Replacing a broken heater or installing a new one is an almost inevitable task. 8 million water heating systems are installed in the Australia annually, most being replacements of broken ones. Installation charges are usually quite high making it seem like a pro’s job, but the task is not that complex. You can easily make the heater installation yourself by following simple installation guides. Here are some tips that may come in handy in installation.
What to consider before installation?
Other than the type of heater; whether an electric or gas heater, you need to consider the state of the house’s infrastructure before installation. Make sure the vent pipes, gas, and water pipes don’t have any leaks. Electric cables should be well connected and properly insulated. This is particularly important if the reason of installation is to fix a broken one. A simple testing of the state of these pipes may prevent a similar problem from recurring.
The installation process will therefore depend on the kind of heater. The gas and electric water heaters are the most commonly used.
Their installation is most common.
Step 1, Installing and securing the heater
Place the heater on a drain pan. You can connect a pipe from the pan to a drain to prevent flooding in case of overflows. The boiler then needs to be secured with earthquake straps. This is particularly important on the west coast, but a generally safe measure that can be used by anyone. Secure the boiler using at least two straps.
Step 2, Connect water supply
If you are making a replacement, this is quite easy as the pipes are already laid out and all you need to do is to connect the supply lines. If it’s the first time, you need to lay pipes. Flexible lines a better option as they are easier to work with. If the pipes are made of copper, make sure they are separate and not kinked at any point, especially in an electric heater. Some heaters need a dielectric nipple to connect to water pipes as they reduce erosion. Just reinforce them with Teflon tape to ensure there are no leaks.
Step 3, Install the vent hood and pipe
The vent hood can be easily fixed on the flue on top of the tank.The vent pipe’s diameter and material is usually specified by the manufacturer. If the current heater is compatible with your previous vent you may reuse it. If not, replace it. Using reducers to make vents fit is not recommended as it alters pressure and flow rates both in the vents and in the heating system.
Step 4, Install the energy source; gas or electric wires
This is a step where safety measures need to be taken:
For gas, make sure the gas supply is off. Always double check. Clean the gas pipe and ensure it is empty and patent. Again, flexible pipes are recommended. Connect the pipe nipple to the gas valves. Tighten the nipple using a wrench. You can use the plumber’s gas tape, not Teflon, to secure it.
For an electric heater, the heating installation manual specifies the terminals, and they are usually color coded. Connect the wires correctly. Use electric insulator tape to make sure it is properly insulated.
Step 5, Connect the T&P
You can reuse you previous T&P drain pipe or fashion a new one. Measure and cut a copper wire, with its end not higher than half a foot from the drainage bucket. You can use a bucket if the room lacks drainage.
Step 6, Do a test run
Once everything is installed, turn the heater on. Observe the water flow into the tank and the functionality of the vent. Make sure there are no gas or water leaks. Alter the monitor and controls from minimum to maximum and then back to test its functionality at maximum capacity.
In summary, installing heater is a task you can easily accomplish with basic tools, and ability to follow guides. of all tips, the most important one is to always follow the manufacturer’s installation guide. If seriously challenged at any point, contact a plumber. Otherwise, go ahead and give it a try, you’ll save yourself a couple hundred bucks.