How To Replace Boiling Element In A Tea Urn Water Boiler That’s Not Heating?

by / Wednesday, 22 May 2024 / Published in Vacuum Cleaners

Repairing and Converting Tea Urns with Fixed Elements

In this guide on repairing and converting tea urns with fixed elements, we will focus on two models, the Swan and Buffalo brands, which have built-in elements that can be costly to replace. In this guide, we'll provide a workaround by installing a conventional Burco boiler element, a cost-effective solution that sidesteps built-in obsolescence.

The Chinese-manufactured tea urns come with fixed elements, which means the entire water container must be replaced if the element fails. This can cost around £120, a significant expense for a part that typically only costs £15-£20.

The first indication of a faulty element is the urn's failure to draw power while the thermostat is active. If you have a thermostat light indicating it's heating and another light showing the temperature, you can listen for a click from the thermostat as it turns on. If the urn isn't drawing power while the thermostat is active, as indicated by an amperage meter, the element is likely open circuit.


Please remember that, when working with any electrical appliances, safety should always be your top priority, and we also suggest you watch our video.


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Tools and Materials Needed:

  • New element (e.g., a 2500-watt Burco boiler element)
  • Screwdrivers (standard and security type)
  • Multimeter
  • Drill with appropriate bits
  • Cutting oil
  • Micrometer
  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Spade connectors
  • Wire crimping tool
  • Heat gun or lighter



Steps to Diagnosing the Fault & Repair


Step 1: Initial Inspection

  1. Thermostat and Lights: Check if the thermostat clicks when turned, and observe the indicator lights.
  2. Power Draw: Use an ammeter to check if the appliance draws power. No power draw usually indicates an open circuit in the element.

Step 2: Testing the Element

  1. Remove the Lid and Empty Water: Ensure the kettle is empty and dry.
  2. Access the Element: Turn the kettle over and locate the reset button and screws. Remove any plastic trims covering the screws.
  3. Remove Screws and Feet: Unscrew the base and remove the feet to expose the element.
  4. Test Continuity: Disconnect one terminal of the element and use a multimeter to test for continuity. Lack of continuity confirms a faulty element.

Step 3: Preparing the New Element

  1. Size and Fit: Use a micrometer to measure the new element's thread size and mark the kettle base for drilling.
  2. Drill the Hole: Carefully drill the marked hole, using cutting oil to ease the process. Ensure the hole size fits the element snugly.

Step 4: Installing the New Element

  1. Clean Edges: Remove burrs and clean the drilled area thoroughly.
  2. Fit the Element: Insert the new element into the hole and secure it with the provided nut and washer. Ensure the element is watertight but not overly tightened.

Step 5: Rewiring

  1. Thermostat Reinstallation: Reattach the thermostat and any safety cutouts.
  2. Spade Connectors: Replace the original connectors with spade connectors. Use heat shrink tubing to secure the connections.
  3. Earth Wire: Attach an additional earth wire from the element to the chassis for grounding.

Step 6: Final Checks

  1. Leak Test: Fill the kettle with water and check for leaks.
  2. Power Test: Plug in the kettle and verify that it heats correctly and the thermostat functions properly.


Repairing a canteen water kettle can save a significant amount of money and prevent unnecessary waste. By replacing the element, you can extend the life of your appliance rather than buying a new one. Always check for interchangeable parts when purchasing new equipment to avoid built-in obsolescence.


Related Repair Guides:

1. How To Replace Boiling Element In A Tea Urn Water Boiler That's Not Heating?

1. How To Replace Boiling Element In A Tea Urn Water Boiler That's Not Heating?

2. Removing Screws, Feet & Heating Element

2. Removing Screws, Feet & Heating Element

3. Drilling a Hole for the New Heating Element

3. Drilling a Hole for the New Heating Element

4. Thermostat Reinstallation & Testing

4. Thermostat Reinstallation & Testing

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