Water Heater Installation Tips

When it comes to household repair and installation tasks, many homeowners decide to install their new hot water tank themselves. They figure that it can't be that difficult if all they have to do is drain and disconnect the existing tank, then install the new one the same way. However, there are some things that the novice installer might not know that can cause problems in the long run. Here are a few things that you should know before you install your own hot water heater.

Solder The Pipes Before You Attach Them

When you connect the pipe from the water tank to your plumbing line, one of the easiest ways to ensure a solid connection is to solder the pipes together. This is common, and it is a good choice. However, those who are untrained in hot water heater installation can make some costly mistakes even with this seemingly simple step.

If you solder the pipes together while everything is connected to the hot water heater, soldering too close to the hot water heater can actually damage the tank. Most hot water tank enclosures are made from a plastic blend, and the heat of a soldering iron can cause heat damage to the plastic. Avoid this by disconnecting the pipes from the tank and soldering them before you reconnect them.

Ensure Pipe Compatibility

Another important factor that you need to consider is the compatibility of the pipes themselves. This issue is two-fold, and it needs to be taken seriously to avoid potential conflicts and rapid deterioration of your hot water tank's plumbing.

First, make sure that the pipes running from your hot water tank are the same size and diameter as the pipes that you are connecting them to. Even a minimal difference in the pipe diameter can lead to a poor fit in the fittings, which can cause leaks, corrosion, and other long-term problems.

Additionally, you should be sure that you're using the same metal for both pipes as well as the fittings. When you mix metals, you risk reactions that can speed up corrosion and cause other costly issues. Instead, stick with copper fittings and pipes together, or brass fittings and pipes if that's what you have. Don't try to mix stainless steel pipes or fittings with either copper or brass.

These are a couple of the most important things to consider when you are preparing for a hot water heater installation. If you're not comfortable doing the job on your own, reach out to an installation contractor near you for more help.