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How to Replace a Heating Element

If a water heater no longer puts out hot water, the heating element may need replacing. Learn how to replace a heating element with these basic step-by-step instructions.

More in Plumbing

replacing a heating element
  • Time

    30 Minutes

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Remove the Bad Element

Turn off the power to the water heater at the breaker. Open the cover on the side of the tank. Disconnect the two wires on the element. Note: Make sure the water is drained below the element being replaced. Use an element puller (Image 1) to remove the bad element. Insert a screwdriver into the element puller to get more leverage. Remove the element (Image 2).

Step 2: Install the New Element

Insert a new element and tighten. Fill the tank with water above the new element. If there aren't any leaks, reconnect the wires. Replace the cover.