How To Remove A Stripped Hot Water Heater Element?

How To Remove Water Heater Element That Is Rusted [9 Steps]

In my capacity as an Amazon Associate, I receive money when others make eligible purchases.″There is no additional cost to you!″ a rusty object A faulty water heater element might be the cause of water that is not as hot as it used to be or that is not available at all.A faulty heating element in your electric water heater might be the source of the problem.

  1. It is possible that this rusty water heater element can increase your power bill.
  2. The amusing reality is that this rusting issue is fairly frequent with all water heaters, regardless of brand.
  3. Due to the fact that the element is immediately engaged in the heating of the water, it comes into direct touch with it.
  4. In this case, don’t be concerned; simply remove the corroded part and replace it with a brand new one to restore functionality.

For those who are not familiar with the process, deleting the element might be a little challenging.And if you have looked for this, it is possible that you are experiencing this difficulty.The procedure of removing water heater components is not as difficult as it is commonly believed to be.A water heater element may be removed in several different ways, which we shall discuss more in this post.Additionally, if you follow the procedures to the letter, you will be able to remove it on your own.It would be a bit difficult to remove a water heater element without an element wrench, to say the least.

The vast majority of skilled plumbers have stated that a stuck item cannot be rotated using standard grips or clamps.Breaker bars, according to the majority of expert plumbers, may also be a viable choice.Typically, they are hollow steel cylinders that are designed to fit snugly over the heater’s clamping handle.These products will frequently, but not always, remove recalcitrant and trapped components from the environment.

  • In a similar vein, we’ll go through some different approaches of removing the element from the heater in the next sections.
  • If you are not in a rush, simply follow the steps in their entirety, and we promise that you will see noticeable results as a consequence.
  • Let’s get this party started;

How To Remove Water Heater Element That Already Rusted Or Damaged

  • There will be 9 key procedures to follow in order to remove a corroded water heater element in this post. A corroded water heater element may be quite upsetting in a variety of ways. In addition, as we already indicated, eliminating it may be a difficult process. No further time should be wasted
  • let us immediately begin the procedure. You may require the following tools: This procedure cannot be completed without the use of tools, and you may require expert assistance. It goes without saying that a new water heater element is required.
  • If there is electricity, a voltage tester will be used to determine the voltage.
  • Wrench for the water heater element (other wrenches may not be suitable)
  • The following items are required: A screwdriver
  • A hosepipe (for draining the water)

1. Turn the water heater power off

When working with a water heater, it is always necessary to turn off the electricity.Electrical systems may be switched off at the disconnector, whereas gas systems are controlled by a button or dial.In the boiler, two separate breakers should be properly installed to prevent overheating.Wait for the water in the container to get to room temperature.In addition to the fact that the heater elements are controlled by a thermostat, the tank would also have an impact on the electric flow of hot water that would pass through the heater elements.When the water heater element is removed, it is vital to confirm that there is no electrical current present.

Using a multimeter to measure the wire until you’re ready to start is recommended.This is due to the fact that you are not aware that your electric water heater has been deactivated.

2. Drain the water heater

Draining the water that has accumulated in the tank can be accomplished with a hosepipe.You will know for certain whether there is any blockage if you do this.If you need to make repairs, it is only necessary to empty your gadget to a point just beneath the affected section.However, it is a good idea to completely flush your tank after every repair.This contributes to the elimination of sedimentary layers and the extension of the lifespan of all of the constituents in the system.In order to efficiently empty the device, turn on the warm water rope that is closest to the radiator.

You might be interested in how to fix a water heater that won’t ignite.

3. Turn off the water supply

You don’t want any water to come into your workspace while you’re working. As a result, double-check that the water supply has been switched off. You may turn off the water supply by closing the inlet valve, which is always visible above our water heaters. It is possible to finish this maneuver by opening the nearest robinet and turning on the hot water faucet.

4. Test the Heating Element for electricity

If you want to check the heating element of a circuit, set the multi-test option to the OHMs and attach the red plug to one end of a screw on a heater, and the black plug to the other end of the screw on the same heater.In a digital network, if the ohm values are all zero, there is no power flowing through the heating element at all.This demonstrates that the heating system is unreliable and that it should be upgraded.

5. Lubricant the Rusted Element

In a small cup, combine half vinegar and half water to make a solution.Place a toothbrush between the seam and the heating tank side and use it to brush the solution into the seam and heating tank side.Apply the solution in a straightforward manner; however, avoid allowing it to get too heavy.Allow for a 20-minute period of relaxation.This homemade lubrication will assist you in quickly and effortlessly removing the part.

6. Remove the Rusted Element 

Then remove the heating element from the system. It’s time for the next step. We will need to utilize a heating element clamp in order to extricate this component. This aspect wrench is the only key that is capable of accurately extracting this component. Due to the possibility of damage to ordinary wrenches, professionals do not recommend using an alternative to remove this part.

Element Type

Those with a screw-in heating system may be removed using a socket wrench and a 1 1/2-inch socket turned counter-clockwise.Any repair kits will come with a heating factor connection built in.Remove the gasket that is preventing the heating element from moving freely.Flange-type: To remove a heating element of this type, first remove the four screws that hold the element in place.Take the comedy out of the equation.Cutting the mounting screws and gasket from the water heater tank allows the heating element to be removed from the tank.

