We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Kettle Element?

By Gregory Hanson
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A kettle element is the part of an electric kettle that actually turns electrical current into heat, thereby heating the water in the kettle. The element is generally located at the bottom of a kettle. Some kettles employ elements that resemble tubes and run through the lower part of the vessel. Other designs make use of flat plate elements that directly heat the bottom of a kettle. Both types of element may eventually fail and can require periodic cleaning and simple maintenance.

Electricity is used to generate heat by passing an electrical current through a resistor. A resistor allows the passage of an electric current, but as its name implies, impedes the smooth flow of current. When electrical current is forced to overcome resistance, some portion of the energy of the electrical current is released in the form of heat. In an electric kettle, a current is run through a kettle element, which is essentially a large resistor, and this process generates the heat needed to raise the temperature of water.

The best results are obtained when a kettle element is located at the bottom of an electric kettle. Water, when heated, rises. Heating elements that are located at the bottom of a kettle will heat the water that they are in contact with. This water will then rise and a convection current will form, bringing cooler water down to be heated, and ensuring the even heating of a kettle full of water.

Kettle elements come in two basic varieties, tubular and flat. Tubular elements run directly through the water in the kettle, although they are sealed so that the electrical current cannot flow through the water in the kettle. Flat elements generally consist of a coiled resistor that is attached to the underside of a plate at the bottom of the kettle. These elements heat the plate, which then transfers heat to the water in the kettle.

Resistors are very durable and fail quite rarely. The resistors in a kettle element, however, can fail after a prolonged period of use or as a result of damage to the unit. One of the most common causes of kettle element failure is impact damage, which may break the resistor or damage the connections on either end of the resistor, preventing the current from properly flowing through the element.

Elements in electric kettles typically require a small amount of routine cleaning and maintenance. Mineral deposits often build up on heating elements. This is unsightly and also impedes the smooth functioning of the element, as the mineral deposits impede heat transfer. Deposits are most pronounced when the water used in a kettle is very hard. Gentle cleaning with a cloth and white vinegar will remove most mineral deposits.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.