Tools And Materials You Will Need:
Water Heater- Install what you are taking out if you have a 40 gallon and want to upgrade to a 50 gallon now is the time to do it. If you do have a 50 gallon I DO NOT recommend switching to anything lower than what you have.
¾ Fittings – You will need 2 ¾ couplings and possibly some elbows. Check what type of pipe you have going to your water heater. This can be copper, CPVC, PEX or galvanized. I recommend getting Shark Bite ¾ fittings because they are very easy to install with PEX, CPVC and copper piping. When you have galvanized pipe you may need to get a conversion fitting and adapt to one of the other pipes for easier installation.Feel free to visit their website at P&L Plumbing for more details.
Black Pipe Fittings – You may need a few ½ black pipe couplings and elbows to extend or shorten the gas line connecting to the heater. I install the gas line last. This way I will know exactly what I need for gas fittings.
2 – ¾ dielectrics. Always replace the dielectrics when installing a new water heater. Make sure you get the proper dielectrics for the piping material you have in your house.
T&P Valve usually comes with the new heaters.
Torch, Flux, Solder, sand paper
Channel Locks or offset pliers
Pipe Thread solution or Teflon tape
Now that we have all of our materials let’s get started. The first step is to turn off the main water supply to house. Next Turn off the gas vale on the gas line running to the water heater. Now connect the garden hose to the bottom of the water heater and run the hose to nearby floor drain. Turn on the valve (this looks like an outside hose bib) and let the heater start to drain.
At this time go throughout your house and turn on all of the faucets. Make sure you leave the faucets in the on position and you have hot and cold water turned on. This will allow all of the water to drain out of the heater a lot faster.
While the water is draining out of the old heater, Unbox the new water heater. First pipe dope the two shafts coming out the top of the heater. Once they are doped screw on the new dielectrics. Next if your heater came with a T&P valve unbox it and pipe dope those threads. Screw the T&P valve into the side of the heater there will be a hole with threads on it where it goes. You may need to use your pipe wrench to get that last turn on so the valve points down. Now you got the heater prepped and ready to go.
Once the old heater is done draining disconnect the gas pipe at the union fitting. This is the fitting which has a hexagonal middle. Once the union is disconnected disconnect the rest of the pipe ONLY on the heater you are replacing.
Now we will disconnect the water pipes. Use your channel locks to disconnect the dielectric. They will disconnect just like the gas pipe union fittings. Cut off the old dielectrics from the copper or other piping you may have.
Once all of the pipes are disconnected from the water heater and it does not seem like there is any more water in the tank start to remove the old water heater out of the way. Make sure you leave enough room to get the new heater in place. If you have a small area you may have to just remove the old water heater to make room for the new water heater.
Line up the new water heater with the pipes that connected the old heater. If you notice you need change some water piping, leave the pipe with the cold water valve the straight pipe and reconfigure the hot side.
Connect the water piping to new heater using the shark bite fittings or whatever fittings you decided on. You may have to solder the new dielectrics to the water piping if you have copper pipe. When soldering the dielectrics I advise you figure out how much pipe you need from the dielectric to the coupling and cut it to length and solder it on the ground. This will make for an easier solder job. You will also want to take out the washers from the dielectrics so you don’t burn them.
Now you have the water pipe all hooked up. Once everything cools. If you had to do any soldering. Replace the washers in the dielectrics and tighten them down. Turn on the main water supply. While the water heater is filling up leave the faucets on so you can bleed all of the air out of the system.
Now you will know what you need for gas pipe. Hook up the gas pipe to the heater. If you are lucky the gas pipe from the old heater will line up with the new heater. If it does not, just reconfigure it as needed. You can buy gas piping in all ranges and sizes.