How to install a water heater? Installing a water heater is one of those household repairs that many homeowners would prefer to avoid altogether. After all, water heaters are classified as one of the most expensive home appliances to replace, and installing them in the first place usually requires a number of steps that can be difficult for the average homeowner. Water heaters manufacturers even have special programs available to help homeowners pay for their expensive water heater installation costs. The process of having a new water heater installed can seem like an intimidating task but if you follow these helpful tips all the way through then you should have your new unit installed in no time at all!
Water heaters are installed to distribute hot water through a home’s plumbing system. Water heaters come in many different sizes and shapes, with many inside and outside valves for various pipe connections. The most common type of water heaters uses electricity or gas.
First, gather your tools: Pliers, adjustable wrench, screwdriver bit, bucket for transporting debris, caulk, or soap. Once you have gathered all the necessary tools, follow these instructions for the water-heating installation.
Before installing a Water Heater
Before installing a water heater, read all precautions and information on the package insert. Turn off the cold water supply to your house at the faucet. Never substitute a different brand or type of water heater without ensuring that it’s compatible with your home’s plumbing lines first. You can be seriously injured or worse if you don’t follow all the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Never reuse an old water heater as an interim solution until you have replaced it with a new, properly sized unit. Always use only high-quality parts when replacing a water heater.
Water pressure required for installing a Water Heater
The maximum water pressure required to install a new water heater is between 50 and 60 psi. You may use a stronger pressure if your existing plumbing can handle it, but the increased stress on the system can damage fixtures connected to low-pressure circuits. Also, some types of faucets require much higher pressures than normal and should not be used if your water supply can’t deliver them. To protect your home’s sensitive pipes from wear and tear, you really shouldn’t try to install a flow above what the system was designed to handle.
An accurate pressure gauge is crucial for installing a water heater and getting the most out of your new appliance. This gauge is designed to be used with today’s most popular models of water heaters. It will accurately measure the water pressure once in operation and will help you deliver the hot water you deserve by ensuring that your new water heater functions as efficiently as possible. As soon as you turn on the water, you’ll know whether or not your new heater has enough pressure to deliver what you need.
Expansion tank of Water Heater
Why is a water heater expansion tank needed?–The tank is used to accommodate the growth of the bacteria in the waterline. A standard 8-inch expansion tank can accommodate most water heaters. –The tank holds excess chemicals before it is used in your water heater. –A higher temperature reading will indicate a larger capacity for an existing tank. Once you have determined your tank can hold more, you must switch out your old tank for an expansion unit when installing a new plumbing system in your home. A properly sized expansion tank allows a water heater to operate at its maximum capacity and provides a longer life for your heating system.
The expansion tank must be installed in an approved location such as a basement or close to a foundation wall. The expansion tank can also be installed under the slab, but this is not recommended because the slab could crack or pop up where the water goes through the drain valve and out into a trench, possibly causing cave-ins in other areas of your house near the water heater location.
The expansion tank is a plastic or steel container that attaches to your existing water line and allows extra room for the water heater to be installed. It also includes mounting brackets, usually manufactured by the seller, that secure to your wall and connect the tank to a cold water supply line. Because of its size, most sellers include this piece with their water heater purchases.
Remove old Water Heater
The first step is to remove the old water heater. Turn off the supply line at the shut-off valve. Disconnect the shut-off valve from the incoming water line by using a wrench. After removing the old water heater, take note of the location of all copper pipes and leads so as not to mix them up when installing the new one. Next, ask someone else to turn on the water so that you can see if there is any leak in the system before you connect everything up again. Connect up all tubes once you have confirmed there is no leak with water going everywhere.
Set New Water Heater
You can protect the floors and walls from damage by placing the water heater in a drain pan. To prevent flooding, route a pipe from the drain pan to a drain.
Installing T & P valve
If the water heater did come with a new T&P relief valve, don’t re-use the old one. If you didn’t replace the old T&P relief valve when you installed the new water heater, you need to do so now. Use the new one that came with the new hot water heater, or buy your own. The T&P relief valve is necessary to protect you from excessive temperature or pressure inside of the tank.
