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How to Check an Electric Baseboard Element for Resistance & Continuity

An electric baseboard heater contains heating elements that operate in a manner similar to the heating coils used inside an oven. However, the wattage is typically much lower on a baseboard heater to avoid burning people and pets. The electricity passes continuously through the element, which produces heat. Testing the element's resistance or continuity, which is the same thing, lets you determine in seconds if the element has burned out. Use a digital mutlimeter to check resistance/continuity.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver set
  • Multimeter
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    • 1

      Shut off the electricity to the baseboard heater at the circuit breaker. Wait for the heater to cool before testing.

    • 2

      Use a screwdriver to extract the screws holding the vented metal cover over the baseboard heater. Pull off the metal cover.

    • 3

      Take out the screws in the metal brackets holding the electrical elements to the power sockets inside the baseboard heater.

    • 4

      Unplug the element prongs from the socket gently to disconnect the part without breaking or bending the prongs.

    • 5

      Select the Rx1 setting on the multimeter to conduct the test. Place the two testing rods on the meter on the two prongs on the baseboard heating element. If the display remains at 0 or the numbers scroll without stopping, the element continuity is disrupted. This means the part is burned out and must be replaced. There is no repair for a baseboard electric element.