While a water heater can provide you with many years of excellent service, at some point, you will have to replace it. If you use a professional to install a new water heater, you won’t have to ask the question “what do I do with my old water heater”, he’ll take it with him when he leaves. But what if you have an old one sitting in your basement or garage and have no idea what to do with it?
The first thing you must do is drain the old water heater. This can be accomplished by connecting a water hose to the drain valve. Make sure the water runs to a floor drain or outside to prevent any possible damage to the flooring.
Once the water heater is drained, it is time to figure out how to get rid of it. Before you set it beside your trashcans for pickup, contact your local garbage disposal department to make sure they will take it. In some cases they have special pickup rules that allow large item pickup for a fee.
If your local garbage disposal department does not dispose of water heaters, utilize the internet to find other disposal resources. There are various recycling websites that may have a branch in your neighborhood for recycling the water heater. You can even contact area steel industries to inquire about recycling.
Your local utility company may be able to direct you to an appropriate facility. You should also ask about any “community cleanup” days. These special events are often held by communities to encourage residents to get rid of old appliances and other garbage that is normally not disposed of with regular garbage.
If all else fails, take advantage of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, where you can ask friends and neighbors for advice on disposal. You may find out about disposal resources that are not well known.