How to install an electric water heater?

An electric water heater is an indispensable appliance for many families; especially in winter when the water is usually very cold. Although its installation is simpler than that which a gas boiler could entail, it is a process that must be done following a series of guidelines on which its proper functioning will depend.


What is an electric water heater and how do we obtain DHW?

Electric boilers are an effective alternative to obtain DHW (sanitary hot water) at home, without the need for expensive works or installations that could affect the family budget.

The key to obtaining hot water with this type of equipment is the resistance that they include inside and which is capable of heating the water in its tank; while its thermal insulation keeps it warm for several hours, to be used later when required.

The types of electric water heaters that exist in the market

Currently there are different types of electric water heaters with different characteristics and functions. Thanks to this and to the technology used by the best brands, today we have equipment that offers more and better features.

In general, we can classify them according to the type of installation: vertical, horizontal or reversible; the latter being very versatile. However, the choice we make will depend on the space available at home for its installation.

On the other hand, they could also be classified according to resistance; which could be sheathed or armored. In addition, the capacity in liters that it offers must also be taken into account; In general, this characteristic can vary from 6 liters in compact thermoses, to 200 liters in large models.

Key pieces to consider

Once you have chosen the most convenient hot water heater for your needs and knowing how an electric heater works, it is time to install it. But first, it is necessary to evaluate the function of its key pieces. 

Security valve. This piece serves as a non-return valve and is the one that we could use to empty the thermos if necessary. If the pressure in the water heater gets too high, the water heater expels the required water through the valve and then releases it down the drain. 

Electrolytic sleeve. It is the piece that extends the useful life of the thermos, avoiding corrosion thanks to the fact that it has a plastic structure that protects it against electrolysis. In general, electric water heaters have two: one in the cold water intake and the other in the hot water intake. 

Reinforced hoses. They are another fundamental piece, which must be more resistant than those used in the rest of the house for the taps; because they have to withstand the high temperatures that the water reaches when the thermos is in operation. 

Pressure reducing valve. It is an optional piece and especially useful in cases where the home does not have regular water pressure. 

Thermostatic mixer. Another of the optional parts that you must take into account for the installation of an electric water heater is the thermostatic mixer. It is an element that regulates the temperature, so it provides greater energy savings and improves the efficiency of the thermos. It is linked to the incoming cold water and the outgoing hot water.

Learn how to install an electric water heater. Step by Step

Step 1

First of all, it is necessary to select an appropriate place for installation. To do this, choose a strong wall capable of resisting the full weight of the thermos at its maximum capacity. Likewise, it is advisable to leave free space between the wall and the lid of the thermos, approximately 30 cm to facilitate the maintenance of the equipment.

On the other hand, you must mount it as close as possible to a water intake, in such a way that no temperature is lost; the most recommended points are the bathrooms and the kitchen.

Step 2

The electric water heaters have a plate incorporated into their structure and which facilitates their mounting on the wall. For this reason, it is essential to make the corresponding measurements and take these measurements with the help of a marker on the wall where the device is going to be placed; the idea is that the anchor points coincide and that the thermos is safe and stable.

Step 3

Next, with the appropriate drill, it must be drilled according to the thickness of the bolt; drilling the anchor points, then putting the plugs and bolts in place. Later, if necessary and for safety reasons, help from another person could be requested to raise the thermos and proceed to fix it with the nuts for an optimal fastening of the same.

Step 4

Now that the thermos is anchored and secure, it is time to place the two anti-electrolyte sleeves on each water connection and screw the safety valve on the cold water connection. To avoid leaks and seal effectively, it is advisable to use Teflon or sealing thread.

step 5

It is time to screw the reinforced hoses, this step is very simple since each one has a color that identifies it: blue for cold water and red for hot water inlet/outlet. These hoses are attached to the sleeve thread in the case of hot water and to the safety valve for cold water.

Step 6

Once the wall mounting is finished, it is essential that you fill the thermos by opening the cold water faucet and before connecting it to the electrical network; Otherwise, the equipment could be damaged instantly, since it is necessary that the resistance is completely submerged to be able to turn it on. Once full, proceed to open the hot water outlet.

step 7

When the thermos has been filled and it has been verified that the installation is correct, you must plug it into the network and configure it according to your needs. The thermos will turn on a light and start its heating cycle.

Regardless of whether it is about mounting a new electric water heater, changing an electric water heater for another, installing a horizontal electric water heater or doing it vertically; It is advisable to follow the steps and recommendations in the user manual. In the event that you do not have the necessary experience to carry out this work, you could go to a plumbing professional.

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