When looking for a replacement heating element, one should first find the same model to the one being replaced. It should match the appliance the original element was removed from, whether it be a dryer, water heater, stove, or other device. The proper length and width should be assessed before making a purchase as well.
Prior to purchasing a new heating element, it is important to examine both the current appliance and heating element. Notes on whether the element is bolted or screwed in, on what type of appliance it is in, including make and model, and any other defining details should be taken either mentally or on paper. If possible, one should take along the old element when buying a replacement heating element. This will help ensure that the correct replacement is purchased, and prevent the buyer from making multiple purchases and trips.
The best way to locate a replacement heating element is to use the packaging from the original heating element as a guide, if it was kept. This packaging will list the exact items needed in the new heating element. Many heating elements have a serial number that should be listed on the package that may be compared with other heating elements in order to find a correct match. An Internet search on the specific appliance model may also yield the necessary details.
Most heating elements should come with new gaskets to use during installation. If the replacement heating element does not include these, the purchaser should be sure to find a matching gasket to use in conjunction with the part. It may be simpler to find another replacement element instead, if it is available, as this could be less costly than buying them separately.
While searching for a replacement heating element for a domestic appliance, a general department store might be a good place to start. If searching for an old model, an industrial heating element, or another specialized heating element, however, a hardware or home improvement store will be more likely to carry the part. The manufacturer's website may also have the heating element for sale, or list a dealer nearby. When shopping for a heating element online, consumers may wish to check product reviews from other purchasers to help determine which replacement element is best.