About the Post

Jerry Hardy

Author Information

I was a Building Contractor along with owning rental properties where I did most of the repairs myself. Its my pleasure to pass on to you some of the methods I had used in the past. Hopefully, this will save you the expense of hiring a professional to do the work.

Replacing Electric Water Heater

Tools and equipment needed:

Circuit tester or voltmeter

Screw drivers plain and Phillips

Pipe joint compound or joint tape

Garden hose

Appliance dolly 

Pipe wrench or channel locks



Removing Old Water Heater


* Turn off power

Turn off the power to the water heater at the breaker or fuse box.  Check to be certain that the power is off by removing the cover plate over the wire connections and attaching a tester or voltmeter  to the two lead wires, checking for current.

* Turn on hot water tap

Run the water until it is cool.  It may be a discomfort to drain and handle the water heater if the water is hot.

* Turn off water supply

Shut the valve on the water supply line at the top of the tank

* Drain water from tank

Attach a garden hose to drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater tank. Put end of hose in a large bucket or place on the ground outdoors. Open the valve fully. Opening a hot water tap will help the tank drain faster.

* Disconnect the electrical wires

Disconnect the plate which is holding  the electrical conduit to the heater. Remove the wire nuts and separate the wires. Remove the conduit from the plate.

* Remove water supply lines

Disconnect both water lines from the top of the water heater.

* Remove the pressure relief discharge pipe

* Remove water heater

Using an appliance dolly, tilt the heater and insert the foot of the dolly under the tank. Remove the heater.

Installing New Water Heater


* Install drip pan

If the old water heater was not mounted on a drip pan, make sure you install one to protect the floor in case of a water leak.

* Place new heater on dip pan

* Attach water supply lines

If the water lines are solid copper, you may need a professional to install them if your new heater is not the same height as the old one. If the water lines to the heater were flex lines, replace them with new ones.  Attach them to the tank.

* Install pressure relief valve

Attach the relief valve that came with the water heater and fasten the old discharge pipe to the valve making sure that the other end of the pipe is either over a drain or over the dip pan.

* Fill heater tank

Make sure the lower drain valve is tightly closed. Turn on a hot water tap to allow the air to leave the tank as it is being filled. Once the water begins to run out of the tap, allow it to run for several minutes to insure that all the air has left the tank and the tank is full. Check for leaks.

* Connect Wires

Disconnect the plate covering the heater wiring.  Attach the conduit with wiring to the heater plate.   Attach the wires to the heater including the green ground wire to the ground screw.

* Turn on power

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Replacing Electric Water Heater

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