Make that the socket is directly above the heater and that it is being turned in a clockwise orientation.To get the heating portion to start spinning, tap the handle of the socket clamp with a hammer a few times.If the heating element refuses to budge, place the breaker bar over the clamping handle and try again.

Alternatively, if you want to exchange the key with the bar, you might ask a friend to position the socket key’s head over the heating section.Our water heater drain valve may then be opened to allow the tank to be drained.Depending on the size of our water tank, this phase might take up to an hour to complete.

7. Prepare new element 

Clean the new element well and thoroughly wash it out.You must take precautions to guarantee that no bacteria or garbage is introduced into our water heaters.After that, we’ll attach our brand new ″O″ ring to our new heating unit.When removing the water heating element, it is still necessary to replace the rubber gasket to prevent leaks.Insert the gasket around the base of the element’s flange using the threads of a screw to secure it in place.To tighten the item up another 1/2 to 1 turn, first displace it in a thin finger and then use your clamping factor to tighten it up even further.

Remove the bolts that hold the flange units in place.

8. Refill the tank and replace the cover

Following completion of all ″Element removal″ stages, it is required to replenish the tank and reinstall all of the necessary components.Close the drain valve after turning on the heater’s water supply.As of right now, we do not intend to turn on the electricity supply immediately.We need to make sure that our tank is completely filled before we switch on the electricity.If there is a leak, look for it in the freshly installed part.If a leak has been discovered, switch off the water supply and tighten the element in conjunction with the main element to prevent further leakage.

Even the ″O″ ring can be changed if necessary.To ensure that the refilling process is completed completely, only the thermostat, isolator, and panel cover can be replaced.When you have finished replacement cover, our water heater supply will be switched on with our disruptors at some point.

We’ve noticed that when we open our rockets, the water flow is inconsistent, maybe due to the presence of air within the water heater.This predicament will be resolved in a short period of time.

9. Power-up the Heater

Restore the wires to the new element(s), which means that the correct wires are not severed and soldered to the same terminals as the wrong wires.Switch on the disruptor and have a look at the boiler.It is not necessary to replace the plastic protecting deck or cover the access panel if there are no signs of leakage.The water should be allowed to warm up for a couple of hours before measuring the water temperature.Ensure that the required thermostat changes are made.

Important FAQs about Removing Rusted Water Heater Element

Even after reading the previous explanation, you may still have some questions in your mind. Some of them have been organized in this area. Look through them; you never know when they could come in helpful. What is the minimum size of the socket required to remove a water heater element?

The drive socket is a 1 1/2-inch, six-and-a-half-point. You’ll most likely need six to 10 people to fit in. A broker bar as well as an extension. An illustration of the water heater replacement procedure is shown below the fold. What is the ideal tightness for a water heater element?

Tighten it as much as you can and give it another curl if possible. Because it is a screw-in hot element, it is necessary to use a clamp to twist the unit clockwise until it is near. What are the possible causes of a water heater’s heating element failing?

In current water heating systems, DRYFIRE or novel alternatives for elements are the most likely explanations for element burn-out and failure. A hot water faucet is not fitted by the installer at the time the heater tank is filled with water, causing air to be sucked out of the system when the heater tank fills with water. How long does a water heater element last?

It’s a typical ten-year period. The anode rods are constructed over a period of 6 to 10 years. It would take approximately 20 years to replace the heating elements if the anode(s) were replaced every 6 years. What is the most often encountered problem with water heaters?

The most common and irritating issue with water heaters is the lack of hot water. A faulty drain valve might be caused by excessive tank friction, corrosion, rust, or moisture, among other things.


A water heater element does not become rusty on a regular basis.However, once this occurs, it becomes extremely difficult to maintain the water quality and to keep the electrical costs under control.In the event that you have gone through the entire approach, you should have a good notion about how to remove corroded water elements.These are simple procedures that you can carry out on your own without assistance.However, if you believe it is necessary, you can consult with specialists who have greater expertise.However, there are several advantages to doing it yourself, including the opportunity to gain new experiences, save money, and reduce time consumption.

Remove your corroded water heater element by following the instructions outlined above.Wishing you the best of luck!

How to Remove Stuck Heating Elements From a Hot Water Heater

Photograph courtesy of Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images.Replacing the element in a hot water heater is typically a basic procedure.The screw-in type is the most often encountered.Excessive heat, silt, and corrosion can all cause the element threads to get bonded together.With a conventional wrench or vise grips, a trapped element will not be turned at all.Obtain a six-point socket set with a 1/2″ drive socket wrench to complete this task.

The big socket wrench provides extra force, and the socket is snugly fitted over the heating element to prevent it from being accidentally turned off.In some cases, a breaker bar will be required as well.Breaker bars are hollow steel pipes that are designed to fit over the handle of a socket wrench.

They provide the extra leverage required to remove tough fasteners and heating components that have been trapped.

