The water heater shut off valve is a very important part of your water heater. If the valve is faulty, don’t make any delays in replacing it. The good news is that you can do this yourself and don’t have to spend money in hiring a professional. With the right tools and this guide you will be able to replace the shit-off valve yourself and save some money doing so.
Step 1 – Turn-off the Heater
In case, you have the gas water heater, turn off the gas supply. Give the water heater some time to cool down before you touch any parts. If your water heater has an electric igniter system, you need to turn-off power at the breaker box.
Step 2 – Locate the Valve
The shut-off valve is usually located at the top of the heater and is color coded. You need to deal with the black valve.
Step 3 – Turn-off Water Supply
If you are not able to turn off water using the shut-off valve, use the main valve to turn off the water supply to your home.
Step 4 - Drain Water
Use an electric pump or a ground hose to empty the heater. The water could still be hot and hence take proper care.
Step 5 – Take Measurements
Note down the dimensions of the existing valve. Also, observe the type of the valve that is, if it is compression fitting or iron fitting.
Step 6 - Buy the New Valve
The new valve should be of identical size and type to the old one. If you are not sure of your measurements, it is advised that you remove the old valve and take it with you to buy a new one.
Step 7 - Remove the Valve
Use a wrench of proper size (that fits the valve) and remove it. Take proper care that you don’t twist the pipe that holds the valve. You might need to use another wrench to hold the pipe.
Step 8 - Apply Pipe Compound
Clean the exposed threads on the pipe and apply the pipe joint compound properly so that when new valve is installed it is securely held in place.
Step 9 - Install the New Valve
Use wrench (again, of proper size) and tighten with new valve properly so that it is snug and is secured in its place properly. Keep the new valve in off position only.
Step 10 – Check for Leaks
Apply soap water to the new valve, if there are any leaks the soapy water will begin to bubble. If you see no bubbles, there is no leak and the connection is fine.
Step 11 - Turn-on Water
Make sure that the valve is in the off position. Turn on the water supply to the heater tank and then turn on the valve.
Step 12 – Finishing
If there are no leaks and the heater tank is filled with water, you can turn on the gas supply and/or the electric ignitor system.