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The electric storage water heater provides a simple solution to the problems of hot water production, whether it is to supply one or more points of water. It becomes indispensable for the countryside, in the absence of natural gas or a central heating system with integrated or associated balloon.

How to install a cumulus at home?

The cumulus

The cumulus consists of a tank or balloon treated anticorrosion and a heating body powered by an electrical resistance. A thermostat regulates the commissioning of the latter, depending on the temperature of the water. If this device is not the most economical to use (unless you benefit from a special EDF tariff), it offers the advantage of great flexibility of installation. It can indeed be installed everywhere in the house (vertically or horizontally), even in a closet because it does not release any product of combustion. Simple to install, it is reliable and requires little maintenance.
Depending on the model, the heating element may be of the immersion heater type or a steatite resistance. With the first, the resistance is directly in contact with water, as on washing machines. The water rises quickly in temperature but in case of intervention on the heating system, it is necessary to drain the tank. Inserted in an enamelled sheath, the steatite resistance is isolated from the water which prevents scaling. And in case of failure, we do not need to drain. Some devices have a magnesium anode that plunges into the tank providing permanent protection against corrosion.
Another important criterion, the capacity is chosen according to the different water points and the number of regular users. Manufacturers provide tables that reflect these parameters. For example: for a couple with a child with a sink, two sinks and a bath, a 150 to 200 liter balloon represents the right capacity.

A careful fixation

The weight of a water heater filled with water is of the order of 200 to 250 kg; you have to anchor it firmly to the wall. In our case, the operation is somewhat complicated because it involves laying a vertical model of 150 liters on a rammed earth wall. It is not easy to hang such a device on the ground! To solve the problem, the trick consisted in sealing in grooves a wooden frame composed of an amount barred by two crosspieces (120 x 45 x 600 mm) arranged symmetrically.
To facilitate the attachment of the mortar (lime, cement and sand), the amount is bristling with carpenter's nails planted on both sides. The cross members are fixed by lag bolts Ø 10 x 120 mm, their positioning corresponding to the spacing of the hooking tabs of the water heater. Four of these are part of a mounting kit complete with "pigtail" screw with double wood and metal thread (Ø 10 mm) and plastic flange nuts.
Attention to the positioning of the water heater: once installed, its lower part must be at least 40 cm from the floor to facilitate subsequent interventions. In addition, plan to help you set it up.

Water connections

The cold water inlet of the balloon (ringed with blue) and its hot water outlet (red) are made of 20/27 (3/4 ") steel tube. In compliance with standard NF D 36-401, the safety group is a calibrated valve with a certain value, which is triggered in case of overpressure inside the tank due to overheating. It has three connection ports: an upper female connector for the cold water outlet of the appliance, a male side inlet (equipped with a shut-off valve) to be connected to the water inlet pipe, and a lower outlet intended for a drainage system. The unit is first screwed onto the cold water outlet, sealing the fitting with tape teflon. It can be mounted before or after wall mounting the balloon.

The water supply to the device is made from a tap on the pipe. It is ensured by a Ø 16 mm rigid copper tube terminated by an elbow fitting, bonded type beaten in 20/27, equipped with a fiber joint. This circuit consists of sections of tubes connected by elbows, "T" and sleeves assembled here by soldering with tin and lead. One can also opt for a strong solder, which then requires an oxyacetylene torch instead of a simple soldering lamp. In the vicinity of the balloon, a ball valve (1/2 ") has been mounted on the circuit, allowing the water to be turned off if the unit is to be replaced.
The hot water outlet of the appliance is equipped with a connection identical to that of cold water, but it is preferable to seal it with a flat Teflon gasket. She receives the pipe directing hot water to a shower enclosure, sink and sink. The tubes run along the wall, fixed every meter by necklaces. It is better to beat a blue line to facilitate their alignment.
The safety group always releases a little water when the heating element is in use. For this reason, the lower outlet is equipped with a small special siphon, which is connected to a Ø 40 mm PVC drain.

