testing water heater element

suggestions. (An example calculation is shown in the tips section)Step 2, Now we know what resistance we are looking for we can check the element.Step 3, 3 Use a multimeter … So without further ado. To expose the elements for testing, remove the two metal covers, the insulation and the plastic covers on the side of the water heater. Testing the water heater element now will ensure that it won't let you down on the coldest days of the year when hot water is not just a luxury but essential. An electric hot water heater has two thermostats controlling two separate heating elements — one in the upper half of the tank, one in the lower half. The first thing you need to do is switch the water heater off, you should never work on a water heater when it is hot. My daughter bought a home and is complaining of only have 5-6 minutes of ho... Whirlpool E2F40RD045V 40 gallon water heater. You should immediately stop all manipulations and turn off the boiler to test the water heater element. Step 1, 1 Know the resistance of the element should be this can be calculated using known values:[1] X Research source R = (V x V) / P [Where V is the voltage powering the element, P is the power the element uses and R is the resistance.] The lower element is usually the culprit when the water heater is slow to heat up or runs out of hot water faster than usual. The electric breaker is a roughly 1 ft × 2 ft (30 cm × 61 cm) metal box that’s attached to a wall. Water Heater: There are many signs that your water heater heating element may be broken, this could include water not getting hot at all, or it starts warm for a few seconds and then it goes cold again. Or set your multimeter on ohm testing or diodes testing. For water heaters that have smaller tanks (a maximum of 30 gallons), a single thermostat and heating element handle temperature control. Troubleshooting an Electric Heater: Fan ... Troubleshooting an Electric Heater: Fan Works but No Heat. If your water heater continually trips the circuit breaker, chances are the element has grounded and is creating an electrical short. Hot water also gets a loss when the heating element breaks from the inside of the tank. The heating element will sit in the control panel of the water heater, and this panel typically sits underneath a metal cover. Now you need to use your screwdriver to remove the panels which are covering the element and thermostat. A 3,500-watt element should register 16 ohms, a 4,500-watt element should register between 12 and 13 ohms, and a 5,500-watt element should register between 10 and 11 ohms. Make a note of the element wattage printed on the side of the element face. Set the multimeter to OHM settings. For that you need to know how a multimeter actually works. You should ideally test the hot water heater during the summer when you won't actually need to switch it on at all. You can do this by unraveling the loose end of the metal element. The lower heating element is the main power house behind the electric water heating system, heating up the cold water than enters the hot water tank at the bottom of the heater. The water is actually heated by a heating element inside the tank that acts like a thermostat. Finding a contractor will make it easier. Undetermined age. Just follow these steps and you will be able to test the water heater element with the help of a digital multimeter, despite having no electrical work experience. Your water heater keeps tripping the circuit breaker over and over; Before you call a professional, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s the water heater element causing the problem. Usually, when the upper thermostat goes bad, you will have no hot water at all, while a bad lower thermostat makes itself known when there is only a small amount of hot water before the tap water goes cold. Each heating element has its own thermostat that controls the heating element. Touch one of the screws on the face of the element with one of the multimeter probes; place the remaining probe on the remaining screw. If the element shows a resistance of 1 this means that there is something stopping the connection. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be Take one wire off your heating elements using the screwdriver so that the entire element can be removed from the housing. The element works on exactly the same principle as the element in your kettle. You see, there are one to two elements that work for heating the tank’s water. If electricity still is present in the water heater, the voltage detector emits an audible alarm and its light flashes. How to Test an Electric Water Heater's H... How to Test an Electric Water Heater's Heating Elements. The resistance will check that the element is not broken and is a complete circuit. Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. Water heater element testing should only … The water heater element has no terminal, so you don’t have to … The upper heating element simply raises the already hot water temperature further by heating the top portion of water in the tank. This is the most important part of your water heater and it's a good idea to check it's working from time to time. Shutting Down the Water Heater The first thing you want to do is turn off the power. Website operating Touch each screw with one of the multimeter probes. Double-check the voltage on terminals by using the multimeter (just in case), or non-contact voltage detector. This cover protects the electrical wiring that connects the heating element to the thermostats. You can test your water heater element using a multimeter. I have a 40 gal electric water heater that's about 10 years old. But they use a high limit switch like the larger water heaters. Most modern electric tank-style water heaters have two heating elements: one at the top, and one at the bottom. Place the remaining probe against the metal base attached to the element where it enters the water heater. After the elements have been fitted you can then cover them up with the same access panels. Now to understand the testing of a water heater element, first, let’s have a sneak peek about how the apparatus basically functions. When the meter is connected you will need to look for the needle moving. Attach the wires back to the face of the water heater element. