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Troubleshooting Rheem Hot Water Systems

Updated: Mar 22



Have you noticed your Rheem hot water system acting up recently? Maybe the water isn't heating up as quickly as it used to or your hot water is inconsistent or simply not working at all.

Don't panic - many common issues with Rheem systems can be easily fixed yourself in a matter of minutes. Still, it’s important to note that if you ever feel unsafe or in over your head then it’s best to call a professional. We've put together this handy troubleshooting guide to walk you through some of the most frequent problems and how to get your hot water system back to working order. By the time you've worked through our suggested checks and solutions, you should be enjoying a nice hot shower again in no time.


Common Rheem Hot Water System Problems

If your Rheem hot water system is on the fritz, don't panic. Many common problems are easy to diagnose and repair yourself.


No Hot Water

The most obvious issue is no hot water. First, if you have a gas system, check that the pilot light is on. If not, relight it following the instructions in your owner's manual.

If you have an electrical system, ensure the Rheem system is properly connected to your home's power supply and that no breakers or fuses have been tripped. If there's no power to the unit, it won't be able to heat the water. Reset any tripped breakers or replace blown fuses to restore power.

Next, ensure the thermostat isn't set too low. Bump it up to a higher temperature and wait 30 minutes. If that doesn't work, the thermostat may need replacement.


Strange Noises

If you hear odd knocking, rumbling or squealing sounds coming from the tank or pipes, sediment buildup, or loose pipes are the likely culprit. Draining and flushing the tank should solve the problem. However, strange noises can also indicate failing parts, so call North Lakes Plumbing and Gas if the sounds continue after flushing or if you can visibly see or hear rattling pipes coming off the main water heating system.


Leaking Water

A small puddle of water under the tank usually means it's time for a new one. But first, double-check that all fittings and connections are tight and the drain valve is fully closed. If leaks persist, it's best to replace the tank to avoid water damage.

Rheem systems are built to last, but even the best need occasional troubleshooting. With regular maintenance and prompt repair of any issues, your hot water system can provide many years of reliable service. Call the pros at North Lakes Plumbing and Gas for fast, affordable service and peace of mind.



Why Your Rheem Hot Water System Stopped Working

If your Rheem hot water system stopped working, don't panic. As one of the leading Rheem dealers, we've seen it all and can get your hot water up and running again in no time.

No Hot Water

The most common issue is no hot water. First, check if the pilot light has gone out. Locate your water heater and follow the user manual instructions to relight it. If that doesn't work, it could be a thermostat problem. Call us and we'll test and likely replace your thermostat so you'll be enjoying hot showers again soon.

Slow Hot Water Recovery

If your hot water is taking forever to heat up after use, it usually means your heating elements or thermostats need replacement. As parts age, they become less efficient, slowing down water heating. We stock genuine Rheem elements and thermostats and can have your system firing on all cylinders promptly.

Noisy or Leaking

Loud, strange noises coming from your water heater? Water pooling around the base? Neither of these are good signs and require professional assessment. We'll inspect your system, determine if repairs or replacements are needed and provide options to suit your needs and budget.

Rheem water heaters are built to last but do require maintenance. If your system is more than 8-10 years old, it may be time for replacement. We offer prompt installation of the latest Rheem models including continuous-flow gas water heaters for an endless supply of hot water.

Don't struggle without hot water for long. Call the experts at North Lakes Plumbing and Gas today and we'll get your Rheem hot water system sorted and provide any necessary repairs, maintenance or installation. Your satisfaction and an endless supply of hot water are our top priorities.




Avoid Troubleshooting with Regular Maintenance

To avoid costly repairs and keep your Rheem hot water system running efficiently for years to come, perform regular maintenance. Preventative upkeep is key. Please note for insurance and safety purposes, it’s reccomended that your only conduct the basic maintenance specified for owners in your Owner’s Guide. All other maintenance must be made by an approved plumber.


Flush the water heater

Minerals like calcium and magnesium can build up in the tank over time. Once a year, attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and flush out any sediment. Let the water run until it's clear. This helps prevent overheating and corrosion.

Inspect the anode rod

The anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod inside the tank that attracts corrosion. Have a plumber remove and inspect the anode rod once every 3-5 years. If it's worn down by more than 50%, replace it. The anode rod is your water heater's first line of defence, so don't skip this important step.


Check pressure relief valve

The pressure relief valve is a safety mechanism that opens if too much pressure builds up. Locate the valve—it's typically on the side of the tank—and check that the lever or handle moves freely. If it's stuck or damaged, replace it immediately. Failure to replace a faulty pressure relief valve could lead to an explosion.


Combat hard water

If you have hard water, consider installing a water softener to prevent limescale buildup. Limescale reduces efficiency and shortens the lifespan of water heaters and plumbing fixtures. A water softener is an investment that will benefit your entire plumbing system.


Inspect condition

Lastly, inspect the overall condition of your water heater. Check for any visible rust, dents or leaks around the tank, valves or pipes. Look for signs the insulation inside the tank has broken down. If your water heater is more than 8-12 years old, it may be nearing the end of its lifespan and replacement should be considered to avoid potential issues. Regular maintenance and inspections help identify problems early before they become big, expensive issues. Keep your Rheem system running strong with a little preventative care.





