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Introduction to Relocating a Hot Water System

Having hot water available at all times is an essential part of modern living. At some point, you may find yourself needing or wanting to relocate your hot water system. Knowing what’s involved in moving a hot water system allows you to be prepared and make the process go smoothly.

Relocating a hot water system requires careful planning and consideration. The logistics of moving the unit, as well as safely disconnecting, preparing a new location, and reconnecting must be taken into account. There are also permits, inspections and other requirements to factor in when moving gas or electric hot water heaters.

Water heaters are essential appliance in every home, so having the right information ensures your hot water system gets moved safely and efficiently. By understanding the steps involved and working with professional plumbers, especially for gas heaters, relocating your hot water system can be a straightforward endeavour.

Safety Considerations When Moving a Hot Water System

When relocating a hot water system, safety should always be the top priority. Proper planning and precautions are necessary to prevent accidents and injuries.

One of the most important safety considerations is getting the gas or electricity supply turned off and disconnected by a professional prior to moving a hot water system. Attempting to move a still-connected water heater poses electrocution and fire risks.

It’s also essential to completely drain the water tank before relocation. Water heaters can weigh several hundred pounds when full, making them unwieldy and prone to damage or leaks during transport.

Safe lifting techniques like having multiple people share the load, using dollies and avoiding twisting should be used when moving the unit. Wearing protective equipment like gloves and eye protection is also recommended.

Carefully checking for any loose connectors or broken parts afterwards is advised to spot potential gas or water leaks early. Having a professional plumber inspect everything after installation is highly recommended.

Gas hot water systems in particular should only be moved by licenced professionals as reconnecting the gas line improperly can lead to serious explosions and fire hazards.

Relocating a water heater requires skilled hands and experience. So while relocating your hot water system yourself may be possible, it’s often best to hire a professional plumber service.

Choosing a New Location for the Hot Water System

When relocating a hot water system, one of the most important considerations is choosing an appropriate new location. The right location will ensure optimal performance and accessibility.

Some key factors to think about when picking a spot include:

  • Proximity to existing plumbing lines - Positioning the water heater close to existing hot and cold water pipes, gas lines, and drainage will minimise modifications.
  • Ventilation - Adequate airflow is essential, especially for gas water heaters which produce exhaust fumes. Small enclosed spaces should be avoided.
  • Accessibility - The area should allow relatively easy access for maintenance and repairs when needed.
  • Convenience - Locate the unit reasonably close to frequently used hot water points like showers and sinks.

Typical locations for hot water systems within homes are:

  • Basements - These allow ample room and offer access to ventilation.
  • Garages - Also tend to be spacious while keeping noise away from living areas.
  • Attics - Provide sufficient clearance while keeping the heater out of the way.
  • Utility/laundry rooms - Give access to water and drainage lines.
  • Closets - Can work in some cases with proper ventilation.

Outdoor areas are another option, especially for tankless heaters which are compact and weather-resistant. These can go on patios, against external walls, or on concrete slabs.

Tankless water heaters can be placed almost anywhere with access to power, gas, water lines and drainage. This makes finding a suitable new home for your hot water system a relatively straightforward process.

Preparing the New Location

p>Preparing the space for your relocated hot water system is an important step that helps ensure proper installation and operation. Here are some tips on getting the new location ready:

Remodelling the AreaSome minor construction work may be required to accommodate the water heater in the new spot. This might involve:

  • Extending or rerouting hot and cold water pipes and gas lines to reach the water heater.
  • Installing new electrical wiring and outlets if needed.
  • Reinforcing walls or the floor to bear the weight of a full heater.
  • Building enclosures or partitions for tankless outdoor units.

Clearing SpaceMake sure there is sufficient space for the water heater, including:

  • Enough room for a technician to access all sides for repairs.
  • Clearance from combustible surfaces if a gas water heater.


The Step-by-Step Process of Relocating a Hot Water System

Once you’ve selected the new location and prepared the space, follow these key steps to safely relocate your hot water system:

  1. Turn off the power supply - Switch off electricity at the circuit breaker for electric heaters or the gas valve for gas units.
  2. Shut off the water - Locate the cold water shut-off valve and turn it off.
  3. Drain the tank - Open the pressure relief valve and attach a garden hose to drain all water from the tank.
  4. Disconnect water lines - Unscrew the water connectors attached to the inlet and outlet.
  5. Disconnect gas or electrical lines.
  6. Disconnect and cap vent pipes.
  7. Remove and transport the water heater - Use dollies, lifting straps and multiple people when moving the unit.
  8. Install in the new location - Reconnect water, gas and electrical lines, vent pipes and refill the tank.
  9. Inspect carefully - Check for leaks, faulty fitments and other issues.
  10. Consider a pro - Hiring a professional plumber to move gas hot water systems is highly recommended.

With some planning and care taken at each step, relocating a hot water system can be manageable. But due to the gas lines and complexity, it’s best left to licenced plumbers.

Hiring a Professional Plumber


Permits and Regulations for Relocating a Hot Water System

When relocating a hot water system in Australia, there are certain permits and regulations to be aware of. Compliance is crucial for safety and to avoid problems down the line.

Any significant plumbing changes to your home generally require approval from your local council. Moving a hot water unit’s location and rerouting pipes qualifies as significant modifications.

For gas hot water systems, a licenced plumber must obtain a gas work permit before disconnecting or reconnecting gas lines. There are strict rules around gas work to prevent leaks and explosions.

With electric hot water systems, you may need permits for any new electrical wiring required at the new location. A licenced electrician should perform this work.

Your local council can provide all the specifics on required permits and inspections. As experienced plumbers, Balmain Plumbing stays up-to-date on the latest regulations to ensure full compliance when moving hot water systems for clients.

Adhering to all the rules and using qualified tradespeople keep your new system installation safe. It also prevents any issues when selling your home down the track.


Relocating a hot water system is a project that requires careful planning and consideration. With the right preparations, it can be managed successfully as a DIY endeavour. However, working with gas lines introduces risks and complexities best left to professional plumbers.

For anyone looking to move their hot water system in the Balmain area, the experienced team at Balmain Plumbing can assist. For anyone looking to move their hot water system in the Balmain area, the experienced team at Balmain Plumbing can assist.

They stay up-to-date on all permits and regulations to ensure a smooth, fully compliant installation.

To enquire about relocating your hot water system with Balmain Plumbing’s assistance, feel free to email, call or book an appointment online today.

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