The start of winter needs immediate measures to make things cozy at home and a direct vent water heater is one of the most effective ways to do it. However, there are several kinds of water heaters that you can look into before choosing one. Because every type of heater is designed to perform in a very typical environment. Hence, before selecting a thorough appliance analysis is mandatory for an optimal selection of water heaters. Selecting the right type of appliance is also important because every kind has different plumbing requirements for fitting as well.

Once installed, the heater is going to stay there for a very long time. Therefore, a water heat not only needs to cheaper, but it has to be energy efficient as well to match the latest requirements of the modern needs only then it’ll be called an efficient solution. The capacity of a water heater is another important perspective to look at because if you need twenty liters of hot water in the morning, then getting a low capacity heater will be a poor choice that might need a reinvestment later. The following details about direct vent water heaters quite informative before you actually buy one.

What is a Direct Vent Water Heater?

As it is mentioned before that every heater type is suited to a particular environment, the direct vent water heater is best suited for an ambiance that has low or poor indoor ventilation. It is a gas heater that is designed to draw in the air supply from the outdoor atmosphere for combustion. Once the cycle is complete the excess gases are released into the outside atmosphere. This way it manages to heat the water without having an impact on the indoor available air. It is designed to have the least effect on the indoor ambiance because the excess heat is also vented outside.

This water heater type is an efficient design and it can easily fit even smaller areas, however, you are going to need the pipeline to get it fixed. It is a state-of-the-art technology based on a special coaxial venting that has a separate intake chamber and exhausts chambers. The vents cover a part of your home till it goes outside. You may choose to cover it with suitable wooden cases to hide the pipes. The air is pulled from outside to avoid back-drafting in your home, this is an important safety feature for the installation purpose.

Important Tools and Supplies Required for Installation

Installing a direct vent water heater is a very challenging task because it requires a lot of supplies and needs precision plumbing work to get it done. Still, it’s not like something that can’t be done personally, but you are going to need a complete set of tools and supplies and in addition, you are going to need a good idea about the parts of this specific water heater. So, buckle up and gather the following list of tools:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Electrical tape
  • Pipe wrench
  • Plumbers tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Soldering torch
  • Tape measure
  • Tube cutter
  • Voltage tester
  • Wire stripper/cutter

Well, you may or may not find all the listed tools above, but a few of them can be borrowed from friends as well. In addition to the tools above you are going to need some other materials as well for a successful installation. So, while you are gathering the tools you might want to buy the following materials from a local hardware store.

  • Discharge pipe
  • Fittings
  • Pipe thread compound
  • Pressure relief valve
  • Solder
  • Venting pipe and connectors
  • Water and gas piping

It is quite understandable if you just back off by looking at the lists above. Therefore, if it is not possible for you to gather everything listed above you can contact a reliable professional to get it done for you because the professionals are always well equipped.

Important Steps to Install a Direct Vent Water Heater?

The installation process is not too complicated but it will require precision work to avoid and issues in the future. Therefore, it is important to understand the various parts of the direct vent water heater well and try to memorize them.

  • Flue pipe
  • Coldwater shutoff valve
  • Draft diverter
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve
  • Overflow pipe
  • Hot water outlet
  • Anticorrosion Anode Rod
  • Dip tube
  • Elements
  • Insulation
  • Drain valve
  • Thermostat or control valve
  • Burner
  • Thermocouple
  • Gas supply valve

In addition, you are going to need a detailed installation guide, that you would have received with your water heater. The quick installation tips are quite important to follow if you want to wrap things up fast. Make sure you read it at the start because it tells you exactly what you are going to need for the installation. It is quite easy for a professional to follow the instructions and if you think you are not following the guide properly, then it is time you hired a professional for help. Because installing a water heater might seem like an interesting project but it is an appliance that can be damaged if not handled properly.

When to Get a Brand New Water Heater?

Installation of a direct vent water heater is important but more than that it is important to know when to replace your heater. So, keep an eye on your heater, especially in winters and when you notice a leak in the tank, it means your heater has taken serious damage. Commonly the water starts dripping off and makes a stream and you’d see the rust comes with it. You can elaborate easily that the rust caused a leak and now you should replace it to avoid complications during winters. You might also start to experience an inefficient performance, like poor heating, overconsumption, etc. If it is still in warranty, then you just need to claim the warranty but if not, then you better plan a replacement.

