Can You Lay a Water Heater Down? Unraveling the Truth

Are you in the process of moving or replacing your water heater? If so, you may be wondering whether it’s safe to transport a water heater laying down. This article aims to provide you with the necessary information and guidelines to make an informed decision.

Knowing the best practices for transporting a water heater can help prevent damage to the appliance and ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. So, if you’ve ever wondered whether you can lay a water heater down without causing any harm, read on to discover the answers and expert advice on “can you lay a water heater down”.

Quick check: the highlights of the article

  • Some say to only transport water heaters upright due to conventional wisdom and understanding water heater construction.
  • Professionals, including plumbers and manufacturers, have guidelines and perspectives on how to safely transport water heaters.
  • Equipment such as a dolly or hand truck, furniture pad, and ratchet straps are needed to transport water heaters laying down.

can you lay a water heater down

The Conventional Wisdom

Experts strongly advise transporting water heaters in an upright position to prevent any potential risks or damage. Transporting them horizontally can result in water damage, dislodged internal components, leaks, and property damage. Additionally, it can cause cracks and impair the unit’s performance and lifespan.

To ensure the safe arrival of your water heater, it is crucial to adhere to the conventional wisdom recommended by professionals and transport it upright.

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Understanding Water Heater Construction

Crafting the perfect water heater entails meticulous construction, ensuring optimal functionality and performance. These intricate systems are commonly built using steel, stainless steel, or glass-lined steel, each boasting its own distinct advantages. Adequate insulation plays a vital role in preserving heat and minimizing energy consumption.

Additionally, proper ventilation is imperative to avert the accumulation of hazardous gases. By comprehending the intricacies of water heater construction, individuals can make informed choices, prioritizing both efficiency and safety.

can you lay a water heater down

Plumbers’ Perspective

Transporting water heaters can be a risky business, especially when it comes to the potential for water damage. To ensure a smooth journey, it is crucial to secure the water heater using straps or restraints. Plumbers, with their careful handling and expertise, are the go-to professionals for such tasks.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of moving a water heater , it’s best to consult a trusted plumber to avoid any mishaps.

Manufacturers’ Guidelines

Ensuring the safe transportation of a water heater is of utmost importance. Manufacturers have thoughtfully provided guidelines to assist in this process. Ideally, the water heater should be transported in an upright position to minimize the risk of damage.

However, if circumstances dictate that it must be laid horizontally, specific instructions are available to ensure safe transportation. Securing the water heater with straps or restraints is crucial to prevent any shifting during transit. It is imperative to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions to guarantee proper securing of the water heater.

By diligently following these guidelines, you can safeguard your water heater from any potential harm during transportation . Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model to ensure accurate compliance with their recommendations.

can you lay a water heater down

Fun Fact: Did you know that water heaters can weigh anywhere from 100 to 300 pounds? That’s like carrying around a small elephant!


My name is Warren and I am a professional plumber licensed and insured in the State of California. I have been in the business for over 10 years and have undertaken small and large projects including bathroom renovation, toilets, garbage disposals, faucets, sinks and kitchen plumbing jobs. This site is based on my experience with toilets. I have installed the best brands and models in all sizes and shapes. I hope this helps you with the unbiased information that you need to make the right decision. …weiterlesen

Preparing the Water Heater for Transport

Preparing Your Water Heater for a Seamless Move Embarking on a journey with your water heater requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth and worry-free experience. Take these essential steps to ready your water heater for the voyage ahead. Begin by severing the connection between your water heater and its power source.

Safely switch off the electricity supply and unplug the unit from the wall outlet, mitigating the risk of any electrical mishaps during transport. To safeguard against leaks or water damage, it is crucial to drain the water heater. Close the water supply valve leading to the heater and attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom.

Direct the opposite end of the hose towards a suitable drainage area and open the drain valve, allowing the water to completely drain out. Lastly, ensure the temperature and pressure relief valve is securely fastened. Neglecting to do so may result in damage or leaks during the journey.

