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How to Install an Electric Water Heater

Installation of an electric water heater isn’t an intimidating task as it may seem. It’s easier, although, there are some considerations you need to make before tackling the job. It does involve electric work and plumbing. If these tasks make you nervous, you can always call a professional plumber. Besides, various reputable companies can deal with such tasks. In case you are not scared of doing some necessary electrical and plumbing work, you can do it and save yourself some money.

Before installing your water heater, you need to determine whether its replacement needed or its maintenance. If it’s because of old age, you may consider replacing it if maybe, your water heater is leaking, especially if the tank is the source of the leak. The uncertainty on how to install a new water heater should not worry you, here are the steps to follow in establishing an electric water heater.

Step 1

You should first disconnect from electricity at the electrical panel. Use the voltage detector to ensure that the power is off. You should also use tape to mark the electrical wiring of the water heater, do a disconnection of the wires.

Step 2

Draining the tank is the second step. Water supply being on, turn a faucet on hot and give it time to run till the water is cold. Then, close off the cool water supply line to the water heater. Connect a hosepipe to the drain valve of the water heater. Drain the tank by opening the valve to empty the water heater into buckets or a floor drain. You should open the hot water faucet if you closed it as well as the temperature and pressure relief valve. This will enable the water heater tank to get emptied faster by also allowing air in there.

Step 3

Here is the third step. You can now do a disconnection of the electrical wires which are on top of the heater. But before doing this, you should be sure that the circuit breaker is turned off at the breaker box. Besides, before starting, you should use a voltage detector to check the wires. You can cap the wires off, take a picture or label them to avoid future confusion.

Step 4

This is a simple step to deal with it. You need to disconnect the cold and hot water supply lines. If you must cut the pipes, you need to leave them as long as you can. Use a tubing cutter if you need to cut them.

Step 5

Now you should remove the old water heater by using a dolly or a hand truck once the tank is empty. Move the new water heater and set it into a drain pan. Confirm that your electrical supply can reach the water heater. Make sure that you can access the drain valve and panels.

Step 6

In this step, you have to prepare the plumbing lines. You need to use sandpaper cloth to adjust the pipes if, your old tanks used copper piping and cutting the pipes was necessary. Make sure that the ends of pipe shine brightly after using sandpaper.

Step 7

You need to give attention to this step. First, remove the cover of the junction box to reach the wires. Connect the electrical wires by the use of wire connectors. Ensure that you connect the wires correctly as you removed them. You should use a guide of the previous wire connections. Follow the picture or label tags you took to avoid confusion. Restore the junction box cover.

Step 8

You need to concentrate on this step. You are now supposed to connect the cold and hot water supply lines. Be keen on connecting a cold water pipe to its inlet on the water heater. You can still choose to use copper piping in plumbing the water heater if, it was the one which was used previously. It is recommended to use flexible hoses in making connections. It’s a safety feature for earthquakes.

Use a flexible hose kit to the nipples on the heater. You may require to apply the plumber's tape to the lining of threads. You will need to use dielectric fittings in attaching flexible hoses to the cold and hot water pipes. They reduce the corrosion between two metals. Check if there any leaks, if no, keep filling your tank with water. Once the water heater tank is full, there will be flow out of water from the hot water tap.

Step 9

At this step, you are required to do an installation of the discharge pipe to the temperature and pressure valve. Paint the valve fitting on the inside and the outside of the pipe dope fitting. Do the attachment and the tightening of the fitting to the T&P valve fitting. You should clean the end of the pipe and fitting and attach them.

Step 10

Again, this is a short and precise step. Turn on the electrical panel at the main power box after your tank is full of water. If power is not getting into your water heater, turn off the circuit breaker to check your electrical connections.

Step 11

Finally, this is the last step. To remove air from the tank, let the hot water tap run for a while. It might take longer before your water heater is heated. The temperature setting in the water heater should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the discharge pipe after a couple of hours. If there are drips from the tube, the pressure might be higher than recommended.

Reasons why a professional plumber should install your water heater. 

You will always need to have a proper water heater for peace of mind. Installing a water heater by yourself might seem to be a cheaper route. Unfortunately, it is dangerous when you’re not a professional. You may lack background experience and proper training. The consequences are serious when you make a mistake. The mistakes can cause property damage, injuries or additional expenses. There are a number of reasons why you should always hire a professional who can install your water heater.

Product knowledge

You should always be aware that in person and online salespeople are absolutely not water heating professionals. Although they have proper intentions, they can never match a licensed and trained plumber who has the product knowledge.  You need to seek a professional if you need a water heater that meets your family’s requirements.

Peace of mind

When you get a professional or a licensed plumber, you’re are not seeking a well-done job, but you’re giving your family and yourself some peace of mind. Risking your comfort and safety to save some few dollars is not worth it. Peace of mind will prevail when you call a professional. It’s a relief to have in mind that you won’t come across property damage, health problems or any other kind of challenge.

Home re-sale issues

At a point in time, you may need to sell your home. You may need to pay for an inspection of the water heater if you installed it yourself, for it to get permitted. Failure to meet the requirements of the investigation that means re-installation or repairs. You might end up paying twice. A licensed plumber guarantees their work and ensures the water heater is permitted.

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