When it comes to electric hot water installation, the most important thing you must figure out is if you really are in need of a replacement. Sometimes, homeowners do not realize that maintenance is enough to solve the issue regarding their water heater. In fact, as soon as they call in a qualified technician or repair guy to take a look at it, they eventually find out that the malfunction is caused by a minor glitch. Obviously, you start to think about replacement when the equipment no longer produces hot water for your needs.
If you observe that there is water on the floor or on top of the equipment, know that it is a different problem compared to a leak coming from the supply line. Now if you indeed verify that there is water on top or on the floor, it is a sign that buying a new water heater is in order.
Learn how to read and interpret the specifications found on the data plate of your current hot water heater tank since it will be your basis for purchasing a compatible unit. However, if the reason for the replacement is because your family is getting bigger, then you might need to consider upsizing.
Before you begin, be sure to check local building codes. Keep in mind that states have different sets of rules when it comes to compliance in the installation of household electrical appliances like a water heater. If you are not sure about this, you simply can ask for help from the professionals.
After making sure your equipment complies with the local building codes, the next step is to check the water pressure at home using a pressure gauge on the outdoor spigot. The ideal number is from 50 to 60 Psi. In case your home has a water pressure greater than 60 Psi, it means you must use a pressure-reducing valve meant to be installed at the main shut-off.
You must also determine the type of expansion tank to use. For instance, a thermal expansion tank works by alleviating the excess pressure in the lines of the closed system. If you pick an expansion tank with a capacity of two gallons, it is more than capable of working with water heaters for a maximum of 50 gallons. Well, it is best that you check on what the manufacturer label recommends when it comes to determining exact sizing. By the way, don’t forget that the expansion tank pressure has to match the main water pressure for it to work the way it is supposed to.
Old Water Heater Removal
Of course, there is no way to install a new electric hot water heater if you fail to remove the old water heater. Be sure that the electricity at the circuit breaker is turned off. Grab some tape and use it to mark the wire connections. After that, disconnect the wires. With the water supply turned on though, you must turn a faucet on hot and then let it run for a while until the water cools. Once this happens, shut the cold water supply line off and connect a garden hose to the drain valve found at the bottom of the water heater.
Open the drain valve so that you can empty the water heater down a drain. It also could help in emptying the tank faster if you open the hot water faucet on a sink. Next, remove the discharge pipe from the temperature and pressure relief valve, but make sure you only do this after guaranteeing that the tank is already empty. The water supply lines must be disconnected and the removal of the old tank is usually done with the help of a hand truck.
Installation of the New Water Heater
Because a water heater is heavy, it is recommended that you use some type of aid, say like a hand truck when moving it. Place the equipment in a drain pan. To avoid flooding, it makes sense to route the pipe to a drain. If you happen to have bought a new water heater with no temperature and pressure relief valve, all you need to do is twist in the new valve. There are times when it is just inside the box, but if not, you must buy one. Keep in mind that it never is a good idea to re-use the old valve.
At this point, install the discharge pipe from the relief valve towards the drain. You can use a bucket as a substitute to the drain to catch the water that drips from the discharge pipe. You may use a flexible hose kit for the process of water hook-up, while a plumber’s tape is ideal for the threads of the heat trap nipples. After this, you may now attach the hoses. Do not forget to apply a plumber’s tape to one end of the connector body threads. Make sure the fitting to the hose is secured. Mark and cut the pipes so as to get rid of any burrs. Slide the compression nut and ring and fit them into the pipe. Once you successfully push the pipe into the fitting, you have to tighten the nut. You might need seismic straps if you live in an area where earthquakes are common.