Just like in our homes, water is an essential for different activities like cooking, bathing, and washing the dishes. And if you’re living or camping in a mobile home, it is no doubt that you need water supply. If you’re an RV owner who wants to convert your water heater, you have come to the right guide to help you with just that. We’ll show you how to convert RV water heater to tankless.
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- First and foremost, you must get the pressure out of the tank. Check out the pressure relief valve to do it. If you have not done the releasing of the pressure earlier, you must stand out of the way. Water might shoot out and hit your face when you open the pressure relief valve. Ensure that the pressure is out the tank.
- Find the wing nut to undo the drain plug without using a wrench in a hard to reach area. Now, get your socket wrench to unplug the drain valve and let the water out. Ensure that you have removed all the water from the tank before going ahead and replacing the old water heater with tankless. Give the tank enough time to drain.TIP: Before draining the water tank, ensure that the outflow of water will not cause electrical shorts or damage any connections.
- Shut off all the connections, gas line, and water lines. Then, disconnect the hot and cold-water lines with a wrench. Make sure that everything is disconnected for safety. It will also prevent any trouble when you are about to remove the old heater. Do not remove the old unit until you’re sure that everything is removed.
- Before removing the electrical line, I recommend that you take a picture of it so that you can remember where to reconnect it later when you are ready to install the tankless. Next, you can undo the screws of the unit. Use the putty knife and hammer to loosen it. When removing the fasteners, you can also use a chisel and a hammer to pry the mounting flange off your RV’s side.
Remove the unit when everything is disconnected. Are you sure that all the supply lines are disconnected? Go outside and take the old heater out.CAUTION: Check that no lines are connected – electrical cables, water lines, and propane line. Otherwise, they will snag on the heater. Reason is, it would be hard to see this later because you’re going to remove the old tank from the outside of your recreational vehicle. A snagged line would be a problem.
Remove the old tank. Take all the fasteners out using a cordless drill. Keep everything you removed, including the bolts or screws. Because if anything goes wrong with the new installation, you can re-install the old unit. It is why you need to keep everything, including the flange, screws, and fittings in a box with the old heater.
- The heater flange can leave much sealant, and it looks unsightly. To remove the edges and any debris, you can use a putty knife. Take your time and see to it that you’re not damaging anything like the side of your RV in the process. When you’ve removed the flange, slide the old heater out of the recess.
Before proceeding with the next major steps, get everything cleaned. You can use a solvent-based thinner to remove any remaining debris and edges. Don’t forget wearing a pair of gloves because thinner is strong and it might irritate your hands.
- Get started in the installation of the new unit. Ensure that you have measured the dimensions of the frame properly.
If needed, you can use a small piece of wood for an additional framing. Cut a small piece of wood and add corner brackets into it after cutting. This added frame piece will prevent the tankless heater from moving. Once done, attach this added frame piece in the old solid frame piece.
- Slide the new heater into the recess. Ensure that it will not snag on anything or hang up. Check the it’s flush and level. Then, pull it out slightly to balance and give enough wiggle room to seal the flange. From the inside of your RV, make the needed electrical connections.
Apply putty tape to the flange area before seating the unit. See that the tankless heater is holes are aligned. If needed, you can drill new holes. Install two mounting screws, but do not torque them all the way up at this point. Make the internal connections to connect the tankless to your service lines.TIP: On each water connection, use a Teflon tape on the fittings. If needed, you can also install wiring extensions or adaptors.
- Install your hot and cold-water lines. Don’t forget to use a coupling for a watertight connection. Ensure that you are connecting the correct water line to the correct point on the tankless heater. You must also remember not to cross-thread fittings.
Do not over-torque the fittings or they might break off your heater. To prevent it from happening, you might also want to use a second wrench that will hold the fitting of the tank, while you’re working to secure the fitting of the hose. Lastly, check that the propane line is connected properly.
- If you need help with the electrical connection, get it to ensure that you’re connecting the wirings correctly. Also, consider some factors when reconnecting your propane and water lines.
- Install the screen panel of the heater in an accessible place where you can easily see it. Test the new unit and check that everything is working properly.
There you have how to convert RV water heater to tankless. Hope this guide has helped you in this quite tricky process. If you need professional help, don’t hesitate asking it. This would also be a good move.