How to Move a Water Heater

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Moving a water heater requires a steady hand and meticulous attention to detail, which is no easy task. It is crucial to comprehend the complexities of this move whether you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast, a homeowner getting ready to renovate, or an explorer adding a hot water system to your mobile home.

Now that we’ve established the importance of sometimes mobile home appliance relocation let’s jump into the essential measures to complete it.

Preparing for the Move

How to Move a Water Heater

Preparation is key before you do anything. Safety should be your priority, so gather your tools and shut off your power and water supplies.

Shutting Off Utilities

Begin by turning off the water and the power supply to the water heater. For electric water heaters, flip the circuit breaker to cut the power. Turn the unit off and the gas valve to the “pilot” position for gas-powered ones.

Gathering Tools

For the upcoming project, you’ll need an assortment of tools. These include adjustable wrenches or pipe wrenches for tightening and loosening bolts, as well as both flathead and Phillips screwdrivers for various fastening tasks. A cordless drill with a selection of bits will be essential for drilling and driving screws. Additionally, a utility knife will come in handy for cutting insulation, while a dolly will be necessary for transporting the water heater. Lastly, you’ll require an electrical tester to ensure safety and functionality throughout the project

Draining the Water Heater

How to Move a Water Heater

With the utilities off and tools ready, you should now focus on draining your water heater. You don’t want water leaking during your move, which could damage your property or become a slipping hazard.

Shutting Off the Water Supply

Find the cold water supply valve located above the water heater. Turn it clockwise until it’s fully closed.

Opening Taps

Find a hot water faucet in the house and turn it on. To drain the tank, you need to let air into the system, which can be accomplished by doing this.

Draining the Tank

Attach a garden hose to the base-mounted valve of the water heater to empty it. 

Place the hose’s other end somewhere safe so it won’t get burned by the hot water. To initiate the water flow, open both the drain and pressure relief valves.

Proper Disposal

Ensure the water drains away from your home’s foundation and other structures. Suppose you’re moving to a new home. In that case, it’s also essential to dispose of the water in a manner compliant with local regulations.

Disconnecting the Water Heater

Now that your water heater is drained, the next step is safely disconnecting it from its current location.

Removing the Pressure Relief Valve

Disconnect the pressure relief valve (PRV) pipe from the valve. Dismantle the pipe from the water line and place it in a safe area.

Detaching Electrical Wiring

Unscrew the cover from the junction box and disconnect the wires. Remember to note which wire goes where for reinstallation.

Disconnecting the Water Lines

Use your wrench to disconnect the water lines from the top of the water heater. Some water might remain in the lines, so have a small bucket or towel ready to catch any drips.

Moving the Water Heater

How to Move a Water Heater

The movement part can be the most challenging, as water heaters are heavy and unwieldy.

Securing on a Dolly

Lay down a path of protective sheets, like old rugs or cardboard, to protect your floors. With an extra pair of hands, gently tip the water heater onto a dolly. Secure it with straps and move slowly and carefully, especially around corners.

Loading into a Vehicle

Depending on the size of your water heater and the distance to the new location, you might need to rent a truck or van to transport it. 

Navigating Tight Spaces

Take it slow if you need to move the water heater through tight spaces or up or down stairs. Consider using a stair ramp or hiring professional movers to assist with this part, especially if you’re moving a larger model.

Reinstalling the Water Heater

Once you’ve reached the new location, it’s time to reinstall and reconnect your water heater.

Positioning the Water Heater

Carefully maneuver the water heater into place. It must be positioned correctly for safety and functionality.

Connecting Water and Electrical Supplies

Reconnect the water lines, making sure they’re secure. Then, reconnect the electrical supply, remembering the notes you made during the disconnection.

Filling the Tank

Open the shut-off valve to add water to the tank. To avoid airlocks and let air out, leave a tap open and let the tank fill up.

Testing and Troubleshooting

It’s time to test your system for leaks and functionality with everything connected.

Checking for Leaks

Examine all areas where you’ve reconnected plumbing for leaks. Check the T&P valve as well.

Restarting the System

Turn on the power supply. You should notice that the water is heating up. If it’s a gas heater, turn the gas supply back on and relight the pilot, following the manufacturer’s instructions.


If you notice any leaks or the water heater is not heating, turn the system off and investigate. Common issues include loose connections or damaged valves.


What if my water heater is hardwired?

If it’s hardwired, you must exercise additional caution when disconnecting the electrical supply. Double-check that the power is off before touching any wires.

My water heater is old and corroded—should I attempt to move it?

Replace an old or damaged water heater instead of risking a leak during the move. 


You must pay close attention and be cautious when moving a water heater because of the risks involved. To ensure that your house or adventure setting has a constant hot water supply, it is essential to follow this detailed guide while moving your water heater.

Remember that seeking expert help is recommended if you experience any uncertainty or discomfort throughout the process. Handling the home’s water heater with care is essential as it is a crucial item.

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