1. Home

Electric Water Heater Heating Element Troubleshooting and Replacement

By

4 of 4

Heating Element Replacement

To replace the heating element proceed as follows:
  • Clean the area surrounding where the gasket fastens to the tank. It is good practice to remove and sediment at the bottom of the tank if you are replacing the bottom heating element.
  • Make sure the replacement element has the correct voltage and wattage rating. You can find this information on the flange or terminal block of the element or on the water heater’s data plate.
  • Properly place the new gasket onto the heating element and insert the assembly into the water heater tank. Tighten a screw-in type heating element by turning clockwise with the element socket wrench until secure.
  • Close the drain valve on the water heater.
  • Open the nearest hot water faucet to allow the tank to fill completely with water.
  • Keep the hot water faucet open for 3 minutes after obtaining a constant flow of water. This will purge the lines of any excess air and sediment.
  • Check for leaks around the element.
  • Connect the power wires to the electric heating element and make sure they are tight.
  • Replace the thermostat cover.
  • Replace the access cover panel.
  • Completely fill the water heater tank with water. This is critical because running electricity to heater elements that are not immersed in water will destroy the heating element.
  • Turn power to the water heater back on at the main power panel. Do this by turning on the circuit breaker or fuse powering the heater.

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.