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Water Heater Disposal – How To Get Rid Of Your Old Water Heater

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Water heaters are great appliances. They save energy, reduce heating costs, and provide hot water 24/7.

Unfortunately, they also pose a threat to our environment.

If you don’t properly dispose of them, they can cause serious damage to the environment.

You can recycle your water heater at your local recycling center or take it to a certified recycler.

But if you have an old water heater that is no longer working, you may want to consider disposing of it safely.

Here are some tips on how to get rid of your old water heater.

How To Remove Your Old Water Heater 

Remove all hoses from the tank by unscrewing the connections. Make sure to remove the hose clamps before removing any other parts.

Disconnect the electrical cord from the power source. If there are any exposed wires, cover them with tape.

If the tank has a removable top, be careful not to drop it when removing it. The tank could break into pieces and fall onto the ground.

Take off the bottom plate. This will allow you to lift the tank out of the unit.

Lift the tank up using two people. It should come easily out of the unit. Be careful not to drop it as it can break and fall back down.

Place the tank on a flat surface and then wheel it away. You can use a dolly or wheelbarrow to do this.

When the water heater has been removed, you will need to dispose of it. This can be accomplished using the methods below.

There are many ways you can dispose of your old water heater.

From throwing it in the trash to recycling it, here are some options for getting rid of your old water heater:

Throw It In The Trash

Water Heater Disposal - How To Get Rid Of Your Old Water Heater

Throwing your old water heater in the trash is probably the easiest way to get rid of it. Simply place it in the trash and throw it away.

Do not put anything else in the trash with your water heater, as it might contaminate the rest of the garbage.

Recycle It

Most municipalities offer curbside pickup for household waste.

In order to recycle your old water heater, you must first find a recycling facility near you.

Some facilities accept only certain types of items.

Check your city’s website or contact your local sanitation department to see what type of materials they accept.

Some recycling centers will pick up your old water heater free of charge. Just make sure to bring your old water heater to the facility.

Most facilities will require you to fill out paperwork , so they know exactly what kind of material they are picking up.

Once they receive your paperwork, they will contact you about when they will pick up your old appliance.

Some recycling centers will charge a fee for their services. These fees vary depending on the size of the item being recycled.

Donate It 

Many charities collect used water heaters. Contact your local charity organization to see if they accept donations.

Donating your old water heater to a charitable organization is a good way to help others while helping yourself.

If you can’t find an organization that wants your old water heater, then you could sell it online or through an advertisement in your local newspaper. 

There are many websites that sell old appliances, including water heaters.

Search online for “water heater” and then click on each site until you find one that sells water heaters.

You may also want to consider selling your old water heater locally at a garage sale.

Garage sales are great places to find things like furniture, clothes, books, and more. They are also great places to sell your old appliances.

Use It As Landfill 

Landfills are often filled with other kinds of trash.

If you have no intention of recycling your old water heater, it would be best to just toss it into the landfill.

The water heater won’t hurt anyone, and it will end up where it belongs.

However, there are times when landfills aren’t the best option.

For this reason, we recommend recycling your water heater if you don’t intend to donate it. 

Hire A Removal Service 

Removing your old water heater from its current location to another location can be very difficult.

This is especially true if you live in a small apartment building or townhouse complex.

Hiring a professional removal service to handle the job for you will save you time, money, and stress. 

A professional removal company will remove your old water heater safely and efficiently.

They will take care of all the heavy lifting and loading required to move your old water heater.

You can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $200 per hour to hire a professional removal service.

If you’re lucky enough to have any remaining parts left over after you’ve removed your old water heater, keep them!

Many companies use leftover parts as scrap metal. However, some companies even buy old appliances to reuse their components.

Scrap It For Parts 

Most people who have old water heaters simply throw away the entire thing. While this might seem like a waste, it’s actually not.

Many companies use leftover parts from old water heaters to create new ones.

For example, most manufacturers will purchase old water heaters to recycle their copper tubing.

Such tubing is commonly used in residential heating systems. Companies can then use these copper tubes to make new water heaters.

The same goes for old valves, thermostats, and other components. In fact, many companies will even buy old refrigerators to use their components. 

Some companies even buy old appliances and turn them into scrap metal.

Scrapping old appliances helps reduce the amount of garbage going into landfills.

How To Scrap Your Old Water Heater 

It’s easy to get started scrapping your old water heater.

All you need is an old water heater, a few tools, and some knowledge about how to properly dismantle it.

First, you’ll need to disconnect the electrical connections.

Start by removing the breaker panel cover and unscrewing the wires connected to the breaker box.

Once you’ve disconnected the wires, you should be able to see which wire connects to the electric motor.

Remove that wire first. Then, unplug the rest of the wires attached to the motor.

Next, you’ll want to disconnect the gas line. Locate the gas valve on the tank’s top surface.

Unscrew the cap covering the valve and pull out the valve itself. Next, locate the regulator hose.

This hose runs from the valve to the tank. Pull off the rubber fitting at the bottom of the hose and remove the hose itself.

Now, you’ll need to cut the pipe (see also ‘How To Cut PVC Pipe As Pro‘) connecting the tank to the pump. First, find the connection point on the side of the tank.

Use a hacksaw to cut through the plastic. Then, carefully pry up the two pieces of metal holding the tank to the pump with a screwdriver.

Finally, slide the tank off the pump.

Once you’ve removed the tank, you will be able to remove the various components that can be used as parts.

These components include the gas regulator, the anode rod, the heating elements, and the copper wiring. 

These parts can either be sold to local businesses or advertised online.

If you choose to sell the parts yourself, you’ll need to know what each part costs before selling them.

The average cost of a complete water heater ranges from $150-$300.


Disposing of your old water heater is easier than it sounds. You don’t need to pay to dispose of it.

Instead, you can take advantage of the money you save by recycling the appliance and scrapping it for parts. 

If you’d rather donate your old water heater instead of throwing it away, check out our guide to donating appliances.

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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