Tank-to-Tankless Water Heater Installation In Mooresville, NC
At Ultimate Plumbing and Repair, we’ve noticed tankless water heaters are becoming more popular and prevalent in all sorts of plumbing applications due to the increased energy efficiency, limitless hot water and decreased space requirements they offer versus conventional gas or electric water heaters. Recently, we followed Adam and Anthony on a Charlotte-area installation of a new Rinnai RL94-series tankless water heater for one of our clients. Let’s take a closer look!
Removing the Original Tank Water Heater
The conversion process began with carefully removing the original water heater. After we turned off the water and gas to the unit, we disconnected the associated lines and the system’s exhaust pipe and set the existing water heater off to the side, allowing us to inspect the existing water and gas connections to ensure the new water heater would function as expected. At Ultimate Plumbing and Repair, we are very conscientious about verifying the safety and security of every installation we perform. The location of the original heater offered an ideal installation template for the tankless water heater; the water and gas lines and connections were generally in good repair, which meant we were able to move ahead with the installation relatively quickly.
Prepping and Bracing the New Tankless Water Heater
The new water heater the homeowner selected was a Rinnai RL94 tankless gas water heater. To prepare the RL94 for installation, we began by coating the connections with solvent cement. This helps prevent leaks and allow a secure bond between the connections and the new water lines.
With the connections prepared, the next step was preparing the bracing for the new unit so we could get it into position easily. This step is important because if the new tankless water heater is properly leveled, correctly spaced and braced at the appropriate height, it will align with the existing exhaust flue. This both helps ensure maximum efficiency and performance for the unit and minimizes the need for additional piping to be run to the unit, reducing installation time. At Ultimate Plumbing, we want to be sure every fixture and item we install will work properly the first time, every time, so we take our time and make sure it’s done right!
Mounting the Tankless Water Heater
With the bracing in place and secured, it was now time to mount the tankless water heater in position. If the unit is not mounted correctly or at the proper level, it can throw off the alignment of the exhaust flue, gas and water lines, causing the unit to function less efficiently or improperly. Once the unit was in place, additional bracing was added along the lower portion to ensure stability. The level of the unit was checked along all dimensions and the unit was mounted to the braces, with the level being verified at every step to ensure proper orientation.
Installing the Exhaust for the New Tankless Water Heater
This particular installation was very cost- and time-effective because of the orientation of the exhaust system. Unlike a conventional tank water heater, which typically features a sheet-metal exhaust delivery system which vents to the outside, we were able to use concentric venting system which created a heat shield from the unit to the outside, insulating the wall through which it vented from the excess heat of the exhaust. By using this ready-made exhaust system and being able to stub out to the existing exhaust vent on the home’s exterior, this saved a great deal of installation time and gave us a quick, easy way to check the unit had been installed and oriented correctly.
With a tank water heater, you can typically install a T-connection off the dryer or other gas line if needed. In a tankless water heater, however, a dedicated gas line is generally required. With this installation, the existing tank water heater had a dedicated gas line of its own already in place. All we had to do was create a custom gas pipe, which we were able to do onsite without stopping work because all Ultimate Plumbing trucks come to every site prepared for any machining or piping work which may be needed, from fabricating custom connections to cutting pipe to project size and more! We also installed a dirt trap, which catches and directs dirt, dust and other particulates away from the gas line. These substances may interfere with the proper function of the tankless water heater and erode its efficiency over time, so the dirt trap is an important if small step in the installation process.
With the gas and exhaust piping and ductwork in place, the next step was to install the hot and cold water lines to and from the unit. The water lines had been capped off, and we installed PEX pipe suitable for all plumbing applications at the wall, running the new lines to the unit. Because the unit was situated in an ideal location, it drastically reduced the time and materials required to establish the new connections, making the installation simpler and easier on everyone—especially the homeowner!
Once the PEX piping was run to the unit’s hot and cold water connections, it was time for insulation. This step is critical to maintain maximum energy efficiency, prevent damage to the pipes from temperature fluctuations, and also helps shield the pipes from damage due to impact, slips and falls and so on. We created custom insulation to not only make the end result look good, but make sure the homeowners would get the most efficiency and use out of their new tankless water heater.
Final Check and Activating the Unit
With all the connections in place, Adam ran a final check to ensure everything aligned properly and that the unit was properly level. Then he double-checked the security of all the connections for the exhaust, gas and hot and cold water. Once he was satisfied that everything was correct, he activated the unit and checked the system one last time to ensure the unit functioned the way it was supposed to with no surprises. After the systems check, we took the original water heater away, saving the homeowners time, money and hassle versus dealing with it themselves.
At Ultimate Plumbing and Repair, we want every client to have a great experience and receive great service with solutions which work, each and every time. We’ve been proudly serving the Charlotte area for over a decade—and we’d like you to experience the Ultimate Plumbing and Repair difference for yourself. Whether you have a backed-up sewer line, a leaky faucet or you’re upgrading your home’s water heating system, Ultimate Plumbing has the solution for you. Call, click or come by today to find out how we can help you and your family enjoy hassle-free water that works, anytime of the day or night!