This is an in-depth guide on AO Smith Water Heater Troubleshooting Codes. Throughout this article, I will disclose the meaning of the error codes your AO Smith Electric Water Heater throws.
Besides, I will also walk you through the troubleshooting steps to clear those error messages. So, keep reading.
7+ Common AO Smith Water Heater Troubleshooting Codes
This chapter will describe the meaning of a specific error message your AO Smith Electric Tankless Water Heater throws. You can see those error codes only on an AO Smith Water Heater with two or four chambers.
Ao Smith Water Heater Error Code E02
Error code ‘E02’ on AO Smith Electric Tankless Water Heater indicates that the unit determines the heated water exceeds the temperature limit. And like other electric water heaters, AO Smith also features a high-limit switch or electric-cut-off button.
When it senses the water temperature crosses the safety level, the reset or ECO button cuts the electric supply off. As a result, the heating element stops warming the water.
Many reasons cause your water heater to heat the water excessively. For example, a bad thermostat, a bad computer board, and burn-out connectors that lead to the computer module are responsible for producing too much hot water.
How To Fix:
Resetting your water heater is a simple fix to this problem and helps you clear the error message.
First off, turn the electric supply off to your water heater at the circuit breaker. Then, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the nuts that hold the upper access panel in its place. Remove the access panel and fold away the insulation. Now, press the red button to reset the unit successfully.
Afterward, put everything back into its place. Turn on the electric supply by flipping up the circuit breaker. Finally, turn on your water heater and you can see the error code is gone.
Though resetting the unit will fix and clear the error code, you must figure out what’s overheating the water. Typically, a bad thermostat, burn-out heating elements, and bad computer board are some defects that cause this issue. I highly recommend you use a multimeter to test the continuity of them and replace them if needed. It will be far better if you call a certified technician to deal with this issue.
Ao Smith Water Heater Error Code E03
Your AO Smith Water Heater will flash the error code ‘E03’ if there is a low water level in the heater. If there is air in the waterline, your water heater may throw this erratic code. Sometimes, a faulty sensor is also responsible for this issue.
How To Fix:
To solve & clear the error message, turn the power off to your water heater first. Second, turn on a hot water faucet anywhere in your house to let the air out of the waterline. Once you find the water is flowing uninterruptedly, turn off the hot water faucet and turn the power back to the unit.
If the error code returns, I bet the sensor is at fault. So, replace the sensor to clear the faulty code. If you don’t know how to replace the sensor, call a professional for the replacement.
AO Smith Water Heater Error Code E04
Your AO Smith Water Heater will throw the error code ‘E04’ when it detects moisture or leak in the heater. A water heater leaks from different places like from the top, bottom, and side. When the water leaks out of any place from the water heater, the leak sensor senses it and notifies you by throwing the fault code ‘E04’.
How To Fix:
As long as you see this error code, you must turn off the water heater first. Then, find the source of the water leak. Generally, the heating element, top of the unit, tank, and drain valve are some common places from where the water is leaking. You can read this article on Rheem Water Heater Leaking. Though the brand is different, it will help you a lot in finding the leaking point. However, I highly recommend you call a certified plumber to solve this issue.
AO Smith Electric Water Heater Error Code E06
A faulty code ‘E06’ on your AO Smith Water Heater stands for too hot water temperature. In other words, when the sensor senses the water temperature is too high, it will throw this error code.
Generally, a non-functioning thermostat, shorted heating element, and an unfit thermostat against the tank are the culprits that cause the water temperature of your heater too high.
How To Fix:
This error code may appear when you power up the unit. Just turn on a hot water faucet and let the water run for several minutes. It will clear the error code. Turns out, ensure you don’t set the thermostat too high. If needed, adjust the thermostat setting.
Next, check the heating element for damage. If the resistance of this part goes out of range, you must replace it.
Finally, install the thermostat professionally if it doesn’t fit against the tank snugly.
AO Smith Electric Water Heater Error Code E10-E13
Your AO Smith Electric Water Heater will throw the error codes E10, E11, E12, and E13 either for an open inlet temperature sensor or open thermistor. Basically, both 2-chamber and 4-chamber models will pop up with those error codes.
How To Fix:
Follow the below steps to erase those error codes from the display:
- Turn the electric power to your water heater off at the circuit breaker.
- Visually inspect the thermistor connections.
- Detach the thermistor and reattach it again.
- Now, back the electric power to your water heater and it will clear those faulty codes.
