Water Heater Installation
How To Install Your Water Heater
Let me guess, you went downstairs to check the laundry or grab your tools and that was it. A huge puddle of water all over the basement floor coming from the bottom of the water heater. This is the obvious and most common sign that you need a new water heater installation apex.
If you have any experience with DIY projects around the house, installing a new water heater shouldn't be a problem for you. Follow the steps outlined in this article and you'll have a new water heater installed in a matter of hours. Installing your own water heater will save you up to $300 or $400 depending on the area you live in. Now, if you're not too handy, you can still install your own water tank, however, it may take a little longer than a few hours, but if you like a challenge and aren't afraid to do repairs in your home, you'll be able to install the water heater yourself.
Tools and materials you'll need:
If you have a 40 gallon and want to upgrade to a 50 gallon, now is the time to do it. If you have a 50 gallon, I would NOT recommend upgrading to anything lower than what you have.
¾ Fittings - You will need 2 ¾ couplers and possibly some elbows. Check to see what type of pipe you have to your water heater. It could be copper, CPVC, PEX or galvanized. I recommend getting Shark Bite ¾ fittings as they are very easy to install with PEX, CPVC and copper piping. If you have galvanized piping, you may need to get conversion fittings and match them to some of the other piping for easier installation.
Black fittings - You may need a few ½ black pipe couplings and elbows to extend or shorten the gas pipe connected to the heater. I install the gas piping last. That way I will know exactly what I need for the gas fittings.
2 - ¾ dielectric. Always replace the dielectric when installing a new water heater. Make sure you get the correct dielectric for the pipe material you have in your house.
The T&P valve usually comes with new water heaters.
Torch, flux, solder, sandpaper
Duct locks or offset pliers
Pipe thread solution or Teflon tape
Now that we have all the materials, we can get started. The first step is to turn off the main water supply to the house. Next, turn off the gas supply on the gas line leading to the water heater. Now connect the garden hose to the bottom of the water heater and run the hose to a nearby floor drain. Turn on the valve (it looks like an outdoor hose nozzle) and let the water heater start draining.
At this point, go through the entire house and turn on all the faucets. Make sure you leave the taps in the on position and have both hot and cold water on. This will allow all the water to drain from the heater much faster.
While the water is draining from the old water heater, unpack the new water heater. First, tape the two shafts coming out of the top of the water heater. Once they are primed, screw in the new dielectric elements. Next, if the water heater came with a T&P valve, unpack it from the box and apply pipe cement to these threads. Screw the T&P valve into the side of the heater where the threaded hole will be. You may need to use a pipe wrench to get the last turn and the valve pointing down. You now have your heater prepped and ready to go.
After draining the old heater, disconnect the gas line at the connection fitting. This is a fitting that has a hexagonal center. Once the coupling is disconnected, disconnect the rest of the piping ONLY on the heater you are replacing.
Now disconnect the waterline. Use the duct locks to disconnect the dielectric. They will disconnect just like the gas line fitting. Cut the old dielectric off the copper or other pipe you may have.
Once all the pipes are disconnected from the water heater and there appears to be no more water in the tank, start removing the old water heater out of the way. Make sure you leave enough room to put the new heater in. If you have a small space, you may need to simply remove the old water heater to make room for the new water heater.
Line up the new water heater with the pipes that connected the old heater. If you notice you need to change some water piping, leave the pipe with the cold water valve the straight pipe and reconfigure the hot side.
Connect the water piping to the new heater using the shark bite fittings or whatever fittings you decided on. You may have to solder the new dielectrics to the water piping if you have a copper pipe. When soldering the dielectrics I advise you to figure out how much pipe you need from the dielectric to the coupling and cut it to length and solder it on the ground. This will make for an easier solder job. You will also want to take out the washers from the dielectrics so you don't burn them.
Now you have the water pipe all hooked up. Once everything cools. If you had to do any soldering. Replace the washers in the dielectrics and tighten them down. Turn on the main water supply. While the water heater is filling up leave the faucets on so you can bleed all of the air out of the system.
Now you will know what you need for gas pipe. Hook up the gas pipe to the heater. If you are lucky the gas pipe from the old heater will line up with the new heater. If it does not, just reconfigure it as needed. You can buy gas piping in all ranges and sizes.
Once all of the air is bleed from the system turn off the faucets. Now the water heater is filled up you need to light it. Most new heaters have a manual lighting system. This works just like a BBQ grill does. You push in the pilot button and click the clicker and it will light the pilot light. After about 30 seconds turn the heater on to the desired setting and your water tank will begin to heat the water. You should now have hot water in about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the tank.