New Water Heater: What To Do Before the Installer Arrives

Preparing for the installation of your new water heater can ensure that everything goes smoothly. Here are some ways you can prepare.

Space Considerations

Make sure that the space for your new heater is adequate, especially if you are upgrading to a larger capacity heater model. A water heater needs at least six inches of space on all sides, and preferably more so that it is easy for technicians to access the unit for maintenance. This space also ensures adequate air circulation around the unit.

If your heater is in an open location as opposed to a utility closet, then verify that the new model won't encroach on any areas where it shouldn't. For example, if your heater is in the garage, you may need to move shelving that holds paint or other volatile items so that they aren't too close to the larger heater. It may also be necessary to move bollards that are placed in front of the heater to prevent accidental crashes into the appliance.

Safety Tasks

The most important task to perform is turning off the heat so that the installer doesn't have to wait for the tank to cool down or risk burning themselves when they remove the old one. For an electric hot water heater, this may be as simple as finding the shutoff switch or shutting down the electricity at the breaker box. Most water heaters are on dedicated breakers, so you can cut power without affecting the rest of your home.

For a gas water heater, you may want to ask your installer in advance about the safest way to shut down the heater. Generally, all you should need to do is turn off the gas at the main shutoff valve. Due to the volatility of an accidental gas leak caused by an improper shutdown, though, it is best to receive clear instructions for your specific water heater.

Home Preparation

Don't overlook prepping your home for installation. First, prepare for your own comfort. You will be without hot water for several hours, and you may also be without water completely for a short time. Make plans to bathe or do other tasks that require hot water several hours before your appointment. Also, fill a couple of jugs with water so you won't have to go without it if there is a delay during installation.

It's also important to make sure the home is prepared for the work. Clear out all paths between the door and the heater so that your tech can easily access it. They may also need clear access to your home's electrical panel, main water valve, and gas supply lines.

Contact a water heater installation service for more advice when it comes to preparing for installation day.