5 Reasons Why Your Water Heater Light Might Blink

Homeowner Examining Tankless Water Heater in need of Water Heater Repair in Anaheim, CA

These days, water heaters are standard equipment in every modern home. However, they’re not the kind of appliances that demand constant attention from homeowners. As a result, many homeowners assume the worst when they lose hot water and find a light blinking on their water heater. In reality, though, a blinking water heater status light can indicate a plethora of conditions. The good news is that water heaters typically feature a label near their status light to help you interpret the condition codes. Here are five of the most common reasons that your water heater light might begin blinking.

1. Your Water Heater Is Refilling

Depending on the model water heater you own, it may be perfectly normal for its status light to blink from time to time. On some models, this is an indication that your water heater is refilling with water. This might happen after someone in your home takes a shower or you do a load of laundry. If you notice your water heater light blinking but you still have plentiful hot water throughout your home, this is likely the cause.

2. A Temperature Sensor Issue

Another common reason that a water heater’s light might blink is if the unit senses a temperature sensor malfunction. When this happens, it could cause your water heater to stop producing hot water. Therefore, you’ll need a professional to diagnose and solve. When you call in a professional, they’ll test the output voltage coming from your water heater’s temperature sensor—called a thermopile—to see if it’s working correctly. If not, they’ll replace it. If it is, they’ll investigate further to see if a heating element is responsible for the fault.

3. An Internal Component Has Failed

Your water heater’s status light is also there to tell you if any of the system’s internal components have failed. For example, the water heater’s status light might blink to let you know that there’s a clog in the unit’s condensate drainage system. Alternatively, it could be letting you know that the unit’s exhaust piping is somehow blocked or restricted. The good news is that modern water heaters will turn off for your safety before any of the indicated problems pose a danger to you or anyone in your household. However, you should have your water heater inspected as soon as you can, anyway.

4. Your Water Heater Is in High-Temperature Shutdown Mode

In most situations, a residential water heater produces hot water at a constant temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they also have a temperature control setting that can allow for water temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Water that’s hotter than that can pose a severe burn risk to those in your home and would risk damaging components of your water heater itself.

If your water heater detects that its internal water temperature has exceeded safe limits, it will enter high-temperature shutdown mode. This is typically accompanied by a flashing status light to let you know what’s happening. Then, your water heater will remain off until the internal temperature drops back to an acceptable level. If this happens with your water heater, it could be a sign that you’ve set the temperature setting too high or that another component is failing. Either way, you should schedule a repair appointment right away.

5. Your Water Heater Detected a Leak

The final common reason that your water heater’s status light might blink is that the system has detected a leak. If you see any water pooled around your water heater or dripping from the unit, this is likely the reason for the flashing light. However, a water heater can detect leaks that are still too small for you to spot. Therefore, if you suspect that the status light is alerting you to a leak, you should turn off your water heater and its water supply. You should also have your water heater repaired, and replace it, if necessary.

Your Local Water Heater Experts

For over 30 years, Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has been the place to go for water heater installation, maintenance, and repairs in Anaheim, CA, and the surrounding area. We offer complete air conditioning services as well as heating services, indoor air quality solutions, zoning systems, and more. We’re also licensed by the state contractor’s board and maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. So, if the light on your water heater starts blinking or it’s time for a new one, call the team at Alps Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today.