How to Install Your Own Natural Gas Water Heater
Using a natural gas water heater is an easy and economic way of heating water for domestic usage. Traditional electric water heaters get worn-out and present many maintenance issues. Further, repairing them is difficult and they often drain the home’s electricity supply. The initial, installation cost for natural gas water heaters is a bit high but the costs are recovered in the long-term. The savings are made through negligible maintenance-related expenditure and power-saving performance. Further, gas-based water heaters are safe for household use. They don’t present the safety issues associated with electric water heaters. The pressurized gas is sourced in a controlled manner and there is no danger of a gas leakage. Other issues like boiler bursts are negated since gas-based water heating doesn’t use a similar heating mechanism. You can easily install a natural gas water heater by using some basic, household tools and following the instructions detailed below.
Step 1—Sourcing Water Heater
Select the new appliance depending upon your requirement for hot water. It is better to approximate your requirement by assuming 50 gallons of hot water for four adults. Many of these appliances come with warranty periods. Ask the retailer about replacement policy in case there is a problem due to some inherent, manufacturing defect.
Step 2—Inspecting the Plumbing
It is essential to ensure the functioning of the existing, hot and cold water supply lines. Generally, there are two lines that feed water into a water tank. One delivers cold water into the tank and the other sources hot water. Unscrew and inspect both the lines. Disconnect the water supply by turning the valve clockwise. Drain all the water through a pipe. Remove any deposits or water-scaling debris that is commonly found among older supply lines.
Step 3—Installing New Gas Water Heater
Position the new water heater in such a manner that the vent flue can reach the tank. The vent pipe must be connected to the chimney (inlet valve) of the heater. This pipe must be mounted atop the heater. Take the pipe wrench and connect the color-coded fittings. Connect the inlet supplying cold water with blue-coded fittings and red-coded fittings with the inlet carrying hot water. Screw the gas-line into the input valve. In case the device comes with a built-in thermostat, adjust the temperature according to your preference. The thermostat should be maneuverable with minimal effort.
Step 4—Checking for Defects
Open the two valves supplying cold/hot water and check for any leaks. Check the gas and flue piping for any gas leaks by applying some soap solution. Do the same with all the pipe and valve unions and other gas joints. Presence of any bubbles in the solution represents gas leakage. Usually, there are two knobs on the water-heater control which help to choose the desired settings. Turn-on the gas valve and set it on the lowest marking. Turn the knob to pilot and light the heater after some a few minutes. Once the pilot is lit, close the compartment plate. Turn the front knob to the medium marking. Medium-level functioning is the best judge of the water heater’s heating capacity (performance).