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How to Install a Water Heater and When to Get Help


Hot Water

Have you recently bought a new water heater? Are you thinking about how to install a water heater yourself?

Did you know the average cost to have a water heater installed is between $600 and $1500? That’s a lot of money to spend after paying for the water heater itself.

Installing a water heater isn’t as complicated as people may think. There’s no need to pay for someone to do something you can do yourself.

If you want to know tips for installing a water heater, this guide is for you. It can be easier to consult a professional. Learn more here.

How to Remove the Old Heater

Before you water heater installation, you need to remove the old one. Before you remove the old one, you need to prepare everything that you need.

Check you have the parts you need for the new water heater. Any pipes and valves that are required and check over the actual water heater itself.

You will also need tools and supplies for the installment. The tools you will need are a hose, a tubing cutter, two pipe wrenches, and a tape measure.

Other supplies would be a towel, Teflon tape, pipe dope, and a leak test solution. The solution can be regular dish soap.

Drain the Water Heater You Want to Remove

Before we can even think about removing the old water heater, we need to ensure it has been drained. Once the water is out, the unit will be a lot lighter. This will make it far easier to maneuver.

Firstly, you need to turn the power off to your water heater. Once this is done and the water has had enough time to cool, you can drain it. Remove the hot water supply by running all the hot taps in your house.

To remove the cold water, find and turn the knob or lever that connects the heater to the water supply. Attach your hose going from your heater to a safe drainage point.

Now open the drain valve and wait for the water to finish draining.

Shut Off the Gas Before Removing the Flue

Next, we need to turn off the gas. You will disconnect the gas line at some point. We need to make sure that no gas is running through it when this happens.

Find the gas valve and turn it 90 degrees, so it is parallel to the gas line. There will still be gas on one side of the valve, so be sure this remains closed until the new water heater is fitted.

Now you need to locate the flue. The flue is the part of the water heater that connects to the chimney. Make sure to keep it intact, as you can use this for your new water heater.

To remove it, you will need to take out the screw which keeps it in place on the draft hood. Also, remove the screws attaching the flue to the chimney.

Disconnect the Gas

Disconnecting the gas is probably the most dangerous part. Make sure you don’t rush through this section. If mistakes are made here, it can be harmful.

That’s not to say this is difficult to do. It’s pretty simple if done right. While doing it, remember to use all your senses.

Audibly you can hear if gas is hissing out from the line. You can smell if there is gas leaking out. You can see the air start to wave if gas is leaking.

Now we have covered the dangers, let learn how to disconnect the gas. Find the section of the gas line called the union. Use your wrench to loosen this slowly.

By doing it slowly, you will be aware of the gas is still connected, which will allow you to tighten and cut off the gas quickly.

Once you have disconnected the union without a gas leak, you can remove the gas line from the water tank.

Cut the Tank Away From the Waterline

The final step in removing the old water tank is to remove it from the water lines. You should thoroughly drain the connection to the hot water, so this one is easy.

Take into consideration the reinstalling when cutting this pipe. Use your tubing cutter to cut it roughly a few inches from the tank. Now you will need to use minimal material when connecting the new tank.

The cold water side may be a bit messier. If your current shut-off valve is in good condition, then you won’t need to worry as much.

If not, you will need to shut off the water at the main. Once this is cut off, you can replace the valve while using your towel to keep the water under control.

How to Install a Water Heater

Installing your water heater is simple. Do everything we have mentioned but backward.

Hook up the water lines by connecting the new cold water pipe to the valve you removed from the last one. Now connect your new cold water pipe to the cut-off you created before. You can either use a new valve or weld them together if you are capable.

Turn the water on to start filling your tank. While doing this, check your new connections in case they are leaking.

When hooking the gas line back up, it’s a lot simpler because you know for sure that the gas is off. Tighten the connection to ensure no gas can leak through later when you turn the gas back on.

Reconnect your flue to the chimney and the tank with the screws you took out.

Connect your run-off tube, and you’re finished with the connections. All that’s left is to find the pilot light and relight it before turning the tank back on.

Have a Well Deserved Hot Bath

Now you know how to replace a water heater. With this article, you also have an insight into how to install a water heater and how to fix a water heater. It’s down to you to install it yourself or have a professional, such as us, do it for you.

Remember to be careful when removing your flue. If you damage it, you will have to buy a new one.

Be careful when disconnecting the gas line. Don’t let a silly mistake be a massive problem.

Check the new connections don’t leak. Stop the water and fix them if they are.

Check out our other blogs on plumbing, remodeling, and more about water heaters. For example, How Long Do Water Heaters Last on Average?

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