Water heaters provide warm baths, aid cooking, and ensure our comfort on chilly days. Yet, like all machines, they can falter, particularly their heating elements.
When this happens, the immediate thought might be to call a professional or purchase specialized equipment like a multimeter.
However, what if homeowners could diagnose the issue themselves? We’ll uncover the straightforward method to test the heating element, ensuring you’re never left in the cold unexpectedly.
How to Test Water Heater Element Without Multimeter in 7 Steps
Checking your water heater might sound tricky, but it’s doable with the proper steps. Let’s go through them one by one.
● Disconnect the Power
First, make sure the water heater is off. Find the switch in your home’s electrical box labeled for the water heater and turn it off.
● Open the Access Panel
Wait a bit to let the water inside cool. Then, with a screwdriver, take off the cover of the water heater. Keep the screws safe; you’ll need them to put the lid back on.
● Ensure No Power in the Heater
To be extra safe, check again that the heater has no power. Use a tool called a non-contact voltage tester. If it beeps or lights up, there’s still power. If not, you’re good to go.
● Access the Heating Elements
Behind the cover, some material keeps the heat in. Move it aside to see the parts that heat the water. Look at them closely to see if they look damaged.
● Test the Elements
Now, test these heating parts with a tool called an ohmmeter. Connect the device to the elements. If the tool reads “zero,” the element might be broken. If it shows any other number, it’s okay.
● Replace if Necessary
If the part is broken, you’ll need a new one. Make sure the new part is the right kind for your water heater. It’s good to have a new part ready before you start checking.
● Reassemble Everything
Once you’ve checked (and maybe replaced) the part, put everything back. Place the heat-keeping material back, put the cover on, and use the screws to tighten it. Turn the power back on, and your water heater should work well again.
Signs of Failing Hot Water Heater’s Thermostat
You’ll notice several clear signs when your water heater’s thermostat isn’t working well. One major clue is when your water isn’t as hot as it should be, it might just be warm.
Read also: How to Clean Thermocouple on Water Heater?
Another sign is if you run out of hot water faster than before. It means the heater isn’t keeping up with your needs. Also, if the circuit breaker for the heater trips often, the thermostat might be the culprit.
If you only get cold water, even after waiting, the top part of the heater might be working, but the bottom part, controlled by the thermostat, might not be.
How do you check a water heater element that has gone bad?
Water heaters are reliable, but sometimes their elements can act up. Let’s learn how you can check if a water heater element has gone wrong.
● Look for Symptoms
The heating element might be the issue if your water isn’t hot or runs out quickly. Also, it’s a sign that the heater’s breaker trips often.
● Gather Tools
You’ll need a screwdriver to open the heater and a non-contact voltage tester to ensure it’s safe to touch inside.
● Check Continuity
After opening the heater and ensuring no power, use a continuity tester. Connect it to the heating element’s screws. If there’s no beep or light, the element might be broken.
● Resistance Test
Using an ohmmeter, you can check the element’s resistance. For example, a 3500-watt heater should show around 16Ω. If the reading is off, the element might need replacing.
With the steps outlined above, you can understand how to test water heater element without multimeter. Hence, you can quickly diagnose and potentially fix issues, ensuring a consistent hot water supply.