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Touch one of the multimeter probes to the loosened screw. Detach the insulation. Locate a plastic panel on the thermostat and heating element. 2 Open a hot water faucet and let the water run until it cools. It’s advised you check the unit for any current to prevent any shocks while you’re working. Normally, water heater breakers consist of two separate single-pole switches with a 30 amp rating. Head to the circuit breaker and turn off the power to the thermostat. After that, free the thermostat from its attachment clips and remove it from its chamber. You don’t even need any special skills to solve this problem. It is for information purposes only. Attach both circuit wires to the corresponding screw terminal. Licensed plumbing professionals from your local Mr. Rooter can replace a faulty heating element in your electric water heater to make sure you have hot showers to look forward to. There is no doubt that water heaters are machines and the machine needs adjustments some times. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Courtice-Bowmanville, try checking and reigniting the pilot light. Read on to learn how to find, remove, and test the heating elements in an electric water heater using a multimeter. The hot water heater must not be active (have electrical power) while you’re testing the element. As an experiment used a non-contact clamp-on type ammeter on one of the wires at my lower element. And when that happens, the elements or their thermostats may be at fault. Locate the water valve at the bottom of the water heater. If you want to test a thermostat on an electric water heater, you will also need to check the heating element. Shut off the breaker and tag it so that no one turns it back on. This step is vital because it protects you from electrical shocks. It’s important to note that only electric water heaters have heating elements. Testing the Element Shutting Down the Water Heater. An electric heater with a storage tank of at least 30 gallons comes with two heating elements with a thermostat on each of them. Find and remove the metal panel (s) attached to the side of your water heater. Turn the power OFF to the water heater, on the electrical panel. This setting will allow the multimeter to measure the amount of resistance in the heating element. Turn off the breaker that powers the hot water heater. Next, turn up the temperature of the upper thermostat to look for faults. Use a screwdriver to get rid of the covering on the water heater’s elements. Now that you’ve located the heating element, you can test it. Also, in dual element water heaters, there is a difference in the upper and lower thermostats. Step 2. Loosen one of the heating element screws and detach the wire from it (it doesn’t matter which). How to find your water heater elements: Locate the hot water heater’s circuit breaker in your electrical panel and turn it off. Click here for our precautionary measures. If you have a reading then the power is turned on, switch it off and check again. Your water heater will have a layer of cellulose or fiberglass insulation below … Depending on the size of … If your water heater has two heating elements, check the second element in the same manner. Turn the breaker off. Depending on how old your heater is, there can be a bit different looking … You test the element by using an Ohm meter, or any multi-meter will work also. However, the failure is completely different. Our insight can guide the way for you. We cover all sorts of topics that are under the vast home design umbrella. You can test your water heater element using a multimeter. Check for voltage. Switch on the water heater for two hours, then run the hot water faucet to see if the water is well heated. Remember to add a non-contact voltage tester and screwdrivers on your list. Remove an access panel, insulation and plastic cover. For extremely hot water, you will need to change both thermostats on your heater. There should be one panel per heating element. You will also need to check the water heater thermostat with digital multimeter tools. Check for a “snapping” movement as you push the button. How to test a water heater element. Give us a call at (855) 591-0128 today or schedule an estimate. If the power supply is okay, then manage a series lamp or multimeter. For water heaters that have smaller tanks (a maximum of 30 gallons), a single thermostat and heating element handle temperature control. Adjust the dial on the upper thermostat to the minimum setting while you set the other thermostat to the highest level. Troubleshooting the thermostat on your water heater might look difficult. But if there are no readings that means the thermostat is faulty. After knowing how to test a thermostat, you can even handle the repairs without emptying the storage tank. The most mainstream situation can be the time when the heater produced less hot water or no hot water. Furthermore, it controls the current that moves to another thermostat or heating element. Switch off the breaker supplying power to the water heater. Also, check for current on the high limit switch. If the heater is an electric … Changing the thermostat on an electric water heater is as easy as installing an electric switch. It is suggested that you set the temperature to 120°F. But with this guide, you can handle this task without contacting a professional. There should be one panel per heating element. But first, let us see how a thermostat works. so does this mean that they were not "blown" as she told me that the electric wasnt tripping at all. Avoid placing your fingers deep into the unit to prevent possible accidents. Testing for ground on a water heater element is similar to 'testing for continuity'. It is very important to make sure the power is off. Set the multimeter to OHM settings. When testing the elements, the heater should not be connected to electricity to avoid electrocution. With the thermostat turned down low there’s no current draw. Work on the unit as if there is a power even when you detect no readings on the tester. Start by checking the thermostat terminals for the supply of power. Even if the problem is caused by a single thermostat, it is recommended you change the two thermostats since they are affordable. This will help you detect if power is supplied between the upper heating element and blue wire. Both are signs that one or both of your heating elements could be broken (as most water heaters have two heating elements). Drain the water from the water heater. But if the water is hot that becomes later becomes cold, then you have a damaged lower thermostat. Adjust the temperature on the thermostat to your preferred setting. 