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As soon as it is found that its cumulus heats less or requires more time to reach the required temperature, it is necessary to ask the question of its renewal.

Connection of an electric water heater

Necessary material

  • Vertical Cumulus (300 l)
  • Security group with siphon
  • Copper tubes
  • Brass fittings
  • Tow
  • Sealing paste
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Silicone grease
  • Soldering powder remover

Difficulty : 3/4
Cost: 580 €
Time: 5 hours
Equipment : trough, tube cutter, adjustable wrench, multi-socket pliers, socket pliers, gas torch, flame arrester, insulated screwdrivers, electrical tester, industrial trolley or devil...

An electric water heater consists mainly of an insulated tank that keeps the water at a good temperature and whose inner face is covered with enamel. The water heater incorporates an anode that protects the tank from corrosion and resistance that allows the temperature rise of the water.

Two types of cumulus model

The accumulation models, also called balloons or cumulus, heat the water contained in the tank until the required temperature is reached whereas the instantaneous devices only heat up when the tap is opened. A desirable option to feed a body of water more than 8 m away from the tank or boiler. The life of the device depends largely on its interview and the quality of the water in his commune.

Descale your water heater every 4 to 5 years

Hard to very hard water (highly calcareous) accelerates scaling. In this Norman house, the cumulus had been installed 15 years ago.
As a result, the water was cooler and the electricity bill higher. The owners have replaced it with a vertical model with a capacity of 300 l. The safety group that serves as a valve has also been renewed. As for the interview, it consists of purge the water heater and drain the tank to limit scale deposits if the balloon is unused and / or subjected to negative temperatures. Descaling should be done every 4 to 5 years. For a model equipped with a magnesium anode, it must be replaced every 2 to 3 years while a titanium or hybrid anode simply involves changing the battery (9 V).

Empty the tank of the electric water heater

Bleed the tank

  • Blow off the balloon protector and turn off the water.
  • Open a hot water tap to purge the pipes.
  • Disconnect the hot water outlet fitting at the top of the tank.

Remove the safety group to drain faster

  • Here, the drain pipe is not PVC but copper (Ø smaller).
  • Empty the water from the tank by opening the drain cock on the safety group, but the operation is long. The best is to remove the safety group to empty the tank faster and without damage to the drain pipe.

Handyman's tip

Technique to not obstruct the evacuation of the cumulus

  • To avoid blocking the drain (here, made of copper tubing and not Ø 32 mm PVC) with the limescale residues, connect a garden hose to the water inlet of the tank to drain and lighten it before taking him out of the room.

Unscrew the nuts of the resistance

  • Once the balloon is empty, unscrew the nuts of the immersion heater from the water heater body (CE) using a pliers.

Evacuate the scale from the water heater

  • In a trough, evacuate the maximum tartar accumulated in the tank.
  • Wear protective gloves to carry out this operation.
  • The old water heater thus lightened, remove it from its location.

Preparation of fittings

Sealing paste

  • Once the new water heater is in place, prepare the watertightness of the connections by applying bead and sealing compound.

Electrical connection of a water heater

  • Start by wrapping the tow on the thread of the cold water inlet (at the bottom of the water heater), then cover the tow of sealing compound.

Screwing a fitting to fix the supply tube of the network

  • Repeat this operation on the hot water outlet (at the top of the water heater), then screw on a fitting to which the mains supply tube will be attached.

Connections and adaptations

Heat the end of the copper tube

  • At the torch or bi-gas station, heat the end of the copper tube recovered from the hot water outlet.
  • Then make the adjustment with the socket pliers.

Fixing the new water heater

  • The new water heater being higher, the part of the copper supply network has been shortened.
  • Clean the cut with fine abrasive and place a flame arrestor between the tube and the wall by holding it with a tube fall.
  • Slide the socket of the tube previously adjusted, then solder with a copper / phosphorus rod.

Cut the pipe

  • As before, the length of the tube (cold water) must be changed.
  • Cut the pipe with a pipe cutter and make a socket on the cut.

Cleaning the beaten collar

  • At the other end of the tube, clean the existing flanged collar and then add some silicone grease to the brass nut.

Brush the junction

  • Brush the junction at the socket.
  • Be sure to clean the copper / phosphorus tubes and rods beforehand with a solder specific cleaner.

Screw the nut on the safety group

  • After cooling the weld, place a gasket in the bottom of the nut at the end of the tube and then screw the nut on the safety group with a wrench.

Heat the drain tube

  • The drain tube of the water heater (here copper) requires adaptation.
  • Cook it again with the torch and then shape it to connect it to the safety group.
  • Once the tube is completely cooled, screw the nut with its seal to the output of the safety group.

Electrical connection of the cumulus

Screw the ground wire on the terminal

  • Open the electrical connection cover of the balloon, then screw the earth cable to the dedicated terminal block.

Screw the live and neutral wires on the connectors

  • Screw the phase wire and the neutral wire onto the corresponding connectors of the balloon resistor.
  • Test the electrical connections before turning on the power again.

How to choose your electric water heater?

Electric water heater

  • Before deciding, it is advisable to have the water quality (pH, hardness, mineral composition) analyzed by the commune's distribution service. This preliminary step will allow to choose the type of resistance and anode that the water heater will have to incorporate to optimize its life.
  • Unlike a balloon equipped with an immersion resistance (or shielded), a model with a steatite resistance placed in a sheath, without contact with water, wears less quickly but requires a water loaded with calcium and magnesium for effective tank protection. This type of resistance can even be replaced without emptying.
  • Vertical cumulus clouds are the most common. It can be placed directly on the floor or on a tripod for wall mounting on plasterboard partitions. If the configuration of the house does not allow the installation of a vertical water heater, one can opt for a horizontal device. It can be fixed to the floor in a roof, wall or ceiling if the height allows it as soon as the attachment is adapted to the support.
  • It is then recommended to choose a capacity 50 liters higher than the equivalent vertical water heater. The traditional cylindrical shape is not very ergonomic, manufacturers have expanded their range by designing models extra-flat. Their shape is more suited to small spaces but their price is also higher.

Video Instruction: Electric Water Heater Installation