Hot Water Tank Fittings

2021 Dec 23 | Hot Water Tanks

Replacement of the original plastic and brass parts of the piping that delivers water into and out of the hot water tank.

Before – Brass fittings, Plastic pipes and elbows

After – Copper fittings, pipes and elbows

This page documents my experience having the hot water tank pipes refitted in Spring 2022.

I used Milani for my tank because at the time they could fit my work in right away. They were expensive

We are getting a new plumbing contractor for the building and they are great. They have given us a quote to upgrade hot water tanks that council will be discussing after the AGM in June 2022 and the quote price is about half of what I paid — for the same quality of work, including copper piping. Yes!

Note: Why all copper replacement and not just the one fitting

Being rigid, copper pipes provide more structural stability. And that helps prevent incidents, expecially in tight quarters like our closets, where the flex plastic piping could be damaged. Plumbers like to be sure the entire system is as safe as possible and the more solid the piping the more integrity and resistance to damage, the plastic wearing and an issue should a person or object subject the piping to external force. Both the hot and cold water pipes of the hot water tank are replaced with copper.

Full Details of My Experience with Milani Plumbing

Prep Work // Plumber Work // Cost // Photos // Disclaimer

Quick Summary

  1. Plumber arrives; brings up tools.
  2. Water to/from tank, power to tank – turned off.
  3. Some water is drained from bottom valve of tank.
  4. Plastic pipes are cut – they and brass fittings are removed.
  5. Copper pipes are cut – copper fittings and elbows soldered on.
  6. New copper pieces installed.
  7. Power and water turned back on.
  8. Test.
  9. Plumber packs up, makes out invoice, leaves.
  10. In total my appointment took 3 hours.

Prep Work Before the Plumber Arrives

  1. Clear out space in closet for the plumber to work. They will need all the space in front of the hot water tank (towards the bi-fold door) and space above the tank. They will not need space beside the hot water tank (by the wall).
  2. Be sure to have access to breaker box. The hot water tank heater breaker will need to be turned off. Two reasons. First Safety. Second: Because the plumber drains water from the tank and if heating element is exposed and the power is on – the element could burn out. Exactly how much time it takes to burn out an exposed element seems to be a mystery in the plumbing business!
  3. Protect your floor. The plumber will have a bunch of heavy tools and these will be laid all over your floor outside the closet. If you have an old mat of any kind it may be a good idea to place that on the floor.  I put down a folded towel to cushion, but it didn’t cover the whole area and I was anxious that my floor was going to get dinged. Maybe that’s just me.
  4. Small container of water. The water will be turned off so if the plumber needs a bit of water to clean a tool or wipe something off, as they did at my place, it may be good to have some water handy: Like a glassful is all.

Milani Plumber Work

Note: This is how it went for my appointment. Plumber’s name is Ali K.

  1. You will be given a time period for the appointment. Mine was from 10am-1pm.
  2. Milani dispatch will call you that day with Ali’s ETA.
  3. Ali will park in the alley and call you. I then went down and let him in the alley entrance.
  4. Ali will bring up his tools and parts on a dolly and will bring the dolly into your unit.
  5. The main water lever to the tank and the hot water lever from the tank will be turned to off.
  6. The power to the hot water tank will be turned off.
  7. Water will be drained from the bottom of the tank so the water in pipes above the tank will empty into the tank so they can be removed. Ali will throw the water collected either into the kitchen sink or the shower.
  8. Then Ali will measure the pipes and cut away the plastic piping. These pieces will be wet inside still so placed into the kitchen sink. At this point Ali can show you the sediment that has collected and the rust on the fittings. On my tank the fitting that is causing the concern (where the hot water comes out of the tank) was loaded with sediment and was rusty inside. While outside it looked fine.
  9. Two lengths of copper pipe will be cut. The cut will create a ridge on the ends, Ali will file/sand the ends to make a smooth opening inside the pipes.  This is so the water flows smoothly. Otherwise ridge acts as flashing and water splashes around.
  10. Ali will fit the fittings to the ends of the pipes and take them outside to solder together.
  11. When Ali places the new copper pieces onto the tank he will use pipe thread compound to join them. This is because part of the fittings on the tank itself have plastic inside and not a good idea to solder where there is plastic.
  12. Some soldering inside. There will be some soldering of the copper once it is fitted onto the tank.  I opened the door and turned on the fan for this part.
  13. Space above tank must be clear. Ali will also use this huge-ass crimper tool to install the pipes and that’s where he needs to be able to have the space above the tank to maneuver.
  14. Then it’s cleanup, pack away the tools and write up the invoice.
  15. Next day follow-up call from Milani. Milani will call you the next day to followup on the work and ask if you have any questions, etc.  If you’re lucky it’ll be Phil and he’s fun.

Cost – Approximately $520

Note: I decided to get this done asap. Perhaps a building rate could be negotiated, but I didn’t want to wait.

  1. I also had the fill value for my toilet replaced and that was $35 for the part.
  2. My total bill was $556.50. So subtract the additional work that brings it to ~$520.
  3. Parts and shop supplies (minus toilet part) $55.
  4. Labour ~$415. Time starts when they walk out of the truck to when they finish writing up the invoice.
  5. Rest was taxes.

Milani’s labour charge is $198/first hour, then $59/half-hour. And yes, if they go into the next 30 minutes you pay for the full 30. That’s why I decided to do the toilet part too. Part was cheap and I was already paying for the labour!


If you read the Plumber Work section above, I think these photos are self-explanatory. Any questions just send them. Click/tap on any photo to open up the full size version.


This is my experience and I am doing my best to be accurate. Please do your own research and don’t take any of this as anything official.

If I can help further or if you have any corrections / edits / comments please drop me an email. Peace out.