water heater disposal

Water heaters are an essential part of our daily lives, providing us with hot water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning. However, when it comes time to replace your old water heater, you may be wondering what to do with the old one. Disposing of water heaters can be tricky, as they contain hazardous materials that need to be handled properly. In this article, we will discuss sustainable water heater disposal tips and tricks.

Recycling Water Heaters

One of the most sustainable ways to dispose of a water heater is to recycle it. Many recycling facilities accept water heaters, as they contain valuable materials such as copper and steel. To recycle your water heater, follow these steps:

  • Drain the water from the tank.
  • Disconnect the water and gas lines.
  • Remove the access covers and insulation.
  • Remove the heating element or gas burner assembly.
  • Remove the tank from the stand.
  • Take the tank to a recycling facility.

Donating Water Heaters

Another sustainable option for water heater disposal is to donate it. If your old water heater is still in good condition, consider donating it to a local charity or non-profit organization. Many organizations accept donations of appliances, including water heaters, and will either use them in their own facilities or sell them to raise funds for their programs.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

If your water heater is beyond repair and cannot be recycled or donated, it may need to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Water heaters contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury, which can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. To dispose of your water heater as hazardous waste, contact your local waste management facility or hazardous waste disposal center for guidance.

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Tips for Sustainable Water Heater Use

While proper disposal of your old water heater is important, it’s also essential to use your new water heater in a sustainable way to prolong its lifespan and reduce your environmental impact. Here are some tips:

  • Set your water heater to the lowest temperature that is still comfortable for you.
  • Insulate your water heater and pipes to reduce heat loss.
  • Fix leaks promptly to reduce water waste.
  • Consider a tankless water heater, which heats water on demand and eliminates the need for a tank.
  • Choose an energy-efficient water heater, such as a solar or hybrid model.


Proper disposal of your old water heater is important for both the environment and your own safety. Recycling or donating your water heater is the most sustainable option, but if that is not possible, be sure to dispose of it as hazardous waste. To reduce your environmental impact, use your new water heater in a sustainable way by setting it to the lowest temperature possible, insulating it, fixing leaks, and choosing an energy-efficient model.