Connecting a water heater is one of those home repairs that is completed on a regular basis. It is not terribly difficult but if you mess it up, the results could be disastrous. Learning how to put one in is not hard but you must be sure you know what you are doing. First of all, you should read all of the directions prior to beginning installation. Remember, going without hot water is an undesirable way to make it go through life.
The initial step of hooking up a water heater is to disconnect the old one. Before you do this, you will need to turn off the gas or electricity, whichever utility is fueling the water heater. Next you will need to drain the water out of the old heater. The way to accomplish this is to open the drain valve. If you are dealing with a gas heater you will need to disconnect the vent pipe which is connected to the draft hood. Unscrew the hood and make sure that the pilot light is out. Once you are sure that they gas line is disconnected, you will need to cap it.
Disconnecting the water heater from the pipes should be done with care. The pipes may still have hot water in them so handle them with care. Use a wrench, if necessary to disconnect the pipes. Check for state laws about how to dispose of the water heater. If none exist then put the heater in the garbage pile.
A dolly will be needed to get your new water heater into the house. Water heaters are too heavy to drag and even if you manage to get the heater under enough control to drag it in, use a dolly to avoid injury. In addition to injury, some of the fragile parts of the water heater can be disturbed by dragging it. Place your water heater in a way that it can be connected with ease to the pipes. Be sure that gas water heaters are securely connected in so that there are no deadly gas leaks.
After that you will need to hook the water, both hot and cold to the heater. Hook them up to the same valves that your previous heater was connected to. Next hook up the third line to the main water line that send water throughout the house. This is the step that many home owners mess up. To make sure you have it right, turn on the hot water and see if it is hot.
The relief valve is in place to regulate the heater and keep it from blowing up. Locate it and turn t on. The final step is hooking up your new water heater to the power. Pull out the directions again and refresh your memory on how to do this.