Learn How to Install a New Water Heater
Because professional installation may easily add $500 or more to the cost of replacing a traditional tank-style water heater, many homeowners are naturally interested in the option of doing it on their own. Furthermore, while it is considered an advanced project, DIYers with sufficient skill may frequently do the task themselves with a little forethought. It’s crucial to highlight that this is not a project for those who are just getting started. Examining the type of water heater you already have is the first step in learning how to install a new water heater in your home.
Then decide on the size: 30-, 40-, 50-, or larger-gallon containers.
You might consider upgrading to a larger unit if your old one did not provide enough hot water.
However, there must be enough space for the larger heater, the flue size must be correct with proper pitch, and the gas line supplied must be sufficient for the heater’s capacity.
Plumbers bid jobs on the basis of a full day’s worth of labor, however, because the project typically grows more intricate as time goes on.
If you’re not sure in your abilities in these areas, hiring a professional is the best course of action.
When it comes to dealing with gas lines, it’s important to always abide by municipal regulations.
Gas Water Heater Venting
It has been usual practice for many years to use atmospheric venting to vent the combustion exhaust fumes from a gas-fueled water heater. In this arrangement, a metal draft hood mounted on top of the water heater directed exhaust gases and a small quantity of fresh air from the room up a metal flue that ran through the roof or into a shared chimney, depending on the model. In many circumstances, connecting an existing flue and draft hood to a new water heater will be all that is required; nevertheless, there are other elements (such as the pitch and draft of the connections) that can make the operation considerably more involved than it appears.
However, the building code in some localities may demand that a new water heater be vented using a different method every time one is installed.
When living in an air-tight home, this is frequently essential to prevent the gas and airflow via the water heater flue from causing an air pressure differential, which can suck gases from the water heater burner into the dwelling.
This is seldom an issue in older, less air-tight houses, though. The process becomes more difficult if your code dictates that you upgrade from an atmospheric vent to a forced-air direct vent or powered direct vent. The majority of folks should hire a professional for this type of service.
All plumbing installations must be in compliance with the local plumbing code, so check with your local building authority to find out what is required in your region. Because installation varies depending on the location and the kind of heater, the following procedures are intended to serve as a general guideline only and may or may not apply to your specific case. As previously indicated, it is preferable to leave this process to the pros.
- Purchase of a new water heater, as well as any necessary shimming, plumbing fittings, and plumber’s pipe-seal tape. a draft cowl for the water heater (if one is required for a gas heater)
- Temperature and pressure relief valves (if not already given)
- A drain valve for the water heater (if not already provided)
- Fittings for vent pipes (where required)
- Nipples for galvanized water heaters with a plastic liner (2)
- Flexible water heater tubing (if required)
- Flexible gas heater tubes (if required)
Shut off the Water, and the Gas or Electricity
- Turn off the power to the existing water heater and disconnect the water heater’s plumbing. Turn off the water at the main water cutoff valve in the home or at a branch shutoff valve that controls the cold water that runs to the water heater in the basement. Then turn off the electricity or gas to the building. For an electric water heater, follow these steps: Turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater’s circuit in the breaker box for the house. a. This is normally a double-pole breaker with a 30-amp rating. For a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply at the shutoff valve on the gas line that is closest to the water heater and then turn on the water heater. Water main should be shut off at the water meter. Home-Cost.com
Drain the Water Heater Tank
- A garden hose should be connected to the drain valve located towards the bottom of the water heater. Open the nearest hot water faucet, such as the one in the bathroom, to avoid suction from building up in the line, which can cause the draining to become sluggish. Place the other end of the hose over a floor drain or direct it to an open area outside. To prevent silt from clogging the drain valve, open it carefully when first turning it on. Allow the tank to empty entirely before turning off the valve and removing the hose from the tank. It is positioned at the bottom of the water heater, near the drain valve. Getty Images courtesy of Dorling Kindersley
Disconnect the Water Lines
- Connect a garden hose to the drain valve, which is located towards the bottom of the hot water heater. Make sure the nearest hot water faucet is turned on, such as in the bathroom, to avoid suction in the line, which can cause draining to become sluggish or stop altogether. Alternatively, you might run it outdoors or down the drain on your floor. To prevent silt from clogging the drain valve, open it slowly like you would a faucet. Allow enough time for the tank to empty entirely before turning off the valve and disconnecting the hose from the tank. It is positioned at the bottom of the water heater, towards the bottom of the heater. Getty Images courtesy of Dorling Kindersley.
Disconnect the Electrical or Gas Lines
- Connect a garden hose to the drain valve, which is located towards the bottom of the water heater. *** Open the nearest hot water faucet, such as the one in the bathroom, to avoid suction from building up in the line, which might cause the draining to become sluggish. Place the other end of the hose over a floor drain or direct it to an open area outside. Open the drain valve gently in order to avoid silt from clogging the drain valve. Allow the tank to empty entirely before closing the valve and removing the hose. It is positioned at the bottom of the water heater, towards the bottom of the tank. Getty Images / Dorling Kindersley
Disconnect the Water Heater Vent (Gas Heaters Only)
- The vent pipe should be disconnected from the draft hood located on the top of the heater. In most cases, three or four sheet metal screws are used to attach the draft hood to the exhaust vent pipe. In certain cases, if the draft hood is in excellent condition, it may be possible to repurpose it with the new water heater.
