Rheem Gladiator Solid Red Light

Rheem Gladiator Solid Red Light

Rheem Gladiator Solid Red Light! Well, the service needed LED on digital control will blink or remain solid red whenever it detects a problem. And the solid red light means it detects the following problems: 

  • Leak sensor disconnected
  • Wi-fi or control communication error
  • Leak detected

In this troubleshooting guide, I will disclose everything behind the solid red light and how you can solve this issue. So, continue to read. 

Table of Contents

Rheem Gladiator Solid Red Light: What Does It Mean?

The Service Needed LED on your Rheem Gladiator will remain solid red if it detects a problem. It’s basically an alert. The blinking indicator (Service Needed LED) remains solid red if the leak sensor gets disconnected or it detects a leak. 

Note: Your Rheem Gladiator Water heater can still be operational and heat the water despite having the blinking indicator solid red. 

Below, I will break down everything that makes the Service Needed LED stay solid red. So, keep scrolling. 

01. Leak Sensor Gets Disconnected

As I mentioned earlier, the Service Needed LED of your Rheem Gladiator will stay solid red if the leak sensor gets detached. In other words, the leak rope harness is coming apart from the leak sensor. 

How To Fix: 

You must open the lower element cavity to see whether the leak sensor is coming loose or not. 

Safety Tips: Don’t forget to turn off the electric supply to your water heater at the circuit breaker. 

Use a screwdriver and remove the screws that hold the lower element cavity in its place. Then, remove the insulation. 

Now, check for the disconnection of the leak sensor. If it gets detached, just connect the leak rope harness to the leak sensor. 

02. Wi-Fi or Control Communication Error

Wifi or communication failure is another culprit that makes the Service Needed LED solid red. In this case, the Wi-Fi Status LED will also turn red and blink 3 times followed by a pause. 

To fix this issue, you should reset the Wi-Fi module and connect your water heater to the internet again. I will describe it in the ‘How To Fix’ section to solve this problem. 

How To Fix: 

As I mentioned above, you need to reset the Wi-Fi module if you make a change like getting a new router or changing the router’s SSID and password. 

What you need to do is- just press and hold the Wi-Fi Setup button for 5 seconds. The keypad of the digital control will beep 3 times. Now, follow the below Wi-Fi Setup procedure: 

  • Press the Wi-fi Setup button for 2 seconds. The keypad will beep and the Wi-Fi indicator light turns blue. The setup mode will remain active for the next 30 minutes.
  • Turn the wi-fi option on your mobile and connect it with your water heater.
  • Download the EcoNet app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. 
  • Create an account and sign in. 
  • Now, your Rheem Gladiator can communicate with the app. 
  • Complete the setup by following the instructions in the EcoNet app. 
  • Now, the blinking Wi-Fi Status LED will be solid blue. 

03. Leak Detected

Rheem Gladiator Water Heater has a leak detection sensor. It will notify you whenever it senses a leak so that you can fix the issue to avoid further damage. If you use the 24-Hour Leak Detection Override feature, the Service Needed LED indicator will be solid red when the water heater senses a leak. 

Note: I recommend you use the 24-Hour Leak Detection Override feature. Before activating this feature, make sure water is not leaking out of the unit. 

Then, press the Clear Alarm button for 1 second and it will make a beeping noise once you release the button. 

This method will silence the alarm beep and let your water heater run normally for 24 hours. If a leak is detected when the override feature is active, it will make the Service Needed LED solid red. 

How To Fix: 

You should find the source of the water leak. Generally, the water heater is leaking from the top, bottom, and collar vent. Once you figure out the leak source, fix it. You can check out this article on Rheem Water Heater Leaking to learn about the common sources of water leaks.  

Don’t hesitate to call Rheem Support Center or a professional plumber if the leak detection message persists after the 24-hour override. 

Apart from these, the Service Needed indicator on Rheem Gladiator will remain solid red due to the following reasons: 

  • Configuration data restore failure
  • Configuration write limit exceeded

To deal with these problems, you should have professional skills. So, call a certified plumber or the Rheem Customer Service to solve these issues for you. 


How To Reset Rheem Gladiator Water Heater?

To reset your Rheem Gladiator Water Heater, go along with these steps: 

  • Turn off the electric supply to your water heater at the circuit breaker.
  • Pull out the user interface control gently. Then, remove the insulation.
  • Press the red reset button, which you can find on the power board and upper sensor assembly. 
  • Replace the insulation and the user interface control.
  • Restore the power to your water heater.

How Do You Bypass the Leak Sensor On Rheem Gladiator?

To bypass the leak sensor on the Rheem Gladiator Water Heater, press and hold down the Clear Alarm button for up to 5 seconds. It will deactivate the leak guard sensor for 24 hours. It means pressing the Clear Alarm button will open the valve and deliver hot water for the next 24 hours.

How Do I Reconnect the Leak Sensor On Rheem Gladiator Water Heater?

If the leak sensor gets disconnected, follow these steps to reconnect the leak sensor:

  • Turn the power off and unscrew the lower cavity cover using a #2 Phillips screwdriver. 
  • Remove the insulation.
  • Remove the leak rope from the plastic conduit.
  • Disconnect the leak rope harness from the sensor.
  • Reconnect the new leak rope harness. Then, insert the new leak rope into the plastic conduit.
  • Ensure that the heat shrink touches the top of the conduit.
  • Replace the insulation in its place and reinstall the lower cavity cover.
  • Restore the power of your water heater.


Solid red on the Rheem Gladiator Water Heater is basically an alert message. It (Service Needed LED indicator) will stay solid red due to a disconnected leak sensor, wi-fi communication error, or when the unit detects a leak. 

And luckily, I broke everything in the above and show you the way of dealing with this problem. So, follow the troubleshooting steps I mentioned to clear the solid red light. 

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  1. I have connected WiFi and checked for leaks. Can`t find any leaks. Have had this water since 9/20/22. After I installed it with no problems the red light stays on. I have pulled off the front panels making sure all wires are connected and checked around the elements for leaks. Can`t find anything wrong, but red light stays on

    1. Have you checked the leak sensor, especially its rope harness that is connected with the sensor? If the rope harness comes loose from the leak sensor, the red light will come on. Hope, you can find this helpful.

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