4 Common DIY Water Heater Repair Mistakes to Avoid

avoid diy water heater mistakes

Much like Icarus who flew too close to the sun, it's all too easy for you to get burned when attempting DIY repairs on your water heater. You're probably confident in your handiness, and that's commendable, but even the savviest of homeowners can make errors.

We're talking about the kind of oversights that could lead to more costly repairs or, worse still, dangerous situations. In the following discussion, we'll identify four common mistakes you might make while servicing your water heater, why they're problematic, and how to avoid them.

It's essential information, especially if you'd rather not find out the hard way what could go wrong.

Key Takeaways

  • Regular inspections are important to spot potential issues and prevent larger problems over time.
  • Proper soldering technique is crucial to avoid damage to the water heater, including melting plastic fittings.
  • Correct installation of the relief valve is essential to prevent tank explosions and hot water discharges.
  • Professional installation is recommended to reduce the risk of mishaps, ensure safety, and handle complex water heater systems correctly.

Ignoring Regular Water Heater Inspections

Don't underestimate the importance of regular water heater inspections, as they can spot potential issues like leaks, corrosion, or sediment buildup that, if ignored, can lead to larger problems over time. The importance of professional water heater maintenance can't be overstated. Besides identifying potential problems, these inspections are crucial for maintaining the efficiency of your water heater. Ignoring this maintenance task can cause your energy bills to skyrocket due to the heater working harder to provide hot water.

You may wonder about the signs that indicate the need for a water heater inspection. Well, if you notice a decline in the water temperature, odd noises coming from the heater, or a spike in your energy bills, it's time to call a professional. Proactive water heater maintenance is key, especially for residents in Henderson, NV.

To prevent any water heater issues, schedule regular inspections with professionals like Hawthorne Plumbing Heating & Cooling. They can provide the expert maintenance your water heater needs to continue running efficiently and safely. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to your water heater.

Mistakes in Soldering Heater Pipes

While regular inspections are paramount, it's equally critical to avoid common pitfalls when soldering heater pipes, as mistakes in this area can cause significant damage to your water heater. One common error is the improper technique of soldering pipes too close to the tank. This can melt plastic fittings, rendering the tank ineffective.

To avoid this overheating risk, unscrew pipe nipples from the tank before soldering pipes. This prevents direct exposure of the tank to the heat, thus reducing the risk of damage. Furthermore, you should create an extension segment to be soldered to the nipples, keeping it far away from the tank. This extra step can help protect the tank from the heat of the soldering process.

Incorrect Installation of Relief Valve

Next up, let's delve into the serious issue of incorrect installation of the relief valve in your water heater, a mistake that can lead to catastrophic consequences like tank explosions and hot water discharges. This valve is crucial as it controls pressure and temperature, acting as a safety feature.

An incorrectly installed valve can spell disaster. To avoid this, it's necessary to position the valve 6 inches above the floor and connect it to a threaded drain tube. This tube should route to the floor to divert discharges away from people and the tank.

Relief valve maintenance is paramount to safe operation. Neglecting this can cause malfunctions, leading to accidents. It's not just about installing it right, you've to ensure it stays in good working condition too.

Now, here's where the importance of professional installation comes in. You might feel capable of doing it yourself, but remember, water heaters are complex systems. One slip-up can cause irreversible damage. Hiring a professional isn't just about getting it done right, it's about ensuring your safety. They've the knowledge and tools to handle installations correctly, reducing the risk of potential mishaps.

Overlooking Standard Safety Measures

Building on the issue of relief valve installation, another common mistake to avoid in DIY water heater repair is overlooking standard safety measures. Proper water heater maintenance isn't just about fixing issues as they arise, but also about ensuring the appliance is safe to use, and this includes securing the unit to avoid tipping over or falling.

Often, homeowners ignore important safety precautions, resulting in costly repairs or even potential hazards. For instance, failing to open water faucets and wait for uninterrupted water flow before starting up the tank can lead to dry firing, a harmful operation that can severely damage your water heater.

Furthermore, neglecting the proper installation of the relief valve can lead to catastrophic accidents, such as the tank exploding or the release of scalding hot water. This highlights the importance of professional installation, as professionals have the knowledge and experience to ensure all safety measures are properly implemented.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Common Cause of Water Heater Failure?

The most common cause of water heater failure is sediment buildup. It's crucial for your failure prevention to maintain a regular maintenance routine involving draining and flushing your heater to avoid this issue.

What Should You Never Do With a Hot Water Heater?

Never neglect pressure regulation in your hot water heater. Don't drain the tank improperly, as it can cause damage. Always use compatible parts and install the relief valve correctly to avoid dangerous situations.

Can a Water Heater Be Installed Incorrectly?

Yes, you can certainly install a water heater incorrectly. Common installation missteps include improper soldering, using incompatible connections, and incorrect placement. Taking corrective measures and following guidelines can help avoid these issues.

What Will Void a Water Heater Warranty?

You'll void your water heater's warranty if you don't follow the warranty specifications and manufacturer guidelines. Incorrect DIY repairs, improper installation, and skipping regular maintenance are common mistakes that can result in a voided warranty.


Don't let your DIY water heater repair become a costly mistake. Regular inspections, proper soldering, correct relief valve installation, and adherence to safety measures are crucial.

Remember, skipping routine maintenance can lead to hazardous situations. If you're not confident, it's okay to seek professional help. Your safety, and the longevity of your water heater, is worth the investment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Plumbing Services
DanMar Plumbing

Welcome to our blog and knowledge base