Swap the Old Water Heater for the New
Use an appliance dolly with straps to move the old water heater out of the way and wheel in the new water heater. The use of a helper is recommended while moving water heaters up and down basement steps. When transferring the heater, make sure you tie it to the dolly with strong straps. Clean up the area on the floor where the old heater used to be. Bring in the new water heater and align it with the existing plumbing connections so that it is connected to the water heater’s plumbing system. Shimming beneath the legs of the new water heater can help to level it if necessary.
- If you live in an earthquake-prone area, there may be brackets or straps that need to be attached to the wall to keep the water heater from moving about while in use. The water heater should be installed. Getty Images
- Jim Zuckerman / Getty Images
Install the Relief Valve and Other Fittings
- Install all of the necessary fittings that are required for the water heater to function properly. This always comprises a temperature and pressure relief valve (also known as a TPR valve) as well as a drainpipe for discharge. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install any additional fittings that may be required. Relief valve for high temperature and high pressure
Connect the Water Lines
- Tie galvanized plastic-lined nipples to the cold water input and hot water outlet ports on the top of the water heater using stainless steel screws. In order to install the nipples, you must first cover the threads with plumber’s pipe-seal tape before threading the nipples into the apertures and tightening them using channel-lock pliers or with a pipe wrench. Connect the cold water pipe to the intake nipple on the water heater, and the hot water pipe to the output nipple on the water heater to complete the installation. In some circumstances, reattaching the flexible tubing that were removed after removing the old heater might be as simple as plugging them back in. When the water pipes are hard-piped into the water heater and cutting is necessary to remove the water heater, the operation becomes a little more difficult. The water heater nipples will be connected to the cold and hot water pipelines through the use of different threaded adapters, short sections of pipe, and union fittings, which will need assembly. The method you use will be determined by the type of pipe you have and the layout of your plumbing system, among other factors. If you have copper pipes, you may need to sweat-solder them together with a torch, but there are compression fittings, grip-fit (SharkBite) fittings, and PEX fittings that can be used with a variety of plumbing pipes. The installation of flexible tubes to link the hot and cold water pipes to the water heater is a suitable time to do so if you do not already have them in place. The water heater will be more easily disconnected if you ever need to repair or replace it in the future. Male-threaded adapters must be attached to both the water heater nipples and the ends of the hot and cold water pipes in order to do this. The flexible tubes are then threaded into the adapters and secured using coupling nuts that screw into the adapters.
Connect the Gas or Electrical Lines
- Connect the gas or electricity sources, depending on their location: For a gas water heater, follow these steps: Connect the gas line to the control valve for the gas burner. Use a flexible gas line if it is available and permitted by local regulations. Check for leaks by turning on the gas supply valve and scrubbing the gas union and any gas joints with a soapy water solution until they are clean. If you notice any bubbles, this indicates that the connection is leaking and that it needs to be tightened. If you are still unable to achieve a satisfactory seal without bubbles, contact your gas provider or a plumber for assistance. For an electric water heater, follow these steps: Connect the electrical cable to the water heater’s wire connection box, which is located at the top of the water heater. Wire connectors should be used to connect the circuit wires to the water heater lead connections. The cover plate for the wire connection box should be attached.
Reconnect the Vent (Gas Heaters Only)
The draft hood should be installed at the top of the water heater, centered above the exhaust aperture, and then inserted into the exhaust pipe. Sheet-metal screws are used to hold it in place. You may need to reduce the vent pipe if the new water heater is higher than the old one. You may accomplish this by cutting the vent pipe down to size using metal shears or by installing a shorter pipe segment. Another option is to lengthen the vent by installing an additional vent pipe segment if your water heater is less than the standard length.
The new water heater should come with its own set of parts and operating instructions.
- Shared venting with a chimney or flue that simultaneously serves a furnace (as seen above) is no longer permitted in some municipalities. This means that you may need to hire a professional to reroute the venting for your new water heater in this situation. Getty Images
- Comstock / Getty Images
Complete the Installation
- Connect the hot water faucet to a distant position in the home, then turn on the cold water supply valve to the water heater, allowing the water heater tank to fill with water until the hot water tap is turned off. When water begins to flow from the hot water faucet, you’ll know the tank is completely full. Turning the circuit breaker back on for an electric water heater will re-energize the circuit that supplies electricity to the water heater. If you’re using a gas heater, make sure the main gas valve is open and that the pilot igniter is functioning correctly by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make your chosen temperature selection on the water heater’s thermostat (120 degrees Fahrenheit is suggested), then wait for the water in the tank to get up to temperature before using it. Turn on the heater and adjust the temperature of the water heater. Banks Photographs courtesy of Getty Images
DIY Water Heater Installation
Time A busy day of work Complexity IntermediateCost$101–250
When your water heater begins to leak, you must act quickly to have it repaired or replaced. We’ll teach you how to set up your own natural gas water heater in less than a day’s time. Even if you do not require a new water heater at this time, it is likely that you will require one within the next few years. Water heaters typically have a lifespan of seven to fifteen years. If yours is beginning to show signs of wear, this post is also for you. If you’re familiar with basic equipment and have a little expertise soldering copper, replacing a water heater shouldn’t be too tough.
- Water and gas piping
- Discharge pipe
- Pipe thread compound
- Pressure relief valve
- Solder. Ventilation pipe and connections
- Pressure relief valve.
Getting Started Installing Your New Hot Water Tank
In this example, we’re swapping out a natural gas water heater for an electric water heater. The processes for replacing a propane water heater are identical to those for replacing an electric water heater, and the steps for replacing both are comparable. In any event, when it comes to arranging a water heater replacement, it’s best to be cautious. Call your local department of inspections and inquire as to whether or not you require a permit. Also, be certain that your work is checked by a plumbing or electrical inspector.
Plumbers normally charge between $45 and $65 per hour and can complete the installation of a water heater in a day or as little as 6-8 hours.
Gas water heaters with particular venting systems are also available, although they are more costly. However, because they are more difficult to install, we will not be covering them in this article.
Water Heater Parts and Breakdown
- Fire pipe, cold water shutoff valve, draft diverter, temperature and pressure relief valve, overflow pipe, hot water outlet, anticorrosion anode rod, dip tube, elements, insulation, drain valve, thermostat or control valve, burner, thermocouple, gas supply valve, and more.
When to get a new water heater
When the tank of your water heater leaks, your water heater is out of commission. An indication that your water heater needs to be replaced is a gradual drop beneath the unit, which commonly manifests itself as a trail of discolored water. This indicates that the steel tank has corroded through and will be unable to be repaired. Other symptoms, such as little or no hot water, are typically indicative of other water heater repair issues that may be resolved by you. If you notice a drop, make a plan to get the water heater replaced as soon as possible.
- New water heaters are sent with detailed installation instructions as well as several cautions to ensure that the gas, electrical, and other connections are handled properly.
- However, you should be aware that you will be dealing with natural gas, propane, or electricity, all of which are potentially harmful.
- And, after you’re finished, get your work examined.
- You should explain to your local plumbing inspector how you want to install your new connections, including the sorts of materials you intend to use.
Figure A: Gas Water Heater Details
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family See the Additional Information section at the end of this article for instructions on how to print this image.
Figure B: Connections for Steel and Plastic Pipe
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family Water supply pipes in many residences are made of galvanized steel or polyvinyl chloride (CPVC). Replaceable galvanized steel pipes are quite difficult to come by. Using our photo series, we propose that you return the pipes to their original tees and screw on a plastic-lined galvanized nipple before finishing the connections with copper. Plastic tubing should be kept at least 6 inches away from the vent and tank due to the possibility of heat accumulation. Using a specific connection, you may make the transition from plastic to copper.
Flexible copper connectors are less difficult to install than solid copper connectors, which is especially important when the existing pipes and tank inlets do not match up.
If yours does, take extra care not to pinch or kink them when handling them.
Project step-by-step (12)
Turn off the gas to the water heater by twisting the shutdown valve a quarter turn away from the water heater. When the handle is turned off, it should be at a straight angle to the pipe. Also, turn off the main water supply and drain the pipes by opening a tap on the lowest floor of the building. Step No. 2
Drain the water in the tank
Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and use it to drain the water that has accumulated in the tank.
The water will be boiling hot, so proceed with caution! With a pair of wrenches, disconnect the gas line at the neighboring union and remove the pipe from the gas control valve with a pipe wrench to complete the task.
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Cut off the water lines
The vent pipe should be moved to the side once it has been unscrewed from the vent hood. After that, using a tube cutter, cut the hot and cold water lines. For galvanized pipe, remove the unions and, if you have them, remove the nuts on the flexible connections as well. Move the old water heater to the side of the room. Step number four.
Attach the relief valve
Teflon tape should be used to seal the threads of the new temperature and pressure relief valve (three turns). With a pipe wrench, tighten it inside the tank until it is completely sealed. Glue a copper discharge pipe to the wall (see Fig. A for routing details). Step number five.
Attach pipe assemblies
Solder fresh copper adapters to 6-in. lengths of 3/4-in. copper pipe and screw the assemblies into the hot water outlet and cold water inlet ports on the top of the tank’s tank’s tank’s tank. Make use of short, plastic-lined nipples to protect your pipes from galvanic corrosion, especially if you have hard water or if they are required by your local building standards. Step 6: Organize your thoughts and feelings about the situation.
Attach the water lines
Slide the new water heater into position, recut or lengthen the old tubing to connect it to the new, and solder the tubing together using copper slip couplings to complete the installation. If the tubing does not line up properly, use pairs of 45-degree elbows to adjust the alignment of the lines. Step 7 – Organize your time and resources.
Reattach the vent
Reconnect the vent if necessary. Place it securely over the draft hood and secure it with three 3/8-in. No. 6 sheet metal screws to hold it in place. Prepare the holes by drilling them beforehand. Before turning at the first elbow, the vent should rise at least 12 inches vertically from the floor. In this eighth step, you will learn how to use a comma to separate the words “and” and “and not.”
Use two wrenches to attach the gas line
Reconnect the gas line if necessary. Pipe joint compound should be applied to the threaded ends before screwing the first nipple into the gas valve. To minimize straining the valve, use two pipe wrenches at the same time. Reassemble the remaining nipples, concluding with the union at the end of the process (Photo 2). Then, in order to fill the tank, perform these four steps: To check for leaks, perform the following steps: (1) cut off the main water valve; (2) re-connect the water at the main shutoff; (3) open the cold-water valve on the water heater (but do not close it); and (4) turn on a nearby hot-water faucet until water flows out.
Check for backdrafting
The majority of water heaters rely on a natural airflow to carry combustion emissions up the chimney and out of the building. If the draft does not operate, the fumes, which may contain lethal carbon monoxide, will be released into your home and cause you to become sick. Check the draft when you’ve finished installing everything. Close all of your external doors and windows, and put on the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. Continue to run a hot water faucet until you hear the gas burner in your water heater come to life.
