Water Heater Disposal

What To Do With Old Water Heater

It’s likely you’ve never given water heater disposal or recycling any thought prior to needing to replace your home’s water heater. Hot water heaters generally last roughly ten years give or take a few years, so this isn’t something homeowner’s encounter on a regular basis.

For many years it was common practice to send your old hot water heater straight to the junkyard. Now that we are all much more aware of the environmental impact all our waste has on our planet, we know there is almost always a better option. That is true for old water heater disposal as well.

How to Dispose of Hot Water Heater

If you’ve hired a plumber to replace and install your new hot water heater, it is likely that they will haul away and properly dispose of your water heater. This is the fastest solution to dispose of your water heater.

If you are interested in the quickest and easiest solution it may be wise to check with the company installing your new water heater first. There are regulations set forth for these companies to ensure they are not simply dumping your old water heater, but properly hauling away and disposing of old materials. There may be an additional fee for hauling away, but not usually.

However, if you are the DIY type and installing your new water heater yourself, you will need to figure out where to recycle your old water heater. There are a few different options for you.

Free Water Heater Disposal

If transporting your old hot water heater to a recycling center or scrapyard poses a problem for you, there are also many pickup services that will pickup at your home and haul away.

Just make sure they are reputable and will be taking your hot water heater to a proper recycling center and not straight to a landfill. There are some unscrupulous businesses out there who will strip anything high value like the copper coils or wiring and illegally dump the 40 gallon water tank.

For a small fee, you can get a junk removal service such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK or Junk King. They will come to your home and remove your old heater and any other junk you need to get rid of.

Can you Scrap a Hot Water Heater?

A quick answer, yes you can scrap your old hot water heater. Many recycling centers will accept your water heater for scrap metals.

There are a few necessary steps prior to taking in your old water heater to a recycling center. Make certain your old tank is fully drained, this is usually all that is required at larger recycling centers and scrap yards.

If you are hoping to get more for your old water heater and taking it to a scrap yard that recycles all types of metal, you may want to take apart the old water heater and separate parts. There is copper, brass, aluminum, and steel that can be removed from a disassembled tank.

This may be required to receive the highest payout for your old scrap water heater. For example, nearly all older water heaters have a copper coil inside, it may be worth the effort to remove the copper coil and recycle on its own.

Water Heater Recycling Near Me

If you are not interested in scrapping your old water heater for cash, you can easily find a water heater recycle center near you. Most cities have large recycling centers that accept bulky items like 40 gallon water heaters, however you will need to transport it yourself.

Be sure to call your local recycling center before bringing in your old water heater because while most will pay you the going rate for scrap metal, some may charge you a disposal fee.

How Much Money Will I Make For Recycling Water Heater?

How much do you get for scrapping a water heater? Water heater scrap value can vary by area.

The dollar amount is dependent upon a few factors, including your location, size (30 gallon, 40 gallon, 50 gallon), but the range is between $10 – $30 and possibly more if you are willing to get your hands dirty and take apart parts to separate the more valuable copper components.

Scrap metal price for water heater recycling can vary by your location, since different areas have different going rates for valuable elements such as the copper, steel, and brass.

Can I Donate a Working Old Water Heater?

If you’re replacing your water heater simply to upgrade to one that is more efficient or can handle your needs better, you can try donating your old hot water heater. There may be an organization or people in need in your community.

It makes the most sense environmentally to continue using the working hot water heater instead of disposing of it. It only takes a moment to post a craigslist or newspaper ad for a free working water heater.

Another way to donate your old hot water heater may be through a larger charitable donation center in your area such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill or a local Habitat for Humanity center. Not all of these centers accept large donations like these, but some will, as long as they are in working condition.

Repurpose Your Old Hot Water Heater

A newer trend in the recycling world is upcycling, taking an old unnecessary item that would otherwise end up in a landfill and turning into something new with a unique use. This idea can work for your old hot water heater as well.

If the small monetary value you may or may not get for scrapping your old hot water heater isn’t important to you and you have a bit of creativity or ingenuity you can do a quick search for upcycling water heater tanks and get some pretty awesome ideas.

Remember these tanks are very sturdy, and if yours is free of physical damage you can turn it into any number of things such as: a smoker, a fire pit, a wood burning stove for your patio. You can lay it horizontally and cut out a section to turn it into a large planter. There are endless possibilities to repurpose old water heaters no longer useful.

Hot Water Heater Recycling

To quickly review, there are several options available to dispose your old hot water heater:

  • If a professional plumber or company is doing the installation, they often can pickup your old at the same time.
  • If you want to make some easy cash you can scrap your old water heater as a whole or taken apart to increase your payout potential.
  • You can potentially donate the hot water heater if it is still in good working condition.
  • If you are the creative type, you can turn the old water heater into something new and useful to you and your family or make a cool home art project.