DIY Water Heater Installation: Risks, Dangers, and Why You Shouldn’t
If you want to try and do a little DIY plumbing, don’t install a water heater yourself thinking that you are saving money by not calling in a certified plumber. Sure, it saves you money, but it can also bring risks as installing a water heater is no easy project.
Buying a new water heater is one thing but you need to seriously reconsider installing it by yourself before calculating the risks and effects that can happen.
A mistake, even something small can have disastrous consequences if not properly remedied quickly. It is not something as simple as changing a lightbulb so the best thing to do is to call in someone with experience to do the job right.
Professional plumbers know what they are doing as they have the expertise and experience under their belt doing their job for years.
They have the proper training and certifications so everything goes right. Installing a water heater by yourself can cause you added expenses, damage to equipment, and even serious injuries.
4 Reasons Why Installing a Water Heater Yourself is Not a Good Idea
1. Lack of Expertise and Experience
When buying a water heater, the person selling it may or may not be an expert on water heater installation but on its features and dimensions.
A licensed plumber is there to help you get it properly fitted and installed securely based on their expertise and experience.
If you want less hassle and a worry-free installation of a water heater, call a professional as they have the right knowledge of the product and how it is installed.
2. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Ventilation is crucial for gas-burning water heaters as it can come to life and death. When there is not enough airflow, carbon monoxide builds up.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious medical emergency and people exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide can experience permanent brain damage and death.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, so it is hard to detect when there is a leak unless your house comes with carbon monoxide detection.
Even a small leak can have serious health implications for the house’s occupants.
3. No permit
Permitting agencies can be pretty fussy about code enforcement. They like to send inspectors out to make sure the work was done right so it won’t create problems anytime in the future.
The New Orleans Building Code states, in part, “any owner, authorized agent, or contractor who desires to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure,…or to install a steam boiler, furnace, heater, incinerator or other heat-producing apparatus,… the installation of which is required by this code or to cause any such work to be done shall first make an application and obtain the required permit for the work.
4. Home resale issues
There is nothing more stressful than trying to sell a home and finding out that the water heater does not pass inspection requirements.
What this means is that you can expect to spend money on water heater repairs and even installing a new one.
It is important to do the job right the first time with a water heater that is permitted and up to code originally.
It is best to choose a plumbing company with a good reputation so you can get a great warranty for you to fall back on when the need comes.
5 Things That Can Happen if You Try to Install a Water Heater Yourself
1. Getting the wrong size
Expert plumbers know based on experience what kind of water heater is needed. First-timers or those trying to replace it by themselves can have the chance of buying the heater with the wrong size, which compromises the space.
It’s important to purchase the right size water heater for your space.
For all of your systems to run correctly, you need to have the right size for your space.
The rule is small homes with one or two people only need smaller water heaters and bigger homes with a bunch of family members require larger water heaters to cope up with the demand.
For big homes, it is becoming common to see large water heaters, sometimes more than once so it delivers hot water to those who need it.
2. Improper ventilation
When installing a gas water heater yourself, it is important that proper venting is in place.
A licensed technician is equipped with the right knowledge to know exactly how the space around the water heater should be ventilated so that the home and the homeowners are safe.
This is very important so that toxic gasses like carbon monoxide are safely ventilated outside.
The build-up of toxic gasses can cause serious health implications and too much can cause carbon monoxide poisoning which can result in death.
3. Wrong water heater purchased
When you don’t know what kind of water heater to buy, then you should not attempt to have it fixed in the first place by yourself.
There are all kinds of water heaters to choose from and with various prices. Do not buy water heaters with prices that are too good to be true because 100% of the time, it’s not.
Cheaper models will only cause you stress and expenses in the future for any broken parts or repairs, they are also as not as durable as quality water heaters who can last longer,
4. Insufficient plumbing equipment
Those who want to install water heaters themselves and want to avoid soldering usually choose
PEX plastic tubing with pop-on or push-fit connectors because it is easier to install. PEX is flexible, and so are the routes around corners and other structures. One downside to PEX is its flexibility.
5. Wrong way to secure water heater and power/gas supply
When the water heater is installed at a place where it has the potential to be bumped, take extra measures so that it is securely strapped firmly.
A small bump can’t tip the heater as it is full of water, but continuous bumps can loosen fittings and leaks can develop.
Any gas and electric lines must be fastened securely as well as people can trip on the lines in the dark, this prevents any damage or gas leaks.
Water heaters in garages must be protected by wheel stops and other structures to prevent cars from hitting them.
More from Tom’s Plumber
Tom’s Plumber has 20 years of experience in the plumbing industry and is one of the most trusted plumbing and drain companies in the Great New Orleans Area.
We do a variety of plumbing installations and repairs using state-of-the-art tools such as cameras to inspect clogged pipes and detect leaks.
We’ve handled many plumbing concerns from the people of New Orleans.