Before starting the heater installation process, shut off all power and gas supplies connected to your old heater. Then, following the manufacturer’s instructions, install a new tee, sediment trap, and gas shut-off valve. Professionals like Comfort Pro’s Heat and Air can make the process faster and more efficient.
Mount the heater to the wall by screwing two mounting clips into the top anchor locations (Fig. 3).
Electric heaters are very efficient at producing heat. That is because they use a small amount of electricity to create great heat energy. However, it is important to remember that they can only generate heat energy if consumed. That is why they are considered 100% efficient; if you put a heater in your home and run it at full capacity, it will still only produce as much heat as the electrical power it takes to run.
You should always connect your new electric heater to its dedicated circuit. That will prevent the other electrical appliances in your house from tripping and interrupting your heating and help protect you and your family from fires or shocks. You can do this if the existing service panel has enough space to fit an extra heater (see ‘Service Panel Size’ above for more information on what to look for). Still, having a licensed electrician wire it for you is generally best.
Follow the manufacturer’s wiring diagram and guidelines to ensure you use the correct cable, circuit breaker, and plug for your heater. Most manufacturers recommend a TYPE C MCB or RCBO (20 or 32A) to avoid nuisance tripping at start-up. Remember that all heaters rely on a natural draft to draw combustion fumes up and out of the flue. If this does not work correctly, they can spill carbon monoxide into your living space.
It’s important to connect plumbing pipes so water can flow in and out of your heater. Your plumber will ensure they are sized correctly for your home’s needs. They will also install shut-off valves before and after the heater to allow you to turn off the water to your heater for maintenance without turning off the entire water supply to your house.
First, your professional will drain your old tank. That will attach a hose to the drainage valve and run it out to a drain or a hose connected to a garden hose outside. Then, HVAC pros remove the old tank and lift it out with a helper or dolly. Next, they’ll click the new tank. They’ll use copper tubing and Teflon tape to make the connections. They’ll also connect the drain valve and a sediment trap. Finally, they’ll put the vent hood over the flue area of the new heater.
The next step is ensuring the gas line is connected properly to the heater. If it isn’t, the gas line could explode. Professionals use a black pipe and threaded gas line to continue the connection from the tee to the new tank location. They’ll install a new sediment trap and gas shut-off valve per manufacturer instructions.
Finally, your plumbing professional will install hot and cold water lines. They’ll ensure they are sized correctly and have a proper slope. They’ll also install the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P). If your T&P isn’t sized correctly, it can freeze and pop out of its opening, which could cause minerals to build up inside the tank.
In addition to these basic installation steps, a reputable plumber will get a city permit and schedule a follow-up inspection. They’ll also ensure your heater is sized correctly, crucial to your family’s comfort and energy efficiency. They’ll also ensure all the work is up to code, which is often difficult to determine until the final inspection. If you want to install a new heater, contact a local professional today.
Venting is an important aspect of heater installation. Most gas water heaters rely on a natural draft to draw combustion fumes up the flue and out of the home. If the current isn’t strong enough, these fumes, including carbon monoxide, can backdraft into the house and cause illness or even death.
The National Fuel Gas Code and state installation codes require a properly installed and sized venting system. The venting system must be sized for the maximum BTU output of the water heater. The venting system should also not share a chimney with another gas appliance.
If your garage heater has a wall-mount option, you can vent it directly through the side of the house. That requires using a specially designed pipe, which you can find in most hardware stores. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and connecting this pipe to the heater.
The alternative is to install a venting system on the garage’s roof. Start by measuring the distance between the 90-degree elbow connecting to the heater and the duct portion suspended in the ceiling. Use a tape measure to record the distance, then add 16 inches for a safe clearance between the vent and the insulation on top of the garage.
Purchase a venting kit with an adjustable duct and a stainless steel exhaust vent. You’ll also need a tee, sediment trap, and gas shut-off valve typically included in the venting kit. Turn off the gas to the old water heater before starting the new venting system. Using the measurement you recorded, order a duct section to fit the heater flange and extend to where the vent meets the roof sheathing.
Once you’ve cut and fitted the duct to the flange on the heater, snap a retaining ring onto the open end of the elbow. Slide the lower end of the suspended duct into the available port on the elbow, then secure the chimney to the flange on the heater with three 1-inch self-tapping screws evenly spaced around the opening.
Many heater installations are done without the proper safety precautions in place. These safety precautions could protect people living in the home or occupying the building and help prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
The most common problem occurs when a heater is left at night or after someone leaves the house. If the heater is a gas unit, the carbon monoxide leak can be deadly to people living in the building or home. This odorless, colorless gas can cause suffocation, chest pain, headache, mental confusion, and nausea. People with heart or lung disease are at higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
The heater must have adequate ventilation. Most units use a draft to draw combustion fumes through the venting system. If the venting system isn’t working correctly, these dangerous fumes leak into the room. If the leaking fumes are near combustible materials, such as garbage, canisters of gas, or clothing, there is an increased chance of a fire.
In addition, a licensed plumbing professional must install to ensure the work meets city codes and that the unit is permitted. This step should be noticed by homeowners trying to save the cost of a city permit or fearing their property taxes will increase.
It is also important to install the water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve properly. This valve is designed to pop and relieve excess pressure in the tank. A valve that isn’t properly installed may be unable to do this, leading to overheating and a ruptured diaphragm. The valve should be sloped correctly and located within 18 inches of the top of the unit to ensure this happens. The valve should be accessible for maintenance and be properly labeled to indicate its location in the team. In addition, the installer should drain and purge the old tank before installing the new one to remove minerals that can cause excessive pressure. This process is usually performed with a hose connected to a drain or the ground outside.