If you are new to home ownership, and you've recently bought an old home, you should check your hot water heater to make sure the tank is still in good shape. Most hot water heaters will only last for about 10 years before they start to fall apart and need to be replaced. One sign of a hot water heater that is about to fail is the presence of rust in your hot water and around the bottom of the tank. You can save a bit of money doing this job yourself as you learn how to take care of a home. Here is how you can replace your old gas-fired hot water heater.
Remove Old Water Heater
The first thing you should do is remove the old water heater. Here is how you can remove the old water heater.
Unplug the water heater from its electrical source. The next step is to remove the gas line if the heater uses gas to heat the water. The gas line is connected to the heater using a coupler with a large nut on it. Unscrew the nut and remove the gas line.
Connect a hose to the drain valve and put the other end of the hose next to a floor drain. Open the valve and drain the water from the tank.
You also need to disconnect the water lines going to and from the water heater. Turn off the cold water supply. Cut the copper pipes carrying cold water to the heater and hot water away from the heater with a pipe cutter. Make the cuts between the top of the hot water heater and the shutoff valves on both pipes.
Remove the tank and set it aside.
Installing New Heater
You should place the hot water heater on bricks or concrete blocks to avoid putting the heater directly onto a cement basement floor. Cement floors retain a certain amount of moisture, and the moisture can cause the metal bottom of the heater to rot out faster than normal.
Place the flue in position on the top of the exhaust pipe on the water heater. A byproduct of the burning gas used to heat the water is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a lethal gas that can harm people and pets. The flue directs the carbon dioxide up and out of the house.
Solder the copper water pipes to the pipes sticking out of the top of the hot water heater.
Open the cold water supply and fill the tank with water.
Connect the gas line to the tank, and turn the pilot light on. The hot water heater is now ready to be turned on to heat the cold water inside the tank.
For more information, contact a plumber in your area.