How to Install a Rinnai Propane Heater: A Comprehensive DIY Guide

Installing a Rinnai propane heater can be a straightforward process, but it requires attention to detail and adherence to the manufacturer’s instructions. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of installing a Rinnai direct vent wall furnace, ensuring your home stays warm and cozy all season long.

Choosing the Right Installation Location

The first step in installing a Rinnai propane heater is to select the appropriate location. The heater should be installed indoors, in a well-ventilated area, and away from any flammable materials. It’s crucial to ensure there is enough space around the heater for proper air circulation, with a minimum clearance of 6 inches (15 cm) from the sides and 12 inches (30 cm) from the top.

Unpacking and Verifying the Contents

how to install rinnai propane heater

Before you begin the installation process, carefully unpack the Rinnai Direct Vent Furnace package and verify that all the necessary components are included. The package should contain the following items:

  • Flue Manifold
  • Vent Kit
  • Manual Valve
  • Plastic Tie for Air Inlet
  • Screws
  • Wall Brackets
  • Flue Adapter
  • Rinnai Direct Vent Wall Furnace

Ensure that all the parts are accounted for and in good condition before proceeding with the installation.

Installing the Flue Manifold

Attach the flue manifold to the heater using the screws provided. Make sure the connection is secure and tight, as this will ensure proper venting of the exhaust gases.

Installing the Vent Kit

The vent kit is responsible for directing the exhaust gases outside your home. Choose the appropriate vent kit based on the wall thickness and install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the vent kit is installed with the correct pitch and clearance to ensure proper venting and operation.

Installing the Manual Valve

Connect the manual valve to the heater and the gas supply line. Tighten the connection to ensure it is secure and leak-free. The manual valve will allow you to turn the gas supply on and off as needed.

Installing the Plastic Tie for Air Inlet

Attach the plastic tie to the heater and the air inlet pipe. This will help ensure proper airflow to the heater, which is essential for efficient and safe operation.

Installing the Wall Brackets

Attach the wall brackets to the wall and the heater. Make sure the brackets are level and securely fastened to the wall, as this will provide the necessary support for the heater.

Installing the Flue Adapter

Connect the flue adapter to the heater and the flue manifold. Ensure that the connection is tight and secure to prevent any leaks or improper venting.

Turning Off the Electric Power and Gas Supply

Before proceeding with the final steps, turn off all electric power to the appliance. Locate the manual gas valve on the back side of the heater and turn it clockwise to the full OFF position. Wait five (5) minutes to allow any residual gas to clear out. Then, carefully smell for gas, including near the floor. If you detect any gas, STOP and follow the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Turning On the Gas Supply and Electric Power

Once you have confirmed that there are no gas leaks, turn the manual gas valve counterclockwise to the full ON position. Then, turn on the electric power to the appliance using the ON/OFF button.

Setting the Thermostat

Set the thermostat to the desired temperature setting, and the heater should begin operating. The burner should be lit when the indicator lamp turns red.

Checking the Operation

Observe the heater’s operation to ensure it is functioning correctly. If the appliance does not operate as expected, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to turn off the gas supply and troubleshoot the issue.

Technical Specifications

  • The Rinnai propane heater can be installed in residential, commercial, and manufactured home applications.
  • The heater is certified for installation in locations up to 2,001 ft (610 m) above sea level.
  • The heater input ratings are based on sea level operation and need not be changed for operation up to 2,000 ft (610 m) elevation.
  • The flue manifold and vent kit must be installed according to the National Fuel Gas Code, ANSI Z223.1/NFPA 54 or the Natural Gas and Propane Installer’s Guide.
  • The flue manifold and vent kit must be installed with the correct pitch and clearance to ensure proper venting and operation.

DIY Installation Considerations

Installing a Rinnai propane heater requires some knowledge of plumbing, electrical, and gas fitting. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is recommended to hire a professional to install the heater. However, if you have the necessary skills and knowledge, you can install the heater yourself. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes to ensure a safe and proper installation.


  1. Rinnai EX38DT Installation and Operation Manual
  2. Rinnai EX17CT, EX22CT (434FTA, 559FTA) Installation and Operation Manual
  3. Rinnai Propane Heater Installation Video