Q:

How do you install an electric water heater?

A:

Quick Answer

Installing an electric water heater requires the ability to read a level and work a soldering iron as well as basic electrical skills. An electric water heater has a life span of about 6 to 12 years, so most homeowners will replace one at some point in their lives.

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Full Answer

Before beginning the installation of the new water heater, the old one must be removed and the power turned off and not turned back on until the job is completed.

  1. Level the water heater
  2. Set the water heater in place and use a level and wooden shims to position it properly.

  3. Solder the shutoff valve
  4. With the shutoff valve in the open position, connect the valve to the cold water supply line using a propane torch and lead-free solder.

  5. Wrap the heat trap fittings
  6. After wrapping the fittings with Teflon tape, attach the blue-coded fitting to the cold water inlet and the red-coded fitting to the hot water outlet and tighten with a wrench.

  7. Install water supply and fill tank
  8. Connect the plumbing supply lines to the water heater and make sure the drain valve is completely closed. Turn on the main water supply and open all the line valves. Turn on the faucets in the home; when a steady flow is coming through the faucet with it turned on hot, the water heater is full.

  9. Check for leaks
  10. After the water heater is filled, turn off the faucets and check for any indication of a leak.

  11. Remove the electrical access plate
  12. Make sure the power to the water heater is turned off and then remove the electrical access plate on top of the heater to wire the unit. Connect the wires according to the manufacturer's guidelines and connect the ground wire to a ground screw before replacing the access plate.

  13. Adjust the thermostat
  14. Remove the thermostat access plate on the side of the unit and pull back insulation to reveal the thermostat. Use a screwdriver to change the setting to the desired level and then replace the access plate. The recommended setting is between 120 and 125 degrees.

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