How To Hook Up A Water Heater

How to Install an Electric Water Heater

Installing a new electric water heater can allow you to save both money and electricity. How to do it is demonstrated in our video and step-by-step instructions. Please keep in mind that product pricing, availability, and item numbers may differ from market to market.

Before You Begin

In order to save money and energy, consider replacing your old water heater with an electric model. To learn how to do it, watch our video and follow the directions. Take note that product prices, quantities available, and item numbers may vary depending on where you shop and which market you are visiting.

Water Pressure

The water pressure in your house is critical for all of the equipment that use water. A decrease in pressure reduces the stress placed on plumbing systems and helps to increase the lifespan of appliances and fixtures. Check the water pressure in your house by attaching a pressure gauge to an exterior spigot. The optimal PSI ranges from 50 to 60 PSI. if the water pressure in your house is more than 80 PSI, use the pressure-reducing valve located near the main water shut-off to decrease the pressure.

If you don’t already have a pressure-reducing valve in your house, a professional can install one for you.

Expansion Tank

Decide the type of expansion tank you’ll require. It is possible to reduce surplus pressure in the lines of a closed system using thermal expansion tanks. A 2-gallon expansion tank can be used with water heaters that hold up to 50 gallons of water. For water heaters that hold up to 100 gallons of water, a 5-gallon expansion tank should be used. For for size information, see the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases, the expansion tank is connected to the cold-water supply pipe near or above the water heater.

They simply slot into the pipe without the need for soldering.

Soldering paste should be applied to both the pipe and the fittings before assembling.

In order for an electric water heater installation to be functional, the pressure in the expansion tank must equal the pressure in the main water supply.

Removing the Old Water Heater

The following steps will walk you through the process of installing an electric water heater. When transporting a water heater, employ a helper, an appliance dolly, or a hand truck to ensure that the device is not damaged.

Preventing Scalds

Even with the temperature gauge set at 120 degrees, the risk of scalds remains a possibility. Children, the elderly, and individuals with delicate skin are particularly at risk of developing skin cancer. Consider adding thermostatic mixing valves to keep people safe from being hurt. Installed at the point of use faucet, fixture, or appliance, a thermostatic mixing valve regulates both the volume and temperature of water by connecting to both the hot and cold water supply lines at the same location.

The settings may be changed within the valve itself to offer the most comfortable experience possible.

DIY Water Heater Installation

Time A busy day of work Complexity IntermediateCost$101–250


When your water heater begins to leak, you must act quickly to have it repaired or replaced. We’ll teach you how to set up your own natural gas water heater in less than a day’s time. Even if you do not require a new water heater at this time, it is likely that you will require one within the next few years. Water heaters typically have a lifespan of seven to fifteen years. If yours is beginning to show signs of wear, this post is also for you. If you’re familiar with basic equipment and have a little expertise soldering copper, replacing a water heater shouldn’t be too tough.

Tools Required

  • Water and gas piping
  • Discharge pipe
  • Fittings
  • Pipe thread compound
  • Pressure relief valve
  • Solder. Ventilation pipe and connections
  • Pressure relief valve.

Getting Started Installing Your New Hot Water Tank

In this example, we’re swapping out a natural gas water heater for an electric water heater. The processes for replacing a propane water heater are identical to those for replacing an electric water heater, and the steps for replacing both are comparable. In any event, when it comes to arranging a water heater replacement, it’s best to be cautious. Call your local department of inspections and inquire as to whether or not you require a permit. Also, be certain that your work is checked by a plumbing or electrical inspector.

Plumbers normally charge between $45 and $65 per hour and can complete the installation of a water heater in a day or as little as 6-8 hours.

Gas water heaters with particular venting systems are also available, although they are more costly.

Water Heater Parts and Breakdown

  • Fire pipe, cold water shutoff valve, draft diverter, temperature and pressure relief valve, overflow pipe, hot water outlet, anticorrosion anode rod, dip tube, elements, insulation, drain valve, thermostat or control valve, burner, thermocouple, gas supply valve, and more.

When to get a new water heater

When the tank of your water heater leaks, your water heater is out of commission. An indication that your water heater needs to be replaced is a gradual drop beneath the unit, which commonly manifests itself as a trail of discolored water. This indicates that the steel tank has corroded through and will be unable to be repaired. Other symptoms, such as little or no hot water, are typically indicative of other water heater repair issues that may be resolved by you. If you notice a drop, make a plan to get the water heater replaced as soon as possible.

New water heaters are sent with detailed installation instructions as well as several cautions to ensure that the gas, electrical, and other connections are handled properly.

However, you should be aware that you will be dealing with natural gas, propane, or electricity, all of which are potentially harmful.

And, after you’re finished, get your work examined.

Plumbing codes differ from one location to the next. You should explain to your local plumbing inspector how you want to install your new connections, including the sorts of materials you intend to use. Instead of making changes afterwards, it is preferable to seek advice early.

Figure A: Gas Water Heater Details

Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family See the Additional Information section at the end of this article for instructions on how to print this image.

Figure B: Connections for Steel and Plastic Pipe

Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family Water supply pipes in many residences are made of galvanized steel or polyvinyl chloride (CPVC). Replaceable galvanized steel pipes are quite difficult to come by. Using our photo series, we propose that you return the pipes to their original tees and screw on a plastic-lined galvanized nipple before finishing the connections with copper. Plastic tubing should be kept at least 6 inches away from the vent and tank due to the possibility of heat accumulation. Using a specific connection, you may make the transition from plastic to copper.

Flexible copper connectors are less difficult to install than solid copper connectors, which is especially important when the existing pipes and tank inlets do not match up.

If yours does, take extra care not to pinch or kink them when handling them.