Step 1

Bend the wires that connect to the heating element out of the way. A rag should be placed over the thermostat below the heating element.

Step 2

In a tiny cup, combine half vinegar and half water to make a solution. The solution should be dipped into a toothbrush and rubbed in between the seam of the heating element and one of the heating tank’s side walls. Using a generous amount of the solution, but without allowing it to leak excessively, Allow for a 20-minute resting period after mixing the solution.

Step 3

Place the socket above the heating element and try to spin it in the opposite direction of the current. To get the heating element to start rotating, tap the handle of the socket wrench with a hammer a couple of times.

Step 4

If the heating element would not budge, slide the breaker bar over the socket wrench handle to release it. As a safety precaution, have a friend hold the top of the socket wrench above the hot element while you crank the wrench with the bar.

Step 5

Once the heating element begins to revolve, remove the bar from the socket wrench handle and store it somewhere safe. The heating element should be turned as much as possible with the socket wrench until it is entirely removed from the water tank.

Steps Download Article

  1. 1Deactivate the water heater’s electrical power source. Please be cautious, since there may be two different breakers for the water heater.
  2. 2Disconnect the water supply to the water heater. Advertisement
  3. It will be easier to drain the water heater if you use the relief valve. (See below for some pointers.)
  4. 4Remove the water heater’s panels from the wall. They are often held in place by one or two conveniently accessible screws.
  5. 5Remove everything that is in the way of the element. It might be made of fiberglass or a piece of cardboard.
  6. 6Remove the wires from the heating element. 8Put some pipe dope on the new element and screw it into position. 9Reconnect the wires. 10Repeat Steps 4-9 for additional elements. 11Fill the tank with water. 7Remove the element by twisting it counterclockwise. Check for hot water in an hour or so after turning on the electricity to the water heater (see TIPS BELOW). Advertisement
  • Question Add a new question Question Does it appear like there will be air in the hot water line? Yes, however running the water for a few minutes should clear out all of the air that has built up in the pipes.
  • Question Is it possible to put it up without draining the water? Yes. It’s difficult, but it’s doable. First and foremost, check certain that the electricity has been switched off and that the water in the cylinder is cold. Close the main water shutoff valve and open a hot tap, leaving it open for a few minutes to drain any water that may have accumulated on the pipes or in the expansion vessel. Once this is done, remove the hot outlet hose from the cylinder. You can feed an inspection camera attached to your phone into that hole, allowing you to visually check it and assess its condition. Afterwards, reconnect the hot outlet pipe, turn off the hot tap, open the main water stopcock, and then open the hot tap again to release any trapped air that may have been trapped there. Afterwards, return to the cylinder and examine it for leaks. In what size is the nut that is attached to the end of the element? The elements are included with a nut and a tool for removing them, so you won’t have to worry about knowing how to do it. Take your heater information with you, and you’ll be able to use the ″gadget″ that comes with the element to remove and replace the element! Is there anything else that can prevent the hot water tank from heating up? There is an item on your geyser that is referred as as a thermostat. This regulates the real temperature and instructs the element when to turn on and off the heating element. Because the thermostat is most likely not functioning properly, you should get assistance from an electrician.
  • Inquire about something There are 200 characters remaining. Include your email address so that you may be notified when this question has been resolved. Advertisement submissions are welcome. If the heating element is stuck, there are three options for removing it: tightening the element (turning it clockwise) a tiny bit, turning it counterclockwise a small amount, or removing it entirely. 1. Try heating the element with a propane torch to see if it loosens up any stuck spots. 2. Fill the tank only half with water so that the tank does not move when you are attempting to rotate the element. In the event that all else fails, hammer out the terminals and plastic end of the element > on the newly exposed surface of the element, drill and tap two 1/4-inch holes in the element ″Make holes in the element > keep the holes close to the center of the element so that the element threads are not damaged > Twist two long quarters together ″Use a wrench or vice grips to grasp the two bolts and twist them to remove the element. When removing the element, tap on it repeatedly with a small hammer to break the corrosion loose. If your element has failed due to age, you should also replace the Temperature and Pressure Relief valve. Turn on the hot water at the sink to bleed the air out of the line.
  • Opening the hot water side of a faucet will help it drain faster. You don’t want to make a mess of the cables.
  • You can photograph the thermostat with your smart phone before disconnecting the wires if you have one. Make sure you replace the wires in the right order by referring to the photograph.
  • The metal jacket of a hot water heater appears to be deceptively sharp at first glance.
  • The use of leather gloves when removing the components might help you avoid getting cut badly.
  • Thank you for submitting a suggestion for consideration! Advertisement The metal jacket of a hot water heater appears to be deceptively sharp at first glance.
  • When you buy new elements, they normally come with washers
  • when you change them, make sure you place the washer on the element.
  • Make certain that the tank seat where the element gasket is going to be installed is free of debris. Check to see that everything is clean and clear of any rust pits. It will leak if this is not done.
  • Consult a professional if you are unclear how to switch off the electricity or if you want to double-check that the power has been turned off to the heater.
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Things You’ll Need

  • The following tools are recommended: screwdriver, element wrench (optional), and a very small wrench for smaller water heaters (e.g., 17 gal).

