"Wet" changing electric water heater elements.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ballvalve, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Does anyone else save a ton of time by not draining the electric water heater to change an element?

    Release pressure, then close all valves above.

    Pull the element, the loss of water is minimal without a vent.

    Can usually be done and lose less than a gallon. Of course you need to be on a drain pan or in the basement.

    Probably not a good idea on a T&M job however.
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I have...
    I would not advise a DIYer to do so...
  3. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    What's the downside, if any, to doing this?
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Water spilling...
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Always, and I place a towel on the floor to catch the water.
  6. frankflynn

    frankflynn New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA.
    A lot of water spilling. I've done it, it does work just don't do both the top and bottom elements at the same time :p
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I seldom do it.
    With the bottom element removed I use it as an opportunity to break up the minerals accumulated in the bottom of the water heater and remove them.
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I use a shop vac with a garden hose to smash and suck the bottom when needed. If they gave us a nice 1" port at the bottom, all would be easy.

    "they" dont want it easy on us.
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