When deciding on a water heater, it’s important to consider two main things: how efficient it will be, and how much it will help you save on energy. A tankless water heater is the perfect option to address your concerns. It only heats water when you need it, which means you won’t be consuming that much energy. Plus, it’s extremely efficient and dependable, ensuring a high comfort level. Today, we’re going to teach you how to install a tankless water heater, as well as how to keep it clean.

How to Install a Tankless Water Heater: 6 Steps

1. Take All the Precautions Necessary

Before starting to install your tankless water heater, you should remember that you’re going to be working with gas supply lines, a power supply, a stainless-steel flue, or an exhaust system of large dimensions. All of the above considering, you have to pay attention to how you handle them during this DIY. Moreover, we recommend using special union connector sets that use bypass capability, when working with the water supply.

2. Turn Off the Water Line and Disconnect the Supply Line

The first two things you should do when installing a tankless water heater is turn off the water line that goes from the outside to the house, and make sure the supply line from the old heater is disconnected. When you do this, place a container under the water bib. This will catch any leakage from the water that’s still in the line.

3. Disconnect the Heat Source

The old heater and the heat source must be entirely disconnected before you begin installing the new tankless heater. There are different things you have to do when disconnecting the heat source, depending on whether you want to uninstall a gas water heater or an electric one. For the gas one, you have to close the supply valve. For the electric one, you just have to unplug it.

4. Consider the Requirements for the Water Heater

Once you’ve settled on the best location for installing your water heater, you should check whether your local building codes, as well as the state ones, allow you to do so. Usually, there are some clearances you have to leave around the water heater, in order to ensure it’s perfectly safe.

5. Mount the Heater on the Wall

The instructions you need to follow to mount the tankless heater on the wall are detailed in the manual that came with the heater from the manufacturer. As long as you stick to those, and make sure the weight of the tank is properly supported by the wall, this step shouldn’t take long to complete.

6. Add the Water and Gas Connections

Reaching the end of this tankless water heater installation guide, you have to hook up the connections to water and gas. Remember that if you have a gas heater, you’re also going to need to install ventilation ducting. Usually, most heaters need a stainless-steel flue. Out of the two lines, the water one should be installed first. Since the heat source is next, connect the gas line next to the water one if you have a gas heater, and simply plug in an electric one to provide it with energy. For the gas heater, you should follow the instruction on the product manual and also light the pilot.

How to Keep a Tankless Water Heater Clean

a smiling man with a bottle of vinegar

While there are many great things about this type of heater, the main advantage of a tankless water heater isn’t that you don’t have to clean it at all. As with any other water heater, this one too requires some maintenance. In fact, you should clean it once a year, just to make sure it runs smoothly.

1. Prepare the Heater for Cleaning

After turning off the power source and the three water valves, which prevent water circulation during the cleaning activity, you have to take out the purge port valve caps from the hot and cold water valves. This will release the pressure in the valves, and ensure that no hot water will shoot out at you. Then, connect the hosing line with the three valves, and open the purge port valves.

2. Prepare the Vinegar and Check the Instructions

In order to clean a tankless water heater, you need undiluted white vinegar. Chemical solutions are excluded since they can really affect your health. Use about 2.5 gallons of vinegar to flush and drain the heater according to the instructions on the manual send by the manufacturer. The procedure isn’t extremely complicated, but it can take around 45 minutes. The trick is to allow the vinegar to circulate through the heater and eliminate all the buildup in it.

3. Put Everything Back and Restart the Water Heater

Once you’re done flushing, close the purge port valves and disconnect the hosing lines from the three water valves. Then, place the caps of the purge port valves onto the valves, and make sure they’re on tight. Restarting the heater is also something you can find in the manual. You should consult it because you might have to twist both the hot and cold water valves until they’re parallel with the main valve (or the one that goes from outside into the house).

Summing Up

A tankless water heater isn’t difficult to install, but it can take some time and patience. Especially if you’ve never done it before, you’re going to have to be extra patient. Remember that you can also call a professional if you don’t want to install it by yourself. Still, we hope today’s installation and cleaning guide can help you out. As long as you follow the steps above, and make sure you clean the heater once a year, it will run smoothly for years to come. Finally, do let us know about your experiences installing and/or cleaning a tankless water heater!

Image Source: 12