Will A Bad Water Heater Element Use More Electricity? (Truth)

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Written By John Roe Stephen

Electricity consumption will increase because of an inefficient water heater. Using extra energy to maintain the correct temperature in a water heater with unclean heating elements or a tank full of sediment is a sign of a defective unit.

Will A Bad Water Heater Element Use More Electricity Bill?

Because a faulty water heater consumes more energy than usual, it has an impact on the power bill. If you have hard water, lime or sediment will build up in the bottom of your water heater as you use it often.

Therefore, your water heater’s heating components will harden and calcify. Calcified heating components are to blame for the high costs of heating resulting from the excessive use of energy. Insulation between the heated water and the calcified heating components is like a wall. 

The slower heat transmission from the heating components to the water implies that the water will take longer to heat up. The more time it takes to heat the water, the more money you will spend on power.

It does not matter whether the thermal insulators retain some heat to keep the water hot or warm throughout the heating process. You still consumed more electricity than average during the procedure.

Another drawback is that overheating will cause the heating components to degrade. When the water takes longer to reach the ideal temperature, the thermostat shutoff is delayed, and as a result, the heating components themselves get overheated and eventually fail. 

In addition to raising the water heater’s electrical resistance, overheating reduces the unit’s power output in Watts. A more extended heating period means a lower wattage for the heater.

Will Water Heater Work If Top Element Is Bad?

The top heating element is linked to the thermostat in modern water heaters. The thermostat will not switch on the bottom-heating element even though it is in good working order if the top heating element fails.

It is true that if the bottom part fails, the upper part will still function. Because of the restricted hot water supply, users will only be able to enjoy hot water for a short period before switching to lukewarm or cold water.

Having a working knowledge of how to repair a heating element can save you from being accustomed to taking chilly showers in the morning. A do-it-yourself may easily replace a water heater’s element.

The element in your water heater may be easily replaced if you follow a few basic procedures. While this is not always the case, you may always contact a qualified plumber.

How Do I Know If My Hot Water Heater Is Using Too Much Electricity?

You need to know and comprehend the following four characteristics to calculate and interpret your water heater’s power consumption accurately:

  • Wattage 

The wattage of an appliance is the amount of electricity it uses in a certain amount of time. A 1500-watt hair dyer, for example, uses 1500 watts each hour.

  • Hours Of Operation

The number of hours that a machine is operational is called its operational hours. According to this example, it takes 30 minutes to operate a water heater. Hence its operational hours are 0.50 hours.

  • One Kilowatt-Hour (KWH)

Electrical units quantify how much power is utilized by specific equipment (kWh). A 3000-watt water heater, for instance, will use 3000 watts X 1 hour = 3000-watt hours and 3 kWh of power while operating for an hour.

Water Heater ModelNumber Of PeoplePowerHeating TimeWater Heater Electricity Consumption (Kwh)
30 litres11500 W55′1,375 kWh
50 litres21500 W1h30′2,250 kWh
80 litres3-41500 W2h15′3,375 kWh
100 litres5-61500 W2h50′4,245 kWh

Can You Use Water Heater With Only One Element?

Even if the bottom element fails, a water heater may still function. However, operating the water heater just on the top element will be inefficient and may not create enough hot water to meet your family’s demands.

Will Water Heater Work If Top Element Is Bad?

Yes. Most water heaters include a thermostat controlled by the top heating element, which will continue to function even if the bottom-heating element is bad.

Do Electric Water Heaters Have 2 Elements?

A single heating element is needed to warm the water in an essential electric water heater’s storage tank. There are two heating elements in a dual-element water heater: one at the top and one at the bottom of the tank.


Two different heating elements are often included in modern electric tank water heaters. It is possible, though, that your water heater will only have one functional element at any one time.

One of the elements on a dual-element water heater may also quit operating, so you will need to know whether you can use the system without the other.

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