I currently have a powered vent water heater, and would like to switch to a direct vent water heater. The pros I see to the direct vent unit are there is no blower to make noise or to fail. Are there any cons that I am missing? I ask because And the plumber who took a look at my current water heater mentioned most of his installs are power vent units, he has not done a direct vent installation in some time. I also noticed the direct vent units cost more than power vent units. It seems like the elimination of the blower should reduce the cost, not increase it.

The 40 gallon A.0. Smith FPSH40 water heater in my unfinished basement is approximately 12 years old. It is installed next to an exterior wall, and vents 2' or less horizontally to the outside, so I think a replacement with a direct vent unit would be fairly straightforward. The heater is leaking at the top, around the cold water inlet fitting. I thought maybe the fitting just needed to be tightened, the plumber advised me to replace the heater. His opinion was that the leak was at the top of the tank, and was just seeping out in the vicinity of the cold water inlet.

Anyway, any advice or guidance you can share would be appreciated.