Ideally, the smoke should be drawn upward through the vent pipe. If the smoke does not draw, this indicates that the burner’s fumes are not escaping. Turn off the gas supply to the water heater and contact a certified plumber to diagnose and remedy the problem. Step number ten.
Check for leaks
Check for leaks by turning on the gas and squeezing a 50-50 combination of dishwashing liquid and water over the connection points. If there are bubbles in the mixture, you have a leak. Joints that are leaking should be tightened or reconnected. When you’re finished, wipe the joints down with a clean cloth. Make an appointment with the plumbing inspector to have them go at your work. Follow the how-to instructions that are included with the photographs to ensure that the connections are secure.
Light the pilot light
The pilot light should be turned on in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. (When using an electric water heater, turn on the electricity at the main panel after your work has been checked by the electrical inspector). Once you’ve finished, adjust the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit according to the installation instructions. The pilot light in the new water heater should be lit, then the temperature setting should be adjusted.
Installation Details for Electric Water Heaters
At your main electrical panel, turn off all power to your water heater, then turn it back on. After that, empty the water heater in the same manner as you would a gas water heater. As soon as the water heater has been drained, separate the electrical wires from the screw terminals under the access panel, which is normally situated towards the top of the water heater. To handle all of the electrical wiring, you should engage an electrician if you don’t have any prior knowledge with it. When it comes to wiring the new water heater, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- x 4-in.
- metal electrical box on the wall or ceiling near the water heater, route the old wires to the box, and then run a new length of armored cable or electrical conduit to the water heater to complete the installation.
- The circuit should also have a shutdown switch that is visible from the vicinity of the water heater.
- You’ll almost certainly require a permit.
- Aluminum wire needs specific care and handling.
- This wiring is a dull gray color, rather than the drab orange color that is characteristic of copper wiring.
How to Dispose of a Water Heater
In this video lesson, Jeff Gorton, an editor at The Family Handyman, will show you how to remove and dispose of a water heater in the proper manner. He will also demonstrate a simple method of transporting a water heater out of your home, even if you are working on your own.
These tips will make your work go faster and easier:
- To avoid modifying the length of your water, gas, or electrical lines, take note of the height of your existing water heater and get a new one that is the same height
- On older water heaters, the drain valve (Photo 2) frequently becomes clogged. Please be patient if the water drains slowly. WARNING: The temperature is really high! TIP: Turn off your water heater two hours before you want to use it to enable the water to cool. Water heaters are around 150 pounds in weight. When you’re moving the old one out and wheeling the new one in, you’ll need a strong partner or a dolly to assist you. Ordinarily, garbage collection agencies charge approximately $25 to remove the old one. Before you begin, go to a plumbing supply or hardware store, or a home center, and purchase the equipment and materials seen below. Check the sizes of the water supply pipes (the majority will be 3/4 in., as shown in our photographs) and purchase the fittings that are the proper size. If you have everything you need, you should be able to complete the work in four to six hours (provided there are no major problems!). This safety mechanism, which controls tank pressure and prevents it from bursting, is located in the tank’s pressure relief valve assembly (Photo 4). It is necessary to include a fresh one with each installation. The discharge pipe must be kept clear of impediments in order for the valve to function correctly (see Fig. A). Use 3/4-in. plastic-lined nipples (about $2 each
- Photo 5 and Fig. A) to attach other metals, mainly copper tubing to the steel tank, in areas where the water is highly mineralized or where it is needed by municipal laws. This has the effect of slowing rusting. In order to avoid heating the tank itself during soldering, solder the copper fittings before screwing them to the tank (Photo 5)
- Slip couplings should be used to link the existing and new water lines (Photo 6). (Photo 6). They do not have an internal stop, in contrast to normal couplings. Alternatively, you may slip them on, align the copper tubing, then slide them back and center them over the junction
- However, the new inlets and outlets on the tank don’t always line up with the old supply lines, and vice versa. If required, solder in a pair of 45-degree fittings to ensure that each line is offset. While you’re doing it, you should also replace the old cutoff valve with a new ball valve (Photo 6). The diameter of the vents is determined by the amount of heat produced by the water heater. In order to achieve the ideal draft, you may need to raise or reduce the ventilation size. CAUTION: If you’re not sure whether or not your chimney has a liner, consult with a plumbing inspector. Make gas connections using solid steel pipe (Photo 8) or soft copper tubing with flare fittings (Fig. A). Both are more dependable and less expensive than flexible stainless steel connections, which are not usually allowed in some applications. For the same reasons, rigid copper water supply lines should be used rather than flexible copper water supply lines
- If your water heater replacement is located in a location where leaking might cause damage to the floor or other elements of the home, lay a pan of an appropriate size beneath it (metal for gas water heaters). a drain tube that connects to a home drain or another suitable site must be installed in the pan (outdoors where permitted). If a leak might cause damage to the flooring, the discharge tube for the temperature and pressure relief valves must also connect to a drain. If routing is a problem, consult with your local plumbing inspector about possible solutions. Special straps should be used to secure your water heater to the wall if you reside in an earthquake-prone location (Fig. A
- Available at plumbing stores and home centers). If they are necessary, your plumbing inspector will inform you of this. Ensure that the new water temperature setting does not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scorching
To avoid modifying the length of your water, gas, and electrical lines, take note of the height of your existing water heater and get a new one that is the same height; A common problem with vintage water heaters is that the drain valve (Photo 2) becomes stuck. Make sure to remain patient if the water is draining slowly. WARNING: The temperature is really high. RECOMMENDATION:Turn off your water heater two hours before you need it so that the water can cool. Water heaters are around 150 lbs. in weight, on average.
