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Replacing A Water Heater’s Element

All electrical work in Queensland has to be carried out by a licensed professional – ensure the plumbing company you hire has the ability to complete this task within the law.  

There are few better feelings to be had on a winter’s day when the cold has seeped into your bones and you get home and jump into a hot shower so you can warm up. However, if you find that you don’t have any hot water, there are few worse feelings to be had on a cold winter’s day.

The most commonly-diagnosed problem when electric water heaters stop producing hot water is that the heating element has burned out. You should first check the circuit breaker to make sure it didn’t trip. If it did, this is another sign that the heater element has burned out. If you want to check and replace the heater element by yourself so you can take a hot shower as soon as possible, here is how you can do it.

Turn off the electricity and water supply

If the circuit breaker has tripped for the hot water tank, keep it off. If it hasn’t tripped, turn it off. You will be working with electrical parts and you don’t want to get a shock when you are working on the heating element.

You should also turn off the cold water valve on the water pipe going to the tank. Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. If the floor drain is far away, connect a garden hose to the valve and stretch it out until it reaches the floor drain. Make sure all the water drains out of the tank so you don’t get wet. To help the tank drain out, open a hot faucet knob in the bathroom or kitchen to relieve the pressure in the tank. Close the valve once the tank has been drained of its water.

Remove the Element

There is a rectangular-shaped panel on the hot water tank. Remove the screws on the panel and take it off. The burned-out element is right behind the panel. Remove the wire leads connected to the head of the element. Make sure you take note of how the wires are connected to the terminal on the element so you can put them on the new element in the same way. Take a large crescent wrench and place it on the head of the heater element to unscrew it from the tank. Turn the element counterclockwise to unscrew and remove it from the tank.

Buy New Element

Take the old element to the plumbing or hardware store and make sure you get a new one that matches the old one.

Install New Element

Put the gasket that came with the element on it and then insert the element into the hot water tank. Turn the element clockwise to screw it into the tank and tighten it. Screw on the wires onto the head of the element in the same way that they were on the old element. Put the panel back on the tank and turn on the water and the electricity. Wait about twenty minutes before checking to see if you get hot water now. Once you do, take that shower you’ve been waiting to take since you came out of the cold.

Hire a professional instead

Decided it’s too much trouble and you’d rather hire a plumber?

Absolute Plumbing & Gas Solutions will send an experienced hot water plumber to install your new heating element. Just fill in the form on our homepage and we’ll get right back to you. Now that you’ve learned to change a heater’s heating element, perhaps you’d like to see why many homes in Noosa are opting for tankless water heater installations.

By: admin
In: EXPERT ADVICE, Hot Water
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