Reliance Water Heater Troubleshooting – Common Problems and Solutions

All water heaters are bound to face problems from time to time, and the same goes for Reliance water heaters too! However, all the problems you are bound to face are similar throughout all the models, and for that; Reliance’s troubleshooting feature will have you fixing it up in no time! So, what are these problems, and how do we fix them?

Before we move into the nitty gritty of what issues you can face, let us give you a quick rundown on what the LED on your water heater indicates with its flashes. It will also help you understand the future instructions better.

Reliance Water Heater Troubleshooting : Status Light Code Troubleshooting Chart

LED FlashIssueCorrection Method
0 Flashes or Not litThe pilot light is not lit due to an insufficient amount of power running through the machine.Record any diagnostic notes by following the lighting instructions on the front of the water heater.
1 Flash every 3 secondsWorking fine without issues.No correction required.
2 FlashesThermostat or Gas control valve has insufficient power running through it.For this issue, check all the wiring connections in the device. 
If there is no issue with the wiring, replace the Thermopile.
4 FlashesThe over heat sensor was activated through high water temperaturesReplace the Gas control valve or Thermostat.
5 FlashesSensor failureReplace the Gas control valve or Thermostat.
7 FlashesThermostat failure or Gas control valve failureReplace the Gas control valve or Thermostat.
8 FlashesThere are two reasons for this to occur:
The pilot valve may become stuck in the open position even though the gas control valve or temperature valve was turned off, leaving the pilot running.

The other reason can be if the Thermopile continued to run despite the Gas control valve or Temperature valve being turned off. This can be a result of the Thermopile not having cooled down enough even after the device was shut off.
Both of these can be solved with ease:
Operate the device normally and then shut it off, ang give it a minute. After that, take apart the outer door and look through the sight glass and check if the pilot flame is still burning. If the pilot flame is still burning, then you will need to replace the Gas control valve or Thermostat.
To check for the Thermopile issue, do the same again, and turn off the Gas control valve or Thermostat. This time, wait 10 minutes. After that, follow the lighting instructions on the water heater’s label to try and relight the pilot flame. If the problem still persists, you will need to call in a professional.

No Hot Water

It is a big bother when the primary function of your water heater stops working, and you end up with cold water showers among other things. However, there are three easy steps to figuring out what the issue is!

Check the Status Light

If there are no problems with your water heater, specifically your pilot, then the Status light on your gas control valve will keep flashing every three seconds. If this is the case, then the mechanism has not detected any issue.

However, even in this case if you still receive no hot water, then be sure to check that the knob is turned towards “hot” on your water heater. 

If the Status light flashes more than once every three seconds, then you should refer back to the table, and follow accordingly.

Status Light Not Flashing

If the Status light is not flashing at all, use the ‘lighting instructions’ from your manual, to light the pilot. If this does not work, then follow the next step. If it does work, then follow the previous step.

Pilot Light Check

For this, you will need to check the spark igniter. Make sure to dim the lights of your room, and look through the sight glass when clicking the ignition button.

If you can not see the flame spark up, first make sure that the wiring is correctly and properly inserted. If you do see a spark, turn on the gas supply valve and follow the “lighting instructions” on your manual.

If the pilot light does not turn on after these measures, then call a professional.

Lack of Hot Water / Slow Hot Water Recovery

A lack of hot water running out of your water heater can be caused by several reasons.

  1. The capacity of the water heater is too small, or the water consumption is happening at too fast a rate.
  2. Plumbing connections may be reversed or the dip tube has melted, usually happening right after installation.
  3. Sedimentation in the tank, causing a lack of space for hot water.
  4. Leak in the plumbing.
  5. The thermostatic mixing valve may be faulty in the shower or a faucet, so be sure to check all connected faucets and showers.

Undersized Water Heater

It can sometimes be the case that your water heater just is not big enough to supply the needs in your house. In this case, if your water heater is old, consider getting a new one. However, if it is quite new and in good condition, consider getting thermostatic mixing valves on the connecting faucets and showers, and just crank up the gas control knob a little higher.

Reversed Connections or Melted Dip Tube

This can be just a silly error that can happen during the installation process. It is also quite easy to fix up. Just double-check all the wiring going in and out of the heater, all the way around, and you’ll find the problem with ease.

However, if this is the case, you may face a bit of an annoyance. The dip tube is a long plastic tube inside the tank. Sometimes, copper may be soldered on during the connections, melting this tube, and thus, you will need to get a new one. Remove the cold water inlet connection, and replace the melted dip tube with a new one.

Sedimentation or Lime build up in The Tank

If over time you can feel there is a decreasing amount of hot water, there is a good reason for that. Since water remains quite still in your water heater tank, it can cause a buildup of sediment or lime. This can not only reduce the amount of water you get, but it can also harm the tank.

Leak in the Plumbing

No matter how small or big a leak, the effect will always be significant when it comes to your plumbing system. No matter how long you have the burner running, you will always find a minimal amount of hot water reaching you. Plumbing leaks need to be fixed ASAP.

Thermostatic Mixing Valve

If you’re not suffering due to a lack of hot water, but because the water just does not get hot enough; it is probably due to a/multiple faulty thermostatic mixing valves. These can come built into the faucets or showers of your homes, but they can definitely malfunction. In these cases, you will not get all the hot water you want, even though there is plenty left in the tank. Thus, if you face this problem, make sure to get it fixed fast, and check all the connected faucets and showers too!

Temperature Too High Or Too Low

In the case of the water temperature becoming too high or too low, make sure to adjust your thermostat to the correct temperature. If this still does not feel comfortable, make sure to add thermostatic mixing valves to the connected faucets or showers.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be caused for both the hot and cold water, so make sure to first check the hot and cold water for the concerned faucets and showers. If it is on both cold and hot water, then the problem is not with the water heater, and you should call the local water utility.

If the problem persists only with the hot water side, then it could be due to a few reasons.

  • Supply Valve Not Fully Open

    Sometimes the supply valve may be left partially closed, which can affect the pressure of the hot water you receive. Just open the valve, and it should be fine.
  • Melted Dip Tube or Heat Traps

    While setting up the water heater, the soldering of the copper may melt the heat traps or dip tube. If so, you need to remove and replace them ASAP, as they can restrict water flow.

T&P Discharge Pipe Leaking

If your T&P discharge pipe is leaking, it can be for a few reasons:

  1. High water pressure:

    The water pressure may be too high, and you need to install a pressure reducing valve (PRV) on the main cold water supply line. The PRV needs to be adjusted between 50 to 60 PSI.
  2. Debris:

    In very rare instances, debris may build up and cause the T&P valve to not close properly. In this case, manually drive small loads of water through the concerned area in order to slowly get the debris to come out. Make sure to read the label on the T&P valve to properly understand how it functions.
  3. Thermal Expansion Pack:

    Installing a thermal expansion pack can help with the T&P pipe dripping. However, if you already have one installed, check it again as it may be faulty.

If the pipe still drips despite having taken the necessary precautionary methods, then call a professional to take a look at the T&P pipe itself.

Water Odor

There is always bacteria present in your tap water, and in some cases they may multiply while inside a hot water container, i.e. your tank. This buildup can cause the water to become odorous. One way to stop this is by taking out the anode rod in your water heater tank, and replacing it with a zinc anode rod. However, this can be quite dangerous, so it is best to get a professional to do this.

The Takeaway

There can always be problems with technology, but we have covered all the problems that can take place with Reliance water heaters, and hopefully you will be able to deal with them with ease. Make sure to always take necessary precautions and also consult your manual guide whenever you have any problems. If you can not fix or understand something, call the Reliance helpline, or contact a professional.