Water heater installation requires knowledge and experience to ensure proper connections and minimize leak risks. It may also require permits and inspections to meet local codes and safety standards.
Start by turning off the water and power to your old tank. Then, cut a 6- to 8-in.-long piece of copper tubing for the cold water inlet and hot water outlet. Solder the tube assemblies to your home’s pipes with dielectric unions. Click Here to learn more.
The cost of water heater installation will depend on a number of factors, such as the type and size of the unit you select, whether or not it has energy-saving features or other extras, and the location in your home. The cost of labor per hour will also be a factor, as will the price of any parts or materials that might be needed for the project.
For example, a gas water heater requires a natural gas line, which can add an additional $1,500 to the total installation cost. A solar hot water heater may cost a little more upfront, but can save you big over time in terms of your utility bills.
Water heater installation is not a simple task, and it’s important to hire a professional to ensure that your new unit is properly connected to your plumbing and gas lines. This will avoid safety issues and potentially expensive repairs down the road.
In addition to ensuring that the new unit is properly connected, a professional installer will also ensure that the gas and plumbing lines are the correct size for your water heater. This will require a complete inspection of the current line sizes and may involve adding or extending lines.
The cost of a new water heater will also vary depending on the location of your existing unit within your home. If your new water heater will be installed in a different area of the house, there will likely be more work involved to reroute pipes and possibly install an exhaust system.
If you choose a gas water heater, your plumber will need to install a venting pipe that leads outside of your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in case the unit malfunctions or leaks. A flue pipe can also cost a few hundred dollars to install.
Some water heaters have special features that can help you cut down on your utility costs, such as energy-saving technology or anti-scale mechanisms. These features can increase the overall cost of your water heater, so make sure that you have a budget for them before beginning the installation process.
Many materials are needed to ensure a water heater installation is successful. Some of these include discharge pipes, gas piping, fittings and valves for both water and gas, pipe thread compound and solder. For more complex installations, an expansion tank may also be required. These costs can add up to $150 or more.
The first step is to disconnect the old water heater from its supply lines and drain valve. If the existing water piping is made of copper or CPVC, consider replacing them with new PEX tubing, which can withstand higher temperatures and are less prone to leaks. Stainless steel piping should be used for cold water connections to prevent corrosion.
Connect the new pipes to the cold water inlet and hot water outlet openings on the water heater. You can either use compression fittings or sweat-solder them if you’re using copper pipes. If you choose to sweat-solder, you must use dielectric unions in order to disconnect the pipes without cutting or soldering in the future. Many kit installations come with flexible connectors with built-in dielectric unions that eliminate the need for soldering.
Most new water heaters have a temperature and pressure relief valve installed at the factory. If yours does not, install a new one according to the printed instructions that came with it. The temperature and pressure relief valve is important to protect your home from damage caused by high water pressure or a ruptured tank.
A water heater with a digital display allows you to monitor and control its functions. This feature can save you money on energy bills and help you avoid overheating and wasting electricity. Some models also include a timer that can be set to turn the water heater on and off at a specific schedule.
Invest in a metal drain pan to protect your plumbing from the heavy weight of the water heater and to keep debris from contaminating the surrounding area. Also, make sure you have a sturdy wheelbarrow or a lift to remove the heater from the drain pan and transport it for disposal if necessary.
Many jurisdictions require that water heaters be installed, repaired, or replaced only by licensed plumbers who have a permit for the work. This process also triggers an inspection to assure that the work meets safety requirements. This is a good thing because water heaters pose a risk for scalding injuries to people. The inspection will look at the following issues.
Water heaters should be elevated at least 18 inches off the floor. This is to avoid damage from the weight of the water heater and prevent combustible material from burning in a fire.
If the water heater is located in an attic, attic-ceiling assembly or floor-ceiling assembly, a watertight pan of corrosion resistant material should be installed beneath it. The pan should have a drain connected to an approved location. The piping from the gas valve to the water heater should have a temperature and pressure relief (T&P) valve on it. This valve is designed to relieve the pressure that builds up in the piping from hot water flowing back to the tank.
A sediment trap should be incorporated on the gas line to the water heater as close as possible to the inlet of the appliance. The sediment trap is usually a tee fitting with a capped nipple in the bottom outlet. The water heater inlet should have a minimum of 3/4 inch diameter pipe. It is common to find that the inlet is smaller, which is not safe for a gas water heater.
All gas water heaters should be provided with a safety shutoff valve on the supply line to the appliance. This valve should be a double check valve, a ball-valve or a vacuum break check valve. This type of valve will shut off the flow of gas to the water heater in the event of a leak or if the thermostat fails.
Water heaters that are vented through a masonry chimney must have a flue termination cap and chimney liner. These caps and liners keep the combustion gases from blowing out of the flue and causing a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning of the occupants of the house.
Installing a water heater involves working with gas and electricity, which can be dangerous if not done correctly. Hiring a professional plumber with plumbing and electrical experience will ensure that your installation complies with local plumbing codes and safety standards, reducing the risk of leaks and other problems in the future.
Before starting the installation, it is important to turn off the power source to your existing water heater. Remove the junction box cover from the top of the tank and disconnect the wires using a wrench or channel-lock pliers. If your home is gas-powered, disconnect the gas line from the water heater as well.
Once the old water heater is disconnected, you can safely and easily move the new unit into place. Be sure to use an appliance dolly and have a second person help you lift the heavy water heater up or down stairs, if necessary. Make sure the drain pan is positioned properly and that there is enough space around the unit to allow for maintenance in the future.
It is also a good idea to have a licensed plumber inspect your work to make sure the water heater installation meets all of the required codes and safety requirements. Failure to comply with local building and safety regulations can result in fines and penalties, as well as potential insurance claims for fire or water damage caused by improper work.