You should be competent with electrics with a degree of experience to do the above test has it involves opening your appliance and removing and replacing wires inside the machine that will become live once the wires are replaced and the washing machine is turned on, there is no "zero" place for mistakes on this job, if you do not fully understand house hold electrics you should not attempt the test. You can get a lot more free advice or a low cost repairs source by following this link to our washing machine repairs web page.
The above mentioned signs may or may not indicate a faulty heating element. The reasons for the above noted symptoms might be some thing else. The sure way to confirm a faulty heater is using the ohmmeter. It is a device for checking electrical values like resistance between 2 conductive appliances. To test if an element is working or not a professional connects neutral wires to the related connectors on the element and verify it for a positive reading.