How to Hook Up a Hot Water Tank

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A hot water tank, otherwise known as a hot water heater, is a device that keeps a steady supply of hot water stored up for use in your home. If you need to replace a hot water tank, or you need to install one for the first time, it's not a difficult process, but it does take some basic information and tools to perform. Be sure that you feel comfortable working on your hot water tank before starting, since it may be easier and cheaper to call a plumber instead of tackling the job yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Hot water tank
  • Wrench
  • Remove your old hot water tank (if present). If you do not have an old hot water tank that you are replacing, you should prepare the tank installation area by clearing it of dust and debris.

  • Determine whether you are installing a gas hot water tank or an electric hot water tank. This will make a difference when you are attaching piping and wiring.

  • Place the hot water tank in the location you cleaned. If you have a gas hot water tank, attach the draft hood to the top of the hot water tank using the small pegs on the hood. You will also need to attach a vent pipe if you have a hot water tank, which needs to be small enough to fit through the hole in the draft hood.

  • Connect the hot and cold water lines using a wrench. You may need to replace, lengthen or modify the existing piping, depending on whether you had an old hot water tank, what type of tank you are installing and where you are installing the tank.

  • Install the temperature and pressure relieve valves and lines. These are critical for the proper functioning of the hot water tank and should be placed so that if the hot water tank overheats, hot water that comes out of the line will not harm anyone.

  • Close the drain valve on the hot water tank and open the cold and hot water valves to start filling the tank. Connect any necessary electrical wiring or gas lines to the hot water heater. If you are unsure how to connect these lines, you should contact a plumber, as improper connection of electrical or gas lines can cause serious damage to the hot water tank and your home.

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