If the error codes return, you must replace the thermistor. The following steps will help you change the thermistor:
Start with turning off the electric power to your water heater. Then, ensure you have the following pieces of equipment at your fingertips:
- Philips head screwdriver
- ½-inch open-end wrench
- Plastic bucket
- Siphon transfer pump and towels
Firstly, turn off your water heater.
Secondly, check the user manual and drain the water heater by following the instructions.
Thirdly, locate the thermistor on your water heater. This is exactly where the thermistor is located, depending on models:
Once you locate the thermistor, detach the thermistor wires from the control board. Next, use the ½-inch open-end wrench and pull out the thermistor by turning it counter-clockwise.
Afterward, install a new thermistor. Verify the O-ring is in its place. Then, hand-tighten the thermistor first. And then, use the wrench to secure the thermistor properly.
What you need to do is- attach the thermistor wires to the control board. Replace everything back into its place.
Now, turn the electric power on to your water heater. Open a nearby hot water faucet to let the air out. Keep opening the hot faucets until all the air gets expelled out of the water heater.
Next, check for water leaks and fix them if needed. Before inspecting for leaks, turn the unit off. Once you solve the leak issue, return the electric power to your water heater.
AO Smith Electric Water Heater Error Code E14
The 4-chamber model of AO Smith Electric Tankless Water Heater only throws this error code. Generally, the water heater will display this faulty code if the outlet thermistor (TH-4) remains open.
How To Fix:
Very simple. Just shut off the electric supply to the unit. Check the thermistor connections. Then, disconnect the thermistor and reconnect it. Finally, turn the power back to the unit and it will clear the error code. If the error code re-appears, replace the thermistor. I already discussed how to make the replacement. So, check the previous chapter again.
AO Smith Electric Water Heater Error Code E20-E24
If you have either a 2-chamber or 4-chamber model of AO Smith Water Heater, you can see the trouble codes E20, E21, E22, E23, and E24 for a single reason. And the reason is the thermistor gets shorted electrically.
How To Fix:
The only solution to clear those error messages is to replace the thermistor. Fortunately, I broke down how you can replace the thermistor correctly in this section: Ao Smith Electric Water Heater Error Code E10-E13. So, check out the section again.
AO Smith Electric Water Heater Error Code E51 & E52
If your AO Smith Electric Tankless Water Heater throws the error code E51 or E52, understand the user interface lost its connection with the control board.
How To Fix:
To fix this issue, you should replace the control board. Before doing so, don’t forget to check the wiring attached to the control board. I don’t recommend you perform this workflow by yourself. Just hire a certified technician to do this for you.
How do I reset my A.O. Smith water heater?
It’s very simple to reset your AO Smith Electric Water Heater by following the below instructions:
- Ensure you shut off the electric supply to your water heater.
- Remove the upper access panel by using a flathead screwdriver.
- Fold away the insulation to access the reset button (it’s red).
- Press the red reset button inward until you hear a click.
- Put everything back into its place and turn the electricity on. And this will reset the water heater successfully.
What does ECC code mean A.O. Smith water heater?
ECC stands for Electro-chemical compression. Like other heat pump water heaters, AO Smith Heat Pump Water Heater uses the ECC or transformative solid state technology to reduce the energy usage.
Why is AO Smith's water heater beeping?
Your AO Smith Water Heater will make a beep once it detects a problem to notify you that something is going wrong with the unit.
How to tell if the AO smith water heater is working?
AO Smith Water Heater will throw an error code or make a beeping noise if the unit is not working properly. If it doesn’t throw a trouble code, make no beeping, or flashing light, and understand the water is functioning properly.
Trouble codes on the AO Smith Water Heater mean your water heater is not working properly. Fortunately, I broke down every common error code your AO Smith Electric Water Heater shows. As a result, you can figure out the issue quickly and take the necessary steps to fix the problem. Of course, you are always open to reaching out to a professional if you fail to clear the error messages.
AO Smith Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting
Eric Alvarez is an HVAC guy based in El Paso, Texas, United States. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University Of Texas at El Paso. Years of experience in the HVAC field have taught him many lessons, not the least of which is that the value of quality and knowledge far exceeds any promised initial savings. He has a good standing reputation for superior skills in heating, air conditioning, hot water tanks, and indoor air quality systems.
2 thoughts on “7+ Common AO Smith Water Heater Troubleshooting Codes”
Yesterday morning my water heater was beeping but no error code. I reset the breaker and it started up a few hours later. This morning it started beeping again but still no error message.
Several reasons are to blame if the water heater keeps beeping. Scale buildup on the heating element or on the bottom of the tank is one of the common reasons that can throw a wrench into work. In this case, you must flush the unit.
Anyway, what’s the last time you flush your AO Smith Water Heater?