Water Heater Disposal: How To Get Rid Of Old Water Heater


After many years of using your water heater, it would be time to change it with a newer and better model. The hardest part in this process is how to get rid of the old water heater and dispose it. If you decide to buy a new model from a company that sells and installs water heaters, then you will not have any problems with disposal because they will take care of everything.

However, if this is not the case and you already have a water heater and you will do the whole installation by yourself, then getting rid of an old heater can be a challenge. In the rest of this article, we will explain how you can dispose of it. So, let’s start.

How To Get Rid Of Old Water Heater?

So How To Dispose Of Your Old Water Heater? The way on how you can dispose of a water heater is by contacting your city’s waste management department. If this isn’t available in your city (area), then you can donate your water heater, recycle it, take it to a landfill or hire a junk removal service to haul it away.

What you can also do to get rid of your old water heater is to scrap it yourself and sell the parts.

Water heater disposal TIP! Always make sure to consult with a professional. If you don’t have any previous experience with electric wiring, it is recommended to consult an HVAC professional so it can remove your water heater from the system.

For those who have a problem with their water heater, feel free to read this article: Water Heater Leaking From Bottom: How To Fix It.

How To Dispose Of Your Water Heater

If you didn’t know, each state has different regulations, and sometimes it can be pretty tricky to dispose of your water heater. Here we will present to you what you can do to get rid of your water heater:

1. Donate Your Water Heater

When someone decides to upgrade their water heater, they have a problem with what to do with the old water heater model. If the old water heater is still functional, you can give it away. First, you can contact your friends, family, or your neighbors. If they don’t need it, try to contact some other donation center or local Goodwill and see if they are willing to accept a functional water heater.

That way you will be able to help someone and at the same time get rid of your old water heater. If none of the above options work, you can try running an AD on Facebook or on Craig’s List.

Note! Running an AD can also be done if you have an old broken water heater. There are people that use them for metal scrap.

2. Recycle Your Water Heater

Today you can easily find many Recycling companies that collect old appliances and water heaters and scrap them for metal. As almost all water heaters are made from steel and copper, recycling companies will even give you the money for them. Some recycling centers will come at your home to pick them up. Although some centers may charge you a fee to dispose of your water heater, the chances are very small but they exist.

Therefore, make sure to contact your local center to see how they operate, because laws and regulations vary from state to state. Almost every country requires the seller to be at least 18 years old and have a valid ID. If there is no recycling center in your city that accepts the old water heaters, you can try with your local government.

3. Put Your Water Heater in the Garbage

Another option is to contact a garbage service. In some cities, they accept old appliances so they will recycle your heater. If so, they will probably charge you for their service. You just need to call them, and they will come and pick up your water heater and move it to the curb.

4. Take Your Water Heater to a Landfill

If none of the above options helped, you can contact your local landfill. In most cases, they accept old appliances and dispose of them for a fee. There will be no problem if you offer them your old water heater. Most landfills have their own recycling program that is available for the public.

5. Hire a Junk Removal Service to Haul Your Water Heater Away

Today you can find a lot of junk removal services around the state. One of them is 1-800-GOT-JUNK ?. Just schedule a pickup and they will come to your location and dispose of the water heater. Everything you need to do is to make a call, and they will tell you the rest. Be sure to drain your heater tank before they come. 1-800-GOT-JUNK is a full-service junk removal company that is operating across the United States.

6. Scrap Your Water Heater Yourself

For those who are willing to do a little extra job, then you can simply scrap your old water heater and sell the non-ferrous metals that come with the tank. Most gas water heaters come with a regulator, which adds extra value, while the electric water heaters are also worth the money.

It’s best to start with the top of the tank where the pipes and fittings are located that are going in your water heater. For this, you’ll need a magnet. The magnet will stick to any metal it encounters. Most pipes are made of iron, while there are those that are made of copper or brass and can be used for resale. You can use a hammer to remove them from the heater.

Another solution is to use saw and cut them off. The water heater also consists of heavy gauge copper wiring that can be sold. Valuable items that can be found in the water heater are the anode rod which can also be sold. Anode rods are made from magnesium, aluminum, or even copper. Its main purpose is to secure the life of the tank itself.

