7 Steps to Test Water Heater Element
A water heater is an indispensable thing in any home, with its help it is possible at any time to get the desired amount of hot water, whether it is taking a shower or washing clothes or washing dishes. But, sooner or later everything comes to an end, has its own life term and water heaters.
One of the most frequent breakdowns that are associated with these home appliances is a problem with the heating element. This part of the water heater is most affected because it is in the water and is constantly in contact with salts and minerals that are an integral part of the liquid. These natural elements provoke the gradual wear of the device and the complete interoperability of the water heater. To make sure that the heating element is working, there is a way out – it can be tested with a multimeter – water heater element test.
How to Test Water Heater Element?
Before you start directly testing the heating element, you should make sure that you have the following items in stock:
- protective glasses;
- non-contact voltage detector – multimeter;
After you make sure that you have all the necessary things, you can go directly to the test of the hot water heater element test. So:
Turn off the circuit breaker inside the main electrical panel that supplies power to the boiler. You must be sure exactly what you are turning off, for the sake of fidelity, check the inscription above the switch that you turn off. Although if it is not signed and you completely turn off the house from the mains to do a water heater element voltage test, nothing bad will happen.
On the side of your boiler, there is a plate – panel. If you have a large water heater, there are likely to be two of them. They are bolted. You need to carefully unscrew these bolts and remove the panel. Do everything carefully and leisurely. After you have removed the plate, make sure that the small bolts are not lost. To best cope with the task of buying and installing a water heating device, finding a contractor will be the best solution.
After removing the plastic plates, an insulation layer will appear before you. This is often a piece of extruded polystyrene foam or fiberglass. It is highly recommended not to touch these materials with bare hands. Be careful and make sure you are wearing protective gloves. Also, it will not be superfluous to wear safety glasses to test hot water heater elements.
Check the thermostat to see if it has a plastic cover. Pull out the tab and remove the plastic plate that covers the thermostat. It should be noted that this is an optional procedure since not all thermostats necessarily come with a removable plastic cover. Finding a contractor is the way out of the situation – let the professional do their job and make your life easier.
In order to avoid electric shock, you must once again make sure that your boiler is not connected to the mains. To do this, place a non-contact voltage detector next to the wire connecting the heating element and the thermostat. 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. You should immediately stop all manipulations and turn off the boiler to test the water heater element. Finding a contractor will make it easier.
Look for the endpoints of the heating element in the open panel. It is more likely that there will be more than one. The heating element itself is not visible, as it is deep inside your boiler. However, you can see its endpoints. The element has an average length of a modest 1 inch and is attached to the plastic plate with bolts.
Set the scale of your multimeter to the lowest position or Rx1k. It should be noted that the power of your boiler and Ohm are clearly written on the surface bottom of the device. If your household fluid heating appliance has a factory power of 3500 watts, for example, the multimeter will show 16 ohms, and 4500 watts from 12 to 13 ohms. Read the readings carefully and compare them to test the water heater element.
Place one of the multimeter sensors on a bolt attached to the surface of the heating element. Put the device pins to the end of the screw caps on which the heating element is attached. A number will glow on the screen of your multimeter, check it with what was described above. If the multimeter shows 1 Ohm, it means that your boiler is completely defective and needs to be replaced.
Put all parts of the heater right to their places. Not to deal with the household issues you know nothing about – consider finding a contractor.