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How to Convert a 220 Volt Water Heater to 120 Volt

Andrea Walk

Hot water heaters are large storage tanks responsible for creating hot water in your home. There are two types of water tanks - those powered by natural gas and those powered by electricity. Electric water tanks are typically 220-volt, which means they require a 220-volt electrical outlet to run. If there is only a 120-volt electrical outlet present where the tank is installed, a step-down transformer will be required to convert the larger-voltage heater so that it can be powered by a 120-volt outlet.

Step 1

Connect the water tank's plug or wiring to the proper receptacle jacks on the back side of the step-down transformer. Use a screwdriver to loosen and tighten the wire contacts if a standard plug is not used for connection. Step down transformers all vary slightly, so be sure to read the user manual of your step down transformer.

Step 2

Connect the power cord from the step down transformer to the wall electrical socket.

Step 3

Turn the power switch of the step down transformer to the on position and then power up the hot water heater.