How to install hot water heater element: A Quick and Easy Tutorial

Are you wondering how to install hot water heater element? and you find it difficult to install it? here is what to do.

First and not least, you must go to the water heater store and choose the right tank for you in terms of size, length, and width.

You can buy a tank that has a capacity from 2 gallons to 120 gallons, In addition to that you can choose the tank that does not consume much electricity, there are expansion tanks at reasonable prices starting from 115$.

After purchasing the water heater, the stage of installing the tank comes.

how to install hot water heater element

Where should the water heater element be installed?

After you buy the right heater water expansion tank it will come to your mind where I’m going to put the heater water which the correct place to install the tank.

Facts to consider about the location :

1. The water heater should be located as close as possible to a power supply and the main use of hot water

2. The water heater should be positioned so that the element and thermostat access doors can be removed for inspection, adjustment, and servicing of the elements and thermostats.

3. The drain valve must also be accessible

4. The water heater expansion tank should be positioned near an appropriate free-flowing flooring drain. Where a floor drain is not adjacent to the water heater, a suitable drain pan must be installed under the water heater.

5. This drain pan should be at least four (4) inches (10.2 cm) larger than the diameter of the water heater, and at least one (1) inch (2.5 cm) deep providing access to the drain valve. This pan has to be piped to an appropriate drain to forestall harm to the property within the occasion of a water leak from the piping, the aid valve, or the water heater.

Should this water heater be put in on carpeting, the carpeting must be protected by a wooden or metallic panel beneath the water heater.

This panel must prolong at the very least three (3) inches (7.6 cm) past the width and depth of the water heater tank.

Should the water heater expansion tank be put in in an alcove or closet, the whole flooring space should be coated by the panel.

Before installation.

Before you install the water heater expansion tank, you should pay attention to a set of instructions and tips that we offer you the most important instructions before installation :

1. Be sure installation meets all local plumbing codes.

 2. If you are not thoroughly familiar with plumbing and safety practices, consult your local store for further information.

 3. The water heater temperature-pressure relief valve must be checked for proper operation and replaced if found to be faulty.

4. When checking the temperature-pressure relief valve operations, make sure that no one is in front of or around the outlet of the temperature-pressure relief valve discharge line, and the water manually discharged will not cause any property damage or bodily injury.

The water may be extremely hot. If after manually operating the valve, it fails to completely reset and continues to release water, immediately close the cold water inlet to the water heater, follow draining instructions and replace the temperature-pressure relief valve with a new one.

5. If the incoming water pressure to the home exceeds 80 psi, a pressure-reducing valve will be required. Recommended inlet water pressure is 60 psi or less.

 6. To determine incoming water pressure and for proper adjustment of the pressure reducing valve, a pressure gauge must be installed between the pressure reducing valve and expansion tank.

7. The complete piping system, including the expansion tank and pressure reducing valve, MUST be protected against below-freezing temperatures. Failure to do so could cause severe water damage.

 8. To safeguard against a possible dangerous malfunction of the expansion tank, review the installation instructions before putting the water supply system back into operation.

This hydro-pneumatic tank is designed and intended for hot or cold water storage at a maximum pressure of 150 per square inch gauge (150 PSIG). Any use other than water or at a sustained or instantaneous pressure over 150 PSIG is UNSAFE. A pressure relief valve of adequate size must be incorporated into the water heater system.

This expansion tank, as all tanks, will eventually leak. Do not install without adequate drainage provisions where water leakage will cause damage. Failure to follow these instructions can cause an explosion and result in SERIOUS OR FATAL injuries. The manufacturer of this tank does not accept any liability or other responsibility for personal injury or property damage resulting from improper use, installation, or operation of this tank, or of the system of which it is a part.

in these steps and instructions below we’ll show you how to install hot water heater elements step by step.

How to install a water heater expansion tank?

1.Water Piping

The use of this layout should provide a trouble-free installation for the life of the water heater.

Before making the plumbing connections  follow these steps :

Step 1:  

locate the COLD water inlet and the HOT water outlet 

These fittings are both 3/4” N.P.T. male thread. Make sure that the dip-tube is installed in the cold water inlet.


Install a shut-off valve close to the water heater in the cold water line.

It is recommended that unions be installed in the cold and hot water lines so that the water heater can be easily disconnected if servicing is required.


When assembling the hot and cold piping, use Teflon™ food grade of pipe joint compound, and ensure all fittings are tight.

The open flame mustn’t be applied to the inlet and outlet fittings, as heat will damage or destroy the plastic-lined fittings.


  • DO NOT plug the temperature and pressure-relief valve or its discharge line.
  • DO NOT remove the relief valve. Make sure the relief valve is properly sized for the water heater. If the relief valve continuously discharges water, call a qualified service technician to correct the problem. Failure to follow these instructions can result in property damage, personal injury, or death.


The relief valve should have a maximum set pressure that does not exceed the hydrostatic working pressure of the water heater (150 psi = 1,035 kPa) and a BTU/h rating equal to or greater than the input rating, as shown on the water heater rating plate.

It should never be plugged or removed from the opening marked for it on the water heater.

If this relief valve should need to be replaced, use only a new temperature and pressure relief valve. Never install an old or existing relief valve, as it may be damaged or inadequate for the working requirements of the new water heater.

This new relief valve must meet all local codes or, at a minimum, the requirements listed above. Never install another type of valve between the relief valve and the water heater.


A discharge line must be installed into the relief valve. The discharge line:

• Must not be smaller than the outlet pipe size of the relief valve.

