastic pipes with a maximum length of 120 ft. (40 m), either through the roof or an outside wall.

At the same time, air for combustion is taken from the outside atmosphere using the air inlet.

While Polaris is mainly used in residential applications for water heating and radiant floor heating, it is not certified for use in mobile homes (RVs).


The advanced electronic system control of Polaris makes monitoring and troubleshooting easier.

The microprocessor collects information from sensors while overseeing the unit's operation. If there is a failure, the microprocessor shuts down the unit. The diagnostic system and large touchscreen display make it easier and faster for a technician to understand and repair the problem.

Polaris also has a configuration key inside the control box that collects information about the process and its lifetime, even if the control board is replaced.

Easy installation and service

When it comes to installing, the Polaris gas water heater is not different from the conventional models. As long as the air inlet, exhaust, gas, electricity, and water are correctly connected, no other adjustments are needed. As opposed to non-condensing units, a condensation drain must be provided.

If repairs are required, simply remove the front access panel to allow easy access to the heater's elements.


  • Polaris water heater is FVIR or "flammable vapor ignition resistance" compliant, a revolutionary technology that ensures that the flame can occur only inside the combustion chamber. Without the FVIR, problems can arise due to the improper storage or use of gasoline and other flammable liquids near the gas-fired water heaters.
  • Thermister temperature sensor.
  • 24-volt thermostat control.
  • Zero clearance to combustibles.
  • The TPR valve is factory installed to relieve the system from the high pressure due to water expansion.
  • Factory provided tempering valve.
  • All units come equipped with two switches: a blocked outlet and a blocked intake switch. If the exhaust or air intake pipe is obstructed or if the blower fails to operate, the corresponding switch sends a signal to the controller, preventing the unit from igniting.
  • Energy Cut-Off or ECO is a high-temperature limit switch used to automatically shut the heater off when hot water exceeds the maximum factory-set temperature.

How Polaris works

The Polaris water heater tank has a blower at the bottom, which pre-purges the gas combustion chamber. The hot surface igniter is then energized to ignite the mixture of air and gas delivered by the blower.

Once ignited, the hot surface igniter ignites the gas on the main burner. If there are minimal impurities in the combustion chamber, a blue flame develops, which covers the entire burner evenly. This results in clean gas combustion and low NOx gas emission. The status of the ignition and gas burner is displayed on the control panel.

Where to buy and use

Polaris is a versatile unit with side-mounted hot and cold connections, making it suitable not only for water heating but also for space heating with air and radiant hydronic systems. By installing a circulation pump and recirculation system, the heater can deliver hot water faster. It can also be used as a solar storage heater or backup when combined with a solar water heating system, resulting in additional savings.

If you are looking for a Polaris dealer or want to buy one online, I recommend checking out the online store Amazon.com, where you can see the available models, prices, and user reviews, and purchase one.


Polaris water heaters are the perfect choice for residential hot water, regardless of the model or size you select. These versatile units are made of commercial-grade components, innovative features, and impressive specs that make them suitable not only for water but also space heating, recirculation, and solar heating in large homes.

When you purchase a Polaris you can be assured that you are getting a reliable, long-lasting, eco-friendly, and ultra-efficient unit that guarantees a continuous supply of hot water, savings, potential rebates, and enhanced comfort, based on user reviews.

emergency plumber

You might like these articles about condensing water heaters