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ele. hot water heater element

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 ele. hot water heater element
Author: rparris (TX) I have stripped the edges on the lower heating element and the socket will not catch to loosen th e element.It is a 1-1/2 screw in.How do I get it out?
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: ev607797 (NC) I have had luck using a basin wrench on these before.They aren’t very expensive and are available at most plumbing supply and home improvement stores. -Ed-
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: rparris (TX) Thanks Ed, I have one of those and I will try that.Thanks.
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: Edward429451 (CO) If that fails use a 1-1/2″ 6 pt socket. It’ll tap right on to the stripped edges and allow you to get a good bite on it for removal.
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: jjbex (IL) I bought a US Army (from 1966) 1.5″ 6 point 1/2″ drive socket for a couple bucks on ebay. It won’t strip an element. – ″You can’t get there from here″ Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: hj (AZ) If the edges are rounded off it is too tight for a basin wrench. One way is to drill the two wire connections out. Then insert two round punches/chisels into the holes and use a bar between them to twist it out.
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: redwood (CT) I always pull out the 1 1/2″ 6 point socket and breaker bar to remove water heater elements. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Since 1995 (3 years before Google started) has been THE best plumbing supplier on the web. Please visit our sponsor
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 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: akamon (GA) chase the nut around with a sharp chisel, biting into the side of nut and tapping sidways with hammer. you can also do this with really stubborn tub spuds. works great for those times when the nut just won’t budge!
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: abestoller (NY) HJ, I like your suggestion.Im having the same issue.Do you know the diameter of the holes to be drilled out so I know what size pins to get?Do you think it would work if i put machine screws in there instead of chisel/punches?What do you recommend using as a bar to put between them?Doesn’t seem like a ton of space for anything big.Thanks Edited 2 times.
Post Reply
 Re: ele. hot water heater element
Author: abestoller (NY) rparris, did you get the element out?if so, how did you do it?
Post Reply
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How To Remove Water Heater Element Without Element Wrench

Most of the time, an element wrench is required to remove the water heater element since they are reliable and operate practically every time.However, it is possible that the heater element has corroded or rusted, particularly if the heater element is old.Then you may have to resort to something a little more substantial, which brings us to the question of how to remove a water heater element without an element wrench.It is necessary to use a 38mm socket in order to remove the water heater element without the need of an element wrench.When compared to an element wrench, it is possible to generate higher torque as a rotational force for the same axis of rotation, which is extremely significant when the water heater element is corroded or rusted.If you have the opportunity to do so, it is preferable to acquire an element wrench, which can be had for as little as four dollars.

The approach I describe in this post on how to remove a water heater element without an element wrench is most commonly used in circumstances of corrosion or rusting, in which case an element wrench would not function properly and would need to be replaced.This recommendation also applies to portable water heaters that have a tank, assuming that they have one.Instead of the element wrench, you can use a pipe wrench or pliers in this situation.

Furthermore, because breaker bars are hollow steel pipes, they may be used to remove an element wrench from a heater’s socket wrench handle because they can fit over the handle of the heater’s socket wrench.I believe that the approach that I will discuss step by step below is superior than the previous one.In most cases, an element wrench should be used to remove the water heater element from the tank.In addition to being designed specifically for the removal of electric water heater elements, it has a large muzzle or mouth that fits snugly over the exposed portion of the water heater element.When you have a water heater element that is obstinate and will not come out, you will need to purchase a socket.

Sockets are available in a variety of sizes and tastes, but they are always the same inch and a half in diameter (38 mm).Without the use of an element wrench, how do you remove the water heater element?

Step by Step How To Remove Water Heater Element Without Element Wrench


  • 38mm socket


  • We’ll need to use a voltage tester to make sure that no energy is still flowing to the water heater after we’ve turned off the circuit breaker.
  • Using a hose, we can see if any sediments have stopped our drain valve.
  • In order to remove the cover for the access panel, you’ll need a screwdriver.

The time required is 8 minutes. In a few simple steps, you will learn how to remove a water heater element without the need of an element wrench.

