When it comes to home upgrades, there are plenty of things the average homeowner can tackle themselves, like painting the walls, upgrading kitchen hardware, and installing molding. Unfortunately, plumbing projects rarely make the list.
What to Do When Your Water Heater Stops Working
Building jurisdictions in nearly all cities and counties require a permit to replace an existing water heater. And even if you are legally allowed to install a water heater yourself, unexpected problems and electrical work can make it difficult for the average homeowner. And if you make a mistake somewhere down the line, it could end up costing you time and money.
What trained plumbers look for during a water heater installation.
There are many parts to a water heater. During the installation process, your plumber will look at:
- Your vents. Is the vent at the top of the water heater fully connected? If there are small gaps, carbon monoxide can escape into your home.
- Seismic strapping. Should your house experience an earthquake, it’s so important that the water heater be strapped properly. Even if your home doesn’t sit on a fault or in an area very prone to earthquakes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Materials that are up to code. Codes are often being updated so it’s important to know which materials are safe to work with and which are now outdated. Rigid aluminum tubing, for example, is no longer allowed in most buildings due to safety concerns.
- Proper T&P valves. If you install a water heater without a T&P valve (temperature and pressure relief valve) it can explode due to a buildup of pressure.
- Fire safety. If you have a gas water heater, the line must be installed correctly to avoid any leaks. If it’s an electrical heater wiring needs to be connected properly. If you’re installing a larger heater than you previously had, you may need to increase the size of the wire.