Water heaters are integral parts of any home, especially during winter, or if you do not want to brave cold water from the showers in the morning. They rarely require replacement, though you may have no choice but to do so after a couple of years of use. The same can be said for water heater supply lines, as they can have leaks during construction or maintenance. Replacing water heater supply lines are relatively easy and do not require professional help, and if you want to know how to do it, here are the things you need to do.
- Identify the cold water supply line. This supply line is usually marked with a letter “C” or the word “Cold” embossed on the section of the water heater where cold water comes from. It is connected with a knob that resembles that from a water hose or a regular water pipe.
- Identify the valve for releasing pressure. This is a silver lever that is often marked as the one used for relieving pressure. It needs to be identified since this should not be considered as part of the components to replace. This is normally found in front or at the top portion of the water heater.
- Identify the hot water supply line. This is the other section of the water heater supply pipe. Unlike the supply line for cold water, this one doesn’t have any valves in the pipe, and the pipe is made of copper.
- Measure the supply lines. Use a tape measure to accurately measure the length of the cold and hot water supply lines. In addition, a tape measure allows you to accurately measure bends in the pipes.
- Purchase replacements. Using your measurements, buy the pipes of the required length. Before taking off the old pipes, ensure that the new ones are already available. The pipes used for the hot water are separately sold, and should have nuts on both ends. Before taking them home, ensure that the nuts have the appropriate gasket rings inside. If they’re not available, you’ll need to purchase separate fitted gaskets.
- Turn off the power and water flow. Use the breaker switch to turn off the power connected to the water heater. Turn the knob connected to the cold water supply line to close off the connection.
- Drain excess water. Allow the remaining water in the cold and hot water pipes to run out before starting installation of new ones. Do this by simply turning on the hot and cold water taps. Pull the pressure valve up to relieve the pressure from the inner tanks.
- Loosen the pipes. Use a pipe wrench to loosen the nuts from the cold and hot water supply lines. Turn the wrench in a counterclockwise motion until you’re able to remove them.
- Insert the new pipes. Add the new pipes according to their length. Ensure that the pipes are connected according to their required positions. Make sure that all the nuts are tightly in place so you don’t end up with leaks.
Once you’re done with the installation, test the connections! Turn on the cold water valve as well as the switch breaker. As water flows into the pipes, check the connections to ensure that no nut is loose.