Replacing A Water Heater
How To Install An Electric Or Gas Water Heater
At some point, it will happen (usually at 1 AM on Sunday). Your water heater will break down. This is the term “technical” plumbing which means that your water heater has stopped working forever.
Water heaters need regular maintenance, but too often they are left to run without maintenance and, sacrificing themselves, they give us hot water every day. When they have had enough, they stop due to rust or corrosion.
The easiest and fastest way to replace a water heater is to get it done by a professional plumber, but if you can’t afford it, or if you really want to do it yourself, read on.
You’ll need to make sure you’re following plumbing codes, so it’s a good idea to call your local plumbing inspector to find out what specific municipal requirements and permits exist.
But replacing a water heater is not extremely difficult, and if you follow this guide, you will have hot water again in no time. Well, expect a duration of 4-6 hours anyway.
01. Select A New Water Heater
When you select your new water heater, it is easiest to conserve the same type of fuel, be it gas or electric. That’s assuming in this guide, that you will keep the same type of fuel as the water heater you are replacing.
You can change the size a bit, however. For example, let’s say you had a 150-liter one and want to go up to 190 liters. That shouldn’t be a problem as long as you have enough space between the heater and the wall.
02. Preparing For The Installation Of A Water Heater
Before you start, check the following points to make sure you’re ready to go when the new water heater arrives.
Check The Pipeline
Measure the center-to-center dimension between the hot and cold water pipes on top of the water heater and try to make sure the new heater has the same dimensions. That will make the plumbing job a little easier. Take a look at the pipe connected to the old water heater.
Make sure you have a gas connection in the gas line if you have a gas water heater, and make sure there is a water shutoff valve for the cold water inlet pipe and a union connector for the pipe hot water outlet.
If you don’t have these, your job will be a little more difficult as you will have to cut the tubes to remove the old heater, and then install the cold water shutoff valve, and / or a gas tube union or a tube union of hot water. But most plumbers do the job well at first, so everything is probably in place.
Getting the water heater off the truck and down the stairs (if you have it installed in the basement) is a two-person job. I recommend renting a wheelbarrow for household appliances if possible. For about $ 20 a day it costs to get off the new heater and get the old one out much easier. They are large and heavy. Once you have lowered the new heater to the place of the old heater, you are ready to go.
03. Turn Off Power And Water To The Water Heater (Water, Gas, Or Electricity)
Before doing anything, you have to turn off the power and water to the existing water heater.
- Turn off the water at your home’s main water valve or the shutoff valve in the cold water supply line by running to the existing water heater.
- If you have an electric water heater, turn off the electricity to the water heater by removing the fuse or turning off the circuit breaker in the water heater circuit.
- If you have a gas water heater, shut off the gas at the gas supply tube in the tank or at the main gas shutoff valve on the home. To make sure the gas is off, check the pilot light, it must be off.
04. Drain The Hot Water Tank
Once the water is closed to the heater, you will need to drain the tank.
- Open the nearest hot water tap.
- Attach a hose to the drain valve on the water heater.
- Clamp the other end of the hose over the floor drain.
- Open the drain valve slowly so that sediment does not clog the drain valve.
05. Disconnect The Service Lines (Water, Gas, Electricity)
Disconnect hot water, cold water, and depending on your type of water heater, gas line, or electrical service to the water heater.
- If you have a gas heater, making sure the gas is off, disconnect the gas line to the water heater.
- If you have an electric heater, disconnect electrical service to the water heater.
- To remove the pipe, you may need tools such as a pipe wrench, slip joint pliers, or slot or barb pliers.
- Disconnect the cold water line by disconnecting the heater from the shutoff valve.
- Disconnect the hot water discharge line by disconnecting the hot water line at the heater connection.
- Disconnect the draft from the heater.
- Once the draft, water and gas lines, or electrical service are disconnected, you are ready to remove the old heater.
06. Remove And Replace The Water Heater
Once the old water heater is completely drained and disconnected, you can remove the old unit.
- Have an assistant help you lift the old water heater onto an appliance cart and remove the old water heater.
- Clean the floor where the old water heater was placed.
- Move the new water heater into position by aligning the existing tubes with the tube locations on the water heater.
- Using a torpedo level or a full level, level the new water heater by slowly raising or lowering the legs until the unit is upright.
07. Install Accessories
Next, install the various accessories that come with the water heater.
- Install the pressure and temperature relief valve and empty the drain tube.
- Use Teflon tape on the ends of copper tubing or joint compound on galvanized fittings.
- Install any other accessories according to the manufacturer’s directions.
08. Connect The Water Pipes And The Gas Or Electric Line (As Applicable)
Next, install the piping lines — for hot or cold water — the water heater.
- If the inlet and outlet openings of the new water heater do not exactly line up with the old pipe, then use flexible copper supply lines.
- Add a shutoff valve to the cold water supply if one is not already installed.
- Connect the tubes using dielec junctions to prevent an electro-galvanic action called electrolysis that will damage your tube connections and the water heater.
- li] Sweat copper joints or use Teflon tape over threaded copper, and use pipe lubricant or joint compound on galvanized joints.
Connect The Gas Or Power Line (As Applicable)
Once the water lines are installed, you are ready to install the fuel source.
- Connect the gas line to the gas burner control valve
- Use a flexible gas line if necessary.
- Check for leaks by opening the gas supply valve and applying a soapy water solution to the gas union and all gas unions, such as that of the burner control valve. If you see bubbles, the connection is leaking and needs tightening. If you still can’t get a good bubble-free seal, call the gas company or a plumber for assistance.
- For electric water heaters, connect the electric wires and the ground wire to the junction box of the water heater.
09. Hold The Shot (If It Is A Gas Water Heater)
Hold The Shot
- Hold the diverter on the draft of the water heater. Specific parts and instructions must come with your new water heater. Install draft according to manufacturer’s instructions and local codes.
10. Switched On
Once the connections are made, it’s time to fill the heater with cold water and turn on the unit:
- Open the cold water supply tap to the water heater and open the main water supply valve to the water meter if it was also closed.
- Close the faucet that was opened near the water heater when you have drained the water heater.
- Fill the heater tank with water. One way to check when it is full is to turn on the hot water faucet in a remote bathroom or kitchen and when the water comes out of that faucet, the tank will be full. The water may still be cold.
- Once the tank is full, turn it back on in the ignition panel by reinstalling the fuse or turning the circuit breaker back on (if it’s an electric model); if it is a gas model, make sure the main gas valve is open and light the pilot.
- Set the thermostat to a temperature between 110 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.