Hot Water Cylinder Element Replacement
When doing a hot water cylinder element replacement on your hot water service tank it is a job most homeowners can do. This page you’ll find a step by step guide with pictures of how to remove an old element and replace it with a new one. Now there is a couple things you need to know and hand tools you will need. Safety is our main concern here so please if you don’t feel confident get a professional. Now in saying that lets get on with it.
Tools You Will Need
- Multimeter- You will need some way to check making sure that the power is disconnected to the element
- Electric Element- To replace the old one making sure it’s same power watts
- Socket Set Or Water Heater Element Socket-You will need to remove element ton replace it
- Screw Driver- You will need both star and flat head screw driver to remove cover plate and electrical wires
Step 1-Turn Power Off
Turn the water heater circuit breaker off. Once you have done that always check make sure that it’s dead. Remove the access panel to where the element and thermostat is positioned. Be careful not to touch any wires yet as is the breaker has been mislabeled the wires still could be live still.
Test your multimeter on a wall
outlet that you know is working.
Place one probe on one of the terminal screw (see pic). Place the other probe on the tank or earth. Scratch the tank with the end of the probe to get a good ground. You should not get a reading (no power).If you do then the wrong breaker has been turned off. Check the other breakers and keep testing till there is no power the the hot water system. If you have no power your ready for the next step.
Step 2- Turn Water Off
Turn the water off to the water heater. There should be a isolation valve just near the water tank. Turn it off and open the ptr valve to release any build up of pressure in the tank. Once you have turned the water off and released the pressure its time to drain the tank. Close the ptr valve and connect garden hose to the bottom of the tank where the drain tap is. After you have connected the hose on and ran out to the garden open the ptr valve again or hot tap and what this will do is allow air into the tank and stop a air lock from forming and make the tank drain faster. Once the tank is empty it’s time to install the electric hot water element
Step 3-Remove hot water element and install the new
There is 2 styles of electric water heater elements and they are flange type and screw-in type. Both are easy to remove and install just need to know the difference. See from the picture the flange type has a plate with 4 holes and smaller bolts then the screw-in. Once you decide which is yours proceed to remove the element by undoing the bolts on the flange type or unscrew the other type. Once loose cut the wires off the old element but don’t remove from the connections as this will be you guide to where put wires on when install the new 1.
Remove and place to the side and install the new element. With the flange type do the bolts up evenly and don’t forget to put the new gasket on to. Connect the electrical wires as remember above where we cut them off from old element now all have to do is remove old wire and install the new wire.
Step 4- Test and commission
After finished doing the electrical part its time to fill up the tank and test our work. Open the temperature pressure relief valve and turn the water isolation tap back on. If you opened a hot tap inside you can leave it open or close it if like while waiting for the tank to fill. Never ever fill the tank without either the ptr valve open or hot tap open. This creates air in the tank and can cause damaged.
When you get a consistent flow of water coming out of the pressure valve or if you have hot tap open close it off and then check the element. Make sure there’s no leaks and if you are happy replace the cover and turn the breaker back on. If you like before placing the cover on you can check to see if element is getting power using your multimeter. Now there maybe bit of air in the water line so go through the house open each hot tap and let the water run for a minute and that will remove any air. Now if you are looking for more idea then look at this for more helpful hints