Halp Ever install an electric water heater?

fly

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Oct 1, 2004
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So our hot water heater is about 15 years old. I came across an article in Consumer Reports that talks about hybrid water heaters (with a heat pump). Through the end of the year, there is a $300 tax credit for buying one. I'm thinking of installing it myself for the experience and because I'm cheap. Anyone ever done one? It seems pretty stupidly easy. The only slightly odd thing with a hybrid is that I have to run a drain hose outside for the condensation.

1. turn off electricity
2. disconnect electricity and pipes
3. remove heater
4. install new
5. connect everything
6. fill tank
7. turn on electricity
 

helenabear

my latina side hates Kiki
Aug 11, 2005
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My dad has done gas and would have done ours when we needed to replace it but we ran into some asbestos on the vent and then we had to get a whole new install. So we had to have a tankless (YES!!!) professionally installed.

Have you looked for youtubes to show exactly what to do? I found that really helpful when it came to flushing our tankless this year and also cleaning the filter. I'm cheap like that and was glad to take the $200/visit we saved to use or other things.

Only bad thing with plumbing is if you break something it can be a longer day trying to find the right things to fix. Having spare parts is nice which plumbers do. We usually try to start most things ourselves and then if it works well, great. If not we call the plumber in.
 

ZRH

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Mar 5, 2005
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It is stupid easy.

This part
1. turn off electricity
2. disconnect electricity and pipes
3. remove heater

Is going to take longer than you think

and this part
4. install new
5. connect everything

Is going to take A REALLY long time if you aren't familiar with soldering pipes

this part, you wont even notice
6. fill tank
7. turn on electricity
 

Domon

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May 19, 2011
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done it a couple of times, it is stupid easy.

Do you have copper or cpvc plumbing?


The toughest part is draining the old heater so you can move it.
 

Domon

Robotic Dexter
May 19, 2011
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It is stupid easy.

This part
1. turn off electricity
2. disconnect electricity and pipes
3. remove heater

Is going to take longer than you think

and this part
4. install new
5. connect everything

Is going to take A REALLY long time if you aren't familiar with soldering pipes

this part, you wont even notice
6. fill tank
7. turn on electricity

maybe he has cpvc.
 

tre

fly gave me a handjob for marklar
Oct 15, 2004
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please open a faucet when filling the tank or you'll get an air lock. i am stupid and burnt an element by not doing so.
 

Domon

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please open a faucet when filling the tank or you'll get an air lock. i am stupid and burnt an element by not doing so.

well, thats how he's gonna relieve pressure when he drains it, so thatd make sense.
@fly, im assuming city water? If you dont have a shutoff valve right before the hot water heater, id recommend shutting off your whole water supply to the house.
 
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Domon

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i have the strong feeling you're being an armchair expert again and are just pretending to know what you're talking about.
 

Duke

. . first name's "Daisy" boys
May 12, 2008
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i have the strong feeling you're being an armchair expert again and are just pretending to know what you're talking about.

9 times out of 10 this opinion is correct.

The tenth time usually has to do with poverty or being taken advantage of by family members.
 

Domon

Robotic Dexter
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i can walk you guys through it if ya'll need @APRIL and @fly

supplies you need:

CPVC cement, its orange (not the universal stuff, that stuff sucks),
Purple primer
(4) 1/2 to 1/2 inch cpvc (tan) bushings. Assuming your main lines are 1/2 inch. They could be 3/4, though i doubt it, or they could be 3/8s if someone was dumb
A good cpvc cutter, one that looks like this, dont try to saw it.
Reed-RS2.jpg


A drain hose, and either a bunch of 5 gallon buckets, or a lower point where siphoning can work, im guess its not a basement since you're in florida.


Electrical:

needlenose pliers
wire strippers
common sense
voltage tester
screwdriver
more common sense.
 
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Duke

. . first name's "Daisy" boys
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It's pvc.

ZRH googled the fact that most houses have copper so you must be wrong.

which just shows how immensely strong you are since you found a way to shatter copper pipe while doing yard work to flood your house, you beast you.
 

gee

Finally a new goddamn title
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They sell the heat pump water heaters around here and they have the same sort of efficiency credit if you install one. Though in this part of the world, they're not really worth it - they work by pulling heat out of the room that the water heater is in and pushing them into the water - and if you put them in an electrically heated room, there's no gain. Also, many of them use the heat pump solely to maintain heat and reduce idle loss - you can accomplish a similar idle loss reduction with a heavy hot water heater blanket for far less money.

Natural gas is the best way to go, if you have it in your area.

Anyway, there's not much involved in changing an electric water heater, did it a couple years ago and did a few for other people. Here's the process:

- Kill electricity to the water heater at your breaker panel before you take your morning showers.
- Close the water entry valve, open a few hot water taps around the house. Hook up a garden hose to the drain port, run it to a nearby floor drain (hopefully you've got one) and open it up. Expect brown water/silt/other nastiness to come out of the thing.
- When the water coming out of the tank starts to slow down, close the outlet valve and disconnect the water outlet from the top of the tank. If your tank has the water input at the top, disconnect that too.
- When the water pretty much comes to a stop, disconnect the water inlet (if it's a bottom/side water entry) and electricity. Tip the tank towards the drain to get the last of the water out of it.
- Get a pile of old towels, tip the tank away from the drain and disconnect the drain hose. Drag it out of the house, make sure you don't tip it back towards the drain because iron and other mineral stains are a bitch to get out of stuff.

- Prep the plumbing for the new water heater. Take the opportunity to do a good job of the plumbing - my old water heater had copper/brass fittings screwed directly onto the inlet/outlet ports, and soldered into the copper house plumbing, and I had to cut everything apart to remove the heater. I put threaded couplings on the end of the house plumbing and used braided hoses to connect to the new heater. I'd suggest doing the same if you can, makes things much easier.

- Put the new heater in place. If you've got a floor drain next to the heater, I'd install a drain pan under the new heater and run a drain hose, as insurance if the new hot water heater fails. In my case, I didn't have an available drain nearby so I used a drain pan with the drain capped and I have an audible water alarm placed with the tank.
- Connect all plumbing to the heater.
- Open hot water taps around the house, open the outlet valve, then the inlet valve. It'll take a while to fill the heater, eventually your taps will start spitting water. When water flow out of your taps is back to normal, close 'em.
- Connect electricity to the heater, and turn the breaker back on.

- Wait several hours for the tank to heat up again. Done!
 

APRIL

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ZRH googled the fact that most houses have copper so you must be wrong.

which just shows how immensely strong you are since you found a way to shatter copper pipe while doing yard work to flood your house, you beast you.

OMFG hahahahahahah good memory!
 

APRIL

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Wow, there has been a lot of really useful help in this thread. You guys rock.

Post pics when we get home.