Installing Electric Water Heaters

Published: 27th April 2011
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It is possible to install electric water heaters by yourself, however it is always best to consult a professional. Having knowledge about electricity is just as important as having knowledge about plumbing in order to complete this task. Due to the size of most hot water heaters, it would be wise to have a couple extra hands around.

The first thing you need to make sure of is that you have adequate electrical power to run your new unit. Most electric water heaters require 220-240 volts and 300-60 amps. You can always update the power if that is necessary. The next thing you will need to do is gather two cinder blocks to create a platform for the water heater to sit on. Cinder block offer sturdy base for electric water heaters. This also allows easier drain access and protects it from possible flooding.

Many electric water heaters require the use of copper tubing for the cold water supply. When installing the water heater, you will need to cut this tubing to the specified sizes, and solder them to their connecting parts. This requires a certain amount of skill and experience working with welding in order to perform this. Water heaters will work well if the parts are soldered and taped correctly. You must correctly attach the pressure relief valve, as this piece is crucial for electric water heaters to perform properly.

Another important part of installing water heaters is making sure they are hooked up to power and water correctly. Making sure everything is safe, test the circuit wire with a voltage tester to ensure the power is shut off before you tamper with the wires. Electric water heaters have their wiring located at the top of the unit in an electrical wire box. Once you correctly hook up the wiring as specified by the water heater's manufacturer, return the electrical box cover to its position.

A very important thing to remember when installing electric water heaters is to make sure the tank is full of water before you turn the elements on. If the electric elements are turned on when the tank is empty, they will almost immediately burn out, and will need to be replaced. Electric water heaters also have thermostats attached to the elements. For safety purposes, the thermostats should stay at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

When tampering with thermostats on electric water heaters, you should remember that when the upper thermostat turns off, it triggers the lower one to kick on. Knowing this will help you when performing simple repairs. Both thermostats are located under access panels in their respected locations. They are easily accessible by screwing off the panel door with a screw driver. Electric water heaters may need to have their thermostats reprogrammed if the power ever goes out.

Safety is the most important thing when performing installations of water heaters. If ever you feel that you may be doing the wrong thing, calling a professional is always a good idea. Electric water heaters offer great convenience for families, and can be installed yourself with all the proper tools and instructions.

Electric Water Heaters

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