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.
If your washing machine does not heat the water during its wash cycle, it is likely to need some kind repair, a faulty water heater element is the most likely cause for this type of problem, here are a few checks that you can use that will indicate to you whether you have a likely faulty water heater element.