How To Water Heater

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.

Tools Required

  • Water and gas piping
  • Discharge pipe
  • Fittings
  • 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.

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

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, etc.

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.

However, they are not permitted by all local ordinances. If yours does, take extra care not to pinch or kink them when handling them. It’s possible that you’ll receive a leak.

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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Complete your do-it-yourself tasks like an expert! Become a subscriber to our newsletter! Do It Right the First Time, and Do It Yourself! Step number three.

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

Teflon tape should be used to cover the threads of the new temperature and pressure relief valve (three turns). Then, using a pipe wrench, tighten it into the tank. An copper discharge pipe should be connected. (See illustration) (see Fig. A for routing details). Five-point plan:

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.

Turn off the gas supply to the water heater and contact a certified plumber to diagnose and remedy the problem.

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.

  1. x 4-in.
  2. 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.
  3. The circuit should also have a shutdown switch that is visible from the vicinity of the water heater.
  4. You’ll almost certainly require a permit.
  5. Aluminum wire needs specific care and handling.

If you have aluminum wire, you should choose a qualified professional who is experienced in working with it. This wiring is a dull gray color, rather than the drab orange color that is characteristic of copper wiring. ‘Step 12’ is the final step in the process.

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
See also:  What Size Breaker For 30 Gallon Water Heater

Additional Information

Water Heater Maintenance: How to Extend the Life of Your Hot Water Heater How to Repair a Leaking Water Heater Water Heater Installation Instructions on how to replace the TPR valve on a water heater Solar Water Heater Made at Home How to Repair or Replace Water Heater Dip Tubes That Are Defective How to Flush a Water Heater (with Pictures) The Process of Purchasing a New Water Heater 7 Myths About Tankless Water Heaters That You Should Never Believe The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters

How to Install an Electric Water Heater

Installing a new electric water heater can allow you to save both money and electricity. How to do it is demonstrated in our video and step-by-step instructions. Please keep in mind that product pricing, availability, and item numbers may differ from market to market.

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.

Water Pressure

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.

Expansion Tank

For all water-using equipment, the water pressure in your home is essential. Having less pressure puts a less strain on plumbing lines and helps to improve the lifespan of appliances and fixtures. Use a pressure gauge on your outside spigot to check the water pressure in your house. The optimal PSI ranges between 50 and 60 PSI. The pressure-reducing valve located at the main water shut-off should be used if the water pressure in your residence is more than 80 PSI.

For pressure monitoring, you may want to think about using an inline pressure gauge. Professionals can set up pressure-reducing valves in your home if yours does not already have them.

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.

Preventing Scalds

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.

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.

  1. Then decide on the size: 30-, 40-, 50-, or larger-gallon containers.
  2. You might consider upgrading to a larger unit if your old one did not provide enough hot water.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. If you’re not sure in your abilities in these areas, hiring a professional is the best course of action.
  6. 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.


It has been usual practice for many years to use atmospheric venting to vent the combustion exhaust gases from a gas-fired 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 configuration. Oftentimes, connecting a new water heater to an existing flue and draft hood will be the most difficult part of the installation procedure.

  1. It is better to leave this process to specialists since if it is done poorly, exhaust gases (including carbon monoxide) can linger inside the residence.
  2. As a result, many places now need a system known as direct venting, in which a specific double-chambered vent pipe transports exhaust gases out the side of the home while at the same time allowing fresh air into the house.
  3. The installation of a power fan to aid the flow of exhaust gas into the direct vent may also be required by code, depending on how far the direct vent must be extended.
  4. The work becomes more difficult if your code dictates that you upgrade from an atmospheric vent to a directly vented or powered directly vented unit.


  • 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.

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

  • Disconnect the hot and cold water lines from the water heater by using a pipe wrench or channel-lock pliers to tighten the connections. Flexible tubes (usually coupled with compression or union fittings) or soldered connections (soldered connections must be cut with a tubing cutter) can be used to connect the water lines to the heater.