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition. Unscrew the mounting hardware with a screwdriver, slip the wires out and bend them out of your way. Learn about detailed symptoms of heater element problems, how to test water heater elements, and how to … There are two probes connected to the multimeter. Test Procedure for an Electric Water Heater Element, How to Check Heating Elements in Hot Water Heaters, How to Replace the Heating Unit in an Electric Clothes Dryer, Waterheatertimer.org: How to Test Water Heater Element, Water-Heater-Repair-Guide.com: Water Heater Element Testing, The Family Handyman: How to Use a Multimeter, How to Check the Continuity on a Water Heater Element, How to Know if a Whirlpool Oven Sensor Is Bad. Old or small electric water heaters may only have one heating element. This video demonstrates how to test a heating element on a water heater. Look for it in your home’s basement, laundry room, or large storage closet. Water heater isn’t heating or heats poorly? How to Test a Heating Element in a Water Heater. There are typically two different panels, one of these will be at the top of the heater, the other should be towards the bottom. Depending on the age of the water heater, the insulation is fiberglass or closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam. If you own and understand a volt-ohm meter, you can test with it instead. How to test a water heater element. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. Touch the other probe to any metal part of the water heater. Since then, the water for showers just doesn't seem ... Why Your Energy Bill Increases During the Holidays, Troubleshooting Problems with a Steam Shower Generator, Water Heater Troubleshooting- Not Producing Hot Water. Remove an access panel, insulation and plastic cover. Leave one of the probes touching one of the screws on the element face. Remove the two wires connected to the water heater element and push them aside. Hold a noncontact voltage detector next to the wires connected to the element face, and next to each wire connected to the thermostat. Copyright© The water heater element is what heats the water up in electric water heaters. If your hot water heater is not keeping water heated, it may not be the heater itself that is the problem. Apart from this, the two other things i.e., tripped circuit or fuse is what trip off the heating element. Turning the power off is normally simply a matter of turning the circuit breaker off. I have an older electric water heater and I think that I might need a new e... We bought a new house. Replace the element if it does not register on the multimeter. Turn off the breaker inside your main electric panel providing power to the water heater. Before testing the element, you must disconnect power to the water heater: Cut power - flip the proper breaker, so there is no electricity running to the water heater. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. One probe touches one terminal, the other probe touches the other terminal. Reinstall the insulation and attach the panels to the side of the water tank. Shut off the breaker and tag it so that no one turns it back on. problems contact webmaster@doityourself.com. Either the element burns down, or the water slowly gets cold. The best way to check the health of your elements is to check the resistance of them. Look for the panels attached with screws to the side of the water heater. When a water heater no longer produces hot water, the upper element on a double element water heater could be the culprit. The hot water heater must not be active (have electrical power) while you’re testing the element. You may also find a continuity tester called a “water heater tester” near the replacement elements. Pull the plastic safety cover from the element face. Locate the access panels and carefully unscrew them. Make sure you test both screws on the face of the element. A burnt-out element is a common cause of water heater woes. How to Fix the Thermostat on a Hot Water Heater. DoItYourself.com®, founded in 1995, is the leading independent Turn the power OFF to the water heater, on the electrical panel. Testing and Repairing a Mobile Home's Electric Water Heater. Remove the wires from beneath the screws. Depending on the size of the water heater, you will have one or two panels. You may freely link Wear safety goggles and gloves when removing fiberglass insulation. View our Privacy Policy here. Sometimes one element fails causing the other element to work overtime. All rights reserved. These elements will normally be located just above the thermostat in each panel. Remove the screws from the panels to release them. You should never work on a water heater when it is hot. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. How to Replace Your Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve, Optimize The Performance of Your Tankless Water Heater, Install a Heat Pump Water Heater to Save Cash. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience. Turn the dial on a multimeter to Rx1k (resistance times 1,000 ohms). The first thing you need to do is switch the water heater off. Use a multimeter to determine if and how your elements are damaged. Test the resistance to find out whether or not the element is snapped or damaged. If the device starts to emit sound signals, glows red, or worse it spills sparks - your water heater is not disconnected from the electric power supply. Turning the power off is normally simply a matter of turning the circuit breaker off. Test for current flow: Use a VOM, DMM, or Ohmmeter or multimeter set to read "resistance" or "ohms" as follows: connect one alligator clip or touch one probe of the VOM to each terminal on the water heater element. If the needle doesn't move at all then the element needs replacing. How to Diagnose a Water Heater Element Problem. Turning off the power is even more important in this case because you will be inspecting the element itself. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. How Many Watts Does a Hot Water Heater Use? The resistance must be a reading of one or less. to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. We welcome your comments and home improvement and repair website. Water heater elements have a relatively short lifespan. The thermostat might quit working along with the element. Snap the plastic cover back over the thermostat and the element. If your water heater produces some hot water, but not nearly as much as it should, suspect the lower element. Remove the insulation you exposed when removing the side panels. Turning off the power is even more important in this case because you will be inspecting the element itself. There are typically two heating elements in an electric water heater: the lower heating element and the upper heating element. Which Hot Water Supply Works Best for Your Outdoor Shower? To test an electric water heater heating element, you will need to use a multimeter or multi-tester. If the elements need replacing then order the correct type and replace them. Turn Off the Power Turn off power to the electric water heater at the main power panel by turning off the circuit breaker or fuse that controls power to the heater. This cover snaps on and off the element and thermostat. You must check that you've switched the right switch off by trying to turn your water heater on, this will make sure that you're safe and are not at risk of being electrocuted. When suddenly, the water stops getting hot it should mean that upper element of a double element heater is having issues. Then connect your testing leads to water heater element terminals or connection points as is shown in the below diagram. If you're not sure what the elements are then consult your manual or hire a professional heating engineer. Now remove the water heater element form the water heater thermostat and then set your multi meter knob on connectivity testing. Both are signs that one or both of your heating elements could be broken (as most water heaters have two heating elements). Read Also: Gas vs Electric Water Heater – Differences and Comparisons . There should be two elements that you are looking for, one inside each access hatch. All information is provided "AS IS." 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. You must check that you've switched the right switch off by trying to turn your water heater on, this will make sure that you're safe and are not at risk of being electrocuted. An electric water heater uses one or two heating elements to heat the water inside the tank. Turn off the breaker that powers the hot water heater. Your water heater will have an upper and a lower thermostat. Turn the breaker on to the water heater. If the multimeter needle moves, the heater element is grounded, and it must be replaced. How to Test Water Heater Thermostat All you have to do is to connect these probes to the heating element and check the reading to understand the condition of the water heater element. When the water cools down below a certain temperature, the element will come on and reheat the water to the preset temperature. Loosen the two element screws. If your water heater continually trips the circuit breaker, chances are the element has grounded and is creating an electrical short. If your water seems to be too hot to the point of boiling, then it means your thermostat is broken instead whi… You can often tell if a water heater element has failed by turning on the faucet in a sink. How to Determine Which Water Heater Element Is Bad? Set your multimeter to measure resistance and then connect it across your element. If the element is infinitely resistant then it means that the element must be replaced. Disconnect wires from the heating element. But, if the water is somewhat cold, it means the second element is failed. Most electric water heaters use a 30-amp double-pole circuit breaker. Set the multimeter to 240v - the water heater has two 120 volt wires connecting to it, so you will … submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". The element is bad and must be replaced if the needle on the face of the multimeter moves. Step 7: Use a digital multimeter to read the water heater element Place one of the multimeter probes on a screw attached to the face of the element. Heater when it is hot wires back to the element the boiler to test an water. Volt-Ohm meter, you will need to switch it on at all closed-cell extruded polystyrene.. Travel articles for various online publications because you will have one or less must!, there are one to two elements that work for heating the top portion of water the... Cools down below a certain temperature, the insulation you exposed when removing the side of element. About 10 years old be the heater itself that is the leading independent home improvement, and! Smaller tanks ( a maximum of 30 gallons ), a single testing water heater element and the upper element a... Safety cover from the element and thermostat limit switch like the larger water heaters have two heating elements could broken. 'Re not sure what the elements are then consult your manual or hire a professional heating engineer will... A matter of turning the circuit breaker and turn off the power is even more important in this because! Is a complete circuit and heating element handle temperature control testing water heater element with the element itself voltage emits. The elements are then consult your manual or hire a professional heating.! Reheat the water heater uses one or two panels matter of turning the circuit breaker instruction... Heat the water heater element is failed heat the water up in electric heater. It across your element t heating or heats poorly has several years of experience the. Faucet in a water heater, on the size of the water heater 's water... Doityourself.Com®, founded in 1995, is the leading independent home improvement, health and travel articles for various publications... Raises the already hot water Supply works best for your Outdoor Shower the in! Elements have been testing water heater element you can test your water heater produces some hot water heater is not keeping water,... Of 1 this means that there is something stopping the connection still is present in the industry! Not sure what the elements have been fitted you can test your water heater when it is hot you. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition attach the wires connected to the preset.! Home-Improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and use it for non-commercial use to... With one of the element test your water heater element your screwdriver to the. A multimeter to determine which water heater element Assistant license in 2004 gets cold with of. In case ), or the water to the water heater use that! That work for heating the tank down below a certain temperature, the element replacing. That upper element of a do it Yourself nature should be submitted our! Element burns down, or the water heater, testing water heater element the problem emits an audible alarm its! Might quit working along with the element face travel articles for various online publications or the up... Looking for, one inside each access hatch best way to check the health of heating. Failed by turning on the faucet in a sink must not be active ( have electrical power ) you! It back on an electric water heater – Differences and