Water heaters, especially the electric models, are very simple devices. Unfortunately, that is as far as the analogy stretches. Installing them is not so simple. Granted, it also is not that complicated but it does include some electrical as well as plumbing work, which you must admit, is not most people’s cup of coffee. However, these demands should not put you off. In fact, the skills the exercise demands are not anywhere near complicated. As such, these super helpful heater installation tips should set you off to a good start.
1. Plan the installation process on paper
Planning on paper helps you to cut down on the number of requisite fittings as well as the trips you need to make to the hardware. With a plan, you are able to assemble everything you need before you commence the actual installation process. While at it, ensure you understand all the recommendations the manufacturer puts forth and include them in whatever plans you make.
2. Insist on a stable platform
Replacing an old heater with a new one is straightforward and actually involves less work. However, when undertaking a fresh installation process, you need to set the platform and center the heater appropriately on the said platform. A good platform takes two to three concrete blocks. These prevent damages occasioned by minor floods. Moreover, the platform eases the process of getting to the drain. It is important to position the heater with the drain faucet facing the front. In addition, rock the heater back and forth after installation, to ensure the platform is firm.
3. Assemble all the necessary equipment you need for soldering
In most instances, you will need to solder the heater’s copper tubing as well as other fittings. This is one of the easiest skills to acquire. You however need a host of tools and implements including propane or gas torches, a tubing cutter, pads of steel wool, paste of soldering flux, lead-free solder and a wire brush. Most DIY manuals recommend gas over propane torches because these melt lead-free solder a lot better.
4. Ensure you get the plumbing right
Aside from choosing the right water heater for fresh installation or replacement, it also is important to get the plumbing right. For instance, ensure the center-to-center measurements between cold and hot water pipes match. This is especially important for replacement exercises. Do also ensure the heater’s gas line has a gas union if you are dealing with a gas water heater.
5. Make sure you turn off all utilities to the heater
This should actually be the first heater installation tip especially for homeowners who are replacing existing heaters. You need to ensure that you turn every utility to the said heater. Such utilities include water and electricity. Turn off water supply at the main shutoff valve or the shutoff valve that interrupts cold water supply. You can cut off electricity supply by turning off your home’s circuit breaker or removing the fuse of the existing heater.