Disconnect the Electrical or Gas Lines

  • Next, the water heater’s power source must be unplugged from the mains power supply. For an electric water heater, follow these steps: Removing the cover from the wire connection panel at the top of the water heater will reveal the wire connections. Check the individual wires with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that the circuit is off, and then remove the wire connectors that link the circuit wires to the water heater leads. Remove the cable from the connection box by unscrewing the cable clip and pulling the cable out. For a gas water heater, follow these steps: Remove the gas line from the water heater and make sure the main gas line valve is turned off before reconnecting it to the gas control valve. Depending on the kind of water heater, this gas tube may be a flexible tube covered with vinyl or bare soft copper tubing, or it may be an older water heater with a hard black-pipe connection.

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
See also:  How To Vent A Gas Water Heater Horizontal

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.

Make certain that the vent is installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and local code requirements. 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

  1. 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

How A Water Heater Works

Connect the hot water faucet to a distant point 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 water heater is fully operational. When water begins to flow from the hot water tap, you’ll know the tank is full. – Turning the circuit breaker back on for an electric water heater will bring electricity back to the water heater circuit. For a gas heater, check that the main gas valve is open and that the pilot igniter is functioning correctly by following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Activate the heater and regulate the temperature of the water heater.

Gas Water Heater

When using a gas-powered water heater, cold water is introduced into the tank using a dip tube (1). The water in this tank is heated by a gas burner (2). This burner burns gas, sending highly hot yet hazardous air up via a chimney in the middle of the water heater tank, which is located in the middle of the tank (3). The chimney exhausts this noxious air to the outside while simultaneously heating the metal of the chimney (4). As the heat from this chimney rises, the surrounding water warms up as well.

  • Warm water rises to the top of the water heater tank and is circulated throughout the house via the heat-out pipe (also known as the return pipe) (5).
  • The thermostat(6), which is attached to the gas line and ensures that the appropriate quantity of gas is delivered to the burner in order to attain the desired temperature, allows homeowners to specify the temperature at which they want their water to be heated.
  • Whenever the water temperature or pressure within the tank becomes too high, the temperature and pressure relief valve (also known as the T and P valve)(7) will open and discharge water to cool it down.
  • It is recommended to drain your water heater once a year to avoid sediment buildup.
  • How to remove sediment from your water heater (learn how to remove sediment from your water heater).
  • A sacrificial anode rod(10) is also included in the water heater’s design, which is a rod made of a metal that rusts more quickly than the metal that makes up the water heater tank.
  • As long as it is replaced every 1-2 years after rusting away, it should be satisfactory.

In this article, you will learn more about what a sacrificial anode rod is and why it is used in your water heater. In the event that a gas water heater is not properly maintained, a Landmark home warranty plan will provide coverage.

Electric Water Heater

When it comes to operation, an electric water heater is virtually identical to a gas water heater. It draws in cold water through the dip tube(1) and heats it in the tank with the help of the electric heating elements(2) located within the tank. The hot water rises to the top of the tank and is distributed throughout the house via the heat-outpipe (3). In the same way as a gas water heater has a thermostat(4), a temperature and pressure relief valve(5), a drain valve(6), the tank is insulated(7), and it has an anode rod(8), an electric water heater includes the following features: (8).

If an electric water heater dies due to regular wear and tear, a home warranty plan will cover the cost of replacing it.

Water Heater Maintenance

A homeowner should do regular maintenance on their hot water heater, which should include the following tasks:

  1. Set the water heater’s thermostat to a temperature that is comfortable for you. The majority of manufacturers recommend setting the thermostat to about 120 degrees to save money on heating expenditures. It is recommended that you flush your tank once a year. A water heater may fail to function properly if this is not the case. Check and replace the anode rod if necessary. Rather of “sacrificing” itself and rotting, this rod prevents your tank from rusting. Pressure relief valves should be tested by chilling the water, placing a bucket beneath the pipe, and opening the relief valve.

Landmark’s home warranty protection plan does provide coverage for repairs and replacements of water heaters up to 70 gallons in capacity. Protect your budget by purchasing a home warranty plan, and you will only be charged a service call fee if your water heater or other equipment and appliances in your house need to be repaired or replaced. More information may be found at.

How to Maintain A Water Heater

Repairs and replacements of water heaters up to 70 gallons are covered by a Landmark home warranty protection plan. If you choose a home warranty plan, you will only be charged a service call fee when your water heater or other equipment and appliances in your house need to be repaired or replaced. You may find out more information by visiting.

