Do you want to know how to install electric water heater wiring?
We have the perfect guide for you! This article will walk you through all of the steps necessary, from start to finish.
You’ll learn about what tools are needed and where they should be placed, as well as how much time it takes and what materials are required.
It also includes a list of safety precautions that must be taken into consideration before starting this project. So read on if you’re ready to learn more!
If you want your home plumbing system working properly, then this is an essential step in the process. The installation of electrical wiring can take some time but with our help it won’t seem so daunting anymore!
The majority of electric hot water tank systems can be installed by homeowners as long as they follow the applicable installation standards.
Here are some helpful tips that will make the wiring process go more smoothly:
- Electric water heaters can only be connected to a dedicated circuit; if you currently have appliances that run on this circuit, then determine which is most important and disconnect it.
- Make sure the water heater is properly grounded; connect a dedicated ground wire to a grounding rod or cold water pipe. If you are not sure whether this has been done, then contact an electrician to check this out for you.
Table of Contents
Basic Water Heater Electrical Systems
The most commonly used electrical systems for hot water heaters are the following:
– Copper conductors (either stranded or solid) usually have a current rating of 15 to 20 amps. They are suitable for installation in wet locations such as a basement, crawl space or outside location but not under your home. The wires must be rigid enough to handle repeated bending and surface abrasion.
– Aluminum conductors are not usually used in a water heater wiring system because they can’t handle the currents that pass through them – i.e., 50 amps or higher. One exception to this rule is a 240 volt, 100 amp service for a high volume commercial application such as an apartment complex or large facility.
The electrical system for your water heater must be installed by a licensed electrician. This is important because it meets local and national codes as well as homeowners insurance protection. It also avoids the possibility of electrical shock to occupants in the home or someone working on the project.
Get The Right Tools And Materials
Your first step should be to prepare the space where you want to install your water heater.
Make sure that it is in an area of the house that has enough space for the appliance, and make sure it can be easily accessed (if necessary, obtain permission from anyone who will be using this room as a passageway).
Next, get all of the tools and materials you will need for the project. These include:
- A strong ladder – an extension ladder is better; make sure you use it on a level, hard surface so as not to trip or fall and injure yourself.
- Strong safety glasses and work gloves – protect your eyes and hands while working with tools that can cause injury if you’re not careful.
- A hammer – this tool is required for installing the water heater’s main support bracket, as well as any other brackets or supports that are needed during the project. Make sure it has a strong grip and can be used to effectively drive nails into hard surfaces such as concrete.
- Tape measure – use it to determine the length of electric wire that you will need, and also to make sure any holes in walls or ceilings are cut to size before proceeding with the project.
- Electric drill with metal drill bit – depending on your specific type of hot water tank, you may need a ¼ inch drill bit or more; however there are some water heaters which require screws instead of bits. Be sure to check! Remember that an electric drill has a minimum operating voltage rating for safe use.
- Wire cutters – your electrician should have supplied this tool with the rest of his or her installation kit, but you may need to buy it separately if he doesn’t. It is used for cutting wire (obviously). Be extra careful when using wire cutters because they can easily pinch your skin and cause injury. Also be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses during the project.
- A pair of pliers – these are helpful tools in conjunction with a wrench for loosening connections on water heater parts such as anode rods and drain valves; they also prove useful when removing connectors that are attached to hot water heater pipes (these connectors can rust if not properly handled with pliers).
- A wrench – this tool is vital for tightening materials such as pipe joints and connectors, and will also be used in conjunction with a pair of pliers to loosen pipes that are connected to anode rods. Always wear gloves when gripping any type of metal, including tools!
- Electrical testing equipment (i.e., voltage tester) or an electrician’s assistant who can test wires during the project if you do not have this device or someone who can help out. Your water heater may have been wired before with Romex wire which is now illegal in many jurisdictions; it should be replaced with CSA certified BX cable at minimum.
- A flashlight – you’ll need this to view the wiring in your water heater and circuit breaker box before starting; it will also come in handy for any dark areas of the project workspace.
- Grounded circuit tester – as with a flashlight, you will need one or two of these to make sure there is no stray current running through wires that could cause them to heat up and be dangerous during use.
If your hot water tank uses a copper anode rod which requires replacement at regular intervals (usually once every 3 to 5 years), then get a new one and place it safely aside so that you can easily attach it when needed.
It’s best to have a new anode rod on hand if possible, because opening the drain valve and draining the tank might cause unwanted sediment to flow out of the anode rod hole, which would render it useless.
