What’s Causing Your Water Heater Reset Button To Trip

What’s Causing Your Water Heater Reset Button To Trip

Your water heater reset button (also known as a ECO [emergency cut off] switch) is a pre-installed safety feature on your water heater. It’s purpose is to automatically shut off power to your water heater the when water temperature exceeds the recommended “sweet spot” of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Image showing the location of the water heater reset button
Where to find the Reset Button

There are a few different reasons why your water heater reset button may be tripping. Typically, when your water heater overheats the water in the tank, the emergency cut off (ECO) trips. This, of course, tells your water heater to shut down to ensure your water temperature don’t reach dangerous, scalding temperatures. After this happens, you need to reset the switch again by pressing down a red “reset” button. This button is usually on the upper thermostat on most traditional water heater models.

If your water heater reset button keeps continually tripping, it may be time to call your friendly, local plumber. Left unresolved, this tripping problem can be more than just an annoyance and inconvenience. It can lead to the water in the tank could get dangerously hot, becoming a serious hazard to you and the members of your household. If the problem is due to a faulty part, the problem won’t resolve until your identify and replace the component. This is where a professional plumbing expert can help.

Here are a few other common reasons your water heater reset button will trip:

One or Both Of Your Water Heater Thermostats Are Faulty

Your water heater usually has two thermostats – one at the top of the tank and one at the bottom. Each of thermostats controls a heating element that heats the water. When the water in the tank reaches the right temperature, you thermostats tell the heating element to shut off. If one (or both) of the thermostats go bad, the heating element may continue to run. This can lead to your water heater overheating the water to dangerous temperatures.

A Faulty Heating Element

Age, spontaneous failure, or even just general wear and tear can cause your heating element to fail. A short in a failed heating element can cause the heating element to receive power, even after the thermostat shuts it off. This can lead to overheated water, as well.

An Issue With Your ECO (Emergency Cut Off)

The ECO can also fail, for the same reasons why your heating element would. Your ECO may need replacement but this problem alone doesn’t usually cause your water to overheat.

Faulty Wiring

If the thermostats, heating element, and ECO are all working properly, it may be a loose wiring connection that’s causing heat inside of your water heater. Not only does this cause your water heater reset button to trip, it also presents an electrical shock hazard. Leave this problem to a trained professional.

No matter what’s causing your water heater reset button to trip, it’s a problem you must resolve to prevent harm. If you’re experiencing this problem, don’t hesitate to reach out to a plumbing expert like A-Abel to find a solution, fast.