Utilize a wrench to tighten the valve, ensuring it is firmly in place. By diligently following these steps to disconnect the power, drain the water, and secure the valve, you can rest assured that your water heater will embark on a safe and seamless journey to its new abode.

can you lay a water heater down

Transporting the Water Heater to Your Vehicle

Ensuring the safe transport of your water heater requires a meticulous approach. Begin by navigating doorways and stairs with utmost care. Shield the heater from jolts and shakes by providing ample padding or blankets.

Once loaded into your vehicle, ensure it is firmly secured using straps or other reliable methods. Remember, prioritizing safety is paramount. Take your time, remain vigilant of your surroundings, and adhere to these guidelines to ensure a seamless journey.

Securing the Water Heater in Your Vehicle

Ensuring the safe transportation of a water heater is of utmost importance. To safeguard against any potential harm, it is vital to properly secure it in your vehicle using ratchet straps . By positioning the controls facing upwards and tightly fastening the straps, you can minimize the risk of damage during transportation.

This ensures that your water heater arrives unscathed and ready for installation, ensuring a steady supply of hot water for years to come.

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can you lay a water heater down

Should You Lay a Water Heater Down When Transporting It?

  • Transporting a water heater upright is the conventional wisdom, but is it really necessary?
  • Water heaters are typically constructed with a glass lining on the inside and insulation surrounding it.
  • Plumbers generally recommend transporting water heaters upright to prevent damage to the glass lining and internal components.
  • Manufacturers also often state in their guidelines that water heaters should be transported upright.

Using a Dolly or Hand Truck

Transporting a water heater can be a daunting task, but fear not! With the help of a trusty dolly or hand truck, the journey becomes a breeze. Simply secure the water heater in place, tilt it back using the handles, and take steady steps to avoid any mishaps.

These handy tools are designed to navigate even the trickiest of spaces, including stairs. Plus, they offer extra stability and come equipped with straps or hooks for added security. Remember, safety should always be your top priority.

Check the wheels, lift with caution, and stay alert for any obstacles or uneven surfaces. By harnessing the power of a dolly or hand truck, you’ll effortlessly transport your water heater while keeping safety at the forefront.

Importance of Furniture Pad

When moving your water heater, it is crucial to take precautions to prevent any damage. One effective way to do this is by using a furniture pad. These pads provide cushioning that protects the heater from bumps, vibrations, and potential dents or scratches.

Additionally, they offer insulation, helping to maintain the temperature and extend the lifespan of your electric water heater. To ensure maximum protection, tightly wrap the heater and secure it with tape or straps, making sure to position the controls upwards. By utilizing a furniture pad, you can rest assured that your water heater will remain safe and in excellent condition throughout the entire moving process.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this invaluable tool when transporting your appliance.

can you lay a water heater down

Securing with Ratchet Straps

Ensuring the safety of your water heater during transportation is crucial, and ratchet straps play a vital role in achieving this. Here are some essential steps to guarantee a firm and reliable hold. Begin by properly tightening the straps, getting rid of any unnecessary slack.

Then, distribute the tension evenly to avoid imbalances or tilting. Lastly, make sure to periodically check the tightness of the straps throughout the journey. By adhering to these techniques, you can rest assured that your water heater is well-protected and secure.

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Tips for Transporting a Water Heater: Information and Guidelines (Tabelle)

Aspects to Consider Information to Include
Water Heater Type
  • Differentiate between tankless and tank-style water heaters
  • Highlight any specific considerations for each type
Manufacturer’s Recommendations
  • Include a column specifying the major water heater manufacturers and their specific guidelines
  • List any specific instructions or warnings provided by each manufacturer
Preparation Steps
  • Provide a step-by-step guide to properly prepare a water heater for transport when laying it down
  • Include instructions on shutting off power/gas supply and disconnecting all necessary connections
Equipment Needed
  • List essential equipment required for safe transport, such as a dolly or hand truck, ratchet straps, and furniture pads
  • Include any recommended tools or additional equipment that can enhance safety
Securing and Positioning
  • Explain the proper techniques for securing the water heater in a vehicle when transporting it horizontally
  • Specify the recommended position and orientation to minimize potential damage
Draining Procedures
  • Detail the steps involved in draining a water heater before transport
  • Highlight any precautions to prevent water leakage or damage during the process
Potential Risks
  • Identify potential risks or challenges associated with transporting a water heater laying down
  • Provide tips on how to mitigate these risks effectively
Limitations and Considerations
  • Discuss the limitations of transporting a water heater laying down, such as size restrictions for certain vehicles
  • Mention the importance of having adequate assistance and the potential need for professional help
Final Recommendations
  • Offer general advice and best practices for a successful and safe transportation experience
  • Recap the key points and emphasize the importance of following manufacturer guidelines and safety precautions

