A water heater is a large and heavy piece of equipment that is necessary to provide hot water for your home.
To transport a water heater, the general recommendation is to ensure that the water heater is standing upright.
However, there are times when this may not be possible for some people.
The way in which you transport your water heater may change the way that it functions.
If you are not able to transport a water heater properly, you should be hiring a professional to handle this for you.
Let’s take a look at the proper way to transport a water heater and some ways in which you can ensure that this is an easier project for you to handle.
Can You Transport A Water Heater On Its Side?
A water heater can be transported on its side as long as you are able to carefully move the water heater.
The water heater cannot be tossed around, and there can be no weight put on the water heater if you are going to be transporting it.
When you are moving a water heater, there are components inside as well as on the side that can crack or shift and cause permanent damage.
The steps that you take to move a water heater vertically and horizontally are different.
If you want to ensure that you have no damage to the water heater, we have put together a guide that will help you understand how to move a water heater both horizontally and vertically.
Keep in mind that if you don’t have the proper equipment or strength to do this, you are going to be better off hiring someone who does.
Transporting a water heater incorrectly could force you to replace it, and that would be a waste of money.
Steps For Transporting A Water Heater Vertically
Transporting a water heater vertically is the best possible way to transport it.
If you can learn to transport in this way, you will likely have fewer risk factors when it comes to the functionality of the water heater.
Vertical transport of the water heater is absolutely preferred, but you will need a couple of people to ensure that this can happen safely.
Here are some of the most important steps you can take.
Step 1: Loading A Water Heater
A water heater is heavy to lift, even when it is empty.
The best way to transport a water heater is to use a hand truck or a dolly.
The hand truck will help ensure that you are able to move the water heater without dropping it.
When several people try to move a water heater together, there is always a risk that it slips and hits the ground.
Placing the water heater on a dolly is a much safer choice.
When you are going to move your water heater, make sure to first lift it onto the dolly and gently steer it and place it on the bed of your truck.
When you move the dolly to the truck, you will need to have an extra set of hands to help you lift it up onto the truck.
Most people will try and wrap the heater so that it doesn’t get damaged around the outside.
You can use a moving blanket and a ratchet strap to ensure that it stays in good condition.
Once the water heater is on the bed of the truck, you will want to move it towards the corner so that it’s set in the corner and has something to lean against.
Step 2: Setting Up In The Corner
Once you move the water heater to the corner of the truck bed, you will have to strap it in place.
Most of the time, you can use bungee cords and straps to ensure that the water heater stays in its corner position.
The water heater should be strapped in multiple locations so that it does not tip over.
If the side of your truck bed is too low, you should not be trying to move a water heater using a pickup truck.
This is for those that are higher sided and can help support the weight of the water heater.
The biggest issue is if the water heater were to tip over.
Step 3: Test It Out
This process of moving a water heater is not something that you can rush.
In fact, if you are going to move a water heater, you must do it slowly and carefully.
One of the most critical steps in this is to test to make sure that your straps are not getting lost and that it is safe to continue with your drive.
Try to move down the driveway slowly and make any turns more pronounced, with no sudden motions.
If you test your water heater and find that the straps are loosening or that it seems like it might tip, you may need to readjust.
Step 4: Unloading
The unloading of the water heater is just as difficult as the loading.
This will take a few people to keep the water heater upright and ensure that it will not tip in any way.
You will want to unload the water heater directly onto the dolly again.
Once it is on the dolly, you can then move it to its new location.
The hardest part of transporting a water heater vertically is ensuring that it does not tip at any time.
If you experience a water heater tipping, you know how bad this can be.
Try to have at least two or three people work on this project together to make sure that it goes smoothly.
Steps For Transporting A Water Heater Horizontally
Although transporting a water heater horizontally is a bit easier than transporting it vertically, you will need to be very careful that you do not do any damage.
The steps for transporting a water heater horizontally should be followed carefully.
Over the years, you may have found that transporting a water heater vertically is the only proper way to do it, but many plumbers will transport horizontally because they know how to do it.
Here are the steps to transport a water heater horizontally.
Step 1: Finding A Flat Area
The first part of this process is to find an area where you can lay your water heater down.
The area must be free of debris that could damage the water heater.
Some people will try and put the water heater in the back of a large car or SUV, and this is something that can easily be done.
