Tips For Connecting Gas Fittings To A Water Heater

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If you have just moved into a new home and require a new water heater, then you may be unfamiliar with the way that a gas one needs to be installed. This may be especially problematic if you are switching from an electric unit to a gas one. If so, you will need to understand how to connect the appliance properly. Keep reading to learn about some tips to help you connect the gas lines and fittings properly. 

Get The Correct Hardware

Before you can start connecting anything, you will need to purchase the correct parts and pieces to hook up your water heater to the gas supply line. While it may simple to just buy the parts that fit together, you need to remember that the connections need to be tighter than the ones used for water or drainage lines. 

You do want to start with a connection kit with a gas line and fittings. However, the size of the port on the water heater and on the supply line may be slightly smaller or larger. In this situation, you will need a reducing coupling, or a very short piece of pipe to connect the two ends together. To get the right fitting, use a pipe diameter measuring tool. While the packaging may indicate the diameter of the connection tube and its fittings, this will come in handy when measuring the gas line and the water heater connections.

When you pick out your hardware, you will have a few options available when it comes to material. You want to connect the same metals together to reduce corrosion problems. For example, if you have a copper gas line, go with a copper fitting. 

Use Pipe Dope

You may be used to using teflon tape to secure fittings together. This tape allows for a tight seal while also allowing you to remove the fitting in the future if there is a need for this. However, when it comes to gas lines, the teflon does allow for minuscule openings around the threads of the pipe fittings. This can cause a leak situation either at the time of installation or in the future, causing you to have to call a water heater repair specialist.

You will need to use a putty product around the threads and the outside lip of the fittings once they are properly tightened into place. There are a few different products you can buy. Pipe dope is the most common material, and it is a white paste. You can also find generic thread sealing compounds. 

When using the pipe dope, you want to add a thick layer of the material to the pipe threads, allow it to sit for several minutes, and then twist the fitting into place. 

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