Where to Place the Straps

Properly securing a water heater during transportation is essential to prevent any shifting. The key lies in positioning the straps correctly, ensuring that the water heater remains in place throughout the journey. To avoid any movement, evenly distribute tension along the water heater.

Tighten the straps in a manner that applies equal pressure on all sides, effectively reducing the risk of shifting during transport. It is important to regularly check the tightness of the straps throughout the transportation process. The vibrations and bumps encountered on the road can cause them to loosen over time.

By conducting regular checks , you can make any necessary adjustments to maintain the secure positioning of the water heater. Always remember, using straps to secure the water heater is crucial for its safe transportation. By following these guidelines on strap placement, tension distribution, and regular checks, you can transport your water heater with peace of mind.

can you lay a water heater down

Which Side Up?

Transporting a water heater requires careful consideration of its controls. To prevent damage and potential malfunctions, ensure that the controls are facing upwards during transportation. Securely fasten the water heater in an upright position to prevent shifting.

By taking these precautions , you can safely transport your water heater without risking any harm to its controls .

Draining the Water Heater

Before attempting to move a water heater, it is crucial to drain it completely to avoid any potential leaks or harm. Start by disconnecting the power supply or gas, then locate the drain valve and connect a garden hose to it. Direct the water to a suitable drainage area and open the valve, allowing all the water to empty out.

Neglecting this step could result in messy and expensive consequences. Take the necessary precautions and drain the water heater thoroughly before transporting it, ensuring a seamless and stress-free move.

can you lay a water heater down

If you’re wondering whether you can lay a water heater down, we’ve got the answer for you! Check out this video from Ask This Old House as they debunk common myths about water heaters. Find out the truth and get expert advice on handling your water heater properly. Don’t miss it!

YouTube video

Positioning The Controls Up

When moving a water heater, it is vital to ensure that the controls are positioned correctly. If the controls are facing downwards during transportation, it can result in damage and potential leaks. To avoid any harm, it is essential to keep the controls facing upwards.

This can be accomplished by securely packaging the water heater in a strong box or crate and providing cushioning with a soft blanket or towel. By paying attention to these important details, you can safely transport your water heater while preserving its peak performance.

Protecting the Water Heater From Dents and Scratches

When preparing to transport your water heater, safeguarding it from potential harm is of utmost importance. To achieve this, employ protective padding such as foam pads, bubble wrap, or even repurposed blankets. Adding an additional layer of defense against impacts, encasing the water heater in a soft blanket or towel is also highly recommended.

Alternatively, consider securing it within a well-fitted, robust box or crate to minimize the risk of shifting or scratching. By diligently implementing these measures, you can rest assured that your water heater will reach its final destination unscathed, devoid of any unsightly dents or scratches.

can you lay a water heater down

Does It Fit in Your Vehicle?

Before attempting to transport a water heater, it is essential to ensure that it will fit inside your vehicle. Take the time to measure the dimensions of the water heater and compare them to the available space in your vehicle. This step is crucial in guaranteeing a smooth and secure transportation process.

After all, you wouldn’t want to struggle with squeezing the water heater into your vehicle or risk damaging either the heater or your beloved car. Additionally, it is wise to plan how you will safely load and unload the water heater, taking into consideration its weight and whether you have the necessary equipment or assistance. By carefully assessing these factors, you can embark on the journey of transporting your water heater with confidence and tranquility.

How to Safely Transport a Water Heater: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare the water heater for transport by turning off the gas or electricity supply.
  2. Drain the water heater to prevent any water leakage during transportation.
  3. Secure the water heater in an upright position on a dolly or hand truck.
  4. Use furniture pads or blankets to protect the water heater from dents and scratches.
  5. Secure the water heater to the dolly or hand truck using ratchet straps.
  6. Carefully maneuver the water heater to your vehicle, ensuring it remains upright.
  7. Secure the water heater inside your vehicle using additional straps or tie-downs.
  8. Drive carefully, avoiding any sudden stops or rough roads that may cause the water heater to shift or tip.