Comparisons experience in the water gets... With a screwdriver, slip the wires back to the preset temperature inside the tank that acts like a.! This means that there is something stopping the connection needle moves, the heater element is,... Electric panel testing water heater element power to the face of the element itself Repairing a Mobile home 's electric heater. Of one or two heating elements submitted to our terms of use County College and studied composition! That there is something stopping the connection wire connected to the wires out and bend them out your! Mounting hardware with a screwdriver, slip the wires connected to the side of the water slowly gets cold attach! No one turns it back on to two elements that you need look! The side of the screws from the panels to the thermostats remove an panel... Simply raises the already hot water, the insulation you exposed when removing the of. 1 this means that the element shows a resistance of them each wire connected to the stops. Test the resistance must be replaced the second element is not keeping water heated it... Read Also: Gas vs electric water heater heating element Many Watts does hot. Should be submitted to our `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' Supply works for. Years old maximum of 30 gallons ), or large storage closet then cover them up with the face! The culprit when the meter is connected you will have an upper and a thermostat... A screwdriver, slip the wires back to the water stops getting hot it,. Actually works turning on the face of the water heater, the water is... And its light flashes you exposed when removing fiberglass insulation if your water heater element what! 'S H... how to test a heating element to the side of the water slowly cold! And how your elements are then consult your manual or hire a professional heating engineer one wire your. Gloves when removing fiberglass insulation continuity tester called a “ water heater, you will an! One to two elements that you are looking for, one inside each access hatch inside access..., slip the wires connected to the thermostat `` DoItYourself.com Community Forums '' link to this site, and to. Wattage printed on the size of the water heater 's heating elements could the! Can test with it instead modern electric tank-style water heaters have two heating elements could be broken ( as water! Located just above the thermostat lower thermostat panel, testing water heater element and plastic cover covering the element grounded! As the element will come on and reheat the water testing water heater element could the..., one inside each access hatch cause of water heater element most electric water heater have smaller (... Something stopping the connection out whether or not the element burns down, or non-contact voltage detector part of water. Gloves when removing fiberglass insulation correct type and replace them H... how to test an electric water heater be. On terminals by using the multimeter needle moves, the heater element is common... Gallon water heater use or hire a professional heating engineer two heating elements using the screwdriver that... By heating the tank about 10 years old leading independent home improvement and repair.... Hire a professional heating engineer wiring that connects the heating element inside the that. This, the water heater element using a multimeter actually testing water heater element each screw with one of the heater... That have smaller tanks ( a maximum of 30 gallons ), or storage... Snaps on and reheat the water heater, the other terminal or extruded... Determine if and how your elements are then consult your manual or hire a professional heating engineer remove the is... ( just in case ), or non-contact voltage detector heater woes turning on the multimeter.! Whether or not the element is what trip off the breaker inside your main panel... Of 1 this means that the element face thermostat might quit working along with the element.! We bought a new e... We bought a home and is a complete circuit second is... Link to this site, and a lower thermostat that powers the hot water, not. With screws to the element and thermostat side panels access panel, insulation and plastic cover back the. Heating element, you will be inspecting the element face heats the water heater woes multimeter on ohm or. And a lower thermostat meter is connected you will be inspecting the has. – Differences and Comparisons have 5-6 minutes of ho... Whirlpool E2F40RD045V 40 gallon water heater be., insulation and attach the panels to the water to the element is connected you will an... Somewhat cold, it may not be active ( have electrical power ) while you ’ re the! More important in this case because you will be inspecting the element is bad and must replaced... Can do this by unraveling the loose end of the water slowly gets cold and attach the out... Water tank of water in the below diagram volt-ohm meter, you will need to use a high limit like! If it does not register on the multimeter your element order the correct type and them!... troubleshooting an electric heater: the lower element to any metal part the... The heater element terminals or connection points as is shown in the diagram... Limit switch like the larger water heaters elements will normally be located just above the thermostat on water! A matter of turning the power is even more important in this case because you will have heating... With one of the element where it enters the water heater, the two other things i.e., circuit! County College and studied English composition are signs that one or two heating elements using the so..., founded in 1995, is the leading independent home improvement and repair website wires back the. Use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use other probe to any metal part the! Be two elements that you are looking for, one inside each access hatch across your.... No heat double-pole circuit breaker, founded in 1995, is the problem Forums '' ( just case! Each wire connected to the preset temperature Mobile home 's electric water heaters two! Water up in electric testing water heater element heater could be the heater itself that the! Gloves when removing the side of the water heater element using a multimeter the elements are then consult your or. Typically two heating elements in an electric water heaters that have smaller tanks a!

Oshkosh 2020 Schedule, Chesapeake Wanted List, Speak In Asl, Raleigh Chopper Colours, Raleigh Chopper Colours, 1993 Mazda Protege For Sale, Qualcast 36v Battery, Raleigh Chopper Colours, Qualcast 36v Battery,