Nicolette Forbes

By: Nicolette Forbes on September 1st, 2022

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How to Install a Tank-Style Water Heater

Standard Water Heaters

A water heater is an investment for your home that gives you hot water. When correctly installed, tank-style water heaters can last for an average of 8 to 12 years. But how do you install a tank-style water heater?

At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’ve worked all over the greater Los Angeles area, and we’ve seen some crazy water heater installations for both gas and electric models. So we have created this article so that you fully understand how a tank-style water heater should be installed for both gas and electric tank-style water heaters.

In this blog post, we will discuss: 

  • What is a tank-style water heater
  • Identify what gas and electric water heaters are
  • Dissect how gas and electric tank-style water heaters are installed

What Is a Tank-Style Water Heater?

Tank-style water heaters (also known as traditional water heaters, standard water heaters, or conventional water heaters) are traditional water heaters that are found in most homes and are used to heat the water used in your home. It’s typically a large cylinder that holds between 30-to-100 gallons of water, with the most common size for homes usually holding about 50 gallons of water. They are mostly found in the garage, closet, or outdoors in a shed.An A.O. Smith  tank-style water heater.

There are three types of tank-style water heaters: gas, oil, and electric.


Different Types of Water Heaters


Gas Water Heater

A gas water heater is a tank that heats water from a gas-fired burner located at the bottom of the tank. There are two types of gas heaters: natural gas and propane. They are both similar, with their only real difference being the type of gas that is used.

While anyone can get a gas water heater, they are ideal for families of four or more people, as an electric heater is likely to have trouble keeping up with the hot water demands of a larger family. Gas water heaters can provide much more hot water, which is key for bigger households. You can easily knock out loads of dishes and laundry using only a small amount of water with a gas water heater.


Electric Water Heater

An electric water heater is a tank that heats water with high-voltage electric heating rods that run upwards through the tank. The main disadvantage of an electric water heater is the relatively slow recovery rate, as it could take several hours for a typical 50-gallon tank to recover. Additionally, electric units are vulnerable to power outages and will not work in the event of one leaving you with no hot water.


Oil Water Heater

Oil-fired water heaters, like other types of water heaters, use a tank to store water, so it is ready when you need it. The biggest difference among all three water heaters is that only oil water heaters use oil and electricity to operate. Oil water heaters use a burner that creates an oil and water mixture. The mixture is ignited via an electric spark, beginning the heating process.


How to Install a Water Heater

Tank-style water heaters come in a variety of sizes and types, including gas and electric, as well as single-room (or point-of-use) and whole-house models. So installing a tank-style water heater is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. A certified technician installing a Rheem water heater and adding an expansion tank.

Because water heaters use more gas than even the largest home furnace, it’s important that you check with a certified technician to ensure that your gas mainline is properly sized.

When you are ready to install your new water heater, it’s key to note that each install requires a specific vent for your particular model. Additionally, the new tank-style water heater may have to be wired in if there is a good power source near your home and if you have decided to go with an electric model.

It is also important to note if your home policy covers the damages caused by faults done in the installation process, as not all water heater brands do so. With all of this in mind, it is usually a good idea to hire a certified technician to install a tank-style water heater. While it is possible to install your water heater without professional help, it’s not a job for inexperienced do-it-yourselfers. This is because there are many risks involved with installing a water heater yourself, including carbon monoxide leaks, hot water tank explosions, and loss of warranty. 

After all, many warranties are voided in online or store-bought purchases, and it could hurt property value.


Closing Out Installing Tank-Style Water Heaters

Installing a tank-style water heater tank is considered an easy task if you know what you are doing. We recommend that you call a certified technician to install your water heater to avoid running into any problems, such as a lack of hot water, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a devaluation in your home. 

Want to continue your tank-style water heater knowledge and further understand how to tell if your water heater is on its last leg? Visit the pages linked below as we dive deeper into how long a water heater lasts as how your water heater is installed can affect its lifespan. We also discuss top signs it’s time to replace your water heater so that if you do ever experience any issues, you know how to address them.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

When it comes to tank-style water heaters, Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air wants to set you and your home up for success. If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to have your water heater installed, click the “Book” button below or visit our water heater service page. Or if you have any other questions regarding tank-style water heaters, you can call us at 310-853-8690, and one of our call center representatives would be happy to help you.