This is a picture of my shiny new water heater. The old one finally let go during my shower this weekend. I had had enough. It was going to have to be replaced at some point and that day turned out to be Sunday. Here are a few general things to know when it comes time to dance to this tune yourself.
After turning off the juice at the box and turning the water intake off, I hooked up a hose to the bottom drain, kicked the pressure valve open, and began to drain the 50 gallons out.
Next up: the connections. To my surprise, if your place has an electric water heater and was built recently, things have gotten pretty easy to deal with when it comes to replacing water heaters. The hot/cold pipes were both 1” standard thread and connected to flex tubing. There were only two wires and a ground to deal with on the electric side of things. And last but not least, the high pressure valve was the only mod I had to make.
Accompanied by my very patient father who didn’t seem to care that I was cussing like a sailor the whole way up and back, we got the goods. A new Whirlpool from the local big box was around $260 with a 6-year warranty. We loaded it up along with a new drain pan — I mangled the old one connecting the hose to it — and a shiny cap for the pressure drain I was going to cut off as well as a copper drain spout and connector.
Hooking everything up was pretty simple since we only had to lug the thing into the garage, put it on the podium and hook everything up like we disconnected it a little while earlier. The whole process took about 3 hours including travel time to the home center and draining the old heater. I’ve heard nightmares about this process, but I was very lucky my experience wasn’t that bad.
Note: Apologies I didn’t take pictures during this refit. I was cold and somewhat cranky from the lack of a hot water start to the morning.
Whirlpool Water Heaters [Website]