How to Wire a Bradford White Hot Water Heater

Bradford White manufactures water heaters for both home and commercial use.

Their line of home water heaters feature a line of smaller water heaters in 10- and 15-gallon sizes for apartments and smaller homes, in addition to standard 40-gallon sizes. In some locations, you can wire a Bradford White hot water heater to the main circuit yourself, saving money on having an electrician do it for you.

Check with your local government office to see if you need to have a permit to install a water heater. Some municipalities will allow DIYers to do this themselves, while other require that the work be done by a certified professional.

Shut off the power for the electrical circuit where you will be installing the hot water heater. Open up the main circuit breaker panel and locate the switch for the water heater. Turn the switch to the off position. Use a piece of tape to cover the switch and prevent others from turning it on while you are working.

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the access panel on the side of the Bradford White heater in place. Where the panel is will depend on what size heater you have. On larger, 40-gallon models, the electrical plate is located just next to the conduit, at the top of the heater. On smaller, 10- to 15-gallon tanks, the panel is located on the side of the heater.

Run the circuit wire through the conduit on the Bradford White heater, if this is not already done. Pull the wire through so that you have at least six inches or so of wire by the electrical panel.

Use the wire strippers to strip an inch off the end of the black and white wires.

Loosen the terminals on the Bradford White heater with a screwdriver. Wrap the wire for the black wire around the terminal marked "LIVE". Squeeze the end of the wire back in on itself and wrap it around the terminal. Tighten the terminal with the screwdriver. Repeat this process for the white wire, wrapping it around the terminal marked "NEUTRAL". Connect the bare copper wire to the green colored terminal.

Replace the electrical access cover and secure in place with screws.

Remove the tape from the circuit switch. Turn the power for the circuit back to the on position.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Wire strippers

Warning

  • Don't start the heater without filling it up with water first, otherwise you could damage the heating elements.

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.