Vaughn Water Heater Problems

Vaughn Water Heater Problems

I will discuss and provide the solutions to these common Vaughn Water Heater problems: 

  • Deliver no hot water
  • Insufficient hot water
  • Water too hot
  • Relief Valve discharges continuously
  • Displayed error codes

The best part of this troubleshooting guide is- I will also break down the meaning of the error messages your Vaughn water heater throws. 

So, let’s get started right here. 

Table of Contents

Vaughn Water Heater Problems [5 Easy Solutions]

Now, let’s dive into the troubleshooting section to discover the solution to a specific problem your Vaughn water goes through. 

01. Deliver No Hot Water

Your Vaughn Water Heater won’t heat or deliver no hot water for the following reasons: 

  • The water heater switch remains in the off position
  • The circuit breaker gets tripped at the source 
  • Improper wiring
  • The high limit switch is at fault or gets tripped
  • Inoperable heating elements 

How To Fix: 

Let’s start from the beginning! Ensure you turn on the water heater switch. 

Second, inspect the circuit breaker box and ensure the breaker for your water heater doesn’t get tripped. If yes, just flip it to the up position. 

Third, loose or improper wiring will never deliver any electric supply your water heater requires. If the wiring is loose, tighten it up. Otherwise, you should rewire the unit per wiring diagram. If you are not electrically handy, you must call a certified electrician to fix the wiring issue. 

For a tripped high limit switch, you should reset the switch or replace it. 

To access the high limit switch, you should remove the upper access panel. Before that, ensure you turn the electric supply off to the unit. Then, use a screwdriver to unscrew the upper access panel and remove it. 

Next, remove the insulation and it will expose the high-limit switch. Just press the red button and you will hear a click, which indicates you reset the switch. Finally, put everything back into place and turn on the power supply. 

If resetting the high limit switch doesn’t bring any luck, you should replace the high limit switch. 

Lastly, verify the heating elements function properly. To ensure whether the heating element is working or not, follow the below steps to check the heating elements electrically: 

  • Turn off the electric supply to the unit.
  • Remove both the upper and the lower access panel using a screwdriver. 
  • Fold away the insulation to access the terminals of the heating elements. 
  • Now, get a multimeter and place the probes of the meter on the two terminals.  A healthy upper heating element should give a reading  between 14.4 to 16 Ohms. 
  • Similarly, test the lower heating element. If the resistance goes out of range, you should replace the heating element. I highly recommend you hire a professional to replace the element. 

02. Insufficient Hot Water

Either the unit will produce insufficient hot water or the water temperature stay below the set points due to these reasons: 

  • Setting the temperature too low
  • Low line voltage
  • Faulty temperature controller
  • Defective Thermostat
  • Installed an undersized water heater

How To Fix: 

First off, ensure you set the water temperature to a higher setting. If not, just press the Up button on the temperature controller to raise the temperature.

Secondly, if your water heater gets insufficient voltage, it will fail to produce enough hot water. To solve this issue, I highly suggest you hire a qualified electrician to check the source of the electric system. 

Thirdly, inspect the temperature controller or sensor. If the temperature shown on the display doesn’t match the actual temperature of the water, understand the temperature controller or the sensor is at fault. To fix this issue, just replace the temperature controller or sensor. 

Fourthly, a malfunctioning thermostat also prevents the unit from heating the water. Just inspect the wiring of the thermostat and repair the wiring if needed. Alternatively, you can replace the thermostat itself. 

And lastly, ensure you install a proper size of water heater according to your water usage demand. If you install a small water heater compared to your demand, you will not get enough hot water out of it. 

It will be better to consult with a professional before installing a water heater. He will help you in choosing the proper water heater size for your home. 

03. Water Too Hot

Getting too hot water out of your Vaughn water heater is also a common issue. The unit will deliver excessive hot water output if you set the temperature too high. Turns out, a dirty or shorted heating element can also heat the water excessively. 

If the water gets too hot, the high limit switch will cut off the electric supply to the unit to avoid accidents. 

How To Fix: 

Start with checking the temperature setpoint. If you set the temperature too high, just press the Down button to adjust the temperature.  

Next, verify the heating element is in functional condition. Earlier in this guide, I described how to inspect the heating element electrically. 