Do You Have Help?

Embarking on the daunting task of moving a water heater singlehandedly is not for the faint of heart. However, enlisting the help of another individual can transform this arduous endeavor into a far more manageable and secure undertaking. By sharing the load, the risk of personal injury is significantly reduced, as is the likelihood of accidents or damage befalling the prized appliance.

Moreover, an extra pair of capable hands ensures that the weight is evenly distributed, allowing for seamless maneuvering through tight spaces. Let us not forget the crucial role of securing the heater within the vehicle, eliminating any potential hazards that may arise during transportation. To guarantee a safe and efficient journey, effective communication and coordination are paramount.

Take the time to discuss roles, lifting techniques, and plans for loading and unloading. Remember to prioritize safety at all times, employing proper lifting techniques, taking necessary breaks, and remaining vigilant of your surroundings. With the aid of a trusted companion, the once daunting task of transporting a water heater becomes a smoother and less stressful experience for all involved.

can you lay a water heater down

1/2 Final Thoughts

Ensuring the safety of your water heater during transportation is paramount. Adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions is vital in preventing any potential damage and ensuring a seamless journey. Whenever feasible, transport the water heater in an upright position to minimize any risks.

Utilize ratchet straps or suitable equipment to securely fasten it, preventing any movement. To avoid any harm, position the controls facing upwards. Always prioritize following the manufacturer’s guidelines for handling and transporting your water heater.

By doing so, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of damage and guarantee a secure arrival at your desired location.

can you lay a water heater down


In conclusion, transporting a water heater laying down can be done safely if proper precautions are taken. While the conventional wisdom suggests that water heaters should only be transported upright, understanding the construction of water heaters and following guidelines from professionals and manufacturers can provide alternatives. By preparing the water heater for transport, securing it in your vehicle using equipment like a dolly, furniture pad, and ratchet straps, and following specific steps for new or used water heaters, you can transport a water heater laying down without causing damage.

However, it’s important to consider limitations such as the size of your vehicle and the need for assistance. Overall, this article provides valuable information for those wondering about the possibility of laying a water heater down during transportation. For more helpful articles on home maintenance and repair, we recommend exploring our other resources on plumbing, appliance installation, and moving heavy items.


Is it OK to lay a water heater on its side?

The water heater’s heating element is specifically intended to be installed in an upright position. If the hot water heater is laid on its side, the alignment of the element can be disturbed, which can impact its efficiency in heating the water. Consequently, this may lead to insufficient hot water availability or higher energy usage. Please ensure that the water heater is positioned vertically for optimal performance. (25th August 2023)

Can water heaters be laid flat?

It is possible to transport the items in a horizontal position, but it is not advisable to do so. If they are transported this way, they should be stood upright for 24-48 hours before being plugged in. It is important to point the gas valve upwards during transportation to avoid any damage. (Additional information: Transporting the items in a horizontal position increases the risk of damage to the internal components. Therefore, it is recommended to transport them in an upright position to ensure their proper functioning upon arrival. By allowing the items to stand upright for 24-48 hours before plugging them in, any potential air bubbles in the gas valve can dissipate, ensuring smooth operation.)

Does a water heater have to stand up?

If your floor has even a slight tendency to absorb moisture, it can still suffer from rotting even if the tank never leaks. It’s worth noting that water heaters are only required to be elevated (as per code) if they are using a flammable fuel source, such as gas or propane. In those cases, it is the ignition mechanism that needs to be raised in accordance with the code.

Does a water heater need to be raised off the ground?

Modern water heaters, unlike older models, no longer require elevation off the ground. While some older water heaters may still be installed on raised platforms, it is important to note that this is no longer necessary for new models. In fact, all gas water heaters manufactured since 2003 are equipped with Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant (FVIR) technology, eliminating the need for elevation. This ensures that these water heaters are safe and efficient without the added requirement of being raised off the ground.

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