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker if necessary. Double-check to see that the circuit breaker at the electrical panel has been switched off before continuing. It is possible to establish whether or not power is reaching the water heater with the use of a voltage tester. Ensure that there is no electricity present while removing an element from a water heater. Attachment of the hose is another crucial safety consideration. Beginning with the hookup of the hose to the water heater when no electricity is available, proceed as follows: The goal of this step is to assess whether or not any sediments have accumulated and obstructed our drain valve at this time. We will not need to deplete our water tank over the course of this procedure.
  2. Turn Off The Water In order to accomplish this procedure, we must turn off the water supply valve. Turning off the water supply is as simple as closing the water inlet valve, which is a straightforward process that can be seen above the water heater and is accessible. By enabling air to enter the tank, we will be able to release the hot water that has been stored within the water heater. Finally, open the nearest tap to the faucet to turn on the hot water, which should be the last step in this procedure. Remove the Access Panel Cover It is necessary to remove the cover from the access panel. The screwdriver will be used to remove the cover from the access panel, which will be our technique of doing so today. On the thermostat of the water heater, there is also a clear plastic cover visible. It is necessary to remove this with care. At this point, it is necessary to examine the wiring as well. Is there anything that appears to be damaged or melted? We must understand that any broken wires must be replaced as soon as possible in order to prevent future harm. We will need to release the screw in order to disconnect the heating element wires from the element.
  3. How to Remove the Water Heater Element Without Using an Element Wrench A socket can now be used in place of the standard element wrench in the following situations.
  4. The socket will be one standard inch and a half (38 mm) in diameter.
  5. Before putting in the new element, clean it well. It is now possible to clean and wipe the new element. It is necessary to take specific precautions in order to avoid contaminants and debris from being transported to our water heaters. The new ″O″ ring will be attached to our new heating element at this point. It is now possible to carefully place the element into its tank and tighten it with the element wrench once it has been joined with the ″O″ ring. It is not suggested that you use a regular wrench for this technique.
  6. Refilling the Water Heater’s Tank Closing the drain valve while also turning on the water supply to the heater are both recommended. At this moment, I do not recommend that the power supply be switched on soon after being disconnected. It is critical that we verify that our tank is completely filled before turning on the electricity. As of right now, a half-full container of water has the potential to cause harm to the heating element. To proceed to the following stage, you must visually inspect the freshly installed part for any symptoms of leaking. The water supply should be turned off and the element should be tightened until no more water is coming out. Some thermostats may require the ″O″ ring to be relocated in addition to the cover being replaced. Replace the thermostat cover and turn on the circuit breaker After the tank has been completely filled, the thermostat cover, the insulation, and the access panel cover can all be removed and replaced with new parts. As soon as we’ve finished replacing the covers, we’ll be able to turn on the water heater by turning on the circuit breaker once more. When we first turn on our taps, there will be an irregular flow of water as a consequence of the air trapped inside the water heater, but this is completely normal. In the end, the problem will be remedied within a short amount of time.
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  4. It is my intention to discuss sistering floor joists as a method of reinforcing existing floor joists with a particular focus on the sistering of 2×6 floor joists or the sistering of 2×8 floor joists instead, as well as the building code for sistering joists, the building code for sistering rafters, and the code for notching floor joists.
  5. Many of these issues have a resulting complication: sinking or sagging flooring.
  6. Water heaters are devices that heat water.
  • The next sections provide a comprehensive reference to water heater kinds and installation requirements, as well as information on power vent water heaters and venting in tankless devices.
  • I also go into length about the differences between a mobile home water heater and a traditional water heater.
  • I also go into great depth on how to remove the heating element without the use of an element wrench by simply using a socket, as well as how to correct leaks.
  • When a water heater comes into our possession, we do a few evaluations, such as those of the Titan product portfolio, the Navien lineup, the Titan N-160 reviews, which are the most highly acclaimed by our readers, and the Rinnai R94LSi.

It was my goal to research various water heater capacities and test 20-gallon water heater units.I also wanted to do a comparison between point of use and tankless water heaters.We open a tankless water heater to demonstrate what it looks like on the inside of a tankless water heater and how to protect your water heater from the impact of hard water on its performance.It is also important to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of tankless water heaters since many people believe that tankless units are superior to regular heaters, which is not always the case.

After the water heater’s useful life has expired, I will discuss the many choices available for disposing of it.Electricals For no other reason than that they have become famous and are tied to current events, I am researching how to find aluminum wire and, if identified, how to continue with its cleanup or retrofitting.Pest Control is a term that is used to describe the control of pests.I have a featured piece in which I compare the pest control services provided by Orkin and Terminix.M.Kogan is the author of this piece.

My name is Marcio, and I’d want to introduce myself.My alma mater is Mackenzie University, and I work as an architect and designer.In theory, an architect is retired, but in practice, an architect never truly retires.Additionally, I am a filmmaker and have created a few short films in addition to my architectural work.Filmmaking and design are two of my favorite things to do.HomeQN is a blog where I write about house decorating and building foundations.

  1. The objective is to train homeowners to do as much of their own work as possible, and when this is not feasible, to empower them with knowledge so that they can analyze service estimates and select the best service professionals for their situation.

Water Heater Element Wrench: What You Should Know

When working with an electric tank-style water heater, a water heater element wrench is a basic and affordable equipment that may assist you in removing and installing a heating element.It’s possible that changing the heating element in your water heater can solve your problem if you’re a do-it-yourselfer and your water heater isn’t heating as well as it used to.Find Local Plumbing Professionals This article will cover all you need to know about water heater element wrenches, as well as demonstrate how to properly use one of these instruments.

The use of these simple and affordable tools is an excellent method of changing heating components, but you may be able to do the task without one.We’ll show you how to do it!

Water Heater Element Wrench

Despite the fact that certain water heaters (particularly older versions) employ plug-in heating components, the screw-in style is more frequent.The removal and replacement of a screw-in heating element, on the other hand, will necessitate the use of a specialized tool known as a water heater element wrench.The element wrench’s six-point end (often referred to as a hex) is 1-1/2 inches in length and fits snugly to the hex on the heating element head.

By turning the wrench to the left or right, you may loosen or tighten the heating element.

