First thing you need to do is kill the power. Then depending which element
you are changing,(upper or lower) you need to drain the water below that
point. Disconnect the wires from the element and take it out
BoB is right. This is pretty important. You could fry your new element and
get too much pressue in the tank causing the pressue relief valve to open.
Not that it's especially dangerous but you'll have H2O everywhere.
Unless you want to mop the floor, yes...
While you're at it and have the lower element out check for limestone
buildup on the bottom of the tank. If you have hard water, the reason
for the element failure may be due to the deposits building up and
causing the element eventually to overheat....we routinely would scrape
a couple inches of accumulated "oyster shells" out on a yearly basis...
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