How To: Resetting Your Electric Heater

Hot water in homes is considered a necessity by the majority of the population, with water heaters accounting for 17% of residential energy consumption. This makes water heating the second largest energy used in homes.

Every water heater comes with a heating element, with some larger ones having two. Each heating element is controlled by a thermostat and protected by a high-limit switch. In the case that the high-limit switch trips, you can reset it via the reset button.

Here is how you can go about it.

Locate the Reset Button

At the front of the water heater tank, you will notice a removable panel. There could be two panels depending on the size of the tank; if there are two then one will be near the top and the other at the bottom. Two panels means there are two reset buttons, and you might have to press them both.

To remove the panels, you’ll need the help of a screw driver. Once removed, you will see the heating element and a red button. The red button is your reset button and if it’s illuminated then that means that you need reset your water heater.

Resetting the Electric Water Heater

Whether the button is illuminated or there’s no hot water in the house, in either case, you reset the water heater. Simply push down on the red button, if it stays down and the light turns off, it means the reset was successful.

If not, and the button pops back up and is still illuminated, it means that there might a bigger issue. It could possibly be an issue with the water heater components that are malfunctioning, or the heater is not getting sufficient power to function. It’s important to understand the issues that could arise before attempting any kind of fix.

Why the Button Keeps Tripping?

The electric water heater reset button is activated by the high-limit switch. This switch is also responsible for regulating the temperature within the heater, and switches off if the temperature gets too high. There could be a variety of reasons for the button to trip, for example, the thermostat could be faulty or set too high, or a short circuit in the heating element.

Even the high-limit switch itself could be malfunctioning, but before investigating your heater take a look at the water heater breaker to see if it’s on. If the breaker is at fault, simply reset the breaker and check to see if it restores the water heater.

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