Venting a tankless propane water heater begins with identifying the type of venting option that is available for the specific model of water heater you have. Generally, a tankless propane water heater can be vented either horizontally or vertically.
Before beginning the venting process, be sure to read the owner’s manual for the water heater you have to ensure that you understand all of the requirements for venting it properly.
To begin the process of venting a tankless propane water heater, choose a location to install the vent pipe, such as a nearby exterior wall, and mark the area of the wall where you plan to install the vent pipe.
Ensure that you have all of the materials and tools you need to complete the job, such as the vent pipe, a vent pipe connector, the prefabricated vent support bracket, a hole saw and drill, and sealant tape.
Next, cut a hole in the wall according to the size of the vent pipe and install the vent support bracket. Secure the bracket to the wall according to the instructions in the manual. Take the vent pipe and attach it to the vent connector following the instructions in your manual.
Finally, secure the vent connector to the vent support bracket and make sure it is sealed properly with sealant tape. Once the vent is connected, double-check all the connections to ensure a good seal and that nothing is leaking.
Once everything is secure, you should be able to power on the tankless propane water heater and enjoy hot water.
Do all tankless water heaters need to be vented?
No, not all tankless water heaters need to be vented. The two types of tankless water heaters, electric and gas-powered, each have different requirements. Electric tankless water heaters don’t require any venting, as they use electricity to heat the water, rather than combustion.
Gas-powered tankless water heaters, however, may require direct venting to the outside of your home to expel gases produced from the combustion process. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as different models may require different types of venting.
Additionally, the local codes and regulations in your area should be followed when installing a tankless water heater.
How much ventilation does a tankless water heater need?
A tankless water heater does not have a storage tank like its traditional counterpart, and therefore does not need as much ventilation. However, it still needs adequate airflow for proper and safe operation.
For example, it must still be properly vented to exhaust combustion byproducts safely. Specifically, tankless water heaters should be vented to the outside of the house, with a direct vent system or a power vent system.
In some instances, it might also be possible to vent with a conventional chimney system. Generally, tankless models need to be connected to a Class B double-walled or Type L rigid vent with a 3 or 4-inch diameter.
The vent should be made of non-combustible material, and should follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the type of vent and its installation. All venting must be done correctly to provide a safe operating environment in order to avoid any kind of carbon monoxide leakage.
Additionally, a minimum of 1 square foot of inlet and outlet venting must be provided for each 10,000 British Thermal Units (BTU). Therefore, the amount of ventilation required by a tankless water heater will depend on the BTU input rating of the model.
In any case, it is important to consult with a licensed professional to ensure that all applicable codes and safety standards are met.
Can you use PVC pipe to vent a tankless water heater?
Yes, you can use PVC pipe to vent a tankless water heater. PVC is a great material, as it is strong, durable, and cost-effective. In addition to being easy to work with, PVC pipe is resistant to water and infiltration, making it ideal for venting a tankless water heater.
It is recommended to use PVC pipe that is specifically rated and describes as suitable for venting water heaters, as it has a higher temperature rating and is designed to prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the vent pipe.
It is also recommended that the vent pipe should have adjustable fittings at the end to help keep the vent pipe properly adjusted and secured against the wall and ceiling. When installing the PVC vent pipe for a tankless water heater, it is important to ensure the pipe does not pass through ceilings, walls, or any other combustible material, in order to prevent any potential fire hazards.
Additionally, the appropriate clearances from the vent pipe to combustible material must be maintained, depending on the type of the water heater. Following these guidelines, PVC pipe can be safely used to vent a tankless water heater.
What does a tankless water heater vent look like?
A tankless water heater vent typically consists of a vent hood, a vertical or horizontal vent pipe, connection pipe, and a terminal vent. The vent hood typically consists of a metal and is typically a rectangular shape, with a flange to attach to a wall.
The vent pipe can come in a vertical or horizontal configuration, depending on the layout and size of the space you are installing the tankless water heater in. The connection pipe is typically a flexible tube and is used to connect the vent hood to the outside of the building.
Finally, the terminal vent is usually a flexible sleeve, usually made of aluminum or galvanized steel, which is used to ensure the proper flow of air from the inside of the building to the outside.
How high does a water heater vent need to be?
The height of a water heater vent needs to be determined by local building codes and the specifics of the venting installation. Typically, vents need to be placed at least 6-8 inches above the roof if the roof has a pitch, and 3 feet above the roof peak if the roof has a low or flat pitch.
If any portions of the vent go through a wall, then it should extend vertically a minimum of 12 inches above the roof line. An additional factor to consider is the type of material used. A gas water heater should have venting that is double-walled, made of metal, and certified for use with flue gases.
When installing a vent for a gas water heater, it must also extend at least 3 feet away from any building openings. In addition, water heater vents must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and applicable building codes.
How long does a tank of propane last for tankless water heater?
The amount of time that a tank of propane will last for a tankless water heater will depend on the size of the tank and the amount of water used in a day. If a 40-gallon tank is used and an average household uses up to five gallons per shower, then the tank will last approximately two and a half weeks.
On the other hand, if a larger tank is used, such as a 500 gallon tank, then the amount of propane used per shower can be reduced and the tank will last longer. Generally speaking, a 500-gallon tank can last approximately 14 to 16 weeks if an average family of four is using hot water.
It’s also important to factor in climate. When installing a tankless water heater, consider the size of the house and the number of people who will be using hot water. A larger tank may be necessary for a larger family and may need to be refilled more often during the winter months when temperatures are colder and more hot water is used.
What size tankless hot water heater do I need for a family of 4?
When it comes to hot water heater sizes, it all depends on your individual family’s needs. Generally speaking, it is recommended to have a tankless water heater with a capacity of 4 – 8 gallons per minute (GPM) for families of four.
This type of hot water heater ensures that you have enough hot water for bathing, laundry, dishwashing and other daily activities.
When considering the size of your tankless water heater, consider the number of faucets, showers, and appliances that you have in your home. Each of these will draw a certain amount of hot water. When adding up the total of all those faucets and showers you have, don’t forget to add for whatever else you may need, such as dishwashers and clothes washers.
It may also be a good idea to buy a tankless water heater that has a GPM of more than 8 – 10, even though it may be considered overkill. This will allow you to run multiple items such as a dishwasher and shower at the same time without any worry of running out of hot water.
Ultimately, make sure to do your research and understand the GPM and energy efficiency rating of the model you are considering. You should also make sure to have it professionally installed by a qualified plumber or heating contractor for your safety and satisfaction.
Can a tankless water heater replace a regular water heater?
Yes, a tankless water heater can absolutely replace a regular water heater. Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient and don’t take up nearly as much space as their traditional counterparts. In addition, they can provide hot water on demand, meaning the hot water is available almost immediately when you turn on a hot water tap.
This can prove to be more convenient and efficient than a regular water heater, which stores a tank full of hot water, ready to supply hot water when called upon. Tankless water heaters can also last up to twice as long as a regular water heater, depending on maintenance and the type of model you choose.
However, it is important to consider the size of the tankless water heater you require based on the number of faucets and appliances requiring hot water in the home. Tankless water heaters are also more expensive to purchase than a regular water heater, which should be kept in mind.