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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install Electric Tankless Water Heater

Comprehensive Guide: How to Install Electric Tankless Water Heater

Transitioning to an electric tankless water heater is a significant upgrade for any household, promising energy efficiency and endless hot water. However, proper installation is crucial to maximize its benefits. This article will provide a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough to ensure a successful installation process while prioritizing safety and efficiency.

Understanding Electric Tankless Water Heaters

Electric tankless water heaters are compact units that heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. They rely on high-powered heating elements to rapidly heat water as it flows through the unit. Unlike traditional water heaters, they only operate when hot water is needed, reducing standby energy loss and providing a continuous supply of hot water.

Advantages of Electric Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Energy Efficiency: Eliminates standby heat loss, leading to lower energy bills.
  • Space-Saving Design: Compact size frees up valuable space in utility rooms or closets.
  • Endless Hot Water: Delivers hot water on demand, ensuring no shortage during peak usage times.
  • Longevity: Typically have a longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Reduced energy consumption translates to lower carbon emissions

Factors to Consider Before Installation:

  • Household Size: Determine the unit size based on the number of people and simultaneous hot water demands.
  • Electrical Requirements: Assess if your home’s electrical system can accommodate the heater’s power needs.
  • Flow Rate and Temperature Rise: Calculate the required flow rate and temperature rise to meet your hot water needs.

Preparing for Installation

  • Assess Current Setup: Determine the location of the existing water heater and evaluate the plumbing and electrical connections.
  • Select Installation Location: Choose a suitable location for the tankless water heater based on accessibility, venting requirements, and proximity to electrical and plumbing connections.
  • Check Electrical Capacity: Ensure that your home’s electrical panel can support the heater’s power requirements. Consider hiring a licensed electrician for any necessary upgrades.
  • Gather Tools and Materials: You’ll need common hand tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, pipe cutters, and a voltage tester. Additionally, gather the necessary plumbing fittings, electrical wires, and mounting hardware.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Step 1: Shut Off Power and Water Supply

  • Turn off the electricity at the main breaker panel and shut off the water supply to the existing water heater.

Step 2: Remove the Old Water Heater

  • Drain the water from the old water heater and disconnect it from the electrical and plumbing connections.
  • Remove the old heater from its mounting location.

Step 3: Prepare the Installation Area

  • Clear the designated installation area and ensure proper ventilation if required.
  • Position the tankless water heater according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, maintaining proper clearances for service and maintenance.

Step 4: Mount the Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • Securely mount the tankless water heater to the wall using appropriate hardware and anchors.
  • Ensure that the unit is level and securely attached to the wall to prevent vibrations during operation.

Step 5: Connect the Electrical Wiring

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect the electrical wiring, ensuring proper gauge and grounding.
  • Use wire connectors to secure the connections and verify polarity with a voltage tester before restoring power.

Step 6: Connect the Water Supply Lines

  • Install shut-off valves and appropriate fittings on the cold and hot water lines.
  • Connect the water lines to the inlet and outlet ports of the tankless water heater, ensuring proper alignment and sealing with thread sealant or plumber’s tape.

Step 7: Testing the Unit

  • Gradually open the water supply valves and check for leaks at all connections.
  • Restore power to the tankless water heater and verify proper operation by running hot water at various fixtures.
  • Adjust the temperature settings as needed and ensure consistent hot water delivery.

Troubleshooting and Safety Tips

  • Common Installation Issues: Address potential issues such as inadequate water flow, electrical wiring errors, or insufficient ventilation.
  • Safety Precautions: Follow manufacturer guidelines and local building codes. Use caution when working with electrical and plumbing systems to prevent accidents or injuries.

Maintenance and Care

  • Regularly flush the unit to remove mineral deposits and maintain efficiency.
  • Check for leaks, corrosion, or other signs of wear during routine inspections.
  • Schedule professional maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

By following this comprehensive installation guide, you can confidently install an electric tankless water heater in your home, enjoying the benefits of energy efficiency, space savings, and endless hot water. Prioritize safety, adhere to local building codes, and consult with professionals when needed to ensure a successful installation process. With proper maintenance and care, your tankless water heater will provide reliable hot water for years to come.

DIY vs. Professional Installation: Which is Best for Electric Tankless Water Heaters?

Installing an electric tankless water heater is a significant decision for any homeowner, offering energy efficiency, space savings, and endless hot water. However, when it comes to installation, the choice between DIY and professional installation can be daunting. Now we’ll explore the pros and cons of each approach to help you determine the best option for your needs.

Understanding DIY Installation

DIY installation involves homeowners taking on the responsibility of installing the electric tankless water heater themselves. While this approach can be cost-effective and empowering, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

  • Skill Level: Assess your comfort level with plumbing, electrical work, and general home improvement tasks.
  • Time Commitment: DIY installation may require significant time and effort, especially for those with limited experience.
  • Potential Savings: DIY installation can save money on labor costs, but mistakes or complications may lead to additional expenses.
  • Warranty Considerations: Some manufacturers may require professional installation to maintain warranty coverage.

Pros and Cons of DIY Installation


  • Cost Savings: Eliminates labor costs associated with professional installation.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Accomplishing a DIY project can be fulfilling and empowering.
  • Flexibility: Allows homeowners to work at their own pace and customize the installation process.