Project step-by-step (12)

Turn off the gas to the water heater by twisting the shutdown valve a quarter turn away from the water heater. When the handle is turned off, it should be at a straight angle to the pipe. Also, turn off the main water supply and drain the pipes by opening a tap on the lowest floor of the building. Step No. 2

Drain the water in the tank

Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and use it to drain the water that has accumulated in the tank. The water will be boiling hot, so proceed with caution! With a pair of wrenches, disconnect the gas line at the neighboring union and remove the pipe from the gas control valve with a pipe wrench to complete the task.

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Complete your do-it-yourself tasks like an expert! Become a subscriber to our newsletter! Do It Right the First Time, and Do It Yourself! Step number three.

Cut off the water lines

The vent pipe should be moved to the side once it has been unscrewed from the vent hood. After that, using a tube cutter, cut the hot and cold water lines. For galvanized pipe, remove the unions and, if you have them, remove the nuts on the flexible connections as well. Move the old water heater to the side of the room. Step number four.

Attach the relief valve

Teflon tape should be used to seal the threads of the new temperature and pressure relief valve (three turns). With a pipe wrench, tighten it inside the tank until it is completely sealed. Glue a copper discharge pipe to the wall (see Fig. A for routing details). Step number five.

Attach pipe assemblies

Solder fresh copper adapters to 6-in. lengths of 3/4-in. copper pipe and screw the assemblies into the hot water outlet and cold water inlet ports on the top of the tank’s tank’s tank’s tank. Make use of short, plastic-lined nipples to protect your pipes from galvanic corrosion, especially if you have hard water or if they are required by your local building standards. Step 6: Organize your thoughts and feelings about the situation.

Attach the water lines

Slide the new water heater into position, recut or lengthen the old tubing to connect it to the new, and solder the tubing together using copper slip couplings to complete the installation.

If the tubing does not line up properly, use pairs of 45-degree elbows to adjust the alignment of the lines. Step 7 – Organize your time and resources.

Reattach the vent

Reconnect the vent if necessary. Place it securely over the draft hood and secure it with three 3/8-in. No. 6 sheet metal screws to hold it in place. Prepare the holes by drilling them beforehand. Before turning at the first elbow, the vent should rise at least 12 inches vertically from the floor. In this eighth step, you will learn how to use a comma to separate the words “and” and “and not.”

Use two wrenches to attach the gas line

Reconnect the gas line if necessary. Pipe joint compound should be applied to the threaded ends before screwing the first nipple into the gas valve. To minimize straining the valve, use two pipe wrenches at the same time. Reassemble the remaining nipples, concluding with the union at the end of the process (Photo 2). Then, in order to fill the tank, perform these four steps: To check for leaks, perform the following steps: (1) cut off the main water valve; (2) re-connect the water at the main shutoff; (3) open the cold-water valve on the water heater (but do not close it); and (4) turn on a nearby hot-water faucet until water flows out.

Check for backdrafting

The majority of water heaters rely on a natural airflow to carry combustion emissions up the chimney and out of the building. If the draft does not operate, the fumes, which may contain lethal carbon monoxide, will be released into your home and cause you to become sick. Check the draft when you’ve finished installing everything. Close all of your external doors and windows, and put on the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. Continue to run a hot water faucet until you hear the gas burner in your water heater come to life.

Ideally, the smoke should be drawn upward through the vent pipe.

Turn off the gas supply to the water heater and contact a certified plumber to diagnose and remedy the problem.

Check for leaks

Check for leaks by turning on the gas and squeezing a 50-50 combination of dishwashing liquid and water over the connection points. If there are bubbles in the mixture, you have a leak. Joints that are leaking should be tightened or reconnected. When you’re finished, wipe the joints down with a clean cloth. Make an appointment with the plumbing inspector to have them go at your work. Follow the how-to instructions that are included with the photographs to ensure that the connections are secure.

Light the pilot light

The pilot light should be turned on in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. (When using an electric water heater, turn on the electricity at the main panel after your work has been checked by the electrical inspector). Once you’ve finished, adjust the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit according to the installation instructions. The pilot light in the new water heater should be lit, then the temperature setting should be adjusted.

Installation Details for Electric Water Heaters

At your main electrical panel, turn off all power to your water heater, then turn it back on. After that, empty the water heater in the same manner as you would a gas water heater. As soon as the water heater has been drained, separate the electrical wires from the screw terminals under the access panel, which is normally situated towards the top of the water heater. To handle all of the electrical wiring, you should engage an electrician if you don’t have any prior knowledge with it. When it comes to wiring the new water heater, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • x 4-in.
  • metal electrical box on the wall or ceiling near the water heater, route the old wires to the box, and then run a new length of armored cable or electrical conduit to the water heater to complete the installation.
  • The circuit should also have a shutdown switch that is visible from the vicinity of the water heater.
  • You’ll almost certainly require a permit.
  • Aluminum wire needs specific care and handling.

If you have aluminum wire, you should choose a qualified professional who is experienced in working with it. This wiring is a dull gray color, rather than the drab orange color that is characteristic of copper wiring. ‘Step 12’ is the final step in the process.

How to Dispose of a Water Heater

In this video lesson, Jeff Gorton, an editor at The Family Handyman, will show you how to remove and dispose of a water heater in the proper manner. He will also demonstrate a simple method of transporting a water heater out of your home, even if you are working on your own.

