Water Heater Replacement – When to Hire a Pro
Most new water heaters have instructions and warnings to ensure you correctly handle gas and electrical connections. But sometimes, you need Water Heater Replacement Denver to open and install the wall properly.
If you’re running out of hot water frequently, your household may have outgrown the capacity of your tank. The problem could also stem from a clogged filter or leaks in the pipes.
If your hot water is no longer as plentiful or as hot as it used to be, or if you are experiencing periodic periods of no hot water at all, it may be time for a new water heater. Choosing the right type of water heater depends on your home’s specific needs, and it’s best to have a professional install the new unit, as they will be familiar with local codes and permit requirements.
A top-rated local pro will also be knowledgeable about the various types of water heaters on the market, and they’ll be able to recommend the best unit for your unique situation. The process can be complex, especially if your existing water and gas lines need to be modified or extended to accommodate the new water heater.
The first step in replacing a water heater is to shut off the water supply at the valve on the wall where the old tank is located. Turn the water control valve to the off position on the tank itself as well. Then, run faucets throughout the house to drain all of the existing hot water. Be sure to close the faucets afterward to prevent scalding.
Next, disconnect the electrical wires by unscrewing them from their screw terminals on the old water heater. A voltmeter or circuit tester should be used to verify that the power is completely cut off before working on an energized circuit. Once the old water heater is removed, a metal electrical junction box can be mounted to the ceiling or wall. It’s important to use an approved conduit connector when connecting the home’s two power wires to the water heater’s two service wires.
The temperature and pressure relief valve can now be installed on the new water heater. If your city requires it, the copper adapters can be soldered to the hot and cold water intake ports on the water heater. Then the pipes can be attached using copper slip couplings and 45-degree elbows. A plastic lining “nipple” can be added if your water is hard or if your city requires it for protection against galvanic corrosion.
A water heater can last about a decade, depending on the brand. However, the average tank can start showing signs of wear and tear long before that time. This is why homeowners need to schedule regular maintenance services for their home’s water heater. These inspections can help catch minor problems before they cause bigger issues.
If a homeowner notices that their home is running out of hot water more quickly than usual, it could be a sign that the heating element or thermostat needs to be readjusted. A professional can make these repairs and restore heating functions within a few hours. However, if the heating elements are starting to show irreparable damage, it may be time for a water heater replacement.
During maintenance, it’s important to check that the venting on the gas line is free of any leaks. It is also a good idea to clean the anode rod at least once a year. This can help prevent sediment buildup that leads to the need for water heater replacement.
Another maintenance task is to flush the water heater twice a year. This can remove sediment and limescale that accumulates on the interior walls of the water tank. The more sediment that builds up, the harder it is for the water heater to heat up water. The sediment will also make the water heater less efficient, which can lead to higher energy bills.
The water temperature should be kept below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding and save energy. This temperature can be adjusted by turning the thermostat on the water heater down to a lower setting.
Leaks from the water heater can soak and ruin belongings, as well as cause mold to form in the surrounding area. These leaks can often be fixed by tightening or adjusting the fittings and connections on the water heater, but it is important to note that the leaking can also come from the actual tank. The best way to determine whether this is the case is to drain several buckets of water from the tank.
The most effective maintenance process involves flushing the water heater once a year. To do this, shut off the power to the water heater (switch off the breaker for electric units or turn off the gas valve for gas units). Then, connect a hose to the drain valve on the unit and place a bucket underneath. Open the drain valve and allow it to drain completely.
A new water heater can take time to fully heat a home. During this time, homeowners should be vigilant in checking the temperature levels of their home’s hot water. While minor fluctuations in temperature can usually be resolved by thermostat adjustment, drastic shifts could signal irreversible damage to the tank and the need for replacement.
Leaks are one of the most common signs that a water heater is nearing its end of life. Depending on the size of the leak and where it occurs, this problem can lead to minor or major property damage. Homeowners should keep an eye out for water leaking from the pressure relief valve or discharge drain pipe. If either of these issues are found, the plumber will tighten and adjust the fittings or if possible, remove the water heater for a full replacement.
Before the plumber begins work, they should disconnect the power and gas lines from the water heater. A volt meter or circuit tester should be used to ensure that the heater is completely drained of all its energy. After the old unit is removed, the new water heater is then installed on a stable platform and leveled as needed. The new water heater is then plugged into the existing connections, using copper slip couplings to connect the old and new pipes. The water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve is also installed, as well as a copper discharge drainpipe. Plastic lining “nipples” are also attached to the hot and cold water ports to protect against hard water and galvanic corrosion.
The new water heater is then connected to the home’s power and breaker box. The plumber will use a volt meter to check the voltage of the heater before connecting it to the home’s electrical system. A new wire nut and wire splice is then placed around the new connection, to prevent the possibility of future electrical shock. Once the new connection is made, the home’s two service wires are connected to the water heater’s wire connectors, and the green ground or bare copper wire is attached to the ground screw of the new water heater. The vent pipe is then reattached to the draft hood.
Water heater replacement is a major project that requires both plumbing and electrical work. This is typically a job best left to professionals for both safety and proper installation. Professionals will make sure the new unit is properly sized for the home and adheres to local building codes and safety regulations.
The first step in replacing a water heater is turning off all the water supplies in the house and draining the existing tank. Afterward, the old unit must be disconnected from its power or fuel source and removed. This process takes a while, especially if the existing unit is large or in an inaccessible location.
Next, the plumber will prepare the site for the new unit. This includes cleaning up any pooled water and ensuring the heater is leveled correctly. He or she will also reconnect the plumbing by preparing copper tubing to connect to the new nipples on the bottom of the heater. This is done by measuring the distance from the top of the heater to the cold and hot water inlet and outlet openings and cutting two lengths of copper pipe to this size. Next, the plumber will wrap the threads on the galvanized plastic nipples with plumber’s tape and thread the nipples onto the cold and hot water connections on the water heater using channel-lock pliers or a pipe wrench. He or she will then cut and solder the ends of each tube to create a watertight seal.
Once the plumbing and electricity are reconnected, the gas or electric water heater can be reinstalled. The plumber will make sure the new water heater is properly sized for the household by reading the manufacturer’s label and following any instructions. After the water heater is installed, the plumber will test for leaks and ensure everything works.
Water heaters typically last between 10 and 15 years, but they can fail much sooner than this. If yours is nearing the end of its life, there are many signs you should look for that may indicate it’s time to replace it. For example, the heater may be making loud noises or leaking, or the water may be rusty or sandy from sediment buildup in the tank. If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to act quickly.