Replacing a water heater
If the new water heater is the same size as the old one and has connections in the same places, hooking up the water, gas, and flue will be simple. If you need to move any lines, the job will take longer, according to the most referred Santa Cruz plumbing specialist.
The system should include a shutoff valve for the cold water line to the water heater (but not for the hot water line) and the gas line. If not, install them when you install the new water heater.
In an area that experiences earthquakes, local codes may require that you chain or strap the water heater firmly to a wall. You should arrange for disposal of the old water heater, as well.
Choosing a water heater
- Different water heaters serve different needs. When shopping for a new unit:
- Check the energy guide sticker on a water heater and choose one that’s well insulated. Though it may cost a bit more, it will save money in the long run.
- Consider buying a unit with an additional 10 gallons of capacity if family members complain that water runs out during showers. It may take more time to install and will use a little more energy.
- Check the “rate of recovery” – how quickly the unit heats water. A water heater with a quick rate of recovery may solve the problem of running out of hot water.
- Consider a unit with two anode rods, which attract sediment, if you have hard water. Regularly cleaning the rods can add years to the life of a water heater.
PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS: If flexible water lines attach to the old water heater, simply unscrew the nuts with an adjustable wrench to disconnect. Check that the old fittings will work with the new; you may need to buy new lines or a male or female adapter. Check local codes.