If you fold down the seats in the back of the truck or car, you may even be able to use the headrests to help prevent the rolling of the water heater.
Step 2: Securing The Water Heater In Place
As you can imagine, when a water heater is placed on its side, it is subject to rolling.
The rolling of the water heater is difficult because it will likely result in the interior of the water heater experiencing damage.
This is why you will want to use ratchet straps to help secure the water heater in place.
The straps will keep the heater from moving around, and it will ensure that you are able to drive without the fear of the water heater rolling.
Some people will secure the heater directly to the dolly with the ratchet straps, and this can be effective as an easy way to get the water heater out of the vehicle.
Step 3: Padding
Padding is used to ensure that your water heater is safe.
Most of the time, a moving blanket is the best way to ensure that no damage is done.
Some people have used blankets and comforters, and they can work as well.
However, you must ensure that the blankets or comforters are thick enough to prevent any damage from happening.
Thin blankets will probably end up allowing scratches and damage to the water heater itself.
For plumbers who are installing water heaters quite often, it can make sense to have a box built in the vehicle that acts as a place for a standard-size water heater to sit.
If there are many projects throughout the course of a week, this will work as a better alternative to having to strap down the water heater every time.
Plumbers will tell you that it can be perfectly safe to unload a water heater horizontally but you must ensure that it cannot roll, and certainly do not put anything on top of it when you transport it.
Can I Pay Someone To Move A Water Heater?
If you have read our information about how to move a water heater and realized that this is not something you are capable of doing, then chances are you need to hire someone to do this for you.
Most of the time, if you hire a plumber to replace a water heater, as part of their services, they will move the water heater for you.
However, sometimes this is not the case, or maybe you want to try and move the water heater on your own.
There is no denying the fact that moving a water heater on your own and purchasing a new one on your own is certainly more affordable than doing it with the help of a plumber.
If you realize that the concept of doing this is just too much and you are worried about the potential issues that could come up, then it makes sense to hire someone.
Typically, it will cost you a few hundred dollars and maybe less to have someone come and pick the water heater up and move it for you.
Now, if you want to actually relocate a water heater within a home, then you may need to consider another option.
This requires someone to not only physically move the water heater but also run new lines and potentially even build new access to the water heater.
It will cost $500 or more to have this done.
Calling a local plumber for a project like this would be a smart idea.
How Much Does A Water Heater Cost?
When looking to purchase a home, three of the most common questions are the age of the roof, the age of the AC, and the age of the water heater.
The reason that people want to know the ages of these items is that they are three of the more expensive items to have to replace at some point.
If you are smart about your water heater and the way you take care of it, you will hopefully not have to replace it all that often.
The water heater itself is not all that expensive.
However, when you look at the pricing for the installation, delivery, and disposal of the old one, this is when fees start to add up.
Truly, you won’t have much of a choice about these issues, so this is a cost you will just have to accept.
Typically speaking, a water heater may be around $600 for an electric or closer to $800 for a gas model.
In addition, there are some optional features that you can get with a water heater that will change the pricing considerably.
Think about the fact that as long as your home is getting hot water, the features are not going to matter all that much.
Some of the newer tankless water heater systems will cost thousands of dollars, but people like the way they work in the home.
With the tankless water heater system, the installation is also considerably less difficult simply because of the overall size of the unit.
Some homes that have limited space for utilities are going to like the features of the tankless water heater.
In addition, there are plenty of homes that have water heaters in the attic of the house.
This is typically not a great thing because the attic can be a place that is not checked on often, and the water heater could start to leak without a homeowner knowing.
Instead, it makes sense to store the water heater in a different area of the home, even if it costs thousands of dollars more.
The end result could be a much fairer price because of the functionality and the longevity.
Hopefully, you now feel as though you have enough information to decide on the transporting of your water heater.
If you are doing this project alone, we seriously recommend you hire someone to help.
The overall transportation of a water heater is going to be heavy and bulky.
Doing this on your own will very likely lead to an issue that will cause irreversible damage and perhaps even injury to yourself.
Instead, be smart, use the proper steps and equipment, and take your time with this process.
You do not want to rush the process and end up having to purchase a new water heater.
Remember that even though the water heater looks like a big empty tank, components inside can get damaged if the unit is dropped, or it rolls around while transporting.