A water heater element is a heating component found in most electric water heaters. It is responsible for heating the water inside the tank to the desired temperature.
The element consists of a metal rod made of copper, zinc, or stainless steel, with a sheath of either copper or stainless steel to protect it from corrosion. The sheath is filled with an insulating material, typically magnesium oxide, to help conduct the heat to the water.
The element is controlled by a thermostat, which regulates the temperature of the water by turning the element on and off as needed. When the temperature of the water drops below a set point, the thermostat signals the element to turn on, and it begins to heat the water.
There are two types of water heater elements: screw-in and bolt-on. Screw-in elements are more common and are easily replaceable, while bolt-on elements are more durable but require more effort to replace.
Overall, the water heater element is a critical component of an electric water heater, and proper maintenance and replacement can help ensure the longevity and efficiency of the unit.