How to Replace an Electric Water Heater

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Here is a list of things you will need:
*  New Water Heater
*  Garden Hose
*  Pipe Wrench
*  Teflon Tape
*  Wire Nuts
*  Electrical Tape
*  Screwdriver or Cordless Driver
*  2 wheel dolly
*  Test light or meter


Turn off electricity to the water heater at the breaker box. Put a piece of electrical tape across the breaker to make sure it doesn’t get turned on until you are finished with the job. Using a test light or meter, check the connections at the water heater to make sure it is off. You will need a screwdriver to remove the cover plate to access this connection. When you are sure there is no power going to the water heater, remove wire nuts and disconnect wires going to the water heater.


Shut off water to the heater. Connect garden hose to drain at the bottom. Run the hose outside or to a drain. Open drain valve to drain water from the tank. Turn on the hot water at a nearby sink. This will relieve the pressure and allow air into the lines so that the water heater will drain faster. Drain as much water as possible from the tank. Also if you open the pop-off valve (located on the side of the tank near the top) it will help too.

Step 3

Located at the top of the tank should be two water lines. There should be a H & a C stamped on the top of the tank near each line. Wrap a piece of tape around the line marked cold. This will help make sure you hook it up right on the new heater. Disconnect both water lines. This is usually a female fitting attached to a short threaded pipe called a nipple. Also disconnect the pipe from the pop-off valve. Disconnect any strapping holding water heater in place. Disconnect garden hose from drain.

Step 4

Remove old water heater. This may require two people, depending on how heavy it is. Check new water heater to make sure everything will hook up the same way it came loose. Most water heaters require you to install nipples. If you can’t remove the ones from the old unit, get new ones. Wrap all threads with teflon tape to prevent leaks.

Step 5

Put new water heater in place. Connect hot and cold water lines. Connect drain pipe to the pop-off valve. Connect electric wires with wire nuts,white to white, black to black, and ground to ground. Strap water heater in place. Close all valves that are open. Turn water on and check for leaks. Turn on your faucets and bleed the air out of the lines. When you are sure there are no leaks, turn power on at the breaker. If you have done everything right, you should have hot water in about 20-30 minutes.


*  Use a 2-wheel dolly to help you move heavy objects.

*  Make sure power is off before working with water.
*  Keep all electrical connections dry.


About Author

Leave A Reply