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How Do I Know If I Need A New Water Heater?

Though hot water tanks can last for years, they start showing symptoms of ageing when they need replacement. Determining if a water heater replacement would be necessary is a simple undertaking which one could go about by themselves. If necessary, one could even install a new water heater to save money and energy. If the hot water tap only yields cold water, it’s probably time to replace the tank. This also applies if it the hot water supply no longer lasts as long as it used to. Puddles of water around the base of the tank are also an indication of a leak, which requires remedying by replacement. The presence of smaller leaks around plumbing connections and fittings also indicate that it’s time to get a new tank. Heaters that make frequent unusual sounds indicate mechanical problems. Most tanks are warrantied for up to 10 years. While some last beyond this period, tanks that don’t perform optimally should be replaced if they’re more than 10 years old.

Installing a Hot Water Tank

This process needs to be carried out while adhering to model-specific information, safety notices, warnings and local codes. If in doubt, one should consult a qualified professional. The necessary tools include plumbing equipment, pipe joint, circuit tester/voltmeter and connectors that match the existing pipes. To begin, one needs to locate the heater’s circuit breaker and turn it off. If there’s a fuse instead of this device, it should be removed. If the heater has a disconnect switch, one should turn it off.

Draining the Heater

To ensure that the power is really off, the incoming electrical cables should be checked with a voltmeter to ensure that the circuit being worked on is off. Draining involves turning on the hot-water tap and leaving it to run till it’s cool. The cold water supply should then be shut off when the tank is completely empty. A hose pipe should be connected to the drain valve with one end placed in a drain. Having done this, the drain valve on the water heater should then be opened. As it drains, the installation instructions need to be reviewed one more time. When empty, the power and water lines should be disconnected in order to remove the old heater.

Temperature and Pressure Release Valve

If the plumbing system has a check valve, a thermal expansion tank needs to be installed near the water heater. This is attached to the cold water intake line and needs to be pressurized using air for it to work properly. The instruction manual should explain how to do this. The temperature and pressure relief valve opens to relieve water pressure if it rises too much. One needs to use the new gadget that came with the new heater. Its discharge pipe should be terminated close to a floor drain while leaving an air gap of 6 inches or less. In some areas, one is required to terminate this pipe outside, while a floor drain would be more appropriate for colder climates.

Installing Hot and Cold Water lines

The heater’s outlet and inlet connections have non-metallic parts and should thus not be soldered. Instead, the threaded adapters should be connected to the shorter pipes so that the joint is sufficiently far from the connections on the heater. Having done this, the cold water supply pipe can be opened to fill up the tank. Upon opening a hot water tap, air comes out at first, followed by spluttering and finally normal flow. The tap should be left to run for some time to allow the tank fill up completely. Before electrical connections can be completed, the tank needs to be completely full.

Connecting Power Wires

The water connections first need to be inspected for leaks, which mostly occur due to problems in the inlets and outlets. One needs to follow the installation manual, labels and wiring diagrams on the water heater. The existing wiring and circuit breakers should be in good condition and compatible to the model in question. The power lines can then be connected, with the ground cable connected to the green ground screw.

Setting the Thermostat

The upper and lower thresholds need to be set at the recommended temperature setting. With this done, the insulation, plastic protectors and access panels can then be replaced. The electrical junction box then needs to be covered.

Pressure Checks

If the hot water isn’t at the desired level, a voltmeter can be used to check the incoming voltage. The temperature setting on both thermostats can also be checked. If there’s no hot water even after several hours, one needs to ensure that power is reaching the heater. for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.