Keeping Your AC System Cleaner

2 Tips For Installing A New Hot Water Tank

by Yolanda White

What could be nicer than taking a hot shower in the morning, or a relaxing hot bath at night? Any way you look at it, hot water is one of the luxuries of modern life. But what happens when your hot water tank stops working? If this has happened recently to you, read on. This article will present two valuable tips for selecting and installing a new hot water tank.

Select A Compatible Replacement

All hot water tanks are not created the same. In fact, at times it may seem like no hot water tanks are created the same. For this reason it is important that you take care in selecting a new heater. 

First, make sure that it will fit in the old heater's space. This is especially important if your old heater is located in a tight space, such as a closet or low basement. Heaters being made today often have more insulation around them, making them bulkier than the older generation. Be sure to measure carefully--twice if you have to!

If your hot water tank runs on gas, ensure that the replacement tank utilizes the same type of gas line. When in doubt, take a picture of the gas line to bring with you when you're shopping for a new heater. Any knowledgeable salesperson should be able to steer you to the right type of heater.

Drain Your Old Tank Before Removing It

You'll save yourself--and your back--a lot of stress if you drain your old tank before taking it out. First, disconnect the utility lines. Then follow these steps to drain your tank:

  1. Open up a hot water faucet somewhere in your house. This helps to keep vacuums from forming in the lines.
  2. Attach a common garden hose to the drainage valve at the bottom of the tank. (Hint: the valve looks a lot like the water spigots on the side of your house.)
  3. Put the other end of the hose somewhere safe to drain. One good choice if you're in the basement is a drainage grate in the floor. Otherwise you can run the hose outside to a driveway or sidewalk.
  4. Open the drainage valve and allow the water to flow out. Some drainage valves will have a handle built in, while others will require a screw driver or some other tool to unscrew.

Note: it is best to wait to drain your tank until the water in it has completely cooled. In other words, cut off the electricity to the heater several hours before you plan to drain it. Otherwise you risk scalding yourself if something goes wrong in the drainage process.


Nobody enjoys having to replace a hot water tank. But then again, it's important not to let it stress you out too much. By learning and following a few simple tips, you can be taking hot showers again in no time!  If you require assistance with installing your new water heater, contact an HVAC company like Avalon Plumbing & Heating Ltd.