Harsh home water is a minor inconvenience of living in my area.
When your water heater dies after only 6 years on the job, hope that you know a plumber or have access to someone with pluming skills. As the son of a commercial plumbing contractor, I’m up for this easy fix. $300USD will tackle the Do IT YOURSELF job vs. approx $1,000 that it will cost a reliable plumbing contractor.
Prices for water heaters certainly have increased since my last replacement at my home in Denver. My recollection is $170 for that one. But, that was for a natural gas heater, no liquid propane, and add to import fees for the Mexican purchase this week. Paid $260 for this Rheem “energy efficient” model at Ensenada Home Depot.
40 gallon(152L) water heaters are standard. Take a photo if your old tank’s info label with capacity, energy, blah blah along with you to hardware store.
5 connections for you DIY water heater replacement weekend warriors. All threaded joints require teflon taping to the thread fitting:
1 + 2: Hot(output) and Cold(input to tank)…that’s the two hoses you see on the top of the newly installed tank. Gotta have the right fitting sized on each end of hose. Check with installation instructions whether you need Dielectric fittings in addition to hoses. Easiest thing is to take your water and gas(#3 below) connections with you to hardware store when buying your new heater.
3: Gas hose input: Typically, need a brass fitting that fits between the gas hose and the tank. TURN OFF the gas at house end BEFORE DE-INSTALL and INSTALL!!!
4. Vent for heat exhaust through top. If your previous water heater was installed properly, that venting pipe can simply be affixed in the same position for your new heater.
5. Pressure relief valve. That is the shiny brass thingy on top of the new heater(or the dull brass thingy on oldy). Due to water pressure fluctuation or other, this allows the tank to breathe, or spill out water content when pressure overloads. Without this pressure relief valve, your tank becomes an effective bomb.
I noticed several water heater connections “kits” at Home Depot. WARNING, as these kits may not have the right size connections and you likely won’t need ALL of the parts included which waste your money. I replaced both water hoses, as they were looking pretty ugly due to my high mineral content water.
As mentioned, if you are a first timer DIY water heater replacement student, simply take ALL of your connections to your hardware store and break our your best Mr. Magoo clueless look to the 19 year old plumbing clerk.
After install a tricky thing is to get the pilot lit. Instruction manual will teach you where to find the pilot light igniter. If you heater does NOT come with an auto ignition lighter, have a long stem candle lighter on hand.
Set the temperature on the temp control knob(may need to experiment setting next few days to get enough/nottoomuch heat) and your off to a refreshing shower to reward your good work.