When your water heater fails, the go-to action is to hit that reset button. Doesn’t matter the brand, and hitting that reset button cures a lot of problems. It also tells you that there may be a problem with one of the other parts and you need to do some investigating to solve the problem.
Like most reset buttons, if it keeps popping out after you push it back in, you are being told there is a problem. It could be the reset button itself and that part may need to be replaced or it is one of the many other water heater parts that has gone bad.
To learn more about this important topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so that you can solve your water heater problem. Take a few minutes to see how this guide helps you.
The main cause for this action is that the water temperature inside the water heater got too high. There are upper limits and the thermostat is supposed to shut the element off before the water temperature reaches that limit.
However, this is not always the case and the reset button trips shutting off all power to the appliance. When this happens, you have 1 of 2 parts that are not working right. It may be the reset button that has failed.
Or it may be the thermostat has some issue or it simply broke. Either way, you have to check both parts to see if they are working right or not. Another part that may not be working correctly would be the element.
If the element has stopped working, for whatever reason it may have, then its malfunction could trip the water heater reset button. Replacing the thermostat, reset button, or the element will be your best solution.
While the term ‘hit’ is often used to describe pushing something, to tapping it, and similar light actions, it doesn’t really apply here. You should push the reset button to see if it tripped accidentally or to see if there is a bigger problem.
But do not hit the button in the traditional definition of the word ‘hit’. That may break it and you would have another part to buy and replace what you damaged.
In the colloquial use of the term hit, yes, you should push the reset button to see if there is something wrong. The reset button normally does not trip without a good reason. It could be an accidental trip or it could be due to a more serious problem
A fourth source for the tripping could be either a bad breaker or faulty wiring. If you have a short in the system, the reset button should trip to protect the device.
There are the four problems that we mentioned earlier and there may be a few more reasons why this problem exists. The RV water heater is full of other working parts that may cause this problem.
For example, the igniter may not be working, the thermocouple may have gone bad, and on it goes. Those parts may have gone bad or they have a short in their wiring that is sending the wrong type of electricity to the reset button.
When the water heater’s reset button keeps on tripping, you will have to pull out your multimeter to start the diagnostic investigation. Then you have to check each working part till you find the one that has gone bad.
This takes a little time but it is worth it as cold showers are not a fun activity. Hopefully, you are close to a store that sells new RV parts.
There are 3 or 4 RV water heater brands that make good water heaters for RVs. Dometic is one of them and they bought out Atwood but we are not sure if they changed the Atwood water heater design or not.
If they did, then the reset button is on the upper thermostat and in plain view. The Atwood, the older models pre-Dometic and maybe the post-Dometic may still be in the same spot.
That spot is that there does not seem to be a reset button on their models of water heaters for RVs. To reset the device you have to turn it off and then back on again.
For Suburban, you need to look on the high-limit resettable thermostat to find the reset button. With the lack of space, you may also need smaller hands to reach this button.
But, this may not be a universal location for any of these brands. The companies may relocate the reset button due to model year, new technology, or like Atwoood, not put one on at all.
Check your owner’s manual to find the part for your specific RV water heater model.
The location of this device is usually behind the plate that keeps the upper thermostat protected from the elements. It is right next to or attached to the element. The device is not hard to get to as it is in plain sight.
If the button keeps tripping, then you have a short or malfunctioning part somewhere. To help you find that part you should read our article on the Dometic water heater. Just on Dometic hot water heater not working to get to it.
That article should give you a lot more detailed information and be very useful when you have other water heater issues to solve.
Since Dometic bought the company, it is hard to say if they put a reset button on those Atwood models or not. Through our research for a previous article on Atwood water heaters, we found that there may not be one at all.
The reset process involved turning the water heater off and then on again after a short few seconds break. If you are having other problems with your Atwood water heater, then you should read that article and see if it contains the information you need.
Some models of Atwood water heaters also came with an on-off button. That may do the resetting for you. The key to using the reset buttons, no matter the brand, is to wait till you hear the click before you stop pushing it in.
If they keep tripping, check the connections to see if they are dirty, loose, broken, or not.
This may be the easiest reset button to find. According to their website, their water heaters come with an interior panel with 3 switches on them. There is the gas and electric buttons, one for each application.
These are rocker switches that you just press on or off. The third button is the reset one and it is the typical all red design and possibly it lights up so you can see it at night.
All you have to do is press that button once and things should return to normal unless there is a more serious problem with the water heater.
This handy little part is a safety device. When it notices that the water is getting too hot, it will send a signal to the igniter to shut off the gas valve. That protects your RV and you from damage.
Also, this device is supposed to break the 12-volt circuit cutting off the power that makes the elements, etc., heat up the water. This safety feature also helps your Suburban water heater last longer by protecting it from too much power and heat.
This will depend on the brand and model of your water heater. Some may only need to be held for a few seconds, while other models may need to be held for 30 seconds.
Unfortunately, the water does not heat up as quickly. You may have to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before the water is hot again. That is if your RV has a tank water heater.
The tankless versions may be able to give you hot water a lot sooner than that. Check your manual for the right amount of time for your specific water heater.
Hitting the reset button should get your water heater up and running again quickly. That is unless some other part has malfunctioned. Then you will need to spend time replacing that part.
But even if it resets quickly, you will have to wait for the water heater to heat the water again. That could take a long time. Hopefully, you are not in a hurry.