A.O Smith Water Heater Reset Button (Ultimate Guide)

In the United States, A.O. Smith gas and electric water heaters are quite common. Rinnai and Rheem are their main competitors in terms of brand recognition. One of the factors that leads many home owners to choose the brand is its dependability.

When having a hot shower or using your washer, you may occasionally encounter a situation in which there is no hot water available. One possible troubleshooting option is to try to reset your hot water tank.

The A.O. Smith water heater reset button is not immediately visible.

Manufacturers design access to the button for safety and to prevent accidental activation. The location of the button may also be influenced by the type of hot water tank you have, whether it is gas, electric, or tankless.

This article will show you where to find the A.O Smith water heater reset button.

Where is the A.O Smith Water Heater Reset Button Located?

Photo Credit A.O Smith Water Heater Manual
Photo Credit A.O Smith Water Heater Manual

Turning off the electricity to your A.O Smith water heater should be the first step in your troubleshooting process. You will also need to switch off the gas line valve on a gas water heater.

The A.O Smith water heater reset button on a gas or electric version can be found under the metal cover close to the middle of the unit. Once you open the cover, the button will be hidden under a protective material, either insulation or Styrofoam.

You will need a screw driver to remove the screws that are holding the cover in place.

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How to Reset Your A.O Smith Water Heater

You can reset your A.O Smith hot Water heater in four steps.

  1. Go to the electrical panel for your home which is located in the garage or on the exterior walls of the house. Find the breaker that is labeled “water heater”. Flip it to the “off” position
  1. Head to your hot water tank. Remove the top panel cover on the side of the unit by removing the screws that hold it in place. The reset button will be located right inside the panel. There may be some insulation covering the reset button. Remove and keep the insulation.
  1. Press the reset button. You should hear a clicking sound, indicating that the water heater has been reset.
  1. Return to the electrical panel to flip the breaker switch to the on position.

If you have a gas water heater, you will need to re-ignite the pilot light on the tank to get it operational again.

Why is My A.O Smith Hot Water Heater Tripping the Reset Button?

A.O Smith designs its heater reset buttons to trip as a safety precaution. When the water temperature rises in an uncontrolled fashion, the reset button is tripped.

Here are some reasons why the reset button may trip.

Bad Heating Element

The heating element is responsible for raising the temperature of the water in the tank.

If it is damaged or has a short in it, the temperature of the water will continue to rise. This triggers the reset button to trip because it is unable to communicate with the thermostat.

To resolve this issue, a replacement heating element may be required.

Faulty Thermostat

The thermostats in the water heater are responsible for monitoring the temperature in the tank.

It operates by delivering signals to the heating element, which either turns on to boost the temperature or turns off to lower it.

If the thermostat fails, it is unable to perform its function, causing the reset button to trip since there is no communication between the thermostat and the heating element.

Electrical Problems (Bad or loose Wiring and Circuit breakers)

Electrical issues are a common cause for the A.O Smith water heater’s reset button to trip. I normally start by looking for faulty wiring and damaged circuit breakers.

The reset button might be tripped by loose wires. In many circumstances, you can see when there is an issue with the wiring of your unit’s components. You may find burnt pieces, or when you delicately pull on a wire, it may entirely detach from the component to which it is attached.

Circuit breakers deteriorate as they age as well. When you open your electrical panel, you may notice that they are hot to the touch, and you may even smell burning.

Checking for and removing electrical problems as a possible reason of your unit’s reset button tripping is an important step in the troubleshooting process.

Where is the A.O Smith Electric Water Heater Reset Button?

In A.O. Smith gas and electric tank heaters, the reset button is located below the top panel cover on the side of the water heater. It will be a red button concealed inside the panel by insulation.

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