How To Reset an RV Hot Water Heater In 5 Minutes

If you’re like most RVers, you rely on your hot water heater to take a shower, wash the dishes, and more. But what happens when your hot water heater stops working? You could find yourself without hot water for days or even weeks, depending on the type of RV you have. It’s important to know how to troubleshoot your heater and have a plan for when things go wrong.

Most RV’s have a switch to reset the water heater. Simply Locate the rest button, usually red and located near the thermostat or behind a removable metal panel. Press and hold it for a few seconds. This will reset the unit and allow you to start using hot water again.

If your RV’s hot water heater isn’t working, don’t worry – you can often fix it yourself! In this article, I will discuss how to reset a hot water heater in an RV. Follow these instructions and you should be up and running in no time!

How to Reset a Hot Water Heater in Your RV

showing how to reset hot water heater

Many people don’t realize how important their hot water heater is until they go to take a shower and there’s no hot water. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to reset your hot water heater and get things back to normal. 

The first thing you will need is the manual for your specific model of hot water heater. This will provide you with important information on how to safely reset the unit. You will also need a flashlight so that you can see what you are doing, as well as a screwdriver if your model has cover plates. With these tools, you should have your hot water heater up and running in no time.

Read the Water Heater Manual

The first thing you’ll need to do is read your water heater manual. It will give you specific instructions on how to reset your particular model of hot water heater, how to properly maintain the appliance, and troubleshoot common problems.

Yes, this step may seem obvious but many people skip this part completely! By taking the time to read the manual, homeowners can save themselves a lot of time and money in the long run.

If you don’t have the manual on hand, it’s likely that you can find it online. Simply Google your water heater model and “manual” and you should be able to find a PDF of the document.

Locate the Water Heater Reset Button

Most modern water heaters have a reset button located near the thermostat. If it’s not there, it’s most likely on the water heater’s bottom level. The precise location varies depending on the model, but it is generally on or near the control panel.

If your water heater does not have a reset button, you may need to consult the manual to find the appropriate reset procedure. In some cases, you may need to open the electrical panel and locate the water heater reset button inside.

Press and Hold the Reset Button

Once you have the reset button, press and hold it for 30 seconds. This will cause the water heater to enter reset mode and clear any errors that have been detected. You may need to repeat this process several times before the unit is successfully reset.

Once you’re done, put everything back in place. If your hot water heater still does not seem to be working properly, you may need to call a professional for assistance.

How Long Does It Take for a Water Heater to Heat up After Reset?

After you reset your water heater, it may take a while for the water to heat back up again. Depending on the type and size of your water heater, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for the water to reach its optimal temperature. If you have a tankless water heater, it may heat up more quickly since there is no water tank to heat up first.

Another factor that can affect how long it takes for your water heater to heat back up is the temperature setting. If you have the setting on high, it will take less time to heat back up than if you have it set on low. You should also make sure that there is no sediment build-up in your water heater, as this can impede the heating process. 

Faulty Thermostat: When the Reset Button Doesn’t Work

One of the most common issues with water heaters is a faulty thermostat. If the reset button doesn’t reset, it’s likely that the thermostat is the problem. Thermostats can fail for a number of reasons, but the most common one is simply wear and tear. Over time, the internal components can break down, causing the thermostat to malfunction.

If you believe that your water heater’s thermostat is faulty, there are a few things you can do. First, check the manual that came with your water heater. It should have instructions on how to adjust the thermostat. If you can’t find the manual, or if you’re still not sure how to adjust the thermostat, you can call a plumber or an electrician for help. In most cases, they will be able to adjust the thermostat for you.

Replacing a Bad Thermostat

In some cases, you might need to replace the faulty thermostat in your water heater. Replacing a water heater thermostat is a relatively simple process that most RV owners can do themselves.

  • The first step is to turn off the power to the water heater. I always like to take a picture of any RV systems I work on to ensure I replace the connectors to the right locations.
  • Next, remove the access panel to the thermostat and disconnect the required connectors and unscrew the old thermostat.
  • Then, install the new one in the same location and screw it in place.
  • Finally, turn on the power and test the new thermostat to make sure it is working properly.
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What You Need to Know About RV Water Heaters

If you’re thinking about hitting the open road in an RV, there are a few things you need to know about the water heater. For starters, RV water heaters come in two basic types: electric and propane.

Electric water heaters are powered by 120-volt AC power, while propane/gas water heaters use LP gas to generate heat. Both types of water heaters include an insulated tank that stores hot water, as well as a heating element that helps to maintain the water temperature. 

When you need warm water, the RV water heater will automatically turn on and begin heating the water. Most RV water heaters also include a thermostat that allows you to set the desired water temperature and many come equipped with a built-in shower head and valve, making it easy to take a hot shower even when you’re on the go. 

So whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country road trip, make sure you understand how your RV’s water heater works. With a little knowledge, you can make sure you always have hot water when you need it.

Common Issues With RV Water Heaters

RV water heaters are one of the most important appliances in your rig. Unfortunately, water heaters are prone to problems and breakdowns. Here are some of the most common issues that RVers face with their water heaters: 

  • RV water heaters often have a shortened lifespan due to the amount of use they get. 
  • If your water heater is not properly maintained, it can develop rust and mineral deposits, which can clog up the inner workings and cause it to fail. 
  • Another common problem is leaks. Water heaters are under a lot of pressure, and sometimes a small leak can develop into a big problem very quickly. 
  • Finally, many RVers find that their water heater simply doesn’t produce enough hot water. This is often due to a faulty thermostat or pilot light. 

RV Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Although RV water heaters are built to last, they still require some occasional maintenance to continue functioning properly, see our article all about caring for RV water heaters here. One of the most important things to do is to keep the anode rod clean and free of corrosion. The anode rod is responsible for protecting the tank from rust and corrosion, and if it becomes corroded itself, it will be much less effective. It’s important to check the anode rod regularly and replace it if necessary. 

Another important task is to flush the water tank periodically in order to remove any sediment that has accumulated. Sediment not only clogs the tank but also reduces its efficiency. 

Finally, it’s a good idea to have the tank inspected annually by a qualified technician in order to catch any potential problems before they become serious. By following these simple tips, you can keep your RV water heater in top condition for years to come.

Final Thoughts

There are few things more frustrating than taking a shower with cold water after a long day of camping. Fortunately, resetting your RV’s hot water heater is a quick and easy process that can be done in under five minutes. If you want to learn how to reset a hot water heater, locate the reset button on the outside of the unit. If you can’t find it, consult your owner’s manual.

Once you’ve found the button, press and hold it for about 30 seconds. You should hear a clicking sound as the unit resets itself. If the water doesn’t start running hot right away, give it a few minutes to warm up. And that’s it! By following these simple steps, you can enjoy hot showers all weekend long.


Beau is an electrical engineer with a knack for DIY repair and construction. When he's not tinkering with his projects he's on the road travelling and enjoying an exciting lifestyle with his young family.

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