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Can I Install a Water Heater By Myself?

Many homeowners want to save money by completing as many DIY projects around their homes as they can. But is it possible to install a water heater on your own? The short answer is yes that it is possible, but there are many reasons that you don’t want to install a water heater without the help of a plumbing expert. 

The number one reason is that many areas actually require a certified expert to install and keep up water heaters. If you don’t have the proper credentials, it may actually be illegal for you to install a water heater on your own. So if you need help with installation or water heater repair in Gainesville, our team can help. In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about the risks of installing a water heater by yourself.


You may think that installing a water heater is as easy as getting the connections right. But there is a lot more to it. You have to have expertise in plumbing, electrical, and even carpentry. You have to choose the right sized unit for your home and needs, and also have to consider whether you need a gas or electric unit. If your water heater is powered by gas, installing it can be even riskier. 

Examples of water heater installation needs that require specific expertise include: 

  • Tightening the gas valve – There is such a thing as getting it just right. If you over-tighten the gas control valve, it can lead to a leak.
  • Balancing supply lines and drainage – If all of your lines are not balanced, pressure can build up inside your water heater and add stress to the system. 
  • Wiring – You want to make sure that all of your wires are secure. If you have loose wires, it can trip a circuit breaker or cause your water heater to reset. If you blow any fuses or trip the breakers too often, it can damage your appliance.
  • Secure location – Water heaters are often installed in attics or closets. You want to make sure that your water heater is secure so that it does not tip over or fall through the foundation it sits on. You also have to understand building codes and how to meet them during the installation. 
  • Permits – Most cities and towns require a special permit to install water heaters. This ensures that electrical and gas lines are handled safely. If you install a water heater without pulling the proper permits, you might be in trouble. If you’re not a licensed plumber or electrician, you don’t even qualify to pull the permits, to begin with. 

Warranties and Insurance 

If you install a water heater yourself, and you are not a licensed plumber, then you’re at risk of losing your water heater’s manufacturer’s warranty. You also risk your insurance company not covering any damages that happen due to a bad installation. For example, if your water heater leaks gas and causes a fire, your insurance won’t cover it. If your water heater leaks water and causes a flood, your insurance won’t cover it. 

When you have a licensed plumber complete the installation, they back up their work with a guarantee. If something goes wrong and it’s their fault, they will make it right. You don’t have the same guarantee when you do the work yourself.  So while you may be saving money in the short term, you also face very high risks of voided warranties, multiple system issues, safety hazards, and even fines later on. It’s simply not worth the risk, and you definitely want to have a licensed professional complete a water heater installation for your home.

Contact Affinity Gas Services today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. We’re “The Gas Efficiency Experts.”

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