How To Reset Richmond Water Heater [All Heater Types]

The first solution you should always try if your Richmond doesn’t work properly is to reset it. There are many types of heaters and you may be confused about the process of resetting each of them. So, how to reset Richmond water heater?

For electric heaters, there’s a reset button. You’ll have to locate it and press it to reset the heater. In gas and tankless units, no such button is present. You can turn the power on and off to reset the tankless heaters. For the gas heaters, it’s a little more complicated.

how to reset richmond water heater

Keep reading this article to find out how you can reset each of these different heaters in detail. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

How To Reset Richmond Water Heater [All Heater Types]

We’ll discuss how to reset all the different types of Richmond water heaters in this section.

How To Reset A Richmond Electric Water Heater

You’ll find yourself resetting your Richmond heater most often if you own an electric unit. The reset button is also commonly called the ECO or Electric Cut Off button in electric water heaters.

reset a richmond electric water heater

The switch acts as a safety device that cuts off automatically on its own if the temperature of the water reaches an extremely high level. Generally, it gets tripped when the water temperature goes beyond 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Resetting the Richmond electric heater is incredibly easy as there is a dedicated reset button for it. Here are the steps you need to follow to do it:

Step 01 – Turn Off The Power To The Heater

When the ECO gets tripped, you’ll have to manually reset the heater. The first step to doing that is making sure that the power supply to the heater is turned off. Locate the circuit breaker that’s responsible for powering the water heater and turn it off.

turn off the power to the heater

Keep in mind that you should never tinker with an electric water heater while it’s still powered on. It’s highly dangerous as it can damage your heater or cause harm to you.

Step 02 – Locate The Reset Button

The reset button doesn’t stare you in the face in the Richmond electric water heaters. You’ll have to do a bit of work to locate it. Once you have made sure that the power supply is turned off, it’s time to find the reset button.

Usually, the reset button is located behind the upper heating element cover in Richmond heaters. You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver to take off the screws holding it in place.

remove the upper heating element cover

After removing the protective cover, you’ll see the insulation pad that hides the reset button. Pull the pad with your hands and set it aside. Now, you should have eyes on the reset button. It’s a bright red button that’s impossible to miss.

insulation PAD

Step 03 – Press The Reset Button

After locating the reset button in the middle of the panel, you need to press it. The button can be sticky at times. Especially, if you haven’t pressed it in a long time. Press it firmly with your fingers and make sure it goes inward.

locating the reset button

You should hear a click when you have pressed the reset button. At that point, you can let go of the button. You don’t have to remove the upper thermostat cover to press the reset button. When you have access to it, you can just press it and there’s no need to toy around with anything else.

Step 04 – Reassemble The Heater

The hard part of the job is done when you press the reset button. Now, it’s time to reverse-engineer the steps and simply put your heater back together. After pressing the reset button, put the insulation pad back in its place.

Then, attach the screws connected to the upper heating element cover and make sure it stays in its place. Be careful not to damage any wiring or other components of the heater when you do it.

Step 05 – Turn The Heater Back On

The final step is to turn the heater back on and wait to get the proper supply of hot water. After restoring power to the heater, you may have to wait for a few hours until you get hot water pouring from the faucets once again.

When you hear a bubbling noise coming from your heater, it indicates that the water is starting to heat up. Be patient here and give the heater the due time to heat the water.

A word of warning for you is that always remember to turn on the heater only when the tank is completely filled with water. It’s not safe to turn it on with a half-filled tank and can cause issues with it.

Why Does The Reset Button Keep Tripping In Richmond Water Heaters

The most obvious reason behind the tripping of the Richmond electric water heaters is the ECO. It breaks the power circuit to the heating element and forces you to reset the heater.

While it’s common for this issue to occur once every couple of months or so, you shouldn’t face this problem more frequently than that. If you do, there could be other issues that are causing the reset button to trip.

