Rheem water heaters are reliable appliances that provide hot water for various household needs. However, like mechanical equipment, they can have problems and stop working correctly. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you figure out why and what you can do about it.

In this blog, we’ll talk about the common reasons why your Rheem water heater might need a reset, like when the power goes out or the electrical circuit gets overloaded. We’ll also explain what to do if there’s a problem with the heating element or safety features like the high limit switch and flammable vapor sensor.

We won’t just leave you hanging, though. If needed, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions on resetting your Rheem water heater. Plus, we’ll help you troubleshoot some other issues you might encounter, like not having enough hot water or strange noises coming from your heater.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why your hot water suddenly disappears, keep reading to learn how to fix it and keep your hot water flowing smoothly at home.

Common Reasons To Reset Rheem Water Heater 

1. Power Outage:

When the power suddenly disappears, your rheem water heater stops working. It will not restart automatically when power is restored, requiring manual intervention.

2. Tripped Circuit Breaker:

If your water heater draws too much power, it can overload the electrical circuit, causing the circuit breaker to trip. This interrupts the heater’s operation of the heater.

3. Faulty Heating Element:

If the part that makes your water hot in your Rheem water heater isn’t working right, you might need more hot water or none.

4. High Limit Switch Tripped:

The high-limit switch is a safety feature that protects your water heater from overheating. If it detects excessively high temperatures, it shuts down the heater to prevent damage or hazards.

5. Flammable Vapor Sensor Tripped:

 Rheem water heaters have a sensor that detects potentially explosive vapors in the air. When this sensor is triggered, it forces the heater to shut down to avoid potential safety hazards.

Practical Solutions for Resetting Your Rheem Water Heater

1. Power Outage:

In a power outage, manually reset your water heater by turning off the power supply. You can do this by either unplugging it or switching off the breaker. Wait for approximately 10 seconds to allow any residual power to drain, and then restore power. This process, known as a power cycle, is effective for resetting after a power outage.

2. Tripped Circuit Breaker:

 To reset your water heater after a circuit breaker has tripped, first, turn off the power supply. Locate the tripped circuit breaker, reset it, and restart the heater. This action is also referred to as performing a power cycle.

3. Faulty Heating Element:

Resetting the water heater can reset the faulty heating element and solve the problem. However, if the problem persists, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a professional plumber to replace the defective heating element.

4. High Limit Switch Tripped:

After the high-limit switch is tripped, follow the reset procedure to reset the water heater. However, if the high-limit switch trips repeatedly, it may indicate a more serious underlying problem, such as a faulty thermostat or heating element. In such cases, it is necessary to seek immediate help from a professional.

5. Flammable Vapor Sensor Tripped:

If the flammable vapor sensor is activated, investigate and eliminate possible sources of flammable vapors. After fixing the problem, reset the water heater to restart safely.

These solutions will help you understand why your Rheem water heater may need reset and how to troubleshoot common problems effectively.

How to Reset a Rheem Water Heater

Resetting a Rheem water heater is generally a straightforward process that can be done in a few steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1:

To reset your Rheem water heater, you’ll need to do a few things:

1. Turn off the circuit breaker: Find the switch in your electrical panel that controls the heater and turn it off.

2. Turn off the heater’s main power switch: If your heater has a main power switch, turn it off too.

3. Unplug it if it’s a plug-in model: If your heater plugs into an electrical outlet, unplug it.

Wait about 10 seconds to ensure all the leftover electricity inside the heater goes away. This helps with the reset.

Step 2:

To reset your Rheem water heater, find a small red button. It’s usually on the control panel of your heater. For some tankless heaters, remove the front cover to find it. And if you have a tank-style heater, it’s often behind a little door at the bottom that you can open and close. This red button is what you’ll use to reset your heater.

Step 3:

 Press and hold the reset button for a few seconds until you hear a click or see a light indicator. This resets the heater’s internal controls.

Step 4:

After you’ve pressed the reset button on your Rheem water heater, wait patiently for a few minutes. During this time, your heater will start working again. You might hear water getting warm and moving around inside the tank. That means it’s doing its job and getting ready to give you hot water again.

Step 5: 

Now, it’s time to check if you have hot water. Wait for a few minutes to see if the water gets as warm as you like for your shower or tap. If it doesn’t get hot or if it’s not hot enough, you should do more checking or ask a professional to help fix the problem.

Diagnosing Issues with Your Rheem Hot Water Heater

Here are common problems and their potential fixes:

1. No Hot Water:

To fix a lack of hot water, you should check the heating element the thermostat settings and make sure the power supply is working correctly. If necessary, you can use a multimeter to test the heating element and, if found faulty, replace the part.

2. Insufficient Hot Water: 

Flush the tank to remove sediment buildup. If it persists, consider upgrading to a larger unit or check the heating element for faults.

3. Strange Noises:

Popping or cracking sounds may indicate sediment buildup. Flushing the tank can help. If the noise continues, it could be a faulty heating element or thermostat.

4. Leaking Water:

A leak may indicate a faulty tank or faulty pressure relief valve. In such cases, contact a professional for diagnosis and necessary repairs.

5. Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit: 

A faulty thermocouple can cause this problem. Use a multimeter to check it and replace it if necessary.


When a Rheem water heater experiences problems, a reset can often solve the common problems. However, it is essential to understand the reasons behind the need for a reset and to troubleshoot more complex issues with the help of a professional. Following the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines is necessary to ensure your Rheem water heater’s safe and efficient operation. This blog has been helpful to you in resetting your Rheem water heater while ensuring the safety and efficiency of its operation.

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