Water Heater Element Wrench Size

In order to fit the normal 1-1/2 inch residential heating element head, nearly all hot water heater element wrenches are equipped with a 1-1/2 inch hex.Additionally, they’re typically at least 5-inches long, with cross holes drilled into the opposite end of the pipe so that a screwdriver may be inserted to provide additional torque as needed.A range of various designs and lengths of element wrenches are available, and they are affordable and simple to use.

How to Use a Water Heater Element Wrench

  • Water heater element wrenches are simple to operate and require no special skills or training. The following is the procedure for removing a heating element: Use an electrical tester to ensure that the electricity has been turned off at the water heater once the power has been turned off.
  • Drain the water that has accumulated below the element. Instructions on how to empty a tank
  • Electrical cables connected to the heating element should be disconnected.
  • Put the water heater element wrench over the end of the heating element
  • then tighten the wrench.
  • To use the element wrench, insert a screw driver through the holes on the opposite end of the element wrench.
  • To loosen the heating element, turn to the left.

Watch the Video

Best Water Heater Element Wrenches

Despite the fact that all water heater element wrenches are designed to remove and replace a heating element, there are a variety of designs available on the market today. A few of our favorites are as follows:

Camco Residential Water Heater Element Wrench

Water heater element wrench by Camco.This zinc-plated tool is designed to cope with all conventional screw-in elements in water heaters.The 1-1/2″ hex is designed to fit over the end of the heating element, and the cross holes on the opposite end may take a screwdriver to provide more torque when the hex is tightened.

The tool’s 5-inch length allows it to fit into tight spaces that an adjustable wrench would find difficult or impossible to reach.Water heater element wrench from CamcoThis heavy-duty zinc-plated water heater element wrench is designed to remove elements from water heaters that are difficult to reach.

Camco Anode/Element Wrench

Anode/Element Wrench is built with two hex ends so that it may be used to loosen and tighten not only the water heater element, but also the anode rod, according to the manufacturer.The 1-1/2 inch hex element end is compatible with all standard screw-in water heater elements, and the 1-1/16 inch hex anode rod end is compatible with all standard anode rods on both residential and recreational vehicle heaters, respectively.Each end is equipped with two screwdriver holes, which allow for the application of additional torque.

The Camco Anode/Element Wrench measures 10 inches in length and is made of zinc-plated steel construction.Wrench for Heating Elements and Anode Rods by CamcoThe Camco Anode/Element Wrench is unusual in that it can be used for both heating elements and anode rods.

Supplying Demand Water Heater Element Wrench

It’s also worth noting that the water heater element wrench from Supplying Demand is a two-sided wrench.One hex end is designed to accommodate 1-1/2 inch element heads, while the other is designed to fit the more difficult-to-find 1-7/8 inch element head.The tool is 5-inches in length and is equipped with a pair of cross holes that help to increase torque.

It is compatible with electric water heaters from all major manufacturers.Wrench for Supplying and Demanding Element The Supply Demand Element Wrench is available in two sizes: the standard 1-1/2 inch hex and the more difficult-to-find 1-7/8 inch hex.

Camco Professional Water Heater Element Socket

The Camco Professional Water Heater Element Socket is unique in that it is meant to be used with a regular 1/2-inch socket drive, which is not common with other socket drives.Attaching the socket to a 1/2-inch drive ratchet will allow you to remove typical 1-1/2″ screw-in electric water heater elements with ease.It is especially beneficial to use the Camco 1-1/2 inch hex socket if the water heater element has become rusted in its mounting bracket.

You’ll be able to apply more power to tricky and obstinate heating components if you use this technique.Socket for the Camco water heater element The Camco Element Socket is made of chrome-plated steel and is designed to operate with a 1/2-inch drive socket.

How to Remove a Heating Element Without a Water Heater Element Wrench

Although a hot water heater element wrench is a useful tool, do you really need one to remove or replace a heating element in your water heater?The quick answer is that it does not.It is possible to utilize a Drive x 1-1/2 inch socket if you have a 1/2 inch drive socket.

The aperture in the socket is large enough to accommodate the hex end on all conventional home water heater elements.Using the 1-1/2 socket, you may easily and quickly remove a water heater element that does not have an element wrench attached to it.Then, with the socket handle turned to the left, remove the socket.If you want greater force to release a rusted or obstinate piece, a breaker bar might be used to accomplish this.This may be the ideal option for individuals who already have a collection of tools at their disposal.

See also:  How To Reset Samsung Water Filter

However, many homeowners find it less expensive to purchase the water heater element wrench rather than purchasing the wrench and just using a screwdriver or other tool to remove the element from the water heater.Repair and Installation of Water Heaters at the Lowest Possible Price Now is the time to call!Request Estimates from Pre-Approved Local Contractors

How to Remove a Seized Water Heater Element

Unfortunately, water heater components can become clogged with sediment.They can get rusted and corroded in their current location over time.As a matter of fact, they might become extremely tough to get rid of.

