How To Replace a Water Heater Element Safely – And Not Damage It

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The moment you detect that your water does not come sizzling as it commonly used to be or perhaps is not even hot at any moment again, many times this development may be linked to a defective water heater element. Knowing how to replace a water heater element is not difficult at all neither is it costly. This article exposes how you may effectively replace a water heater element at ease.

Folllow This Step By Step Guide

Switch off the Power Source

The moment you want to begin operating on a water the first thing you should do is to simply go for the power source – turn it off! You can always shut off your water heater from the circuit breaker, as the gas models possess a dial or knob. In the event that you are not certain if your electric water heater is off, before you commence, ensure you make use of a multimeter to run a test on the wiring.

Let water out from the Tank

Again, you would need to switch off the cold water inlet valve, situate at the peak of the tank. Make sure a garden hose is linked to the drain at the tank’s base and let open the drain valve. Truly, you may need to let the water out of the unit to a place beneath the element, however, it is a great idea to totally drain the tank anytime you are undertaking repairs.

Actually, this move really aids the reduction of sedimentary deposits present in the tank and extends the lifespan of the components. Importantly, ensure you switch on the hot water faucet near the heater to get results flushing the unit.

Do away with the present element

Normally, water heaters should possess two elements – an upper and a lower one. On the condition that it is so, substitute the two elements using the same procedures. To begin with, expose the access section and take away the plastic safety protection, if it is present. You may then detach the wires from the element. You can then proceed to disconnecting the wires from both elements.

Water heater element wrenches referred to as element tools is a specially crafted socket that suits over the hex rear of the element and possesses a perforation at the other extreme which would receive a screwdriver’s shaft. If the water heater makes use of a flange element you would necessarily need to take away the bolts positioning it and pulling the element straight out.

Fix in the new element

The next thing you should focus on is installing the new element. When you replace a water heater element, substitute the rubber gasket to do away with leaks. Attach the gasket over the cotton of a screw in element, or about the bottom of a flange element. The moment the gasket is in place, you may then mount the new element by simply making a reverse of the elimination process and flipping the element in a clockwise mode.

Fill the Tank again

To do this, switch off the flushing valve at the tank’s base. Then, switch on the cold water inlet on the topmost region of the tank. Let the water flow till all the air escapes the pipes. Then, you can switch off the hot water faucet.

Connect and power it again

Finally, you can now reconnect the wires to the new element(s), ensuring you fix the appropriate wires to the proper terminals to prevent shorting the element. Switch on the circuit breaker and examine the water heater. If there are no signs of leakage, you may then substitute plastic safety protection and shut the access section. Then, you can let the water to get hot for one hour, you may then ascertain that the unit is properly heating and no leakage occurs.


Understanding how to replace a water heater element is an activity that takes certain processes. You only need to advert your mind to these processes and follow them strategically. After you might have observed these processes you can then be said to have effectively completed changing your water heater element.

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10 thoughts on “How To Replace a Water Heater Element Safely – And Not Damage It”

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