How to Dispose of Your Water Heater?

We all love our good share of hot water so we can enjoy an abundant supply of hot water at all times.

A water heater works by filling up your tanks, then using its heating properties to warm up the water, and then transfer the water to all faucets within the home.

However, it is superficial to believe that these water heaters will work forever. You need to replace them when they stop working properly or upgrade them whenever needed.

In that case, you must know how to dispose of your old water heaters properly. You cannot simply throw them out in the trash, and there is a proper method to dispose of your water heater.

Let’s take a look at the various ways you can get rid of your water heater or put it to better use.

Give Away Your Old Water Heater

If your water heater is in perfect shape and you are upgrading due to other reasons such as increased water capacity, you should consider donating it.

Try contacting your local donation centers or Goodwill to check if they are willing to take in an old water heater.

This way, you will be helping someone in need and contributing to society in some way.

However, if you cannot seem to find a charity willing to take in your water heater, you can always sell it. Try Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or a similar website.

If your old water heater is not working, then maybe you could register online and sell it for its parts or scraps to relevant people.

Try Recycling

As mentioned before, you can always sell your water heater for its metal scraps. Similarly, you can also donate your water heater to recycling companies.

These recycling companies will even pay you the current market rate for the metal, brass, or whatever material your water heater is, while some may charge you a disposable fee.

You can even find certain recycling companies that will come to your house and pick up the water heater.

However, before deciding on recycling any metal, make sure to check with your state’s law and see if you are applying to do so.

Contact Your Garbage Service

If you do not wish to travel and drop off your water heater at a specific location, you can contact your local garbage service and see if they will pick up the water heater from your curb.

These services usually pick up heavy appliances to further send them off for recycling.

While you may need to pay for this service, you will be saving a lot of travel time, and it will be just as easy as emptying your water heater and moving it outside.

Get Creative with Your Water Heater

Thanks to technology, we have learned not to let anything go to waste.

This method is better known as up-cycling, where you create something new out of an old item instead of sending it off to a landfill.

If you are not interested in selling your old water heater and like to get creative often, how about a personal project?

The internet is full of ideas about what to do with your old water heater, and you can do so too.

The water heater tanks are very strong, and if yours is free of any damage or repair, you can easily turn it into multiple functioning items around the house.

For example, you could cut the tank in half and use it as a plant holder, or you could use it as a fire pit. There are several options on how to repurpose your old water heater.

Take Your Water Heater to a Landfill

If all the above options fail, the easiest way is to contact your landfill service, and they will come and collect your water heater.

Contact a Junk Pick-Up Service

If you wish to have someone come and collect your old water heater, then look for local junk pickup services that will take it off your hands.

All you have to do is call the pickup service, and they will come to your home and remove the water heater itself.

However, we do recommend that your drain the tank so there is no mess while removal.

Learn How to Scrap Your Water Heater Yourself

If you do not believe in someone else doing the work for you, you can probably learn how to dispose of your water heater yourself.

Then you could even sell metal scraps you’ve earned from the disposal.

Step 1 – Make Sure to Turn It Off

Before beginning the disposal process, you need to make that your water heater is not connected to a power source.

Make sure to shut down all sources of power. If your water heater runs on gas, make sure to shut down all gas pipes to prevent any leaks.

Similarly, if it is an electric water heater, turn off the main switch from the power outlet. If you do not know how to, please make sure to consult a professional electrician.

Step 2 – Get the Water Tank Emptied

Once the power supply is off, you must empty your tank. You need to drain the tank and make sure that the intake valve is completely off, so it does not refill automatically.

You can find the intake valve on the pipes inside the water heater. Another quick tip is, while draining your tank, turn on all hot water faucets.

This way, all the hot water in those pipes is released into the drain, and it helps make the draining process faster and will prevent any airlocks within your drainage system.

Once all faucets are running, you must find the drain valve at the bottom of your system, and it will typically look like a water hose opening.

Once you have found the valve, attach a water hose to the drain system and lead the pipe to an appropriate area where the water can be directed.

Now you can open the valve and let the water drain out; once the water stops, make sure to double-check whether the tank is empty or not.

Leftover water in the tank can add to the tank’s weight, making it unsuitable for certain places with maximum weight limits.

Step 3 – Remove the Tank Pipes from the Heater

Now that the tank is accurately drained, you need to disconnect the water tank’s pipes from the water heater.

This may be a tricky task since some pipes can be screwed off from the tank. However, some pipes are directly connected to the tank, also called hard-plumbed. 

The only appropriate way to remove any hard-plumbed pipes from your tank is by sawing at those pipes off a few inches away from the tank.

Step 4 – Separate the Tank and the Water Heater Closet

This next task can be difficult if you are on your own; we recommend getting some help while doing it. Water heaters can be very heavy, and you might not be able to lift them alone.

Wherever your water tank was installed, you will need to remove it from there. No need to rush things; it is best to take this part slow and steady.

The easiest way to remove your tank from the closet or platform is by tilting to its side and rolling it out. If there is a door blocking the entrance, then we would recommend removing it.

Keep towels with you to clean any mess that is made while transporting. Also, it is essential that you only move it once to the desired vehicle or space.

Step 5 – Let’s Get Disposing

Once you have moved your water heater, there are two ways on how to dispose of your water heater appropriately.

You can choose to recycle your water heater. Many recycling companies accept water heaters for their metal scraps and pay you accordingly.

These places scrap your water heater for metals such as steel, brass, copper, etc., and reuse the materials in other things.

Some recycling centers also agree to do pickups, so you do not exactly have to travel the distance, and they will come and collect it.

Secondly, if all else fails, and there are no recycling companies available to pick up your water heater, you can always contact your local landfill.

Most states offer such garbage pickup services where they come and collect heavy-duty appliances that cannot be thrown in the trash and dispose of them off themselves.

However, before placing your water heater outside, make sure to call your local landfill and confirm whether they will do so or not and when.

If they do not offer such services, you will most likely have to take it to a landfill yourself and deposit it there for a certain disposal fee.

Final Words

If you have reached the end, it is safe to assume that you have successfully uninstalled your old water heater tank. Looks like it is time to get a new one.

If you have any further questions about how to dispose of your water heater, please do not hesitate to consult a professional electrician or plumber.

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