1. How do I know which water heater element to buy?
Consult our Water Heater Element Selection Guide
for help in choosing the correct element for your heater.
2. What causes water heater elements to fail, some sooner than others?
Several reasons: power surges, lightning, dry-firing and lime build-up..
3. Why are some water heater elements folded back?
These are low watt-density (LWD) elements. The heat (watts) per square inch of surface has been lowered by 50% from that of a regular element. In order for total heat to be the same, the total surface has been increased. It is folded back so the length will fit the tank.
4. What are Lime Life elements?
These elements are Premium. They are made of nickel/stainless steel and are ultra low watt-density. These features prevent lime build-up and extend the life of the element. A Lime Life element resists dry-firing. These elements carry a limited 5 year manufacturer's warranty.
5. What is meant by the term “dry-firing?”
High watt density and low watt-density are designed to function in water. If not surrounded by water, the intense heat they generate (dry fire) will cause them to burn out. The water tank must be full of water whenever the power is on. Dry-fire failure is not covered by any warranty. It is a human error. Dry-fired elements are easily detected. The element is soft and easily bent. In most cases, a hole is burned through the surface.
6. Can I replace the element in my water heater with elements with higher wattage?
It is not recommended. The water heater is designed for that element size. Higher wattage might require heavier gauge wire and a larger capacity circuit breaker.