Why Rheem Water Heater Red Light Flashing 7 Times [Reasons + Solutions] 

Your Rheem water heater red light flashing 7 times due to a defective gas control valve, venting obstructions, thermocouple malfunction, etc. Some more reasons are:

  • Broken glass vial of TRD
  • Blocked burner orifice 
  • Air intake blockage 

Also, insufficient gas flow and flammable vapor leaks are the other culprits to be blamed.

rheem water heater

Quick Solutions:

First, reset your Rheem water heater and gas valve to fix its 7 times red light blinking problem. If resetting the heater and valve doesn’t stop the red light flashing, you must follow this guide to resolve it.

However, throughout this troubleshooting guide, we will take you through the easy ways to settle the above hitches. So, keep reading till the end! 

Table of Contents

Rheem Water Heater Red Light Flashing 7 Times [8 Easy Fixes]

The main factors for which your water heater blinks light codes 7 times and their quick solutions are: 

Note: You can also read how to fix the Rheem water heater failed ignition lockout.

1. Failed Gas Control Valve

Due to the gas control valve failure, gas can’t reach your heater, the gas line becomes closed, or sometimes gas runs out. Ultimately any issue with the gas supply cause the 7 times red light to blink on your heater. 

Rheem water heater gas control valve

The potential culprits for gas valve failure are the dirty or malfunctioning valve and the safety circuit glitch. Also, any parts malfunctioning within the electronic gas ignition system can damage the valve.  

How To Fix:

First, visually check the gas valve for dirt or damage in it. If you find its dirty, then clean it. During cleaning, in case you see any damage signs, you must replace the valve. 

Secondly, verify and remove the safety circuit glitch. Finally, inspect the components within the electronic gas ignition system and replace the bad ones. 

How To Reset The Gas Valve

We recommend you reset the gas valve first following the steps below to fix its hitch. 

  • Go near your Rheem water heater gas valve 
  • Set the pilot knob of your water heater to the Off position
  • For 5 minutes, keep the gas control valve off 
  • Now, after 5 minutes, turn back the control knob to the On position. And the gas valve reset is done. 

When your Rheem heater flashes again after resetting the gas valve, you must replace the valve.  

How To Replace Your Rheem Water Heater Gas Control Valve

To replace the defective gas valve in your water heater, follow the step-by-step instructions below: 

Step 1: Disconnect your water heater from the outlet. And turn off the gas shut-off valve. Also, shut off the water supply of your heater. Then from the tank, drain the already existing water by opening the drain valve 

Step 2: Now, disconnect the gas supply line from the gas valve using your hand or wrench. Also, disconnect the burner assembly and valve adapter. Unplug all connections of the gas valve. Then use your hand or wrench to remove the lousy gas valve of your water heater. 

Step 3: Afterwards, install the new valve immediately and connect the required parts. Connect the control valve and gas line of your heater. 

Finally, start your water heater, turn on the gas supply, and light the pilot light. After installing a new gas valve, your heater will stop flashing red light 7 times. 

2. Venting Obstructions

The exhaust vents of your Rheem water heater remove the combustion byproducts of the unit. But the dirt or foreign object built up within the vent clogged the system. And thus, your heater faces venting obstructions. 

rheem water heater's exhaust vents

Lack of proper maintenance or cleaning is also responsible for the clog in the vent. Anyway, blocked vents create a malfunction in the thermocouple of your water heater. And it leads to pilot light issues.

The thermocouple prevents the functioning of the gas valve when it receives the incorrect signal from the pilot light. As a result, your heater blinks red light 7 times. 

How To Fix:

Start by inspecting the exhaust vent of your heater. Remove the dirt or dust in it and clean its clog. Now we will guide you through the details of how you can clean the vent. So go through the points below: 

  • First, shut off the gas supply of your Rheem water heater. Go near the gas control valve of your heater and set it to the Off position. And the pilot light will turn off. 
  • Now from above your heater, locate the exhaust vent. Then, reach out to the clog by disassembling the venting pipes. Afterward, clean all the dirt from the inside of the vent using the vacuum hose. 
  • Also, you can use the plumber snake. Insert the plumber snake into the vent pipe blockage and pull it out by hooking up the clog. 
  • Using a duct cleaner, clean the vent around. The cleaner will pick up all the pollen particles and dust. 

