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Avoid Disaster on Your DIY Water Heater

Madison WMTV logo Madison WMTV 6/30/2020
portrait of senior plumber at work © Photographer:Gualtiero Boffi portrait of senior plumber at work

Sponsored - The following content was created on behalf of HJ Pertzborn Plumbing and Fire Protection and does not reflect the opinions of Gray Television or its editorial staff. To learn more about HJ Pertzborn Plumbing and Fire Protection, visit

There is nothing worse than hopping into the shower only to discover you have no hot water! Your water heater won’t last forever, in fact on average they last about 8-12 years. How do you know if it’s time for a new one or if your water heater may need repairs?

These signs are a good indicator that your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced:

- Your water heater is leaking

- The water in your home isn’t getting hot or taking longer than usual to get hot

- Rusty water comes up when you turn on the water

If it’s time for a new one, is this something you can tackle yourself as a DIY project?

“I Think it’s best left to the professionals,” said Min Hilsenhoff, service plumbing manager at HJ Pertzborn Plumbing and Fire Protection. “I think some people go into a big box store and they see the price of a water heater by itself and the price point is appealing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a professional that deals with natural gas piping if you have natural gas, or a professional that knows how to properly vent it, because if it’s not properly vented you could run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

But there are many more steps to the project than simply buying the water heater.

“There is a very large very heavy water heater that has to be taken into a basement. There’s one that’s already there that has to be drained down, removed and disposed of properly. There are rules to the proper way to dispose of a water heater. In the city of Madison you need to purchase a sticker to put it on the street.”

Depending on whether your water heater is electric or gas, you’ll also be working with power supplies that you may not be comfortable with or qualified to work with. Professional plumbers install water heaters every day.

“When HJ Pertzborn puts in your water heater we take care of all that, we take out the old one dispose of it properly, so you don’t have to worry about all that. You also have the peace of mind that if there is an issue and it was installed by a professional such as HJ Pertzborn, you just have to pick up the phone and call because we warranty our installation and labor for a period of one year, p[plus there is an additional warranty supplied by the manufacturer. But all you have to do is call no matter what period of time you’re in that you’ve had that heater and we’ll take care of you and make sure you get back in hot water.”

The pros at HJ Pertzborn can be reached at 608-256-3900 or at

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