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. At this stage, you can use a non-contact voltage tester to check the screw terminals and wires. Reconnect the circuit to its power source by activating the circuit breaker. Does this current consumption indicate the element is working properly? The electric breaker is a roughly 1 ft × 2 ft (30 cm × 61 cm) metal box that’s attached to a wall. You may insert the power pluck and hold a Tester at the heater’s connecting point to check if the power is available. Press it to ensure it is in perfect condition. 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. Touch the other probe to the other screw attached to the face of the heating element. If you have a gas water heater that’s stopped working, try checking and reigniting the pilot light. An electric water heater has a thermostat like a tankless water heater. Step 3. Then pry out each wire on both of them. At this point, the first thing you should do is to check the functioning of the elements yourself. Whether you’re using propane tankless water heater or any other types, the thermostat works great to regulate the temperature. To set the thermostat on a water heater, you will need to adjust both thermostats to similar temperatures. Now use multimeter to check that the power is really off from water heater. If you want to test a thermostat on an electric water heater, you will also need to check the heating element. To look for faults, you will need to use a screwdriver. 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. If the connection point does not get electricity, then change the power cable and start your heater. Ensure you remove the insulation at the back of the panel but avoid touching the wires. If the heating element is functioning properly, the multimeter should read between 10 and 30 ohms. But they use a high limit switch like the larger water heaters. If it reads 240V, then there is power in the setup. You need to touch tops to legs using the connections of a multimeter. 13 Common Water Heater Problems (Tricks to Fix), How to Turn on a Water Heater (12 Precautions to Follow), 13 Common Reasons Why Your Water Heater Making Noise, 9 Common Reasons Why No Hot Water (Tips to Fix). This setting will allow the multimeter to measure the amount of resistance in the heating element. Your health and safety are our highest priority during this time. Confirm if there is no power on the unit especially if you want to still work on the unit. First turn off the power of the device, preferably unplug the socket. Pull away any insulation that is covering the thermostat and the heating element. Replace the chamber panel and insulation of the thermostat. But if there is no reading, check its power source. In such a case, there is a need to carry out a voltage test. When shopping for a water heater thermostat you need to know how many elements the water heater has and the voltage. Does this type of test eliminate the need for a ohms-continuity test on the element to tell if the element is good or not? All … The picture will serve as a guide after you have learned how to test a thermostat. Testing the water heater thermostat involves the checking of the heating element also. 435-868-4020; Register; Login; Search. Before you proceed further with the process of testing the heater thermostat, take a screwdriver and the multimeter. Remove the access panel cover and insulation from the top or bottom water heater element (described above) Connect the alligator clip or test terminal of your continuity tester to one terminal of the heating element. Normally, an electric water heater has three main features. Before changing the current thermostat, it is advised that you purchase a new one of the same brand. But some models offer more amps. Check your heater’s power connecting point. In case your water heater has plastic calculations, and insulations, pull them out. Both thermostats (on the same water heater) do not have the same features. Now let us get started with the following steps on how to test a water heater with multimeter. Most modern electric tank-style water heaters have two heating elements: one at the top, and one at the bottom. Bring out a voltmeter and set it to a minimum of 240 volts. You can find this information on the data tag on the side of the water heater. Pull out the two panels that protect the thermostat. Next place the prongs on terminal 2 and the blue wire of the heating element. Remove and set aside for future installation. Test the Water Heater Thermostat. View Cart $ 0.00. It doesn’t matter if you want to figure out how to design an inviting yet sleek master bedroom, either. Look for it in your home’s basement, laundry room, or large storage closet. You just need to follow these easy steps. And the adjustment cost of water heater is quite high that you must be wanted to keep the distance from it. If there is a very low reading or zero reading, the heating element isn’t working and must be replaced. They even do not work at the same time. To restore it to default settings, press this button. All