Even though most water heaters will manage to have a fairly long life, usually somewhere around 10 to 15 years, there is a pretty good chance that as a homeowner you will find yourself facing the task of obtaining and installing a new unit at some point. If you are like a lot of homeowners, you will assume that this must be a fairly straightforward task and something you an tackle on your own.
Even though it is possible to install a water heater by yourself with a little time and attention, it is all too easy to make costly mistakes in the process. Here are a few of the bigger mistakes homeowners tend to make during a DIY water heater installation.
Mistake: Not connecting the overflow tube during installation.
Why? The overflow tube is connected to a pressure valve on the top of the water heater and is designed to catch any out-spraying pressurized water. In a lot of cases, homeowners completely forget to connect the drainage tube to the outlet line in the house, which means any time pressure is released, hot water will spray everywhere. Make sure that you check and connect this line right after you get the water heater installed and before you try to fill up the tank with water.
Mistake: Skipping the dialectic union when dealing with steel and copper pipes.
Why? Even though it may look like you can connect those galvanized steel lines of the water heater right to the copper ones you have in your home, it is never a good idea to do so without a dialectic union. A dialectic union is a specially-designed, two-part plumbing joint that keeps the two metals connected, but in a way that they are not directly touching. If the metals are allowed to directly connect, it can create an electric charge that is corrosive and will cause leaks.
Mistake: Not allowing enough space around the new hot water heater.
Why? If you want to upgrade the water heater that you have to a larger model, it is always best if you can wait until your old unit is no longer functional. However, you should not install a larger unit in the same space that you have been using for a smaller one. Water heaters need clearance space around the tank of at least half an inch, plus 12 inches in the front for electrical access.
For more information, contact Chambliss Plumbing Company or a similar organization.