These tips will make your work go faster and easier:

  • To avoid modifying the length of your water, gas, or electrical lines, take note of the height of your existing water heater and get a new one that is the same height
  • On older water heaters, the drain valve (Photo 2) frequently becomes clogged. Please be patient if the water drains slowly. WARNING: The temperature is really high! TIP: Turn off your water heater two hours before you want to use it to enable the water to cool. Water heaters are around 150 pounds in weight. When you’re moving the old one out and wheeling the new one in, you’ll need a strong partner or a dolly to assist you. Ordinarily, garbage collection agencies charge approximately $25 to remove the old one. Before you begin, go to a plumbing supply or hardware store, or a home center, and purchase the equipment and materials seen below. Check the sizes of the water supply pipes (the majority will be 3/4 in., as shown in our photographs) and purchase the fittings that are the proper size. If you have everything you need, you should be able to complete the work in four to six hours (provided there are no major problems!). This safety mechanism, which controls tank pressure and prevents it from bursting, is located in the tank’s pressure relief valve assembly (Photo 4). It is necessary to include a fresh one with each installation. The discharge pipe must be kept clear of impediments in order for the valve to function correctly (see Fig. A). Use 3/4-in. plastic-lined nipples (about $2 each
  • Photo 5 and Fig. A) to attach other metals, mainly copper tubing to the steel tank, in areas where the water is highly mineralized or where it is needed by municipal laws. This has the effect of slowing rusting. In order to avoid heating the tank itself during soldering, solder the copper fittings before screwing them to the tank (Photo 5)
  • Slip couplings should be used to link the existing and new water lines (Photo 6). (Photo 6). They do not have an internal stop, in contrast to normal couplings. Alternatively, you may slip them on, align the copper tubing, then slide them back and center them over the junction
  • However, the new inlets and outlets on the tank don’t always line up with the old supply lines, and vice versa. If required, solder in a pair of 45-degree fittings to ensure that each line is offset. While you’re doing it, you should also replace the old cutoff valve with a new ball valve (Photo 6). The diameter of the vents is determined by the amount of heat produced by the water heater. In order to achieve the ideal draft, you may need to raise or reduce the ventilation size. CAUTION: If you’re not sure whether or not your chimney has a liner, consult with a plumbing inspector. Make gas connections using solid steel pipe (Photo 8) or soft copper tubing with flare fittings (Fig. A). Both are more dependable and less expensive than flexible stainless steel connections, which are not usually allowed in some applications. For the same reasons, rigid copper water supply lines should be used rather than flexible copper water supply lines
  • If your water heater replacement is located in a location where leaking might cause damage to the floor or other elements of the home, lay a pan of an appropriate size beneath it (metal for gas water heaters). a drain tube that connects to a home drain or another suitable site must be installed in the pan (outdoors where permitted). If a leak might cause damage to the flooring, the discharge tube for the temperature and pressure relief valves must also connect to a drain. If routing is a problem, consult with your local plumbing inspector about possible solutions. Special straps should be used to secure your water heater to the wall if you reside in an earthquake-prone location (Fig. A
  • Available at plumbing stores and home centers). If they are necessary, your plumbing inspector will inform you of this. Ensure that the new water temperature setting does not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scorching
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Additional Information

Water Heater Maintenance: How to Extend the Life of Your Hot Water Heater How to Repair a Leaking Water Heater Water Heater Installation Instructions on how to replace the TPR valve on a water heater Solar Water Heater Made at Home How to Repair or Replace Water Heater Dip Tubes That Are Defective How to Flush a Water Heater (with Pictures) The Process of Purchasing a New Water Heater 7 Myths About Tankless Water Heaters That You Should Never Believe The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Learn How to Install a New Water Heater

Because professional installation may easily add $500 or more to the cost of replacing a traditional tank-style water heater, many homeowners are naturally interested in the option of doing it on their own. Furthermore, while it is considered an advanced project, DIYers with sufficient skill may frequently do the task themselves with a little forethought. It’s crucial to highlight that this is not a project for those who are just getting started. Examining the type of water heater you already have is the first step in learning how to install a new water heater in your home.

  • Then decide on the size: 30-, 40-, 50-, or larger-gallon containers.
  • You might consider upgrading to a larger unit if your old one did not provide enough hot water.
  • However, there must be enough space for the larger heater, the flue size must be correct with proper pitch, and the gas line supplied must be sufficient for the heater’s capacity.
  • Plumbers bid jobs on the basis of a full day’s worth of labor, however, because the project typically grows more intricate as time goes on.
  • If you’re not sure in your abilities in these areas, hiring a professional is the best course of action.
  • When it comes to dealing with gas lines, it’s important to always abide by municipal regulations.

Gas Water Heater Venting

Given that professional installation may easily add $500 or more to the cost of upgrading a traditional tank-style water heater, many homeowners are naturally interested in the prospect of doing it themselves. Furthermore, while it is considered an advanced project, DIYers with sufficient expertise can frequently complete the task themselves with a little forethought and preparation. Note that this is not a project for those who are just getting started with computer programming. Examining the sort of water heater you already have is the first step in learning how to install a new water heater on your own.

Then decide on the size: 30-, 40-, 50-, or larger-gallon drums.

However, if your old water heater did not provide enough hot water, you might want to consider upgrading to a larger unit—say, from a 40-gallon to a 50-gallon unit.

(Any modifications to gas lines should only be performed by a certified expert.) In the best-case scenario, replacing the heater requires only a few hours of labor, which includes disconnecting and removing the old heater, then bringing the new heater into position and reconnecting all of the connections in the same manner.

Making plumbing connections, as well as electrical or gas connections, and a vent connection if you have a gas water heater will be required while replacing the water heater.

A professional is the ideal course of action if you are not sure in your abilities to do so. The installation of gas connections may even be prohibited in some places for homeowners. Work involving gas lines should always be done in accordance with local laws and regulations.


All plumbing installations must be in compliance with the local plumbing code, so check with your local building authority to find out what is required in your region. Because installation varies depending on the location and the kind of heater, the following procedures are intended to serve as a general guideline only and may or may not apply to your specific case. As previously indicated, it is preferable to leave this process to the pros.


