Begin with turning off the power supply at the main service panel by switching off the circuit breaker or by removing the fuse, then insert the stripped, labelled wires into the correct wire terminals. All the required wiring is within the thermostat for GE water heaters.
Mount the thermostat about 5 feet from the floor. Avoid mounting it on an outside wall, in direct sunlight, behind a door, or in an area affected by a vent or duct. Unfasten the cover of the thermostat by inserting and twisting a screwdriver in the slots on the sides of the thermostat.
Drill holes in the locations marked for mounting. Use a hammer to tap supplied anchors in the mounting holes. Adjust the thermostat base along the mounting holes and feed the control wires through the wire opening before attaching them to their terminals.
A GE thermostat has terminals for five wires or six wires, depending on the model. These include 24V hot, 24 V common, auxiliary electric heat, compressor and indoor fan models. The six-wire model has an additional reversing valve terminal.
Recheck the wire connections and tighten the screws on the terminal block before sealing the wire opening behind the thermostat with non-flammable insulation. Replace the cover on thermostat by snapping it in place. Finally, turn on the power to the system at the main service panel.