• Must not terminate less than six (6) inches (15.2 cm) and not more than twelve (12) inches (30.5 cm) above a floor drain.

 • Must not be restricted in any way. Do not thread, cap, or in any way restrict the end of this outlet. • Must be of a material capable of withstanding 210˚F (99˚C) without distortion.

• Must be installed to allow complete drainage of the relief valve and discharge line.

 • Must terminate over an adequate free-flowing drain.


Pressure Build-up in a Water System

When the water heater operates, the heated water expands creating a pressure build-up. This is a natural function and is one of the reasons for installing a temperature and pressure-relief valve.

If the cold water supply line has a built-in water meter, check valve, or pressure reducing valve, a suitable expansion tank must be installed to prevent pressure build-up or water hammer effect, otherwise, the warranty is void (see Figure 1A or 1B). An indication of pressure build-up is frequent discharges of water from the relief valve.

If the relief valve discharges water continuously, it may indicate a malfunction of the relief valve, and a qualified service technician must be called to have the system checked, and the problem corrected.


Filling the Water Heater

Check that all of the water piping connections have been made.

How fill the water heater?

1) Make sure that the water heater drain valve is closed by inserting a flat head screwdriver into the slot on the head of the drain valve and turning the knob clockwise.

2) Open the cold water supply manual shut-off valve. This valve must remain open, as long as the water heater is in use. NEVER operate the water heater with the cold water supply manual shut-off valve closed.

 3) To make sure the water heater is filled with water, open all of the hot water faucets in the house to let the air out of the water heater and plumbing system. Leave the faucets open until a constant flow of water is obtained.

4) Check all of the plumbing connections to make sure there are no leaks.

2. Electrical Connections

Step 1: This water heater must be connected to a separate fuse branch circuit. Check the water heater rating plate for the element wattage and voltage and make sure that the power supply wiring and the fusing or circuit breaker are the correct sizes for this water heater.

Step 2: Verify that all of the wire connections on the element and thermostat have been installed correctly are secure, and that none of the wires are grounded, have split, or are broken.

Step 3: If any of the original wirings need replacing, use only 14AWG-type, or greater wire that is approved for 221˚F (105˚C).

Step 4: To hook up the water heater to the power supply, connect the power supply wiring to the red and black wires attached to the top thermostat.

3. Water Temperature Regulation


The higher the setting, the greater the risk of scalding. Hot water can cause third-degree burns in under one (1) second at 160˚F (71˚C), in six (6) seconds at 140˚F (60˚C), and in thirty (30) seconds at 130˚F (54˚C). In households where there are children, physically challenged individuals, or elderly persons, mixing valves for point of use are necessary as means of reducing the scalding potential of hot water

The thermostat is factory set at 140˚F (60˚C) for Canadian models and 125˚F (52˚C) for U.S. models. To adjust the temperature on the thermostat:

1) Turn “OFF” the power to the water heater.

2) Remove the element and thermostat access door and the insulation. On U.S. models DO NOT remove the thermostat protective cover.

3) Using a small flathead screwdriver, turn the thermostat dial to the desired temperature.

4) Replace the insulation and the element and thermostat access door before turning “ON” the power to the water heater.

4. Condensation

can form on the surface of the water heater:

1) When the water heater is filled with cold water for the first time.

2) If the water heater has been undersized.

3) When large amounts of hot water are drawn from the water heater in a short period, and the refill water is very cold. This condition is not uncommon and must never be misinterpreted as a leaking tank. It will disappear once the water becomes heated. Because the water can condense, a drain pan must be installed under the water heater.

Under no circumstances is the manufacturer to be held liable for any water damage, in connection with this water heater. If the problem does not go away and water continues to drip after the water heater has heated up, check all of the plumbing connections to make sure they are not leaking.

5. Insulation Blankets

Insulation blankets for external use on electric water heaters are not necessary. The purpose of an insulation blanket is to reduce the standby heat loss associated with the operation of storage tank water heaters.

This water heater meets or exceeds the NRCAN standards concerning insulation and standby loss requirements making an insulation blanket unnecessary.

If local codes require the application of an external insulation blanket to this water heater, pay careful attention to the following so as not to restrict the proper function and operation of the water heater:

  • DO NOT cover the operating or warning labels attached to the water heater or attempt to relocate them on the exterior of the insulation blanket.
  •  DO NOT cover the element and thermostat access door or temperature and pressure-relief valve.
  • Inspect the insulation blanket frequently.

Read also:


  • Immediately turn “OFF” the power to the water heater.
  •  If after turning “OFF” the power the smoke continues, call your local fire department.
  • When the smoke has stopped, call a qualified service technician to identify and repair the problem.

Bonus tips:

  • DO NOT REMOVE the element and thermostat access door before the power to the water heater is turned “OFF”.
  •  DO NOT ATTEMPT to repair or replace any of the electrical components installed on the water heater before the power to the water heater is turned “OFF”.
  •  DO NOT USE the water heater on a voltage other than that specified on the water heater rating plate.
  •  DO NOT CONNECT the power supply wiring to anywhere other than the main power connection on the water heater.
  •  DO NOT TURN ON the power to the water heater unless it is filled with water.
  •  DO NOT DRAIN the water heater unless the power to the water heater has been turned “OFF”.
  •  DO NOT STORE or use gasoline or other flammable vapors and liquids in the vicinity of this or any other appliance.

After you read and follow the instructions above you might now have the answer to how to install hot water heater element?


My Name is Elhoucine I am a passionate blogger, I have been searching and reading about the newly released gadgets, appliances, and products, and through this blog, I am trying to share some of the acquired experience to help you with everything related to home.