Installing a Heat Pump 
Tips & Tricks

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

Question:

I've just bought the electric heat pump (hybrid) made by the American Water Heater Company and planning to install it myself. The electrical part of a water heater and connecting wires won't be a problem. The questions are related to plumbing work: what connections do you recommend, which safety valves to install, and are there any essential things to consider?

American heat pump

Answer:

One of the important things to consider when installing an American heat pump is the location. The right location can give you peace of mind because corroded and leaky water tank, incorrect plumbing and connections, burst pipes, and condensation, might lead to flooding and property damages.

The recommendation is to install a heat pump not above but below the main floor, such as the basement or garage, and avoid attic installation.

Installation of the drain pan under the water heater is strongly recommended.

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 adequately connected to their corresponding cold and hot fittings. For easy and fast connections and removal, install unions on both sides.

To prevent any scalding burns from the hot water (kids and seniors are particularly affected), install an anti-scald mixing valve so the output hot water temperature is always under control with the temperatures you requested.

The anti-scald mixing valve reduces the temperature of exiting water by mixing both cold and hot water. One of the recommended valve types is the full flow ball and not the one that can cause an excessive water flow restriction.

For the secure service of a water heater, a shut-off valve located 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 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 suitable types for potable water: PEX tubes, polybutylene, CPVC, not iron or PVC types.

Fittings and valves must also be suitable for potable water. Any exposed piping to the freezing temperatures should be insulated.

All the work must be done per codes and manufacturer recommendations.

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