Originally Posted by nomad297
How would a person go about testing the operation of their tank and drain heating pads, assuming there is access to the pads and the wiring for them?
First check to see if power is going to the pads when tank heater switch is on.
Since pads have integral thermostats to further test you will need to wait until weather cold enough to turn on the heating function. Usually temps below 40 degrees will trigger the thermostat.
Another way, if you have a current measuring meter or battery monitor, is to wait for a freezing day and measure the current going to the pads. Tank heater pads draw approximately 4-5 amps and are switched by internal thermostats. Elbow heaters are only low wattage (7-11 watts) and draw less than one as a rule. The elbow heaters are not thermostatically controlled and can be checked on non-freezing days.
If one doesn't have a current measuring battery monitor a clamp type DC ammeter (and multimeter) is available on Amazon under the brand name "Tacklife" for ~ $33. The clamp "probe" makes it easy to measure current in a wire without having to put a meter in series.