Once you’ve finally worked through the process of hunting down the right water heater for your home, you’ll need to turn your attention to yet another obstacle. Learning how to install a tankless water heater can be very complex and requires precise attention to detail.
If you’re not skilled with your hands and do not have the right tools, installing tankless water heater might not be such a good ideal on your own. And, there are a few things that need to be taken into mind, before you begin the installation process.
Within this guide, you’ll learn how to install tankless water heater and the potential drawbacks of doing so.
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Before moving ahead with the tankless water heater installation, you should know that a DIY installation can be risky. This is even more important, if you’re working with a gas powered model. Gas can be dangerous and a flawed installation could very well put your family and house in jeopardy. The installation of an electric water heater is much simpler, but there are still some concerns. First and foremost, you’ll want to take the time to inspect the documentation that arrived with your water heater.
More precisely, you should examine the warranty details. Will you avoid the warranty, if you install the water heater on your own? Many manufacturers stipulate this in writing and since the warranty is a vital proponent of the overall product, it is sometimes best to let a professional handle the installation. As long as the warranty will remain valid and you sincerely believe you’ve got the skills to pull it off safely, you can likely perform the install without any difficulties.
Another thing to take into mind is that the installation procedure can vary substantially from one model to the next. The ease or complexity of the installation will depend on several different factors, including the unit’s power, the venting requirements and the specific situation that you’re dealing with. A tight squeeze will complicate things even further. So, before you strip out the old unit or begin making room for a new installation, you’ll want to confirm that you have the space, skills and patience to complete the installation. If you have any doubts whatsoever, you may want to wait and request assistance from a professional.
Now that you’ve learned about the potential risks and possible complexities, you should take the time to learn about benefits of performing the install on your own. Once you’ve scoured through the list below, you’ll have a better ideal whether or not it is a good decision to proceed ahead on your own.
Again, it is vital to make sure that a DIY installation will not void your warranty, before moving forward. As long as it does not, there are plenty of solid reasons for performing the install without any help.
Some homeowners will be performing a fresh install, while others will be forced to pull out the old unit and dispose of it properly. If you happen to fall into the latter section, you’ll need to jump through a few additional hoops, before you’ll be able to start the actual installation of your new product. First and foremost, you’ll want to shut off the water supply and turn off the breaker, which is powering the preexisting water heater. Doing so will give you the ability to remove the old unit safely, without getting electrocuted or creating a mess.
Still, a little water could remain in the lines, so you’ll want a bucket or rag nearby to soak up the mess. Once you’ve managed to remove the old unit, you’ll need to dispose of it properly. Since some of the internal components may be considered dangerous, you’ll need to be careful and make sure you abide by the laws and regulations within your residential area.
Most consumers that invest in a tankless water heater will opt to hire a professional plumber to install the gas supply lines. The main reason is because this task requires tedious planning, since natural gas is a lethal toxin and if the pipes spring a leak, there could be potential danger. If you decide to go the DIY route, you will need to invest in some supplies, before undertaking the project.
If you do not have an existing gas supply line coming into your home, with a meter you will need to contact the local gas company. It will be their responsibility to provide consumers with a natural gas source upon request. This may cost you around $100-300 just for the installation. Of course, you can always invest in a natural gas tank, which will sit near the perimeter of your home, where the water heater will be installed.
Make sure that you review the building codes, before you attempt the gas supply line installation. There are specific standards that you must comply with and you may also need to obtain a permit. When completing this task, you will need to be sure anchor the pipes to the foundation or wall. Lose gas pipes can be a potential danger for leaks or spontaneous fires.
If you do not have access to an electrical source, you will need to run an electrical wire into the room and then install a receptacle. Residential electrical wiring will vary in size, but the tankless water heater will require a 220v electrical connection. This means that you will need to invest in 220-volt electrical wire and a 220 receptacle for this job. If you are unfamiliar with electrical wiring, you should consider hiring a professional electrician run the wire for you.
You will need to run the wire from the existing breaker box or invest in a small 220-volt breaker box to safe yourself some time. A large drill and auger bit will also be needed, so you can drill holes through the walls or ceiling for the electrical wires. Once you complete this step, you will simply attach the receptacle box to a 2” X 4”, then connect the wires to the receptacle.
In order for your water heater to be able to provide your family with a sufficient supply of hot water, you’ll need to provide it with water! This is where your home’s water supply lines will enter the picture. This step will be tremendously easier, if you’re working in an area, where an old system has been removed. If not, you’ll need to run the water supplies all the way to the installation location. These supply lines are almost always copper and will need to be soldered together precisely, in order to prevent leaks.
Most tankless water heaters will be mounted on the wall. This makes them much less bulky than the traditional alternatives. However, you may need a little assistance, since you’ll need to hoister the unit up off of the ground, while mounting it. It is also possible to construct a platform for the unit to sit on. Either way, make sure everything is securely tightened, so the appliance cannot topple over and crash to the ground.
Once everything is in place, you’ll want to connect all of the necessary lines and cords to the unit. This includes the gas supply, water supply, and the power supply. Not all of these will be necessary depending on the specific type of unit you’re working with. Utilizing a wrench to securely tighten all connections is recommended, as this will help to prevent leaks. Depending on your specific setup, you may also need to use a little solder to connect the water supply line.
Another thing to remember is that some units, especially gas models, will need proper venting. You won’t want the NOx gas from filling your home and become hazardous to your family. Therefore, you should vent the gas outside of your home in one way or another. This isn’t necessary for all water heaters, but it will be absolutely pertinent for some.
Once you’ve finished the steps above, you’ll want to carefully examine the entire setup thoroughly. If everything seems to be sorted away properly, you’ll want to go ahead and turn on the water supply and power supply. Make sure there are no leaks. If no leaks are present, you’ll want to head inside and experiment with your new water heater. Is it working properly? If so, you’re good to go! If not, you’ve made a mistake along the way and will need to do a little troubleshooting to rectify the problem.