If you are having to constantly reset your electric hot water heater, there is an issue. In fact, this could be a danger. The electrical hot water heater system is a highly complex one that needs to work in an optimal manner. A faulty system could result in many serious complications. The first being that it could pose a danger to people that use it as it could result in scalding water that could seriously injure the skin. Second, it could result in the development of a fire. If you find yourself continuously resetting that hot water heater, continue reading – your health and your home could depend on it.

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Why is Having to Reset the Electric Water Heater a Problem?

An occasional reset is typically not a major problem. It is only when you have to continuously reset the unit that it indicates a serious problem. This is because it indicates that the product is getting entirely too hot. This means that the temperatures are reaching dangerous levels.

In most instances, a trip occurs when the device exceeds 180°F. The unit will start to weaken and malfunction. It will draw immensely on the electrical system of your home.

As the system starts to weaken, leaks may start to develop.

Additionally, if the unit is subjected to high levels of heat for a prolonged period of time, it could result in a fire starting. The internal elements may start to experience malfunctions. The insulation surrounding the unit may start to experience detrimental effects from the excessive heat.

Combined, all of these situations could lead to expensive repairs, replacements, injuries, and damage to your home.

What Causes Hot Water Heaters to Constantly Trip?

There are several reasons why an electric hot water heater will trip on a continuous basis. The following outlines the most common:

  1. Malfunctioning Thermostat – The electric hot water heater typically has two thermostats. There is one in the upper region of the unit and one in the lower area. Each controls a heating element. The thermostats monitor the temperature of the water and also communicates with the other thermostat within the system. Once the set temperature is reached, the thermostat turns off the heating element. If a thermostat starts to malfunction, it could stick. As a result, the associated element fails to turn off. When the temperature of the water gets too high, the reset button trips.
  2. Failed Heating Element – The next reason a hot water heater may trip is because one or both of the internal heating elements have burned out, or completely failed. This is the part of the unit that actually heats the water. In some instances, a short will develop. The casing to the element may crack and the wires inside of that casing may become exposed to the water within the tank. While it is true that the thermostat will turn the power off to that component, it will continue to heat the water. When the water becomes too hot, the reset button will trip.
  3. Reset Button Issue – If you have a reset button that continuously resets, the issue could be with that button, itself. This is a switch that has the ability to wear out, over time. If this occurs, it could have issues properly registering or reading the overall temperature of the water. As a result, it may cut the power even during times when the interior water temperature is low. In most cases, when a reset button is replaced, the professional will also replace the thermostat in the upper region of the unit.
  4. Wiring or Breaker Issue – A continuous reset in an electric hot water heater could indicate either an issue with wiring or an issue with a breaker. Loose wires, the absence of a lug connector between wires that have two different types of metals, or a worn breaker in the home could all cause reset issues with your hot water heater. Breakers wear out for many reasons. These include basic wear and tear, humidity-based corrosion, or shorts within the electrical system.
  5. Corrosion – The internal components of your electric water heater could experience corrosion because of their exposure to moisture. This includes the thermostat, lug connectors, and other associated parts. If this happens, the corroded components may start to malfunction. As time progresses, this could lead to the development of an issue of the reset button constantly tripping.
  6. Improper Electrical Grounding – It may be possible that the heating element is experiencing a short, in terms of the ground. This could instantly increase the temperature of the water and result in the tripping of the reset button. If this is the case, an electrician will be required.

How Long Do Hot Water Heaters Last?

Each hot water heater comes with paperwork from the manufacturer. Inside that paperwork, you’ll find a suggested service life. In most instances, it is outlined that the device will work anywhere from a total of 8 to 12 years; however, many will exceed this guideline. It all depends on the design of the product, the installation of the unit, if the product is regularly maintained, and the quality of water that moves through the system.

Contact Us Today

Is your electric hot water button constantly tripping? Do you find that you have to reset the system a lot? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, we here at Reynolds Plumbing recommend that you contact us immediately. Allowing the issue to go on for a prolonged period of time could result in injury or the development of a fire – as mentioned previously. Not only will our specialists be able to determine the underlying issue, but they will also be able to quickly repair the problem. If the issue calls for a replacement, this may be done quickly, too. We are efficient, use only the highest quality components, and offer the most competitive prices in the industry. Contact us now.