in message Looking back on my own DIY job, if I had to do my new install
again, I would pay the plumber....
No problems doing it myself -- just took a lot of time. We ended up
without hot water for over a week, trying to do the work around my
regular work schedule. This was fine for me, but not for the little
Little things took more time than planned, like lifting it up onto an
18-inch high platform (code for garage installations), cleaning up all
the old construction materials left in the crawl space so I could get
into connect new pipes, etc.
Here's my story, FWIW....
Old gas water heater in a closet died. Removing the old unit would have
required cutting gas lines that had been installed later and several
water pipes. Plus the excitement of straining something lifting it out
and over a 2-ft wall and angling it out, then patching all the future
dings in the walls and floor from carrying it outside. Best estimate I
got for R&R in the same place was $2000. $2500 to install new one in
the garage, parts & labor. Gas heater was $500 of this.
First I installed new unit it in the garage with new pipe runs connected
to the old network under the house. All done exactly to code. Note that
I'm not an expert, but not an amateur either - one of the tasks I do at
work is small diameter pipe fitting. Then cut and plugged the water
connections and capped gas line at the old unit. Then ran new water
pipes from old network to new heater. Last, installed new vent through
Had a licensed plumber run the new gas line and inspect the whole
installation. Gas company came out, checked it and lit the pilot. Later
one, the flame started pulsating high and low. Had mfr come out and
replaced the burner assy.
Never a problem since then.
Excellent experience and I enjoyed doing it - as much as you can enjoy
something like that. Still, next time I'll hire a plumber.
Forgot to say.... one reason for doing it myself.... The $2500 price was
to if the water pipes were run up from the heater, through the attic and
then down to where the old heater was. That may be OK per code (I
don't know) but in industrial work, we always run electrical above water
lines, in case of leaks.
Doing it this way would have save me a LOT of time, but I decided to run
everything under the floor.