How To Reset A Water Heater

How To Reset A Water Heater

Owning a water heater might seem like the perfect investment. You’ll be able to have hot water anytime you want, making it perfect for those spontaneous baths you crave after a long day at work during the winter.

But sometimes they can cause more frustration than happiness.

If it becomes faulty, knowing how to reset it yourself will save you the time, hassle, and stress of getting a mechanic in to fix it, so you can go back to receiving unlimited amounts of hot water in no time.

That’s why we’ve written this article. We hope by following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way in no time, so let’s get straight to it. 

Five Steps To Resetting Your Water Heater

These next few steps should only be used if you’re resetting an electric water heater. If you’re resetting a gas water heater, you’ll often be told by the pilot light that something is wrong.

If this light has gone out, it means there is a problem with the supply of gas supply and this needs to be addressed. Once you have successfully checked the supply, you may find that you need to refill your tank up to ensure the proper flow of gas to your heater.

If these things seem to work normally, the pilot light should light up again and you should be good to go. However, if it still is not working, call a mechanic to check the wires and for any further problems.

Now, let’s return to the electric water heater. If you follow these next few steps carefully, you should have it working again in no time.

1. Disconnect the Heater

The first step is to disconnect the water completely from the power supply and ensure any appliances are switched off too before changing any settings.

Most heaters are plugged into the wall, so simply unplug or switch off the power. Sometimes, the water heater is wired in and you would just turn this off at the breaker box.

2. Remove the cover

Usually, the reset button is hidden behind some sort of panel. This ensures it stays protected and prevents it from being set off on accident.

This panel is likely to be near the upper thermostat or close to the bottom and you might need to find yourself a screwdriver to help loosen the screws. You can then lift the plate and locate your device’s insulation pad.

3. Remove The Insulation Pad

To prevent any unwanted heat loss, the water heater consists of an insulation pad under the panel. This is usually made out of foam and covers the reset button entirely, alongside any controls.

Pull this pad out of the way to reach the reset button but remember to keep it safe as it will need replacing after you’ve pressed reset.

4. Click The Reset Button

Now here’s the important step, you need to press reset. The button is usually red and very visible. Some companies even label it to ensure you know you are pressing the right button.

If you find the switch feels stuck, this is just because it hasn’t been used before but as you press it in further, you should be able to hear a loud click noise.

If your model doesn’t give off this click, make sure you’ve pressed it and held it in for at least five seconds and this should provide enough time for the heater to restore.

5. Reassemble And Turn Back On

To reassemble, just simply work backward. Pop the installation pad back and place the panel over the top. Then reach for the screws on the side and screw them back in tightly. Finally, plug the water heater back in and it should be good as new.

A Few Notes To Remember

  • If your device’s insulation pad is wet, remove it as it might be a sign of leakage and needs to be seen by a mechanic.
  • If the reset button doesn’t work, this indicates loose wire nuts or a problem with the internal wiring.
  • Make sure your thermostat temperature is not too high so that your high-limit switch does not trip.
  • If the switch continues to trip, call a technician and keep the water heater unplugged.

When Should You Press Reset?

While resetting your water heater isn’t going to be too difficult, it’s always best to make sure it’s necessary.

The problems associated with a faulty water heater usually aren’t too serious and can luckily be fixed via a simple reset but if it is something that requires the attention of a professional, it’s good to understand the difference.

Faulty Reset Button

If your reset button is on, this simply means the water heater needs resetting and doesn’t need to be seen by a professional.

This lets you know whether a switch has been tripped without you having to disassemble the whole device. So, ensure you always check this if you suddenly find yourself with no hot water.

Faulty Heating Elements

An electric water heater has a lower and upper heating element and when water enters the tank, it gets heated from both sides.

Each side has a thermostat to control these elements and if one is faulty, you may find that the hot water you’re running for your bath quickly turns cold.

Faulty Thermostat

Each heating element has its own thermostat and if one of them malfunctions, your heater needs a reset. If the thermostat malfunctions, it could be caused by a false high limit, causing your water heater to keep on heating the water even after crossing the temperature limit.

This will trip the high-limit switch and require a reset. Make sure you also double-check the temperature on the thermostat and the trip could be caused by a pre-set temperature.

Faulty Breaker

The fault might even lie in your electricity supply. This could cause a circuit breaker to trip and cut off the electricity being supplied to the heater.

While the breaker will also need a reset, it should not be too difficult to do yourself but if it continues, there could be an issue with the wiring and it might be time to call a technician to be safe.

Wiring Issues

If your wire becomes loose, the thermostat will continue to work but the short wire will continue to heat the water. This will result in the water getting too hot and might trip the high-limit switch requiring you to press reset.

In Summary

We hope by reading this article you feel more prepared for when that water heater suddenly fails and you were looking forward to nothing more than a nice hot bath.

Whether it’s a gas or electric water heater, we’ve provided a guide that promises to fix any minor fault.

But remember, if it’s anything more than a faulty reset button, faulty heating element, a faulty thermostat, a faulty breaker, or a wiring issue, call your mechanic right away and they should be able to help you out further. 

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