Article about removing the old water heater. Step by step guide how to remove storage tank-type and gas-fired water heater.
Removing the old water heater is DIY home project, not hard, as long as you have the right tools, have some basic knowledge about the electrical and plumbing and off course help.
Time required to remove the old heater is approximately 2-4 hours, depending on your skills and the tank size for draining.
Make sure to turn the gas supply "OFF" to the unit.
Turn the main valve "OFF" of the water supply to the unit, or if it is necessary, turn the main valve to the entire house "OFF".
Very important step in removing the old water heater is to make sure that the gas supply is "OFF" and once checked disconnect the unit from the gas control valve found at the bottom of the unit.
Next step in removing the water heater, is to drain the unit. Open a nearby hot tap and leave it open to allow draining. Be aware that there is a burn hazard for temperatures above 120 F. Make sure the outgoing hot water is 100 F or less before you drain. Once the temperature is safe, connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the heater and put another end outside, if feasible, or to an adequate drain. Open the drain valve and wait for few hours. It takes longer for larger tank sizes.
Once the gas is closed and water is drained, next on the list, also very important when removing the old gas water heater is to disconnect the vent pipe from the draft hood, found at the top of the unit. Simply remove the screws and lift the vent pipe up to disconnect it.
All the water from the drain is drained and removed, you just have to unplug the heater from the home plumbing. If your gas heater is connected to the plumbing with the galvanized pipes, remove the unions using the pipe wrench. If copper pipes are used, use the hacksaw and cut approximately 4-8 inches before the connection. Use the stubs as handles to remove the old unit.
Sometimes it is hard when removing the old water heater as it is heavy due to the mineral buildup and deposits collected over the years of working.