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Most homeowners in Jacksonville, IL don’t spend much time thinking about their water heater until there’s no hot water coming from the tap. A common problem with water heaters relates to the high-temperature cutoff switch. This important safety device is designed to turn off the unit if it exceeds a specific temperature, usually 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Identifying problems with this switch helps you avoid water heater damage and prevent injuries to anyone in your home who uses hot water.

Check the Breaker

When a high-temperature cutoff switch fails, your water heater won’t heat any water. Once you realize there’s no hot water, check the breaker to the water heater. If it tripped, reset it. If it trips again, the unit is drawing too much current and requires professional water heater services.

Try Resetting the Water Heater

One way to test a problem with the high-temperature cutoff switch is to reset the water heater. Water heaters have a reset button located near the power button. After resetting the water heater, watch to see if the cutoff switch responds as expected.

Verify Thermostat Settings

Some water heaters have two heating elements, and each heating element works with its own thermostat. A thermostat may get stuck in the “on” setting, causing the water to overheat. This will trip the high-temperature cutoff switch even after resetting the breaker and the switch. A professional can diagnose and repair water heater thermostat problems. The Department of Energy recommends checking the temperature rod every six months.

No Response from Water Heater

The high-temperature cutoff switch may have worn out after years of use, especially if your water heater is more than 12 years old. The bad switch causes the heater to automatically turn off at a lower than expected water temperature. Corrosion or broken wires within the switch require professional replacement.

For more tips on identifying problems with a high-temperature cutoff switch, take a look at HRI Plumbing’s professional water heater services, or contact us today.

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