Over the past few years, the demand for tankless water heaters has increased drastically. This can be attributed to the heater’s energy efficient and compact nature. Tankless water heaters are designed to supply warm water to homes and offices efficiently. May it be the electric or the gas-based water heaters the equipment must be used only when hot water is required. This is how tankless water heaters work. These heaters can save up to 70% on your annual heating bills.
With this being said, here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a tankless water heater. Some steps may appear complicated. Installation of water heaters is not a DIY. At all times, try to hire a skilled professional.
To install tankless water heaters you need the following gears:
- A reciprocating saw
- Adjustable wrenches
- The gas/electric tankless water heater
- Spade bit
- Drill machine
- Propane torch
- Silicone caulk
- Copper pipes
- Black pipes
- Pipe insulation tubes
- Flexible gas supply lines
- A stainless steel vent pipe
Step #1 – Remove the Old unit
Before you install the new tankless water heater, you must remove the old unit. Turn off the water supply, power, and all gas supply valves. Double check if these units are turned off! You must drain water from the old heater and disconnect it completely.
Step #2 – Installation of gas supply lines
Next, you must install the gas supply line. To install the gas supply line, you must install the valve and “T” in the existing lines. Use the corrugated stainless steel pipe to build the supply line. The supply line must be connected to the tankless water heater. Before you use the stainless steel pipes, you must understand the building codes in your community. Some communities don’t permit black iron supply lines.
Never deviate from the local building codes.
Step #3 – Installation of copper pipes
You must install the copper pipes. The copper water lines must not come in touch with the wall. You can use “Bell Hanger Brackets” to avoid contact. Also, you must insulate the copper water lines. Use the insulation pipe to protect the copper lines. The copper joints must be carefully cleaned and coated with flux. Afterward, you must solder the clean copper joints.
Step #4 – A Vertical Platform
The tankless water heater must be installed in an ideal spot. Even before you buy a tankless water heater you must identify a suitable installation position. Experts recommend a covered vertical platform. The heater must be positioned “high” above. It should clear all possible floor joists. Try to secure the vertical platform with screws that can cut into concrete surfaces. Remember, the screws must be able to hold the vertical platform.
Once you create a stable vertical platform, you must position and screw the tankless heater. The tankless heater should be placed carefully in the covered area. The screws should hold the tank permanently.
Step #5 – The Valves and Supply Lines
Now, you must connect the supply line, shut off valve and the sediment trap. The gas shut off valve is an important component. It must be attached to the stainless steel corrugated supply line. The sediment trap must be connected to the steel supply line too. These connections should be tightened using nuts and bolts. You can use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nuts.
Once the gas shut off valve is connected, you must attach the water shut off valve. These water shut off valve should be connected to the tankless water heater. The water pipes must be supported using bell hangers. You can use copper water pipes. Don’t forget to solder the copper joints.
Step #6 – Sniffing Gas
During installation, gas may bleed from the pipes. You must make sure there are no gas leaks. Use a gas sniffer to ensure if there are no gas leaks. The gas sniffer must be used to check all the joints.
Step #7 – The Last Three Steps
- Piping and elbows
The tankless water heater is now prepared for elbows, vent piping and connectors. The connector has to be slipped and secured with a hose clamp. The elbows and vent pipes must be secured.
- The interior and exterior thimble
Through the outside wall, you must install a strong metal wall thimble. All shingles must be removed. The interior and exterior parts of the thimble must be installed. Don’t forget to include all the components of the vent pipe.
- Powering the water heater
The final step would be installation, plugging and insulating the water heater and its pipes. Connect the tankless water heater to its power supply (microprocessor and thermostat). The hot pipes must be protected using pre-shared pipe insulators. Now, you can turn on the power, gas and start enjoying the warm water.