water heaterCan you move your water heater? Many clever homeowners who are renovating or finishing their basement ask this question because they realize that they could achieve a different layout, if only they could move their water heater. Or, perhaps they want to add a new door where the water heater sits, to turn their basement into rentable space. Start planning your new layout, because you can get a water heater moved, by a plumber.

Why Ask a Professional to Move My Water Heater?

First, if your water heater is gas powered, it may be against the law for you to move it. It’s simple to accidentally create a gas leak, and that’s a danger that you don’t want to expose your family to.

Electrical water heaters are dangerous to move too, although it may not be against the law for you to try. You would need to turn off the water to your home, the power to the tank, drain the tank, and reroute its supply and drainage pipes. You also need to cap the old electrical connection and create a new one or move the connection if you’re not moving it too far.

Obviously, this is complicated and potentially dangerous work. You may create a leak from imporopery connected pipes or a fire from improper electrical work. Hiring a plumber to move your tank is much cheaper than recovering from a leak or a fire, so it’s best to ask a professional for help.

Building Codes

Another thing to consider is that if your water heater is old, then it may not adhere to current building codes. What happens is your tank is “grandfathered in” because it was installed before building code changes were implemented. Normally, your plumber isn’t going to bother you about making these changes unless there’s a safety issue, or unless the law requires them to, in an effort to save you money and hassle.

However, when you move your water heater, it is no longer considered to be “grandfathered” and must now adhere to building code. Only a professional plumber is going to be able to guarantee your water heater is to code and prevent you from incurring fines if an inspector sees your work. If you’re finishing your basement, remember you will likely have home inspectors and other professionals examining your work when you’re done. You’ll also have a home inspector down there when you sell your home.

Consider a Tankless Water Heater

Do you wish you could free up a little room in your garage, or turn that old water heater closet into an actual closet? If space is at a premium, a tankless water heater can help.

As their name suggests, these water heaters don’t have tanks. They are roughly the size of a large camping backpack and need to be installed along pipes in the wall itself. They work by heating the water as it runs through the pipe, which means it can deliver hot water for as long as you need.

For your purposes, a tankless water heater can solve your problem of a bulky tank and make your newly renovated space larger and more attractive to tenants—or more enjoyable for you.

If you’re ready to move or replace your water heater, start by calling a professional plumber. It’ll save you money and time in the long run.