Update on COVID-19. Learn more
Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting

How to Replace a Hot Water Heater

Is it time to replace your water heater? You might not know it, but you should consider replacing your water heater every 8-12 years as that is the average lifesaver for a good quality and well-installed unit. But when the time comes to get a new one you may be wondering if you can replace it on your own or if you need to place a service call with your local water heater installation company.

If you are hands-on and would like to do it yourself, you certainly are allowed to replace your own water heater. Though it is worth noting that your work will need to be inspected to ensure it has been done properly. This holds true for both electrical and gas water heater installation.

At EVAM Canada, we are here to help you live comfortably. In this article, we provide you with how-to steps to install your own water heater in your home. If you get stuck along the way or simply decide DIY isn’t for you, we are here to help. Contact us today for any questions you may have about water heater replacement or emergency water heater repair needs.

How to Replace Your Hot Water Heater

  1. Turn off the electricity or gas and water – safety is your number one priority when installing a water heater. Before you touch your water heater turn off the gas or electricity to the unit. Next, turn off the water. Once this has been done you are ready to get started.
  2. Drain your tank – to drain your water tank, attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your tank. Next, turn on a hot water faucet to prevent suction that slows the draining process. Once this has been completed, open the drain valve and allow the tank to drain completely. Take it slow with draining as sediment in the tank could cause a blockage. Remove the hose once draining has been completed.
  3. Disconnect the water line – once your tank has been drained, disconnect both the hot and cold-water lines. If your water lines are soldered, you will need to use a tubing cutter to complete this task.
  4. Disconnect the power source – once you have disconnected the water lines from your water tank, it is then time to disconnect the power source. For electric heaters, you’ll want to test that the circuit is off by using a non-contact voltage tester. For gas water heaters, you’ll want to ensure that the valve on the main gas line is turned off.
  5. Disconnect the water heater vent – if you have a gas water heater you will also need to disconnect the water heater vent. This involves disconnecting the vent pipe from the draft hood at the top of your water heater.
  6. Exchange the water heater – once these steps have been completed, it is time to swap out the old for the new. Use a dolly with straps to remove the old water heater and put the new one in its place. This will help to ensure that the new unit is not damaged while you move it. Always ensure you have cleared your area of any dirt or debris before installing the new unit.
  7. Install the relief valve – once your new water heater is in place, install the fittings that come with your water heater including the relief valve. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for this step.
  8. Connect the Water Lines – once everything is ready to go it is time to reconnect the water lines to your new unit. This task can be tricky and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions for installation. You may need to solder your pipes and you may need some additional equipment. This will depend on your specific water lines and the unit you are installing.
  9. Connect the power source – once your water lines have been connected it is time to connect the power source. This is a very important step, and it is crucial that it is done correctly. Ensure you have a good seal for a gas water heater when installing.
  10. Reconnect the water heater vent – if you have a gas water heater you will need to re-connect the water heater vent. Follow the manufacturer guidelines to ensure that this step is done correctly according to the manufacturer guidelines.
  11. Fill the tank, turn it on and set the thermostat – your installation is now complete, now it is time to fill up the tank and turn it on. To refill the tank, turn on a hot water tap and then turn on the cold-water supply valve. This will allow the tank to start filling up, the tank is full when the hot water tap begins to flow. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the tank is turned on and ensure the thermostat is set to your desired temperature.
  12. Enjoy your hot water – once these steps have been completed, your tank is installed. Be sure to have your work inspected to ensure that it has been completed correctly. Keep safety in mind throughout the process of installing your water heater and never take shortcuts.

Installing your own water heater is a worthy task for anyone who enjoys DIY tasks and being personally responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their home. Though there are many steps involved, installing a water heater is a relatively straightforward task. Keep in mind that you may need tools and equipment to complete this task and be sure to plan accordingly before beginning an installation project.

If you have started installing your water heater and are stuck or unsure what to do next, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at EVAM Canada. We would be pleased to support you with the installation of your water heater and have experienced technicians available to get the job done. Whether you want to install your water heater yourself or have someone take care of it for you, we are there for you every step of the way.