4 Things to Keep Track of When Installing Your Own Water Heater

4 Things to Keep Track of When Installing Your Own Water Heater
  • Opening Intro -

    You probably don't give much thought to your water heater until you notice that you're only getting cold water from your faucet.

    If you've had the same water heater for the last 10 years, there's a pretty good chance that you'll need to replace it.


It can be dangerous to install a water heater, however, so you should prepare and be aware of safety precautions. Here are four things you should keep track of when deciding to install a new water heater on your own.

Know the Proper Size and Fuel

In most cases, you’ll simply want to stick with using a water heater that has the same specs as your old one. You’ll need to identify the type of fuel that your water heater uses.

There are four main types available, including propane, fuel oil, natural gas, and electricity. In addition, you’ll need to know how many gallons the tank holds.

Most homes will have a water heater between 40 and 60 gallons. If you notice that your home runs out of hot water often, you may want to consider upgrading to a larger sized tank.

Always Drain the Old Tank

You’ll need to drain the water out of your old hot water tank before you can remove it. At the bottom of the water tank, there should be a water faucet that you’ll need to open.

If your hot water heater already has a hose attached to the faucet and routed to a drain, then you can simply turn on the faucet to drain.

If your system doesn’t have a hose, you’ll want to check the plumbing in your basement for the nearest drain and run a hose to it to drain your unit.

Make Sure You Shut Off Your Fuel Source

It’s imperative that you shut off the fuel source before you get started. If you have an electric water heater, this involves turning off the circuit breaker for your water heater.

If you use gas, then turn off the gas supply at the designated shutoff valve. You don’t want to be working with a live unit. Turning off the fuel source is one of the most vital ways to avoid burns and accidental injuries.

Always Disconnect Your Water Connections

Your hot water heater will have two water connections. One is for the cold water to enter the water heater, and the other is for the hot water to exit the unit. Depending on the type of connections you have, you may need to cut the copper piping or flexible tubing compression fittings.

other valuable tips:

Make sure you keep track of what pipe brings in the water and which one the hot water exits from, so you can hook them back up correctly. You can also contact a plumbing contractor to help you with water connections.

Installing a new water heater by yourself isn’t overly difficult to do. When you keep track of the four things above, you’ll be sure to install it correctly. Remember that if you’re not sure about something, it’s a good idea to call in a professional to ensure the job gets done right.

Image Credit: installing your own water heater by envato.com

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Categories: Home Improvement

About Author


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening.