Does this scare you

For those that just operate a electric furnace from its thermostat this is not as dangerous as removing the dead front on a electric panel especially a FP panel. Looks like a mess of wiring but it is basically very simple four elements in this furnace denoted by the yellow thermal overloads. I have harped on this many times but again the only way to determine if all 4 elements are operating is to use a amp meter on each element.

OMG here comes the SOP guys

# 28 Old Post Rd Enid 3-15-11 065.jpg

Don’t the have a HVAC Repairman MB where you post this stuff Charley? :smiley: :smiley:

Nope was not repairing was operating is that not what a HI is suppose to do or do they just use the SWAG system in AZ ;-):wink:

So they all have bright yellow stickers have 4 elements and carry 21 amp draws.
Great, I will do this check every time.Never knew it was so simple.:wink:

No its like painting by numbers simple yes

What happens when the amp draw is unbalanced and by how much is where I have a problem Charlie.

Great point BOB.
More of those units coming into Montreal area with energy retro fitting and Hydro Quebec being a clean source of energy.
What about drop testing.
Pro’s, con’s of stay away no need ?
Dam more and more reason to buy an IR camera.:roll:

How long does it take to do this on a furnace .
What % have a burned out element .

I am an retired Electrician and no longer check elements .
I found very few burned out and the times spent was not worth the effort.
If a client was to call about a burned out element I missed
( Never happened yet ) I will pay to get it fixed .

Bob mostly find 10 KW and 15 Kw heat strips a 15 kw strip pulls 20 to 21 amps every time. I don’t concern myself with a unbalanced load specifically as that would generally be a loose connection with burnt wire which is very visible. I look for open circuits no amps is the most common problem. If the thermostat is cranked up several degrees to ensure the second stage heat is energized all elements should have a amp draw and they will read basically the same

Roy it takes me no longer than 5 minutes or less to check the amp draw on a furnace the one in the pic had 6 screws the same amount as a 200 amp dead front. I don’t work on % one is to many I can understand as a electrician you did not find many, most people call a HVAC Tech for a electric furnace that was not heating not a electrician. I can very well understand you not getting a call about one missed element that was not operating because the home owner would not know it was not operating they would not know anything was amiss until all 4 elements stopped operating. That is not my point when I leave a job I know all the elements are performing as intended. I don’t see a large amount of electric furnaces down here this is oil and gas country and natural gas is by far the name of the game.

Roy I have been in this business a long time and have built a very profitable business by being a perfectionist doing what others don’t. You don’t see me on this board whining about Lowballers whining about licensing whining about everything under the sun. I am out doing inspections not whining about crap on this MB

Still good info even if I may or may not do this check as I see few Electrical units and they are mainly in a handful of condo units a year so far for me.

would it not be as easy to take a reading at the panel?

Yes if you knew how many elements were in use only kicker is one would not know which one was not working if the amps did not match up with the amount of elements. Plus I like to do a visual on the wiring in general inside the cabinet. More room in the furnace to get the amp meter on than most main panels just they way I prefer to do things

Hmmm,smart guy.(pick two)yeyeye.PlUcK

doesn’t anybody use the lick test anymore?

That’s shocking.

You could use your amp meter on the main feed inside the furnace / panel but that would mean having to wait for all the sequencers to activate the elements and even then some may not turned on as they may be controlled by an outside temperature sensor or turned off due to high limit.

I never tested furnace elements but a faster way to verify elements would be to use an OHM meter. OHM’s meter needle don’t move, element needs replacement…

Myself, I turn up the thermostat and put my hand over the register to confirm they are working…:wink:


Good point Marcel Gratton. WOW more to learn.
merci marcel très bonne

An OHM meter tells you nothing when both end of the element are connected to the circuit and I don’t disconnect them. That is what they made amp meters for and you are dreaming if you think you can tell if all elements are operating by feeling the air temp with your hand.

Very simple to just set the Stat on emergency heat if a heat pump is also in use and turn the stat up so the second stage activates.

I have never observed a outdoor sensor that turned on the strips my experience was the outdoor sensor turned off the heat pump and the heat strips were automatically activated from the stat when the temp inside drops

Curious … Once you open the panel to see if wiring, etc is burned; count heat strips WOULD it be possible to look at the data plate to see what the heat rise is supposed to be THEN check that at the registers.