Saving Water

GE Water Heater Installation Tips

February 11, 2020

Installing a new GE water heater is not always as simple as pulling out the old water heater and also plugging a new one in its place. Changes in local building codes will impact the installation of the new water heater regardless of how your current water heater is installed. Take some time to learn all the ins and outs of water heater installation before getting started.

Keep It Quake Safe

Check with the local municipality for building codes specific for your area and the necessary permits. Local codes override state and national codes, but frequently incorporate lots of the state and domestic requirements. For instance, California requires bracing on water heaters installed after July 1, 1991, to keep water heaters from falling or shifting during flames. Other locations may need you install an expansion tank or plumb the temperature and pressure relief line via an exterior wall. License fees vary in cost, but failure to obtain a license prior to installing your own water heater could result in expensive fines.

Finding the ideal Size

GE offers a sizing calculator that will help you pick the correct tank size to provide an adequate supply of hot water to fulfill your family’s requirements. If you are replacing a gas water heater, GE recommends choosing a smaller water heater in the event you would when replacing an electric water heater. For instance, a family of five residing in a gas home equipped with 2 baths, a dishwater along with a washing machine demands a water heater with at least a 50-gallon storage tank; an all-electric home with the identical number of family members, baths and appliances takes a water heater with at least an 80-gallon storage tank.

Flexible Copper Rules

When you set up the new water heater you might be tempted to soften the water lines from the original water heater, but you need to replace them with fresh lines. GE suggests replacing the old lines with flexible copper lines that can be disconnected easily whenever the water heater requires service. In addition, it recommends installing a shut-off valve in the supply line above the tank in the event of an emergency or when servicing the heater involves turning from the water source. You also need to make sure PVC pipe used to plumb the pressure relief discharge line is rated for hot water applications.

Reduce the Temp

Your water heater thermostat has a factory setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. GE suggests making any temperature alterations required to ensure the safety of any little children, disabled and elderly members in your family. A 120-degree setting can generate a serious burn if you stay in the water for five minutes or longer. Reducing the temperature by even 10 degrees reduces this danger and can help reduce your energy and operating costs. GE also implies installing a mixing valve to reduce the temperature of the water at the point of use if lowering the water heater thermostat is not an alternative. The blending valve combines the hot and cold water at a main branch water line and also can be installed by a licensed plumber if necessary.

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