DIY Water Heater Installation Pitfalls

DIY Water Heater Installation Pitfalls

Home improvement projects can be fun, but they can also be dangerous. They require you to deal with electricity and plumbing, which are both important parts of your home that should be handled by professional water heater installation plumbers

If you’re thinking about installing a new water heater on your own, here’s the low-down on what you need to know. There are a few things you should know before getting started. Installing a water heater on your own can save you a lot of money. You can buy all the materials that you need and install them yourself. It is not hard to do, but it is important to make sure that you will install it correctly so you do not cause any damage to yourself or your home.

This handy guide will walk you through the process of DIY installation and help you avoid common mistakes that could lead to costly repairs down the road.

When to Install a new water heater?

Ever wonder how much you’re spending on your water heater? The average homeowner spends $50 a year on maintenance per year. That’s costly, considering the average lifespan of a water heater is 10-12 years. Before you go spending money on routine maintenance, consider the following:

– Have you noticed any leaks or drips coming from your tank? If so, it’s time for a replacement.

– Does your water heater make strange noises or vibrate when in use? If so, it may be time for a replacement.

– If you are having trouble keeping up with hot water demands in your home or business, then it’s time for a replacement.

DIY Water Heater Installation Checklist: 19 Mistakes to Avoid

Do you want to save money on your water heating bill?

If so, you may want to consider installing a DIY water heater. While there are many advantages to doing this yourself, it’s important to avoid making mistakes that can cost you time and money. Here are 19 mistakes to avoid when installing a DIY water heater:

Mistake #1: Not turning off the power.

It’s easy to forget this step when you’re excited about getting started on your DIY plumbing project. But if you don’t turn off the power, there’s a chance that someone could get electrocuted when they flip their light switch on later. That’s not something anyone wants! Make sure to turn off the power before starting any work on your water heater installation project.

Mistake #2: Forgetting to shut off the water supply.

Forgetting to shut off the water supply is another common mistake people make when they’re doing it themselves. You don’t want to accidentally flood your home or start a fire by having water running through an open connection while you’re working on something else! To avoid making this mistake, always turn off the main water line before starting any work on your new water heater installation project.

Mistake #3: Neglecting to drain the old water heater.

It’s important to drain the old water heater before installing a new one. If you don’t, you might end up with overflow and flood damage.

Mistake #4: Failing to measure the available space.

If your new water heater is too large for the space you have available, it can cause problems with your plumbing. Before purchasing a new unit, make sure that it will fit in the space where you want to install it.

Mistake #5: Choosing the wrong size water heater.

One of the most common mistakes DIYers make when installing a new water heater is choosing the wrong size, which can lead to wasted energy and money. If you’re unfamiliar with the different sizes of water heaters, here’s a quick rundown:

Take your family’s average daily water usage and then multiply that by two. That’s how much hot water you should expect to use every day. If you have children who take daily showers or baths, you might want to add another 10 gallons per person.

You’ll also want to make sure your new unit has enough capacity for future growth in your family size or lifestyle. It’s better to choose a larger unit than one that will run out of hot water too soon!

Mistake #6: Improperly connecting the water lines.

Water heaters operate through an exchange of heat between two pipes: a cold-water pipe and a hot-water pipe. If these are connected improperly, they could leak or potentially cause damage to other parts of your plumbing system. Make sure that both pipes are connected securely before turning on the power!

Mistake #7: Not installing a pressure relief valve.

The pressure relief valve is important to any hot water heater installation. It prevents damage to your tank by venting excess pressure and keeping your system safe from dangerous corrosion. If you don’t install one, it could lead to leaks or, even worse—your tank exploding!

Mistake #8: Ignoring local building codes.

Building codes vary from place to place, so always check with your local municipality before starting any project like this one! Some municipalities require certain safety features like insulation around pipes that might not be covered in this article but are still important considerations when doing DIY jobs like a hot water heater installation.

Mistake #9: Overlooking the need for a dedicated gas line.

If you’re installing a water heater yourself, there is one mistake that can lead to an explosion and serious injury: not taking into account the need for a dedicated gas line.

To understand why this is important, it’s helpful to remember that water heaters don’t just heat water. They also produce hot gases and steam, which end up being vented outside of your home through a chimney or stack. If this venting isn’t done properly—if it’s clogged or blocked in any way—you could be putting yourself and your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you’re going to install your own water heater, make sure that you have everything you need before starting!

Mistake #10: Incorrect venting

The venting on your water heater should be correct before installation begins. If it isn’t, it can compromise your safety and the durability of your system. A professional water heater installation plumber in Stafford, VA, will know how to get this right for you!

Mistake #11: Ignoring the need for an expansion tank.

An expansion tank is used to prevent pressure from building up in the system when hot water flows through it at high temperatures. It’s important not to forget about this part of your DIY installation!

Mistake #12: Neglecting to insulate pipes.

Insulation helps keep your pipes from freezing during the winter months and helps prevent heat loss during the summer months. If you neglect this step, you’ll end up spending more money than necessary on fuel oil or propane gas throughout the year.

Mistake #13: Not testing for gas leaks.

One of the most important things to do before installing any water heater is to ensure there are no gas leaks. This is especially important if you’re replacing an older model with a new one. If you don’t test for gas leaks, there’s a chance that you’ll end up with an explosive situation on your hands.

Mistake #14: Incorrect temperature setting.

Most people assume that everything is good to go because they have a hot water heater. However, if you don’t set your temperature correctly during installation, you could end up wasting a lot of energy and money on heating water that no one in the household is using. Always check this setting before turning off your old heater and turning on your new one!

