3 Steps You Should Take When Disposing Of A Water Heater

When your water heater begins to leak your primary concern is replacing it quickly. Once you have addressed the problem by installing a new water heater you will face a new challenge; how to dispose of your old water heater.

There are some specific steps that should be taken to ensure the disposal process goes smoothly, and here are three that you shouldn't overlook.

1. Contact your local waste management department.

Disposing of a spent water heater isn't as simple as throwing out an unwanted item. This is due to the fact that waste management facilities are generally not equipped to process hazardous materials.

The pilot light switches that come standard in many water heaters contain mercury, a substance that can be toxic when not disposed of correctly. By contacting your local waste management department, you will be able to determine the proper place to dispose of your water heater.

2. Consider recycling your old water heater.

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your unwanted water heater, recycling may be the answer. The average water heater can contain between 90 and 200 pounds of scrap metal.

Partnering with a scrap metal dealer may only yield you about $6 in profit, but it can be a great way to get rid of a non-functional water heater without contaminating the environment. Just be sure that you remove all the electronic controls prior to recycling, and recycle these items separately.

3. Be sure that you drain you water heater before disposal.

Whether you opt to recycle your water heater, or pay to have your local landfill dispose of the unit, it is essential that you take the time to drain the tank prior to disposal. Connecting a hose to your water heater's drain valve to direct water into a floor drain or outside accomplishes two purposes.

First, a tank that has been drained weighs much less than a full tank, making the old water heater easier for you to move. Second, landfills often charge by the pound when it comes to disposing of spent appliances, so you will end up paying more to get rid of a water heater with a full tank.

Replacing a dysfunctional water heater is difficult enough; don't make the process harder by lamenting over the disposal of your old water heater. Take the time to contact your local waste management facility, look into recycling options in your area, and drain your water heater's tank to make the disposal process go smoothly for your upcoming water heater installation.