It is bound to happen sooner or later and most usually it happens just when you are just planning on taking a long and luxurious bath -your hot water heater goes ‘kapowee’. Water heaters should have regular maintenance check-ups but most homeowners simply ignore them and allow them to work endlessly for years, providing the home with hot water. But once rust and corrosion has gotten the best of your hot water heater, it will say that it’s had it and die on you.
Obviously the fastest and easiest way to replace a water heater is to call in a plumber. However, if you cannot afford to do that or if you simply want to do the job yourself, then continue reading. It is not all that terribly hard to replace your water heater but it will take a few hours so be patient.
First of all, when buying the new water heater, make sure that it is similar to the old one such as being gas or electric. You can choose a larger capacity water heater if you like one as long as you have enough space between the wall and the heater. You will have to have an appliance dolly on hand to move the new water heater into place as well as an extra person. Before starting to install the new heater you need to turn off the utilities to the existing heater. Shut the water off at the main shut-off valve and remove the fuse if the heater is electric or turn off the circuit breaker. Shut the gas off if the heater is gas powered and do a pilot light check to make sure it is off.
You need to drain the water out of the old heater and then disconnect the water connections, the gas line or electrical service to the old heater. You will need to use a pipe wrench to remove the plumbing. Once everything is disconnected from the old heater, pull it out and place it away from the area. Move the new water heater in and line up the pipes correctly so they reach the heater’s connections. Connect all of the fittings and install the temp and pressure relief valve. Install all fittings as the instructions tell you to do and then connect the gas or electric lines.
Check the new heater for leaks and then fill up the water heater with cold water once everything is connected and turned on. Set your thermostat to around 120 degrees and within a short amount of time your brand new water heater will be delivering hot water throughout your home. Be sure to be kind to this water heater so that you can get many years of service out of it!