  • Risk of Errors: DIY installation increases the risk of mistakes, potentially leading to leaks, electrical issues, or improper installation.
  • Time and Effort: Requires significant time and effort to research, plan, and execute the installation correctly.
  • Safety Concerns: Inexperienced individuals may encounter safety hazards during installation, such as electrical shocks or gas leaks.

Benefits of Professional Installation

Professional installation involves hiring licensed plumbers or contractors to install the electric tankless water heater. While it may involve higher upfront costs, professional installation offers several advantages:

  • Expertise and Experience: Trained professionals have the skills and knowledge to ensure proper installation and address any challenges that may arise.
  • Warranty Compliance: Professional installation often ensures compliance with manufacturer warranties, protecting your investment in the long run.
  • Time Savings: Professionals can complete the installation more efficiently, minimizing disruption to your daily routine.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your electric tankless water heater is installed correctly provides peace of mind and reduces the risk of future issues.

Contact Baumbach Plumbing & Remodeling

Are you ready to experience the convenience and efficiency of a tankless electric water heater in your home? Our team of experienced professionals is here to help make the installation process seamless for you. From assessing your needs to expertly installing your new unit, we’re committed to ensuring your satisfaction every step of the way.

Schedule an appointment with us today and let our knowledgeable technicians guide you through the process. Whether you’re upgrading an existing system or exploring the benefits of a tankless water heater for the first time, we have the expertise to meet your needs.

But our assistance doesn’t stop at installation. As industry leaders in water heating solutions, we offer comprehensive maintenance services to keep your system running smoothly for years to come. Plus, with our competitive pricing and dedication to customer service, you can trust that you’re getting the best value for your investment.

Don’t wait any longer to enjoy the benefits of a tankless electric water heater. Contact us now to schedule your appointment and take the first step toward a more efficient and environmentally friendly home.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Installation Method

When deciding between DIY and professional installation, consider the following factors:

  • Budget: Evaluate your budget and weigh the upfront cost of professional installation against potential savings and risks associated with DIY.
  • Skill Level: Be honest about your abilities and comfort level with DIY projects, particularly those involving plumbing and electrical work.
  • Time Constraints: Consider your schedule and availability to devote to the installation process, especially if you opt for DIY.

Ultimately, the decision between DIY and professional installation depends on your preferences, skill level, and budget. While DIY installation offers cost savings and personal satisfaction, professional installation provides expertise, peace of mind, and warranty compliance.

Carefully evaluate your options and choose the approach that best suits your needs and circumstances. Whether you decide to tackle the installation yourself or enlist professional help, investing in an electric tankless water heater is a step towards energy efficiency and convenience for your home. By providing this detailed comparison, we aim to empower homeowners to make informed decisions about installing electric tankless water heaters. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us.

Tips for Choosing the Right Location for Your Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation

Tip 1: Assessing Space Requirements

Before deciding on a location, it’s essential to assess the space requirements for your electric tankless water heater. Consider the following:

  • Physical Dimensions: Measure the dimensions of the unit to ensure it fits comfortably in the chosen location.
  • Clearance Requirements: Check the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended clearances around the unit to allow for proper airflow and maintenance access.
  • Accessibility: Choose a location that provides easy access for servicing and maintenance tasks, such as descaling or flushing the unit.

Tip 2: Evaluating Ventilation Needs

Proper ventilation is essential for electric tankless water heaters to dissipate heat and exhaust combustion gases safely. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Outdoor Installation: If possible, consider installing the unit outdoors to eliminate ventilation concerns and free up indoor space.
  • Indoor Installation: If indoor installation is necessary, ensure adequate ventilation by positioning the unit near a vent or installing a venting system to direct exhaust gases outside.
  • Clearance from Combustibles: Maintain sufficient clearance between the unit and combustible materials to prevent overheating and fire hazards.

Tip 3: Assessing Water Supply and Demand

The location of your electric tankless water heater should be strategically chosen based on your household’s hot water demand and water supply lines. Consider the following:

  • Proximity to Fixtures: Install the unit close to the primary hot water fixtures, such as showers, sinks, or appliances, to minimize heat loss and reduce wait times for hot water.
  • Size Considerations: Choose a location that can accommodate the necessary plumbing connections and provide sufficient flow rates to meet your household’s hot water needs.

Tip 4: Considering Electrical Requirements

Since electric tankless water heaters require access to electrical power, it’s crucial to consider electrical requirements when choosing a location:

  • Proximity to Electrical Panel: Position the unit near the home’s electrical panel to minimize wiring lengths and ensure adequate power supply.
  • Electrical Safety: Choose a location away from moisture-prone areas, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms, to reduce the risk of electrical hazards.
  • Consult a Licensed Electrician: If unsure about electrical requirements or safety considerations, consult a licensed electrician for professional guidance and installation.

Tip 5: Prioritizing Energy Efficiency and Convenience

Optimizing energy efficiency and convenience should be top priorities when selecting the location for your electric tankless water heater:

  • Insulate Hot Water Lines: Install the unit close to hot water fixtures and insulate hot water lines to minimize heat loss and improve energy efficiency.
  • Consider Future Needs: Anticipate future changes in hot water usage patterns or household expansion when selecting the installation location to ensure long-term satisfaction and convenience.
  • Consult with Professionals: Seek advice from plumbing and HVAC professionals to evaluate potential installation locations and optimize energy efficiency and performance.

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