Water Heater Replacement: How Long Do These Projects Take?

Water heater replacement in Anaheim, CA

The best time to replace the water heater in your Anaheim, CA home is before it fails outright. Most water heater replacements are easy, non-invasive, and unlikely to take much time. However, with California legislation increasingly pushing consumers away from gas-fired appliances, these projects are becoming more complex. The following is everything you need to know about having your water heater swapped out, including how long the process could take.

California’s Ban on Gas-Fired Water Heaters

California’s recent ban on the sale and installation of new gas-fired water heaters won’t go into effect until January 1, 2027. Therefore, if you currently have a gas-fired water heater, you may be able to simplify your project by opting for the same or a similar model. In most cases, tank-to-tank replacements take between two to three hours to complete. Opting for a comparable gas-fired water heater will also eliminate the extra effort of having your gas line capped off, upgrading your home’s electrical system, and modifying your water heater’s storage area.

What to Expect During a Standard, Tank-to-Tank Replacement

For all gas-fired and electric storage-based waters, plumbers start tank-to-tank replacements by first draining and then disconnecting old units. From beginning to end, the removal of these appliances takes about one hour.

After carrying your old water heater out of the building, we’ll bring your new one in, put it in place, and secure all of its connections. We’ll test these connections, turn your water heater on, and test the unit itself. We’ll also carefully review the entire installation to ensure that it’s up to code.

Replacing a Storage-Based Water Heater With a Tankless Model

The process of replacing standard storage-based water heaters with tankless models typically takes between three and seven hours. We’ll drain, disconnect, and remove your old water heater at the start of your project. Then, we’ll determine the best storage area for your new unit. Most tankless models have slim, inconspicuous profiles that make them perfect for mounting on exterior walls.

If you opt for a gas-fired tankless water heater, your old storage area might not have enough combustion space. It’s also important to note that many households require more than one tankless water heater to meet their hot water demands. If two or more units are required, you can expect an additional hour of service for each.

Electrifying Your Home’s Water Heating Equipment

Switching to an electric water heater from a gas-fired model isn’t as complex as most consumers believe. However, it does include a few additional measures that could extend the duration of your project or lead to frustrating delays. For instance, we’ll need to cap off your gas line to eliminate the likelihood of future gas leaks. In some instances, these lines are easy to access. In others, gas lines must be shortened or cut off before being capped.

Next comes the process of ensuring that your home’s electrical system can support another major appliance. Although modern gas-fired water heaters require electricity for startup, older models with pilot lights do not. If your electrical system hasn’t already been updated to accommodate the increased power demands of an electricity-reliant water heater, you’ll have to schedule an appointment with your electrician first.

Electric water heaters are also usually smaller than gas models. Although this shouldn’t cause issues with your water heater’s storage space, you might need some structural building modifications, electrical system updates, or gas line capping, which can add some time to the project.

Point-of-Use Water Heaters

Point-of-use water heaters are one type of tankless water heating equipment that works well in a limited range of applications. Primarily used in small, efficiency, or in-law units, they work well in remote building areas that are far away from central water heaters. If you opt for point-of-use water heating, you might need a separate unit for each faucet and fixture in the service area. In most cases, each unit takes between 30 minutes and one hour to install.

Planning for Water Heater Replacement

One of the many benefits of replacing your water heater before it fails is having ample time to consider your options and prepare for installation. Replacing an old but still functioning water heater will allow you to coordinate with your electrician and study the pros and cons of different models and fuel types.

We take care to ensure accurate equipment sizing based on the water heating needs of each household. We also pull all necessary permits and make every effort to limit the need for storage area modifications or other invasive measures.

As a family-owned business with humble beginnings, we’ve been proudly serving Anaheim, CA for more than 30 years. We offer heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. We also provide attic insulation, energy efficiency upgrades, and water heater installation. To schedule an appointment, get in touch with Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. now!