If you are planning to replace your old water heater and install a new and efficient one, consider installing a hybrid water heater.
Hybrids are advanced, ultra-efficient, and easy to install.
So, keep reading to learn more about how to install a hybrid water heater yourself.
Hybrids, also known as heat pump water heaters, are ideal for households located in warmer regions and where electricity is the only option.
They are designed to move the heat from the warm ambient air and transfer it to water inside the tank, cooling and dehumidifying the room at the same time.
Such heaters are often installed in locations such as basements, garages, and utility rooms, where they can take advantage of the warm surrounding air.
Hybrids provide cost-effective solutions helping homeowners cut their electrical usage for hot water by half or even more. This is possible because hybrids are designed to heat water with an efficiency that is more than three times higher than gas and electric models.
The heat pump installed on the top of the unit will carry most of the load, and if the demand is higher, the unit will turn on heating elements to add more power and deliver hot water at the desired temperature.
Now that we know how powerful and effective hybrids are let's walk you through 15 easy-to-use installation steps. This can also be a DIY project, but only if you are familiar with working with plumbing and electrical lines.
Be aware that according to the manufacturer, a licensed technician should install your hybrid water heater.
Reminder: Safety first. Never work on the electrical device with the power on. Note that improper installation can lead to electrocution, fire, or water damage.
Since hybrids are similar to electric water heaters, the installation is as simple, but you have to be aware that they are taller, wider, and might have a different location of plumbing and electrical connections.
Hybrids are designed for indoor installation only in a dry room that is not subject to freezing. The recommended ambient air temperature for the efficient operation must be above 45 F (or as required by the manufacturer).
According to the manufacturers, installers must observe required clearances around a water heater (as per some requirements, 6-7 inches is sufficient). Refer to your model installation manual for the specific data.
The floor underneath the heater must be strong enough to support its weight.
Install a suitable metal pan under the water heater to protect against damages due to water and condensate leaks.
The room must provide a sufficient amount of air, or if combined with the adjacent room and connected with the louvered doors. Check the manual that came with your water heater.
Your hybrid water heater may be ducted to the outdoors or some other suitable place (recommendations can be found in the manual). When installing a ductwork, make sure it is installed as straight as possible, and the maximum length is not exceeded.
Install piping that is suitable for potable water only.
As an addition, the condensate line with the required slope must end in the appropriate drain and away from the water heater or other suitable spot using the condensate pump.
It is recommended to have a professional technician perform the installation.
Note: You might also need a permit for installation.
Watch this video to understand better how to install a hybrid water heater yourself.
The operating modes can be changed on the User Interface Module. Users can often select four different modes, including hybrid, electric, efficiency, and vacation modes.
The hybrid mode uses the heat pump as the primary heat source and, if needed, can engage heating elements.
The electric mode uses only heating elements and is the least efficient mode, while the efficiency mode utilizes only the heat pump making it the most efficient mode.
In order to keep your hybrid water heater performing well and efficient, it is necessary to inspect, clean, maintain, and service a unit regularly.
In this article, we have provided basic instructions on how to install a hybrid water heater yourself, but if you don't have the right tools, knowledge, or have any doubts, the best is to contact a professional.