It will cost you over $1,000 to install a water heater in your home.
That amount of money is too much to risk losing due to poor installation
If your water heater is old and you want to replace it, you should first understand the installation basics. Even if you can call a certified plumber, you should know how to install a water heater by yourself to prevent inconveniences in times of emergencies.
The process is not challenging, but you should master it well to avoid making mistakes. Here is a guide to the entire process.
An average water heater lasts for 10 to 15 years. If your heater has lasted for that long, then you probably need a newer one. You may also decide to install a new heater if your old one has shown signs of wear and tear.
These signs could include visible damages, leaks, rust, uneven heating, and so on. Once you have made up your mind on the installation, you should inform your plumber about your plan.
Your plumber should advise you on the best water heater to consider and the processes to follow. You may also plan with the plumber for an inspection, especially if you will be doing the DIY installation for the first time.
Get the Equipment
Collect all the equipment you will need during the installation.
Some vital tools that you might need include a voltage tester, a plumbers tape, electrical tape, a torch, safety glasses, and a tube cutter. You might also need some materials such as the piping, the valves, the connectors, and water.
The exact tools will depend on the type of water you will be installing.
Disconnect the Utilities
Water is the main utility that you should switch off before you start the process. If you install the water heater when the valve is still on, you might have a messy experience, and you might not achieve your installation goals.
Electricity is another vital utility to disconnect. Make sure you know the main power supply of your house to turn it off. And if you use a gas water heater, then switch the main gas supply too.
Drain the Water Heater
Now that you have disconnected the utilities, your next step should be to drain the water tank. That water is of no use because you intend to dispose of the old heater. And after all, you will have a smoother time replacing the heater when it is empty than when full.
To remove it, open the faucet and let the water flow until the tank is empty. You may use a garden hose if the water has some sediment. Be warned that the water might be very hot, especially if the heater is always on. Be cautious to avoid bodily injuries too.
Disconnect the Old Water Heater
Carefully disconnect both the hot and cold water piping. If the pipes are made of copper, then you will have to use a hacksaw and cut 3 to 4 inches from the water heater unit. But if they are galvanized, then you will only need to loosen them well and disconnect.
If you use a gas water heater, carefully remove the gas pipe. You should also do the same to the direct vent.
Ask for help if the water heater is large. Your helper will assist you in removing it from its respective place to the disposal point. Unless you plan to use your old heater in another area, you should follow the local safe disposal methods.
Inspect the Wiring
Don’t rush to replace the new water heater. Maybe, the wiring is faulty, and that‘s why you had an issue with your previous water heater. There may be other issues too that you must sort before you install the new water heater.
If there’s an issue with the wiring, it will be imperative to work with an experienced electrician. The electrician should inspect the current electrical systems to confirm that everything is okay.
You may also need to clean the area where the old water heater was resting. At this stage, do not install the new heater unless you are sure that the wires and the pipes are all in excellent condition.
Reconnect the Gas, Water, and Electricity Lines
Add your new water heater. If your home is prone to earthquakes, add straps or brackets which hold the water heater into place. You may also add special valves and fittings.
For instance, you may add a pressure valve to regulate your heater’s water pressure and a temperature valve to regulate the temperature.
When everything is perfect, you can reconnect your utilities to confirm if your water heater installation process was successful.
When you turn on the water, check if there are any leaks. Check the flow of the water, too, to confirm if the pressure valve is working well.
Seek Help on How to Install a Water Heater
It’s essential to know how to install a water heater on your own. However, you should not force things. If you don’t know what to do, ask an experienced plumber to help you. A good plumber can guide you to ensure that you don’t cause mistakes or cause further damage.
Do you have an urgent plumbing issue? Do you need help with water heater installation? Tulsa plumbing is a reputable 24/7 emergency plumbing firm.
Our services include drain cleaning, water heater replacement, slab leaks, leak detection, and others. We also offer free home inspection services. Contact us to book an appointment with us, and we will be glad to help.