Once again it's time for a new water heater and I find myself dreading the task. The water heater sits on a pedestal that is approximately 18" high (required by code) and lifting a 50 gallon water heater onto/off of that pedestal about at the limit of my strength--and we have no friends that we could ask for help with a heavy lifting task like that.
To make the lifting problem even worse I put a catch pan under it last time after it made a mess. It's proved it's worth--this time instead of a mess I just have a wet area outside where the hose drains. However that means the water heater has to be lifted over the lip of the pan--and the pan most certainly would be crushed if the weight of the water heater were to come onto the edge of it.
I would think some sort of block and tackle system would be the ideal solution here but I've never seen anything built for the task and it's an awful lot of weight and bulk to be confident lifting with a homemade rig. What would be even better is if the connection to the ceiling was to something that could slide--lift, slide it to open space and lower.
Any fixes beyond simply hiring two strong people?