Last Updated on December 24, 2022 by tawhid

If your water heater element needs to be replaced, you may be wondering how to remove the old one without an element wrench. While it is possible to do this without a specialized tool, it’s not recommended. Without an element wrench, you run the risk of damaging the heating element or the water heater itself.

  • Place a bucket or pan underneath the water heater to catch any water that may drip out when the element is removed
  • Turn off the power to the water heater by flipping the switch on the circuit breaker box
  • Remove the access panel from the side of the water heater using a screwdriver or drill
  • Locate the element inside the water heater and use a wrench to loosen and remove it
  • 5 Carefully pull out the element, being careful not to drop it into the bucket or pan below (this could cause serious injury)
  • Inspect the threads on both ends of the element for damage and clean them off with a wire brush if necessary
  • 7 Use pliers to twist on a new element, hand-tightening it as much as possible before using a wrench to finish tightening it (be sure not to overtighten)
  • 8 Replace the access panel and turn on power to the water heater at the circuit breaker box

Water Heater Element Wrench Substitute

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have a water heater element wrench, there are a few things you can use as a substitute. A regular wrench or pliers will work, but be careful not to damage the element. You can also try using a screwdriver to loosen the element.

Be sure to unplug the power before attempting any of these methods.

How to Remove Water Heater Element Without Element Wrench


What Can I Use in Place of an Element Wrench?

There are a few different tools that can be used in place of an element wrench, depending on the specific situation. If you need to remove a hex nut or bolt, then you can use a hex key (also called an Allen key). For larger nuts and bolts, you may need to use a socket wrench.

Finally, if you need to loosen or tighten screws, you can use a screwdriver.

What Size Wrench Fits a Water Heater Element?

If you’re asking what size wrench fits a water heater element, the answer is that it depends on the type of element you have. The two most common types are hex head and square head. A hex head element will require a 3/4″ wrench, while a square head element will need a 1″ wrench.

Of course, before you can even start thinking about which size wrench to use, you need to make sure that the power is off. Water heaters are powered by either electricity or gas, and working on either one without shutting off the power first is extremely dangerous. Once the power is off, you can proceed with changing out the element.

The first step is to remove the access panel from the back of the water heater. With this panel removed, you’ll be able to see both the old element and the new one that you’ll be installing. At this point, take a look at how they’re held in place – some elements will have screws holding them in place while others will simply be pressed into place.

If yours has screws, go ahead and remove them now. If not, gently pull on the old element until it pops out (you may need to wiggle it a bit). Now it’s time to install the new element.

If yours came with new screws, go ahead and use those to secure it in place. If not, just press it into place until it’s snug (again, you may need to wiggle it a bit). Once everything is secure, replace the access panel and turn on your water heater – congrats!

You’ve just changed out your water heater element all by yourself!

How Do I Loosen a Stuck Water Heater Element?

If your water heater element is stuck, there are a few things you can do to try and loosen it. First, make sure that the power is off to the water heater. Next, using a wrench or pliers, attempt to turn the element counterclockwise.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to use a hammer to lightly tap around the element until it loosens. Once it’s loose, you should be able to turn it by hand.

How Do You Unscrew a Heating Element?

If your heating element is screwed in, you will need to use a screwdriver to remove it. First, locate the screws that hold the element in place. There are usually two screws, one on each side of the element.

Next, use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws. Once the screws are removed, you should be able to pull the heating element out of its socket.

Water Heater Element Wrench Tip


If your water heater’s element needs to be replaced, you may be wondering how to remove it without an element wrench. While an element wrench is the ideal tool for the job, there are a few other ways you can go about removing the element. One way is to use a pair of pliers.

Simply grip the head of the element with the pliers and twist it until it comes loose. Another way is to use a hammer and screwdriver. First, find a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the threads on the element.

Next, place the tip of the drill bit on one of the threads and tap it with a hammer until it pierces through. Do this around 10 times or so until there is a hole big enough for the screwdriver to fit through. Finally, place the screwdriver through the hole and unscrew the element from its housing.

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