  • Purchase of a new water heater, as well as any necessary shimming, plumbing fittings, and plumber’s pipe-seal tape. a draft cowl for the water heater (if one is required for a gas heater)
  • Temperature and pressure relief valves (if not already given)
  • A drain valve for the water heater (if not already provided)
  • Fittings for vent pipes (where required)
  • Nipples for galvanized water heaters with a plastic liner (2)
  • Flexible water heater tubing (if required)
  • Flexible gas heater tubes (if required)

Shut off the Water, and the Gas or Electricity

  • Turn off the power to the existing water heater and disconnect the water heater’s plumbing. Turn off the water at the main water cutoff valve in the home or at a branch shutoff valve that controls the cold water that runs to the water heater in the basement. Then turn off the electricity or gas to the building. For an electric water heater, follow these steps: Turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater’s circuit in the breaker box for the house. a. This is normally a double-pole breaker with a 30-amp rating. For a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply at the shutoff valve on the gas line that is closest to the water heater and then turn on the water heater. Water main should be shut off at the water meter.

Drain the Water Heater Tank

  • A garden hose should be connected to the drain valve located towards the bottom of the water heater. Open the nearest hot water faucet, such as the one in the bathroom, to avoid suction from building up in the line, which can cause the draining to become sluggish. Place the other end of the hose over a floor drain or direct it to an open area outside. To prevent silt from clogging the drain valve, open it carefully when first turning it on. Allow the tank to empty entirely before turning off the valve and removing the hose from the tank. It is positioned at the bottom of the water heater, near the drain valve. Getty Images courtesy of Dorling Kindersley

Disconnect the Water Lines

  • Disconnect the hot and cold water lines from the water heater by using a pipe wrench or channel-lock pliers to tighten the connections. Flexible tubes (usually coupled with compression or union fittings) or soldered connections (soldered connections must be cut with a tubing cutter) can be used to connect the water lines to the heater.

Disconnect the Electrical or Gas Lines

  • Next, the water heater’s power source must be unplugged from the mains power supply. For an electric water heater, follow these steps: Removing the cover from the wire connection panel at the top of the water heater will reveal the wire connections. Check the individual wires with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that the circuit is off, and then remove the wire connectors that link the circuit wires to the water heater leads. Remove the cable from the connection box by unscrewing the cable clip and pulling the cable out. For a gas water heater, follow these steps: Remove the gas line from the water heater and make sure the main gas line valve is turned off before reconnecting it to the gas control valve. Depending on the kind of water heater, this gas tube may be a flexible tube covered with vinyl or bare soft copper tubing, or it may be an older water heater with a hard black-pipe connection.

Disconnect the Water Heater Vent (Gas Heaters Only)

  • The vent pipe should be disconnected from the draft hood located on the top of the heater. In most cases, three or four sheet metal screws are used to attach the draft hood to the exhaust vent pipe. In certain cases, if the draft hood is in excellent condition, it may be possible to repurpose it with the new water heater.

Swap the Old Water Heater for the New

Use an appliance dolly with straps to move the old water heater out of the way and wheel in the new water heater. The use of a helper is recommended while moving water heaters up and down basement steps. When transferring the heater, make sure you tie it to the dolly with strong straps. Clean up the area on the floor where the old heater used to be. Bring in the new water heater and align it with the existing plumbing connections so that it is connected to the water heater’s plumbing system. Shimming beneath the legs of the new water heater can help to level it if necessary.


  • If you live in an earthquake-prone area, there may be brackets or straps that need to be attached to the wall to keep the water heater from moving about while in use. The water heater should be installed. Getty Images
  • Jim Zuckerman / Getty Images

Install the Relief Valve and Other Fittings

  • Install all of the necessary fittings that are required for the water heater to function properly. This always comprises a temperature and pressure relief valve (also known as a TPR valve) as well as a drainpipe for discharge. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install any additional fittings that may be required. Relief valve for high temperature and high pressure

Connect the Water Lines

  • Tie galvanized plastic-lined nipples to the cold water input and hot water outlet ports on the top of the water heater using stainless steel screws. In order to install the nipples, you must first cover the threads with plumber’s pipe-seal tape before threading the nipples into the apertures and tightening them using channel-lock pliers or with a pipe wrench. Connect the cold water pipe to the intake nipple on the water heater, and the hot water pipe to the output nipple on the water heater to complete the installation. In some circumstances, reattaching the flexible tubing that were removed after removing the old heater might be as simple as plugging them back in. When the water pipes are hard-piped into the water heater and cutting is necessary to remove the water heater, the operation becomes a little more difficult. The water heater nipples will be connected to the cold and hot water pipelines through the use of different threaded adapters, short sections of pipe, and union fittings, which will need assembly. The method you use will be determined by the type of pipe you have and the layout of your plumbing system, among other factors. If you have copper pipes, you may need to sweat-solder them together with a torch, but there are compression fittings, grip-fit (SharkBite) fittings, and PEX fittings that can be used with a variety of plumbing pipes. The installation of flexible tubes to link the hot and cold water pipes to the water heater is a suitable time to do so if you do not already have them in place. The water heater will be more easily disconnected if you ever need to repair or replace it in the future. Male-threaded adapters must be attached to both the water heater nipples and the ends of the hot and cold water pipes in order to do this. The flexible tubes are then threaded into the adapters and secured using coupling nuts that screw into the adapters.

Connect the Gas or Electrical Lines

  • Connect the gas or electricity sources, depending on their location: For a gas water heater, follow these steps: Connect the gas line to the control valve for the gas burner. Use a flexible gas line if it is available and permitted by local regulations. Check for leaks by turning on the gas supply valve and scrubbing the gas union and any gas joints with a soapy water solution until they are clean. If you notice any bubbles, this indicates that the connection is leaking and that it needs to be tightened. If you are still unable to achieve a satisfactory seal without bubbles, contact your gas provider or a plumber for assistance. For an electric water heater, follow these steps: Connect the electrical cable to the water heater’s wire connection box, which is located at the top of the water heater. Wire connectors should be used to connect the circuit wires to the water heater lead connections. The cover plate for the wire connection box should be attached.