None of them are good signs for your heater. If it’s happening to you, diagnose your heater immediately and take corrective actions ASAP to prevent the health of your heater in the long run. Here are the main reasons behind the ECO or reset button tripping in Richmond water heaters:

01. Power Surge

A simple issue like a power surge can trip the ECO and also make your reset button malfunction. Start by checking the breaker box in your house to make sure that there are no issues with the electrical panel in your home.

Sometimes, you may find that the circuit breaker has accidentally tripped to the off position. In that case, you can just flip the breaker on and that will solve the issue.

02. Defective Thermostat

There are two thermostats in Richmond electric water heaters. The job of both thermostats is to make sure you can set and get your desired water temperature.

When the water temperature reaches the level you wanted, the thermostat shuts off the heating element so that the water doesn’t get hotter. The end result is that you get the water at the temperature you wanted.

defective upper thermostat

Unfortunately, thermostats are prone to failing. When they fail, the heating element keeps heating the water even when the water reaches your desired temperature. At one point, the water gets hot beyond a safe limit and that causes the ECO to trip.

Either the upper or the lower thermostat going bad can cause this issue. Pressing the reset button will temporarily solve the issue. But for a more permanent fix, you’ll have to diagnose which of the thermostat has gone bad and replace it.

03. Faulty Heating Element

Just as there are two thermostats in Richmond electric water heaters, there are also two heating elements. The one located toward the bottom is called the lower heating element and the one located at the top is called the upper heating element.

When the lower heating element goes bad, cold water reaches the upper heating element. That is not supposed to happen in normal operations. The upper heating element normally heats the water that is already preheated by the lower heating element.

faulty heating element

The same effect happens when the upper heating element goes bad. All the load goes to the lower heating element to reach the desired temperature. Excessive demand can make any of the heating elements work overtime and cause the reset button to trip.

To diagnose which of the heating elements has gone bad, you can test the resistance on them. If the heating element doesn’t show the values recommended in your owner’s manual, you may have to replace it.

At first, try to clean the heating element by putting it in a descaling solution as dirt and debris can also keep it from working at its full potential. But if that doesn’t solve the issue, there’s no other option but to replace it.

04. Sediment Build Up

The build-up of sediment in your water heater can cause several issues with your heater. For starters, it’ll reduce its efficiency. To make matters worse, it can also clog the tank and cause the reset button to trip.

Apart from manually pressing the reset button to solve the issue temporarily, you should periodically flush your tank to keep this problem at bay for good. It’s not a complicated job at all to remove the debris from your water heater and you can easily do it on your own.

05. Loose Wire Connections

Another common reason behind the reset or the ECO button tripping too often is loose wire connections. Due to poor wiring, the heater can heat the water beyond the 180 degrees Fahrenheit limit at times and that is what makes it trip so much.

Unless you know your way around the wiring of your heater, it’s recommended that you hire a qualified technician to help you out with this one. Doing it on your own can cause harm to you and you may also end up damaging your heater in the process.

You may have to replace the wiring in the heater or even the circuit breaker in your home. Whatever it takes, do it if you want to solve the issue for good and not deal with a tripping reset button.

06. Faulty Reset Button

No point in guessing this one – when the reset button itself is faulty, it can trip more often than when it’s designed to trip. As you’d know by now, the button is only supposed to trip when the water temperature reaches a level that is unsafe for a human.

But if the reset button goes bad, it can trip even when the temperature range is safe. You’ll have to replace the button. Unfortunately, the reset button doesn’t come in the market as a single unit.

So, you’ll have to replace the entire upper thermostat to change the reset button. The good news is that it’s not expensive at all and you can easily find it in a budget of $20-$30. It’s fairly easy to replace it on your own. So, there should be no additional costs to it.

07. Weather Changes

Believe it or not – changes in weather conditions can affect the internal temperature of the water inside your water heater. The pressure in the water heater can get high due to extreme weather and make the reset button trip.

weather changes

In that case, you may get away with changing the circuit breaker to the off and on position back to back. But, more often than not, you’ll have to reset the water heater. 

