FAQ: How To Tell If A Water Heater Element Is Bad?

Can you change a water heater element without draining the tank?

It is possible to change your water heater’s heating element without draining your tank. Although, keep in mind that it can be a bit more challenging.

Will a water heater work with one element?

Yes, a water heater can still run if the bottom element quits. In most water heaters, the top heating element controls the thermostat and will still work even if the bottom element fails. So provided the top heating element is working, it can still produce some hot water even if the bottom heating element fails.

What causes a heating element to burn out in a water heater?

What Causes a Heating Element to Burn Out? Only electric water heaters rely on heating elements to warm up the water in the tank. Heavy gauge wires provide electricity to the components of your unit, so a poor connection between the wires and the water heater could result in the element giving out.

Will a bad water heater element use more electricity?

If the elements are dirty or there is an excess buildup of sediment in the tank, the hot water heater will use a lot more energy to maintain the same tank temperature.

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How much does it cost to replace a water heater element?

Heater Element Replacement Cost The typical professional charge to repair your heating elements is $200 to $300. There are two of these in each unit, one at the top and one at the bottom. The top element controls the bottom element and, if it goes bad, your unit won’t be able to generate hot water.

What element heats first in a water heater?

Initial start up: When the tank is full of cold water, the upper thermostat will take priority and heat up the top portion of the water to the setting of the thermostat. Once that temperature has been reached, the thermostat will then flip power down to the lower thermostat.

Do both elements heat same time water heater?

On a duel element residential water heater, both elements do not heat at the same time. Starting with a tank of cold water, the upper thermostat will energize the upper element.

Should you replace both water heater elements?

It is also the element that cycles on first because of the temperature drop when water enters the tank. I recommend replacing both elements since you have to drain the tank to clean flush the sediment out anyway.

Does water heater element length matter?

Does the length of a water heater heating element make a difference? No, not as long as you have the proper voltage, watts and style. Shorter elements have a larger diameter therefore the same surface area.

Can you touch a heating element?

Generally, the heat is produced by a conductor encased in an insulator (like ceramic). Since the external part is not a conductor (well, not a good one) it doesn’t shock you when you touch it.

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What happens when a heating element fails?

When an element fails it will usually “open” the electrical circuit and no further heating will take place. When this happens, the element simply appears to have stopped working.In some rare instances the element will “short-out” against the sheath which is the outer visible part of the surface unit.

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