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What do I get to replace A.O. Smith's tankless water heater with a 38,000 BTU tanked heater?

Replacing an A.O. Smith tankless water heater with a tanked heater that has a 38,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) rating is a significant change in your water heating system. Here are the steps and considerations to take into account when making this switch:

1. Evaluate Your Hot Water Needs:
Start by assessing your household's hot water demands. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on-demand, whereas tanked heaters store a specific amount of hot water in a tank. Determine if a tanked heater with a 38,000 BTU rating is sufficient to meet your family's hot water requirements. The BTU rating should align with your desired flow rate and temperature rise.
2. Choose the Right Tanked Heater:
Research and select a tanked water heater with a 38,000 BTU rating that suits your needs. Consider factors like the tank's capacity (measured in gallons), energy efficiency, and recovery rate (the speed at which it heats water). Make sure it is compatible with your existing plumbing and gas supply.
3. Measure Available Space:
Tanked water heaters are bulkier than tankless ones and require adequate space for installation. Measure the available space in your utility area or where the water heater will be installed to ensure the new unit will fit comfortably.
4. Confirm Gas Supply:
Verify that your existing gas supply is suitable for the new tanked water heater. The 38,000 BTU rating requires a specific gas line size and pressure. If necessary, consult a professional plumber or gas technician to assess and upgrade your gas line as needed.
5. Plan for Ventilation:
Unlike tankless water heaters that are often vented through the wall with a direct vent system, tanked water heaters typically require a vertical vent pipe or chimney. Ensure your home's venting system is compatible with the new tanked heater's requirements. If modifications are needed, consult a qualified HVAC technician.
6. Electrical Considerations:
Tankless water heaters often require electrical connections for ignition and controls. If you're switching to a tanked heater, be prepared to disconnect and properly cap off any electrical connections related to the tankless unit.
7. Drain the Tankless Heater:
Before removing the tankless water heater, drain it completely to prevent water spillage during removal.
8. Remove the Tankless Water Heater:
Carefully disconnect and remove the tankless water heater from its mounting or installation location. Ensure the gas and water supply lines are properly shut off and disconnected.
9. Install the Tanked Water Heater:
Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for installing the new tanked water heater. This includes connecting the gas supply, water lines, and venting system. Ensure all connections are secure and leak-free.
10. Set Temperature and Pressure:
Adjust the temperature and pressure settings on the tanked water heater according to your preferences and safety standards. Be cautious not to set the temperature too high to prevent scalding.
11. Vent the Tanked Heater:
Properly vent the tanked water heater using the appropriate vent pipe or chimney system. Ensure the exhaust gases are safely directed outside your home.
12. Test the Water Heater:
Turn on the tanked water heater and allow it to heat water. Test hot water at a tap to ensure it reaches the desired temperature. Monitor for any leaks or issues during the initial operation.
13. Dispose of the Tankless Heater:
Properly dispose of the old tankless water heater in accordance with local regulations. Many recycling centers accept old water heaters.
14. Maintenance and Monitoring:
Regularly maintain and monitor your new tanked water heater to ensure it operates efficiently and safely. Periodic flushing and maintenance are essential to prolong its lifespan.
15. Consider Efficiency:
Keep in mind that tanked water heaters may have standby heat loss, meaning they continuously heat water in the tank. Consider investing in an energy-efficient model with proper insulation to reduce energy consumption and save on utility bills.

It's essential to consult with a professional plumber or HVAC technician when making such a significant change in your water heating system. They can assess your specific needs, ensure proper installation, and address any necessary upgrades or modifications. By carefully planning and executing the switch from a tankless to a tanked water heater, you can enjoy a reliable hot water supply that meets your household's requirements.
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