Any tips on installing a new gas water heater?


Old 02-26-20, 02:40 PM
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Any tips on installing a new gas water heater?

I am going to attempt to replace my water heater this weekend and just wanted some tips. I have done this a couple times before with an electric and it was pretty much plug and play. I would imagine things would be the same except running the gas line and vent. So first of all, you may not be able to tell from the photo, but this is about 4 inches away from the wall and it is not strapped. The gas line doesn't look like is run very well. So I guess I will ask a few questions so that it is easier for you to answer them in addition to any other feedback you may have.

1. Should the new one be closer to the wall so I can strap it to the wall?
2. Should the new one be put in a drain pan? This is in the basement so there is no place to drain it to but would that still be good for catching small leaks?
3. How should that gas line be run? Should it be a longer run with a big loop in it rather than these sharp bends?
4. To connect to the water inlets, are the rigid copper or stainless lines better than the braided? From my quick research, it seems that is the case, but how much can they bend?
5. For the vent pipe, it looks like I can just line it up with the existing and adjust the bend as needed.
6. I want to add an expansion tank (I have a separate thread started on that).
7. Finally, I would imagine as long as I get one with a similar height as the current one, it should fit in place pretty easily. I have Home Depot and Lowe's nearby so my choices are Rheem or AO Smith, Any recommendations? I have a 50 gal now but is 40 adequate? We have a family of 4.

Let me know anything that might be helpful. Thank you!

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Old 02-26-20, 07:33 PM
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You need to replace the gas flex as that old grey one was aluminum. Not to code.

The flue pipe you will need to change to 4" per code.You will need to change that 3x5 reducer which is double wall and manufacturer specific. The get 4" smoke pipe and cut to size. Smoke pipe comes off heater first and then elbows. The elbow should not come directly off the draft hood as your pic shows.

additionally you will need tin snips to cut the pipe, lock it back together and a crimping tool to crimp one end. screw it all togther with 3 screws per joint with zip screws. and two 4" elbows

As far as water pipe use what you want but must me all metal. Copper.. no braided flex line with rubber. those copper ones you have are ok but where you putting exp tank with them???

I would fix the connections so I could sweat all copper pipe. you would need to angle that valve back to horizontal.. and female adt off tee for exp tank.. etc etc

exp tank needs to be supported why I state rigid copper.

Its a lot of work, even for me and I been doing it 35 years or so...

To tell you the truth I would call a pro.
Old 02-27-20, 07:35 AM
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Thanks for the info. I do not want to sweat any pipes so for the expansion tank, can I get a bracket for the tank and mount it on the wall so it is fully supported by the bracket? Then, either put a tee on top of the tank or on the copper pipe above and run a piece of the the flexible pipe to the water heater (like it is now) and another one to the expansion tank?
Old 02-28-20, 08:36 AM
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As far as that gas flex line, would it be fine to just get a longer one and loop it more so there are no tight bends like there are now, or would it be worth it to extend the solid pipe coming out of of shutoff and putting a 90 to clear the furnace, and then running the flex line? Or maybe just leave that part alone and run a longer nipple out of the water heater and put a 90 so the flex line isn't as long? It's been the way it is now for all these years so maybe I am just being too detailed.

Last edited by vpn33; 02-28-20 at 09:15 AM.

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