Loading. Please wait.


Replacing Natural Gas Water Heater

1 - Remove the old hot water heater
The first thing you need to do to install a new water heater is to remove the old water heater. As it’s a gas hot water heater, you need to be very careful when removing the system. Have a fire extinguisher ready close by, start off by shutting the gas valve with use of an adjustable open end wrench. Make sure that the gas I not leaking by visually inspecting the pilot light, which burns off shortly, and then making sure to smell the area for any leaks. If you do not smell any leak, you can now turn off the pilot switch to the "off: position and disconnect the exhaust duct located on top of the tank.


2 - Heater Draining
Next step is to shut off the cold water "in" valve. To do so, move the lever in the direction perpendicular to the pipe. This will make sure that the lever is shut off and the water in system is closed. Next release the water from the floor drain into a bucket or a water collector. This makes sure that the heater is lighter and much easier to remove.
As you wait for the water to vacate, use a large pipe wrench to disconnect the gas line from the heater. Have a friend use a second wrench to apply a counter torque so as to make sure that you do not end up breaking the line. Once you get the line off, double check to be sure that it is not leaking any gas. 
Once again, using a pair of pipe wrench removes the colder water and the hot water pipes one after another. This will help increasing the air in the heater so as to drain the water faster. As in most cases, you will need longer flex pipes for the new connection. Hence temporarily remove the cold water shutoff valve. Shut off the main water connection which would be located somewhere in the residence. Use a pip cutter to remove the valve assembly. Also use the flex pipe to cut off the old hot "out" connector.
With the valve assembly removed and the water completely drained, it's out with the old and in with the new water heater.

3 - Connect the new segments of flex pipes which you just removed
The first thing to do now is to connect the new segments of flex pipe to prepare a new connection for your heater. Start by rolling telong tape around the cold "in" and hot "out" connections on the heater. This helps in making a good seal for the flex pipes so you can tighten onto both connectors with an open end wrench.

4- Connect a New Flexible Gas Line
You will have to make a new flexible connection for the gas line. To do so, create a tight seal with use of Teflon dope (which is putty used for gas lines) over the fitting. Once done, connect the treading into the pilot box and make sure it is tight by using an open end wrench. Get the old fitting out from the incoming gas line with help of pipe wrenches? By using Teflon tope make a tight new fitting for the new gas supply line.

5- Get the water supply hooked up
To connect the water heater to the water supply you must transition the water valve removed earlier. Start by cutting off the old fittings with a pipe cutter. Then, burnish the cut ends with an emery cloth to expose fresh copper. To prepare for soldering, brush on a paste flux (Image 1) and twist on a copper union with built-in solder. Continue joining segments of pipe with unions and two new fittings in this manner. Once the correct assembly is achieved, solder using a propane torch to apply even heat to each union liquefying the solder to make a seal (Image 2).
With the new valve assembly ready to go, roll Teflon tape over the new fitting and counter-torques with open-end wrenches to connect it to the cold-water flex pipe installed earlier. Then solder a new union between the valve assembly and the incoming supply pipe (Image 3).
With the cold water supply connected, turn your attention to the hot water side. Start by soldering a new fitting to the outgoing pipe that was cut earlier (Image 4). After rolling on some Teflon tape, connect the hot flex pipe. You're now able to fill the heater with water. Turn on the main water, and then the cold-water valve. While the water is filling, connect the gas flex-line (Image 5) and reattach the duct and draft hood to vent the heater.
Once the water is completely filled, open the gas shut-off valve and ignite the pilot light, set the temperature, and the heater is ready to use.