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What Trips the Reset Button on a Hot Water Heater?

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In today’s often cold climate, running out of hot water is no picnic. That’s why it’s hard to do without a water heater! The problems that can arise with this appliance are many and varied, so it’s important to know how to spot and solve them.

The reset button on a hot water heater is a safety feature that stops the unit from getting too hot. When functioning correctly, it monitors the water temperature and shuts off the power if it gets too high.

However, there are instances where the reset button can trip frequently, causing a disruption in your water heater’s operation. This article will explain why hot water heaters stop working. It will also discuss how a Corro-Protec powered anode rod can help reduce these problems.

Understanding the Role of the Reset Button

The High Limit Switch

The reset button, or high limit switch, is a critical safety component in an electric hot water heater. Manufacturers create a reset button to shut off power to the heating parts. This happens when the water temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

This prevents the water heater from overheating and potentially causing damage or injury. The electric water heater reset button is crucial.

Working with the Thermostat

The reset button works in tandem with the water heater thermostat. The lower and upper thermostat monitors the water temperature. It also controls the heating elements to maintain the desired temperature, usually around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If the thermostat fails and allows the water to heat above the high limit, the reset button will trip.

Common Causes for the Reset Button to Trip

Thermostat Issues

One of the most common causes for the reset button to trip is a faulty thermostat. The water temperature can go too high if the thermostat doesn’t work properly or if the plant didn’t set it up right. This can cause the reset button to turn off. This could be due to wear and tear or a defect in the thermostat itself.

Overheating Due to Sediment Build-Up

Another common cause is the build-up of sediment in the water heater tank. The sediment can act as an insulator, causing the heating elements to overheat. As they work harder to heat the water, it results in the reset button tripping.

Electrical Problems

Electrical problems such as short circuits or loose wiring can also cause the reset button to trip. If only one heating element is working due to a wiring issue, it could overheat and cause the water temperature to rise too high.

How Can a Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rod Help?

The Role of the Corro-Protec Anode Rod

A Corro-Protec powered anode rod can help mitigate some of your water heater problems that lead to the frequent tripping of the water heater’s reset button.

The Corro-Protec designed the powered anode rod to reduce the corrosion process that contributes to sediment build-up in the tank.

Less sediment means the heating elements can heat the water more efficiently, reducing the risk of overheating and tripping the reset button.

Long-Term Benefits of Using Corro-Protec

By reducing corrosion and sediment build-up, a Corro-Protec powered anode rod can also extend the lifespan of your water heater and help maintain its efficiency.

This means fewer water heater issues overall, potentially saving you time, inconvenience, and the cost of having your water heater repaired or replaced prematurely.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried the above solutions and your hot water heater’s reset button continues to trip, it’s time to call a professional.

Continual tripping of the reset button indicates a persistent problem and you would better address it to prevent damage to your water heater or a potential safety hazard.


The reset button on your hot water heater is a vital safety feature, and frequent tripping can be a sign of underlying issues.

Whether it’s a faulty thermostat, sediment build-up, or electrical problems, understanding what causes your water heater’s reset to trip can help you maintain the efficiency and longevity of your unit.

Installing a Corro-Protec powered anode rod into your water heater maintenance routine can help reduce the likelihood of these issues and provide peace of mind. However, always remember to consult with a professional if problems persist.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general DIY guidance on water heater maintenance and does not replace professional advice or service. Risks include electric shocks, burns, and property damage. Prioritize safety, follow manufacturer’s guidelines, and consult with professionals if unsure. Comply with local laws and obtain necessary permits. Use this information at your own risk; the provider assumes no liability for any injuries or damages. If in doubt, hire a professional.


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