Installing Discharge pipe
To prevent damage to the floor or other structures, position the discharge pipe from the T&P relief valve so it lands on the ground or a drain. If there is no drain, place a bucket underneath to catch water dripping from the discharge pipe. Cut the heated water line leading to the heater so its end is about 6 inches high from the bucket.
Flexible Hose Kit
When installing a water heater, one option is to use a flexible hose kit for connecting the hot and cold water supply hoses. Apply plumbers tape to the threads of the heat trap nipples before connecting the hoses, then attach them.
A flexible hose kit can be used for replacing a damaged section of your water line or if you need extra length to reach certain areas. Flexible hoses are made from durable plastic that will not crack or split like rigid copper hoses. The flexible hoses are also UV resistant and do not rot, kink, or promote leaks like rigid rubber hoses.
Some areas require the use of specialized fittings (called “dielectric” or “sealed” connectors) to reduce corrosion between two different metals. Corrosion can occur when water leaks from one part of a plumbing system into another part because there is no barrier between them. Water heating systems are commonly made of copper and aluminum, which are both considered a potential source of copper toxicity for humans if they come into contact with them over a period of time.
There are also 2 different methods of venting the system, both can be done by passing an outside vent directly to the outdoors, or by connecting a coaxial venturi tube to a stack bypass fan with an approved backdraft device. Be sure to check your local codes before installing.
Use plumbers tape or equivalent to seal the threads on the newly installed heater body outlet connector against leaks. Hold up the new hot water supply hose so that it has a little slack. This will determine how close you can stand to the pipe when you begin cutting it with a hacksaw. Cut ahead of your mark. Take the pipe and push it into the fitting. Then screw on the compression nut.
Installing Seismic Straps
Seismic straps are used for temporary supports in place of permanent fixtures when it’s necessary to do work on a structure during construction or repair. Seismic straps can be used when there’s not enough space or when you need to move the structure. They’re easy to install and remove with simple hand tools. The amount of room a water heater takes up in a given location will vary depending on how high it is installed, so consult a plumber for exact measurements if necessary. Installing the water heater with straps will provide extra protection against earthquakes and make it safer to use.
The straps should be installed at least 18 inches above the floor and 6 inches from the top of the water heater. If you are not sure where your studs are, then lay out a string and mark where it hits a wall or floor underneath. Once the straps have been installed, tighten them snugly against each other until you have reached the correct pressure to hold your water heater in place. You can always add or subtract slack from the straps later if needed by pulling on each end slightly.
Fill tank to check for Leaks
- To test the connections, fill the water heater with water and check for leaks in the connections. If there are no leaks, fill the tank further. If there are leaks, tighten the connections and repeat until no more leaks arise.
- Run the water in the faucet for three minutes to drain any air that may have flowed into the water tank. Make sure the entire heating tank is full of water before connecting the wires to avoid dry firing, which ruins the element.
Wire Connection & Temperature Setting
- Remove the junction box cover and locate the green ground screw. Attach the ground wire to the green ground screw and twist it together with wire connectors.
- Make power on and check if the heater power is on or not. If power is not on then make the circuit off and check the connections.
- After that set the water temperature between 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After running the water heater for a few hours, check the discharge pipe if there is any dripping or not. If there is dripping that means we need to lower the pressure below 80 psi as dripping is caused due to high pressure.
- If no water is coming from the faucet then remove the aerator and let the water flow for a few minutes to clear loose sediment left. Then clean the aerator and insert it in the faucet again.
To Prevent Scalds
With the increasing popularity of high-end appliances, such as water heaters and stoves, we’ve seen an increase in the number of scalds. We need also to consider that there are chances of scalds although the temperature is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. By installing thermostatic mixing valves, you can prevent injuries by turning off the water when it gets too hot.
Installing and Attaching Valve
- Because the water may be ingested, use only materials that are safe for potable water. Turned Off water heater.
- Before you connect the valve to the plumbing, solder the connections to the valve. Make the connection of the valve to the outlet pipe and with cold and hot water supply. Make sure to have a safe distance between you and the valve if you want to do some additional soldering.
- To check any leaks, turn the water supply on and tighten the connection if there is a need to do so.