Water Heater High Temperature Shutdown (Resolved)

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Written By John Roe Stephen

Electric water heaters overheat a warning of a problem and might lead to the equipment leaking or failing. Temperatures of water being might be excessively high because of a faulty thermostat, jammed pressure relief valve, or clogged heating components.

There is no hot water in the sink when you get out of bed in the morning. Therefore, you go to the water heater and attempt to light it up with a match. The problem is, you do not switch on the heating or keep it on.

When you turn the knobs to pilot mode, the status light flashes four times. In addition, this means that the water heater is overheating and shutting down.

This lockdown state may occur for a variety of reasons. It might be a bad gas valve, a poor thermocouple, or a malfunctioning thermostat. We have put up this troubleshooting guide to help you solve excessive temperature shutdown. So, stay with us until the finish of this article.

Clogs In The Pressure Relief Valve Might Occur

Your heater may overheat due to the build-up of steam inside of it. The heater has a pressure release valve that allows the steam to escape.

Dirt might plug the valve, preventing it from working correctly. Your water heater may overheat, causing it to shut off at a high temperature.


If the water heater’s pressure release valve becomes obstructed, we advise turning it off immediately. Afterwards, contact a plumber to handle the problem for you.

Thermocouple Is Defective

A malfunctioning thermocouple might cause the water heater to go into “high-temperature shut down” mode, resulting in a loss of hot water supply. If dirt accumulates on or around the thermocouple, it might malfunction.


The thermocouple should be cleaned first. There are times when all you need to do is get some hard work and get the job done. It’s preferable to get a new thermocouple if the old one still doesn’t work after cleaning.

Ensure the thermometer you buy is compatible with the one you already have installed. A new thermocouple will set you back only $10. Maintain a clean, even flame that strikes each rod in the middle.

Faulty Gas Valve

A malfunctioning gas valve might also cause this water heater problem. The water heater may also fail if the gas valve solenoid is faulty. No matter what went wrong with your gas valve, the most important thing is that you get a new one.


To fix the problem, replace the defective fuel line with a new one. Watch this video to learn how to replace the gas solenoid valve if you have never done it before.

What Causes Water Heater High-Temperature Shutdown

A broken thermostat, excessive mineral content, or a clogged pressure relief valve is all possibilities if your water heater suddenly produces hot water that’s too hot. Several things might cause the water to scorch out of the faucet.

Setting The Temperature Too High

To regulate the hot water temperature, water heaters incorporate dial indications. Average temperatures range from 90 to 120 degrees F, although this may be too hot for specific residences.


Adjust the thermostat if required to a lower setting. As a first step in diagnosing an overheated water heater, you may use this troubleshooting approach to repair your water heater.

Blocked Pressure Relief Valve

The water heater’s pressure relief valve permits the accumulated steam to be expelled. If this valve is obstructed, your hot water and water heater may be overheating. An overflowing tank may cause significant harm to you and your loved ones.


Your water heater should be turned off immediately if the water in its tank is boiling. The water heater might explode if the pressure release valve is obstructed. When you turn off your water heater, you should call a skilled plumber right away.

Whirlpool Water Heater High-Temperature Shutdown

Thermostat Not Working

To regulate the temperature of the water, a modern Whirlpool water heater employs a thermostat to regulate the flow of energy. The heating components are typically cut off through a safety shut-off if the thermostat sensor malfunctions.


In the event of a problem, most electric furnaces contain a reset button that will switch off the thermostat. However, this safety measure may fail, resulting in water temperatures that are too high. Your Whirlpool water heater must be replaced if it breaks down.

Accumulation of Sediment

Minerals including calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and a host of others dissolve in water. The heating element may be clogged if water-sediment builds up in the tank. Some sediment is normal, but too much might cause the heating element to become clogged.


A clogged heating element will be unable to detect the correct temperature. Because the element does not know when to switch off, this might result in overheating. A buildup of sediment may also lead to leaks.

Ao Smith Water Heater High-Temperature Shutdown

Sources of Heat

Minerals that are dissolved in water are typically not removed during filtration. It’s possible that when water is heated, these minerals may clump together and sink to the bottom and around the heating element.

A buildup of silt on heating components may lead to overheating, a severe problem.


After it has overheated, the component usually fails and burns off. You may swap out components and even remove silt from the system to fix this issue.

Relieving Valve For High Pressure

It is even more dangerous if the pressure valve fails or becomes stuck. This valve lets steam escape from a water heater that has become too hot to handle. The tank may be damaged, and you and your family might be seriously injured if the steam cannot escape via the valve.


Immediately turn off the water heater’s electricity and call a plumber to inspect the valve and replace it if the water is boiling.

Rheem Water Heater High Temperature Shutdown

Faulty Heating Element

Faulty heater elements are unique to electric water heaters. One or two heating components are often seen in electric water heaters. An overheated heating element is a sure sign of a ground out heating element.

As expected, the end outcome will be excruciatingly hot water, and that is only the beginning. The heater’s heating element will eventually go out. There will be no hot water until you replace the element.


Repeatedly, it is best to have a professional do this task. An experienced professional plumber is the only one who should manage water and a damaged electrical component.

Electric Water Heater High Temperature Shutdown

Mineral Build-Up

There is a high probability of having hard water if you reside in a city like Brampton, Mississauga, or Georgetown. Dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, make up the bulk of hard water’s composition. 

If left untreated, hard water’s high mineral content will build up in your water heater, causing scale build-up. When minerals build upon a water heater’s heating element, it may cause it to overheat. Overheating the element in your water heater will result in boiling water coming out of the faucet.


What is the Solution? Proper care of the water heater. Do this once or twice a year to keep your hot water tank top shape. In addition, tank less water heaters must be flushed! 

You may need to have the tank emptied and cleaned if there are many mineral build-ups. If your water heater is nearing the 15-year mark, it may be time to get a new one. Installing a water softener may help avoid difficulties caused by hard water.

How Do You Reset The Thermostat On A Hot Water Heater?

To Begin, Verify Your Power Supply

Locate the “water heater” circuit on your electrical panel (typically in the garage, cellar, or storage closet). If the circuit breaker is currently in the OFF position, turn the switch to the ON position. 

If it remains there, you may probably believe that everything that happened was an accident and get on with your life as usual. Call an electrician if the power goes back to OFF instantly or within a few minutes after turning it back on. If the circuit breaker is on, turn it off.

Push The Water Heater’s Reset Button Once You’ve Done This

Resetting your electric heater is as simple as finding a reset button anywhere on the unit itself. In most cases, it is a bright red colour, and it’s generally positioned near the thermostat.

Insulation may also cover a metal plate on the device that may be removed. Push the button and then release it when you discover it. 

Check for a second thermostat and a second reset button, and you have the access panel removed. A professional should be called in if the button trips shortly after you press it. If necessary, replace your access panel and turn the corresponding circuit breaker back on after that.

You are good to go if your heater now has electricity. Reheating the water in the tank will take some time, so plan accordingly. You may phone us if your heater still does not work, so we can figure out what is going on and get you hot water again.


If your water heater’s gas valve is faulty, it will shut off. If the thermocouple and thermostat fail, the water heater will shut down because it is overheating.

The measures we outlined for you to resolve this problem are simple.  Resetting the high-temperature shutdown on the water heater might also solve the issue.

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