Gas water heater installation is not a task that you must hire a professional to complete. With the use of these simple tips, you can install a gas water heater yourself without it becoming an overwhelming task.
Tip 1 – Check Type and Space
Make certain that the water heater you selected for installation is compatible with your type of gas line, as some gas water heaters are not compatible with certain types of gas lines. Also, check the dimensions of the water heater to be certain it will fit your water heater location. Many new water heaters have more insulation than older models, making their width up to 5 inches larger than previous models. If you are installing it into a small or tight space, measure before you start the installation to be certain your new water heater will fit.
Tip 2 – Read Guidelines and Rules
The first thing that you can do before starting your installation is to read the installation instructions thoroughly. Be sure you understand all of the steps and instructions before you begin. Also, pay special attention to the indicated guidelines for clearance distances, such as the distance required between the water heater and combustibles and the amount of clearance indicated to raise the heater from the ground.
Tip 3 – Hot Water
Throughout the installation, remember that you are installing a hot water heater. In the event that your installation is really a replacement, remember that any water that may drip or leak during the installation process may be hot, and care should be taken to prevent burns or scolding from the heated water.
Tip 4 – Use the Right Compound
Be sure you are using the correct compound for a gas water heater. Never use PTFE tape or oil based compounds when installing a gas water heater. The recommended compound to use for gas water heaters is stick pipe dope. Also, when using this compound, be sure to apply it sparingly. When applying the pipe dope, you never want to apply too much and allow the dope to enter the gas line.
Tip 5 – Existing Water Heater
If you are installing a water heater as a replacement, you will need to drain the water from your old water heater. Turn the old water heater off two hours before removing it to allow the water inside time to cool. While draining the water heater, you can also turn the hot water on in one sink or bath tub to allow air to enter the pipes. The added air will aid in the draining process.
Tip 6 – Check Connections
After your installation is complete, be sure to check the air in the room with a carbon monoxide detector to be certain that your vent pipe is working properly. By performing a simple check with a detector, you can eliminate a safety risk to your home. Also, you should pour very soapy water over all connections. The soap will show if there are any leaks and will not damage the connections or the new water heater.