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Easy Guide: How to Install a Point-of-Use Water Heater

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  • Post last modified:August 27, 2023

Are you tired of waiting for hot water to reach your shower or sink? A point-of-use water heater might be the solution you’re looking for. Not only can it save you time and money, but it can also provide hot water more efficiently.

However, installing a point-of-use water heater can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with plumbing and electrical work. In this guide, I’ll provide step-by-step instructions to help you successfully install a point-of-use water heater in your home.

Key Takeaways:

  • A point-of-use water heater provides hot water more efficiently.
  • Installing a point-of-use water heater requires plumbing and electrical work.
  • This guide will provide step-by-step instructions for a successful installation.

Choosing the Right Location

Before beginning the installation process for your point-of-use water heater, you must first choose the optimal location for it. This location must have easy access to plumbing lines and electrical outlets, and be close to the area where hot water is required.

When choosing an installation location, consider the safety of the unit and those who will access it. The unit must be placed on a level surface, away from combustible materials, and out of reach of children. Additionally, consider the convenience of the installation location. Avoid installing the unit in an area where it will be obstructive or difficult to access for any future maintenance needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Installation Location
Proximity to plumbing lines and electrical outlets
Safety considerations
Convenience of access

Once you have decided on the ideal location for your point-of-use water heater, you can move on to the next step of the installation process.

installing point-of-use water heater

Section 3: Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before starting the installation process, it is essential to have all the necessary tools and materials at hand. This will help ensure a smooth installation process and save time and effort. Here is a list of the tools and materials required for a DIY water heater installation:

Tools Materials
Adjustable wrench Point-of-use water heater
Pipe cutter Pipes (copper or PEX)
Plumber’s tape Compression fittings
Screwdriver Teflon tape
Wire cutters/strippers Mounting brackets
Wire nuts Electric cable (if applicable)

It’s important to note that the required tools and materials may vary depending on the specific installation method and the type of point-of-use water heater being installed. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for a complete list of the necessary components.

Having these tools and materials on hand will not only ensure an efficient installation process but also eliminate the need for multiple trips to the hardware store. This way, you can save time and money and complete the installation process smoothly.

DIY Water Heater Installation

Shutting off the Water Supply

Before beginning the installation process, the water supply to the existing water heater must be turned off. This is a crucial step to ensure safety and prevent water damage during the installation.

The shut-off valve should be located near the existing water heater. Turn the valve clockwise to close it and shut off the water supply.

It’s important to note that if there is no shut-off valve present, the main water supply to the house will need to be turned off temporarily. In this case, it’s recommended to consult a professional plumber to ensure proper and safe shut-off of the water supply.

step-by-step water heater installation

Once the water supply has been shut off, open a nearby faucet to relieve any pressure in the plumbing lines. This will prevent any water from spilling out during the disconnection of the existing water heater.

Disconnecting the Existing Water Heater

Before installing the new point-of-use water heater, the old one needs to be disconnected. Here are the steps:

  1. Shut off the power: First, turn off the power supply to the old water heater. If it’s an electric water heater, turn off the circuit breaker. If it’s a gas water heater, turn the thermostat to “Pilot” mode.
  2. Turn off the water: Next, shut off the water supply to the old water heater. Locate the valve on the cold water pipe and turn it clockwise to close it.
  3. Drain the tank: Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the old water heater and extend it to a floor drain or outside. Open the valve and let the tank drain completely. This step is crucial to avoid any water spillage during the installation.
  4. Disconnect the plumbing connections: Use a pipe cutter or adjustable wrench to disconnect the old water heater’s plumbing connections. Take note of the connections’ orientation and label them if necessary.

Once the old water heater is disconnected and removed, you can proceed with the installation of the new point-of-use water heater.

step-by-step water heater installation

Installing the Point-of-Use Water Heater

With all the necessary materials and tools gathered, it’s time to start installing the point-of-use water heater. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Turn off the water supply valve, which should be located near the existing water heater or main water line.
  2. Disconnect the plumbing connections from the old water heater. Use a pipe cutter to remove any pipes that cannot be twisted off by hand. Be sure to have a bucket handy to catch any water left in the lines.
  3. Turn off the power supply to the old water heater. If it is an electric water heater, locate the circuit breaker panel and turn off the breaker. For a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply valve.
  4. Drain any remaining water from the old water heater. Open a hot water faucet on a nearby sink to allow air into the tank and speed up the draining process.
  5. Install the new point-of-use water heater in the previously selected location. Connect the plumbing lines and any necessary electrical wiring. Use Teflon tape on all threaded connections to prevent leaks.
  6. Once the connections are secure, turn on the water supply valve and allow the tank to fill with water. Open a hot water faucet on a nearby sink to let any air escape from the lines.
  7. Turn on the power or gas supply to the new water heater, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Check for leaks at all connections. If a leak is detected, turn off the water supply and correct the issue before proceeding.

