Electric Water Heater Thermostat Replacement

Replace your electric water heater thermostat using the step by step guide below.
Almost all residential water heater thermostats are interchangeable. However, a single element water heater thermostats will not work on a double element water heater.

Replacing an Electric Water Heater Thermostat

electric water heater thermostat

Turn the water heater power off. Remove the access
panel, insulation and the plastic safety cover.

Use your multimeter to make sure that the power
is off.

The pic on the left is of the top thermostat on a
duel element residential water heater.

replacing a hot water heater thermostat

The hot water heater thermostat is held tight against the tank with a bracket made of spring steel.

To remove the thermostat, pry one side of the bracket out with a screwdriver just far enough to release the thermostat.

Twist the thermostat to the side so the bracket can't pop back into place(see pic). Now pry the other side of the bracket out and pull the thermostat out.

remove thermostat water heater

This is a pic of the water heater
thermostat bracket after the thermostat has been removed.

If either side of the bracket is pried out
to far it will not hold the thermostat tight against the tank (very important).
If this happens take a screwdriver and
push the clip up against the tank then release it. This may spring it back
enough to hold the thermostat.

To replace the bracket remove the two element wires. Pry the lock clips
up (bottom of the pic) with a screwdriver and pull the bracket off.

Hold the new bracket straight and push it in as far as it will go. The lock
clips will hold it in place.

install new thermostat

Slide the new water heater thermostat
into place. It should lay tight against
the tank.

rewire new thermostat

Use the wiring diagram you made earlier and
wire up the new water heater thermostat.

lower thermostat

The lower electric water heater thermostat is
replaced the same way.

If you're replacing an electric water heater thermostat on a single element
water heater follow the same steps. Be sure to buy a thermostat for a
single element water heater.

Replace the plastic safety cover,insulation and the access cover.

Turn the power on

Top thermostats are also called upper or primary thermostats.

Bottom thermostats are also called lower or secondary thermostats.

Related pages

Check water heater power

Adjust water  temperature

How to test a thermostat

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