How To Replace Your Water Heater

If you have had regular maintenance on your water heater, but it is still not working properly, it might be time to replace it. While water heaters do tend to last a long time, they won't last forever. If you have decided it is time to replace it, these tips can help.

Remove the Old Water Heater

If you still have your old water heater hooked up, it will need to be removed first. Start by turning off utilities connecting to the water heater. You can do this by finding the main water shutoff valve to your home. If it is electric, you also need to shut off the electricity by finding the water heater's circuit breaker and turning it off. For a gas water heater, make sure you turn off the gas supply. Once everything is disconnected, drain the hot water tank by using a hose connected to the drain valve. Next, disconnect all of the utility lines going to the water heater, including the gas line, electrical service, and the plumbing. With someone to help you, you should now be able to lift and remove the water heater.

Install the Water Fittings

Once you bring in your new water heater and get it into place, you will need to install the fittings that came with the water heater. You will most likely start with the discharge drain pipe and the temperature, and pressure relief valve. The manufacturer's instructions will give you details about installing each type of fitting. For the galvanized fittings, they can be installed using joint compound or Teflon tape.

Connect the Water and Gas Lines

After the fittings are attached, you can proceed with connecting the water and gas lines. The plumbing lines should come first, which includes lining up the inlet and outlets, and adding the shut-off valve to the cold water supply line if you don't already have one. Use dielectric unions for the pipes, as this prevents damage to your pipe connections. For a gas or electric water heater, you will have additional lines to install. Gas heaters require you to connect a gas line to the gas burner control valve, as well as using an additional flexible gas line if you need it. When you turn on the gas supply valve, check for leaks before you continue. Electric water heaters require you to connect the power lines to the water heater junction box.

Turn on the Water Heater

Now you can turn the water heater on. Begin with the cold water valve and turn on the main water supply. Begin filling the water tank according to the manufacturer's instructions. Turn on a hot water faucet and have someone feel for when the water turns hot. Once it does, you know the water heater tank is full. Turn on the fuse and circuit breaker, and light the pilot if it is a gas water heater. Set the thermostat as the final step. For assistance, talk to a professional like Dave Blair Plumbing.