You must take into account your previous experience with the heater to buy a new one. Think of the improvements that you’d like to have with the new water heater. Questioning of its capacity is another way to do it. Various brands make similar products with a few differences, so make sure you choose a good one with the latest features. You can talk to an expert and take the opinion while making a selection because the experts always know better. All you need is to tell him what your expectation is from a water heater and it helps him to suggest an optimal solution to you.

Other Interesting Water Heater Types

It is often said that to understand something it is essential to understand an opposite system. The direct vent water heater has a few competitors suited for a different ambiance. For example, a standard atmospheric vent heater is quite common to be found in the home. it is based on hot air rising mechanism. It draws the air in from the inside through the bottom and the top vents and then excess heat is released into the atmosphere through a top vent. The power vent heater is another efficient heating system that is particularly designed to minimize heat dissipation. It utilized the heat from the exhaust to heat the water, for that purpose it comes with an electric blower fan installed at the top.

Another interesting and common water heater type is the concentric vent heaters. It utilizes a single coaxial assembly for both intake and exhaust. This type of water heater can be installed easily on a single wall and often known as a smart heater. This particular solution offers fewer liters and can become quite useful for a household with a few people. It can also be used as a generic idea and become a part of direct vent water hear, or power vent system. However, the material of the concentric vent might change.

A water heater is an important appliance and its absence or malfunctioning is felt greatly during winters. A direct vent water heater can supply hot water for general purposes and even for a localized heating system as well. In any case, the efficiency has to be measured before you plan a project. You must take into account the consumption of energy per annum. A personal launched project might seem like an adventure, but you must understand that if you do it wrong, the heater can be damaged for good. Therefore, it is extremely important to fully understand your appliance before you start with the installation. For that purpose, the manufacturer always provides a user manual to make things easy for you.

You can always hire a professional for the installation because it is their routine and they can do it a lot faster than you can ever. Professional support can not only safely install your heater but a lot of time can be saved as well. Therefore, whenever you launch such a project must have a contingency as well. Because if things don’t go as you have planned, then you can urgently hire someone to help you out. Make sure you keep the warranty card safe because it can save you unnecessary maintenance costs for a limited time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How To Install Direct Vent Gas Water Heater?

The first step is to identify the best location in your house. Find an outside-facing wall as the water heater draws combustion air from the vent pipe. Place the new water heater in an already cleared space. Thread a vacuum valve onto a brass water heater T-fitting and then put it into the heater’s cold-water connection. Insert a ¾-inch copper fitting onto the hot water connection. Now tighten the fittings with pliers before soldering the pipes with the heater. Connect the gas line and make the necessary electrical connections. Glue together the exhaust port to the power vent. Once you are sure all the joints are in place, seal with a silicone bead to prevent water leaks. Let it settle for a while. Open the water and gas valves to start using hot water in your house.

Q: How To Disassemble A Direct Vent Water Heater Vent?

Gather the essential tools such as pliers, tubing cutters, and PVC pipe cutters. Turn off the gas supply to the water heater and disconnect the electricity by unplugging it. Identify the ball valve that is supplying the cold water to the heater and close it. Now attach a garden hose and an electric pump to the drain valve near the bottom of the unit to remove access water. Once you completely drained the cold water, open all the hot water taps in your home to empty the hot water reservoir. Use a tubing cutter to cut the hot and cold water pipes. Loosen the union fitting between gas pipe and water heater using pliers. And this is how your old water heater is safely disassembled and ready to be moved out of the house.

Q: How much to install a direct vent water heater?

Installing a direct water heater is done when the option of the conventional chimneys isn’t feasibly installed. You can get the installation of a direct vent water heater at the minimum costing from 500 $ to 1500 $ can be installed. It is installed outside the facing wall as it demonstrates combustion air from outside with the usage of coaxial vents. The heat is extracted from the combustion fuel. It is a heater that provides low-cost water heating. It is such a power saver heater that helps to get the exhaust gases vented out. This heater cost varies on the price choices you make starting from 500 to 4000 $ depending on the facilities you acquire.

Q: How to install a power vent water heater replacing a direct vent water heater?

The power vent heater has more versatility than the direct vent water heaters in the power vent heater; you don’t require a chimney or any vent pipe for the exhaustion of gases. It needs the extension of water and gas pipes. You can place this type of heater at any place in your home. You can get rid of the vent or pipe and locate this to any area of your residential or commercial property. You can make the pipe horizontal and get the venting for the power vent heater. A direct vent water heater can be easily replaced by removing the chimneys and vertical vent.