How Long Does It Take to Install a Water Heater?
When you need a new water heater, the installation process is important to consider.
Depending on the type of unit you choose, the installation could be quick and easy or it could take a few hours.
Here’s a look at how long it takes to install a water heater so you can plan accordingly.
How Long Does It Take to Install a Water Heater?
It takes 2-3 hours to install a new water heater, but it can vary depending on the size of the heater and the amount of plumbing required.
When installing a new water heater, you should factor in a few hours for the installation process and another hour or two for the unit to reach operating temperature.
How to Install a New Water Heater in 3 Steps
1. Calculate the required supply and return lines for the heater.
Add 10% to the volume of supply lines to account for the water that will be lost during the installation process.
This leaves you with a figure of 1.1 x 10^6 liters (0.48 x 10^3 gallons) of supply lines. The return line should be calculated as The volume of water that will be lost in the heater.
The way most water heaters are designed, the return line should be lower than the supply line. You can use the tank’s dipstick to check the volume. Most new heaters have a two-piece thermostat housing.
The inner housing has an “O” ring and the outer housing has an “R” ring. The “O” ring sits in the tank and the “R” ring sits outside of the tank on the mounting hardware, depending on the model.
2. Install the supply and return lines.
For a home improvement project, supply and return lines can be run in any direction.
Since this installation is a mounting manifold, the lines will have to run in a particular direction, as shown on the schematic.
3. Mount the hot and cold water lines to the mounting hardware.
The supply line will connect to the hot water manifold at one end and the return line will connect at the other end. Assemble the male and female NPT (National Pipe Thread) at the end of the supply line that will connect to the hot water manifold.
The NPT is a blind thread (no washer or nut) that is used to connect pipes. The other end of the supply line will connect to the water heater via a male DIN (Deutsche Industrie Norm) thread.
The cold water line will connect to the cold water manifold. The supply line should be 1/2-3/4 inch (1.3-1.9 cm) larger in diameter than the water line that it will connect to.
The purpose of this extra space is to allow for the “play” in the connection that is required to facilitate turning the Turn the water supply line clockwise (as viewed from the front) within the housing.
The connection at the other end of the cold water line should be a male NPT. The female NPT at this end should be the same size as the male NPT that is connected to the hot water line.
When to Replace Your Water Heater
How often the water heater should be replaced depends on the manufacturer and model. Most models last 15-20 years, but it is good to check your water heater’s warranty period.
If you have a Prius, Volt, or other models that have an EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) Energy Star Rating, then you should check if the water heater is eligible for an energy efficiency upgrade at the same time you replace it.
If your water heater is over 10 years old, then it should be replaced. Even if it is not that old, you should still replace it if you want a new model.
How to Turn on the Water Heater
Under the dashboard on the driver’s side, next to the steering wheel, there is a green button. The button has an arrow facing upwards. This button turns on the water heater.
On the other side, next to the fuel tank, is a red button. The button has an arrow facing downwards. This button heats the water.
To turn off the water heater, press both buttons at the same time.
The water heater is turned on and off by pressing the red button.
Should You Install a Gas or an Electric Water Heater?
An electric water heater is safer. It is worth the effort and expense to install an electric water heater.
A gas water heater has an advantage over an electric water heater. You do not have to install a distribution system. If you have the option, choose a gas water heater.
Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater
- Check the energy efficiency label on the water heater. It will have a symbol like a fuel gauge with a dash and an arrow. The number next to the fuel gauge represents the number of gallons of water that the heater can heat per hour.
- If the water heater has a plastic tank, make sure that you clean it regularly.
- If you live in a hot climate, you may need to add extra coolant to the water to keep it at a comfortable temperature.
- If the water heater is outside, you need to protect it from the elements. Make sure that you cover it with a heavy-duty tarp.
How to Save Money on Your Water Heater
- Do not let energy companies adjust your water heater settings. You can lower the temperature without reducing the energy use by using the Defrost or Hot functions.
- Turn off the water when you are not using it. You will not need to use as much energy keeping the water warm if you turn it off.
- Make sure that you close the overflow valve at the bottom of the tank when you turn the water back on. This will keep air from being forced into the system and maximize your water heater’s efficiency.
- Check your water heater’s energy efficiency label to see if it is Phase IV. Phase IV energy-efficient products are 80% toluene and 20% water.
- Look for a higher efficiency model. The American Water Heater Association (AWHA) offers a searchable database of water heater models by manufacturer, model, and efficiency.
How long should it take a 50 gallon water heater to heat once electricity is turned on?
It depends on the water heater. Some can heat water in minutes, while others can take a few hours.
The most important thing is that they all get hot enough to serve your purpose. If you are not using the water heater, turn it off.
You will not need to use as much energy to keep the water warm if you turn it off.
Why does the size of a water heater matter when determining installation time?
The larger the water heater, the more quickly it can heat water. However, larger water heaters take longer to cool down, become less efficient as they age, and eventually stop working altogether.
It is advisable to choose a smaller water heater for a few reasons:
- They take up less space on your floor;
- They heat water more quickly saving you money on your energy bills;
- They may be able to be installed lower into the wall saving you additional ceiling space.
What are the most common mistakes people make when installing a new water heater?
The most common mistakes when installing a new water heater are choosing the wrong size, using the water heater too often, and not turning the water heater off when not in use.
How do I choose the right size water heater for my home?
The rule of thumb is to use one gallon of water per person per day. This equals about 150 to 175 gallons a day for a family of four. To calculate the proper size water heater, use the following formula:
700-gallon water heater = about 14 days of normal daily use.
1200 gallon water heater = about 21 days of normal daily use. A 1500-gallon water heater = about 28 days of normal daily use.
A 2000-gallon water heater = about 42 days of normal daily use.
A 3000-gallon water heater = about 65 days of normal daily use.
Frequently Asked Questions About Water Heaters
What is a water heater?
A water heater is a device that uses hot water to heat your home. It is usually located in the basement or crawl space.
A water heater, also known as a hot water tank, stores heat energy in water. The more water, the more energy. The energy can then be used to heat water when needed.
How do I know if my water heater needs to be replaced?
If your water heater has been in use for more than seven years, it probably needs to be replaced.
If your water heater has been in use for less than seven years, it may or may not need to be replaced, but it is a good idea to have it inspected every year.
How much water does a water heater use?
A water heater uses about 800 gallons of water per day.
How much water does a 1500-gallon water heater use?
A 1500-gallon water heater uses about 225,000 gallons of water per year.
Final Thoughts: How Long Does It Take to Install a Water Heater?
When you need a new water heater, the installation process is important to consider. Depending on the type of unit you choose, the installation could be quick and easy or it could take a few hours. Here’s a look at how long it takes to install a water heater so you can plan accordingly.