Water Heater

Bradford White Water Heater Reset Switch: How to Troubleshoot and Fix

water heater reset

Bradford White water heaters are known for their reliability and efficiency, but like any appliance, they can encounter issues. One common problem is the need to reset the water heater. If you find that your Bradford White water heater isn’t producing hot water, it may be due to the unit’s safety feature, the high-temperature cutoff switch, being tripped. This guide will walk you through how to troubleshoot and reset your Bradford White water heater.

Understanding the Reset Switch

The reset switch, also known as the high-temperature cutoff switch or ECO (Emergency Cut Off) switch, is a safety feature that shuts off the power to the water heater if the water temperature exceeds a safe limit. This is often a response to a malfunction, such as a faulty thermostat or heating element.

Step 1: Safety First

Before attempting any troubleshooting, ensure safety first. Turn off the power to your water heater. This is typically done at the circuit breaker in your electrical panel. Make sure everyone in your home is aware that you are working on the water heater and that they should not turn the power back on during this process.

Step 2: Locate the Reset Switch

The reset switch on a Bradford White water heater is usually located behind the upper access panel on the side of the unit. You’ll need a screwdriver to remove this panel. Once the panel is off, you should see a small button (often red) on the thermostat.

Step 3: Press the Reset Button

Press the reset button firmly. If you hear a click sound, it indicates that the switch has been reset. If the button does not stay in when pressed, or if there is no click, it may be faulty and require replacement.

Step 4: Replace the Access Panel

After pressing the reset button, replace the access panel securely.

Step 5: Turn the Power Back On

Restore power to the water heater by turning on the circuit breaker. Monitor the water heater for a short time to ensure it begins to heat water.

Step 6: Test Your Hot Water

After allowing some time for the water to heat up, check a faucet for hot water. If the water heater is functioning correctly, you should have hot water. If not, further troubleshooting may be necessary.

Further Troubleshooting

  • Thermostat Issues: If the reset switch trips again, the thermostat may be faulty and not regulating the water temperature properly.
  • Heating Element Problems: A malfunctioning heating element can also cause the water to overheat.
  • Electrical Connections: Check for any loose or damaged wiring.

When to Call a Professional

  • If the reset switch won’t stay in or trips frequently.
  • If you suspect the thermostat or heating elements are faulty.
  • If you are uncomfortable performing any steps or if the issue persists after resetting.

Preventative Maintenance

Regular maintenance can prevent many common water heater issues. This includes periodically flushing the tank to remove sediment, checking the pressure relief valve, and inspecting the thermostat and heating elements.


Resetting your Bradford White water heater is typically a straightforward process. However, if the issue recurs or if you encounter any complications, it’s best to consult with a professional. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any issues will ensure the longevity and efficiency of your water heater.

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