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Standard Gas Water Heater

Replacing and Installing


A newly installed gas water heater will have some air in the gas line. It may take several attempts to light the pilot. Follow the lighting procedure on the label. Make sure the gas supply valve has been turned on.

Newer water heaters are more energy efficient and have much smaller pilot lights than older models. You may have to darken the room and look carefully through the sight glass to see the pilot.

If you are replacing the water heater yourself, get an Installation Kit. Most replacements require the use of common plumbing tools, pipe joint compound or Teflon® tape approved for potable water and fuel gas. If your house has copper pipes, consider flexible connectors and compression fittings. For non-professionals, compression fittings are easier to use than soldering copper pipe. If you do plan to solder copper pipe, be aware that the water heater connections may contain non-metallic parts which can melt. Don't solder copper pipes directly attached to the water heater. Instead, solder about a foot of pipe to an adapter first, then attach the adapter and solder the pipe at least one foot from the water heater's inlet and outlet connections (and cool the adapter with wet rags).

The Installation Instructions have a comprehensive Check List. Make sure you have successfully completed each step before lighting the pilot.

Watch the Video "Replacing
a Standard Gas Water Heater"


IMPORTANT - Read and follow the printed Installation Instructions that came with your water heater. The printed Instructions and product labels contain model-specific information, important warnings and safety notices. If you lack the necessary skills to install, troubleshoot or repair the water heater, get help from a qualified person.


Common Problems

Newly installed gas water heaters are normally trouble free. The most common problem with gas water heaters is lighting the pilot the first time. Newer water heaters are more energy efficient and the smaller pilot light can be hard to see.


Leaks are almost always due to faulty water supply connections.

The first time a gas water heater is started up, it will produce condensation. You may hear dripping sounds or see a small puddle of water in the drain pan. Condensation is normal and will go away once the water heater has reached its normal operating temperature.

Go here for more information on Water Leaks