How to check element in hot water heater

How to check element in hot water heater. A water heater helps in completing the house chores more efficiently. In winter, we use hot water for almost everything we do.

So, a properly functioning cold water heater is integral to living. But if something goes down with the heater, it will be a frustrating experience.

Connecting both of these heating elements makes the water heater functional. If one connection of any water heating element collapses, the water heater will start disturbing.

The thermostat is installed for the power supply of the upper and lower element.

If something goes up or down with the thermostat, the water heater will affect it. We can face many problems with our water heater due to its faulty components.

How to check element in hot water heater

Identifying heater elements- Causes and Fixes

identifying heater elements causes and fixes

When your hot water starts glitching up, you must look at what component of the hot water is disturbing.

If you feel a low or almost no water problem in your water heater, then it is more than possible that the problem could lie in the heating elements.

Now you know that problem lies in your water heater element so you must look for the reasons behind it.

If you are looking to seek professional help, then STOP!

Because if you seek professional help, they will drain a lot of money out of your pocket for the task you can do by yourself.

But to do things by yourself, you always need a guide. Luckily we have got your back. We are here to tell you how you can identify heater elements.

To start the identification process, you need to gather some tools that you can use to identify heater elements.

Things You’ll Need

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Screws
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Plumbing hand safety gloves
  • Digital Multimeter
  • Safety glasses
  • heating element wrench
  • noncontact voltage detector

Bounded Air Pocket

Water heater elements need water into which they plunge themselves.  Their life span is limited as they constantly stay hot to heat the water.

So heater elements need to be dipped in the water. Otherwise, their copper will get burnt.

Constant heating usage makes air pockets that don’t let water stay. And when the water heater element loses its interaction with the water, its copper will get burnt.

Trapped air pockets will burn the upper water heater element, worsening the situation.

This will become a reason for the failure of the upper element, leading to the failure of the water heater.

It is highly recommended that if you want to use your heater for longer, you must make a way out of trapped air pockets.

Trapped air pockets will damage the heater’s upper heating element before age expectancy.

Sudden Power surge

sudden power surge

When the power supply goes up, instant power surges can worsen things.

Each element has a specific type of power to bear a limited amount of energy.

Problems can form when the voltage exceeds the limit, and the water element will get burnt.

Assembelance of Mineral deposits

assembelance of mineral deposits

Water Heaters are the most used appliance in the home. They are constantly used for heating water.

A constant water heater indicates that water heating elements are also in constant use.

When elements are used on a constant basis, then their interaction with water forms mineral deposits on the elements.

And these deposits block the functionality. So all you have to do is to remove these minerals.

Fact: We have seen how bounded air pockets stop the functionality of the upper heating element. But it is quite interesting that water minerals mainly affect only lower heating elements.

If you want to eliminate deposits and save your element, turn your water heater entirely off. You first have to,

After; turning it Off, rinse it with water by draining one cycle of the simple water through the water heater.

You have to try this process once a year, and doing it every six months would be an idle step.

And if you will not follow the guide, then; then you will end up getting a bad lower heating element.

Broken Heating Element

broken heating element

As we have described in detail above, how continuous water heater makes its things faulty. The broken heating element is one of those problems.

Whenever you witness a continuous loss of hot water, you have to switch your mind to the elements because they are broken.

Due to continuous use or sudden power surge, elements get broken. Sometimes the circuit breaker trips when the power goes up to its voltage.

Sudden tripping of circuit breakers can make heating elements faulty.

New hot water heater water smells like plastic

Interrupted Wire Connection

interrupted wire connection

When wire connections get interrupted, it can directly affect the functionality of water heating elements.

Because sometimes poor connections of wires make them slip through their terminals will make elements faulty.

So you have to pay proper attention while attaching the wire connection.

Ensure the wires are connected properly because a weak connection will affect the water supply.

8 Steps for Testing Water Heater Element

8 steps for testing water heater element

We have listed eight steps to test a water heater element.

Remember that several water heater elements depend on the heater you own.

Some heaters have one Heating element, and some have two heating elements.

