Hot Water Heater


A hot water heater replacement isn’t that hard at all.  The most common question when it comes to a hot water heater replacement is whether or not someone should be hired to do the work.  If the need for replacement is immediate and time is a factor then, yes, it would be worth it to find a licensed plumbing contractor to do the work.  If you’re reasonably handy then you can probably handle it.

What size should I get?  First determine what size of water heater you will need.  How was the size of your existing hot water heater?  If you’ve always had plenty of hot water, then the same size that you have always had is fine.  If you’ve always found the water going cold during a shower, then maybe you need to consider going up a size or two.  Consult your local home improvement retailer for help with sizing as well.  Numerous resources are also available at your local library or online to help with sizing.

What kind of fuel is the best for my hot water heater replacement Water heaters can be powered by natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, or propane.  All of these fuels have their pros and cons.  Make sure to research which type of fuel will be best for you.  The easiest solution is to use the same fuel that you’ve always used but, depending upon your situation, that may not be the best solution.

How should I go about replacing the hot water heater?  The first step is to get the water heater to where it is going to be.  It should be raised off of the ground at least a couple of inches to allow proper ventilation.  Connect all of the plumbing.  Many times the plumbing in a home is copper tubing.  If it is, and this can’t be stressed enough, know how to solder.  Next, hook up the fuel source whether it’s natural gas, fuel oil, electricity, or propane.  Finally, light the pilot light if necessary and set the desired temperature.  Make sure to consult the owner’s manual, especially in the case of natural gas.

Can I do the work myself?  Installing a replacement water heater does take a moderate amount of know-how but, yes, if you have that know-how you can do it.  Some localities may require permits; check your local codes.  Just remember:  Don’t bite off more than you can chew on this one.