You know the time has come to replace your water heater when it starts to leave big puddles of rust-colored water underneath. Replacing a water heater isn’t difficult at all, but when it comes to wiring a hot water heater, this is where it gets tricky.
Water heaters tend to last five to fifteen years, but if you see some leakage or if yours is getting old and produces insufficient hot water, then you need to replace it, fast!
It might be your first time to wire a heater, but there is no need to worry because if you have the right tools at your disposal, you can carry out this task easily enough.
Table of Contents
Tools for Wiring a Hot Water Heater
Save yourself from last minute shopping trips and have the necessary tools at your disposal before the commencement of the wiring process. These are the tools you will require:
- Electrical tape
- Wire nuts
The Basics of Wiring a Hot Water Heater
To ensure that the wiring process goes smoothly without any hindrance, you need to have a 30-amp and 240-volt breaker. The breaker panels usually have black and white hot wire with a copper ground wire so be very careful before during the wiring process.
Keep in mind that the water heaters do not have any outlet, so the cable will run from the wall all the way to the cable box.
Step by Step Guide to Wiring a Hot Water Heater
If you are wiring a hot water heater for the first time, then you will need to set up 12-2 Romex and 30-amp circuit on the location of your water heater.
Instructions To Follow
- Near the top of the water heater, you will see a junction box where all the electrical connections are present. Remove the covering so that you can see two hot wires and one ground wire inside.
- Afterward, remove the junction box’s knockouts and fasten your flex conduits in a way that six inches of wires can be seen sticking inside the junction box. Moreover, you need to be very careful with flex conduit and shouldn’t let them come in contact with the water pipes as the heat from the hot water pipes can be transferred to your conduit.
- Since the water heater is a 240 V appliance, there aren’t any neutral wires. Once inside the junction box, start wiring the heater by wrapping the ground copper wire around the ground screw. Moving on, take the black wire from the junction box and take any wire from the water heater and twist them together, securing the ends with the wire nuts. Follow the same procedure with the white wire as well.
- The last step for wiring your water heater is to replace the cover of the junction box, and you are good to go!
Before commencement of the wiring process, you need to empty the water heater as the presence of water can damage your heater. Also, do not switch on the electricity soon after securing the wires in place as the empty water heater would cause overheating which can damage its structure. After replacing the wires, fill the tank completely with water, pump out any air by opening the faucets on the top floor, and your water heater is ready to use!
Wiring a Hot Water Heater by Yourself
A new gas or the electrical heater can cost you around $160 to $400. Installing and doing the wiring on your own after spending a hefty amount can help you save around $250 to $500 in installation and wiring costs by a professional.
The biggest problem in installing and wiring the heater is that you need to acquire a permit before handling the electrical work. There is a chance of damages since the wiring requires expertise that amateurs don’t have.
To sum up, acquiring the knowledge from YouTube videos and informational articles for wiring a hot water heater is not easily understandable. This means that you could spend days without warm/hot water before you understand the process.
Thus, it may be best to learn the process before you purchase a new water heater. This way you won’t be without hot water.
When purchasing a replacement water heating system, you should ensure that it aligns with the needs of your household. Large households would likely require a large water tank, or a tankless water heater.
You should also decide on the type of power usage you want to use. Water heater can be powered by gas, electricity and even solar. Carefully consider these factors and your budget before making a purchase.
Remember, a water heater is a big and important buying decision. Therefore, you will want to ensure that you make the right choice.
You don’t to install the water heater and then realize a few days later that it doesn’t meet the requirements and needs of your household.