Installing a new tankless water heater (The Basics: Part 2)
So you have your thimbles mounted, the vent pipes installed properly up to Houston code requirements. Now it’s time to continue the process and be prepared for any water heater repairs that may be needed.
If you are installing in a brick or concrete basement, you will need to attach 2×4s to a joist in order to attach a backboard. Measure the backboard to the exact dimensions and attach the 2×4s. Line up the tankless hot water heater with the vent pipes and screw it into place. Exact placement is crucial, and you don’t want imprecise ventilation.
New water pipes must be run to supply the tankless water heater with water. Clean the ends of the copper pipe with emery cloth first. Then apply soldering flux to the end of the pipe and slide the pipe into the fitting. Use a heating torch briefly to the fitting until the metal is hot enough to apply the solder. Work your way around the fitting on both sides until the joint fits.
For gas water heaters, a T valve must also be installed to an existing gas line. Once the valve is installed, a corrugated stainless steel gas line must be run from the valve to the tankless water heater. A gas shut off valve also must be attached to the line before connecting the sediment trap. Once this is properly attached, use a gas sniffer to detect any gas leaks.
After you have finished the installation process or have had someone else do it, consider what you need to do for maintenance and future water heater repairs. Proper and regular maintenance will save you money in repairs in the long run. The screen filter should be checked periodically for debris (time between filter checks depends on water quality). And the unit should be flushed periodically to keep the unit free of scale and lime. Call your local Houston plumber for help and tips.