Steps on How to Maintain a Hot Water Heater

Ryan Benyi is a young man from New York City.

  • Immediately turn off the electricity and turn off the cold-water supply valve. Place a bucket beneath the pipe that is linked to the temperature-pressure-release (TPR) valve, which is located on the top or side of the storage tank. (This valve opens if the pressure in the tank rises to an unsafe level.)
  • Lift the tab on the valve to allow some water to flow out, then release it. If the water continues to flow, drain the tank partially, remove the old valve using a pipe wrench, and replace it with a new valve.

2. Check the Anode Rod

Ryan Benyi is a young man from New York City.

  • Connect a hose to the tank’s drain cock and let a few litres of water to flow from the tank
  • Now, insert a 1 1/16-inch socket into the hex head of the rod on top of the heater (or under its top plate) and remove the rod from the heater. When you find one that is less than 12 inches thick or coated with calcium, replace it with a new one and wrap the threads with Teflon tape before reinstalling and tightening it tightly. If there is limited space above the tank, this segmented rod should be used.

3. Drain the Tank and Wash Out Sediment

Ryan Benyi is a young man from New York City.

  • Drain the remaining water from the tank into a bucket, and then temporarily open the cold-water supply valve to stir up the silt on the tank’s bottom. Continue rinsing and draining until only clean water comes out of the hose. Close the drain cock, refill the tank, and re-connect the power to the device.

4. Adjust the Temperature

Ryan Benyi is a young man from New York City.

  • Locate the temperature dial on the side of the tank and unscrew the cover that protects the dial. Using a flathead screwdriver, rotate the dial until it is at 120 degrees. On average, every 10 degrees Fahrenheit that the temperature is dropped results in a 5 percent reduction in energy expenses. In the event that you will be away from home for more than three days, turn off the water heater and set the thermostat to the lowest possible level.

5. Insulate the Pipes

Ryan Benyi is a young man from New York City.

  • Purchase some 3/8-inch-thick foam pipe insulation that is self-sticking and has a diameter that matches the pipes. As far as you are able to reach, slide the foam over the hot and cold water lines. The use of insulation around the cold-water pipe helps to avoid condensation in the summer. Remove the tape from the insulation and squeeze it closed. The pipe should be covered with 1-inch-thick unfaced fiberglass pipe wrap if it is less than 6 inches away from the flue.

6. Insulate the Heater

Ryan Benyi is a young man from New York City.

  • Cut the insulating blanket (shown here: R-4.5 foil-covered bubble wrap) to fit around the pipes, the TPR valve, and the temperature control that protrudes from the tank’s bottom. Wrap the tank’s side with foil tape, then tape the cuts closed with tape. Covering the tops of oil or gas heaters is not recommended. Cap an electric heater with an enormous circle of insulation, then fasten the edge of the circle to the side of the tank with tape.
See also:  What Is The Small Tank Above My Water Heater


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How Water Heaters Work

To understand how efficiently and effectively a water heater accomplishes its job, let’s take a closer look at what’s going on within the tank. The thermostat on a water heater is responsible for regulating the temperature of the water in the tank. Temperatures between 120 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit are usually OK in most cases (49 to 82 degrees Celsius). For the most part, manufacturers recommend that the water temperature be set between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (49 to 60 degrees Celsius).

  1. If you have youngsters in your household, it’s best to keep closer to the lower end of the price range than the upper end.
  2. Most of the time, the thermostat is hidden under a protective cover plate and is controlled by a knob or dial that you can turn to adjust the temperature.
  3. The heating device, which can be either a burner or an element, continues to operate until the water reaches the desired temperature.
  4. Close to the top of the tank is a pipe that removes the heat.
  5. Using the theory of heat rising to accomplish the difficult task of separating cold, entering water from hot, departing water is the key to understanding how a water heater is designed for this purpose.

The rest is taken care of by the location of the heat-out pipe at the top of the tank. Published on April 1, 2000 in the original version.

How Does a Hot Water Heater Work? Let Us Explain!

The less you have to think about your hot water heater, as is the case with most other household utilities, the better. The only thing that is actually vital to know is that it is operating to provide your house with the hot water that it requires. Nonetheless, having a basic understanding of how your water heater operates is always important. If the machine is one that is utilized on a regular basis, this is especially true. Water heaters are responsible for ensuring that water is delivered via the pipes to its intended destination at the right temperature every time you shower, wash dishes, or do a load of laundry.