3. Defective Thermocouple

The thermocouple of your Rheem water heater gets heated by the pilot flame. Then this device generates and sends the small electrical voltage to the gas valve. And thus, continuously, the gas valve supplies gas by remaining open. 

rheem water heater defective thermocouple 

But the gas valve fails to remain open due to the faulty thermocouple. Ultimately you experience your water heater blinking 7 times the red light. The thermocouple malfunctions when it becomes dirty or kinked. 

How To Fix:

First off, visually check the thermocouple. Then to fix the above troubles, start by cleaning its dirt. During cleaning, verify if there is any sign of damage in it or not. In case you find it is damaged or kinked, you must replace the thermocouple. 

Now we will take you through the instructions for cleaning and replacing the thermocouple. So, follow the steps below: 

Step 1: First, find the thermocouple. It is placed right in front of the pilot light. And it is positioned near the burner assembly on your water heater. Disconnect it’s all connections once you find the thermocouple. And then take it out of your water heater. 

Step 2: Now look for the dirt or dust build-up within the thermocouple. We recommend you clean its carbon build-up using the emery cloth.

Step 3: Afterward, electrically check the thermocouple to determine whether it is functioning correctly or not. Using the multimeter, you can measure the voltage reading of the device. 

When your thermocouple shows a reading below 20 millivolts, that means the unit is defective. And you must replace it immediately. 

4. Broken Glass Vial of TRD

The Thermal Release Device (TRD) is a safety device in the combustion chamber. And TRD has a gas vial full of liquid. This TRD device starts tripping when the temperature in your Rheem water heater crosses the safety limit. 

The tripping TRD saves your heater from unwanted damage and overheating by turning off its main burner. But when the glass vial of TRD gets broken, your heater blinks red light 7 times. 

How To Fix:

The easy solution is to find out the TRD first. And then verify whether it has become malfunctioning or not. In case its glass is broken, you must remove the TRD with the broken glass vial from the housing. 

Now remove the housing by rotating it at a 90-degree angle. Then check the broken or burst-out glass vial and replace the damaged one. Afterward, take a new glass vial. And then place it properly in place of the broken vial. 

Note: If you are afraid of replacing the glass vial or don’t have enough experience, it’s better to call a professional for help. 

5. Clogged Burner Orifice

The burner orifice is attached to the main orifice, thermocouple, pilot burner, main gas supply tube, and pilot orifice. Thus the entire heating element of your water heater becomes damaged due to the clogged burner orifice. 

Rheem water heater burner orifice 

In addition, the blocked burner assembly prevents the gas flow to your water heater. As a result, the burner fails to fire up. And thus your heater blinks red light 7 times. 

Orifices get clogged up with dirt or worn out over time. Also, improper cleaning and maintenance are equally responsible for creating a clog in the orifice. 

How To Fix:

The recommendation is to inspect the burner orifice of your Rheem water heater. Also, verify the flame color because a clogged burner orifice creates a small red/yellow flame. Then properly clean the dirt or debris build-up from the burner. 

How To Clean Your Rheem Water Heater Burner Orifice

To clean the burner orifice, we suggest you follow the instructions below: 

Step 1: First, shut off your water heater. Then turn off the gas control valve. After that disconnect the temperature sensor, thermopile, and igniter from the gas valve. Then, get the burner assembly access by removing the inner door. 

Step 2: From the combustion chamber, gently slide out the burner assembly and tube and take it out. After that, properly clean the burner assembly and all its components. Then, using the soft cloth, bristle brush and wire brush, remove the orifice clog.  

