If the necessity arises for moving a water heater, you’ll need to pay particular attention to a few details in order to ensure the project goes smoothly. A start off helpful tip is to acquire the help of a friend. Tanks units can be very heavy, so moving one may require an additional set of hands. There are also other safety considerations to take into account when dealing with electrical connections and water plumbing. Therefore, following a simple set of directions can help lead to a successful moving of your water heater.
Step 1 – Turn off the Power
Before you do anything, turn off the breaker switch to the water heater. Use a volt meter to make sure there is no current running to the unit. This is extremely important. A plumbing error can get you wet, but an electrical error can get you hurt. Be extremely cautious when working with electricity.
Step 2 – Turn off the Water Supply and Drain
Before draining the tank turn off the water supply. Run a water hose from the drain valve to wherever you want the water to go. If possible, drain to a bathtub where the tank water volume will not overflow. Make sure the bathtub drain is open. Open a faucet at the tub to help push any water out through the water heater.
Step 3 – Disconnect Pipe
Disconnect both the inlet pipe and outflow pipe. Remove any connectors from the house plumbing to reuse if moving to another location. Some current trends call for shed assemblies adjacent to buildings and homes where water heats are stored instead of attic, basement or closet placement. If moving to a new location, be careful not to damage any copper tubing or connectors you can reuse.
Step 4 – Disconnect the Electric
Remove the electric connection cover plate at the top of the water heater. Unscrew the wire conduit connector revealing the heater power connections. Remove the set screws for the black, white and ground wires. Make sure to hold on to these. You may, depending on the length of the wiring to the power supply box, be able to reuse it. Make sure to be careful disconnecting any wire.
Step 5 – Drain Remaining Water
With the tank now disconnected from all wires and pipes, have your friend help you tilt the tank over draining the remaining water into a bucket held below the drain valve. Be careful not to let the tank slip causing any damage. Once drained, close all valves and, if possible, temporarily plug both inlet and outlet openings so not to drip any water while moving the water heater.
Step 6 - Maneuver and Transport
With the help of a friend, maneuver the tank from its platform onto a dolly to transport it to a new location.
Tips to Remember
Be extremely cautious around any electrical wiring. Double check to make sure all power is off before moving your water heater.
Since a water heater is heavy, always get the assistance of another person when maneuvering it to transport on a dolly.