Hot Water Heater Components

First, we’ll take a look at the many components that work together to provide you with the hot water you require. With the exception of a few minor variations, these components are shared by both electric and gas water heaters. It is possible that this will provide an answer to your inquiry about “how does a hot water heater work?”


The vast majority of water heaters seen in houses throughout the United States have enormous, insulated tanks that hold hot water. These water heater tanks are available in a variety of sizes, commonly ranging from 20 to 80 gallons in capacity. The size of the tank should be proportional to the number of people who will be using hot water in the home, and the normal household tank has a capacity of 40-60 gallons of water.

Dip Tube

The dip tube is the point at which cold water from your home’s municipal water supply, well, or other water source is introduced into the tank for storage. It is right before the water heater that your main water line separates. Water is pumped from the main valve to your cold water faucet through a cold water service line when you switch on the cold water faucet. The water that comes out of the hot water tap is channeled via the dip tube and into the hot water storage tank. This occurs prior to the water traveling through the hot water service line to the house.

The cold water enters via this opening and is subsequently heated by the water at the bottom of the tank.

Heating Element / Gas Burner

A heating element in the tank of an electric water heater heats the water within the tank to a desired temperature. When using a gas water heater, the heating mechanism is provided by a gas burner. Both of these items may be found near the bottom of the tank.

Anode Rod

Another safety step is the use of anode rods. It does this by electrolyzing the tank and preventing rust from forming. In this case, the metal-coated steel rod (which is often coated in aluminum, zinc, or magnesium) rusts instead of the steel lining that is used to line the tank’s internal walls.


Water heaters are equipped with a thermostat on the outside that allows you to monitor and change the temperature of the water being heated.

Heat-Out Pipe

The hot water service line is the pipe that transports hot water from the tank to the hot water service line.

It may be found at the very top. The hottest water rises to the top of the tank due to the fact that hot water has less density than cold water (and heat rises by its own nature).


  • Valve for Drainage– The drain valve is positioned near the bottom of the tank, on the exterior of the tank. The drain valve, as its name implies, is responsible for draining off silt that has accumulated inside the tank. Shut-off Valve– A shut-off valve is located on the outside of the water heater. Essentially, this stops the flow of water into the tank. Pressure Relief Valve– The water inside the tank is extremely pressured, necessitating the use of a pressure relief valve. An emergency pressure relief valve is designed to prevent pressure from accumulating to a dangerous level.

How Does a Hot Water Heater Work?

So, how do all of these components interact with one another? What is the operation of a hot water heater? So, here’s a synopsis of the situation. The trip of your hot water begins with the main water pipe and continues to your shower, washing machine, sink, dishwasher, and other appliances. Water heaters that use gas or electricity are both tank-type water heaters. These are the most prevalent types of water heaters that may be used in residential settings. They both function substantially on the same premise, with the primary differences being in their different heat sources.

Here’s how a water heater works:

In order for water to enter your home, it must flow via the main water line. Just before the water heater, the line is divided into two different paths, each of which serves as the water intake system for your home. After that, you switch on the hot water faucet. Ice-cold water pours through the shut-off valve and into the water heater tank, where it will soon be heated to a comfortable temperature. The water is heated by the heating mechanism located at the bottom of the tank in accordance with the thermostat setting.

After that, you switched on the hot water faucet, and additional water poured into your hot water tank through the dip tube.

This hot water rises via the heat-out pipe and is sent to the hot water faucet.

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater is another alternative that is becoming increasingly popular, albeit being less prevalent. Tankless water heaters do not store hot water in a tank that is constantly heated; instead, they heat water only when it is required. When you turn on a hot water faucet, a flow sensor in the tankless water heater unit is triggered to respond. Assuming the tankless unit is fueled by gas, this sensor switches on an internal fan to pull in air, opens the gas valve, and ignites the burner by activating a gas valve inside the tankless unit.

In either scenario, the heat exchanger inside the unit is warmed, and the water is heated to a certain temperature as a result of this heating.

As a result, there is no need to store hot water in a tank and there is no need to use the energy required to maintain a high temperature on a consistent basis.

