It’s easy to take your Commerce home’s water heater for granted. That is, at least, until it stops working properly. When your water heater fails, it’s a good idea to hire a professional plumber to install a new water heater so that you can minimize the time you have to go without hot water. Although you may be able to install the water heater yourself, it’s better to let professional plumbers do the job. Still, it’s good to know the steps they use so that you can make sure that the plumber you choose is doing the job correctly. Here is the basic process that the pros at Matheson Heating Air Plumbing use for every water heater installation.
Turn Off Water and Energy Source
Before plumbers do anything else, they have to turn off the water coming into the water heater. Additionally, they have to stop the flow of either gas or electricity to the water heater to prevent property damage or serious injury. Note that the water supply shut-off is a valve that’s located above the water heater on the cold-water supply line. The gas shut-off will have a similar valve, typically located near the bottom of the water heater. Stopping the flow of electricity requires locating the circuit for the water heater and turning off that circuit’s breaker. Most water heaters also have a separate control box on the tank that has to be turned to the “off” position.
Shed Some Weight
It would be impossible to remove the old water heater with the water still in it. That’s why the next step for a plumber is to drain all of the water in the tank. The drain will always be located somewhere near the bottom of the tank. To drain the water, a plumber has to attach a garden hose to this drain valve and then route the hose to a floor drain or through an exterior window or door. The time to drain the tank will vary depending on the size of the water heater. This step is complete when no more water is coming through the hose.
Break the Water Connection
When replacing a water heater, the next step for plumbers at Matheson Heating Air Plumbing is to break the water connection. Fortunately, since the water is already off to allow the water heater to drain, there are no concerns about leaks from the water supply line at this point. Plumbers may also need to use the main water shut-off valve for your home if they are concerned about the integrity of the localized shut-off valve. Metal supply lines typically need to be cut to free them from the tank. There are specialized cutting tools that plumbers use to make the task quick and easy.
Break the Energy Supply Connection
Removing the energy supply connection is one step in the water heater replacement process where plumbers really earn their money. Removing an electrical connection requires a plumber to remove the front panel of the water heater to access the electrical hookups on the water heater. Removing a gas connection is often easily done by removing the nut that secures the gas supply line to the water heater. Plumbers from Matheson Heating Air Plumbing understand the importance of double-checking that there is no gas or electricity flowing to the water heater because the improper discharge of either energy source could cause serious injury or death.
Remove Any Other Attachments
After removing the energy supply, an electric water heater is ready to be replaced. For a gas water heater, the installer also has to remove the exhaust flue that sits above the water heater. If the new water heater is taller than the old water heater, the plumber will also need to cut off a portion of the flue pipe to give adequate clearance for the new water heater. If there are any other components attached to the water heater, now is the time to remove them.
Out With the Old
After all of the prep work, it’s finally time to remove the old water heater. It’s important that two people take on this task since empty water heaters can weigh about 150 pounds. Given the bulky size of a water heater, careful attention is given to ensure that no damage happens to any doors or walls in your home. Most plumbers opt to use a dolly to cart the old water heater out of your home, especially if the water heater is located in a basement. Once the water heater is gone, it’s a great time to clean the area where the old water heater sat so that the site is ready for the new unit.
In With the New
When bringing in the new water heater, plumbers will work carefully to ensure proper placement. If the water heater is located in a tight space, they will make all possible connections prior to putting the water heater in place. Additionally, they will put a drip pan on the floor where the water heater will sit to prevent any damage to your home if the water heater leaks. Since plumbers have extensive experience installing water heaters, they typically don’t read the manuals that come with water heaters. However, they will leave these manuals with you so that you can understand how to properly operate your water heater.
Make the Connections
Once the water heater is in place, it’s time for the plumber to make the water and energy supply connections. The water supply comes first to ensure that the water heater is full before it gets turned on. Most plumbers, including those from Matheson Heating Air Plumbing, will install new hardware when attaching the supply lines to make sure that there are no leaks from the water connections. When installing a gas-fired water heater, the plumber will take care to properly light the pilot light using the attached controls. After all of the connections are made, the water heater can be adjusted so that it can start warming up.
Test the Work
It can sometimes take a few hours for your new water heater to get the water in the tank to the correct temperature. After the plumber leaves, you’ll be responsible for testing the operation of the new water heater. Make sure that the water pressure to each plumbing fixture is adequate and that the water is at the correct temperature. Additionally, make sure that there are no leaks around the water heater’s drain, pressure relief valve, or water supply connection. If everything checks out, you’re ready to enjoy many years of reliable hot water from your new water heater.
Professional Water Heater Installations and So Much More
At Matheson Heating Air Plumbing, we pride ourselves on providing top-quality work at a competitive price. We offer water heater installations, sump pump repair, and water softener maintenance. Plus, we can install, repair, and maintain furnaces and air conditioners. Our integrity and professionalism are two reasons why customers consistently leave us five-star reviews. To learn more about getting a new water heater for your home in Commerce, MI, contact us at Matheson Heating Air Plumbing today.