If you found this page, chances are you are considering an upgrade to a Hybrid water heater. Hybrid water heaters combine a tanked water heater with the on-demand hot water system of a tankless water heater. We recommend them for their eco-friendly options and endless hot water. Below we have a guide to installing a hybrid water heater, step-by-step.
How to Install or Replace a Hybrid Water Heater
You should only do this if you are very familiar with working with water lines and electrical. We understand that installing or replacing water heaters can be very costly. It’s technically possible to install your own unit, but we caution you to be extremely careful. If your hybrid water heater is installed improperly, you could be left with extreme damage. Improper electrical can result in a fire and poorly installed water lines can leave you with harmful water damage.
If you are thinking of a DIY install, it’s important to know the details of your insurance. Some insurance providers will not cover damage to your home unless your hybrid water heater was installed by a licensed professional.
If you are confident in your abilities and have double checked with your insurance, the steps below will walk you through how to install your unit.
Make sure you pull any required state or city permits for installing or replacing a water heater. Each city is different, and may require fees to pull a permit. If this seems overwhelming, call a license plumber like Reliant Plumbing! Whether you are in Austin, San Antonio, Westlake, or Round Rock, we can repair or replace hybrid water heaters.
Find the Perfect Location
- Check your installation guide for specific recommendations and make sure you have enough space for the intended unit.
- One big difference between installing a hybrid heat pump water heater and a standard electric one is serviceability. A hybrid heat pump requires occasional service. This requires most units to be 6 inches away from the wall.
- This distance can vary. So, refer to your installation manual for specific guidelines.
- Examine the airflow for ducting needs.
- A large area like a garage won’t require a duct kit.
- In a tighter space, you may need a duct kit.
Remove the Old Water Heater
- Turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater.
- Make sure the circuit breaker is marked properly by using a voltage detector.
- Drain the old tank:
- Connect a hose to it.
- Flush debris out of it by leaving the water on. Once the debris is gone, turn off the water and introduce air.
- If it drains very slowly, use a transfer pump.
- After the unit is completely drained, remove the flex supply lines and disconnect the power.
If you are not confident removing your water heater, please call Reliant Plumbing! We install these regularly and can save you time and energy.
Check the Connection Requirements in Your Installation Guide
If the new unit’s inlets are different compared to your old heater, you may have to move the plumbing around for them. This can require moving or removing drywall, pipes, and valves. If you face this situation, please call a professional plumber! We have 50 years of combine experience and can handle any pipe problems that come our way.
Place the New Unit
- To create appropriate distance, use wood blocking or construction channel.
- To prevent concrete from absorbing heat from the unit, place a Styrofoam insulation pad on the bottom of the water heater.
- If you’re on a wood frame structure, be sure to use a drain pan.
Run the Condensate Drain
Run the condensate line from the outlet to a close by drain.
Connect the Water Lines
Connect the water inlet and outlet.
Fill the Tank
Fill the tank by turning on the cold water valve on the water supply line.
Check for Leaks & Empty Air From the Tank
- Open the hot water side of the nearest faucet, after removing the aerator.
- Turn on the cold water supply at the water heater. Check for leaks around the water heater.
- If everything looks good, continue letting the tank fill. You can tell the tank is full when water runs from the faucet.
- Allow the water to run from the faucet for about 3 minutes to empty air from the tank.
Connect the Wiring
Wait until the tank is completely full before connecting the wire. This helps avoid dry firing, which damages heating elements.
- Take off the junction box cover.
- Attach the ground wire to the green ground screw.
- Twist the wires together with wire connectors. Use the previous connections to guide you.
- Put the cover back on.
- Turn on the power. If you don’t have power, turn off the circuit breaker and check your connections.
Adjust the Temperature Setting
The recommended temperature setting is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can adjust this depending on your personal preference. Test the temperature of the water at a faucet and then adjust the temperature on the thermostat. It might take several hours to initially heat the water.
Check Your Faucets
Sometimes water heater faucets have reduced flow after installation due to sediment trapped in the line. If this happens, just remove your aerator and flush out the sediment before replacing it.
Be Sure the Water Heater is in Hybrid Mode
The default mode for a heat pump water heaters is the Hybrid Mode, which is the most energy efficient. There are other modes to choose from, but you want the unit to be in hybrid mode for regular operation.
Schedule Your Service
Our plumbing experts are available to take care of your repair today. They’ll evaluate your problem, provide a solution & upfront price, and then get to work!