Before you plunge in to check the thermostat, you need to keep in mind about checking the heating element as well. This is the most important part of your water heater and it's a good idea to check it's working from time to time. Troubleshoot Electric Water Heater and Replace Thermostat. For a water heater you should get around 10-16 ohms. Digital Multimeter Reading Check. The multi-meter reading will be zero if the heating element is bad. You will have to check all the details including the temperature, the response of the electrical circuit to the thermostat, and much more with the help of digital tools. If the multimeter shows 0 or no results, then it means there is no continuity and electricity cannot get from one end to the other end. 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. Digital Multimeter; Screwdriver; Steps on How to Test a Hot Water Heater Element. You may have one or two access panels. Leave one of the probs that are contacting the component face of the screw and put the rest of the test against the metal base that is appended to the component from where it enters the water heater. How Electric Water Heater Thermostats Work. This particular hot water heater is an 80 gallon dual element. You don’t need professional skills for this. The water heater element is what heats the water up in electric water heaters. ... Test Procedure for an Electric Water Heater Element. You just have to be a little careful to avoid any kind of accident. You can test your water heater element using a multimeter. If the thermostats are okay, you need to test the water heater elements. Most water heaters have two elements/thermostats. Remove the insulation and disconnect the electrical wire at the terminal and use your multimeter to test the electrical flow. An electric water heater thermostat tells the heating elements when to heat up. Remove the upper access panel screws first on the electric water heater with a screwdriver. Read Also: Gas vs Electric Water Heater – Differences and Comparisons . If the fan isn’t working, repeat with the Red and Green. The following video is very good for seeing how to remove the thermostat from the wall and then use a multimeter to check all of the electrical connections. All you need is some tools (screwdriver and multi-meter etc. ) The thermostat has two terminals, and red and black wires connect to them. Unscrew wire connector, and separate wires. Here are the steps to follow when using a digital multimeter to check the resistance in the heater elements. On the other hand, there should be 12-13Ω reading for a 4500 watts heater. To make sure that the heating element is working, there is a way out - it can be tested with a multimeter - water heater element test. So how to test water heater thermostat? For gas units, check the heater is set to the right gas pressure. You will notice a relief valve near the top of the water heater, you can flip the handle up to open it. The inscribed wattage and ohms must be visible here. Replacing a Water Heater Thermostat in 8 Steps. As you can see, I have both covers removed, the upper and the lower. The thermostat is responsible for controlling and maintaining the temperatures of the water. Electric water heater element test procedure: this article describes how to test electric hot water heater heating elements, what readings to expect if using an ohmmeter. 7. Slow Water Heater. Then connect your testing leads to water heater element terminals or connection points as is shown in the below diagram. Remember, this is for electric water heaters: Safety first, cut the power off at the breaker. Turn off the power to the electric water heater and then use the multimeter to take a reading of the thermostat. This means the heating element will need to be replaced. If you’re handy enough to use a digital multimeter regularly, this is actually going to be simple. Electric water heater element test procedure questions & answers: This article answers common questions about how to test electric hot water heater heating elements, what readings to expect if using an ohmmeter. The essence of the Multimeter can supplant the component that isn’t acceptable, and this makes the Multimeter to move. To test, you will need a multimeter and screwdriver. When checking the thermostat in a single element water heater or the upper thermostat in a dual element water heater the process is the same. A multimeter can test elements, thermostats, switches - in fact it can test most electrical component within an appliance. How do you test a water heater element with a multimeter? Ensure that the thermostat is set to the highest setting. Steps to Test a Thermostat. In this video, you will learn how to easily diagnose a problem with your electric hot water heater. These natural elements provoke the gradual wear of the device and the complete interoperability of the water heater. On this water heater, the thermostat switch is between terminals 1 and 2. Step 3. There should be two panels on your water heater, an upper and lower. Testing the UPPER thermostat: On the terminals of the thermostat, make sure you’re receiving power. For that you need to know how a multimeter … Find the heating element wire that connects to a thermostat lead. To do this test, you will need a multimeter to check if there are any live points on the heater and to check the thermostat as well. Step 2: Remove the access panel and check both the upper and lower access panels. Your water heater will show on the outside what type of heating element it will need. This normally indicates that something else has gone wrong with the water heater, for