Oct 08, 2015

DIY Tankless Water Heater Installation

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Diagram of a tankless water heater and a traditional water heaterIf you’re in the market for a new water heater, you’ve probably done some research on tankless water heaters. These heaters last five to ten years longer than a traditional tank water heater, are more efficient with no standby heat loss and, more importantly, never run out of hot water. These handy water heaters can be installed on walls or even outdoors if you include an anti-freeze kit. While the rewards are great, installing a tankless water heater can be quite the challenge. Here is an easy-to-follow guide that will help you complete your tankless water heater installation.


Running Your Vent Pipe


Begin by turning off the main water line to your house. Then, disconnect the supply line from your old tank water heater. Place a bucket nearby so you can catch any water that remains in the line after shutting it off. Next, disconnect your old heater from its heat source. If you have an electric heater, you can simply unplug the cord from the socket. However, if you have a gas heater, you will need to make sure your supply valve is closed before disconnecting the gas line.

Here is a variety of tools you might need to replace your water heaterIf you’re replacing a tank water heater with a tankless heater, you can save a few steps by placing your new heater in the same location as your tank water heater. However, if you’re installing a tankless water heater in a new location, you must find a location near an exterior wall in order to run your vent pipe. This pipe will run from your tankless water heater to an outdoor location. It is important to note that your pipe will need to be vented at a downward angle to prevent rain water from entering the pipe.


To install a new vent pipe, you will need to measure the interior and exterior walls for thimble holes. Then, cut holes in your wall to install the pipe. You will need to test the thimble, but don’t install your thimble until your vents have been installed and you have checked the angles of your vents. Once you’ve done this, securely install your thimble and attach the vent pipe into the thimble.


Installing Your Tankless Heater

Installing an energy efficient water heaterOnce you’ve completed installing your new vent piping, you’re ready to install your heater. Start by lining up your tank with your new vent pipe, and screwing your new tankless water heater into place. Then, you’ll need to attach new copper water pipes to your heater. Clean each pipe end with a clean cloth and apply the fitting to the end of your pipe.

To ensure a quality seal, you’ll want to apply soldering flux to the end of the pipe before fitting. Then, with your soldering flux in place, you will need a heating torch to heat the connection. After a few seconds, your fitting should be ready to apply solder to it. Apply the solder to your joint and in a circular motion, making sure you cover all of the area around the fitting on both sides until the joint fits snugly.


It is important to note that if your new tankless water heater relies on gas to heat your water, you will need to install a T valve in your gas line. After you’ve installed your new T valve, you’ll need to run a stainless steel gas line from the valve to your tankless heater. However, if your water heater relies on gas, you’ll also need to install a shut off valve to your line before you can complete your installation.

If you have any doubts about your ability or simply feel uncomfortable with any of the steps be sure to contact a qualified professional to give you a hand.


Photo credit(s) ENERGY STAR

Photo credit(s) Energy Department

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rachael Jones

Rachael Jones

Rachael is a mother of one, and loves all things DIY. Since moving into her home with her 9-year old daughter, she’s been on a mission to improve her house into a beautiful home that she could be proud of. She recently became interested in the green movement, and is constantly seeking ways to make earth-conscious decisions for her household that don’t break the bank.

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