Tankless Water Heater Repair and Installation DIY
At Plumber Near Me, we highly recommend having your tankless water heater repaired or installed by a professional as it is difficult and can be a dangerous process. Please follow all plumbing and electrical codes when sourcing and installing parts for your new water heater. Local codes can vary.
Unlike conventional water heaters, which may hold 40 to 50 gallons of hot water ready at all times, tankless water heaters save energy by producing hot water only when needed. Tankless water heaters can, in fact, be 24 percent to 34 percent more efficient than a traditional tank-style water heater, depending on a home’s daily hot water demand, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Web site.
Before you disconnect and remove your existing water heater, be sure to do all of the necessary preparation—you don’t want to be stuck without hot water for a week or two while you’re waiting for needed plumbing, electrical, or vent work.
If you are installing a new gas unit, check to see if you need your gas meter upgraded. Because the unit uses lots of BTUs, your meter may not have a large enough capacity to supply it along with the other gas-using appliances in your home. The gas company can check this out for you and usually will upgrade the meter at little or no cost. Also have the gas company check to see that it supplies the correct amount of manifold pressure for your new unit.
A tankless water heater usually requires a 1-inch gas pipe from the meter to the water heater. If you need to install a new gas line, it is best to hire a professional plumber to do this. You may want to have another gas shutoff valve installed just prior to the unit being installed.
If you live in a cold climate, it’s a good idea to include a damper to prevent cold air from coming back in. Depending upon the heater’s make and model, you may also install a condensate drain, which drains water from condensation through plastic tubing. This should be routed to a floor drain or a utility sink. Consult the manufacturer’s literature for all plumbing and venting requirements.
A gas unit also needs 120-volt electrical power. Plan to plug it into a nearby outlet, or wire it directly to a junction box.
To remove the old water heater, shut off the valves on the two water lines (one inlet and one outlet) leading into the existing water heater. Use channel-type pliers or a pipe wrench to loosen and disconnect the lines from the water heater.
Open the drain valve at the bottom and drain the tank.
On a gas unit, shut off the gas line valve, and disconnect the gas line.
Disconnect and remove a section or two of the vent pipe.
If the unit is electric, you may choose to hire an electrician to disconnect the wiring as 240-volt power can present an electrocution hazard. If you choose to do it yourself, shut off the circuit at the service panel and test to make sure the power is off. Disconnect the wires from the unit and remove the old water heater.
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