Gas fireplace & tankless water heater

Back in the fall, the gas company came and installed the line from the street to our house and hung the meter.  We held off on installing new gas appliances because we were right in the middle of the windows and siding project at that time, and because we had a full tank of oil to burn all winter.  Now it’s finally time!  We have signed contracts to have a gas fireplace insert (which will be the heater for our house!) and tankless water heater installed.  The fireplace installation is scheduled to go down in just over a week!  The water heater will be installed at a later date (but not too much later) TBD.

We decided not to do the full installation of these ourselves.  We are confident that we are capable of installing both, but here are the reasons we’re not going to:

  • We both have full time jobs these days, and we just do not have the time to invest in learning the intricacies of two complex appliances, doing a ton of research, and then doing the actual work of installing them.  The installation will require permitting, electrical connections, gas lines, gas hookups, venting, water connections, testing, and probably some other stuff I don’t even want to think about.
  • This is gas, yo.  It’s flammable and dangerous.  Having pros handle it will put my mind at ease.
  • It will get done fast, like in one day as compared to the X? number of days it would take us.  I skimmed the installation instructions for both appliances, and I am glad to not be in charge of installing them.  There are a lot of parts and steps involved. 
  • Warranties.  The company we hired to install our appliances warrants their own work, plus the manufacturer of the fireplace at least (not sure about the water heater) gives us a better warranty on the unit when it’s been professionally installed.  Maybe that is not fair to DIYers, but that’s how it is.

However, we are taking on some small parts of these projects:

  • Electrical wiring.  We’ll put in a new circuit for the water heater and run the wire to service it.  We’ll also put in a new circuit for the fireplace insert and install an outlet box in the back of the fireplace box so the insert can plug in (it needs power just to light the flame I think).  We decided to move our thermostat to a different location in our house, and while we’re at it we’ll put in a new transformer for it and put it on the circuit serving the fireplace outlet.  I spent a while in Lowe’s over the weekend pondering and gathering supplies like conduit (to protect the wire as it enters the fireplace from the crawl space via the ash cleanout), special outlet boxes, and low voltage wire (for the thermostat).  
  • Plumbing.  Matt will tell you about his plans later.
  • Permits for electrical and plumbing work.  That means we’ll also have to schedule inspections with the city.

We’re very excited.