How to Reset Any Water Heater in Under 5 Minutes

If your water heater is giving you problems, it may be possible to fix it quickly. Here’s how to reset your electric water heater.

Reset the water heater by pushing the reset button. After unplugging the water heater or turning the power off at the breaker, open the panel on the side of the water heater and remove the piece of insulation. The reset button should be a red button that is labeled in that area. Press and hold the reset button until you hear a click.

This is the typical way that you reset a water heater and almost all electric water heaters have a reset button available. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that you will be able to reset the units in the same way each and every time.

How do I reset an electric water heater?

Some water heaters may have a reset button that is easily available on the outside. Others may make you open a panel, as was described above.

In any case, if you are going to be near an area where there are wires, make sure that you turn the water heater off by unplugging it or turning off the circuit breaker. You can still reset the water heater, even if the power is not on.

How do I reset a Rheem electric water heater?

Do you need to reset your Rheem heater? It is relatively easy to do.

After shutting down the power to the water heater, remove the access panel and insulation and look for the red reset button. Do not remove the thermostat protective cover as it could lead to electric shock. After pushing the red reset button, replace both the insulation and access panel. You can then reestablish power to the water heater.

According to the Rheem operating instructions, their water heaters have a combination thermostat and control, known as a temperature limiting control. Both of these are located near the heating element.

The water heater is designed to shut down by breaking the circuitry to the heating element if it detects a high temperature. When that takes place, you will have to reset the water heater manually as described above.

How do I reset an AO Smith electric water heater?

If you have an A.O. Smith water heater and it is not working, it may just need reset. Resetting it is a simple process.

Your A.O. Smith water heater likely has a reset button attached to the overtemperature device. If the water heater detects a high temperature, it automatically disconnects the interior circuit and stops the water from heating. Disconnect the power and open the panel to expose the red reset button. Push the button fully to reset the water heater, after which you can reassemble the panel and turn on the power.

In many cases, a manual reset by pushing the reset button will be enough to get the water heater running again. There may be some instances, however, when other issues occur that are beyond the ability of the reset button to fix.

If your water heater is failing, it may be necessary to get a new water heater. If there is a short-circuit, it may continue to need reset.

If you find that you are constantly resetting your A.O. Smith water heater, it may be time to look at a new unit. A repairman may also be able to fix your existing unit if it is not too old.

How do I reset a Bradford White electric water heater?

If your Bradford White water heater is no longer operating as expected, there may be a simple solution. You can push the reset button.

Disconnect your Bradford White water heater from the power before pushing the reset button. Open the panel and remove the insulation to expose the thermostat and red reset button. Fully push the reset button and you should hear a clicking sound. Reassemble the panel and reestablish power.

Like many water heaters, Bradford White includes interior circuitry that disconnects if it detects temperatures that are too high. This is regulated by an internal thermostat.

By pushing the reset button, you are essentially reestablishing the circuit and allowing the water heater to turn back on. If it detects the temperature is too high again, it will disconnect and you will hear a popping noise when the reset button pushes back out.

If the reset button continually resets or if it doesn’t click when pressing it, the thermostat may be faulty. It resets the high limit switch, so you may need to replace the thermostat to get it working again.

How do I reset a Bosch electric water heater?

Bosch is known for making a high-quality electric water heater. If yours is giving you a problem, however, you may need to reset it.

A Bosch electric water heater has a reset button that can be pushed to bring your tank back online again. You will need to turn off the power, remove the panel, and find the red reset button. It should be clearly labeled. Press until you hear a click, put the panel together, and turn the power back on again.

The reason why you may need to reset your electric water heater is that it detected temperatures that were too high. There is a failsafe built into the unit to keep it from burning out.

You may find that you need to reset the water heater multiple times and if that is the case, you should look into having the thermostat replaced.

How do I reset an American electric water heater?

When an American electric water heater goes bad, it can be brought back to life with the reset button.

There is a reset button inside every American electric water heater and it can start the unit working when it is no longer heating. You will need to turn off the power to avoid electric shock before removing the panel to expose the reset button. Press the reset button fully and when you turn the power back on, it should be heating water again.

Although most electric water heaters have the reset button in a similar place, close to the temperature adjustment, that is not always going to be the case. You should check in the manual to see if it is someplace else.

In addition, just because you reset the water heater does not necessarily mean that it is going to fix it. All you are doing is telling the water heater it is okay to heat water again.

If your American electric water heater detects any problems after it has been reset, it may disconnect again.

How do I reset a Sears Kenmore electric water heater?

Sears Kenmore makes a very reliable electric water heater but it is not without its problems. If yours is no longer heating water, the reset button may be utilized.

You will have to remove the panel on the side of the Sears Kenmore electric water heater to access the reset button. Make sure you either unplug the water heater or turn off the circuit breaker before doing so. After pressing the reset button you should hear a click and that means the reset has taken place.

After you reset the water heater the unit will start heating water again. Make sure that you check everything thoroughly, including the temperature settings of the unit before you put the panel back on again.

In most cases, the reason why you need to reset the Kenmore water heater is that it was detecting unusually high temperatures. This could be a problem with a faulty thermostat or an interior fuse.

If you need to continually reset your Sears electric water heater, contact a repairman or replace the water heater.

How do I reset a GE electric water heater?

Did your GE electric water heater stop heating water? It’s time to press the reset button.

GE makes it very convenient for you to reset the water heater. There is a red reset button inside of the panel in the same area where you would adjust the temperature. Pushing the reset button until it clicks will reset the unit and it will start heating water again. Never work on the water heater without first turning off the power.

Don’t overlook the possibility that you need to reset the GE water heater because something has gone wrong. There may be times when it disconnects, such as if there was a power surge.

If you need to constantly reset the water heater, however, that likely means that a part needs to be replaced. It could be an interior thermal fuse or perhaps the thermostat.

If your water heater is giving you additional problems, it may be time to replace it. It’s better to replace the water heater before it fails completely so your family has hot water and it doesn’t leak, causing additional problems.


I love doing things around the house. I'm taking my years of experience as a homeowner and a full-time handyman and putting them here for your benefit. When I'm not writing, you can find me on the beach watching the waves come in. Call me Tom or Tommy, it's all the same to me.

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