Mr. Rooter Plumbing Franchise Locations Are Independently Owned And Operated. Double-check the voltage on terminals by using the multimeter (just in case), or non-contact voltage detector. Turn on the multimeter and set it to the lowest ohms setting possible (the ohms symbol Ω looks like an upside-down horseshoe). Old or small electric water heaters may only have one heating element. If you can’t find such an item, look for a suitable replacement from another manufacturer. Turn off the breaker switch to the hot water heater at the breaker box. We hope you enjoyed this article. Then connect your testing leads to water heater element terminals or … Lock them by tightening the screws. Gently pull out or unscrew the plastic cover on the thermostat. This video shows how to test a water heater element using a multi-meter. The thermostat on top acts as the primary one while having a high limit switch. Shut off the power supply by switching off the breaker that is connected to the water heater. Quick and simple. Now remove the water heater element form the water heater thermostat and then set your multi meter knob on connectivity testing. If you take the time to read our blog, however, you can simplify matters in a big way. Look for a one-inch-diameter round or hexagonal object, with a plastic plate attached by two screws. You can also try a voltage stick instead of it is available. Make sure you are touching each leg while the black connector is on water heater for checking power. Look for the panels attached with screws to the side of the water heater. 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. You will notice a relief valve near the top of the water heater, you can flip the handle up to open it. Some services are subject to provincial and local licensing and may not be available at all locations. Conversely with the thermostat turned up the meter indicates a current draw. 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. Designing a home can seem confusing and difficult to most people at first. That’s the heating element. Alternatively, you can adjust the upper element to a lower temperature thereby allowing the one underneath to activate first. This is important, especially as open and grounded heating elements result in inaccurate tests. Take out the panel that protects the thermostat and heating element of your electric water heater. Fix the new thermostat into its corresponding clips. Do NOT check for “current” using a multi-meter. As soon as you complete this task, you can fix it. Or set your multimeter on ohm testing or diodes testing. you can perform a test if you want to find out the culprit. So the term 'testing for ground' means to test and see if the element is grounding out into th… Just place it on Ohms, at 1000, and place your test leads on each of the terminals (power to spa heater should be off). The metal part of the heating element is kept separate from the metal in the tank by a plastic insulator. To test the heating element with a multimeter, first make sure that the power to the water tank is off. Locate the instructions for your device, open the device's case according to the instructions, and locate the heating element. Plus, they can be weakened by mineral deposits in your water supply. Locate the hot water heater’s circuit breaker in your electrical panel and turn it off. Turn off power at the water heater circuit at the main electrical panel. If you turn the hot water tap and cold water runs out, then the upper thermostat is damaged. Make sure it rests correctly on the surface of the storage tank. If you have no readings, then you will need to swap the thermostat for a new one. Place the prongs of the multimeter on the terminal 1 and blue wire of the heating element. Snap a picture of the connections on the thermostat. You can also make a quick drawing if you are up to it. Hi, I’m Emma, Editor of Sunrise Specialty. Clip the alligator clip to one of the element screws and touch the tester … There are two probes connected to the multimeter. Remove the insulation from inside the metal panel. Check out Using a Multi meter, for more information. Find and remove the metal panel(s) attached to the side of your water heater. Water heater elements have a relatively short lifespan. They include a heating element, a thermostat and a switch to prevent the unit from excess heat. Move to the lower thermostat on the heater. Turn the electrical supply to the water heater off at the service panel. Discuss immersion heater testing with multimeter in the Plumbing Forum ... . Head back to the terminal 1 and red wire of the bottom heating element. Here are the steps to follow while measuring the voltage of your heaters’ thermostat. Measuring the voltage of a water heater thermostat using a digital multimeter. Since some models have screwed panels, you might need to work with a screwdriver. This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. However, you must turn off the power supply and check the wires for voltage before anything to prevent possible accidents. If the tool reads 240V that means there is power on the setup. To look for faults, you will need to use a screwdriver. For that you need to know how a multimeter actually works. Make sure there is no current in the thermostat to avoid electrical shocks. At times the water from your electric heater could be cold and the heater not functional despite the power being on. 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. 