Is your water heater tripping its reset button?
Here are some likely causes on why that is happening
Controls for your hot water heater
If you already know about your hot water heater’s thermostat control, you probably are already aware that 48-50 degrees ( Celcius ) is recommended as the ideal setting.
This temperature is thought of as a sweet spot since it’s both hot enough to kill bacteria and moderate enough not to cause any serious burns.
However there are several kinds of problems which could cause your water heater to overheat, and whenever this happens the emergency cut-off, or ECO, is engaged in order to turn off the heater entirely.
In order to reset it the heater you will want to push the red button of the ECO, usually found on the upper part of the thermostat.
Sometimes, however, the water heater will start to trip the ECO repeatedly, and in this case you will need to contact a plumber.
There is a fairly high chance that the tank water in this situation will be dangerously hot, and because this problem most likely comes from a faulty component, things won’t get any better until this faulty part is discovered and removed.
Here is a quick overview of the most probable causes for a water heater tripping the safety circuits:
The Thermostat is Faulty
Or maybe even both of them are (water heaters have two thermostats, one at the top of the tank and one at the bottom). Each of these thermostats controls a heating element that heats up the water.
Once the water reaches the ideal temperature, it’s the thermostat’s job to turn off the heating element.
But if either or both of the thermostats goes faulty and ceases doing its job then the heating element begins heating the water well above the ideal and safe level.
Your Heating Element is Faulty
Heating elements can also turn faulty over time. In most cases, however, they will just stop heating once they go bad.
But in some cases a heating element can, due to an electrical short, continue to receive power and continue heating despite the fact that the thermostat has attempted to shut it off.
This problem will bring about the same result: dangerously hot water and a repeated tripping of the ECO.
Your ECO is Faulty
The ECO itself could be the culprit. Either through wear and tear or through repeated cases of overheating, or even through a totally spontaneous failure.
You will need to replace a fried ECO switch, but the good news is that a fried switch alone is not enough to overheat your water.
If your ECO is tripping but your thermostat, heating element and ECO are all still in working order, then it could be that some loose wiring is producing a separate heat source from within your water heater.
On top of overheating your water, this particular problem carries the additional risk of fire or electrical shock. Certainly one should allow trained professional to figure out if your water heater is malfunctioning because of wiring problems.
No matter what the cause proves to be, a repeated tripping of the ECO of your water heater is something that requires immediate attention.
If you are currently dealing with this problem, please reach out to a professional in order to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.