How to Install a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters possess the ideal combination of efficiency and reliability. These new water heaters have all the potential to replace traditional (tank) water heaters. Tankless water heaters provide hot water only when it is required.
It doesn’t have to possess a storage tank to store water; when hot water is needed, the tankless water heater then heats the water. There is no reason to worry about running out of hot water with these water heating units. There is no energy waste, or use of additional energy, these water heater can save a lot of money.
DIY installation of a tankless water heater requires good plumbing knowledge. You can also hire a licensed plumber if you feel the process is a bit odd or uncomfortable for you. If you are thinking of handling this project on your own, you must have some knowledge about cutting and connecting pipes to your supply lines. Knowing how to shut off the main water supply to your house or space where you will be installing it, is important.
Depending on your requirements, you can choose which best tankless water heater is suitable for you. There are two categories of tankless water heater you can choose from:
· Gas Tankless Water Heater relies on gas as its power source. These can be used indoor but, a proper venting system is required to discharge the harmful (and combustible) gases. It requires a connection with the gas line and 120-volt electric circuit.
· Electric Tankless Water Heater operates on electric power supply. These can be used indoor as they are compact in size, and also for fulfilling outdoor hot water requirements. These water heaters don’t produce any kind of harmful gases, so rules out the need for a venting system. These do require a connection with the 240-volt outlet, or be directly wired to the service panel.
Gas Tankless Water Heaters
Before starting the installation procedure, do all the necessary preparation for vent work or power supply. You don’t want to get stuck with no hot water for a few days or weeks.
If you are installing a gas tankless water heater, initially check how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) are required. If your gas meter doesn’t have the capacity to handle this supply-demand as well as the gas to supply other appliances, you will need to upgrade your gas meter. The gas company can take care of this and will upgrade your gas meter, per your requirement with small expense. Ask them to make sure it will provide the required amount of pressure for the new gas unit. If you need to set up a new gas line, it is best to hire a certified professional for doing this.
You need to set up a proper venting system as the gas tankless water heaters produce flue gases (harmful gas produced by the heater’s operation). It will require a larger flue, you can use Category II stainless steel pipes with tightly sealed silicon joints for this purpose.
If you are using a gas condensing type of tankless water heater, then you will need a condensate drain to drain out the water produced by the condensation process. A gas unit also requires 120-volt electric supply. You can plug it into the nearest outlet, or directly connect it to the junction box or to the service panel.
Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Electric water heaters require a 240-volt power supply. You can plug it into a nearby outlet or directly connect it to the sub panel that has its own circuit breaker. The circuit breaker quickly disconnects the power if needed. If you are uncertain about the electric connection, you can hire a professional electrician to do this for you.
Make sure the power supply to the water heater is switched off the entire time you are working with it. You can install a water filter if your local water hardness level exceeds 8 grains per gallon. The water flow rate affects the temperature of the water, specifically in the case of electric tankless water heaters. It’s better to check whether the water flow rate is compatible with the water heater or not before proceeding.
Removing the old water heater
If you are replacing your old water heater to install a new one, then follow these steps to make sure you do so in the best manner possible:
· Shut off the power supply and the water valves on the water line. In case of gas water heaters, turn off the gas valves and disconnect the gas line
· Use pliers or a wrench to disconnect water lines from the water heater
· Open the drain valve, typically present at the bottom of the equipment, drain out the tank
· Disconnect the wires from the water heater. If you are not sure about the task, please hire an electrician for this job to avoid any kind of inconvenience
· Remove the old water heater and dispose of it as per your state’s law
If you are confident that you can carry out the task then do it. Otherwise, you can hire a water heater professional to help you. Be safe while dealing with the electric circuit, a little mistake can get you hazardous electric jolts.
Installing a Tankless Water Heater
You can hire a licensed water heater professional to install your brand new tankless water heater. If you are comfortable doing this project by yourself then follow this step by step guide to ensure a hassle-free and proper installation:
· Read the manual instruction documentation that comes with the tankless water heater. It will provide you the necessary information about installation and components involved in the process
· Turn off the water supply as well as the electric/gas supply. Make sure no one turns it back on while you are working with your water heater
· In the case of gas tankless water heater, install a T joint and valve to the existing gas line. If you have a separate line, run a corrugated stainless steel supply line to the water heater
· Build a cover platform for the water heater if you want one; if you are mounting it on a wall, make sure to secure the water heater by properly screwing it to the platform
· Connect the gas shut off valve and sediment trap. Attach the corrugated stainless steel pipes with the an adjustable wrench
· Connect the water shut off valve with the tankless water heater. Make sure there is no water or gas leakage.
· Add a pressure relief valve, use union fittings for inlet and outlet connections
· Turn on the water valve and then the faucet. Don’t turn on the electric or gas valves yet. Let the water flow for some time and then, shut down the water valve. Remove the water filter, clean any debris and then replace it
· Turn on the electric or gas supply, whichever is suitable for the type of tankless water heater you’re installing, and activate the water valve. Test the water heater whether it is operating correctly or not.
If the tankless water heater isn’t functioning properly, either consult a professional or contact the customer support service of the unit.
By carefully understanding and sticking to the points above, you’ll be able to install your own new tankless water heater in no time. Always use caution while working with the electric connections.
Though installing a tankless water heater isn’t a cumbersome task, you can anytime consult a professional to help you out during the process. Give priority to your safety first.
You might want to visit our posts – Care and Maintenance of Washer and Dryer Appliances or Reasons Your Family Needs To Filter Water For Showers.
To get additional info on the installation of a particular unit, you can check the various in-depth installation guides found on the web. You can get in the touch with your unit’s support team.
Happy tankless water heater installation.
By Nicole Foster