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Water Supply Lines: Tankless Water Heater Installations

In order to run water supply lines to your tankless water heater, your plumber will follow these steps when installing a new tankless water heater at your home:

First, you must locate where you want to install your water heater. Tankless water heaters may be installed in basements, attics, crawl spaces, garages—basically anywhere with some type of ventilation. Tankless water heaters should not be installed outdoors or in unconditioned spaces such as porches and sheds. A bathroom is typically a good place for installation unless it’s extremely humid; installation in a garage is possible if some kind of ventilation is provided to the outside. Tankless water heaters should be installed at least 6 inches from finished walls and above insulation if any.

Tankless Water Heater Water Connections

Your plumber will connect valves for cold and hot water supply lines next by following the manufacturer’s directions carefully. Tankless water heaters may require an expansion tank near the cold intake if your system has a check valve on its supply line. Consult your owner’s manual for more information. Tankless water heaters require copper pipe to connect new hot and cold water lines; do not use any type of plastic or PVC piping when connecting the water lines. Secure the copper pipes against the wall with either bell hangers or straps, depending on your home’s construction type. Have a tankless water heater installed by an expert to ensure proper ventilation and connections are made properly. Tankless water heaters require copper piping, so make sure you have any necessary fittings on hand before installation begins.

Sizing a Tankless Water Heater

Now your plumber must size a tankless water heater for your home’s hot-water needs. Many different types of calculations have been developed to help determine the necessary BTU output capacity required for a given space or number of fixtures that need hot water. This calculation will take into consideration many factors such as climate, overall usage patterns, tank storage capacity, heating source type and other variables. Because there are so many factors involved in determining the proper size of a water heater, you should consult with a local contractor or plumber about sizing requirements for your specific needs.

Plumbing Tankless Efficiently

Tankless water heaters are typically vented with a rubber or plastic vent pipe that runs from the top of the unit up to your home’s chimney or roof. The vent stack should be run through an exterior wall only if necessary, but should never run through an interior wall. Tankless water heaters come with 4-inch flues, so any additional piping required for installation must also be sized accordingly. When installing a tankless water heater in an attic you will need to take into account possible insulation concerns and provide adequate ventilation to maintain proper operating temperature ranges. Tankless water heaters require at least 7 sq in./hr of ventilation per 1000 BTU/hr, and those requiring more than 200,000 BTU/hr require at least 35 sq in./hr. Tankless water heaters attached to a chimney will require an adapter kit and make sure the venting is not run through any walls for proper ventilation. Tankless water heaters with approved power venting typically do not require separate ventilation; make sure to consult with your local contractor or dealer before installing one that vents into the house’s interior such as this.

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