If you ever find that your old water heater has finally given up the ghost, you are basically left with two options. The first is that you can hire someone to do the replacement work for you, while the second is that you can do the replacement work yourself. Not only is it cheaper to do the work yourself, it's really not that difficult. Just follow these directions.
- Remove the old one. Before you can replace your old water heater, you need to first remove it. Keep in mind that when you do this you need to first cut the power to that particular area, so you don't accidentally get electrocuted. Once you have cut the electricity you need to then drain the water and turn off the gas (if your heater is gas fed). As you drain the water you will want to be particularly careful since it can be literally boiling hot, and you don't want to get burned. Remove the old water heater, and dispose of it properly.
- Consider your options. If you don't already have a new model of water heater ready to go, you need to begin considering your options. The easiest way to do this is to take the model number, and statistics of your old one, and then go to your local home improvement store. With the stats in hand, you can begin looking for a model that will meet (or exceed) those stats. Make sure that you look for models that will also easily fit into the area that your old model was located.
- Understand the specs. Take your new water heater home, and unpack it. Place it into position so you are ready to go, and then read through the operating and installation manual at least twice. This will allow you to understand the specifications and operating instructions as well as possible before you begin installation. While the instructions listed here are good for most models, you need to carefully follow the instructions from the manufacturer. If you don't, you can accidentally void the warranty.
- Install the draft hood. This particular step is only necessary when your water heater is heated by a gas line. Basically a draft hood is something that helps to collect any gas that escapes from the gas line from getting into the rest of the house. Before you begin installing the vent hood, make sure that you also take a look at the existing vent pipes for signs of corrosion. If you find any then you will need to replace those pipes as well. The water heater should come with some detailed instructions on how to install the draft hood, so make sure that you follow them carefully.
- Connect the water lines. The very first line that you should reconnect is the water line. With the water line connected, turn it on so that you can fill up the tank. Make sure that you close the drain valve before you start filling the tank up, or you can expect to have the water get all over your floor.
- Connect remaining lines. Once you have filled up the water tank you can then reconnect the rest of the remaining lines. While it doesn't really matter which one you do first, it would be a good idea to start with the gas line (if you have one). With everything reconnected you can turn the electricity and gas back on. Light the pilot light (if necessary) and then wait till the water heats up.
While you are waiting for your water to heat up, go ahead and begin cleaning up. After all, once you have finished cleaning up you may be interested in taking a nice hot bath. Congratulations, you have now finished replacing your water heater.