Hot water tanks are anchored by straps or strips of perforated metal called plumber's tape. These anchors, usually secured to wall studs behind the water tank, keep the tank secure in case of an earthquake. The straps must be disengaged and the gas line and water line shut off before the tank can be removed. The job is fairly simple and is easily accomplished with the proper tools. --San Francisco Gate
The average lifespan of a water heater is about 10 to 12 years. Some of these will last up to 15 years but not all will. Look at the serial number on the water heater. The first four numbers generally reveal the month and year of manufacturing date. For instance, 0904 likely means September of 2004, about 13 years old.
Basic Water Heater Removal Steps
If the water heater isn't producing hot water, there's water leaking from the appliance, it's channeling discolored water, or is rusted, it's probably time to go. Here are the basic water heater removal steps to take:
- Shut off the power. Always turn off the power supply when doing any kind of home improvement. Regardless if it's powered by electricity or gas, do not work on any appliance that's still connected to its power supply.
- Drain the reservoir tank . Fasten a garden hose to the drain line, located near the bottom. Open the drain valve and let the water inside the tank to empty out. This can take several minutes. Once drained, disconnect the hose and proceed to the next step.
- Disconnect the water supply. Now, it's time to remove the water supply from the appliance. There is one incoming line and two outgoing lines (cold and hot house supplies). If you don't know how to do this, call a pro for help.
- Remove the water heater. Get someone to help you take the water heater from its installation space. Even though the tank is empty, it will still be very heavy, so do this with caution to avoid injury.