How to Install a Power Vent On a Water Heater

You can purchase power vent kits that contain all the materials you need.

This makes it easier for you to install a power vent on your water heater. For these steps, we assume that all preliminary electrical wiring and installation has been done, and any piping, fittings and other necessary attachments have been installed on the water heater itself. All that is needed now is to install the vent.

Turn off the power to the water heater! See Warnings for additional details.

Select an appropriate location for your gas pressure switch to be mounted, and attach it using the screws supplied (or the appropriate screws that will fit) and the screwdriver. Make sure each hole has a screw so that the part will stay securely in place.

Measure the distance from the fitting that is intended to be connected to the gas valve (it should be labeled) and the burner manifold pressure tap point.

Measure the distance from the gas pressure switch that you installed in Step 2 to the burner area. Stop measuring before you get to the area where the pilot light flame is!

Record both figures, then cut two lengths of the 1/4-inch aluminum tubing. Make sure the ends have a smoothly cut surface and are not pinched, bent or otherwise damaged. Also, do not cut them exactly to measurement, but leave enough so that the tubing can be bent at a very slow, careful pace.

Remove the pressure tap fitting from the burner manifold. See Tips for more details.

Carefully bend the first piece of tubing that you cut to match the measurement in Step 3 until it can be fitted between the two points mentioned in Step 3.

Put together your male fitting and attach it to the tubing; separate the join that you just made by doing that.

Thread the pressure tap fitting into the burner manifold by hand, and tighten it by hand. Do not use a tool, and do not overtighten.

Insert one end of the tube into the compression fitting. Use one wrench to hold it while you use another wrench to gently tighten the compression fitting.

Bend the second piece of tubing enough so it will reach the area you measured it for in Step 3. Connect it to the “warning” fitting on the gas pressure switch.

Install the other components of the vent. Follow the installation instructions that came with the kit.

Things You Will Need

  • Power vent kit
  • Measuring tape, paper and pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrenches
  • 1/4-inch aluminum tubing
  • Cutting tool for aluminum tubing
  • Pipe cement
  • 1/8-inch NPT male by 1/4-inch compression fitting with nut and sleeve

Tips

  • Have a copy of the installation manual for your water heater handy. It will help you to locate and identify certain parts that are referred to here. Keep the instruction manual that comes with the power vent kit nearby, also. You may need to refer to it for clarification.
  • Don’t worry if you “mess up” the pressure tap fitting when you remove it. You won’t be using it again anyway.

Warnings

  • Make sure the power is turned off to the water heater before beginning any installation! Remember, electricity and water do not mix! Severe electric shock can occur, causing injury or death.
  • Make sure you are in compliance with all building codes and ordinances before starting the project. Obtain any permits that may be necessary.