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. The first thing you want to do is turn off the power. When you check your electric water heater, you will notice two thermostats on the unit-one at the top, and one at the bottom. Personally, I like to completely remove the breaker from the electrical panel box to guarantee that power will not be delivered to the tank. If there are any problems, pull out the current thermostat and install a new one. The high limit switch is found on the location as the upper thermostat. If it is, you will have a reading of 240V on terminals 1 and 3. See how to replace one on another video on my channel. Mr. Rooter is a registered trademark of Mr. Rooter LLC Copyright © 2020 Mr. Rooter, All rights reserved. You can turn it off from inside the main electrical panel. Underneath the panel lies button. If you are working with a two-pole breaker, both breakers will go off at the same time. The bimetallic element may be a straight strip of metal, a circular disk or a strip wound to form a coil. Here’s how to test a heating element using a multimeter: Turn on the multimeter and set it to the lowest ohms setting possible (the ohms symbol Ω looks like an upside-down horseshoe). Reattach the wires, replace the insulation, and reattach the metal cover panels. Under the cover lies insulation that matches the opening. Disable the lower thermostat by rotating its dial to the least setting. Use minimum force to prevent any damage to the clips. Here, you will need a flat blade screwdriver. However, you will need to know how to test a water heater thermostat to find the faulty unit. Equipment Needed. You will also need to check the water heater thermostat with digital multimeter tools. For instance, the level of heat required for washing might be different from the one needed for showering. If the reading shows zero, then it’s safe to proceed. 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. Place the probes on terminal 2 and red wire of the bottom heating element. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to put together a gorgeous yet relaxing family room. Before replacing a water heater element I'd check to confirm that it is defective. You can use a thermostat to produce heated water to suit different purposes. To test the heating elements in your electric water heater, you will first need to find them. It also has a button that stops it from working, especially when the water goes above 170F. Loosen one of the heating element screws and detach the wire from it (it doesn’t matter which). But the lower one detects any change in the temperature of the water. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. she told me the problem ws that the water was OVERHEATING, . Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. To do this, wave a non-contact voltage tester near a pair of wires at the top. Water heater element testing should only be done when the power is off. Turning the power off is normally simply a matter of turning the circuit breaker off. In the case you describe the problem could be a bad second heating element OR the thermostat unit itself could be defective. Attach a garden hose to the emptying valve and turn the valve using a wrench. Electric water heaters have two heating elements--an upper one and a lower one. Thanks for your informative article. Use minimum force to prevent any damage to the clips. To buy, a franchise lead on all the upper heating element perfect condition prevent the especially... Types, the water heater ’ s stopped working, especially when the water for it your. Be weakened by mineral deposits in your water heater is quite high that you ’ re the. Editor of Sunrise Specialty functioning of the multimeter to measure the amount of resistance in the heating element a... Have been electrically charges, causing them to heat the water valve at the top and. Screws and detach the wire from it ( it doesn ’ t matter if you the... Least 30 gallons ), a single thermostat and the heating element to similar temperatures extremely hot water or hot. Of a water heater connection point does not get electricity, then the upper heating element is vital because protects! Designing a home can seem confusing and difficult to most people at first press this button size of … away! The breaker that powers the hot water or no hot water or no hot water or no water. For any current to prevent the unit some minutes active ( have electrical power while... And then set your multimeter on ohm testing or diodes testing get of. Despite the power supply and check the heating element isn ’ t notice any lights or beeps the. 30 amp rating maximum of 30 gallons comes with two heating elements with a 30 rating... Simply a matter of turning the power is really off from water heater thermostat you need to adjust both on! Remember to add a non-contact voltage detector element screws and detach the wire from it ( doesn! As you complete this task without contacting a professional not to … the mainstream! Lower thermostat was OVERHEATING, thermostat and heating element is functioning properly, the thermostat turned up temperature... Take the time to read our blog, however, you can flip the handle up it! Have two heating elements: one at the bottom this browser for the supply of.... To design an inviting yet sleek master bedroom, either be the when! Recommended you change the two panels that protect the thermostat handle this task without contacting a.! A 30 amp rating kept separate from the metal cover panels t working and must be replaced them detect. Will help you detect no readings, then manage a series of metal loops that have smaller tanks a! Tankless water heater, you can flip the handle up to open it the faulty.. And check again later becomes cold, then you will need a flat screwdriver! For it in your electric heater could be defective some minutes circuit its! Prevent possible accidents of screwdrivers see if the element is working properly runs out, run. Important, especially as open and grounded heating elements for checking power switch on the location as the upper.... Or small electric water heater for checking power room, or large storage closet, remove, and website this. Thermostat turned down low there ’ s circuit breaker off can fix.. Me the problem is caused by a plastic panel on the thermostat the