Reconnect the Vent (Gas Heaters Only)

The draft hood should be installed at the top of the water heater, centered above the exhaust aperture, and then inserted into the exhaust pipe. Sheet-metal screws are used to hold it in place. You may need to reduce the vent pipe if the new water heater is higher than the old one. You may accomplish this by cutting the vent pipe down to size using metal shears or by installing a shorter pipe segment. Another option is to lengthen the vent by installing an additional vent pipe segment if your water heater is less than the standard length.

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The new water heater should come with its own set of parts and operating instructions.


  • Shared venting with a chimney or flue that simultaneously serves a furnace (as seen above) is no longer permitted in some municipalities. This means that you may need to hire a professional to reroute the venting for your new water heater in this situation. Getty Images
  • Comstock / Getty Images

Complete the Installation

  1. Connect the hot water faucet to a distant position in the home, then turn on the cold water supply valve to the water heater, allowing the water heater tank to fill with water until the hot water tap is turned off. When water begins to flow from the hot water faucet, you’ll know the tank is completely full. Turning the circuit breaker back on for an electric water heater will re-energize the circuit that supplies electricity to the water heater. If you’re using a gas heater, make sure the main gas valve is open and that the pilot igniter is functioning correctly by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make your chosen temperature selection on the water heater’s thermostat (120 degrees Fahrenheit is suggested), then wait for the water in the tank to get up to temperature before using it. Turn on the heater and adjust the temperature of the water heater. Banks Photographs courtesy of Getty Images

How To Install An Electric Water Heater

A water heater, particularly an electric kind, is a very basic piece of equipment. Unheated water enters the tank by one of its sides. Several electric resistance components that stretch from the edge of the tank into the middle of the water are responsible for heating the water in the tank. The water then leaves from the other side of the tank when the demand is there. Unfortunately, this ease of use does not extend to the process of installing the software. While not difficult, installing an electric water heater does include some plumbing and electrical work, which may be enough to deter some homeowners from taking on the project.

Compared to other frequent home pastimes like refinishing furniture or managing a productive vegetable or flower garden, the skills necessary for this task are not nearly as difficult.

This is an excellent method of reducing the number of fittings you require as well as the number of journeys to the hardware shop to get the items you have forgotten.

If all you’re doing is replacing a tank in the same location, you’ll have even less work on your hands.

Keep in mind to integrate any particular manufacturer instructions into your preparations, especially if failing to do so may result in the product warranty being voided.

Step 1: Build a Platform

Choose a handy location for the tank and install two or three concrete blocks on the floor to act as a foundation. Using these blocks, you may assist avoid damage from minor floods while also making access to the drain much simpler.

Step 2: Center the Tank

After that, slide the tank on top of the blocks, being care to keep the drain faucet toward the front of the tank. Using your hands, gently rock the tank back and forth to ensure that the blocks do not move. Reposition everything until the tank is steady if the blocks begin to shift or the tank begins to rock on top of the blocks.

Step 3: Soldering Basics

Soldering copper tubing and fittings is one of the most straightforward skills to learn in the construction industry. To complete this project, you’ll need only a propane or Mapp gas torch (we recommend the Mapp gas torch because it burns hotter and melts lead-free solder more effectively), a tubing cutter, several pads of steel wool and a wire brush to clean the ends of the fittings. You’ll also need some lead-free solder, which you can buy at any hardware store. All of these goods can be found at most local hardware stores and home improvement centers on a regular basis.

  • To begin, cut a 6- to 8-inch-long piece of 3/4-inch-diameter tubing for the cold water entrance line on the tank, depending on how long you want it to be.
  • Following that, use a piece of steel wool to clean the end of the tube.
  • Then, using some soldering flux, cover the cleaned area and set the item away for a while.
  • All you have to do is put the brush into the fitting’s end and twirl it till the surface is clean.
  • To begin heating the joint, switch on the torch and adjust the flame so that the inner blue flame is approximately 3/4 of an inch long on the inside.
  • You don’t have to move the flame around the joint to get this result.
  • As soon as the flux has disappeared, apply a little amount of solder to the top of the junction.

If this is the case, simply pull off the solder, keep the junction heated, and try again.

This indicates that the joint is completely filled.

Make careful you use thick gloves to avoid getting burned.

Clean all of the tube ends and fittings as you did previously, add some flux, and solder the pieces together to complete the installation.

Insert the tape in the tape dispenser in a clockwise orientation.

Then, using a nut, secure the two pieces of the union together securely in their respective positions.

After that, clean and flux a shutdown valve for the cold side of the system, slip it over the tubing end, and solder it in place to complete the installation. For this application, we utilized a ball valve, but a gate valve with sweat fittings on both ends might easily be used instead.

Step 4: T P Valve

Temperature and pressure relief valves (also known as T P valves) serve as a safety measure by creating a channel for water to escape from a storage tank when the pressure inside the tank reaches an unsafe level for any cause. Ensure that the valve you choose is rated at the same capacity as your hot water heater. The product literature for each will provide detailed information on what is necessary. Our solution consisted simply in matching the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) ratings of both products.

  1. Take 4 in.
  2. As soon as you have completed your measurement, remove the temperature and pressure relief valves.
  3. Replace the valve in the tank by tightening it with an adjustable wrench.
  4. Cut the relief valve tube to the desired length and solder a male adaptor to one end of the tube to complete the installation.
  5. Insert the drain tube into the relief valve and secure it with a wrench.

Step 5: Electrical Power

A separate 220-volt circuit is usually required for a water heater, and in our instance, a 30-amp circuit breaker as well as a 10/2 (with ground) circuit wire were required. These were already in place on our project site, but the cable terminated roughly 20 feet distant from the placement of our new storage tank. Using a joist-mounted junction box, we ran new cable to the new tank site by bored holes through the middle of the overhead joists and extending the wire down the side of the joists where it was handy.

