How to tell if your heating element is bad

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How to tell if your heating element is bad

Postby jon1163 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:59 am

Last night I was running a neutral through a new still set up. I welded a 2 inch Tri clamp fitting onto my 8 gallon boiler for a 2000 watt milehidistilling heating element. I deleted my little lines down to 40 percent and ran them through my pot and Thumper setup.

Well I didn't calculate the volumes quite right and when I open up my boiler after the run I noticed that the top half of my heating element was exposed and had turned dark brown. The bottom half is still shiny silver like it has always been. Is there an easy way to test whether it's working? And when heating elements get exposed and go bad do they lose efficiency or will they just stop working altogether?
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Re: How to tell if your heating element is bad

Postby acfixer69 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:21 am

They will typically just short out and stop completely or short out the circuit and the trip breaker. You can check the resistance with a multi meter to see if the OHM's are correct or check amp draw with meter. It will more than be fine if those check out.
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Re: How to tell if your heating element is bad

Postby Wild Bill » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:24 am

Simple resistant type heat producing elements will usually fail open circuit and you will get no heat. It is probably fine if it is still heating but take measures to not repeat.
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Re: How to tell if your heating element is bad

Postby fizzix » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:34 am

Do you have an ohmmeter?
A 120vac, 2000W element should read around 6~7 Ω
A 220vac, 2000W element should read ~24 Ω
And yes, they usually burn up as an "open circuit"
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