Mistake #15: Neglecting to install a drain pan

This is a big mistake that many people make when installing their own water heater. The first thing you should do after removing the old water heater is to install a drain pan under the new unit. If you don’t do this step, then there’s no way for any leaking water from the new unit to go anywhere other than onto your floor! This can be very dangerous for those living in apartments or homes without basements because there are no other places for it to go besides right back into your home again!

Mistake #16: Forgetting to check the T&P valve.

Another common mistake that DIYers make when installing their own water heaters is forgetting to check the T&P valve before turning on any power sources like electricity or gas lines related directly to heating up the water inside your home’s walls or outside where it sits underneath pipes connected directly towards various locations inside homes everywhere! This could cause serious problems, including fires.

Mistake #17: Not considering accessibility for maintenance.

It’s important to make sure that you can access your water heater in case of an emergency. If you have to get under the house or go into the attic to reach your water heater, make sure that it’s easy to do so by using a ladder (if needed) and having good lighting.

Mistake #18: Skipping the insulation blanket.

Insulation blankets help keep water heaters cool and prevent them from overheating during summer. They also help keep heat in during winter, so you don’t have to run them as much!

Mistake #19: Neglecting professional assistance.

It’s tempting to try and save money by doing it yourself, but when it comes to water heater installation, you’re better off paying for professional assistance. A professional will know exactly which type of water heater is best for your home and how to install it safely, ensuring that it lasts as long as possible and performs well. The cost of hiring a professional may seem high at first glance, but it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.

DIY Vs. Professional Water Heater Installation: Which is Better?

If you’re thinking of installing a new water heater in your home, you might be wondering whether to tackle it yourself or hire a contractor. While both options have their pros and cons, there are several factors to consider before making a decision.

Here’s a comparison table highlighting the pros and cons of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) water heater installation versus professional water heater installation:

AspectDIY InstallationProfessional Installation
CostLower cost as you don’t have to pay for professional servicesHigher costs due to labor and expertise fees
Skill and Knowledge RequiredModerate to advanced plumbing and electrical skillsExtensive knowledge and expertise in water heater installation
Time InvestmentTime-consuming, especially for inexperienced individualsEfficient and quicker installation by trained professionals
SafetyPotential risk of electrical, gas, or water-related accidentsProfessionals adhere to safety standards and protocols
Warranty and InsuranceLimited warranty coverage due to self-installationProfessional installations often come with warranty coverage
Compliance with Building CodesPersonal responsibility to ensure complianceProfessionals ensure compliance with building codes
Quality of InstallationMay vary based on individual skills and experienceProfessional installations typically result in higher-quality work
Technical TroubleshootingPersonal responsibility for any troubleshooting requiredProfessionals can handle technical issues effectively
Convenience and Peace of MindRequires personal effort and involvementThe professional installation provides convenience and peace of mind
Potential for Mistakes and IssuesHigher chance of mistakes or oversightsProfessionals have experience in minimizing errors


We know you have a lot of questions about water heater installation. So, we’ve compiled a list of the most common ones, but please feel free to reach out if you have any others!

How much does a water heater installation cost?

The average cost of water heater installation is $325-$400. However, this will vary depending on the type of system you choose, how many people will be using it, and whether you want to add extra options like a tankless heater or solar panels.

How long does it take to install a new water heater?

Installation depends on whether you have an existing tank that needs to be removed or if you are installing a new tankless system. In general, installations of tanks are generally easier and quicker than tankless systems. If you have an existing tank, expect the installation process to take between 2-4 hours once your technician arrives at your home or business. For a new tankless system, expect the process to take around 8-10 hours or more, depending on how much work is involved with running wiring and piping into place.

How much does a new tankless water heater cost?

The price for a new tankless water heater can range from $400 to $1,500, depending on what kind of unit you choose and where it’s installed.

Do I need any special tools or equipment?

No! Just make sure there’s enough space around your current hot water tank to allow ample room for the installation of new parts and accessories (such as pipes or wires).

What kind of pipe should be used during a water heater installation?

Copper pipe is always preferable to PVC or plastic because it’s more durable and less likely to corrode over time, but you can use either copper or PVC as long as they meet current regulations for residential installations. If you choose PVC, make sure it’s rated for use in hot water applications (the letters “PEX” on the side of the pipe will indicate this).

What is the difference between a tankless and a traditional water heater?

Tankless water heaters are more efficient than traditional models because they don’t have to store as much heated water. Tankless water heaters only produce hot water when needed, saving energy. Tankless water heaters also use less space and can be installed where a traditional tank would not fit.

What size or capacity should my new water heater be?

The capacity of your new water heater should be based on the number of people living in your home and how much hot water they use at once. You can estimate this by multiplying the number of people by 1.5 gallons per person per day—that’s how much hot water they’ll probably use each day! For example, if two people live in your home, they’ll probably use 3 gallons of hot water each day (2 x 1.5 = 3). So if you have a family of four, then you’ll want to get a 6-gallon unit installed (4 x 1.5 = 6).

Let Professional Plumbers Install a Water Heater At Your Home!

If you’re in Stafford, VA, and you’re looking for a plumber to install a new water heater at your home, look no further. 

Haynes Plumbing Services is here to help you with all of your plumbing needs. We specialize in Water Heater Installation in Stafford and have been proud to serve the area for over 25 years. We have built a reputation for high-quality workmanship and excellent customer service in our community. We can help you find the best way to meet your unique needs with our expert advice and guidance on water heaters for homes.

Our licensed plumbers are able to install any size or type of water heater that fits your budget and lifestyle. We offer both tankless and traditional tank models so that you can choose what works best for your family’s needs. 

Our experienced team will also be happy to inspect existing units as well as provide estimates on repairs if needed before installation begins so that there are no surprises once they arrive on site later that day!
Just give us a call at (540) 659-3295 to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified water heater installation plumbers!


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