It’s important to follow these steps carefully to ensure a successful installation. If you’re unsure of any part of the process, it’s always best to consult a professional.

Water Heater Installation

Testing and Troubleshooting

After the point-of-use water heater is installed, it is crucial to test it to ensure it is functioning correctly. Turn on the water supply and electricity (if applicable), and let the water heater heat the water for at least 30 minutes. Check if the water temperature is consistent and if there are any leaks or unusual noises.

If the water temperature is not consistent or there are leaks, turn off the power and water supply immediately and check the connections. Ensure there are no loose or damaged fittings, and all pipes and valves are securely connected. In case of a damaged part, replace it before resuming the testing.

If there are no visible issues, the point-of-use water heater is ready for use. However, it is important to keep an eye on it for the first few weeks to ensure it continues to function correctly.

If any problems arise, follow the manufacturer’s troubleshooting guide. Common issues include insufficient hot water, noisy operation, and a tripped circuit breaker.

Remember, if the installation and testing process seem overwhelming, it is always best to consult a professional. Improper installation can lead to equipment damage, personal injury, or even death.

step-by-step water heater installation

Insulating the Pipes (Optional)

While not a required step for installing a point-of-use water heater, insulation can significantly improve the unit’s energy efficiency and performance. Insulating the pipes connected to the water heater can prevent heat loss during transport, which reduces the amount of energy required to heat the water. This can result in lower energy bills and a longer lifespan for the unit.

To insulate the pipes, begin by measuring the length of the pipes between the water heater and the plumbing connections. Purchase foam pipe insulation that matches the diameter of the pipes and cut it to the appropriate length. Then, wrap the insulation around the pipes, ensuring a snug fit and secure with duct tape or zip ties. Ensure that there are no gaps or exposed areas where heat can escape.

Insulating the pipes is a simple DIY project that can be completed with just a few tools and materials. By taking this extra step, you can maximize the performance and energy efficiency of your point-of-use water heater.

DIY water heater installation

Safety Precautions and Maintenance

During and after the point-of-use water heater installation, it is imperative to prioritize safety precautions to avoid injury or damage to property. Always turn off the water supply and power before beginning any installation tasks. Be mindful of potential electrical hazards and use caution when handling tools and materials.

Regular maintenance can ensure the long-term functionality and energy efficiency of the point-of-use water heater. Check the unit periodically for leaks or damage to the pipes and connections. Clean the unit, as necessary, to remove any buildup or sediment. It is also recommended to flush the unit annually to remove any mineral buildup.

Following these safety precautions and maintenance recommendations will ensure a successful and long-lasting point-of-use water heater installation for a more efficient and comfortable home.

water heater maintenance


In conclusion, installing a point-of-use water heater can be a great way to provide hot water to a specific location in your home without the need for a large tank-style unit. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully install a point-of-use water heater on your own.

Remember to carefully choose the location for your unit and gather all necessary tools and materials before beginning the installation. Shutting off the water supply and disconnecting the existing water heater are crucial steps to ensure a safe and successful installation.

Properly installing your new point-of-use water heater involves connecting the plumbing lines, electrical wiring (if applicable), and securing the unit in place. Testing and troubleshooting the unit are also important steps to ensure it is functioning correctly.

Don’t forget to consider insulating the pipes connected to your new unit for improved energy efficiency and performance. Follow important safety precautions during and after installation, and perform regular maintenance tasks to keep your point-of-use water heater functioning optimally.

Overall, installing a point-of-use water heater is a great DIY project for homeowners looking to improve the hot water delivery in their homes. By following this guide, you can successfully install a point-of-use water heater and enjoy hot water exactly where and when you need it.

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