N0w that you’ve chosen the tankless water heater you prefer, you must be excited to have a hot water supply. But before you get to enjoy this, you have to ensure that proper installation and maintenance are done. To be on the safe side, hire a professional to do this job for you.
Installing a gas tankless heater properly will save you from unnecessary costs and dangers. You will also get an energy-efficient heating system that will serve you for quite some time.
To learn how to install a gas tankless water heater, read on.
Installing a Gas Tankless Water Heater
If you hire an expert plumber, they will start by shutting off the gas and water going to the hot water tank. They will then drain the storage tank and remove it. This step applies if you have an existing tank-style water heater.
If the existing gas line is small, the new water heater will need a larger one to supply it sufficiently with energy. Thus, the plumber will run it from your gas meter to the tankless unit.
The technician will then use a hole saw to make a hole outside your house next to the tankless water heater. They will then run the PVC pipes, which will allow fresh air intake and drain through the same opening.
The plumber will then connect the cold water line to the tankless unit. Then the hot water lines out of the water heater utilizing the 3/4” copper pipe.
A tankless water heater requires electricity for the system operation even when you are using propane. Thus, you will need an electrician to fix an electrical outlet next to the installation location.
If you want to keep hot water ready, connect a crossover valve at the most distant plumbing fixture. It will enable the built-in recirculation pump to retain the water temperature you prefer.
You should also ensure they set up a pressure relief valve and exhaust vent. These two will help in the easy operation of the water unit and keeping your family safe.
After installing a tankless water heating system, turn on the cold water supply line, the gas line, and power connected to the tankless unit. Test whether it is functioning properly.
If you decide to do it yourself, you will have to consult the manufacturer first. They will give you the installation and instruction manual. If necessary, contact your city to obtain information on securing a permit and tankless unit installation codes.
Essential Components In a Gas Tankless Water Heater Installation
1. Vent Adapter and Exhaust Hose
Tankless water heaters usually release hot and harmful gases during combustion, which need to be drained safely. Hence, you require a sturdy venting system that can withstand these gases’ high temperatures and corrosive nature.
The vent adapter normally connects the exhaust hose to the water heater. Depending on the model you chose, you can select a 3 inch or 4-inch adapter. You also need to use UL-approved stainless steel pipes for all venting of liquid propane or gas water heaters.
Standard PVC vents are not appropriate. They will get damaged by the heating and corroded by the acidic gases when they condense. Consult your manufacturer f you are not sure which pipe to use.
2. Vertical Vs. Horizontal Installation
You can fit water heaters either vertically or horizontally. Some models are restricted to one way while others can adapt to any of the two. Check the product information before purchasing to learn where it fits.
i. Vertical Gas Installation
A vertical tankless water heater installation requires a vent adapter and a 90 degrees elbow with the right length. If you buy a Rheem unit, you will have to purchase a condensate trap.
However, Boosch tankless water heaters come with a built-in condensate trap. You don’t need to buy one. You will also need to get enough venting pipe that can reach the exterior of your home and a firestop for every ceiling space you vent through.
To terminal installing a tankless water heater, you will require a roof flashing, storm collar, and a rain cap or a 90-degree joint. With all these, you can be sure of a proper vertical tankless gas water heater installation.
ii. Horizontal Installation
There are 2 types of horizontal gas tankless water heater installation. They include
- Downward Slope Installation
This type of installation requires a 90-degree joint, a vent adapter, and a stainless steel vent hose that has an appropriate length. You can use a wall thimble to joint the interior and the exterior parts of the venting system.
- Upward Slope Installation
The upward slope installation does not differ much from the downward type. Besides all the downward slope installation parts, you will need to add a vertical condensate trap.
3. Combustion Air
Combustion air is essential for any type of tankless water heater. Thus, you should find out how much of it is needed and how it can reach the unit. If you do not confine the combustion air, it will diffuse to your house.
Some tankless water heaters are designed to use internal combustion air. Hence, you need to leave enough space around these units for proper functioning. If you install such in confined spaces, you may require extra air inlets or air ducts.
If you choose a tankless water heater that uses external combustion air, you will have to fix a second pipe that runs from outside your house to the unit’s location. This connection will deliver fresh air to your tankless water heater.
To learn more installation information related to combustion-air, read the model’s installation manual. It will help you put in place all the requirements for high efficiency.
Indoor Gas Vs. Outdoor Model Installation
If you are planning to go with indoor gas installation, you need to consider certain things. You should check whether you have the right connection to your house. Otherwise, you may have leaks that will cost you a lot of money.
Assess if you have enough power to operate your tankless water heater. It will help you avoid insufficient energy supply problems in the future. You can confirm this by contacting your gas company.
If you cannot vent a traditional gas unit, an outdoor model is suitable for you. Nevertheless, you will have to consult the manual of the tankless heater you choose for clearance instructions.
