water heater draining

Moving a water heater might seem like a daunting task. The following is a complete guide to the process of unplugging a water heater. You have to be careful of the fact that there are multiple steps that you need to follow. You can always hire a professional to do the job for you, but a little information doesn’t hurt anyone. So, here we go…


Turn Off All The Supplies:

A water heater connects at many points. If you want to move a water heater the first thing to do is to turn the knob of your water heater off. After you have turned off the knob, you need to turn off the main gas supply. It will allow you to move the heater without creating a gas leak. Locate the knob and place it perpendicular to the water heater. If you have an old water heater you would need a wrench to turn off the main supply. In the latest models of hot water, a simple turning of the power button shut off the main gas supply as well.


Cut Off The Gas

Turning off the gas supply will not disconnect the gas supply for good. You have to cut the gas line union first.  Loosen the nut on the plastic pipe attached at the opposite end of the valve. Turn the wrench slowly to disconnect the plastic pipe. As a result, the gas pipeline will be open. Cover the open end of the pipe with Teflon tape and a cap. It will create an airtight barrier for the gas supply and you can safely open the gas supply for the rest of the house. 


Drain The Water

Draining the water is a bit tricky but can be easily done by following a few steps. When you have turned off the main supply of the water, let the water heater rest for a few minutes. If there is any water that is leaking from the water heater, it will drain away on its own. When you make sure that you have access to a drain nearby, then you need to open the hot water faucet first and let all the extra water wash down the drain. To save yourself from burning your hand, wait at least half an hour to let the water cool down. When the water in the hot water faucet starts to cool off, you can safely turn it off.  


Disconnect The Water Supply:

The water supply of a water heater has two inlets. One is for the cold water supply in the center of the top of the water heater. It is smooth and doesn’t have any knobs on it. As you follow the pipe that is supplying the cold water into the heater, you will see a knob at the side of the pipe. You can open the valve by turning it counterclockwise. It will shut off the main water supply. After cutting off the main supply you need to cover the pipe with a cap. 


move water heater


Cover the Pipe Ends With A Cap

Before putting on the cap on an open pipe, use Teflon tape to cover the base. You will cover the rings on the pipe’s end firmly with the tape. Make sure you don’t use too much tape or else it will end up in a bulge and you won’t be able to place the cap on top of it. Fix the cap on the tape with a wrench to make sure it’s airtight before you open the water supply. After all, you don’t want water splashing all over the place because of a loose cap.


Use An Appliance Dolly

When you have completely disconnected the water heater from the main gas and water supply, you need to turn off the temperature and pressure relief valve.  It will look like a star-shaped knob. After turning everything off, you can now move your water heater to another spot. Make sure you have made all the arrangements for gas and water supply in the new location. If you are simply moving the water heater on a whim, you will end up with a mess on your hands. Use an appliance dolly to carry the water heater to the new location by strapping it firmly onto the dolly. 


Slide it By

You have to be extremely careful when moving a water heater. Lay down the water heater onto the appliance dolly in a horizontal position. Make sure you place the heater on the dolly before you move it out of the current location. If you carry the water heater in your hands, it might be damaged by hitting a wall corner or any other sharp object. Ask someone to help you move the appliance dolly so you can slide it into a new location without a hitch. 

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