There’s not much you can do to control the outside weather. But it’s a good idea to store your water in an insulated place so that the weather has a minimal effect on it.

How To Reset A Richmond Gas Water Heater

Resetting a gas water heater isn’t as easy or as obvious as resetting an electric water heater. There’s no reset button that you can just press to reset it. Most Richmond gas water heaters have a pilot light while there are some that don’t have a pilot light and only have a burner.

richmond gas water heater

You’ll have to reset the heater using the gas control thermostat. When we use the term “reset” for gas water heaters, we refer to resetting the pilot light in the heater if it went out for some reason.

There are three common positions you’ll see in the knob of the gas control thermostat. They are marked On, Pilot, and Off. To reset the heater, you need to turn it on and off.

Switch the position of the knob to Off so that the gas built up in the heater can dissipate. Keep in mind that you’ll have to press the knob down to move it if its currency is in the pilot position.

After a few minutes, turn it to the pilot position. Press the knob down and hit the piezo-electric spark generator button a few times to light the pilot. It should light up on its own.

Check through the glass door on the side to see if the pilot is lit. Hold down the knob for at least one minute and then, turn it to the “On” position. At this stage, you should hear the burner coming on. It’ll start heating the water.

If the burner doesn’t come on or it goes out immediately, you can redo the step of holding the knob for a minute. If the light doesn’t stay on even after a few tries, there is something wrong with your heater. Check out our guide on Richmond gas water heater troubleshooting to find out more about it.

How To Reset A Richmond Tankless Water Heater

There is no reset button on Richmond tankless water heaters. So, if you want to reset it, you can do it by turning it off and on. Most Richmond tankless heaters will have a power button. You can turn it off, wait for a few minutes, and turn it back on to reset your heater.

richmond tankless water heater

If you want to take additional steps, you can also unplug it from the power outlet after turning it off. If your heater is connected to a circuit breaker instead, you’ll have to turn it off and on. That’s how you can easily reset the Richmond tankless water heaters.

All of the Richmond tankless electric heaters have power buttons. So, you can switch them off for a couple of minutes and turn them back on again if you want to reset them.


Do all electric water heaters have a reset button?

Yes, all-electric water heaters are equipped with reset buttons. The other names for it are Emergency Cut-off (ECO) button or High Limit Switch (HLS). It keeps the water temperature from reaching unsafe levels.

What to do if resetting the water heater doesn’t solve the underlying issue?

Consult your owner’s manual to get a better idea of the issue. If it’s easy enough to solve on your own, give it a go. Otherwise, take the help of a qualified technician to diagnose and solve the issue.

How to know if the anode rod in your heater is going bad?

The anode rod is a self-sacrificing device that keeps your water heater’s tank from being corroded. The signs of an anode rod going bad are getting a bad sulfur-like smell and the water is also leaking.

What to do if your water heater reset button trips immediately again as soon as you reset it?

The water heater reset button tripping after resetting indicates a serious issue with it. You should call a professional as soon as you can and get your heater looked at if you’re in this situation.

How to know the age of a Richmond water heater?

The serial number of the water heater represents its date of manufacturing. The first two digits represent the month and the second two digits represent the year. Once you have this information, you can easily calculate how old your heater is.


There aren’t too many things worse than not getting hot water during the chilling cold season. When the ECO gets tripped, you’ll have to reset the heater to get hot water again.

How to reset the Richmond water heater? Hopefully, you know the answer to that question in detail by now as we’ve covered it for all types of Richmond heaters. Comment below if you have any confusion or questions about resetting Richmond water heaters.

About David

David is a man who loves doing research and finding out the best solution to any type of heating appliance issues like heaters and fireplaces. Whenever he finds the perfect solutions to any issues of heating appliances after doing in-depth research, he loves to share them with his readers. In fact, his aim is to help his readers to fix the issues with their heating appliances easily.More about us .

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