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Answered 2009-02-06 01:47:25

To test and replace a heating element: # Turn off power at the Electrical Service Panel and post a sign warning others not to turn it on. # Remove the access panel on the electric water heater. # Disconnect one of the element wires and set a multimeter to RX1000 (resistance times 1,000). Touch one probe to an element mounting bolt and the other to each element terminal screw, in turn. If the tester displays anything but infinity (open circuit), replace the element. # If necessary, set the multimeter to RX1 and touch the probes to the terminal screws. If there is any resistance reading at all (closed circuit), then the element is good. If not, replace it. Both upper and lower elements are tested in the same manner. # To remove the element, first drain the heater. # Disconnect the remaining element wire. Remove the mounting bolts holding the element in place. Remove the element. # Replace the heating element with one of the same model, shape, and rating. Make sure you also replace any installation gaskets.

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Try checking the heating element itself. Do this by removing it and using an ohm meter to check it for an "open" circuit condition. If the ohm meter reads infinite, then it is likely bad. If the water heater is only slow to heat, a very likely possibility is that you have an excess amount of sediment in the bottom of the tank, insulating the heating element from the water. Back flushing the tank will solve this problem. For more tips, check out the following web site:

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