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Video: water heater replacement, start to finish

By In NEW, water heater replacement On January 24, 2017


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My pops, Neil, recently had to replace his own water heater, so I gave him a hand with the project and recorded the whole thing from start to finish. Well, mostly. I skipped over a few of the more boring parts like draining the water heater, and fast forwarded through some of the more tedious parts like soldering the pipes to make the entire video about thirteen minutes long.

I used a GoPro camera because I thought it would be helpful to have a wide-angle view of the process, but that was clearly a mistake because the audio didn’t turn out too great. Nevertheless, you’ll get the point. This isn’t supposed to be a start-to-finish “how-to” video, but rather an overview of what’s involved.

Any time a water heater is replaced, a plumbing permit should be obtained beforehand if possible, and the work should be inspected by the authority having jurisdiction. In the case of this video, that meant the City of Saint Louis Park. Neil pulled a permit before doing the work, and the city approved the new installation about a week after the work was complete. Enjoy!

Author: Reuben SaltzmanStructure Tech Home Inspections

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About the Author

Reuben

Reuben is a second generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben has worked for Structure Tech since it was purchased by Neil in 1997, and is now co-owner and President of the company.

7 Comments

  • Ross 2 MONTHS AGO

    Reuben, Great video, thanks for putting that out there! I saw a recent post indicating that flex connectors to a water heater are now allowed by MN code. Did you consider using a flex or Sharkbite type connector (like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBite-3-4-in-Push-to-Connect-x-3-4-in-FIP-x-18-in-Braided-Stainless-Steel-Water-Heater-Connector-with-Integrated-Ball-Valve-u3088flex18bvlf/202685676). I assume cost might be one reason to not go that route, but just curious if you had an opinion for/against using them... Thanks again for this blog, always good discussions on here!

    Reply
    • Reuben Saltzman 2 MONTHS AGO

      Hi Ross, I actually have those flex connectors with the Sharkbite fittings at my own water heater. They were there when I bought my house, and they will probably remain. Those connectors certainly make the installation / replacement faster and easier, and I have no problem with them. In this particular case, there was already a ball valve present and it wasn't much extra work to simply solder the water lines. - Reuben

      Reply
  • Randy Roberts 2 MONTHS AGO

    Hi Reuben, Thanks for making the informative video. If I may, I have a few brief questions if you have time to respond. 1. What about a disaster pan underneath the water heater? Any reason not to do so? 2. Would you recommend that I request my new water heater have unions to attach the pipes to the unit if these unions are not required by city code? 3. I am not asking for a product endorsement, but is there a particular reason why your dad chose an American Standard water heater over others? Thank you again, Randy Roberts St. Paul, MN

    Reply
    • Reuben Saltzman 2 MONTHS AGO

      Hi Randy, 1. For a disaster pan, there would be no need in this case because there was a floor drain fairly close by. This is typically the case with a concrete floor in Minnesota. 2. Yes, unions are a good idea no matter what, and they're not much extra work. The next time my dad's water heater is replaced, the unions will likely make it so nobody even needs to solder any pipes. 3. No reason for the American Standard water heater. My dad bought his water heater from Water Heaters Only, and they happened to have a closeout or open box on that particular one. I'm not aware of any significant differences in water heaters from brand to brand.

      Reply
      • Randy Roberts 2 MONTHS AGO

        Thanks very much Reuben for your prompt reply. We are fortunate to have your expert advice here in MN. Randy Hi Reuben, Thanks for making the informative video. If I may, I have a few brief questions if you have time to respond. 1. What about a disaster pan underneath the water heater? Any reason not to do so? 2. Would you recommend that I request my new water heater have unions to attach the pipes to the unit if these unions are not required by city code? 3. I am not asking for a product endorsement, but is there a particular reason why your dad chose an American Standard water heater over others? Thank you again, Randy Roberts St. Paul, MN

        Reply
  • Gabe Sanders 2 MONTHS AGO

    Thanks for the excellent video, Reuben. Here in Martin County FL, replacing a water heater requires a city/county permit and inspections.

    Reply

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