- To remove the old one, garbage agencies normally charge around $25.
- Verify that the water supply pipes are the correct size (the majority will be 3/4 in., as shown in our photographs) and that the appropriate fittings are purchased.
- This safety mechanism, which controls tank pressure and prevents it from bursting, is located at the bottom of the tank (Photo 4).
- The discharge pipe must be kept clear of impediments in order for the valve to function correctly (Fig.
- plastic-lined nipples (about $2 each; Photo 5 and Fig.
- rusting is slowed by this.
- (Photo 6).
Alternatively, you may slide them on and align the copper tubing, then slide them back and center them over the junction; however, the new inlets and outlets on the tank do not always match up with the old supply lines.
While you’re at it, you should also replace the old cutoff valve with a new ball valve.
The sizes of the vents are determined by the amount of heat produced by the water heating system.
If you’re not sure if your chimney has a liner, consult with a plumbing inspector; connect gas lines using solid steel pipe (Photo 8) or soft copper pipe with flare fittings (Photo 9).
Similarly, solid copper water supply lines are preferred over flexible copper water supply lines.
a drain tube that connects to a home drain or another appropriate place must be included with the pan (outdoors where permitted).
It is advisable to consult with your local plumbing inspector if routing is a challenge; Special straps should be used to secure your water heater to the wall if you reside in an earthquake-prone area (Fig.
If they are necessary, your plumbing inspector will inform you.
How to Install an Electric Water Heater
Measure the height of your existing water heater and get a new one that is the same height so that you don’t have to adjust the length of the water, gas, or electrical lines; The drain valve (Photo 2) on older water heaters is prone to becoming clogged. Be patient if the water drains slowly. WARNING: It’s boiling hot here! TIP: Turn off your water heater two hours before you need it to enable the water to cool. Water heaters are around 150 pounds in weight. When you’re moving the old one out and wheeling the new one in, you’ll need a strong assistant or a dolly.
- Check the sizes of the water supply pipes (the majority will be 3/4 in., as shown in our photographs) and purchase the fittings that are the correct size.
- This safety feature restricts the pressure in the tank and prevents it from exploding (Photo 4).
- The discharge pipe must be kept clear of impediments in order for the valve to function correctly (Fig.
- Use 3/4-in.
- A) to unite various metals, often copper tubing to a steel tank, in areas where the water is highly mineralized or where it is needed by municipal laws.
- In order to avoid heating the tank itself during soldering, solder the copper fittings before screwing them to the tank (Photo 5); use “slip” couplings to connect the old and new water lines (Photo 6).
- You may slip them on, align the copper tubing, then slide them back and center them over the joint; however, the new inlets and outlets on the tank do not always match up with the old supply lines.
- While you’re at it, swap out the old shutdown valve for a new ball valve (Photo 6).
- It is possible that you may need to adjust the vent size to achieve the ideal airflow.
For the same reasons, rigid copper water supply lines should be used rather than flexible copper water supply lines; if your water heater replacement is located in a location where leaking might cause damage to the floor or other elements of the home, lay a pan of an authorized size beneath it (metal for gas water heaters).
If a leak might cause damage to the flooring, the discharge tube from the temperature and pressure relief valves must also run to a drain.
Special straps should be used to secure the water heater to the wall if you reside in an earthquake-prone area (Fig.
If they’re necessary, your plumbing inspector will inform you.
Before You Begin
Examine your water heater to see whether it need replacement or if routine maintenance would suffice. There might be a problem with the heating element or another type of maintenance issue if you are not getting hot water. Before committing to a complete replacement, conduct a brief maintenance inspection. If you have water on the floor or on top of the unit (as opposed to water leaking from a supply line above the unit), you’ll most likely need to replace your water heater as soon as possible.
A excellent time to think about upgrading or reducing your electric water heater is when your family’s size has increased or decreased.
If you’re not confident in your ability to complete water heater installation, hire a professional.
A decrease in pressure reduces the stress placed on plumbing systems and helps to increase the lifespan of appliances and fixtures.
The water pressure in your house is critical for all of the equipment that use water. A decrease in pressure reduces the stress placed on plumbing systems and helps to increase the lifespan of appliances and fixtures. Check the water pressure in your house by attaching a pressure gauge to an exterior spigot. The optimal PSI ranges from 50 to 60 PSI. if the water pressure in your house is more than 80 PSI, use the pressure-reducing valve located near the main water shut-off to decrease the pressure.
If you don’t already have a pressure-reducing valve in your house, a professional can install one for you.
Decide the type of expansion tank you’ll require. It is possible to reduce surplus pressure in the lines of a closed system using thermal expansion tanks. A 2-gallon expansion tank can be used with water heaters that hold up to 50 gallons of water. For water heaters that hold up to 100 gallons of water, a 5-gallon expansion tank should be used. For for size information, see the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases, the expansion tank is connected to the cold-water supply pipe near or above the water heater.
They simply slot into the pipe without the need for soldering.
Soldering paste should be applied to both the pipe and the fittings before assembling.
After heating the fitting, solder the connection together. In order for an electric water heater installation to be functional, the pressure in the expansion tank must equal the pressure in the main water supply. Increase the pressure by using a hand air pump, or decrease it by depressing the valve.