Step 1: Locate the circuit breaker

If you want to test the water heater, the first thing that you have to do is to locate the circuit breaker locate it where the heater connects with the central connection panel.

Most of the time, it is protected in a metal box attached somewhere to the wall.

Step 2: Remove the connection of the power source

When you locate the circuit breaker, check for the breaker specifically for the water heater.

Electricians usually separate each circuit breaker by adequately labeling them.

But if you don’t know which breaker belongs to which functionality at any cost, then you have to remove the connection of the power source.

Removing the power source is an important step that you must have to attempt correctly.

Hot water heater making knocking noise

Step 3: Expose the Pannels

After ensuring the power source is disconnected, The heater will stop working if something goes wrong with the elements exposed to the panels by removing the metal cover plates.

When you remove the metal cover, then you will see the panels.

When you are done exposing the panels, you have to take the Philips screwdriver to detach the screw attached to the panels.

In simple words, detach one or two panels by unscrewing them.

Note: Stay aware of the fact that during an unscrewing process, screws can fall, and mini screws will become impossible to restore.

So make sure that you grip the screws of the panel before letting them fall.

Keep in mind that the size and quantity of the panels depend on the model of the heater you are using.

Some heater comes with only one-panel panel, and some could come up with more than one.

Step 4: Disengage the fiberglass insulation

disengage the fiberglass insulation

The first thing that we recommend is that you use your hand plumbing gloves and safety goggles before starting to disengage the fiberglass insulation.

Water heaters contain a layer of cellulose or fiberglass insulation.

You must remove that cellulose and fiberglass insulation and keep it on the side with care.

After disengaging, you must remove the thermostat by removing its plastic cover.

Well, it is not an essential step because not every single thermostat comes with a plastic cover.

Step 5: Maintain Safety Precautions

At this point, you must ensure that the power is completely disconnected from the water heater.

To ensure this, we recommend using a non-contact voltage tester to detect whether it is still connected.

Place your non-contact voltage tester on the mid-wire that connects the start smart thermostat and the elements.

After putting the tester on the wires, if you still witness a beep or if your testers are beeping up, then it means that the connection is still there.

Disconnection of the power to the water heater and element is the most compulsory because any carelessness could bring extreme danger.

Step 6: Locate Water Heating Elements

locate water heating elements

The next thing you can do is locate the water heating elements.

As we have described earlier, it depends on the type of your heater and how many water heater elements your heater has.

Well, if we talk about locating them, you cant properly locate them because there are dived inside the box.

You can only check that their end is exposed about half an inch from the outer surface. Locate their exposed ends attached with heating element screws to continue the Process.

Step 7: Note down Readings of water heater element

Note down the readings of the water heater element. You can check at the base of the water heater tank and note down the wattage and ohms.

Use the digital multimeter to test the readings by placing the Multimeter on the screws that are attached to the element’s face.

Ensure that the terminal you are checking doesn’t connect with other electrical parts because it could be dangerous.

Use a Multimeter and put it on the. Tips of element screws. After doing this, check the reading correctly.

If readings don’t adequately relate to their intended reading, you must must must replace them with a new element.

Hot water heater sediment symptoms

Step 8: Reverse the process-Detaching

In the end, reverse the Process by detaching every screw in its place and setting everything up.

Make sure that you replace the water heating element with the new heating element if they are declared to be faulty.

Detaching everything in its place will possibly fix the issue. Check if your water heater is working correctly after turning the power in its ON position.


If you are one of those people who can’t live without water heaters, Then you must take proper care of them.

Most components of the water heater are its elements.

The heater will stop working if something goes wrong with the elements. The heater will stop working if something goes wrong with the elements.

If you feel something is wrong with the elements of the heater, then you have to look for the reasons behind it.

It would help if you praised your luck today because we have listed the main causes that can lead to faulty water heater elements.

We examined And Experienced everything in detail to provide you with the step-by-step guide for examination of Water heating elements.

We hope this guide will help you check your water heating Elements.

If you follow the above guide that we have specially researched and experienced on your behalf, you will know how to check the elements in the water heater. Water heater suddenly scalding hot