When it comes to water heaters that run on gas, you can use a gas regulator that is installed outside of the tank. That regulator consists of different metals, usually aluminum, cast zinc, and brass. Sometimes you’ll even find brass knobs on the regulator. Just remove and resell the gas regulator.

For people who don’t know how to sell them separately, you can go to the scrapyard, and they will offer you a special rate for the regulator. Of all the parts from your water heater, you’ll get the highest price for your regulator.

Every water heater that runs on electricity consists of heating elements that are made of zinc-plated copper or steel. They can be easily removed from the tank. Before you’re done be sure to double-check all the parts because sometimes brass fittings can become unrecognizable due to corrosion.

Note! Just by using a little effort, you can scrap a water heater and sell it.

Here is a great video that shows how to scrap out an electric hot water heater:

How Much Money Will I Make For Recycling Water Heater?

How much money you will get from recycling a water heater depends on the area (city/state) where you are located. Factors that must be considered before selling your water heater are your location and the size of the tank (30 gallons, 40 gallons, etc.).

The price range is between $15 to $30 or even more if you take apart the parts on your heater and separate the valuable copper components. Almost every water heater consists of valuable elements such as steel, copper, and brass, and their price ranks the sheep about the area where you live.

Water Heater Disposal Tip! Be sure to check which metals can be sold. Most water heaters are made of brass or copper attachments. However, when it comes to the water heater itself, you’ll probably won’t get much money because it’s made from plentiful steel.

How To Remove An Old Water Heater

Step 1: Cut the Power

The first step you need to do is to cut off the power from your water heater. Whether it’s a gas or electric line, be sure to disconnect it from its energy source. For a gas heater, make sure to cut off the valve that is located near the tank or the unit itself. For electric heaters, cut off the electric power that is located at the main service panel.

If you are not sure where the main breaker panel is, use the toggle switch to cut the main power in your house. Once you turn off the power, use a multimeter and test to see if there is a voltage. To do this, use the copper wiring on white and black wires on your water heater. If there is no reading on your multimeter, you can disconnect the water heater’s wiring.

Step 2: Drain the Tank & Shut Off the Water

Before you remove your water heater, make sure that there is no water in the tank. If there is water, it needs to be drained. Be sure to turn off the water supply in your home by using the cold-water valve. Now you need to open all the hot water taps you have so the air gets into your pipes. That way, any hot water left in the taps will go back into the tank.

Next, be sure that the drain valve is connected to a garden hose. By this, you will avoid any potential damage that could occur when the water comes out. The water heater tank will empty itself in about 5 minutes when the drain valve is opened, depending on its volume.

Step 3: Remove the Water Tank

Removing a water tank from your system should not be a problem. If your water tank is connected with pipes that run directly into your tank, then it is necessary to saw them off in order to remove the tank. On the other hand, if the pipes are connected with unions on the tank, then you’ll need a wrench to disconnect and remove it.

Here we put a YouTube video where all process of removing a water heater is explained.

FAQ: People Also Ask

Can You Use Water If Water Heater Is Off?

If you have a closed water line, the water will entirely stop flowing into your home. As the water heater tank receives water from the home system, the tank will not be able to get water and deliver it to the user. If there is access to water for a long period of time, and you have used hot water quite often before, this will create big damage to your water heater.

Can I get Paid For My Old Water Heater?

Some companies and landfills offer money for all home appliances, including the old water heaters. Since water heaters are made of steel and copper, they can be recycled, and a certain amount of money can be obtained. You can use the iScrap App to find a scrap metal yard in your area that will accept your old water heater for the money.

How Long Does A Hot Water Heater Last?

On average, a water heater can last between 7 to 15 years. It all depends on how often you use it and how regularly you maintain your water heater.

Final Thoughts

In order to take care of the environment, it is necessary to dispose of certain waste properly. Home appliances such as televisions, refrigerators, microwaves and water heaters are sometimes much harder to dispose of than other appliances because they require a special recycling methods. In this article, we explain six ways on how you can dispose of water heaters properly. If you have any additional questions feel free to contact us.

Mario

I'm the CEO and founder of Home Hacks DIY. I have been involved in home improvement since my early age. I will try to pass you my knowledge and expertise in this industry in which I have been involved for the last 10 years.

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