Installing a Tankless Water Heater: A DIY Project?

Tankless Water Heater

For today’s “Ask the Contractor” question, we brought up the topic of tankless water heaters. With concern for energy efficiency on the rise, these water heaters have become more and more popular. But is installing one a job for the average handy homeowner? Here’s what our Contractor had to say:

Your best bet is to hire a plumber.  I myself have installed a bunch of them and now the supply house won’t even sell them unless I have a licensed plumber make the purchase.  There really is  is a lot to know about them but the main items involve the volume of gas it takes to run and how to vent the exhaust and get the intake combustion air.  They need at least a 3/4 gas line that is close to the gas service entering the house; and sometimes the gas meter needs to be upgraded to get the amount of volume required. A tanked water heater may be 30,000 BTUs but a tankless one is about 90,000 BTUs. Additionally,  the vent pipe needs to be installed in a way that the unit can get all of the exhaust out safely due to the heat and also intake fresh air to make it burn properly.  It’s fairly complicated and not an “easy” project for anyone to do, much less a person without the necessary experience.

Content provided by: Randy Ritzenthaler

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