Things That Cause The Reset Button On Your Water Heater To Trip And Repairs That May Be Needed

Posted on: 1 June 2020

If you're surprised by water that's too hot or too cold when you hop in the shower, you may want to check the reset button on your water heater. If the button tripped because the water got too hot, the thermostat won't turn on the upper heating element again until the button is reset. Here's an overview of the purpose of the reset button and how it lets you know your water heater needs to be repaired.

Why Your Water Heater Has A Reset Button

The reset button is connected to the upper thermostat in the heater. If something goes wrong and causes the water to get too hot, the reset button trips to shut down the water heater. This could save you from being burned by hot water, and it prevents the build-up of dangerously high pressure in the tank. The reset button is a safety measure, so if it starts tripping repeatedly, that's a sign you should call a plumber to figure out why and make the necessary repairs.

How You Check The Reset Button 

Consult your manual if you need help locating the reset button. It's usually located under a small panel on the upper side of the water tank. When you lift the panel, you can see the red button and push it to reset the safety switch.

What Causes The Reset Button To Trip

Any malfunction in your water heater that causes the water to get too hot can cause the safety switch to trigger the reset button. There could be a problem with the thermostats or heating elements in your tank. There could also be an electrical problem that's creating a short, loose wiring, or a problem with the reset button itself.

How A Plumber Might Fix The Problem

The first thing the plumber has to do is figure out why the button keeps tripping. This could require using a meter to check the wiring and thermostats. Your water heater probably has an upper and lower thermostat that are connected to the upper and lower heating elements.

If one of these parts is bad, the plumber may replace both thermostats or a thermostat and heating element pair depending on the problem. Your plumber may isolate the problem to the safety switch, and when that happens, the switch can be replaced without having to replace the thermostat.

There are different water heater repairs that could be needed to ensure the water in your tank doesn't get too hot and become a safety issue. If the reset button trips frequently, call a plumbing company like ATWH for help because that's a sign something in your water heater is malfunctioning.

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