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.
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.
- Level the water heater
- Solder the shutoff valve
- Wrap the heat trap fittings
- Install water supply and fill tank
- Check for leaks
- Remove the electrical access plate
- Adjust the thermostat
Set the water heater in place and use a level and wooden shims to position it properly.
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.
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.
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.
After the water heater is filled, turn off the faucets and check for any indication of a leak.
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.
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.