6 Steps to Replace a Water Heating Element
The inner wire that is found within your water heater element is responsible for creating heat that is transferred to some filler material and is then absorbed by water. This process makes our hot waters at home. But when your element is giving you problems and you are considering to replace them than buying a whole new unit, worry no more! for this task is as easier than you thought it would be. Here are the easy ways to change your heater element at home:
Turn off the Power
To ensure safety, you first have to turn its power off. For electric water heaters, it can be shutoff at its circuit breaker. While the gas-powered heaters can be turned off through its switches that is either dial or knob. If you have doubts, you can use a multimeter to examine its wiring before you start the task.
Drain the Tank
To drain the tank, you have to turn off the inlet valve on the upper portion. Afterwards, you have to pin a hose into the bottom part of the drain and then unlock its valve. Mostly, people would drain the tank where it only reaches the point under the water heater element. However, it is ideal to flush the entire volume of water when conducting a repair with your heater. Also, it aids to extend the lifespan of its components by flushing residuals found inside.
Remove the Old Water Heater Element
There are two elements in your system that is located on the upper and lower portion. If the two elements need to be replaced, either there are in different locations, the steps in removing it are still the same.
What you are going to do first is to unfasten the access panel and take out plastic insulator. To remove the element, a water heater element wrench is used. This tool is made to fit on the hexagonal end of the element that also contains a hole that will take the shaft of a screwdriver in.
Use the element wrench and place them to the hexagonal fitting and turn them in a counter-clockwise motion. There are times that you will have a hard time in taking the element out because it has been placed there for a long time. That is why when this situation occurs, put the shaft of the screwdriver in the hole to serve as a leverage.
You will have to take out 4 bolts before you can remove the element if your unit is using a flange element.
Install the New Water Heater Element
Aside from changing the element, you also have to replace the rubber gasket. Make sure that before you install the element the gasket should already be in place. Install the element by doing the removal process in an opposite direction– clockwise motion.Make sure that the parts are screwed up, when in doubt, use the element wrench. For units that use flange element, replacing the existing bolts are advisable.
Refill the tank
Right after replacing the element, you can turn on the unit and refill the tank with water. Before doing this, the drain valve should already be turned off.
Reconnect all the wires
Try connecting all the wires to the newly replaced element. Remember that you should be very careful in connecting the wires to its individual terminals to prevent a shortage. Then,turn the circuit breaker on and try to observe your unit if there is a problem like water leaking. If none, place another plastic safety cover and immediately close the access panel.