Replacing an Electric Water Heater

by April Reinhardt
(last updated November 5, 2014)

1

If you find that your hot water isn't lasting as long as it should, your water heater might have a problem. Because most water heaters are simple devices, troubleshooting the problem isn't difficult. Perhaps the heating element is broken, or maybe the high temperature cutoff switch has tripped. Sometimes sediment may settle within the tank, causing the heating element to fail. The pressure relief valve might have malfunctioned, causing water not to heat properly. Or the problem may be as simple as having to adjust your water heater thermostat to a higher level.

If you've ruled out all of those variables, or if your water heater is cracked and leaks water, then it is time to replace the unit. Make sure that you have help moving the old and new water heaters, and then follow these steps for replacing an electric water heater:

  1. Turn off the electric supply to the water heater at the main electric panel, turn off the water supply at the main shut off valve, and covering the floor with a large tarp.
  2. Turn on all of the hot water house taps to drain the hot water from the water heater, and then attach a garden hose to the heater's draincock. Drain the water from the heater into the floor drain or into a bucket.
  3. Using a pipe wrench, remove the water lines from the heater and then remove the old heater to a section of the tarp.
  4. Have your helper grasp one side of the heater, while you grasp the other, and place the new heater into position.
  5. Always follow the installation directions that accompany a new water heater. You will need to connect the water lines to the heater and then you might need to install temperature and pressure relief valves. Following the instructions, make the connections from the wires under the electrical plate to the wires from the main panel.

Once you've connected the new heater, turn the hot water taps off in the house, turn the water back on at the main valve, and then fill the water heater completely. To remove sediment from the tank, drain about a gallon of water from the draincock. Turn on the electrical power to the heater and then set the thermostat.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Wearing an Easter Bonnet with Style

Wearing an Easter bonnet or hat for Easter is back in fashion again! And while many department stores have Easter hats ready ...

Discover More

Xeriscaping Plants

When planting in your xeriscape, choose plants that can grow in drought-like conditions. Just because you've chosen to ...

Discover More

Meanings of Flowers

If you've ever received flowers, you realize how much the gift can mean. But are you aware that all flowers have specific ...

Discover More

Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Replacing a Thermostat

Although replacing a thermostat is a relatively simple task, it can be quite dangerous since you're dealing with electricity. ...

Discover More

Insulating Basements

Considering that many homes have their heating and air conditioning units in the basement, it only makes sense that these ...

Discover More

Heating Up a Cold Room

While it is tempting to do so, there are other ways of heating up a cold room besides turning up the thermostat. Try a few of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 6?

2012-11-16 14:49:01

john hull

How to add insulation in a poorly insulated wall- 12 year old house, Electric bill (all electric is close to 3 X higher than my last house gas+elec., ( older house was same size, but laid out differently--built by a builder for his own residence.- gas/electric) many other areas for improvement.


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)