Faulty Element

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Faulty element In an electric geyser, the geyser element is the part which will actually heat the water up. There are many different problems which can affect the elements in your geyser. It’s important to discover the cause of a faulty element so that you can fix them as quickly as possible.

The faulty element is dangerous and when working on the Geyser you need to ensure that the power is turned off. Working on the element when it’s live is dangerous.
Geyser Heater Element Testing

When you don’t have hot water, your element may be at fault. Electric geyser element testing is one way to determine if your element is bad. For a typical electric geyser you have two items that may have failed. Any one of them can cause you to have less hot water or no hot water. The first thing to check is the element. There are two simple tests that can tell you if it is bad. See the articles, ‘Testing Geyser Elements for Continuity’ and ‘Testing Geyser Elements for Ground’. The other common item is the thermostats. There is one of them, see the article ‘Testing Geyser Thermostats’ for instructions on checking them.

Only perform geyser element testing when the power is off. Electric geysers have powerful current in them. You can be seriously hurt or even killed from a shock. Make sure the power is off. In addition, the current can ruin the testers.
Accessing Electric Geyser Element

An electric geyser has one element, there are cover plates on the outside of the tank that are held in place by a couple of screws. Remove the cover plates to get to the element ends and the thermostat. There may be some insulation that needs to be pushed back out of the way. See the picture below to help you identify the element
Geyser repair

The faulty element is quite often the reason you won’t be able to get any hot water because the element in the geyser is used to heat up the water inside the tank. This is a common problem and can be diagnosed by dismantling your geyser and using a multimeter to check the resistance of the element.

Heating elements can break over time because they continuously heat up and cool down. Cracks can appear over time, which will stop the element from working properly.
Checking for Power

Checking the geyser power is a must on an electric geyser. Unlike a gas geysers, an electric unit will not work when the power is off. The first obvious thing you want to check is the breaker. The electric geyser should be on a dedicated two pole circuit in your DB Board. See if it has tripped. No power, no hot water. If the breaker has not tripped you will want to see if you have power at the geyser. Shut the breaker off for the geyser.

Remove the covers for the element and thermostat. Remove the insulation and protective cover. The two hot wires should be at the top of the thermostat. Turn the power back on and carefully use a non-contact tester to check for power. Make sure the tester is working on something that you know is working. Do you have power? Then it is time to check the elements.

WARNING!! Make Sure the Power is OFF!!! BEFORE You Work on Electrical Devices!!!
Testing Geyser Element Continuity

Testing a Geyser element for continuity is fairly simple when you have the right tester. If power is not going through the element, it will not heat. No heat, no hot water, simple.
What Is Continuity

Simply put, continuity is the ability of the wire or element to complete an electrical circuit. Electricity needs a continuous path to work. Any break or interruption will cause it to fail. For an electrical geyser, the elements are submerged in water constantly to heat the water in the tank. Over time they deteriorate and corrode. When this happens they may lose the ability to carry an electrical current. A simple test will tell you whether or not they are still viable heating elements.
Performing the Continuity Test

Before you begin, you want to make sure your tester is working. Touch the leads together to make sure it is working. They have a light or a ping sound on them that should ping, glow or light up when you touch the leads. If the tester fails to light up you will probably need to replace the batteries. If batteries don’t help, you will need to get another tester. One last safety check, use a voltage tester to double check that the power is off.

There are two terminals on the element. To test for continuity, attach the clip to one of the terminals, no it does not matter which one. Touch the lead to the other terminal. The light or ping sound on your tester should light up or buzz depending on the tester that you have. If it does, your element is still able to accept electrical current.
The Element Passed – Next Steps

Passing this test does not necessarily mean that you are out of the woods. Obviously, you are here because you either don’t have enough hot water or you have no hot water. So, if the element passed the continuity test, there is still something wrong. You will also need to test and see if you element is grounding out. See the article, ‘Testing a Water Heater Element for Ground’. This is another simple test that determines whether or not the insulation on the element is still intact. If the element grounds out, it will not work.

What If the Test Fails?

If the test fails, the element is bad and will need to be replaced. There are no other choices, they cannot be repaired and there are no moving parts

Contact us if you are not up to it, and we will dispatch a qualified Plumber to take care of it immediately

Testing for Ground on the Geyser Element

Testing for ground on geyser elements is a fairly simple test that only takes a few minutes. You should also test for continuity at the same time. These tests require that you shut off the power to the geyser and remove the access panels.

What Does ‘Testing for Ground’ Mean?

Testing for ground on a geyser element is similar to ‘testing for continuity‘. However, the failure is completely different. The metal part of the heating element is kept separate from the metal in the tank by a plastic insulator. If this cracks or loosens, the water in the tank will cause it to short out. If the current goes into the tank and back through the ground wire, the element fails to heat up and you don’t have any hot water. So the term ‘testing for ground’ means to test and see if the element is grounding out into the metal on the tank.

Checking for Ground

Shutting Down the Power – The first thing you need to do is make sure the power to the geyser is off. Go to the DB Board and turn off the breaker for the geyser, it should be marked on the DB Board. It is very important to make sure the power is off.

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Cape Town, South Africa
Western Cape
11:30 am, Aug 12, 2022
10d Faulty Element 13°C
moderate rain
Wind: 7 Km/h
Pressure: 1018 mb
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 07:28
Sunset: 18:14

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