Installing a Heat Pump - Tips & Tricks

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Here is one of the inquires we have received from the visitor regarding the American heat pump water heaters...


I've just bought the electric heat pump made by the American Water Heater Company and planning to install it by myself. The electrical part of the water heater and its connection to the grid won't be a problem. The questions are related to the plumbing: what connections do you recommend, which safety valves to install and are there any tips and tricks to consider?


One of the important things to consider when installing the American heat pump is the location, because once corroded and leaked water tank, incorrect plumbing and connections, burst pipes and condensation might lead to flooding and damages. Recommendation is to install the heat pump not above but below the main floor, such as the basement or garage. The installation of the drain pan under the water heater is strongly recommended.

American Heat Pump Before installation, check the water pressure coming from the main supply, it should be around 50 psi; and if the pressure is higher, install the pressure reducing valve.

Cold and hot water supplies must be connected properly to its corresponding cold and hot fittings. For easy and fast connections and removal, install the unions on both sides.

In order to prevent any scalding burns from the hot water - kids are especially effected - install the anti-scald mixing valve so the output hot water temperature is always under control with the temperatures you have set it up. The anti-scald mixing valve reduces the temperature of the exiting water by mixing both cold and hot water. Recommended valve types is full flow ball, not the one that can cause an excessive water flow restriction.

For an easy service of the water heater, the shut off valve on the cold line and close to the water heater is recommended. If the heating system is closed, the expansion tank must be installed on the cold water line, and used to protect the system from the excessive water pressure.

The temperature and pressure relief valve as the safety element might open from time to time to reduce the build-up pressure inside the water heater, so the drain line should be connected and terminate at the appropriate drain.

When selecting the piping, use only types that are suitable for potable water: PEX tubes, polybutylene, CPVC, not iron or PVC types. Also fittings and valves must be also suitable for potable water. Any exposed piping to the freezing temperatures should be insulated.

And the last, any work must be done per codes and manufacturer recommendations.

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Picture is courtesy of American Water Heating company

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