How to find your water heater elements: Locate the hot water heater’s circuit breaker in your electrical panel and turn it off. There are many situations where a homeowner might suspect their electric water heater's heating elements are going bad: the power is on but there’s no hot water or the water isn't as hot as it used to be. Don’t worry, we are here to explain to you one of the most important components of the water heater that is none other than the thermostat. To set the thermostat on a water heater, you will need to adjust both thermostats to similar temperatures. Replace the chamber panel and insulation of the thermostat. This setting will allow the multimeter to measure the amount of resistance in the heating element. If the heating element is functioning properly, the multimeter should read between 10 and 30 ohms. This is important, especially as open and grounded heating elements result in inaccurate tests. If you don’t notice any lights or beeps on the meter, then there is no electricity on the thermostat. Both thermostats (on the same water heater) do not have the same features. If you want to test a thermostat on an electric water heater, you will also need to check the heating element. Depending on how old your heater is, there can be a bit different looking … When you check your electric water heater, you will notice two thermostats on the unit-one at the top, and one at the bottom. But some models offer more amps. If it is, you will have a reading of 240V on terminals 1 and 3. Plus, they can be weakened by mineral deposits in your water supply. Detach the insulation. Electric water heaters have two heating elements--an upper one and a lower one. Look for the panels attached with screws to the side of the water heater. We hope you enjoyed this article. Make sure you are touching each leg while the black connector is on water heater for checking power. But the lower one detects any change in the temperature of the water. Turn off power at the water heater circuit at the main electrical panel. To look for faults, you will need to use a screwdriver. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to put together a gorgeous yet relaxing family room. To do this, wave a non-contact voltage tester near a pair of wires at the top. Adjust the dial on the upper thermostat to the minimum setting while you set the other thermostat to the highest level. If you turn the hot water tap and cold water runs out, then the upper thermostat is damaged. However, you will need to know how to test a water heater thermostat to find the faulty unit. Check for voltage. Make sure it rests correctly on the surface of the storage tank. Now that you’ve located the heating element, you can test it. Turn the electrical supply to the water heater off at the service panel. For instance, the level of heat required for washing might be different from the one needed for showering. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Place the prongs of the multimeter on the terminal 1 and blue wire of the heating element. Each of these devices controls two different heating elements. Water heater elements have a relatively short lifespan. Step 2. Quick and simple. It is very important to make sure the power is off. Furthermore, it controls the current that moves to another thermostat or heating element. Set the multimeter to OHM settings. This step is vital because it protects you from electrical shocks. How to test a water heater element. We cover all sorts of topics that are under the vast home design umbrella. Take out the panel that protects the thermostat and heating element of your electric water heater. You will also need to check the water heater thermostat with digital multimeter tools. There must be no power on the unit. Locate the instructions for your device, open the device's case according to the instructions, and locate the heating element. Before you proceed further with the process of testing the heater thermostat, take a screwdriver and the multimeter. This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. All … As an experiment used a non-contact clamp-on type ammeter on one of the wires at my lower element. This video shows how to test a water heater element using a multi-meter. Hi, I’m Emma, Editor of Sunrise Specialty. An electric water heater has a thermostat like a tankless water heater. Reconnect the circuit to its power source by activating the circuit breaker. You can find this information on the data tag on the side of the water heater. Check out Using a Multi meter, for more information. You need to touch tops to legs using the connections of a multimeter. 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. Our insight can guide the way for you. A bimetallic element (made by fusing two different metals together) inside responds to a change in temperature by bending as the metals expand at different rates when the element is heated or cooled. Disconnect wires from the heating element. To look for faults, you will need to use a screwdriver. It also has a button that stops it from working, especially when the water goes above 170F. You will notice a relief valve near the top of the water heater, you can flip the handle up to open it. Here’s how to test a heating element using a multimeter: If the heating elements appear to be in good working order but you’re still having hot water issues, it’s time to call your local Mr. Rooter for expert assistance. Give us a call at (855) 591-0128 today or schedule an estimate. Touch one of the multimeter probes to the loosened screw. Snap a picture of the connections on the thermostat. The first thing you want to do is turn off the power. Make sure there is no current in the thermostat to avoid electrical shocks. Since some models have screwed panels, you might need to work with a screwdriver. Discuss immersion heater testing with multimeter in the Plumbing Forum ... . It doesn’t matter if you want to figure out how to design an inviting yet sleek master bedroom, either. Also, check for current on the high limit switch. There are two probes connected to the multimeter. Good heater elements between 4.0 and 5.5kw should have the following results: * 9-12 ohms of resistance * good continuity * draw 15-25 amps at 240v. Remove the insulation from inside the metal panel. Alternatively, you can adjust the upper element to a lower temperature thereby allowing the one underneath to activate first. First turn off the power of the device, preferably unplug the socket. Look for a one-inch-diameter round or hexagonal object, with a plastic plate attached by two screws. This setting will allow the multimeter to measure the amount of resistance in the heating element. Attach both circuit wires to the corresponding screw terminal. Now remove the water heater element form the water heater thermostat and then set your multi meter knob on connectivity testing. It is suggested that you set the temperature to 120°F. Touch the other probe to the other screw attached to the face of the heating element. You can use a thermostat to produce heated water to suit different purposes. That’s the heating element. You can turn it off from inside the main electrical panel. Check your heater’s power connecting point. Use minimum force to prevent any damage to the clips. If you want to test a thermostat on an electric water heater, you will also need to check the heating element. Then connect your testing leads to water heater element terminals or … Testing Spa or Hot Tub Heater Elements . You test the element by using an Ohm meter, or any multi-meter will work also. There should be one panel per heating element. You will also need to check the water heater thermostat with digital multimeter tools. At this stage, you can use a non-contact voltage tester to check the screw terminals and wires. The metal part of the heating element is kept separate from the metal in the tank by a plastic insulator. Lock them by tightening the screws. Mr. Rooter is a registered trademark of Mr. Rooter LLC Copyright © 2020 Mr. Rooter, All rights reserved. If the heater is an electric … Look for it in your home’s basement, laundry room, or large storage closet. They include a heating element, a thermostat and a switch to prevent the unit from excess heat. But if there are no readings that means the thermostat is faulty. Work on the unit as if there is a power even when you detect no readings on the tester. Remember to add a non-contact voltage tester and screwdrivers on your list. Next place the prongs on terminal 2 and the blue wire of the heating element. See how to replace one on another video on my channel. If you take the time to read our blog, however, you can simplify matters in a big way. After knowing how to test a thermostat, you can even handle the repairs without emptying the storage tank. In the case you describe the problem could be a bad second heating element OR the thermostat unit itself could be defective. The electric breaker is a roughly 1 ft × 2 ft (30 cm × 61 cm) metal box that’s attached to a wall. If there are any problems, pull out the current thermostat and install a new one. Step 3. If your water heater has two heating elements, check the second element in the same manner. so does this mean that they were not "blown" as she told me that the electric wasnt tripping at all. You may insert the power pluck and hold a Tester at the heater’s connecting point to check if the power is available. The thermostat on top acts as the primary one while having a high limit switch. The hot water heater must not be active (have electrical power) while you’re testing the element. To test the heating elements in your electric water heater, you will first need to find them. Use a screwdriver to get rid of the covering on the water heater’s elements. Head to the circuit breaker and turn off the power to the thermostat. Conversely with the thermostat turned up the meter indicates a current draw. If you have a reading then the power is turned on, switch it off and check again. Old or small electric water heaters may only have one heating element. 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. 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