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It's been awhile since I've providing any feedback about the townhome in Sunnyvale (Evelyn Glen) I purchased directly from KB Homes in 2011. It's now been around 7 years and now one of the first major appliances that came installed with the home needed to be replaced.
The water heater is thankfully located in the garage on the first floor right next to the actual garage door. This makes maintaining, repairing, and replacing the water heater much easier. Also, if there were a catastrophic leak that caused a flood, it wouldn't water damage the entire house. So for that, I give KB homes praise.
But, that having the water heater in such a convenient location comes at a cost. And that's that it requires a less than standard water heater. Since the water heater is located on the first of a three floor townhome, it requires more pressure. Aslo, the vents instead of vertically up are horizontal, which requires a small fan to force exhaust out. Therefore, the water heater has a power vent.
Unfortunately, it's not very common and the price is substantially more expensive. Where a standard gas water heater cost $600, a gas water heater with a power vent cost $1700. With complete installation/labor, including pickup of a new water heater, installation, and disposal of the old water heater, it was costing around $2650.
If you live in an earthquake prone zone (like California), then also make sure that the water heater is securely fastened to the wall and earthquake proof.
Hot water leaks can't be ignored. Ignoring a small leak may lead to much larger problems down the line. But if you own your own home, it may be worth checking to see if your water heater is power vented and set aside extra funds in case your water heater needs replacing.