How to Install an Electric Water Heater How to Install an Electric Water Heater

What You'll Need
Electric water heater
Copper tubing
Cinder blocks
Steel wool pad
Adapter fittings and unions for copper tubing
Teflon tape
Ball valve
Pipe cutters
Conduit connector
Wire nuts

If there is a constant need for hot water in your home, you need to install an electric water heater to make it available all the time. An electric water heater is a rather simple device that works by allowing cold water to enter from one of its sides. Electric resistance elements are installed on the inside of the tank, extending from the side into the middle. This heats up the water before it exits on the other side of the tank on demand. But although the principle and working an electric water heater is simple, there is nothing easy in its installation. You need to have some skills in electrical work and plumbing before you can do it.

Step 1 - Planning the Installation

Make a plan of your installation by drawing it on paper first. This way, you are going to minimize the fittings that you will require and will be well prepared for going to the hardware store and purchasing the materials you need.

Step 2 - Ensuring Correct Power

You need to have enough electricity to get your electric water heater working. Most of the units you can buy from the market need 20 to 60 amperes and 220 or 240 volts. If you bought a unit that requires higher voltage, you need to upgrade the power.

Step 3 - Positioning the Heater

Use a pair of cinder blocks as a platform for the electric water heater. This will protect the tank from being damaged by possible flooding. It will also make it easier for a drain access. Put the heater on top of the cinder blocks by sliding it into place.

Step 4 - Preparing the Copper Tubing

Cut the right length of copper tubing that will be used for the supply of cold water. Use the steel wool pad to clean one end and apply flux to it and a female adapter. Slide the fitting into place into the end of the copper tubing.

Step 5 - Soldering the Fitting

Secure the copper tubing to the female adapter fitting by soldering them. Solder a male union in place on the other end of the pipe. Locate the pipe nipple that is on top of the water heater tank and wrap its threading in Teflon tape. Install copper tubing and tighten with the wrench.

Step 6 - Securing the Valves

The union and the solder should be added with a short piece of piping where you will install the ball valve. Wrap the threads for the pressure relief and temperature valves by removing and reinstalling them. Ensure that the opening is pointed downwards to the floor. You should also run a piece of pipe from the relief pipe down to around 3 or 4 inches from the floor.

Step 7 - Installing the Conduit

Install the threaded part of the conduit connector in the knockout hole by first removing the cover plate that is on top of the heater. You need to remove a knockout on top of the cover with a screwdriver and hammer to do it. Once the conduit connector is in place, tighten the nut for the connector.

Step 8 - Attaching the Electrical Connections

Run wires through a conduit, into a connector, and then to the tank. Connect the conduit with the connector. Connect wires according to their colors and ground it. Turn on the power supply.

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