Water Heater Disposal: How To Dispose Of An Old Water Heater


Disposing a water heater is not an easy job. Water heaters have different chemicals such as Mercury which are hazardous if dumped directly into a landfill. You need to take proper precaution and treat the wastes before disposing off a water heater.

If you are buying a new water heater directly from a store, the store might provide replacement options. In this case, you have nothing much to worry. However a lot of discounts are available if you buy it online and in such cases replacement options will not be available. So how do you go about it?

Donating it

If your old water heater disposal is still in working condition, you can donate it. This is usually the case when you plan to go for an upgrade. A lot of times, the old water heater does not have the capacity to provide you the hot water units you require and hence you might want to opt for a new one.

Donation will not only help someone in need but also be useful in your own tax savings. Contact your local Goodwill centre can be the first step. If you don’t find one nearby, put up an ad on Craig’s list and you will have no trouble disposing off the old water heater.

Disposing it

Here is the trickier part. What to do if the old heater is not any more in a working condition? Here’s how you can do it yourself:

  • Make sure the heater is turned off. It is hazardous to detach any parts of the water heater if the heater is plugged on. Hence double check this.
  • Let the heater cool down. You do this by taking it off from the electric plug. You would need a hose to drain off the water completely. After you have emptied the heater, detach it from the cold and hot water pipes.

Dump it With a Cautionary Note

First find out the state regulations and the hazards associated with making simple landfill dump of your old heater. In many situations it might be safe to do so. Hence taking advice from the municipal garbage and waste control authorities would help you understand the implications and the related hazards.

Utilities Handling Companies

Some utilities companies have free of cost disposal options for old water heaters. But they will require you to buy your new water heater from their store. You can find their contacts on the internet or on craig’s list.

Recycle Centres

Steel is a high demand material when it comes to recycling. Hence recycling centres are usually interested in water heaters. The catch is – you might also get paid in this case. Such transactions require you to be at least 18 years and above and need a valid identify proof. The copper and the brass attachments are also recyclable and would fetch you a decent sum.

Junk removal services

Don’t worry, you can estimate the cost of hiring a professional plumber help to get rid of the water heater. All you would need to do is just call them up. They would even clean the mess after having made the detachments.

Do it Youself

In this case you might make more profits. You might also go on to sell the non-ferrous metals. Iron is usually not re-saleable and hence you need to make sure that your fittings and pipes are made from brass and copper before you decide to scrap it yourself. You can easily find that out using a simple magnet. The anode rod is valuable only if it is new. Otherwise it is junk. In case of a gas water heater, it is advisable to remove the regulator and re-sell it on your own. The regulator usually has cast zinc, aluminium or brass and has high resell value.

If it’s time to use a new tankless water heater, exchange it if you can, or just dispose it off. However, it is important to do your research properly, no matter which option you choose.

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