Removing the Old Water Heater
The following steps will walk you through the process of installing an electric water heater. When transporting a water heater, employ a helper, an appliance dolly, or a hand truck to ensure that the device is not damaged.
Even with the temperature gauge set at 120 degrees, the risk of scalds remains a possibility. Children, the elderly, and individuals with delicate skin are particularly at risk of developing skin cancer. Consider adding thermostatic mixing valves to keep people safe from being hurt. Installed at the point of use faucet, fixture, or appliance, a thermostatic mixing valve regulates both the volume and temperature of water by connecting to both the hot and cold water supply lines at the same location.
When to Replace a Water Heater
There is a possibility that you can fix your current water heater if it is leaking or not heating up properly. When the time comes, learn how to recognize the indicators that your water heater has to be replaced completely.
How Long Do Water Heaters Last?
According to the manufacturer’s recommended service life, the life expectancy of a water heater is between eight and twelve years on average. That varies depending on the unit’s location and design, the quality of the installation, the maintenance schedule, and the quality of the water. Generally speaking, if your water heater is more than 10 years old, if it leaks at the base of the tank, or if it operates irregularly, it’s time to consider replacing it. You might also choose to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model in order to reduce your energy costs.
Before you begin looking for a replacement, check to see whether an electrical problem, such as a blown fuse or a tripped breaker, is the source of the unit’s failure.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
One of the most typical issues that arises with a water heater is that the water does not heat up as quickly as you would like it to. This is typically caused by a faultythermostator or a malfunctioning heating element in the boiler. When your water isn’t hot enough, have a look at the following.
Electric Water Heater
- When it comes to a water heater, maybe the most typical issue that occurs is that the water doesn’t heat up as hot as desired. When this happens, it’s typically because thethermostator or heating element is not working properly. When your water isn’t hot enough, check the following items.
Gas Water Heater
- Check to see that the gas is turned on and that the pilot light is lighted. Flush the heater to remove any sediment that has accumulated in the tank. Ensure that the hot water lines are properly insulated. Clean the gas burner and repair the thermocoupler (a safety mechanism that immediately turns off the gas if the pilot flame goes out)
- The thermostat’s temperature setting should be increased.
Other Common Problems and Possible Solutions
- If you hear hissing or sizzling noises, it’s possible that sediment has accumulated in the tank. Drain the tank until all of the water has been removed. Remove the components from the oven and place them in a pan filled with white vinegar for up to an hour, scraping off any scale that has accumulated. If the Pressure Relief Valve is leaking, it should be replaced. Water Supply Pipes That Are Leaking: Tighten the fittings. The water should be turned off and the fittings replaced if that doesn’t work.
Water Heater Maintenance
Although today’s water heaters are designed to require little or no care, following these maintenance guidelines may help you extend the life of your water heater. For further information on how to maintain a water heater, see How to Maintain a Water Heater.
- Drain the water heater twice a year to get rid of the silt that has accumulated and is causing corrosion. This also boosts the efficiency of the system. Activate the pressure release valve by raising the handle and allowing it to snap back into position. Upon doing so, a burst of water should be released into the overflow drainpipe. If it doesn’t, replace the valve with a new one. Reduce the temperature setting on the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the house comfortable. Overheating can cause damage to the tank, therefore this helps to minimize such harm.
When Replacement Is Necessary
If you’re replacing a water heater, you can use the same sort of device as the one you’re replacing. However, you might want to think about upgrading to a bigger tank or a tanklessheater as an alternative. When shopping for a water heater, keep the following qualities in mind:
- Heaters with a capacity of 40-gallon or 50-gallon are the most commonly encountered
- In gallons per hour, the recovery rate refers to the number of gallons heated by the heater. In terms of dimensions, depending on where you intend to put the unit in your home, you may require a specific width and height
- Ratings for energy efficiency: A label on the side of the unit shall display the projected yearly cost of operating the unit in dollars. Models with high energy efficiency can help you save money and energy.
In order to determine if you need to make repairs or purchase a new water heater, look at the nameplate on the side of your present unit. You’ll discover useful information like as the tank capacity, insulation R-value, installation instructions, working pressure, model, and serial number in this section. It is also possible to get information on your electric water heater’s wattage capacity and voltage on the nameplate of the heater itself. If you need replacement components or a new water heater, you may use this information as a starting point in your search for them.
Read our Water Heater Buying Guide for assistance in selecting a water heater, and then consider the following considerations to assess whether or not you wish to attempt water heater installation yourself:
- What plan do you have for getting rid of your old water heater? Check your local codes to see how such equipment should be disposed of. Will you be able to manage the device on your own physical terms? Water heaters are large and hefty appliances. You’re going to require assistance
- Do you have all of the tools you’ll need to complete the job? Water heater installation necessitates the use of adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, a hack saw, and pliers among other tools. If your copper pipe installation necessitates the use of a propane torch, you may also require one. Do you have the necessary time to complete the task? Once you begin replacing a water heater, you must see it through to completion.
Please see our articles on How to Install an Electric Water Heater and How to Install a Gas Water Heater for further information on how to replace a water heater in greater depth.
Should I Replace My Water Heater Before It Fails?
Perhaps your water heater is still operational, but if it is approaching the end of its useful life, it might be prudent to begin shopping for a replacement. Please keep in mind that water heaters, like any other mechanical equipment, have a useful life expectancy. Traditonal storage water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, however tankless ones can survive up to 20 years or more in this situation. What are the signs that it’s time to replace your water heater? This information should assist you in making your decision.
