Checking water heater element for ground


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Old 08-16-17, 12:01 PM
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Checking water heater element for ground

Our electric water heater started recently just putting out warm water instead of hot. One thing I've checked is both the upper and lower elements for continuity by touching each of the two element terminals with the probes of my tester and found that both checked out fine in that regard. Apparently there is another test that can be performed to see if one of the elements is grounding out. The instructions I found for that say "Clamp one of the terminals to one of the lugs on the element. Touch the other lead to the metal element flange." I'm unclear what that means in regard to touching the other tester lead to the metal element flange. What part of the element would be considered the metal element flange?
 
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Old 08-16-17, 12:26 PM
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Also, separate question here too, in regard to testing the thermostat(s) for the water heater: Which of the two terminals in the picture here are the two for the thermostat? Those two directly above the element terminals?

 
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Old 08-16-17, 08:43 PM
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When you check an element. Disconnect the wiring to it. To check for an element short... touch one probe to a terminal and then any available ground. The mounting nut for the element should be a good ground.

A typical problem like you are having is caused by a defective lower element. The top element heats first and then switches to the bottom one to finish heating the tank. Make sure you see approx 10 ohms across each element.

See if this diagram helps you.
 
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