How to Convert Natural Draft Water Heater to Power Vent

Converting a natural draft water heater to power comes with many benefits as it can help you cut some electrical bills. Additionally, investing in a power-vented water heater can save you some installation costs. Now, what should you have to achieve this successfully?

Relax! This article might have everything you require to set up the power-vented heater. Of course, you can get some handy information from user manuals, but I want to assure you that our article contains an easy-to-follow step for you. So stick around since you decided to go for a power vent instead of a direct and direct vent.

Therefore our report will offer useful information concerning the conversion process and shade some lights on the various water heater types.  Understanding your way of life is always advisable to don’t waste much of your finances on something that can be adjusted to be energy-saving.

Water heatersWater heaters

You will meet three different types of these heaters, i.e., power vent, power direct, and direct vent. This is a clear indication that each comes with its benefits and disadvantages.

Power vent heaters use an electric fan in their operation to drive out combustion products. They then consume air in your house.

However, you should know that connecting these heaters to a chimney or share the venting with any appliance is impossible. Doing so is difficult because there’s negative pressure, which will eventually affect the whole performance. Therefore, this water heater type is suitable if you intend to use an extended pipe or need flexibility during installation.

Direct venting becomes and types highly recommended to homes if you don’t depend on electricity. They work by draining flue gases with the pressure difference between the external colder air and flue air. There’s no need to panic about possible leaks because these systems utilize external combustion air. Besides, their pipes and combustion chamber are completely sealed.

Additionally, these units are associated with a quiet operation because they don’t have movable parts. On top of that, you will not keep watching the system because they need minimal maintenance. With these heaters, there are minimal chances of your house being subjected to negative pressures.

The pipe in the pipe kind gives you a chance to terminate the vent at a specific point. For this reason, the negative becomes the distance limitation.

On the other hand, direct power venting is utilized when the air quality of the indoor air is concerned. Its source of fresh air is outside to enhance combustion while eliminating used gases via the fan. Based on your concern on where to situate water heaters, regulations guide when to install a vent. Your plumber must be in a good position to specify where you are the right place to mount a certain vent based on its type.

Some of the openings you need to consider are; windows, door, furnace exhaust, decks, etc.

Converting natural draft water heater to power ventconvert natural draft water heater to power vent

Now that you have decided to carry out the installation process yourself follow these instructions. Besides, you should seek permission from the local building department for a plumbing permit.

Step 1: Assembling necessary materials and tools

Try to put these items in place and avoid last-minute purchases. Therefore, you need to collect tools and materials like; caulk electrical wire, electrical box, receptacle, PVC pipe & fittings, power vent water heater.

When it comes to tools, ensure you have; a caulk gun, corded drill, tube cutter, pipe wrench, wire stripper, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, level, hole saw, full kit, needle-nose pliers, voltage tester, and miter saw.

Step 2: Preparation

You need to carefully organize the surface you intend to install the water heater on. Besides, it would help to be keen on correct combustion, vent pipe mounting, and vent action. Proper installation will prevent deaths arising from excess carbon monoxide. You are therefore supposed to scrutinize the space and be sure the space complies with the heater.

Step 3: Locating the power vent

Move around in your house and select a suitable place to install your power-vented water heater. Doing so is necessary for your safety and the appliance’s economical use.

Step 4: Water Piping

Since this procedure involves some plumbing skills, you must be familiar with piping. I say so because sometimes hot water scalds. In addition, this heater should not be joined to any heating component utilized together with non-portable heating appliances.

Step 5: Filling your water heater

You are not required to run this heater until it’s full of water. Doing so is necessary to protect the tank from damages. Therefore to fill the heater with water;

  • Ensure the drain valve of the heater is closed by shifting the handle to a clockwise direction. This component is located on the lower part of the heater.
  • Release the valve of the cold water to the heater. Leave this valve whenever the heating system is in operation.
  • You may open the closed hot-water faucet to fasten the filling process. Wait until the water achieves a consistent level to drive out air from the water heater or piping.

Step 6: Wiring

This is the last step that involves wiring. Most water heaters come with a 7’ power cable to connect to the nearest power source. Besides, there are three grounded receptacles. 

FAQs about Convert Natural Draft Water Heater to Power Vent:

  • Are power-vented heaters great?

Of course, they are an excellent option with fewer drawbacks. First, they consume less energy, meaning that you won’t spend much on electricity bills.

  • Do I need to equip my power-vented heater with a heavy-duty circuit?

Some manuals may urge you to do so, but not necessarily according to codes. GFI protecting the circuit is inevitable, or get a quality GFI receptacle.

Final words

I am sure this project might sound complicated to some individuals, but with the help of our guide, it’s a piece of cake. Once you have gone through our above discussion, you can run this conversion process like a pro. However, if you are not familiar with DIYing projects, I recommend you seek assistance from an experienced fellow. 

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