Step 3: Unclog the flame arrestor plate and combustion chamber using the vacuum cleaner or compressed air. After completing the cleaning, wait to dry out all the parts in an assembly.

Finally, now slide back the burner assembly to the combustion chamber and reassemble all parts of your heater. 

6. Air Intake Blockage

Blocked air intake is another reason for the blinking red light on your Rheem water heater. The air intake screen ensures proper air circulation in your heater. 

Rheem water heater air intake screen

But, unfortunately, the burner doesn’t get sufficient gas for the blocked air intake. Ultimately the burner fails to light for a long time. Thus the gas valve on your heater stops functioning. In addition, lint, dirt, or debris creates blockage on the air intake screen.

How To Fix:

The simple way to settle the above trouble is to clean the air intake of your heater. Also, ensure sufficient air circulation in the unit. 

How To Clean Your Rheem Water Heater Air Intake

To remove the air intake blockage on your heater, follow the steps-by-steps instructions below: 

  • First, turn off your water heater, including its gas supply. And start cleaning. 
  • Then, find the air intake screen of your heater. You will get it at the base of the water tank in front of your heater. After that, get access to the air intake screen by sliding out the burner assembly.
  • Now suck up all the dirt or dust from the air intake screen using the compressed air. Both at the back and forth of the screen run the compressed air. Dampen a paper towel with water. And then remove the remaining dirt or dust. 

After cleaning the air intake screen, reassemble your water heater unit and start the gas supply. 

7. Inadequate Gas Flow

Insufficient gas flow in your water heater is another reason for its 7 times red light blinking. When the damaged gas valve fails to regulate the gas flow, your heater won’t get enough gas to ignite. Ultimately, it interrupts the complete ignition system.

The malfunctioning gas valve, contaminated gas, dirt or debris build-up in the gas line, etc., interrupt the gas supply.

How To Fix:

Firstly inspect the gas valve and gas line of your Rheem water heater. Then clean the dirt from the gas line and replace the faulty valve. And ensure your heater is getting adequate gas flow. 

8. Flammable Vapor Leak

Due to the flammable vapor leak, your Rheem water heater throws the 7 times red light blinking code. And then your heater shuts down. 

Rheem water heater flammable vapor

How To Fix:

Check the flammable vapor leak in your heater. If it is the culprit, you must fix it. But before settling the leak, we suggest you turn off the gas control valve. After fixing the gas vapor leak, you can turn back your gas valve on. 

How To Reset Rheem Water Heater

Whenever your water heater starts blinking red light 7 times, you must first reset it by following the steps below:

  • Take out the insulation and panel of your Rheem water heater. And then locate the red reset button 
  • After finding it, press the red button and hold it until your water heater produce the clicking sound 
  • Leave the reset button once you hear the clicking sound and the reset is complete 


Why does my Rheem water heater keep going out?

Your Rheem water heater keeps going out due to the broken or dirty thermocouple and improper gas flow. Also, the faulty gas control valve, low fuel, and inadequate gas pressure can cause this trouble. 

Does a Rheem water heater have two thermostats?

Two thermostats are available in the dual-element heater. Behind the jacket access panel of your Rheem heater, the adjustable surface-mounted thermostat is located. Regulate the thermostat to adjust the temperature. 

Why is my gas Rheem water heater not heating?

Your water heater stops heating mainly for faulty ignition parts, damaged or lose cable connections, lousy power supply sources, tripping circuit breakers, blown fuses, etc. 

Why does my pilot light keep going out after replacing the thermocouple?

Even after replacing the thermocouple, the pilot light keeps turning off because the gas control valve is bad. The lousy gas valve fails to release gas as it can’t open up and hinders the gas flow. 

Final Words

So, after going through the above ultimate guide, now you know why your Rheem water heater’s red lights flash 7 times. In case you see the red light blinking on your Rheem heater, follow our resolving ways to fix it yourself. 

Comment in the comment box if you have more queries on your Rheem water heater. We will reply to you soon. 

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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