Many homeowners attempt to save money by trying to install a hot water heater themselves. While many people will do it with no problem, others end up with serious problems, which results in even more costs. Understanding the reasons why it’s important to leave water heater installation to a professional can save you money and a headache. The following are some of the mistakes people make when buying and installing a hot water heater.
Purchase the Wrong Size
Having a water heater break leads many people to hit the home improvement store to browse the selection of hot water heaters. With so many available for purchase, many people become tempted to increase the size of the one that broke. They purchase it, load it up on a trailer or have it delivered, wrestle it down to the basement, and attempt to stick it in the same area as the old water heater, then find that the unit won’t fit.
When this occurs, there is only one solution. Take it back to the store. Know the size of the area your current heater is in, and not exceeding that area’s size while leaving enough space to connect the unit is important. A professional plumber has a lot of experience in sizing heaters, and he knows exactly which one will fit even when going up in size.
Fail to Install Shut Off Valves Correctly
Older homes may not have a gas union in the gas line or cold water shut off with a union connector for the hot water outlet pipe. This means installing a new water heater, the installer has to cut the pipe the broken heater connects to and then install the cold water shut off valve and a union. This can be complicated and results in leaking if not done correctly.
Incorrectly Installed Fittings
Many fittings come with a new water heater such as the temperature and pressure relief valve, and it’s essential they are installed correctly. If not, you may end up with a malfunctioning water heater that has too much or not enough pressure, or becomes too hot or not hot enough. Removing the fittings and re-installing can lead to damage to them, which could then lead to having to purchase new ones.
Failing to Tape Securely Enough
After installing the pipes and fittings, it’s important to use Teflon tape to secure them in place to prevent leakage. If this is not done correctly, there could be a big mess to clean up after a while. While it may not seem difficult to tape, if not done properly for the unit, it can lead to problems.
Time to Hire a Plumber
As you’ve read, there are many technical issues that could arise when installing a hot water heater. To have the job done right the first time, hire a plumber to do it. You may have to budget for the cost of the plumber’s time, but it’s better than spending your time and potentially costing you more money in repairs after an incorrect installation.