Guide to Venting a Tankless Water Heater

Venting a tankless water heater is an essential step in the installation process of this type of water heating system. Tankless water heaters provide the supply of hot water on demand, making them an efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional tank-style water heaters.

However, in order to function properly, a tankless water heater must be appropriately vented to ensure that dangerous fumes are correctly expelled from the unit. Various guides, like the Rinnai venting guide, explain how and why venting is essential for your water heater. 

In this guide, you will learn the process of venting for your tankless water heater, including the types of venting, the materials needed, and the steps involved.

Types of Venting for Tankless Water Heaters

There are two primary types of venting for tankless water heaters: direct venting and power venting. Direct venting is the most common type for tankless water heaters, and it involves using two pipes to bring in air from outside the home and expel fumes from the unit. One pipe brings in fresh air from the outside, while the other expels fumes from the unit to the outside. Direct venting is the most straightforward option and is typically the easiest to install, making it a popular choice for many homeowners.

On the other hand, power venting uses a fan to force the fumes out of the unit, making it possible to vent the water heater through a wall instead of through the roof. This type of venting is typically used when a direct vent cannot be installed, such as when the water heater is in a tight space or where a direct vent would be challenging to install. Power venting is typically more expensive and more complicated to install than direct venting, but it can provide a solution in situations where direct venting is impossible.

Steps for Venting a Tankless Water Heater

There are many types of venting done on water heaters. You can learn about them from guides like Rinnai venting guide and choose a process best suited to you. Determine the water heater’s location. Before starting the venting process, you must determine where the water heater will be. This will help you choose the length of the vent pipes you will need and the location of the termination cap and hood.

Install the wall thimbles. Wall thimbles are metal sleeves installed through your home’s exterior wall to provide a secure and sealed connection for the vent pipes. Install the vent pipes. Once the wall thimbles are in place, you can install the vent pipes. The vent pipes should be carefully cut to length and fitted into the wall thimbles. Install the vent hoods on the outside of the wall thimbles to protect the vent pipes from the elements.

Connect the vent pipes to the termination cap. The termination cap is the venting system’s final piece and is installed outside the home, and it provides a secure and sealed connection for the vent pipes.

Seal the connections. Once all of the connections have been made, it is vital to use sealing tape to ensure that the connections are airtight, and this will prevent dangerous fumes from entering your home.


You must ensure a tankless water heater is properly ventilated before putting it in your home. Hazardous combustion gasses may be able to escape through ventilation and into the outside air. After installing the venting system, it is crucial to test it to ensure it is functioning properly.

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