If you’ve ever Googled or YouTubed “How to install a water heater” then this article is for you…

The world today is full of DIY, everyone looking to save some money. When your water heater goes out, it’s usually unexpected, and quite the unpleasant surprise. Now you need a new one, and since it was a surprise you haven’t had the time to budget or prepare for this “must have” expense.

You start researching the prices of water heaters 💰

Perhaps you even entertain getting a tankless water heater. You check out Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Maybe watch a YouTube video or two, and then start calling different plumbers and researching how much it costs to pay a professional to install one. You hear pricing from $300 to $2000! “Wow, I can get the latest iPhone for that!” Now you start to get nervous and go… “Well, I could probably install this… ” Or… “I have a buddy who says he’s installed them before…” And the classic… “What’s the worst that can happen?”

Well, for starters, you could easily get electrocuted ⚡️

Besides this being a bad idea, it is also extremely illegal in the state of Oklahoma and many other States. Installing a water heater without the proper state-issued license is heavily penalized. That’s right, even if you own your own home, it’s still illegal to install your own water heater. No, this isn’t some government conspiracy to get you to pay up, not at all… This is about keeping you and your loved ones safe. Why is this? Well, it’s not only for your own good but for the good of others. And that’s because water heaters deal with natural gas and carbon monoxide, and they want to make sure it’s installed safely. If you don’t believe me, please take a look at what we discovered in a home in OKC! A water heater vent venting into the attic instead of the outside! That means carbon monoxide has been leaking into their home! Another reason why water heaters are not a DIY project and should be taken seriously. Rapid Water Heaters was able to catch the dangerous mistake by the previous installer and fix it right…
  ☠️ WARNING ☠️ This was discovered last week in a home in OKC! A water heater vent venting into the attic instead of the outside! That means carbon monoxide has been leaking into their home! Another reason why water heaters are not a DIY project and should be taken seriously. Rapid Water Heaters was able to catch the dangerous mistake by the previous installer and fix it right 👍 Posted by Rapid Water Heaters LLC on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The city and state come out with “code requirements” needed for these water heaters 🕵️

I’ve had plenty of homeowners tell me “oh it’s up to code, it’s got a stand and a pan under it!…” 😱 *Scary* 😱 If the codebook only had those two things as “regulations,” then everyone would be performing these installs. Unless your water heater was installed a month ago (and installed correctly) there’s a 100% chance it’s not up to the current code. The city and state are continually coming out with new rules and changing codes. Fun fact, there’s a full international codebook that couples with each town, having an addendum to the code. That’s right, code requirements vary quite a bit from city to city?

Well, you start to think “sure, whatever, no one is gonna know, let’s keep this our secret” 😈

Sure, this is partially true… There’s a better chance of pigs flying 🐷 before a state or city inspector finds out and hits you with the $2000 fine of “plumbing without a license.” Except when you decide to sell your house, and a home inspector looks at it and finds that it wasn’t installed by a licensed professional. And trust me, a homeowner install is easy to spot, it takes just seconds… 🔎 And before you sell the house, you’re going to have to hire a licensed professional anyway to fix the code violations. Sort of like driving without insurance… Sure it might feel like you are being edgy, and saving money at first, but then you realize it wasn’t worth the trouble when things went south… 🚨 The process involves pulling the whole water heater from the closest. Which means it’s just as labor intensive as installing a new one.

So what you thought would save you money actually ended up costing you more… 💸

The old “do it right the first time” saying seems appropriate. And trust me, this happens more times then you think.

Well I’ll just deal with it when I sell the house…

I understand. Who doesn’t like to take shortcuts? After all, it’s a big investment in a short amount of time, and you’d rather pay it later. Well if those aren’t enough reasons to change your mind then consider this; in the United States alone there are more then 430 carbon monoxide deaths per year. Many of these resulting from water heater flu leaks. There are two main appliances they put off CO2 in your home, gas furnace and your gas water heater… Most homeowners don’t try to tackle a furnace replacement, but the water heater, on the other hand, is given less respect. Safety should be the utmost concern as to why you shouldn’t install your own water heater. Sizing gas lines, installing proper T/P valves, running compliant double wall venting, making sure the venting didn’t come apart of the install, etc… The list goes on and on… I’ve seen a homeowner install once were they told me “I put a cap on this pipe here, it keeps leaking,” well that pipe was the “pressure relief valve,” and the last thing you want is to cap it. You don’t’ have to believe the statistics, but please don’t become one… I had a buddy’s family in Utah pass away due to a faulty water heater vent. Mom, dad, brother, sister all died from carbon monoxide poisoning. I truly ache for him and his family. I don’t tell you this to try to scare you into letting me install your water heater, but I genuinely hate seeing 430 preventable deaths per year.

So, to put it simply, can you install your own water heater? 👨‍🔧

Yes you can, and I know a lot of people do it, but no you shouldn’t. Call a professional, read their reviews, ask for their license number, be safe and most importantly, get it done right the first time!