Installing a Heat Pump Water Heater on Your Own
Where Can I Install It?
Heat pump water heaters can be installed in a variety of locations, from an unheated garage to a heated utility room to a ground floor basement. Things to consider before installation include space, sound, cold air and the unit’s size and height.
Using an Existing Location
Many heat pump water heaters can be installed in the same spot as a current standard electric water heater. You can also take advantage of existing connections, such as cold-water supply, hot water outlet, electrical connection, temperature/pressure relief valve, and drain.
Things to Consider
- Space - Heat pump water heaters typically require at least 1,000 cubic feet of air-flow around them. This is equivalent to 10’x10’x10’ of space. Air-flow requirements vary by product, and some units can be installed in much less space if you employ ducting or other air-flow strategies.
- Sound - Heat pump water heaters generate sounds similar to the background noise from a portable fan (around 45 decibels). When installed in a separate living space, very few homeowners are aware they are operating.
- Cool air - While in operation, heat pump water heaters release cool, dry air into the surrounding space.
- Size/height - Heat pump water heaters may be slightly larger than standard electric water heaters.
- Install the unit to the manufacturer’s specifications and local plumbing, electrical and building codes; obtain the required licenses and permits, and verify local jurisdiction requirements.
- Ensure the unit is level.
- Heat pump water heater condensation can form depending on the humidity of the room in which it’s installed. It’s important to drain any condensate via a sloped drainage system, a condensate pump, or connect to plumbing drain; avoid creating a slip hazard over walkways. Below-freezing temperatures may affect condensation drainage. Check manufacturer installation requirements for more details.
- Use pipe insulation to help maintain water temperature in unconditioned spaces.
- Refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for information on available mode settings to maximize efficiency.