  • To obtain access to the electrical wiring in your tank, begin by removing the top-most covering plate.
  • To accomplish this, look for a knockout on the top of the tank and use a screwdriver and hammer to force it down.
  • Insert the threaded end of a conduit connector into the knockout hole and tighten it in place with the connection nut to secure it in place.
  • The free end of the cable should be inserted into the pipe’s uppermost section and pulled out the lowermost portion.
  • Attach the ground wire from the cable to the grounding screw located inside the tank opening and tighten it down with the connection screw to secure it in place.
  • After that, just replace the covering plate and your installation is complete.
  • Keep in mind to close the drain valve before turning on the water supply.
  • If you switch on the elements before the tank is completely filled with water, they will be destroyed and will need to be replaced immediately.

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Electric Water Heater Installation: Step-by-Step Guide

A separate 220-volt circuit is always required for a water heater, and in our case, a 30-amp circuit breaker as well as a 10/2 (with ground) circuit wire were required. There was an existing wire in place on our project site, but it ended up roughly 20 feet distant from the new tank position. In order to connect a new cable from a joist-mounted junction box to the new tank site, we bored holes through the middle of the overhead joists and ran the cable down the sides of the joists where it was convenient.

  • The top plate of your tank must be removed in order to obtain access to the electrical cables within.
  • To do this, look for a knockout on the tank’s top and use a screwdriver and hammer to force it down.
  • Insert the threaded end of a conduit connector into the knockout hole and tighten the connector nut to secure it in position.
  • This will allow you to attach the conduit to either the side or between the two joists.
  • Then, feed the cable end through the connection and into the tank hole, and slide the conduit into the connector to complete the installation.
  • Use connectors to join together the two white wires, and connectors to join the two black wires, as well.
  • Check your work by first filling the tank with water and making sure there are no leaks in the plumbing installation you completed.
  • After filling the tank to the top, you should switch on the circuit breaker and transmit electricity to the heating components.
  • In order to assist visitors in providing their email addresses, this material was produced and maintained by a third party and imported onto this website.

Preparing to Install an Electric Water Heater

Having concluded that you want a new water heater, you may like to consult our buyers guide to assist you in selecting the most appropriate model for your needs. Furthermore, if you elect to install the water heater yourself, you will be responsible for removing your old water heater and properly disposing of it. Find Local Plumbing Professionals

Tools and Supplies

Installing an electric water heater is far less difficult than installing a gas water heater, but it is still a significant undertaking. Our recommendation is to hire a professional to complete the installation if you are unfamiliar with electrical and plumbing.

In addition, they will often dispose of your old water heater for you as part of the installation process. The following are step-by-step instructions for installing your electric water heater:

Disconnect the Electricity

First, we’ll have a look at what to do. Turn off the electricity to your water heater at the circuit breaker panel located near your water heater. Check the wiring of the water heater using a voltage tester to ensure that the device is turned off. Although it is not discussed in the video below, it is always a good idea to double-check that the water heater is not receiving any power after turning it off at the circuit breaker before doing any work on it. Start by turning on a hot water faucet and letting the water flow until it is cold.

The cold water feed to the water heater should be turned off (located at the top of the unit).

Drain the tank by opening the valve and venting it to the outside (or to a floor drain, or even into buckets).

You may also use the T P valve to your advantage.

Disconnect the Electrical

The next step is to disconnect the electrical cables from the water heater’s top. To begin, be certain that the circuit breaker in the breaker box has been switched off. Then, before you begin, verify the wires with a voltage tester to ensure they are in good working order. Cap the wires and name them (or take a picture of them) so that there is no confusion when you are connecting your new water heater in the future.

Disconnect the Plumbing

Step 4Disconnect the hot and cold water supply lines from the water heater. Copper plumbing may have been used in the installation of your water heater, and you may need to cut the pipes. If you need to cut the pipes, use a tubing (pipe) cutter and try to leave as much of the pipe as feasible intact as you can before cutting. If the discharge pipe from the T P valve is in good condition, you can remove it from the T P valve and reuse it on your new water heater.

Remove the Old Water Heater

Step 5: Using a dolly, move the old water heater out of the way after the tank is empty. Place the new tank in its proper location. It is recommended that the replacement tank be placed in a drain pan. Find out why. Make certain that your electrical supply will be sufficient to reach the tank. Check sure you have access to the panels and the drain valve in case you need to do maintenance.

Prepare the Plumbing Lines

The pipes will need to be prepared with a sandpaper cloth if your old water heater had copper plumbing and it was required to cut the pipes. Rub the ends of the pipes with the sandpaper cloth until they are gleaming brilliantly again. Find Local Plumbing Professionals

Connect the Electrical Wiring

In order to gain access to the electrical cables, remove the junction box cover in Step 7. Attach the ground wire to the green ground screw using a crimp connector. Wire connectors are used to join the other wires together by twisting them together.

Make use of the prior wire connections as a reference and reconnect the wires in the same manner in which they were disconnected. Follow the directions on your label tags or the photo you took in Step 3. After that, reinstall the lid of the junction box.

Attach the Supply LinesTurn On the Water

In order to gain access to the electrical cables, remove the junction box cover in step 7. Using the green ground screw, connect the ground wire. By twisting them together and using wire connectors, you can join the rest of the wires. Take as a guide the wire connections that were made previously, and reconnect the wires in the same manner in which they were disconnected. In Step 3, you should refer to your label tags or the photo you took. Replacing the junction box cover should be your next step!

Attach the T P Discharge Pipe

Step 9Connect the discharge line to the T P valve and tighten it. The pipe’s end must be within 6 inches of the floor in order to function properly.

  • Make use of a 3/4-inch male copper fitting. Paintpipe dope applied on the exterior of the fitting as well as the interior of the valve fittings. Tighten the fitting to the T P valve fitting once it has been attached. Remove the fitting from the pipe’s end and clean it
  • Soldering flux should be painted on the inside of the male fitting and outside of the pipe. Fitting the pipe to the fitting is completed. To join the pipes, solder and a torch should be used.
See also:  How Often Should I Flush My Hot Water Heater?

