To replace a gas water heater in your home, you need to follow a five-step plan. It is very important, first of all, to consider hiring a licensed and experienced contract to do the job.
The first stage is to get the old gas water heater off the wall or remove it from its current position in the home. Before you even attempt to remove the old water heater, you must shut off the gas using an open end wrench that can be adjusted to fit the valve.
Make sure that no gas is leaking by looking closely at the pilot light. If you have successfully shut the gas off at the valve you will see the pilot light die out (this is a slow process and does not happen instantly). Then smell the area and satisfy yourself that there is no small of gas in the area.
Turn the pilot light switch off and take off the exhaust duct which you'll see at the top of the water heater unit. Next you will need to close off the water valve (often positioned beneath the kitchen sink) then release the water from the heater into a large bucket or bowl. While waiting for this to drain, use a wrench to disconnect the gas from the heater.
Then connect the new parts of the flex pipe for the hot "in" and cold "out" before connecting a new flexible gas line. You will need to secure the gas line connections with strong putty over the fitting. Make sure you get the old fitting removed on the incoming gas supply using a wrench.
The next stage is to connect the new gas water heater to the water supply. Use sand paper or an emery cloth to shear off the ends of the pipes. You have to solder the segments of pipes using a propane torch. Now your new valve unit is ready and you must apply strong tape over the new fitting to allow a clean connection to the cold water flex-pipe. Next, you will need to solder a new connection between the valve assembly and the supply pipe that allows incoming water.
Once you have established the cold water connection, you need to attend to the hot water system. Solder a fitting to the outgoing pipe and then fill the heater with water. Turn the mains water stop cock on and then connect the gas flex pipe. Once the water has filled, open up the gas valve and ignite the pilot light.
From here you can set your desired temperature and begin using your new gas water heater.
It is always recommended that you hire a licensed and experienced contractor to replace your water heater.
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