Have I mentioned that Hubs is not "handy"? lol. Love him. But he isn't "handy". After spending hours looking up and looking at different water heaters, we lucked out and found a Mom and Pop shop that carried the same brand that we had. We had looked into getting a Whirlpool one, but weren't sure and Lowe's had NO ONE around in that department. NO ONE. It was annoying.
We headed out to St. Peters and the owner of this Plumbing Supply company was EXTREMELY helpful. We got a 50gallon heater to replace the 40 gallon. He made sure we had the right tape (Teflon) and the bolts, too. Just a side note: we realized that a 40gal is really only good for 3-4 people. We have 6 people in our family and technically our house has 4 bathrooms, including a garden tub (which holds 40 gallons itself), 3 showers and 2 tubs. (2 showers have a tub, too). At some point in our house, it is possible that 4 people will be showering or bathing. (I will have teens in a few years. I hope they shower!!)
The difference in price was only $40. SO WORTH IT. Hub's cousin came over on Saturday and they spent about 4 hrs putting the new one in. They accidentally flooded my storage area (grrr) but I forgave them. HA! I mean, in the end, a little water is a small price to pay when we just saved $600. Oh, and I had to make the cousin a bologna and cheese sandwich. :)
For someone who is handy or knows what they are doing, 4 hrs would probably NOT be a typical time. This was a gas one, too. They were extremely careful and took their time to make sure there wouldn't be gas leaks or anything else.
Needless to say, this was still an expensive weekend, but easily HALF the amount of what we would have spent if we hadn't done it ourselves. The heater is working great, in fact, we had to turn it down a bit because I burned myself when we turned the water on. ouch.
Youtube is your friend. I am telling you, it's what helped me fix my shower leak a few months back and what helped us hang our kitchen light when it crapped out, too, this year. :) If only it made ACs. Haha!
I wish I could give you a step by step, but I stayed away. They had blow torches out at one point because the old unit had a piece that would not come off and so they heated it up to loosen it. Or so they say. We all know how boys get around their "toys". Any excuse to use a blow torch!