Electric Water Heater Replacement

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Posted by: from Jacksonville
10/8/2008 at 1:43:14 PM

Most water heaters in the country are heated by electricity but others use gas and oil, or the new tankless systems which provide hot water on demand. The useful life of a normal electric model is 8 to 12 years but this depends on the type of water.

There are some obvious ways to discover if your water tank has outlived its usefulness. If there is water on the floor emanating from the bottom of a tank that is over 8 years old then it should be changed out. If the tank is under 5 years old then check that the pressure relief valve is not leaking.

In addition, the water is lukewarm or cool then an element may be gone. If the tank is over 8 years old it would be better to replace it rather than replace the element. A newer tank may have a warranty so check this.

To replace an old tank shut off the breaker to the tank and then the water source. Take a garden hose and attach it to the drain outlet on the bottom of the tank and stick the other end in the house drain or outside. While the tank is draining take the panel off and disconnect the electric wiring. Now unscrew the pipe fittings at the top. If the pipes are soldered you'll have to cut them.

Swap the old tank out with the new one and attach the plumbing. Compression fittings might be better than soldering so check with the hardware store where you bought the new tank. Hook up the electrical and test the water lines. if they don't leak it is safe to fill the tank.

You can set the temperature or go with the default, which is 140 degrees in most tanks. Do not set the temperature below this because bacteria can begin to grow.

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