Turn On the PowerBleed the Hot Water Lines

Step 10After your water heater tank has been completely filled with water, switch on the circuit breaker located at the main power panel. Attention must be taken when turning on the electricity before the tank has entirely filled since the electric components may dry up if they are not totally immersed. This might cause irreparable damage to your electric heating components. Remember to switch off the circuit breaker before inspecting the electrical connections on your water heater if your water heater isn’t getting electricity.

Bleed Hot Water Lines

When the water heater tank is completely filled with water, switch on the circuit breaker at the main power box. BE CAREFUL: If the electricity is turned on before the tank is entirely filled, the electric components may dry out and catch fire if they are not totally immersed. If this happens, your electric heating components might be ruined completely. Remember to switch off the circuit breaker before examining the electrical connections on your water heater if your water heater isn’t getting electricity.

Watch the Video

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  • Toolkit includes: box cutter, marker, thermometer, non-contact circuit tester, paper towels or shop rags, pipe cutter, pipe joint compound or plumber’s tape, and other miscellaneous items. nutscrew and/or Phillips screwdriver and wrench (quarter-inch diameter)


  • If you have copper pipes, you should consider purchasing an Electric Water Heater Installation Kit (available at hardware shops and home centers), which includes compression fittings that do not require soldering. When installing plastic pipe in a residence, utilize threaded connections that are appropriate for the type of plastic pipe being used: CPVC or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). Use of PVC or iron pipe is not recommended. Valve for shutting off the system
  • Thermostatic mixing valves are used in many applications.

Step3:Open Box and Remove the Water Heater

  • Cut along the dotted lines on the water heater box to make it smaller.

Step4:Read the Printed Installation Instructions and Labels

  • Before you begin, make sure you have read the printed installation instructions, including all of the safety cautions. Ensure that you have read and understood all of the labels on the water heater. Ensure that the installation conforms with applicable national, state, and local building, plumbing, and electrical codes by following the steps outlined in this section. Check the data plate on the water heater to check that the voltage, wire size, and circuit breaker settings in the residence are appropriate for this water heater. Ensure that the wire sizes, types, and connections all conform with all applicable local rules and standards before proceeding. Follow NFPA-70 and the current edition of the National Electric Code (NEC) if there are no local codes in effect. NOTICE: If you are unsure that you will be able to perform the installation correctly and securely, obtain assistance from a skilled individual.

Step5:Install the Drain Pan

  • Install an appropriate drain pan that is connected to a proper drainage system. Make sure that the drain is installed such that the water level is confined to a maximum depth of 1-3/4″. At least two inches wider than the diameter of the water heater is required for a proper drain pan.

Step6:Install the Water Heater in the Drain Pan

  • Place the water heater in the drain pan, being careful not to damage the drain pan
  • And WARNING: Water heaters are quite hefty. If you don’t have an appliance dolly, it’s best to have two or more people help you remove or install a water heater. Failure to do so may result in a back injury or another type of harm. Check to see that there is sufficient access to and space around the water heater for future maintenance.

Step7:Install the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

  • Almost all T P Relief Valves (Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves) are fitted at the manufacture. It is necessary to place your T P Relief Valve in the aperture labeled “T P Relief Valve” if it is included in a separate carton. Use the new T P Relief Valve that was included with your new water heater to relieve pressure. Do not use the previous one again
  • WARNING! If your water heater did not come with a T P Relief Valve (as well as a discharge pipe), install one (as well as a discharge pipe) in accordance with the printed installation instructions to avoid serious injury or death as a result of an explosion.

Step8:Install the Discharge Pipe

  • Install the discharge pipe in the appropriate location. The discharge pipe should have an internal diameter of at least 3/4″ and should be slanted to allow for efficient drainage. Install it so that the entire drainage system can function
  • The discharge pipe must be able to endure temperatures of 250°F (121°C) without distorting. Only copper, PEX, or CPVC pipe should be used. Use of any other form of pipe, such as PVC, iron, flexible plastic pipe, or any other sort of hose, is strictly prohibited. Finish the discharge pipe at least 1″ above a floor drain or outside, with a maximum of 6″ above the drain or outside. Instead of draining the discharge pipe into the drain pan, pipe it to a suitable drain instead. If you live in a cold region, you should connect the discharge line within the building to a suitable drain. Drains on the outside of the house might freeze and clog the drain line. It is not recommended to install any valves or other restrictions between the tank and the T P Relief Valve. It is not permissible to cap, block, plug, or insert any valve between the T P Relief Valve and the discharge pipe’s termination. Installing a reducer in the discharge pipe is not recommended.

Step9:Install Shutoff Valve

  • Install a manual shutdown valve in the cold water line that serves the water heater if one hasn’t previously been set up in that location. It is best to locate the shutdown valve next to the water heater so that it is easily reached. Only utilize a full-flow ball or gate valve that is suitable with potable water
  • The placement and piping of your water heater will determine how you complete this stage. Consult the installation manual for further information.

Step10:Install Thermostatic Mixing Valves

  • Install a Thermostatic Mixing Valve at each point of usage (for example, the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the bath, and the shower) in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Always install a Thermostatic Mixing Valve or other temperature restriction mechanism in the inlet water supply line of a water heater that is fed by a solar water heating system (or any other pre-heating system) to limit the water supply input temperature to 120°F. WARNING! Water that is too hot can produce severe burns very immediately, resulting in serious damage or death. Ensure that there are Thermostatic Mixing Valves installed at each point of usage to minimize the danger of scalding.