example, one of the thermostats has a problem, a thermostat is not firmly pushed up against the tank, or an element is shorting out. If the thermostat fails either test, replace with duplicate part from manufacturer. This article describes the steps in testing electric hot water heater heating elements, … Now remove the water heater element form the water heater thermostat and then set your multi meter knob on connectivity testing. Now have a look at the water heater’s base part. 4. Electric water heater thermostats are a fairly simple devices that can fail from time to time. In case of a 3500 watts water heater, the reading should be 16 Ω. Before proceeding to water heater element testing, it is a must and the best precautionary measure to wear electric shock-proof gloves and check the circuit breaker box first. Place red on red and black on black. Water heater isn’t heating or heats poorly? Electric water heater thermostats work by opening and closing contacts that allow electricity to flow to the heating elements. Locate the water valve at the bottom of the water heater. Refer to a wiring diagram for your water heater to determine which terminals to check. Before you proceed further with the process of testing the heater thermostat, take a screwdriver and the multimeter. If your water heater is 3500-watt, the multimeter will read 16Ω while 4,500-watt will register between 12 – 13Ω. Step 1: Switch off the power connection to the water heater. Once you gather your tools, follow the steps below to test your water heater thermostat. Follow the steps to ensure the functionality of your thermostat. NOT PICTURED: Test for proper voltage on each side of the water heater element by touching one probe of your multimeter to each screw, while touching the other to common ground. Touch one meter probe to terminal 1 and the other probe to terminal 2. Since most electric water heaters use both an upper and lower element, the process outline below is for them. For water heater with a 5,500-watt element, you will get between 10-11Ω. Start by checking the thermostat terminals for the supply of power. All electric water heaters have a minimum of one primary heating element used for heating up the water, ... as well as a digital multimeter to check for faults. Place the prongs of the multimeter on the terminals. Read the meter. Or set your multimeter on ohm testing or diodes testing. An electric heater that is slower than normal usually has a problem with either the heating elements (check with a testing probe) or the thermostats (check with a multimeter). Another sign is that your faucets will have no hot water in them. This article series describes how to inspect, operate, diagnose, and repair electric hot water heaters. (This wire may come from the far end of the element.) The top element heats the water first and then the bottom element kicks in. Remove the access panel(s) and insulation so you can access the thermostat(s). Testing is the only option if you want to determine whether or not one or both of them has failed. If … 6 Check and tighten the terminal screws at all wire connections.. If you would like to see how to test your parts for problems, you can see Matt fault checking vacuums , thermal fuses and dryer elements . How To Test Water Heater Thermostat? Turn the upper thermostat to it’s highest temperature, and if checking a dual element heater the lower thermostat to it’s lowest setting. This video demonstrates how to test a thermostat on a water heater. Test the heating element. Testing the water heater thermostat involves the checking of the heating element also. A Digital Multimeter which measures voltage, current and Ohms (resistance) is an excellent instrument for checking thermostats. Most electric hot water tanks have two elements and two thermostats. You can pick up a good inexpensive multimeter online or any local hardware store. Just follow these steps and you will be able to test the water heater element with the help of a digital multimeter, despite having no electrical work experience. Set the dial on the digital multimeter to read resistance, often represented by the word "Ohms," or the Greek letter Omega. 3. Set a multimeter to test continuity. The upper and lower both consist of a thermostat right above each element. Testing the Thermostats on a Dual Element Water Heater. So without further ado. and basic knowledge of the replacement. Check the thermostat with a multimeter . Test the Water Heater Thermostat. Place one of the multimeter probes on a screw attached to the face of the element. ... Calibrate the meter by pinching the probes together and adjusting the needle to 0. Drain the water from the water heater. It’s very easy to test and replace the faulty thermostat of your water heater. The elements do not heat up at the same time. ... That is electric water heaters that are powered by electrical power and gas water heaters that use gas for them to work. The 5500 watts heater should have a 10-11Ω reading here. How to Install and Check a Water Heater Thermostat . Diagnosing an electric water heater isn’t too tough. If the AC doesn’t work, go through this same process with the Red and Yellow. Many water heaters have a sticker on the cabinet or you can usually find one in your owner’s manual. Remove the square black cover to expose the RV water heater thermostat switches. The element works on exactly the same principle as the element in your kettle. Attach a garden hose to the emptying valve and turn the valve using a wrench. Step 7: Use a digital multimeter to read the water heater element. 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