Hidden Dangers of Replacing your Hot Water Heater

What Are the Dangers and Risks of Replacing a Hot Water Heater?

Pipes help water travel into your home. A water heater is a household item that helps heat the incoming water from these pipes. This water is then used for activities such as taking a hot shower, washing laundry, or washing dishes.

These cylindrical objects are a staple in most homes. They can be either electrical or gas, depending on the homeowner’s preference. Once installed, a water heater typically lasts anywhere from 10-15 years with routine care and maintenance.

When it’s time to replace your water heater, you can do it yourself or you can consult the help of a professional. While doing it yourself can help you save money, a licensed plumber may be a more viable option depending on time, equipment, and safety.


If you determine you would like to perform this activity yourself, you must be aware of the dangers associated with this job before starting. In this article, we’ll discuss the risks and dangers involved in replacing a water heater.


Improper Diagnosis


Over time, all water heaters will fail and need to be replaced – even with the best service and care along the way. A risk associated with replacing your water heater is improper diagnosis. You may assume the water heater needs to be replaced when a replacement part could have been an easier and most cost-effective solution.

Licensed plumbers are trained to know and understand these systems and may be able to better assess the situation at hand before suggesting a full system swap.

Exposure to Harmful Chemicals

If you decide to replace your water heater, you may be exposed to potentially harmful substances as your existing water heater releases its heating effect. This can cause issues to your overall health and wellbeing.

A licensed professional is trained to safely handle these substances during the transition and properly dispose of them to minimize all health-related risks.

Fires and Explosions

Gas water heaters use a combustible fuel that is heated to make the water hot. These fuels can be extremely flammable and can pose a severe fire risk if not properly managed during the installation process. Special care is needed when replacing a gas water heater.

Once replaced, if the gas control valve is not tightened enough or too much, it can also cause a gas leak, which can pose a significant risk to the health and wellbeing of your entire family. Improper care during the installation process can result in an explosion, as well.

Licensed professionals are trained to understand how gas water heaters operate. They know how to safely replace a gas water heater while minimizing the risks to your home, your health, and your loved ones.

Electric Shock

Electric water heaters also pose risks. This type of water heater involves electrical heating elements submerged in water. Like anything else, these mechanisms can deteriorate over time. This makes them more likely to short out in the water.

If this happens, you may be susceptible to severe shock or death when encountering the heater’s housing or any of the connecting pipes.

A trained professional has the proper equipment and understanding needed to replace this type of equipment while minimizing any electrical dangers.

Legal Issues

The legal aspect of replacing a water heater is another key concern for homeowners to consider. Water heaters must be installed in certain areas of the home. If your water heater is not put in the proper location, it may not function correctly or be deemed safe.

Additionally, they must be inspected before selling your home. If your water heater is not properly installed and does not pass an inspection upon sale, you may be required to pay more money to install another one that is up to code. Another inspection may be required at a substantial cost. This can cause a lot of undue hassle.

Final Thoughts

It is possible to install a new water heater in your home without consulting a professional. However, there are many risks and dangers to consider before partaking in this process. Depending on your skill level, understanding, and access to safety equipment, it may be a job best left for the professionals plumbers, like the team from Laguana Plumbing Pros, your Orange County household name for plumbing installation and repairs. .

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