4 Reasons to Replace Your Water Heater Before It Fails
For those with limited financial resources, replacing your water heater before it breaks totally may be out of the question. However, the basic reality of the matter is that all water heaters ultimately quit operating. Despite the fact that you want to get the most service life out of your investment, waiting until the appliance breaks down may not be worth the trouble. Here are some reasons why a proactive replacement could be advantageous:
- When your water heater breaks, you are forced to make a hasty decision: The last thing you want to do when your water heater breaks down is spend time learning about the differences between traditional tanks and tankless versions. One cannot compare the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas vs electric units, nor can one investigate the idea of using a heat pump water heater. You may not make the ideal decision if you don’t have enough time to consider all of your options. When your water heater breaks, you will be without hot water: A water heater replacement is required in an emergency situation, and you will not have hot water until the new unit can be delivered and fitted. For a number of days, your life and the lives of your family may be made unpleasant by this. The opposite is true in that a planned and scheduled water heater replacement is quick, convenient, and can be completed at your convenience
- A rusted water heater might cause severe harm, including the following: A sacrificial anode rod is included with every water heater. In order to attract corroding chemicals in the water and preserve the tank from rusting, this little piece of steel is covered by an aluminum, magnesium, or zinc shielding. If you don’t change this rod on a regular basis, your water heater may begin to suffer from wear and tear. If the tank rusts through, it has the potential to fail catastrophically and flood your residence. By replacing your water heater before it breaks, you may save a potentially disastrous situation. A new water heater may be able to help you save money on your power bills: You will need to make an investment in a new water heater, but the savings on your energy costs will begin to accrue immediately. Because water heating expenditures are second only to space heating and cooling costs in terms of cost, you might see a return on your investment rather fast.
5 Signs that Your Water Heater is Failing
It’s understandable if you want to put off replacing your water heater for as long as possible, but don’t put off getting the appliance serviced if you observe any of the following indicators that your water heater is failing:
- A scarcity of hot water
- There are strange noises coming from the water heater. Water that is red or brown in color flowing from the faucet
- The water heater tank has visible corrosion on it
- Pools of water are accumulating around the water heater
Contact Us for More Information About Water Heaters
Getting your water heater repaired should be your first action if it’s showing indications of failing. This might indicate whether or not your water heater has much more life remaining in it, or whether or not replacing it is the more cost-effective option in your situation. The skilled plumbers at BlindSons can provide guidance on which new water heater would best fit the demands of your family and your budget. Then, whether you decide to replace your water heater now or in a year, you’ll know just where to look!
Today, you may arrange service online or by calling (330) 753-7711.
How to Replace a Water Heater
Article in PDF format Article in PDF format A water heater is a necessary home device that is responsible for supplying hot water to the entire household. The moment has come to replace a water heater if water is beginning to seep from the bottom of the unit. When there is leaking, there is corrosion and wear within the tank. Water heaters typically survive at least 10 years, with some remaining in good condition for as long as 20 years or more. Immediately replace any leaky water heaters to avoid flooding and further clean-up costs.
- 1 Understand when it is necessary to replace your water heater. Water heaters typically have a lifespan of 8 to 15 years, depending on the model. The likelihood of your water heater failing is high, and it will almost certainly require replacement.
- If you observe water trickling from the bottom of your tank or sitting in a rusty pool beneath it, it is likely that the steel tank has rusted through and is no longer functional. This type of damage is irreversible, and the tank will need to be replaced
- However, if you are suffering difficulties such as little or no hot water, it is possible that your heater may only need to be repaired rather than completely replaced. If you are unclear of the nature of the problem, contact a professional plumber.
2 Make a phone call to your local plumbing inspector. To find out about the exact requirements for your area and if you need to obtain a permit prior to changing your heater, contact your local plumbing inspector. Plumbing codes differ from region to region, so it’s a good idea to call your local plumbing inspector.
- Provide a detailed description of the new water heater, as well as any supplies that you want to utilize in the installation process. The plumbing inspector may be able to provide you with some valuable criticism or ideas that will be beneficial to your installation. The services of a plumbing or electrical inspector might be requested if this is your first time replacing a water heater and you are concerned about the safety of your job.
Advertisement number three Assemble your tools and other resources. The process of replacing a water heater necessitates the use of several instruments and supplies.
You may save yourself a lot of time and aggravation if you have all of the required equipment ready and waiting before you start. However, although the specific things may change depending on the type of water heater, the following recommendations should be of assistance:
- Screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pipe wrench, tube cutter, wire stripper/cutter, electrical tape, plumbers tape, carpenter’s level, tape measure, rags, and safety glasses are some of the tools you will need. Construction materials include a new gas (or electric) water heater, water and gas pipes and fittings, solder, a pressure relief valve, discharge pipe, pipe thread compound, venting pipe, and connections
- 1 Shut off the gas supply to the house. It is necessary to switch off the gas supply in the first instance. The gas shutdown valve can be turned manually or using an adjustable wrench to accomplish this.
- In order to ensure that the gas is turned off, the valve handle must be at a right angle to the pipe. Check to see that the pilot light has been turned off. Before proceeding, check for the existence of gas by smelling it. If you’re replacing an electric heater, remove the fuse or turn off the circuit breaker to turn off the electricity to the water heater
- Otherwise, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
2 Remove the tank’s contents. Water may be turned off at its source by turning the shutdown valve located on the cold water supply pipe.
