To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- replace or install a water heater (gas or electric, tank or tankless)
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, provide proof of the following as pics or video (less than two minutes):
- the old water heater or the location in need of a water heater
- the installation midway through
- finished installation
I usually do stuff around the house/property and only after the fact think "I wonder if there is a PEP badge for this?"
Anyway, this is my first attempt at documenting something for points so if I'm doing this wrong, let me know.
I came across a deal on a small instant hot water heater that someone bought, looked at the scope of the project, and for whatever reason chickened out. And no wonder! Despite their look these things aren't plug-in appliances require some pretty serious power. This one requires a 240v (aka two-phase) electricity on a 60 amp circuit! And it's considered a small one... barely able to handle 1 shower at a time!
Anyway, the price was right and the wh that came with our house was getting a liitle old. Indeed, if it wasn't so packed with sediment, I'm pretty sure it would have rusted through by now.
The installation steps were as follows (see photos below)
1) Finding a spot accessible to both plumbing and power.
2) Running cable and install a board to mount the unit to. This used some pretty beefy 6-gauge cable, which is quite a beast to wrestle, and also (as I found out the hard way) takes HomeDepot a week to get in. :/
3) After running the cable, I installed new breakers. Remember, this is two-phase, so it's a double breaker. Fortunately in my case the blower for the old water heater happened to be right next to an empty slot so I didn't have to re-route anything. :)
4) Hook up the plumbing. Unfortunately the model I got (ECOSmart ECO-11) used "compression fitting" threads, which are somewhat rare. To make the adapter I needed I had to solder a compresson fitting nut to a 3/4 pipe adapter and jam an o-ring down in there for a seal. And, yes, that arrangement took a fair amount of head-scratching and very wet trial and error to come up with. (If you have the same connundrum and my description is unclear, message me and I'll get you more details)
5) After purging the air lines of bubbles as per the instructions, I powered on and everything works! Hurray! Now the only problem is staying in the shower too long because there is no such thing as "running out" anymore.
FUTURE NOTE: I do still need to add an anti-scale filter inline with this. Apparently mineral build-up can really kill the efficiency of these things.
LAZINESS NOTE: For now I left the old water heater in place as I don't have a plug to cap off the gas line. I could drag it out, but DW had the idea to use it as a reserve water storage tank. Hmm... What do you all think about that idea?
HUMOROUS NOTE: So, I wanted to drain the old water heater, but when I hooked up a hose and opened the drainage valve, only a dribble came out.
"Aha!" I thought, "There must be so much sediment in the bottom that it's clogging the drain"
So taking a mighty breath like the big bad wolf about to blow a little pig's house down, I blew into the end of the hose.
"Yep. That was it aright." I thought a second later, with water running down my shirt and a mouth full of black mud.
Cough, cough, spit, spit.
If you don't "know enough"... try anyway! (Cuz that's how you learn.)