My question was structured around trying to test the element by means of unpowered, open circuit resistance measuring to determine if it were the cause of a GFI trip. That lead me to wondering just how much leakage would be possible without tripping the GFI. Again, I am no expert.
However voltage wise I would have to agree with what your saying. Assuming good bonding you wouldn't even feel it, if the element remained stable in that "center tapped" state of failure. Kirchoff and the superposition theorem both say that there would be no leakage under that condition.
I overlooked that in my original question, even though I used dead center as my first example. Oops.
I guess at that point you would need the manufacturers specs on resistance between L1 and L2 and if you measure 1/2 of that between either lead and ground then that must be the case.
Scary. But how probable? The center of the element would have the lowest tension to ground if I'm thinking straight.
It seems more likely to fail where the tension was higher, more toward one of the ends.
But it wouldn't trip at the center without 120V loads to imbalance it so it's probably not AWL's problem and he could still have an off center fault that could explain the tripping. Of course a non-tripping spa could have an imbalanced failure as above being balanced by 120V loads so all appears good!
I'm never getting in one of those things again!!!
Probably best to just get the specs and test properly.
Thanks for the insight.