Troubleshooting and Repair of an Energy Smart® Electric Water Heater


The Energy Smart® Control Board has a flashing LED light which flashes trouble codes. The Installation Instructions have a Diagnostic Code Chart and a Troubleshooting Chart you can use to identify and correct problems.

Checking for Electrical Power

If the LED light on the Control Board is not on, check to make sure the unit is getting electrical power. You can check for power with a simple "circuit tester" or volt meter.

To check for power, turn the circuit breaker marked "water heater" off (or remove fuses). Remove the cover on the Energy Smart® Control Board. Identify the power supply wires. Turn the circuit breaker back on and check for power.

If the Control Board it is not getting the power, there are probably issues with your home's electrical system (bad wiring, blown fuses or tripped circuit breaker). If power is present, use a volt meter and confirm that the voltage is correct. The rating plate on the water heater specifies the required voltage. Usually, this is 240 V. If power is not present or the voltage is wrong, a qualified electrician may be needed to fix your electrical problem. Turn the circuit breaker off, and replace the plastic cover.

If the Control Board is getting electrical power (and correct voltage) but the Diagnostic Light is not lit, the Control Board should be replaced.

Replacing the Control Board

The Control Board comes with detailed printed instructions. Before beginning, read and follow the printed instructions (which may contain updated information and model-specific instructions).

Watch the Video
"Replacing the Control Board"


IMPORTANT - Read and follow the printed Installation Instructions that came with your water heater. The printed Instructions and product labels contain model-specific information, important warnings and safety notices. If you lack the necessary skills to install, troubleshoot or repair the water heater, get help from a qualified person.


"Water Leaks"

Some Hot Water, but Not Enough (New Installation)

If a new water heater produces some hot water, but not as much as you're used to or not as much as you need, the thermostats may need adjusting. The Installation Manual has temperature adjustment instructions for your unit as well as important safety information about scalding. Water heater manufacturers recommend a temperature setting of no higher than 120ºF. Higher temperatures increase the risk of scalding injuries. Read and follow the temperature adjustment instructions and safety notices in the Installation Manual that came with your new water heater. Remember, higher temperatures (above 120ºF) can cause serious injuries.

"Water Drips"

Water Leaks

With a new water heater, most leaks are caused by leaking connections at the hot water outlet or cold water inlet. Occasionally, leaks can be found coming from a fitting (such as around the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve) or around one of the heating elements. Leaking fittings can often be tightened or repaired. It is extremely rare for a new tank to leak.

Water Drips

If drips are noticed coming from the discharge pipe of the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve, the home's water pressure may be too high or a thermal expansion tank may be needed.

Note - If large quantities of hot water are coming from the discharge pipe, turn electrical power off and consult a qualified technician. Do not cap or plug the discharge pipe.

Water Pressure

Check your home's water pressure with a gauge. The recommended water pressure is 50 to 60 PSIG. If the pressure is higher than that, install a Pressure Regulating Valve (or adjust your existing pressure regulating valve if you have one). For water pressure issues, consult your local water utility or a qualified plumber. Most plumbing codes require a Pressure Regulating Valve if the water pressure is above 80 PSIG.

Thermal Expansion Tank

When water is heated, it expands. In older homes, the expanded water pushed back into the water main. Today, most homes have backflow prevention valves which stop the water in your home from reentering the water supply. These valves can be inside water softeners, pressure regulating valves or the water meter itself. Backflow prevention valves (also known as "check valves") prevent the expanded water from reentering the water main. Since the expanded water now has nowhere to go, the water pressure in the house's pipes can increase dramatically, often to the point where the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve discharge pipe drips. A thermal expansion tank has an internal air bladder which can absorb the expanded water, protecting plumbing, appliances and the water heater. For these reasons, most homes now need a thermal expansion tank (and a properly adjusted pressure regulating valve). Not having a thermal expansion tank is the most common reason for a dripping discharge pipe.

Watch the Video
"Replacing the Thermal Expansion Tank"


WARNING! Do Not Cap or Plug the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve Discharge Pipe. Explosion Hazard.