It’s best to hire a plumber to handle water heater installation and replacement. It’s illegal to work on gas and electrical lines without a permit, and safety concerns exist.Water Heater

It’s also expensive to frame a wall and add drywall and electric wiring to accommodate a new water heater. Click to learn more.

Having hot water is important to your daily life and is usually considered a basic necessity. So, when a water heater begins to fail, it becomes an urgent matter that requires professional installation. However, some homeowners are reluctant to trust professionals with such a complicated project, believing they can handle the job independently. The reality is that this type of replacement should be left to a plumber for several reasons, including the fact that it requires significant plumbing and electrical work.

The first step in a successful hot water heater replacement is shutting off the gas supply to the old unit. Depending on the type of water heater you have, this may require turning off a valve at the bottom of the unit or shutting off the main gas line that leads to your house. It is also a good idea to turn off the water supply in the home and to drain all of the hot-water faucets in the house. This will help to ensure that all of the scalding hot water is fully drained from the system before removing it.

Once the new water heater is in place, it will need to be connected to the power and fuel lines. This is a very time-consuming task, and it is crucial to do it correctly. A plumber will make sure that the proper gas piping is installed, that the pressure relief valve is functioning properly and that all of the connections are soldered correctly. He will also reinstall the tank tee and sediment trap, and he will clean out and flush the new gas line with water to ensure that no gas is leaking into your home.

If you decide to tackle this project yourself, be aware that it can be very dangerous. It is essential to read the printed instructions and safety warnings carefully, and to be sure that you understand how to properly and safely disconnect the water heater from its gas and power sources. You should also be sure to check the data plate on the new water heater to make sure that your home’s voltage, wiring size and circuit breaker are compatible with it. Working on an energized circuit can cause death or severe injury due to electrical shock.


If your hot water heater is leaking, it’s time to consider replacement. You can minimize damage by turning off the water supply and draining the tank.

It’s also important to flush your tank regularly, to remove sediment that builds up and causes problems. A plumber can do this for you, or you can do it yourself by following the directions on our blog.

Another problem that requires attention is if you’re getting discolored or smelly water. This can indicate a corroded tank or the development of bacteria. You can try flushing the tank, or you can replace the anode rod.

If you have a gas heater, it’s important to keep the pilot light lit. It will help ensure that the gas is released properly to heat your water. A faulty thermocouple, which monitors the flame and releases the gas when it’s safe, can prevent the pilot light from lighting. This is a common issue with older models of hot water heaters. A professional can replace the thermocouple.

A lack of hot water is often the result of a bad circuit breaker. You can try resetting it, but if the issue persists, you may need to replace the fuse or reset the whole breaker box.

Hot water that runs out quickly is an indication of a faulty upper heating element. If the temperature setting is too high, this can cause the element to overheat and fail. You can fix this by shutting off the power to the heater, removing the access panel, insulation, and plastic safety guard, and replacing the upper thermostat. You can then test the heating elements and replace one if necessary.

If your water heater is older than 15 years, it may be a good idea to replace it. Repairing it can be expensive, and newer models are more energy-efficient and last longer than old ones. If you want to save money, consider a tankless model. It’s more efficient than a traditional hot water heater, and it’s less likely to break down or leak. You can also extend the life of your existing tank by flushing it and maintaining proper levels of water sanitizer.


A water heater is a major home appliance and, like any other machine, it will eventually wear out. Some will last for decades, but a tank-style model usually needs replacing after about 10 years and tankless models will typically last 20 or more.

One of the most obvious signs that your hot water heater is wearing out is if it starts leaking. This could be a slow drip or even a rusty pool underneath the unit. Either way, a leak is never good and should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid flooding and damage to your property and possessions.

Other signals that your water heater is starting to go bad are ice-cold showers or hot water running out too quickly. Both of these may be caused by a low water heater capacity or an old, worn-out heating element. A professional can help you determine whether the problem is an easy fix or if replacement is the better option.

If you are doing the replacement yourself, it’s important to call your local plumbing inspector before you start working. This will help you understand if you’ll need to get a permit for the job. You’ll also want to ensure that the gas line is properly connected so you don’t run into problems with dangerous fumes.

Before removing the old unit, make sure to shut off the water to your house, turn off the power to the tank, and turn off the gas valve. Next, drain the tank by closing the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater and turning on hot water faucets in the house until all of the water has been drained. Then, remove the old unit and clean up any debris or rust that was left behind. When reassembling the new unit, first coat the threaded ends of the gas line with pipe joint compound. Then screw the first nipple into the gas valve, using two wrenches to avoid stressing the valve. Finally, turn on the gas and light the pilot light according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


A water heater replacement is a major home project, but it doesn’t have to be costly. In fact, if you plan ahead and take steps to minimize costs, it’s often cheaper to replace a water heater than to wait until it fails. In general, a tank-style water heater needs to be replaced every six to 15 years, while a tankless model can last for up to 20. In addition, you may want to consider replacing a conventional gas water heater with an energy efficient one to save money on your utility bills.

The first step is to turn off the power and water supply to your existing water heater. Next, drain the old unit’s tank by turning on all your hot water faucets until all of the hot water is gone. Once drained, the unit is ready for removal. It is typically heavy, so you’ll want a friend to help remove it and a dolly of some sort.

Once the old water heater is removed, you can start installing your new one. You’ll need to install copper adapters that fit the new unit in place of the discharge pipe and hot and cold water lines. Then, recut or extend the tubing and solder the connections to the new water heater. Be sure to use plastic-lined nipples on all copper fittings to protect against galvanic corrosion.

If you’re using a natural gas or electric water heater, you’ll also need to install a venting system. Venting systems allow for safe, direct venting of combustion gases to the outside. There are two types of venting available: sealed combustion and power vented. Both are designed for safety and efficiency, but sealed combustion units require a two-pipe system to separate combustion air from house air. Power-vented units use a fan to assist in exhausting combustion gases.

The final step is reconnecting your gas and electricity and testing the water heater for proper function. Before you do so, however, check the new water heater’s nameplate for the wattage capacity, insulation R-value, installation guidelines, working pressure, and serial number. It should also list the estimated annual energy cost of operating the unit. This information can be helpful in comparing the costs of different models.