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How to Replace a Water Heater

In this how-to video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey shows the correct—and safe—way to install a water heater

In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey explains how to replace a water heater.

Steps for replacing a water heater

  1. Turn off cold-water pipe leading into the water heater.
  2. Shut off the gas supply to the heater.
  3. Drain water from the heater using a garden hose.
  4. Use a tubing cutter to sever the cold- and hot-water pipes connected to the heater.
  5. Disconnect the union that connects the gas pipe to the heater.
  6. Remove old water heater.
  7. Set new heater on top of blocks.
  8. Attach exhaust flue to top of heater.
  9. Solder new copper pipe to connect heater to cold- and hot-water pipes.
  10. Reconnect gas line to heater.
  11. Install vacuum valve to top of heater; wrap threads with Teflon tape, tighten with pliers.
  12. Turn on cold water to fill tank.

Looking for more help with repairs around your home? A home warranty may help. Check out these in-depth guides from the This Old House Reviews Team:


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