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Is DIY Electrical Water Heater Installation the Right Option?

Should You Attempt to Change Your Own Electric Water Heater?

As a homeowner, you probably have a budget for minor home maintenance. But, most budgets don’t account for expensive home repairs like replacing an electric water heater. Maybe you’re a talented and thrifty DIY-er and you’re able to tackle many repairs and renovations others can’t in order to save the costs of expensive tradesmen.

As a result, you might be tempted to save on installation costs and replace your electric water heater by yourself. This is generally an unsafe task and is best left to professionals. Fortunately, these plumbers are offering information on changing your electric water heater.

How Water Heaters Work

Electric water heaters are ubiquitous to modern society. As consumers, it is rare to encounter a plumbing fixture that does not have readily available heated water. Electric water heaters provide this modern convenience.

Electric water heaters are appliances that heat incoming water with submersed resistance coils, similar in construction to space heaters or electric stove heating elements. The heated water is held at a near-constant temperature in a tank until it is ready to be used at a plumbing fixture (sink or shower) or another appliance (washing machine).

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Over time, electric water heaters will fail. The average life expectancy of an electric water heater is 8 to 12 years. If your heater is older than that, then you should consider replacement immediately. If your water heater is not that old but is failing to provide hot water or leaking, you could get by with a repair. However, a professional will need to make that decision.

The Dangers of DIY Installation

Replacing an electric water heater is a potentially dangerous task. There are several water heater safety factors to consider if you are thinking of replacing your electric water heater yourself.

  1. safety dangersYou don't know if it was done right the first time. Unless you are familiar with plumbing codes, you are probably just going to swap tanks and hope for the best. The only problem is: maybe your current tank was also installed improperly.
  2. You will void the warranty. Water heater manufacturers provide warranties to protect you against defects in their appliances. However, most of them only apply to appliances that are installed by a professional. If you buy a new water heater and install it yourself you may not be protected by the warranty.
  3. You don’t know plumbing codes. Plumbing codes are designed to protect you and your property. If you can’t install a water heater to proper codes you are putting you, your home and your family at risk of water damage, hot water scalding, electrical fires and tank explosions.

It is important that you consider these risks before trying to do this job yourself.

Call a Plumber

Plumbers are specially trained to install electric water heaters quickly and correctly. They will know how to properly size a tank to your family’s needs, verify that your home’s wiring and plumbing can safely accommodate a new water heater, and install the tank to manufacturer’s specifications and municipal codes.

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Because they have the knowledge, tools, and experience, professional plumbers can usually swap out electric water heaters quickly and conveniently. Saving you time, hassle and the potential dangers of doing this job yourself is always worth the cost of hiring a professional.

About S and J Plumbing

S and J Plumbing is a licensed plumbing contractor serving the Arlington Heights, IL area. They offer upfront pricing and emergency service to meet your needs. If you need a new water heater installation, have a clogged drain or toilet, or need your home repiped they have the expertise to help.