Troubleshooting a Rheem That Won't Heat Water

If your Rheem hot water system isn't heating water, don't panic. There are a few common issues you can check before calling a plumber. As one of the leading Rheem suppliers, North Lakes Plumbing and Gas can guide you through some initial troubleshooting steps to get your hot water back on track.


Inspect the pilot light

If your Rheem has a pilot light, check that it's lit. The pilot light ignites the burner, which then heats the water. Carefully follow the lighting instructions in your owner's manual to relight the pilot. Be very cautious when lighting the pilot, as escaping gas can ignite.


Check the power supply

Confirm the correct connection of the Rheem system to your home's power supply and check for any tripped breakers or blown fuses. Without power, the unit won't be able to heat the water. To restore power, reset any tripped breakers or replace blown fuses.

Check the thermostat

Ensure the thermostat on your Rheem is set to the proper temperature. If the thermostat isn't calling for heat, the unit won't activate the heating elements or burner. Adjust the thermostat setting upward to the appropriate level.


Test heating elements

Electric Rheem systems have heating elements that heat the water. One or more failed elements could prevent the unit from heating properly. Use a multimeter to test the continuity of each element. Replace any elements that don't show continuity.


Inspect burners

If you have a gas Rheem, the burners could be malfunctioning or blocked, preventing them from igniting and heating the water. Have a licenced gas fitter inspect, test and clear or replace the burners as needed.

If after checking these common issues your Rheem hot water system still isn't heating water, it's best to contact North Lakes Plumbing and Gas to arrange servicing by a licenced plumber. They can fully inspect your specific Rheem model, accurately diagnose any problems and make necessary repairs or replacements to get your hot water flowing again.


Error Codes on Your Rheem System

If your Rheem hot water system is displaying an error code, don’t panic. Many common error codes can be easily fixed yourself without needing to call for professional help. Here are some of the common error codes you may encounter and how to resolve them. Note, different Rheem models may have different error codes. It’s best to consult your user manual first.


Rheem Continuous Flow Errors

Error Code 

Fault Condition

Suggested Action 

05

Imperfect Combustion Alarm

Book a service.

10

Low Combustion 

Book a service.

11

Ignition Failure 

LPG users check Propane bottle level. Close hot tap, cycle power on and off at GPO and open hot tap again. If fault re-occurs book service call.

12

Flame Failure 

LPG users check Propane bottle level. Close hot tap, cycle power on and off at GPO and open hot tap again. If fault re-occurs book service call.

14

Overheating

Book a service.

15

Very High Temp 

Book a service.

16

Outlet temp too high 

Book a service.

61

Abnormal Fan Speed 

Book a service.

80

Gas Cut Off Defective 

Book a service.

Not seeing your error code here? For more comprehensive troubleshooting table click here.


Rheem Gas Hot Water Error Codes


Error Code 

Fault Condition

Suggested Action 

03

Filter Damage

Contact plumber for repair and servicing. Ensure they are Gas Certified. 

05

Filter Not Cleared 

Contact plumber for repair and servicing. Ensure they are Gas Certified. 


11

Ignition Failure

Check Propane bottle level. Close hot tap, cycle power on and off at GPO and open hot tap again. If fault re-occurs book service call.


12

Flame Failure 

Check Propane bottle level. Close hot tap, cycle power on and off at GPO and open hot tap again. If fault re-occurs book service call.



14

Thermo Switch off (150⁰C)

Overheart Thermistor temp. Too high. 

Book Service 

16

Room temp. too high

(40⁰C 10 min)


Book Service 

31

Room temp. thermistor abnormal

Book Service 

33

Overheat thermistor abnormal

Book Service 

62

Abnormal fan speed

Book Service 

When to Call a Professional for Rheem Hot Water Repairs

When issues arise with your Rheem hot water system that you can't diagnose or fix yourself, it's time to call in a professional. As a general rule of thumb, if the problem involves the heating elements, thermostats or control boards, it's best left to an expert.

  • If your water isn't heating at all, it could indicate a problem with the heating elements, thermostats or timers. These components control the actual heating of the water and require electrical work to replace or repair.

  • Strange noises like popping, sizzling or rattling sounds coming from the water heater often mean there's an issue with the heating elements or components inside the tank. It's not worth the risk of trying to fix it yourself.

  • Leaks or drips, especially around the base of the unit or connections, need to be addressed quickly to avoid water damage. A professional can properly diagnose the source and make necessary repairs or replacements.

  • If your energy bills suddenly spike, it could indicate a problem with the thermostats, heating elements or insulation in the tank. It's best to get an expert opinion on what needs to be done to restore energy efficiency.

When in doubt or if the issue seems complex, always err on the side of caution and call a licenced professional to service your Rheem hot water system. They have the proper training, experience and tools to quickly diagnose problems, perform repairs and get your hot water up and running again safely. Do-it-yourself fixes may end up costing you more in the long run and could even void your warranty. Why risk it when you have an expert just a phone call away?

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