Every homeowner at some point either has or will face a water heater situation. In most cases, homeowners realize that they’ve had their water heater for a while, check to see how old it is, discover it’s quite old, and then have to decide whether or not they should do something about it. A friendly piece of advice: if your water heater is close to 10 years old, we recommend replacing it. It’s better to be safe and proactive than sorry and reactive.

So it’s time to replace the water heater. Now you have another decision ahead of you — to do it yourself or to hire plumbing services. In today’s blog at Gundlach’s Service in Bakersfield, we talk about whether or not you can (and should) replace your water heater on your own. Keep reading to learn more and, if you need help replacing your water heater, don’t hesitate to reach out to our plumbing services!

Short Answer? Sure

Let’s get down to it. Can you replace your water heater on your own? Yes. But keep in mind it’s not a task to be taken lightly. There is more at stake than whether or not your next shower will be warm or not. If installed improperly, there could be potentially fatal consequences.

This is by no means a guide and should not be used as such, but replacing your own water heater can be accessible to the savvy DIYer. Replacing your own water heater loosely consists of:

  • Shutting off the gas to your water heater
  • Shutting off the water to and from your water heater
  • Draining the tank
  • Removing all the connections (gas, water, venting, etc.)
  • Removing the old water heater tank
  • Placing the new tank of the same size in place
  • Re-attaching all of the connections you disconnected (gas, water, vents, etc.)
  • Turning back on your water and gas connections
  • Lighting the pilot
  • Responsibly dispose of your old water heater. You can:
    • Recycle it
    • Take it to the dump
    • Donate it if it is still in good working condition and not older than 8 years old

Replacing your existing tank water heater isn’t too daunting of a task for veteran DIY homeowners. However, if you are at all hesitant or uncomfortable, reach out to plumbing services for help

If you are replacing your water heater with a tankless water heater, that’s a whole different ball game. It is still possible to do on your own, but it is typically significantly more challenging than installing a tanked water heater. Don’t get us wrong, the right tankless water heaters are great upgrades to any home, they can just be tricky to handle on your own. At Gundlach’s Service in Bakersfield, we highly recommend leaning on plumbing services for installing tankless water heaters.

Should You, Though?

While it’s possible to install your own water heater, should you? You are free to do as you see fit, after all, it is your home. But, our plumbing services would caution against performing your own water heater installations and replacements — especially if you are installing a tankless water heater. There are many dangers, risk factors, and inconveniences to an improperly installed water heater.

No Room For Error

Most water heaters use natural gas as a fuel source. It’s affordable and works great for powering appliances and homes. But it is critical that there are no mistakes in the handling of natural gas throughout your home. If your water heater is installed improperly, you run the risk of it exploding, leaking natural gas, or fires — all of which can be fatal.

There are also a number of other factors that can go wrong during the installation. You could forget to turn the gas or water valve off. Maybe the solder wasn’t done good enough and there is a leak. Or perhaps your venting isn’t quite perfect and now carbon monoxide is being introduced to your home. There are so many variables to keep track of and the list goes on and on. The stakes are high and it can be a lot for a homeowner. Even the smallest mistakes can have catastrophic consequences. Plumbers are experienced and trained to know exactly what to keep an eye out for and manage all of these potential opportunities for error.

Pain in the Neck

Installing your own water heater without the help of professional plumbing services can vary in difficulty depending on your home and your circumstances. For example, some water heaters are in somewhat difficult-to-maneuver-in areas. This adds an extra challenge to an already challenging task that has little room for error. Or, you can get the water heater off and are ready to replace it with the new one when you realize that you bought a unit with the same volume, but different dimensions. Not to mention that some areas require permits for installing a new water heater. For many people, doing the job yourself simply isn’t worth the headache. In most cases, it’s worth paying a few extra dollars to have plumbing services to take care of everything for you. Plus when you have professional plumbing services take care of the installation for you, you have peace of mind that the job was done properly by a trained technician.

Gundlach’s Service in Bakersfield

We hope that today’s blog at Gundlach’s Service in Bakersfield has helped provide you with the information you need to make a well-informed decision. Essentially, it is certainly possible to install your own water heater — people do it all of the time. However, there are some inherent risks and difficulties that may not be worth it for you. If you are a homeowner who would rather play it safe and turn to professional plumbing services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Gundlach’s Plumbing in Bakersfield. We offer affordable plumbing services and have years of professional plumbing experience and would be happy to help you in any way we can.