Tips For A DIY Residential Water Heater Installation

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Water heaters are one of those home appliances that always fail at the worst time and when you least expect them to. If your water heater decided today was the day that it heated its last tank of water, then you need to replace it with a new one.

A licensed HVAC contractor or plumbing contractor is always the best person to handle your water heater installation. However, you can do this job as a homeowner if you have some basic home repair skills. 

If you want to save the installation cost and replace your own water heater, here are some installation tips to assist you:

Tip: Go Slowly and Make Sure You Have Everything You Need Before Starting the Project

To remove the failed water heater and install a replacement, you need to take your time and prepare ahead of time. Taking your time ensures you don't make any expensive or dangerous mistakes, and having all your tools and supplies handy makes the project go a lot more smoothly. 

To replace a water heater, you need all of the following:

  • a current tester (if the water heater is electric)
  • an adjustable wrench
  • a garden hose
  • a pair of gloves

In addition, you should dress in clothing you are prepared to get wet and dirty, because this isn't a dry or clean project.

Tip: Take the Opportunity to Upgrade to a Larger Water Heater or Tankless Model If Necessary

If your home never seems to have enough hot water and someone is always complaining about cold showers, now is the time to upgrade your water heater's capacity. To accomplish this, you can either install a larger water heater with a bigger holding tank, or a tankless water heater that delivers a never-ending stream of on-demand hot water. Since you need to replace it anyway, now is an ideal time to do so.

Tip: Always Double Check that the Power or Gas Line is Turned Off Before Working on a Water Heater

Before working on your water heater, you must turn off the electrical power or close the gas line. Double and triple check to ensure this is done before you start working!

Tip: Drain Your Water Heater's Tank Outdoors If You Have a Septic System

Finally, you need to drain your old water heater using a garden hose before you can remove it. If your home has a septic system, then you need to drain it outdoors so you don't flood the septic tank and damage it.

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