You’ve had a long day and you’ve been looking forward to soaking in a hot bath when you get home, only to discover that your water heater has stopped working. You put the bath on hold and look on the internet to see how to replace the heating element yourself. Fixing your water heater is on your homeowner’s DIY list, right?

What Is a Heating Element?

Your standard water heater needs at least one heating element to supply you with hot water. Large-capacity water heaters might need two heating elements to heat the water for your whole house. Heating elements come in two styles for different models of water heaters. You can take the old element or elements to the hardware store when you shop for a replacement.

How Does a Heating Element Heat Water?

A tiny thermostat inside each heating element drives the heating process that gives you hot water. Your water heater has a control that you can adjust for hotter or cooler water temperatures. Keeping the temperature on your water heater at a lower setting will help ensure that no one gets burned by water that is too hot. A cooler temperature is more energy-efficient and will help your water heater last longer.
Mistakes That Could Occur During DIY Water Heater Repair
Trying to install the wrong part can delay getting your hot water working. Verify that you are replacing the faulty heating element with the correct replacement part.
You might not be able to get the old heating element out of your water heater. This could be due to corrosion built up over years of use, hard water, or just a tight fit.
A circuit could get tripped while you’re working on your water heater. If the water does not heat when the work is done, check to make sure fuses and circuits are all working.
Water leaking can be a costly problem if not caught in time. While you’re replacing your heating element, check around your water heater to make sure there are no damp spots or active leaking from the tank. A little dampness is not necessarily bad, but we can check that out for you. Our team is also trained to check for leaks in your walls and other hidden areas.
How You Can Fix Your Water Heater by Replacing the Heating Element
The simplified steps to replacing the heating element in your standard water heater include:
Get the required tools together that you will need for the job. These will likely be a screwdriver, water heater wrench, and a new heating element or two.

  • Wear protective gloves
  • Turn off your water heater
  • Drain the tank. If the tank has not been flushed recently, you will probably get a lot of sludge. Clean out if necessary.
  • Remove the old heating element.
  • Install the new heating element(s).
  • Fill tank with water.
  • Turn power back on.

Standard water heater repair can be fairly simple, but sometimes you need to call on the pros. Good job for trying it on your own. But if DIY water heater repair hasn’t had the results you hoped for, call us today at Allbritten: The Barefoot Plumber to schedule an appointment. We understand how good it feels when you can do it yourself, but we’re here to help when you need us.

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