A DIY water heater replacement is easy but requires basic plumbing skills and the strength to wrestle out the old heater, and carry in the new one.
Steps to take if you plan on DIY-ing your water heater replacement:
- Turn off the cold-water pipe leading into the water heater
- Shut off the gas supply to the heater
- Drain the water from the heater using a garden hose
- Disconnect the union that connects the gas pipe to the heater
- Remove old water heater
- Set new heater on top of blocks
- Attach exhaust flue to top of heater
- Solder new copper pipe to connect heater to cold- and hot-water pipes
- Reconnect gas line to heater
- Install vacuum valve to top of heater; wrap threads with Teflon tape, tighten with pliers
- Turn on cold water to fill tank.
When it comes to Step #4, if you're unsure how to hook up the hose during your water heater replacement, here is a 'how-to':
Near the bottom of the water heater tank, there should be a tank drain valve. When you find it, attach a standard garden hose to the valve. Some models don't have the drain valve exposed to the open and instead may have a cover over the valve opening. Place the other end of the hose in a floor drain or on a driveway where it can drain safely. If necessary, you can use buckets to assist the transport of the draining water but be aware and careful to not burn yourself by the hot water.
Pro-tip for Step #8 when DIY-ing your water heater replacement:
Soldering with insufficient experience can be dangerous. At Surfside Plumbing, we fully recommend contacting a professional to avoid any possible injuries.