How to Replace and Install an Electric Water Heater

Don’t lose sleep at night worrying about your electric water heater if you’re technically savvy or a DIY kind of person. We want to let you know that electric water heater replacement or new water heater installation isn’t as difficult or scary as most people may think.

All you need to do is to get the right tools and follow the step-by-step process in this article – bravo, your new electric water heater will be installed within an hour!

However, if you can’t do the basic plumbing or electric work or you’re not confident handling some electrical tools, then call experts at Just Water Heaters, and the old water heater will be removed to install the new unit.

Some factors to put into consideration

Though this write-up is to show you how easy replacing a water heater can be, nevertheless, you shouldn’t opt for this option if your water heater is leaking or you’re not getting enough hot water from the unit. You can give us a call for directions on what to do or check out our website for articles that will guide you through.

However, if your water heater has served for more than a decade and you get rusty water, we recommend that the unit should be changed as soon as possible.

Since you’ve made up your mind to replace the unit, relax and grab a cup of coffee, we believe you’re up to the challenge and we’ll guild you through the entire process of replacing or installing your water heater in this article.

Tools for electric water heater replacement or new installation

  • Wrench and screwdriver
  • Voltage detector
  • Flexible hoses (recommended)
  • Soldering flux and solder wire
  • Garden hose
  • Pliers
  • Sandpaper cloth – depending on plumbing fitting
  • Dielectric connectors

Steps to replacing an electric water heater:

Step 1

For safety, turn off electric supply from the circuit breaker panel and use a voltage detector to verify if there is still current at the junction box.

Step 2

Remove the available hot water from the tank by opening the hot water faucet; then you should turn off the cold water supply to the unit.

Drain all the water in the unit by connecting a hose to the water heater valve.

Step 3

Use the screwdriver and other tools to disconnect the electric wires attached to the water heater (Note that you need to take a picture of the connection). Also, you need to disconnect the hot and cold water supply pipes at the top of the unit. Check the plumbing to know if the unit was plumbed with copper piping and gently cut it out with a tubing cutter.

We recommend that you remove the discharge pipe from the T&P valve.

Step 4

Remove the old water heater and if possible, use a dolly for this job. Lift and properly place the new tank. Make sure it is well balanced in the drain pan. Check the electrical supply and plumbing pipes to ensure that they can fit into the new unit.

Step 5

Use the sandpaper cloth to prepare the pipe in case your old water heater used copper wiring.

Carefully connect the electrical wiring by using the previous wire connections as a guide. You should have a label tag or snap a picture before the previous disconnection.

Connect all the wire and double check if everything is correct (using the picture you took previously)

Step 6

Connect the hot and cold water supply lines and plumb them with copper piping if that was applicable in your old unit

Lastly, attach the discharge pipe to the T&P Valve and tighten it properly, then fill the tank with water and turn on the power.

If you followed all the procedure, your water heater would start working efficiently. If there is an issue, you need to evaluate the procedure or call professionals from Just Water Heaters.