There are five types of elements in electric food service equipment:
1. Calrod (metal) type
2. Glass tube (quartz) type
3. Ceramic type
4. Wire type
5. Solid type
These five elements are either submersible, dry, or both. No matter what type of element you’re trying to replace, the most important piece of information you need is the element’s manufacturer, model, and serial number. Search for elements by manufacturer here.
When working on any piece of equipment always remember to disconnect the POWER!
Calrod elements are found in both overhead warmers and well type warmers. The well type warmer can be a counter top or a steam table warmer. The configuration (shape) of the elements depends on which unit they go in. Most overhead warmers use a straight calrod or glass tube element. Steam table elements can be many different shapes: u-bend, w-shape, s-shape, round, etc., so the best means of identification is by brand name, model and serial number. The voltage is also very important.
Glass tube type elements have a wire element curled like a spring inside a glass tube. These elements are found in overhead warmers, cheesemelters, and some conveyor type toasters and impingers. The best way to identify these elements is with brand name, model and serial numbers as well as voltage.
Ceramic elements are most commonly found in overhead warmers. Although they are a rarity, the same identification method should be used, model number, serial number and voltage.
Wire type elements are usually those that are referred to as a card element. This means the element is a thin flat wire or spring type wire that is wrapped around some type of conductive flat card. This type of element is most commonly found in pop up or pop down toasters. For proper identification, again having the model and serial number and the voltage is very helpful.
Solid type elements are calrod or filament elements and are incased in a block of metal or possibly ceramic. They come in various sizes and shapes but perform just like other elements. They can be found in warmers, toasters and even chafing dishes. The best way to identify these elements is by brand name, model and serial number and voltage.
If you can’t find a brand name, model or serial number, there is another way to identify that element (and this goes for all elements). Every element has information either stamped into it or stenciled on to them. You may need a magnifying glass to read the information (especially on calrod elements).
The information you need to find on the element is:
3. Part number
4. Color coding
With this information, it is more likely that you will receive the correct element the first time. Also don’t forget the style and the piece of equipment it is in. Remember, there are many pieces of equipment that have elements, and the above information also applies to their identification.
Check out more food service parts.