how do i test an electric water heater heating element?

4 Answers

  • dalmas
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Water Heater Heating Element Test

  • ?
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Turn off the power at the control panel. Then take an ohmmeter, or set your multimeter to read ohms, and take the connections off the heating element you suspect is bad. Take a reading for ohms and note that. If the ohms = infinity, the element is bad and you must replace it.

    If you got a non-infinity reading, reattach the wiring and turn the power back on. Be CAREFUL here, you're working around live power. Test the wiring connections at the thermostat, you should see 220-240v AC. If not, your problem is probably somewhere upstream of the water heater itself.

    If you have power at the thermostat, turn its adjustment all the way up and test for presence of power at the element itself. If you get power at the element, the problem is still the element. If there's no power at the element, then the problem is the thermostat. Thermostats are easy to replace and not very expensive.

    If the element is bad, that's still easy to replace but it'll take a special wrench (available almost anywhere you can buy plumbing tools) to remove and you'll have to drain the tank. Not a problem, just a bit more involved.

    Good luck with it.

  • Gordon
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Very carefuly. Thoes things are powerd by 220 volts. Anyway; wait one hour or more after the last large use of hot water (the tank should be recoverd by then). remove the access plate to get to the element. You will see a couple of screws where the wires attach to the element. Measure the voltage at the screws. There should be none. It there is voltage, it means that the water heater is trying in vain to heat the tank with a faulty element.

    You can also turn off power to the water heater (FOR GOD'S SAKE AND YOUR OWN. PLEASE TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE WATER HEATER BEFORE GOING FURTHER). Then use an ohm meter to check for continuity across the element.

  • (A)
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    power off--- use a multi meter to check continuity of heating element.Place the meter electrodes to each connection of the heating element.If the meter beeps your good.

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