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Repurposing Your Old Water Heater

There comes a time for every homeowner when they will have to replace their water heater. A big question that comes with this, is what to do with your old water heater? There are actually quite a few options, ranging from disposal to sculpture. If you do decide to upcycle your old hot water heater, there are a whole range of fun and practical DIY projects you can use it for.


Sometimes units are so worn out that disposal of the hot water heater is the best option. However, even if it’s not in the best shape, you can usually reuse it as a planter. Rust spots and other imperfections will only add to the charm. It’s not as hard as it might sound to turn an old hot water heater into an attractive planter for the garden. All you need is a handheld Sawzall with a metal cutting blade. You can cut most of a side off of the hot water heater to create a trough-like planter. Alternatively, you can cut smaller holes on one side to put individual plants in. To stabilize the planter, wedge decorative stones underneath it to keep it from rolling, or dig a shallow trench for the planter to sit in. Then just fill with dirt, pick your plants, and you’re ready to go.

Fire Pit

Reusing your old water heater as an outdoor wood heater, or fire pit is a great way to add some character to your backyard or garden. There are a plethora of design ideas out there for creating your own outdoor fire pit. However, the basic idea isn’t complicated. You’ll need to cut a hole in the side to put wood in. You can place a fire pit grill above the slot for wood if you’re into grilling. You will also need a welder and something to use as a smokestack. Once you’ve got those basic elements, you can get as creative, or keep it as simple, as you’d like.

Robot Sculpture

This is a great DIY idea where you can get really creative. Use the old hot water heater for the body, then find metal scraps like old tea kettles, springs, pipes, or whatever else you think would work, to use for head, arms, legs, and facial features. To attach everything together, a small welder should do the trick. Just make sure to wear protective goggles and gloves and to follow welding safety procedures. The finished piece will bring a fun element to your yard, and the kids are sure to love the finished product as well.

Whatever DIY project you decide on for your old hot water heater, it’s sure to become a great conversation piece and one of your favorite things about your yard. 

By Sally Writes


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