So, follow the guideline and see whether the resistance of the element goes out of range or not. If yes, replace the defective element with a new one. 

04. Relief Valve Discharges Continuously

The relief valve of your Vaughn Water Heater will drip continuously because of excessive temperature or pressure in the tank. 

How To Fix: 

Temperature and pressure relief valves are specially designed to operate the unit if the water temperature exceeds 210-degree F. or the tank pressure crosses its safety level. 

If it’s the problem with too high temperature, you should replace the controller or the heating element. 

The relief valve will also drip or discharge due to thermal expansion. In this case, it’s a must to install a expansion tank by a professional plumber. 

05. Displayed Error Codes

The Vaughn Water Heater with heat pump will show error codes on the controller display to let you know it’s time to maintain your water heater. Generally, the heat pump unit will throw error codes like F-01, F-02, and more. 

Each error message has a different meaning and they indicate a specific water heater problem. In the next chapter, I will explain everything about the error message your Vaughn water heater throws. 

Vaughn Water Heater Controller Codes

This chapter will disclose the meaning of error codes your Vaughn Water Heater throws on the home screen display. 

Error Codes F-01, F-02, Or Ch2o

Fault code F-01 indicates the upper while the error message F-02 points out the lower water temperature sensor is at fault. On the other hand, if the unit showcases the code Ch2o, understand both the upper and the lower water temperature sensor go bad. 

To clear those error codes, turn off the unit first. Then, check the connections on the back of the controller to ensure every connection is intact and fine. Next, restore the power to the unit. If the problem still persists, you should call a professional. 

Error Codes F-03, F-04, or F-05

These error messages displayed on the unit let you know one or either of the elements don’t draw any power when indicated.  

In this case, what you need to do is- turn the electric supply off to the unit. Then, verify the connections in the junction box, at the high limit switch, and on the heating element terminals are okay. 

A faulty or tripped high limit switch can cause the unit to pop up the error message F-05. In this case, you need to reset the high limit switch. 

Once you check the connections, repower the unit and it should reset those error messages. If not, contact a certified plumber to fix those issues. 

Error Code F-06 or ‘conn’

Where there occurs a miscommunication between the controller on the upper heat pump unit and the controller on the water heater, this error code F-06 will appear on the display. 

To erase this error message, check the connections on both controllers. Once you fix the connection problems, repower the water heater. 

Error Code F-10 or ‘Ph2o’

If the heat pump’s water temperature sensor is going through a problem, your water heater will show the error code F-10. I highly recommend you call a certified technician to resolve this issue. 

Error Code F-11 or ‘tdEF’

This error message indicates the defroster temperature sensor is at fault. Resetting or erasing the error code F-11 requires a professional skill. So, it will be better to contact a certified plumber to deal with this issue. 

Error Code F-12 or ‘PrES’

If your Vaughn water heater experiences a pressure issue, it will pop up the error code F-12 on the controller display. 

To resolve the issue, turn the unit off first. Then, unscrew the top white casing and press the red button on the heat pump. It will reset the pressure sensor connection. Then, prime your water heater by activating PRI setting in the options menu for 2 minutes. 

There is no alternative way except calling a professional if the problem persists. 

Error Code ‘FLtr’

The error code FLtr on the display indicates you need to clean the heat pump filter. If you want to erase the filter error code, you should first clean the filter. 

Regarding this, locate the filter first, which you can find in slots on the side of the white housing. Then, pull out the filter from there and clean it by vacuuming or with soap & water. 

Once you clean the filter, let it dry. After drying out the filter, replace the filter inside the white housing jacket. 

Then, follow the below steps to reset the error code ‘FLtr’: 

  • Access the options menu by pressing and holding down the mode button.
  • Use the Up or the Down arrows to scroll to ‘cLr’ and let the display timeout
  • Press either the mode or the power button, which will reset or clear the error message ‘FLtr’. 


Like other water heaters, Vaughn Water Heater will also go through some problems over time. Fortunately, I broke down all the possible issues this water heater went through. So, follow the troubleshooting tips I mentioned and resolve the issue. Don’t forget to contact a qualified plumber if you fail to fix a specific issue by following this guideline. 

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