Replacing a Gas Water Heater

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated December 30, 2015)

Since water heaters tend to last about ten years, chances are that you will need to replace your water heater at least a few times in your lifetime. While you could call a professional to install your water heater, you might be surprised to know how simple it is to do the job yourself. If you have telltale signs that your gas water heater needs to be replaced—such as no hot water in the tap and water leaking from the water heater—then follow these steps to replace your gas water heater:

  1. Turn off both the gas and water supplies at the main valves. Then, turn on a hot water faucet at a tap to allow air into the water lines, attach a garden hose to the drain valve and completely empty the tank.
  2. Disconnect the gas and water lines using a wrench, and then detach the gas exhaust from the flue hat. Have someone help you remove the old water heater and set the new one into place, making sure that it is level, and then connect the flue hat to the exhaust vent.
  3. Following the instructions that came with your new water heater, install the heat trap fittings. The fittings are directional, and usually have arrows showing the correct direction for installation. Blue fittings are for cold water, and red fittings are for hot water.
  4. Install the water line connections and then connect the gas supply line. Turn on the gas and water supply valves, turn on the water tank, and then turn on more hot water faucets to bleed air from the system.
  5. Light the pilot light and turn the control knob until you hear the burner ignite. Set the temperature of the water heater.

Don't forget to turn off the hot water faucets that you turned on earlier. You might need to have Teflon pipe tape and pipe joint compound to help make solid fittings and prevent leaks, so make sure that you have those items and all of your tools on hand before you begin. It's also wise to cover the floor with a tarp since, when draining the old tank, you might get water all over the floor.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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