Factors To Consider When Settling for an Installation Company
1. Cost Estimates
Financial planning is essential when installing a gas-fired tankless heater. If you do not have an idea of the amount it will cost you to have a water heating home improvement, you may end up feeling overwhelmed.
Contact the service provider to give you their estimate in writing. It will account for each coin and allow you to set aside funds for services such as plumbing, repairing electrical systems, and maintenance.
You will also purchase all the required materials such as pipes, exhaust systems, and other electric devices. It will help you compare the different firms’ prices to pick one that matches your budget.
2. Read Previous Customers’ Reviews
Tankless water heater installation requires great expertise. You need a professional who understands all the aspects connected to this home improvement. Remember, gas tankless water heaters may need more work done than electric units.
Learn from the previous customers’ reviews whether the firm is suitable for the job. If not, gather more evidence since some people may be biased. You can confirm the contractor’s performance from close friends or relatives who recently installed their tankless water heaters.
3. Check the Company with the Local BBB
The Better Business Bureau’s mission is to develop the marketplace trustworthy. Thus, it is a reliable organization for customers who want to learn more about different companies.
You can check the contractor’s profile to see whether they uphold integrity and their performance level. You may spend much money on your tankless water heater installation, so you do not want to repeat the process any time soon or deal with an explosion.
4. Local Permit
The contractor will require a local permit (one to three) to go ahead with the installation process. Hence, you need to find out early enough whether they can secure one. It will help you avoid stressful events.
It is also important to search whether they are familiar with the local building codes. If they do, your heating system installation will have complied with all regulations and safety standards, putting you on the right side of the law.
Whether you need plumbing or electrical services for gas unit installation, it is vital to choose an established contractor. Such service providers are knowledgeable and will ensure they protect your wall from leaks that may cause damage.
Such contractors are also aware of different energy sources and how to operate them. They will also make sure that the cold and hot water lines are well fixed. Hence, you will use less power, making the water heater more energy efficient.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a Homeowner Install a Tankless Water Heater?
Often, homeowners will prefer to replace their storage water tank heaters to enjoy the benefits of demand units. While doing it yourself may save you some money, it is vital to consider the model you are working with.
If you are replacing the tank-style heater with an electric tankless heater, you may need few modifications. In such a case, you can do it yourself since it does not require much expertise.
However, if you will be using propane as your energy source, you may need much plumbing work. It may demand vast experience, which you may not have. Thus, you can leave it to a pro.
2. How Much Does It Cost To Install a Tankless Gas Water Heater?
Installing a gas-fired tankless heater will cost you $2,000 more than a storage tank unit. These models are known to have a high upfront cost. Nevertheless, their benefits after been installed surpass the initial price.
This price is high due to the different parties you will have to involve. For instance, you will need help from your gas company to confirm whether the gas lines have enough pressure to supply the water heater.
You may also need professional plumbing services to keep your wall and family safe. The units’ prices are usually high since they come with high energy efficiency, advanced tech, and little maintenance.
4. Do You Need an Electrician To Install a Tankless Water Heater?
Depending on the power modifications needed, you may have to call an expert. If you are well-versed with electric systems, you can fix simple issues. However, you may need to call a pro if it’s complicated.
The model of the water heater also determines whether you need to hire an electrician. In the case of whole-house sized models, it is essential to contact an experienced electrician.
5. Do Tankless Water Heaters Require Dedicated Circuits?
Tankless water heater’s requirements vary according to the unit. On the one hand, gas units usually use a small amount of amperage for flame ignition unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise.
On the other hand, you need 220v for an electric water heater to heat water. Typically, any device that runs on a 220 volt should have its own socket. Thus, they require a dedicated circuit.
6. Should I Buy a Gas-fired or an Electric Water Heater?
On-demand units vary depending on the model. The installation expense of a gas heater is higher compared to an electric one. The reason being, you need to add more lines and hire professionals.
However, gas tankless water heaters can deliver over 8 gallons per minute of hot water. Hence, they are more convenient compared to electric units, which are limited to 8 GPM.
Fuel fluctuations can also affect your energy bills. Thus you need to consider them before purchasing a unit. You should also compare the maintenance level of the two tankless water heaters before settling for one.
After learning how to install a gas tankless water heater, you are probably preparing to get one of the models. However, you need to plan so that you don’t get caught up in frenzying events such as, permit issues or substandard connections.
You can get a unit that matches your budget to avoid unnecessary financial strains. Search for the different contractors to get exceptional services. Remember, tankless units can be dangerous if not handled well.
You also need to purchase all the essential components for the tankless unit’s installation. With all the requirements in place, you and your family can enjoy hot water any time you need it!
If you’ve been researching how to install a gas tankless water heater, you got all the info you need. If you are not an expert in DIY, you should consider hiring a trained technician. This will save you energy and water, not to mention an uninterrupted hot water flow.