Can I install a water heater myself?

water heater

How hard is it to install a water heater?

The water heater is taken for granted today. We assume when we turn the hot water faucet on, in short time, we’ll have hot water flowing. Then when it doesn’t, we go into a shock when we have to determine what to do, when, and how. The need to purchase a water heater, installation, and how quick become a focus that we usually aren’t ready to deal with, yet we must. 

A few phone calls to plumbers for estimates of a water heater with installation can lead some homeowners to wonder, “Can I do this myself? How hard is it to install a water heater?” Or is paying for a water heater installation and removal by professionals worth the cost? Let’s answer that first question, then we’ll move on to some other questions about water heater installation. 

Well, if you have the right basic tools and you’re handy using them, no, water heater installation isn’t that difficult. You may need to have some experience at soldering copper though, and that is what will stop most homeowners from doing their own water heater installation. 

Does a plumber install a water heater?

Yes, this is the recommended way to have water heater installation done for many reasons, but one are the laws and regulations of where you reside. Before you do your own water heater installation, check with the local governing offices first. In cities, there are building codes to be followed. What that means is that it has be a licensed plumber that pulls a permit with the city, does the water heater installation, then the city inspector checks the work.  

How long does it take to install a water heater?

Owning a house can be a rewarding accomplishment, one that comes with annoying and unexpected situations, like the water heater going out. However, there are professionals that can fix that for you with a new water heater installation, and you’ll only need to make a few decisions on the matter. They do the water heater installation and take the old one away, you could be taking that hot shower by end of the day! 

There is a chance that you have had your current water heater for at least 10 to 15 years, and what you’ll be happy to know, they have improved since then! The new units are more energy-efficient for starters, and they come in various sizes from 20 gallon to 50 gallon, and you can even go with a tankless water heater system! 

You’ll want to choose the size of tank that fits your home’s lifestyle, one person, a 30 gallon water heater will suffice.  A family of 10, you may want to inquire about the tankless water heater, they never run out of hot water. These are things that your professional plumber can discuss with you and help you choose the best one for your home and budget.  Now, back to the question about how long a water heater installation can take, we’ll approach this answer based on the traditional tank water heater style. 

An experienced and licensed plumber can have a water heater installation completed within three hours if there are no complications. A breakdown in a basic water heater installation will be something along these lines: 

  • Forty-five to sixty minutes to remove the old water heater. There is the disconnecting the electrical power or gas lines, disconnecting the water lines, draining the old tank, and taking the old tank out of the house.   
  • Thirty minutes to position the new water heater. This includes unboxing and carrying it into the house, maneuvering it into the proper place and position. 
  • Forty-five to sixty minutes to connect the new water heater to the electricity or gas and the water lines. After the new water heater installation is complete, the plumber will make sure it is working (gas pilot light is on) and provide you the basic information about adjusting the heat level and homeowner maintenance. 

What water heaters do plumbers recommend?

Once upon a time, there were only two choices in water heaters: Electric or Gas.  Today, the options can be overwhelming, but we’ve researched and found the following choices: 

  • BEST OVERALL: Rheem Performance Platinum 50 Gal Natural Gas Heater
  • BEST BANG FOR THE MONEY: A.O. Smith Signature 40-Gallon Natural Gas Heater
  • ELECTRIC TANK PICK: Rheem Gladiator 50 Gal. Electric Water Heater
  • ELECTRIC TANKLESS PICK: Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater, Electric
  • GAS TANK PICK: A.O. Smith Signature Premier Natural Gas Heater
  • GAS TANKLESS PICK: Rinnai High Efficiency Natural Gas Tankless Heater
  • HEAT PUMP HYBRID PICK: Rheem Performance Platinum Hybrid Electric Heater
water heater in a basement

Can a hot water heater last 20 years?

The water heaters today are made better than they were in the years past, but regular maintenance is still needed to get the most lifespan.  A gas water heater averages around 10 years and an electric water heater around 12 years.  Both can last longer of course, and with proper water heater installation and homeowner maintenance, they could last up to 15 years or longer. 

Today, a plumber will do a water heater installation with pex plumbing, this lessens the worries of frozen water pipe during the winter because PEX contracts and expands with the temperature.  Other things you can do to extend your water heater life are: 

  • Regular Maintenance Checks – looking for any gaps, leaks and address them ASAP. 
  • Test the PRV – this is a safety device to prevent explosions.
  • Tank Flushing – once a year, drain some water and if there is debris in that water, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for tank flushing. 
  • The Anode Rod – this is inside your water heater and attracts the rust you don’t want your tank filling up with. If it is covered in rust, it should be replaced.
  • Gas Line Inspection – check for cracks or corrosion and address any ASAP.  dangerous.
  • Clear the Space – keep things away from the water heater so that it has ample air circulation. 

Need help with your water heater in Bedford, TX? Winn Plumbing is here for you. Call us today at (817) 283-0183.