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Do not try this at home! Whew, I’ve wanted to say that to many homeowners over the years. Despite what your friends might think, hiring a professional plumber will ultimately save you money and frustration. Honestly, some repairs, such as water heater installations, really should be left to professional plumbers.

Let’s go through a typical installation. As we cover each step, I’ll try to explain why you shouldn’t try this at home.

Out with the old. The first step is always the hardest, right? While removing a water heater might not be difficult it does require quite a few steps that are best handled by a professional plumber: turning off water valves, draining the tank, disconnecting gas or electric lines, and extruding it from the back closet where it has been gurgling away for years. Plumbers routinely replace water heaters so they have these steps memorized; you miss a step and you’ll be calling the plumber to clean up your mess. Don’t be that guy, all right?

In with the new. Here’s where it definitely pays to bring in a pro. Cities love to change their building codes when it comes to plumbing. Floor and ceiling clearances, venting allowances, proper gas line sizing and myriad other city codes need to be followed to ensure the safety of your home and family. Professional plumbers know the codes. Do you? Didn’t think so.

Getting trashed. While Lubbock does offer heavy-trash disposal, residents are required to bring the items to a designated place. Plumbers should include tank removal in the price of installation. Just one more thing you won’t have to worry about.

So, while do-it-yourself shows and stores do their best to convince the home handyperson that replacing a water heater is a simple project, it’s really a job that should be turned over to a professional plumber. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on this.

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