However, there are a few strategies that may be used to overcome even the most recalcitrant heating element.As a starting point, consider utilizing a 1-1/2-inch socket.It is more likely that a socket will provide greater torque and force than a water heater element wrench in the majority of circumstances.If necessary, a breaker bar can be used to open the door.Otherwise, try using a wire brush to clean away any rust or corrosion that may have built up around the threads.

The vinegar solution is the next item to attempt.Apply it with a toothbrush around the head of the heating element, then wipe the area off with a towel to prevent it from leaking.Wait 20 minutes after applying the product.In the following step, install a 1-1/2 socket over the element and rotate it to the left.As you apply pressure to the socket wrench, tap the handle of the socket wrench with a hammer.Using a breaker bar, if this does not work, is an option.

  • If you are still unable to remove the heating element, we recommend that you seek the assistance of a professional plumber.
  • Using a propane torch to heat the exterior of the fitting (not the element) is another approach that we do not recommend you try on your own because it might be extremely dangerous.
  • Take cautious not to burn the wire or other electrical components.
  • If none of the solutions listed above work, you’ll have to drill the heating element out of the wall.
  • Please keep in mind that if your heating element has developed this level of corrosion, the chances are strong that you will need to replace your water heater either immediately or within the next few months.

24-hour plumbing service is available for emergencies.Repair – Install – Replace is a three-step process.


Request Estimates from Pre-Approved Local Contractors

Electric Water Heater Elements

Instructions on how to test and replace an electric water heater element are provided in detail.Learn about the most prevalent causes of element failure as well as how to troubleshoot grounded and open elements in this article.Types, as well as a shopping guide Let us first become acquainted with the heating components before proceeding with the instructions.

A tank-type electric water heater element is a type of immersion heater element that, when activated with electricity, warms water in a tank-type water heater system.The amount of electrical current that travels through the heating components is controlled by a safety mechanism known as the high limit.Get Quotes from Highly Qualified Water Heater Professionals!Get Free Estimates on Your Project!In the case of hot water, a thermostat is a device that regulates the temperature.

The most popular electric heaters you will encounter, such as those made by Rheem, AO Smith, Kenmore, GE, Whirlpool, and others, are equipped with two thermostats and two heating elements, as shown in the diagram.These thermostats are manually adjustable and are meant to be surface mounted in order to be in direct touch with the exterior section of the electric heater’s heating element.Because of the electric water heater element, which uses electricity as a power source for heating, you can place a unit virtually anywhere, which is not the case with gas water heaters, which rely on a gas line and require sufficient ventilation.Please keep in mind that the thermostat, heating components, and internal wiring are all pre-installed at the factory.If you need to do any electrical work on the heaters, you should consult with a certified electrician.Water heater elements should be checked on a regular basis as part of your routine maintenance to ensure that the device remains in excellent operating order.

Types of heating elements

Non-simultaneous vs. simultaneous

Non-simultaneous domestic electric heaters, which operate on 240 V and 4500 watts, are the most common type on the market.When two electric water heater elements are operating at the same time, the phrase ″non-simultaneous″ is used to describe how only one of them is operating at a time.Having more than one electric heating element operating at the same time is referred to as a simultaneous arrangement.

Compared to simultaneous electric heaters, non-simultaneous electric heaters have a slower recovery rate, but simultaneous electric heaters require more amperage protection.Did you know that if you get your plumbing maintenance and servicing completed on time and by a competent plumber, you can prevent having serious problems?Make contact with a professional!

Good, better, and the best type

Heating Element with a Low Watt Density The upper and lower heating elements are similar, and the temperature is controlled by the upper and lower thermostats, as well as the high limit device, on both sides of the heating element.Electric water heater elements are available in a variety of sizes, with the most common being 12″.(300 mm).

With the U-shaped connection screwed into a female threaded connection in the tank, this is the most typical configuration.Some components are shorter than others, while some are longer than others.Each has a different tube diameter, with the shorter having a wider diameter and the longer having a narrower diameter, but both have the same heating surface.The quality of the heating components improves over time, going from excellent to better and finally outstanding (premium).Elements with the highest wattage density are often constructed of nickel and stainless steel and are referred to as ultralow wattage density elements.

In comparison to the conventional elements, they produce less heat per square inch of surface area, and they are often folded back.This enables for simple installation, longer life owing to the resistance to lime build-up, and protection against dry-firing.The electrical and wattage rating of the heating element are shown on the front of the element.When replacing the old heating element, be sure you use the same configuration and/or model.The high limit device is a safety feature; when the temperature exceeds harmful levels, the high limit switch disconnects the electrical current.Because the temperature may be changed manually, you can simply use a regular screwdriver to make the adjustments.

  • The majority of safety regulations prohibit temperatures more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

How electric water heater element works

Although both the top and lower electric heating elements are immersed in the water, both the thermostat and the high-limit switch are visible above the surface.As soon as the lower thermostat detects that the water temperature in the tank’s bottom has dropped below the required or requested temperature, the energy is transferred to a lower heating element, and the heating process begins.When the lower thermostat detects that the hot water has reached the desired temperature, the flow of electric current is interrupted.

