To connect a new gas water heater to the water supply, the water valve used with the previous water heater is modified to fit the new machine. Connection methods can vary based on the type of plumbing in the home and the size of the water pipes.
When preparing the water valve, old fittings are removed with a pipe cutter. An emery cloth should then be used on those cut ends, as it exposes copper. A paste flux is applied, then a copper union with built-in solder is twisted onto the end. This procedure is repeated until the correct valve assembly is created. A propane torch is used on the solder to create seals.
This valve assembly can then be connected to a cold water flex pipe with Teflon tape. The assembly and the incoming water pipe are then soldered together. A hot flex pipe is used to connect the machine to the hot water pipe.
The two types of water heaters are gas and electric. When a water heater is replaced, the same type of water heater is typically used. Possible upgrades when replacing a water heater include choosing a machine with a larger gallon capacity or one that is more energy efficient.