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Nospammer 06-18-2011 03:47 PM

Hot water heater installation
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My De-Limer 50 gal electric water heater died the other day. Itís time to replace it since itís over 20 yrs old. Hereís a pic. Iím thinking of replacing with Home Depotís GE 40 gal. 9 yr. Iíve never installed a water heater before and looks like I can do it myself. I have a few questions and concerns.

Can I use existing flex copper pipe with fittings with new the new heater? If not, what do I need to do? It looks like the old heater has nipples. Will I need new nipples for the new heater?

How do I hook up the electrical wiring? The electrical instructions in the GE manual are pretty vague ( ) Iím eager to do this myself. Detailed instructions or videos for dummies welcomed.

Also, our countyís website said they require a permit to replace the hot water heater but what are the consequences if we donít get the permit first? Do most people get the permit? We canít reach the county and donít want to go all weekend without the permit.

rjniles 06-20-2011 12:32 PM

You can reuse the existing flex connectors as long as they reach. If not you can buy new longer ones, they merely unscrew. The new WH will come with nipples installed (at least I know GE's do). The electric is pretty straight forward. Turn the power off at the breaker panel - it should be a 2 pole 30 amp. Open the panel and the top of the existing WH, you will find 2 insulated wires connected with wire nuts and a bare ground wire connected to a screw. Connect the new the same as the old - take a picture before you disconnect the old.

Are you sure you want to go to a smaller WH than the existing - 40 gallon new vs 50 gallon old? Home Depot sells a 50 gallon GE for not much more than the 40.

As to the permit, if your area requires it I suggest you comply. You may also have some additional items to bring your install up to code. They may require an expansion tank be install on the cold water supply if you are on a municipal water system. Also, unless the circuit breaker panel is in the same room as the WH, they may require an electrical disconnect be installed. Best to ask when you get the permit.

Tizzer 06-20-2011 01:30 PM

I check for power after the breaker is off - just in case. Once the new one is installed, let the tank fill back up before turning on power.

Nospammer 06-20-2011 10:09 PM

hissing when turning on hot water tap 1.5 hrs after install completed
** ~2 hours later i ran it for a few more minutes and the hissing stopped & the hot water flowed :thumbsup: ** ( now i can get back to figuring out the wood stove, shed, gutters, etc )

thanks for your advice. i finally finished the installation and thought hot water would be available by now but all that i get from the hot water taps is hissing. i found that hissing happens on electric WH's that aren't new when there's sediment issues but what causes this to happen on new wh's ? thanks again

Nospammer 06-22-2011 06:24 PM

need to cut way back on electricity .... install swd breaker or timer or..?
(i went with the 40 gallon water heater as it's just 2 of us and i need to cut back on electricity. among the advice i read was to shut off the water heater during periods of the day when i don't need hot water so i've started doing that each day but i read that i should have a SWD breaker which "would be just fine for switching a water heater" on and off.
what is the safest, easiest way to shut off the hot water heater?
do i need to install a new breaker (as it doesn't say SWD on it) & how would i do that?
should i install a timer on it instead?
thanks again

rjniles 06-22-2011 06:27 PM

Install a timer would be the way to go if your schedule is regular enough for that to work.

If not, install a switch disconnect at the WH location instead of using the breaker as a switch.

Nospammer 06-22-2011 06:47 PM

thanks. i thought i'd go with the timer but after reading the manual i was wondering how i'm going to get the copper wires connected to each part of the timer. what's the trick to manipulating the copper around the screws? i had a very difficult time getting the copper wires to fit in their spot in the electric WH.
i searched for youtubes on this but couldn't find ones where the closeup of the copper wire install was clear enough for me.
i really appreciate your help.


Originally Posted by rjniles (Post 672262)
Install a timer would be the way to go if your schedule is regular enough for that to work.

If not, install a switch disconnect at the WH location instead of using the breaker as a switch.

rjniles 06-22-2011 07:12 PM

Usually the terminals on this type device do not need the wire wrapped around the screw. You strip about 1/2" of insulation and place under the clamp that is under the screw.

Here is one that is electronic with battery back up. Also allows different schedules for days of week and week ends.

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