How to Replace Heating Element for a Reliance Electric Water Heater Rc02404524


Water heaters are large storage tanks that hold water and heat it for you to use when you take a shower, wash the dishes or do your laundry. The water is heated by the element installed inside the water tank. The heating element attaches to the thermostat on the exterior of the tank. Replacing the heating element for a Reliance electric water heater is much like replacing the element for any water heater. Replacement universal heating elements are available to be installed in the Reliance electric water heater.

Things You'll Need

  • Water hose
  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver
  • Element wrench
  • Turn off the breaker that powers the water heater at the main electrical panel. Turn off the water supply valve located above the water heater.

  • Attach a water hose to the drain valve located near the bottom of the water heater. Position the other end of the garden hose in a safe area to drain the hot water from the tank. Turn on the drain valve to allow the water to drain from the tank.

  • Remove the screws from the door that covers the thermostat and heating element. If your water heater has two heating elements, remove the doors from the top and the bottom of the water heater. Pull back the insulation beneath the door to expose the thermostat and the heating element. Remove the plastic thermostat cover by lifting it up and off the thermostat, exposing the wiring and the element.

  • Loosen the screws on the face of the element and remove the wires. Remove the old heating element by placing an element wrench over the element and turning it counterclockwise. Pull out the old element part number RC02404524 and discard. Clean the element opening by wiping away any sediment or dirt.

  • Install a replacement element of the same voltage and wattage as listed on the old element. Slide the gasket that came with the element over the threads and against the face of the replacement element. Place the new element into the tank and tighten it using the element wrench.

  • Open a hot water faucet close to the water heater and close the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. Turn on the water supply valve to fill the water tank.

  • Check for any leaks as the water heater fills. Should a leak occur around the replacement element, shut off the water supply, drain the water heater and reposition the gasket.

  • Reconnect the wires to the face of the element and replace the thermostat cover. Fold the insulation back over the thermostat and the element and reattach the cover to the water heater. Turn off the hot water faucet you turned on in Step 6.

  • Turn the breaker back on that supplies power to the water heater at the main electrical panel.

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