It is possible that more water is used than the lower heating element is capable of heating, causing the upper thermostat to detect that it is cooler in the upper part of the tank than desired, causing electrical current to be directed to the upper heating element, which in turn initiates the heating cycle.It is recommended that you use a higher-wattage heating element for your electric water heater if you require it to heat water more quickly than the one that you already have.

Common electric water heater element problems

Dry-fired elements

If the tank water heater is not completely filled with water and the heating elements are exposed to air, even small pockets of air, dry-firing of the heating elements happens within seconds.As a result, the portion of the element that was exposed to the air gets extremely hot, resulting in copper sheathing damage that is irreversible.Such an element is distorted and may be bent easily, and the plastic sleeves are melting as a result.

Alternatively, purchase and install a dry-fired heating element, and ensure that the tank is always completely filled (such that the heating element is completely immersed) before using the heater.

Limescale build-up

The buildup of limescale on the heating components is the consequence of the combined efforts of hot water and mineral deposits over time (especially in regions with hard water).Once developed on the heating elements, limescale works as an insulator, limiting the efficacy of the heating element’s performance.Furthermore, less heat is transported to the water, and the elements are exposed to a higher temperature, resulting in the breakdown of the system.

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and draining, is essential for ensuring a long service life and good efficiency.

Voltage spikes

In the event of a voltage spike caused by lightning or a power surge, heating components may be adversely damaged. The presence of black soot on the element head, melted plastic, and a bloated or torn sheath are all common signs.

Wet heating element

When there is a leak in the plumbing, water can seep into the heating element sheath and cause it to crack.

Open circuit

The heating element does not appear to be deformed, however the inner filament is damaged and cannot be repaired.Only by testing for continuity can you determine whether or not the element is defective; if there is no continuity, the element must be replaced.Other factors that might cause element failure or improper operation include mechanical stress caused by vibration, as well as high and low voltage supplies.

In some cases, a high voltage can cause an element to burn out, whereas a low voltage will result in a low amount of heat being delivered.

Testing electric water heater elements

If the hot water is not hot enough, this does not necessarily imply that the entire water heater has to be replaced.The good news is that you may have a faulty heating element, which is simple to repair and does not cost a lot of money to purchase.You should double-check both electric heating components to determine which one is faulty, because there are two of them in total.

When troubleshooting an electric unit that isn’t producing hot water, the initial step should be to do an element testing method.Checking the functional condition of water heating elements is simple; simply place the multimeter clamp on one of the wires (screws) attached to the tested element and the other clamp on any metal portion of the water heater to check the state of the element.You may also use a non-contact voltage tester to check the voltage.The readings should be in accordance with the specifications.Increase the temperature of the tested heating element while decreasing the temperature of the other heating element.

Ideally, you want the electric water heater element that you tested to begin working immediately.Open the hot water faucet to allow the heater to begin functioning.At the same time, cold water is introduced into the unit, and the thermostat detects a change in temperature and activates by clicking when necessary.If there is a current flow, your Amp meter will display this.It is likely that the electric water heater element has failed and that it will need to be replaced.Make that the other heating element is working properly as well.

Safety first

The heating element should be tested while the unit is turned off and no electricity is present in the heater. This is a safer method of testing. It is critical to turn off the breaker located within the power panel. After checking that there is no electricity, release the screws that hold the element in place and pull the wires away from the element.

Open element

Set the Ohms dial on the multimeter to zero and use one probe to contact one of the element screws and the second probe to touch the other screw. Resistance should be between 12 and 13 ohms for the 4,500-watt heating element to work properly. If there is no resistance, this is referred to as an open-element state, which means that the element has been damaged and must be replaced.

Grounded heating element

If one probe is placed on the element screw and the other probe is placed on the metal section of the heater, and the multimeter displays certain readings, the element is grounded or damaged and should be repaired or replaced.

How to replace an electric water heater element

  • Before replacing a damaged element, be sure to use the same flange, gasket, and specifications (wattage and voltage) as the one that was previously used on the element. Then, using the circuit breaker, turn off the electricity to the water heater.
  • Remove the cold water feed to the water heater and turn it off. To relieve the pressure in the tank, open the TPR valve as well as a nearby hot water supply faucet. Follow this process to empty the tank to the point when the water level is below the element you intend to replace
  • The heating element and thermostat may be accessed by removing the cover panel, insulation, and protective plastic cover.
  • Take steps to ensure that there is no electricity once more. The element screws should not have any electricity applied to them.
  • Disconnect the cables and loosen the screws on the circuit breaker.
  • Remove the heating by using the appropriate instrument (which varies based on the kind of element)
  • Installation: Install the new gasket (or clean the old one) and insert it into the heating element
  • Maintenance:
  • Reattach the wires, making sure they are securely fastened
  • In order to fill the water tank, turn on the main water valve.
  • Put the insulation and cover back where they belong.
  • Restore electricity to the unit and allow it to operate

Electric heating elements are the second most important component in electric-type water heaters after the tank, because a faulty element results in no hot water being produced.When changing a heating element, it is critical to choose one that is long-lasting and dependable, as well as resistant to limescale and dry-firing.Despite the fact that it is not difficult to inspect or replace the part, it is advised that you use a professional service.

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