Do's And Don'ts For Replacing Your Water Heater's Elements

Posted on: 7 March 2016

If you need to tackle the job of replacing your water heater's elements, then following these do's and don'ts will help you to complete the project like a seasoned plumber:

Do invest in a water heater element wrench. Water heater element wrenches can be purchased at the hardware store where you buy the replacement heating elements. The wrench looks like a short piece of metal pipe with two holes drilled into one end. The holes are used to place your screwdriver through to be used as leverage to remove and install the elements.

Don't attempt to work on your water heater without first turning off the power and cold water line leading into the tank. Check to make sure that the power is off by touching each element with a voltage meter or current testing tool before you remove them.

Do connect your garden hose to the water outlet located at the bottom of the water heater's tank. You need to completely drain the water in the tank before you can remove the elements for replacement. While some tutorials online claim that you can replace elements with the water still contained in the tank, this can lead to a giant flood that you will have to clean up. It is much cleaner and easier to just drain the tank.

Don't place the end of your garden hose in your shower or bathtub if your home uses a septic tank to process waste water. Instead, place the hose outside and use the excess water for your landscaping bushes or to water a tree.

Do open a water tap to relieve the pressure of your water system before draining the water heater. If you do not do this, then the water will very slowly trickle out of the hose and completely draining the water heater's tank will be nearly impossible. While you can open the emergency pressure relief valve to allow the water to flow down the hose, this is not advisable because the valve is spring-loaded and opening a tap is much easier and more effective.

Don't open the water tap in the bathroom to drain your water heater. Instead, open the tap in your kitchen sink. By running the water in your kitchen, you will keep any calcium salts that have built up in the system from going into the smaller plumbing pipes used for your bathroom drains. It is much better to dump the salts into the larger plumbing in your home's kitchen. Contact a company like 2 Guys Plumbing and Heating Inc. for more information or assistance.