With a tankless unit, you will never run out of hot water since there is no tank to run out of water.

Tankless water heaters are also safer and endure for a longer period of time. These advantages, on the other hand, come at a larger cost up front than with a traditional hot water heater, which is why they are more expensive.

Hot Water, Whenever You Need It

When you grasp the fundamentals of how a hot water heater works, it isn’t too tough to comprehend. If you’re experiencing problems with your hot water heater, require basic maintenance, or wish to investigate replacement alternatives, you’ll need a dependable plumber you can rely on to get the job done right. South Jersey residents may turn toLaury Heating Cooling Plumbing for the best quality plumbing services available.

Everything You Need To Know About Your Home’s Water Heater

Understanding a hot water heater isn’t that difficult if you grasp the fundamental concepts of how it works. In the event that you’re experiencing problems with your hot water heater, require basic maintenance, or wish to investigate replacement possibilities, you’ll need a trustworthy plumber you can rely on. South Jersey residents may turn toLaury Heating Cooling Plumbing for the highest-quality plumbing services available.

Tank-Type Water Heaters

JulNichols Photographs courtesy of Getty Images Westinghouse Electric Hot Water Heater Tank-type water heaters, which are often found in most households and are powered by either gas or electricity, serve the great majority of people’s needs. In general, gas water heaters are more expensive to purchase than electric water heaters, but they are less expensive to run since natural gas is less expensive than electricity. Electric water heaters, on the other hand, are more energy efficient than gas water heaters and have better efficiency-factor ratings.

  1. The way it works is as follows: Cold water enters the tank through the bottom and is heated either by a gas flame below the tank or by electric components suspended inside the tank, depending on the model.
  2. A pressure-relief valve is used to avoid an excessive accumulation of pressure within a holding tank.
  3. As the water level in the tank begins to drop, it is automatically replaced with cold water, and the cycle is repeated once again.
  4. If you’re in the market for a gas water heater, a condensing unit could be worth considering.
  5. The entering cold water subsequently absorbs a significant amount of the heat emitted by the gases.
  6. Another issue is that tank-type heaters consume energy (gas or electricity) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep the water at a constant temperature no matter how much or how little is being used.
  7. GEGeoSpring Hybrid Electric Water HeaterA hybrid water heater is a tank-type heater that is also fitted with an electric heat pump for increased efficiency.

The consequence is that the hybrid model consumes 60 percent less energy than a standard water heating system.

Furthermore, state and municipal energy incentives can help to reduce the time it takes to recover your investment even further.

They are also known as instantaneous or on-demand water heaters since they give hot water on demand.

The way it works is as follows: An electric tank-less water heater remains dormant until a hot-water faucet in the house is turned on.

As the cold water goes through the heat exchanger, it is heated to the temperature that has been specified.

Combustion gases produced by gas-fired units are expelled through a specialized, hermetically sealed vent pipe into the atmosphere.

Tank-less water heaters only heat water when it is required, as there is no storage tank to maintain.

And for even better energy efficiency, consider a condensing tank-less water heater, which operates with an efficiency rating between 90 percent and 98 percent; non-condensing tank-less heaters run with an efficiency rating of 80 percent or so, which is still quite good.

Furthermore, tankless water heaters have a lifespan of up to 20 years, which is nearly twice as long as traditional tank-type water heaters.

On the negative, tank-less water heaters are more expensive to purchase and install than normal water heaters, and they are also more expensive to repair than standard water heaters.

Point-of-Use Water Heaters

Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater from Bosch Point-of-use water heaters, in contrast to the previously described whole-house water heaters, are tiny, tankless types that supply hot water practically instantly to a single place, such as a bathroom sink or shower. It is most common to find this sort of electric heater placed at fixtures that are far away from the main water heater. This product’s most compelling feature is that it avoids the all-too-common inconvenience of opening the faucet and then waiting for hot water.

Most point-of-use units are about 10 in.

in size, making them small enough to fit within vanity cabinets and closets.

Heaters for single-family homes and small businesses are quite dependable, and they may easily endure for up to 25 years.

Assuming there isn’t a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electrical outlet nearby where you want to plug the device in, you’ll have to contact an electrician to install one.

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