How to Test and Change the Resistance of a Water Heater?

Aug 03, 2023, 12:10pm

The resistance is the heating element of a water heater. Associated with the thermostat, it produces heat thanks to the electric current which runs through it, allowing the water to be heated to the desired temperature.

Like any electrical part, a resistor can wear out or experience internal malfunctions. Generally, we say that it is cut.

A failure of this resistance often causes problems related to the temperature of the water: water that is too cold, too hot, or that takes a long time to heat up. It can also be the cause of tripping of your electrical network or error codes.

The resistor is located at the back of the thermostat, behind the area where the adjustment buttons are located.

A water heater is a fundamental appliance in many homes, providing a consistent supply of hot water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning. One key component of an electric water heater is the heating element, often known as the ‘resistance.’ When it fails, you may end up with lukewarm or even cold water. If you suspect a problem with your heating element, this guide will help you test and replace it.

How to Test and Change the Resistance of a Water Heater?

1. Symptoms of a Faulty Resistance One of the most common symptoms of a failing heating element is when the water does not heat up adequately or takes too long to heat. If you notice any of these signs, the heating element might need testing or replacement.

2. Safety First Before you begin any work on your water heater, ensure the power supply is disconnected at the circuit breaker to avoid electrocution. Never attempt to work on an electrical appliance while it’s still connected to a power source.

3. Accessing the Heating Element You can find the heating element behind an access panel on the side of the water heater. Remove the screws that secure the access panel, and you should see the heating element and thermostat.

4. Testing the Heating Element To test the heating element, you’ll need a multimeter. Set the multimeter to the Ohms (Ω) setting. Disconnect the wires from the heating element terminals, then touch one probe to each terminal. A properly functioning heating element should register between 5 and 25 ohms. If the reading is outside this range or if there’s no reading at all, the heating element needs replacement.

5. Replacing the Heating Element To replace the heating element, you’ll need a heating element wrench or socket. First, drain the water heater tank to below the level of the heating element. Then, using the wrench or socket, unscrew the faulty heating element and remove it.

How to Test and Change the Resistance of a Water Heater?

Before installing the new heating element, ensure it has the same voltage and wattage ratings as the old one. Screw in the new element using the wrench or socket, then reconnect the wires to the terminals.

6. Testing the New Heating Element After you’ve installed the new heating element, refill the water heater tank, replace the access panel, and restore power to the unit. Allow it to heat for a while and then test the hot water. If it’s appropriately hot, you’ve successfully replaced the heating element.

Conclusion Testing and changing the resistance of a water heater can be done as a DIY project if you are comfortable working with electrical appliances. If you are unsure or feel unsafe doing this task, please hire a professional to ensure the job is done safely and correctly. Regular maintenance of your water heater can also help extend the lifespan of the unit and improve its efficiency.