AO Smith Water Heater Reset Button

AO Smith Water Heater Reset Button [Complete Guide]

This is a complete guide guind on AO Smith Water Heater Reset Button. Here, what I am going to break down: 

  • The location of the reset button on your AO Smith Water Heater
  • How to reset AO Smith Electric Water Heater? 
  • What causes the reset button of your AO Smith Water Heater to keep tripping continuously? 

So, let’s get started right here. 

Table of Contents

AO Smith Water Heater Reset Button Location: Where It Is?

The reset button of AO Smith Water Heater is generally located on the upper thermostat. To access the upper thermostat, you must remove the upper access panel. Just use a flat head screwdriver and unscrew the upper access panel. 

Then, pull out the insulation and you can see a red button on the thermostat, which is actually the reset button. Below, I attach a picture which shows the actual location of the reset button on AO Smith Water Heater: 

AO Smith Water Heater Reset Button Location

How To Reset AO Smith Water Heater?

Go along with the following steps to reset your AO Smith Electric Water Heater correctly: 

  • Locate the breaker box and flip the water heater’s circuit breaker to the off position.
  • Get a flat head screwdriver and remove the nuts that hold the upper access panel in place.
  • Remove the upper access panel and unbent the wires. 
  • Fold away the insulation, which exposes the red reset button. 
  • Just press the red button and it will reset your electric water heater successfully. 
  • Replace the insulation, and bend the wires. 
  • Finally, screw up the upper access panel and flip the circuit breaker of your water heater to the On position. 

AO Smith Water Heater Reset Button Keeps Tripping [3 Culprits and Their Solutions]

Your AO Smith Water Heater reset button keeps tripping due to excessive hot water, burn-out lower heating element, and defective thermostat. And this chapter will break down each of them. 

01. Tank In The Water Gets Too Hot

Every electric water heater, including your AO Smith heater, has a ECO (energy cut-off) button or reset button. It cuts the electric power off to your unit once this senses too hot water in the tank. In other words, the reset button gets tripped if there is excessive hot water in the tank. 

How To Fix: 

Resetting the AO Smith Electric Water Heater will be a simple fix to this issue. But I recommend you figure out the reasons for the overheating issue. 

Generally, a bad heating element or the heating element gets shorted is the main culprit that triggers water temperature. 

Regarding this, you must replace the heating element that gets defective. And the following video will help you in changing the heating element: 

02. Burnt-out Lower Heating Element

Defective Lower Heating Element

A bad or burn out lower heating element is also a caveat responsible for this issue. If the lower element is at fault, it overloads the upper heating element. As a result, the reset button keeps popping up due to high temperature. 

How To Fix: 

Before replacing the lower heating element, check the resistance level of it. So, turn off electric power at the circuit breaker, remove the lower access panel, and fold back the insulation. 

Now, use a multimeter and place the leads between the two screw terminals on the lower heating element. A healthy element will give you a reading between 0 to 25 Ohms. If the resistance of the lower element goes out of range, you must replace it. 

Follow these steps to replace the lower heating element: 

  • Turn off electric supply to the unit at the circuit breaker.
  • Open a hot water faucet and let it run until the unit cools down. 
  • Drain your water heater. So, attach a garden hose to the drain valve and place the other end to the nearest floor drain. Now, open the drain valve to drain water. 
  • Once you drain the water, remove the lower access panel. Then, pull out the insulation and the plastic cover to access the heating element. 
  • Remove the power wires attached to the lower heating element. 
  • Use an element wrench to remove the lower heating element.
  • Ensure you get the right replacement part or a similar lower element that comes with the same voltage & wattage. 
  • Clean the threads in the tank opening with a rag. Now, install a new lower heating element equipped with a rubber gasket.
  • Fill the tank with freshwater by opening the cold water supply valve. Ensure you keep a hot water faucet open and the drain valve is closed. Allow the hot water to run for 3 minutes to purge the air. 
  • Check the newly installed lower heating element for a leak. 
  • Once you ensure there is no leak, replace everything like power wires, plastic cover, insulation, and the access panel. 
  • Finally, turn the electric supply on at the circuit breaker. 

03. Thermostat Gets Defective

A thermostat is device that monitors the temperature of your tank water. It delivers electrical signal to the heating element, which either cause the heating element to heat the water or turns it off to lower the temperature. 

If the thermostat is at fault, the reset button will trip as there is no communication between the heating element and the thermostat.  

How To Fix: 

You should replace the bad thermostat to prevent the reset button from tripping randomly. The following steps will help you change the thermostat: 

  • Shut off the electric power to the unit at the circuit breaker.
  • Remove the access panel and fold back the insulation. 
  • Disconnect the wires from the thermostat and mark them with tape so that you can put them back correctly. Then, slide out the thermostat. 
  • Ensure you get the thermostat that matches the old one. 
  • Install the new thermostat and make sure it snuggly fits against the tank. 
  • Attach the wires to the thermostat following the wiring diagram. 
  • Now, put everything like the plastic cover, the insulation, and the access panel back into their places. 
  • Finally, turn the electric power on. 


Why is my AO Smith water heater not getting hot?

Your AO Smith Water Heater is not getting hot due to several reasons. For example, if the unit operates at gas, closed gas shut-off valve, insufficient gas pressure, and defective gas valve are the culprits that prevent the water heater from heating. On the other hand, tripped ECO button, bad heating element, and no power to the unit are some caveats that cause your electric water heater to not heat the water. 

Why do I have to push the reset button on my water heater?

You have to push the reset button on your water heater if it gets tripped to reset the electric water heater. Pressing the reset button will help you operate the unit again to get hot water. Generally, the reset button gets tripped if the water temperature gets excessively high. So, you need to push the button to bring the unit back to normal operating condition.

How long does an AO Smith water heater last?

An AO Smith water heater will last up to 10 to 15 years if you maintain it perfectly. 

How long is AO Smith water heater warranty?

The range of warranty AO Smith Water Heater offers is between 6 to 10 years. 


Sometimes simply pressing the reset button of your AO Smith Water Heater will solve the no hot water issue. So, it’s indispensable to know the location of the reset button and the way of resetting it. 

Fortunately, I broke down everything about it. As a result, you can now reset your AO Smith Water Heater successfully. Turns out that, I also discussed the reasons that cause the reset button to keep tripping. 

Still, if you have any questions about the reset button, just leave a comment below. I feel happy to help. 

Read Also:

Similar Posts


    1. Hey Jojo Davis,

      Does the water heater you own is electric or not? If it’s Ao Smith Electric Tank Water Heater, one of the follow reasons are responsible for the unit to not work:

      -The unit receives no electric power
      -The upper heating element gets burnt out
      -A broken upper thermostat or its wiring gets damaged
      -The energy cut-off switch gets tripped
      -The Inlet and outlet connections of the water heater are reversed
      -Produce little to no hot water because of a leak in the hot water side of the plumbing system.

      To know more about this, you can check out this article:

      Hope you can find this input helpful.

      Thank you,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *