How to Remove an Old Water Heater

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer in the house, you may be the type who wants to remove an old water heater, as opposed to having a plumber do it for you. Fortunately, it’s not all that complicated, and can be done. While it’s fairly easy to disconnect everything and get the heater ready to be moved, they’re often quite heavy. Sediment that has built up in the tank might make it even heavier, so be prepared to have help removing it, if need be.

How to Remove an Old Water Heater

Removing an Old Water Heater

  • Turn off the gas supply to the heater.
  • Turn off the water supply to the heater.
  • Disconnect the electrical supply to the heater, if needed.
  • Disconnect the gas pipe that connects with the gas control valve.
  • Drain the hot water tank. This can be done by opening the nearest hot water tap, and letting it run until the water temperature is less than 100 degrees. From there, connect a hose to the drain valve, and put the other end of the hose in a drain. Open the drain valve, and drain the tank.
  • Disconnect the vent pipe at the top of the heater. The vent pipe is usually connected by sheet metal screws.
  • Disconnect the hot water line and the cold supply line at the top of the water heater. If the pipes are made of copper, you can cut them about four inches from the tank. For galvanized pipes, use a pipe wrench to loosen the unions and disconnect them.

Electric Water Heater

  • Because there isn’t a gas line involved, this is actually easier to remove than other water heaters.
  • Make sure to disconnect the wiring from the heater. Make sure to identify the wires for the next installation.

In general, removing a hot water heater shouldn’t take more than two or three hours. With the right tools and the help of a friend, it can be a quick and easy project. If you run into problems trying to remove your old hot water heater, or have any other problems – call the licensed professionals at Pratt Plumbing. Schedule an appointment today at (806) 373-7866.

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