- Drain the tank by turning on a hot water faucet on the lowest floor of the house to begin the process. Because of this, the tank will be lighter and more portable. Gently open the drain valve on the tank by connecting a hose to it and slowly opening the valve. Ensure that the water drains into a nearby drain or pail
- Because the water may be boiling hot, exercise extreme caution.
3 Disconnect the gas and water pipes from the building. After the tank has been emptied, the next step is to disconnect the gas and water lines from the house.
- To disconnect the gas line at the union or flare fitting, use two pipe wrenches to pry it apart. Use a pipe wrench to carefully remove the pipe from the gas control valve and discard it. If you have an electric water heater, you may simply turn off the power and separate the hot and cold water lines from the heater. It may be necessary to cut the pipes using a tubing cutter or a hacksaw if they have been soldered into place before. It’s important to make sure the cuts are as straight as possible. Remove the screws that hold the vent to the water heater together and the vent will come away from the water heater. Vent pipe should be moved to one side.
4 Discard the old tank when it has been removed. Now that the old tank has been completely unplugged, carefully move it out of the way to make room for the new tank.
- You may want assistance with this task since older water heaters are sometimes clogged with silt, making them quite heavy. When replacing a water heater that is located in the basement, consider renting an appliance dolly to assist you in moving the new heater and the old heater up and down the stairs. Get rid of your old water heater in a safe and legal manner. For more information on how to recycle a water heater, contact your local waste management department or sanitation agency for assistance. The majority of states already have legislation restricting the disposal of appliances such as water heaters in landfills or dumps.
- 1 Install the new water heater in its proper location. Remove any standing water from the floor and then place the new water heater in its proper location.
- To align plumbing sites with suitable pipes, turn the heater around so that they are aligned with the relevant pipes. To verify that the heater is sitting properly, use a carpenter’s level to check its alignment. If necessary, use some wooden shims to raise or lower the level
2Install the temperature and pressure relief valves in the appropriate locations. Install the replacement temperature and pressure relief valve (supplied with your water heater) by wrapping a couple of thicknesses of Teflon tape over the threads and tightening it down with a pipe wrench or pliers. Attach the discharge drain pipe to the sewage system. 3 Connect the pipe assemblies together. Attach a new adaptor to each of two six-inch pieces of 3 4inch (1.9 cm) copper pipe and you’re ready to go!
- Solder the adapters to the pipes on a work table that is away from the water heater, since you don’t want to put a heat source too close to the water heater tank. The adapters should be attached to the hot water output and cold water input on top of the tank with pipe joint compound or Teflon tape to prevent leaks. You may also be required to install plastic-lined nipples to the bottom of each pipe assembly, depending on your local plumbing regulations. In addition, it helps to avoid galvanic corrosion, which is particularly significant in places with hard water.
4 Attach the hot and cold water pipes together. The hot and cold water lines must be linked by cutting or extending the existing pipes so that they reach the newly connected ones.
- Using copper slip couplings or dielectric unions (to avoid electrolysis), join the two ends of the pipe together. If you are unable to line the old and new pipes properly, you can link them together using sections of flexible copper tubing or 45-degree elbows.
5Reattach the vent if necessary. Take hold of the vent pipe and place it just above the draft hood on the water heater, if possible. Use three 8-inch (1.0-centimeter) sheet metal screws to hold it securely in place. 6 Connect the gas line to the meter. Before reassembling the gas line, clean the threaded ends of the pipes with a wire brush and a cloth, and then add a small amount of piping compound to each end of the line.
- Then, using two pipe wrenches, tighten down the first nipple into the gas valve, and continue to reassemble the other fittings. The union fitting should be the final connection, as it is responsible for connecting the new line to the existing one. It is possible to switch on the gas supply valve after this has been connected. For electric heaters to be connected to their power source, connect the power cables and ground wire to the junction box on the wall.
7 Look for any leaks. By immersing a sponge in soapy water (prepared with dishwashing detergent) and pressing it against each freshly connected joint on the water heater, you can check for leaks.
- Soap bubbles will appear on the surface of the sponge if there is a leak. Depending on the situation, you may need to tighten or reconnect the joints, or you may need to hire a professional plumber
- The joints should be secure if there are no bubbles present, and you should be able to turn on the water and electrical supplies.
8Refill the tank with water. To begin filling the tank, turn on both the main water supply and the cold water supply valves at the same time. Activate the hot water faucet located at a distance; at first, nothing may come out or the water may sputter. When the faucet is fully operational and a continuous stream of water is flowing, the tank has been completely refilled. 9 Restore electricity to the system. Turning on the new water heater is as simple as lighting the pilot and turning the control knob to the “on” position.
- Reinstall the fuse or reset the circuit breaker in the power panel if your water heater is electric
- Otherwise, turn on the water heater by turning on the faucet.
Reinstall the fuse or reset the circuit breaker in the power panel if your water heater is electric; otherwise, switch off the electricity.
- Question Is it necessary to place an electric water heater on a pedestal that is elevated above the floor? Answer from the Sealweasel Community Yes, especially if the vehicle is parked in a garage. This is done in order to prevent anything or anybody from colliding with it.
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- When emptying the water from the tank, proceed with caution. It can be quite heated and might cause skin irritation. If issues emerge during the removal of the old tank or the installation of the new tank, call a plumber or an electrician for assistance.
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