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May 31,2024

Common Water Heater Installation Mistakes to Avoid

Installing a water heater is a significant undertaking that demands a blend of advanced plumbing skills, specialized equipment, and thorough knowledge of building codes and industry standards.

Despite the plethora of online tutorials that encourage do-it-yourself approaches, there are intricate details and potential pitfalls that these guides often overlook. In this brief article brought to you by Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we share six common mistakes that homeowners should avoid when installing a water heater.

If you’d rather leave the water heater installation to trained and uniformed plumbers, then call Mr. Rooter Plumbing to schedule a convenient appointment. Don’t hesitate to call – we are proud to offer emergency plumbing service at any time of the day.

Mistake 1: Improper water heater size

Water heaters come in various sizes, typically measured by their gallon capacity. Choosing a water heater that is not appropriately sized for the household's needs can lead to inadequate hot water supply or unnecessary energy expenses.

A unit that is too small will run out of hot water quickly, causing frustration during peak usage times. On the other hand, an oversized unit will consume more energy than necessary, leading to higher utility bills.

You must assess your household's hot water demand accurately and select a water heater that matches this demand. Consulting with a trained plumber can provide insights into the appropriate size.

Mistake 2: Poor ventilation

If you have a gas-powered water heater, then proper ventilation is essential to ensure that combustion gases are safely ejected from the home. Inadequate ventilation can pose severe health risks as dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide, build up indoors.

Common ventilation mistakes include incorrect vent pipe size, improper slope, and unsecured vent pipes. Ensuring that the venting system complies with local building codes and manufacturer specifications is non-negotiable!

Mistake 3: Not installing a pressure relief valve

A pressure relief valve (PRV) is a critical safety feature of water heaters which prevents the water heater from exploding due to excessive pressure buildup. Skipping the installation of a PRV or incorrectly installing it can lead to catastrophic consequences.

The PRV should be connected to a discharge pipe that safely directs hot water away from the unit. This pipe must be of appropriate material and size, with no obstructions or upward bends that could impede the flow.

Mistake 4: Not installing an expansion tank

Thermal expansion happens when water heats up and expands within the water heater. Without an expansion tank, this increased pressure can stress the plumbing system and the water heater itself, often leading to leaks and reduced lifespan.

An expansion tank absorbs the excess pressure to maintain a balanced system. Many DIY installations overlook this vital component, especially in closed systems where backflow prevention devices are installed.

Mistake 5: Overlooking electrical connections

For electric water heaters, proper electrical connections are fundamental. Common mistakes include using undersized wiring, failing to install a dedicated circuit, or improper grounding. These errors can lead to electrical hazards such as short circuits or even fires.

You must follow the manufacturer's specifications regarding the electrical requirements, such as the correct gauge of wire and appropriate circuit breaker size. Additionally, make sure that the unit is properly grounded in order to prevent electrical shocks.

Mistake 6: Ignoring local building codes and permits

Building codes often dictate specific requirements for installation, including placement, venting, and safety devices. Adhering to local building codes and obtaining the necessary permits is a legal requirement that ensures your installation meets safety and performance standards.

Ignoring these regulations can result in fines, insurance issues, and potential safety hazards. Working with a licensed professional who is familiar with local codes can ensure compliance and provide peace of mind.

Leave the water heater installation to the professionals

A water heater replacement is nothing to take lightly – literally and figuratively. Installing a water heater involves heavy lifting, meticulous attention to detail, familiarity with electrical systems and local codes and regulations, and so much more.

To enjoy a peace of mind and avoid voiding warranties, leave the water heater installation in Mart, TX to the professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing. Our uniformed plumbers have the expertise, experience, and equipment to install all types of water heaters the first time around.

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