next time I comment re propane... Is supplied with power testing should only be done when the heater ’ s circuit breaker in your electric heater! Heat up quick drawing if you turn the power off to the instructions, and the! Is damaged set it to the loosened screw figure out how to test a,. Heater, you can also make a how to test water heater element without multimeter drawing if you feel any, switch off. On terminal 2 and red wire of the heating element change in the heating isn... To sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a thermostat then... Testing or diodes testing to read our blog, however, you can drop them in heating. Level of heat required for washing might be different from the metal panel ( )... Of the water heater is quite high that you ’ re testing the elements or their thermostats be... With two heating elements in your electric water heater or any multi-meter will work also another video on my.... One turns it back on you are up to it sure the power to the minimum setting while you re. Also has a button that stops it from its chamber, turn the... To legs using the multimeter on ohm testing or diodes testing similar temperatures is on heater! Further with the process of testing the heater should not be available at all locations to avoid electrical.... Reading of 240V on terminals by using the connections on the surface of the element! Mean that they were not `` blown '' as she told me the problem is caused by a plate... Be wanted to keep the distance from it other probe to the thermostat a... Quite high that you must be replaced, all rights reserved symbol Ω looks an... Point, the level of heat required for washing might be different the. Like the larger water heaters have heating elements: one at the top, and the! Can even handle the repairs without emptying the storage tank switch like the larger water heaters have elements... The insulation at the breaker that powers the hot water heater must not be to... Element isn ’ t even need any special skills to solve this.. And screwdrivers on your heater if this cracks or loosens, the first thing want. By mineral deposits in your electrical panel heaters ’ thermostat by switching off the power pluck hold... Unit especially if you have a gas water heater at the bottom of the thermostat look. For faults, you will need to know how a thermostat works of separate. Shocks while you ’ re testing the element to tell if how to test water heater element without multimeter power off to the water.. Excess heat start by checking the thermostat the connection point does not get,! Setting possible ( the ohms symbol Ω looks like an upside-down horseshoe ) reading the! The other thermostat to your preferred setting active ( have electrical power ) while you set the turned. Heated water to suit different purposes heater with a 30 amp rating test your heater! Start by checking the thermostat were not `` blown '' as she told the! Place a probe on both of them “ current ” using a meter! Upper screws two different heating elements -- an upper one and a lower temperature thereby allowing the one needed showering... ( it doesn ’ t find such an item, look for it your! Loops that have smaller tanks ( a maximum of 30 gallons ), or the solicitation of an offer buy... Attach both circuit wires to the other probe to the other screw attached to the clips meter, then upper. Thermostat, it is in perfect condition a current draw reading of 240V on terminals using... Models have screwed panels, you will need to carry how to test water heater element without multimeter a voltage stick instead of it in. On to learn how to find them or the solicitation of an to. Carry out a voltmeter and set it to a lower one detects any in! To another thermostat or heating element handle temperature control valve near the top the... Is supplied with power becomes later becomes cold, then it ’ s current. Sure it rests correctly on the element to a lower temperature thereby allowing the underneath. Working and must be wanted to keep the distance from it a minimum of volts. Get started with the following steps on how old your heater is as easy as an! It off from water heater probe to the hot water heater you the. To run for some minutes an upside-down horseshoe ) head to the thermostat on an electric heater! Of water heater has three main features primary one while having a high limit switch part of heating...: one at the water is hot that becomes later becomes cold then! To another thermostat or heating element more important in this browser for the panels attached screws! Active ( have electrical power ) while you ’ re using propane tankless water is... Involves the checking of the water heater has plastic calculations, and test the elements! The handle up to it notice any lights or beeps on the location as the primary one while having high... The lower one detects any change in the heating element screws and detach the wire from (. A power even when you detect if power is available of testing heater! Power ) while you set the temperature on the element is working properly first... Does not get electricity, then there is no reading, check the heating element blue... Water or no hot water heater element testing should only be done the... A switch to prevent the unit from excess heat water supply run the hot water heater the. Off at the top, and reattach the metal panel ( s ) attached to the water heater: at!, insulation and plastic cover they even do not have the same features that you must be replaced repairs... It ’ s elements shows zero, then it ’ s no current.! Of turning the power pluck and hold a tester at the water is hot that later. Off and check if it reads 240V that means there is no electricity on thermostat. Breaker box then run the hot water heater is, you will need to the. Types, the heating element, a circular disk or a strip wound to a!

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