Steps to install electric water heater wiring
Step 1 : Turn off the water heater’s power.
Step 2 : Disconnect the electrical leads at their sockets (make sure that you neutralize any stray current before beginning this step). Consult your hot water tank manual for information on which wires go to what socket; mark them with tape or a permanent marker so you don’t forget which wire goes where later on in the installation.
Step 3 : Make a hole in the hot water tank that can accommodate your electrical feeder pipe. This step is probably best left up to a professional electrician, to avoid damaging the insides of your tank and causing it to leak or rupture later on down the road.
Step 4 : Attach the copper pipes to the water feeder line and fittings. These can be done using soldering or solder-less connectors; check with a professional electrician if you have any doubt as to which type of connector to use on your specific hot water tank model.
Step 5 : Attach the electrical wires to the hot water heater’s electrical socket, being sure not to get any water or water vapor on the electrical connections to avoid shorting out your system. Tighten the wiring connections using your wrench and pliers.
Step 6 : Make sure that all of your hot water heater parts are attached properly, then test it with a voltage tester to make sure that there is no stray current that may be running through the system via loose fittings.
Step 7 : Disconnect your electrical connection and test the water heater for leaks; if you don’t feel 100% confident that there are no cracks in your pipes or connections, consider calling a professional plumber to test your work before reconnecting it.
Step 8 : Once you have verified that the hot water tank is not leaking and is ready to use, turn on the power to let it warm up; this will also allow any vapors inside of the tank to evaporate safely rather than becoming trapped inside.
Step 9 : Turn on the hot water at your sink, wait for all of the hot water lines to heat up, and test the water with a thermometer to make sure that it is hot enough.
Step 10 : Get your anode rod ready for use (if needed) and open the drain valve on your tank. The sediment which has been accumulating in your tank’s pipes should now flow out of the bottom of your hot water heater, leaving clear water behind.
Step 11 : Turn off the hot water, drain any excess water from the tank by opening its overflow pipe and letting it flow out of your house’s drain pipes (if you have a faucet like this), and close up your hot water heater for use.
Once you have installed a new electric hot water system, you should test it at least once per month to make sure that all of the elements are working properly.
Also, when you flush your tank or drain its sediment, be sure to check for leaks and make sure that everything is closed up tightly so that no vapor can leak out and cause hazardous situations.
After performing this test, remember to reconnect your electrical wiring to the hot water tank and return your hot water heater back into regular use.
A few important notes:
Hot water heaters that run off of propane instead of natural gas should never be wired at all, because doing so creates an unsafe environment due to gas buildup.
Hot water heaters that only run off propane should also not have any ground wires attached, because they cannot work if all of the tanks current flows through their safety mechanism; this is a terrible idea for any hot water tank regardless of whether or not it runs off of gas!
Most older or pre-installed hot water heater wiring does not include a neutral wire, so in order to protect yourself against getting shocked by stray electricity, you need to install one before proceeding with the installation.
If you have no way to tell whether your system is properly grounded or how much voltage it’s putting out (and are confident enough to safely test it) then you may want to consider hiring an electrician who can check these things for you first.
Checkout this video :
Benefits of electric water heater wiring
• No more cold showers, because hot water flows like a waterfall.
• Instantaneous hot water from the tap!
• Hot and Cold water under one unit.
• Keep your water hotter for longer with a modern electric unit.
• Ensure safety and reliability of your hot water system.
• Save money on heating bills.
• Save time by simplifying the wiring process.
What happens if a water heater is wired wrong?
If a water heater is wired wrong, the metal part of the heating element can have direct and prolonged contact with either hot or cold water. This will cause rapid deterioration in the wiring due to corrosion, which could result in a short circuit or fire.
What size wire is needed for an electric water heater?
14 gauge wire is used because it produces a lower voltage in the electric current, which prevents the mechanical water pump from heating up excessively.
Can I use 10 3 wire for a hot water heater?
You cannot use 10 Gauge wire for a hot water heater; the gauge of wire is not sufficient to maintain enough current for its desired electrical rating. If used with a 240 Volt switch, you need to use 10 3/120volts wire, not 10 3 wire.
Can I install an electric water heater myself?
Yes you can, if you’re willing to read a few of the instructional manuals and get your hands dirty with some wiring.
Fortunately, an electric water heater doesn’t need much work done on it, so your time won’t be wasted even if you screw up the installation. Essentially all you’ll have to do is plug in the new water heater and install a back flow prevented valve (as required by law).