The electrical connection

A two-wire + ground line (2.5 or 4 mm2 section) is drawn from the distribution board. Protection by circuit breaker, calibrated fuse or better a thermal magnetic circuit breaker, must be 20 A. Depending on the model, the wiring diagram at the device is indicated either inside the protective cover or in an enclosed notice. Phase (red or black) and neutral (blue) are connected to the thermostat, and the yellow / green wire joined to the earth terminal. The connections made, it remains to replace the protective cover under the device.

Seal the framework

Seal the framework

At the required location, the frame is sealed in the rammed wall, then covered with a floated plaster. The amount is embedded in the masonry, but the sleepers (tapped above) must remain visible and flush with the surface of the plaster.

Locate the median axis and the attachment points

Locate the median axis and the attachment points

After drying, the vertical median axis is marked in "blue" then the fixing points marked on both sides.

Fixing kit

Fixing kit

The fixing kit includes four rods, Ø 10 x 120 mm, with double thread: wood for the wall anchor, and metal for the clamping nuts of the water heater. The attached ankles are useless here.

Screw the rods

Screw the rods

After having drilled pilot holes Ø 5 mm corresponding to the fixing points, the rods are screwed into the sleepers. They have a flat part allowing to tighten them with a flat key of 8.

Terminals

Terminals

Under the device, we distinguish the base of the resistance (left) and the thermostat (right) which is connected by two red wires. The other terminals will receive the phase wire, the neutral and the earth, respectively.

Prepare the assembly of the security group

Prepare the assembly of the security group

The cold water inlet of the balloon is identified by a blue ring. To prepare the assembly of the safety group, its thread is coated with teflon ribbon. Several turns are necessary.

Screw the female connector

Screw the female connector

The female coupling of the group engaged on the cold entrance, to start the screwing by hand and finish tightening with the key energetically. Teflon must offer some resistance to tightening.

Security group

Security group

On the group, the arrival of cold water (provided with a small shut-off valve) is done laterally and the emptying below. Its control button (black, blue or red) must be activated every month.

The security group:
1 - Cold water inlet
2 - Cold water inlet faucet
3 - Water heater inlet (blue ring)
4 - Manual control of periodic emptying
5 - Draining in case of overpressure

Put the ball in place

Put the ball in place

Empty, the ball does not weigh too much but it's better to be two to put it in place. Its attachment lugs have a notch which fits on the corresponding threaded rod. The nuts, whose flange form washer, are then added by tightening moderately to avoid damaging their threads.

Assemble the pipes by soldering

Assemble the pipes by soldering

The pipes are assembled by soldering. Pass the end of the first tube to the emery cloth and apply a stripping paste. Then heat the copper and put on the tin-lead wire.

Tin the end of the tube

Tin the end of the tube

When the right temperature is reached, the solder instantly spreads to the surface of the metal. In a very fast motion, tin the end of the tube by wiping the excess solder with a cloth.

Introduce the welding wire

Introduce the welding wire

Fill the tube and elbow connection again with the stripping paste and heat it up. As soon as the temperature is sufficient, introduce the solder wire at the joint and push until refusal.

Seal

Seal

Before connection, the sealing is provided by several rounds of Teflon, smoothed by hand so that it prints well on the threads when tightening.

Fix the stop valve

Fix the stop valve

The shut-off valve is placed on the water supply circuit, before the safety group. Equipped with 15/21 female-female, it is screwed on both sides on a straight fitting fitted and welded on each pipe section Ø 16 mm.

Weld the tube and valve assembly

Weld the tube and valve assembly

The tube and valve assembly is then welded to the inlet circuit by means of elbow fittings. The hot water distribution circuit is made according to the same principle and connected to the different devices.

Attach a presser foot to the evacuation tube

Attach a presser foot to the evacuation tube

A presser foot with a 40/32 mm reduction inlet is attached to the end of the Ø 40 mm drain tube to extend it to the draining system. The assembly is carried out using a special PVC glue.

Fix and seal the siphon

Fix and seal the siphon

It remains to screw the small siphon under the safety group and connect it to the presser foot by three short sections Ø 32 mm and two elbows. Its sealing at the outlet is made by conical Nylon seal, compressed.

Install a trap

Install a trap

As an added precaution, a trap has been installed in the lower part of each water circuit: hot and cold. The electric cable (2 conductors + earth) runs in a 16 mm tuberigide fixed to the wall.


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