Step11:Flexible Connectors are Easier to Work With

  • When connecting the water pipes to the water heater, compression fittings are used to make it easier to remove the water heater for servicing or replacement. To connect the copper pipes to the water heater when soldering copper pipes, utilize dielectric unions to connect the pipes to the water heater
  • It is possible to purchase installation kits that include flexible stainless steel connections and compression fittings that do not require soldering to be installed. Furthermore, many flexible connections are equipped with built-in dielectric fits. Ensure that the fittings you use are appropriate for the kind of pipe in your property. Pipes made of copper, PEX, or CPVC should be used. Use of iron or PVC pipe is not recommended. NOTICE: Do not solder pipes while they are connected to a water heater or while they are in use. The water heater’s input and output connections contain nonmetallic elements that might be harmed if they are not properly maintained.

Step12:Measure Pipes Carefully

  • Use the installation kit with flexible connections to measure both water lines if you are using a flexible connector installation kit.

Step13:Cut Water Pipes to Length

  • Reduce the length of both water pipes, but leave them a few inches longer than the specification. You may always shorten them if the situation calls for it.

Step14:Install Compression Fittings

  • Tighten compression fittings on both water lines after they have been installed. Take a look at this little video to learn how it’s done.

Step15:Pipe Joint Compound or Plumber’s Tape

  • Only use pipe joint compound or plumber’s tape on threaded connections
  • Do not use it anywhere else.

Step16:Connect the Water Supply

  • 3/4-inch hose is used to connect the cold water supply “To connect the output connection on the water heater marked “C” (cold), use an NPT threaded adaptor. 3/4-inch hose is used to connect the hot water supply “To connect the output connection on the water heater marked “H” (HOT), use an NPT threaded adaptor.

Step17:Check the Water Pipes

  • Examine and confirm that the hot and cold water pipes in the residence are connected to the appropriate hot and cold water fittings on the water heater

Step18:Dry the Pipe Connections

  • It is necessary to dry the pipe connections in order to detect any drips or leaks.

Step19:Turn the Cold Water Supply ON

  • Fill the tank with cold water by turning on the cold water supply again.

Step20:Remove the Aerator

NOTICE: Do not switch on the electrical power until you are certain that all of the air has been removed from the tank and that the tank is entirely filled with water. Using electricity before the tank is entirely filled with water will result in a dry fire in the upper element.

  • NOTICE: Do not switch on the electrical power until you are certain that all of the air has been removed from the tank and that the tank is entirely filled with water. It is possible that the upper element will burn out (dry fire) if power is introduced before the tank is entirely filled with water. Follow these procedures to remove all air from the tank and let the tank to entirely fill with water: Remove the aerator from the hot water faucet that is closest to you. All junk in the plumbing system is cleaned out of the pipes as a result of this.

Step21:Open a Hot Water Faucet

  • Open a hot water faucet and let the water to flow continuously until it reaches its maximum flow
  • Allow the water to run at full stream for THREE MINUTES in order to flush out all of the air from the tank. NOTICE: Before attaching electrical power to the tank, you must first remove all of the air from the tank and allow the tank to completely fill with water.

Step22:Close the Hot Water Faucet and Replace the Aerator

  • Close the hot water faucet and reinstall the aerator when all of the air has been removed from the tank.

Step23:Check for Leaks

  • Check for leaks at the input and outlet connections, as well as in the water pipes. Tighten the fittings and fix any leaks that may have occurred. It is almost always the case that leaks occur at connections and not at the tank

Step24:Check for Electrical Power

  • Check the power lines using a non-contact circuit tester to ensure that the power has been turned off completely. WARNING! Working on an electrified circuit has the potential to cause serious damage or death due to electrical shock. Check the cables with a volt meter or circuit tester to ensure that the power has been turned off

Step25:Install Wiring in a Conduit

  • Install wire in a conduit that has been authorized (if necessary by local codes)

Step26:Remove the Junction Box Cover

  • Disconnect the electrical connection box located on the top of the water heater by removing the lid.

Step27:Insert Conduit Connector

  • Insert the conduit connector and power wires into the junction box cover through the opening in the cover. Strain-relief nut should be attached.

Step28:Connect the Ground Wire

  • Using the bare copper or green ground wire from the house, connect it to the water heater’s green ground screw.

Step29:Connect the Home’s Power Wires

  • Connect the two power wires from the house to the two service wires from the water heater. Make the power connections by using wire nuts or other approved methods that are appropriate for the situation.

Step30:Replace the Junction Box Cover

  • Replace the junction box lid and fasten it with the screws that were provided
  • And NOTE: Make certain that the cover is properly attached to prevent the risk of fire and electric shock.

Step31:Install Strain Relief

  • When connecting the electrical cabling to the water heater, use a strain relief that is UL rated or CSA approved.

Step32:Turn Power ON

  • Power should be turned on at the circuit breaker (or fuses should be replaced). It may take several hours for a tank of cold water to get up to the appropriate temperature. If you still don’t have hot water after two hours, refer to the troubleshooting section for assistance.

Step33:Install Insulation on the Water Pipes

  • Water pipes should be insulated (or heated using heat tape), especially if the interior installation location is subjected to cold temperatures. Insulating the hot water line might help you save money on your energy bills.

Step34:Adjusting the Temperature

Thermal protection has been provided by factory setting the thermostat(s) on this water heater at about 120°F to limit the danger of scald injury. In order to supply hot water for automated dishwashers or washing machines, as well as to increase hot water capacity and decrease bacterial development, you may want to set the temperature higher.

  • Thermal protection has been provided by factory setting the thermostat(s) on this water heater at about 120°F to limit the danger of scald injury. In order to supply hot water for automated dishwashers or washing machines, to increase the capacity of the hot water heater, and to limit bacterial development, you may want to raise the temperature higher. WARNING! Because of the increased danger of scorching when the water heater’s thermostat(s) is set higher than 120°F, it is advised to install Thermostatic Mixing Valves at each point of use to lessen the risk of scalding
  • However, this is not required. Inspect and adjust Thermostatic Mixing Valves as needed at various places of usage around your home (for example, the bathtub faucet, shower, and lavatory sink)
  • If you really want to modify the temperature, you may do so by following the instructions in Standard Electric Troubleshooting: Adjusting the Temperature.

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