How To Replace State Select Heater Thermostat [All Types]

When you have a faulty thermostat, there’s no option but to replace it. Unfortunately, hiring a mechanic for this job can cost a lot. But you don’t necessarily have to do that. You can just do it yourself. So, how to replace State Select water heater thermostat?

The process varies depending on whether you’re replacing a gas control thermostat or an electric one. No need to panic – I’ve covered both of them in detail in this guide.

You’ll also learn how to diagnose a faulty electric heater thermostat before you replace it. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

How To Replace State Select Heater Thermostat [Gas Units]

There are two types of gas control valves or thermostats that are common in State Select water heaters. Depending on how old your heater is, you’d have one of these two thermostats. The newer models have a thermostat with a status light. Here’s how it looks:

state select water heater new gas control thermostat

The older models don’t have a status light. But the good news is that the process of replacing the thermostat is pretty much the same for both of them. You just have to remove all the connections to the thermostat, unscrew it from the heater, put the new one in, and reassemble the heater.

There are some symptoms that can help you identify whether you have a bad gas control thermostat and need to replace it. Here are the main ones:

  • The pilot button is broken or doesn’t work.
  • The thermostat doesn’t shut off.
  • Improper calibration of the thermostat.
  • The pilot light is on but the status light doesn’t flash.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, there’s a high chance that you have a bad thermostat. You need to replace it to get your heater working normally again. Here are the steps to do it:

Step 01- Prepare The Gas Control Thermostat For Removal

Shut off the gas supply to the heater by turning the main gas valve perpendicular to the gas lines. Move the gas control knob to the “Off” position so that no gas gets into the heater.

Shut off the water supply to the heater and drain the water in the tank. You can turn on the hot water faucets in your house if you want the draining process to go quicker. Remove the burner door cover.

Disconnect the main gas line that leads to the control valve. You may have rigid piping or a flex tube. Whatever you have, you need to disconnect it.

state select water heater disconnect main gas line

Take the thermopile wiring out of the heater by rocking it back and forth until it comes out of the connector. Unplug the igniter wire and disconnect the main burner supply and pilot tube from the gas control thermostat.

Be careful when you bend the pilot tube away from the thermostat as it can get kinked easily.

Step 02- Remove The Gas Control Thermostat

Thread a 4” section of pipe into the inlet of the gas control valve. That’s what you’ll be using to turn the thermostat. Spin the thermostat counterclockwise until it becomes loose.

Cover the pilot tube and the burner supply with a towel to be extra sure that no hot water gets into it. Keep turning the gas control thermostat by hand and eventually, it’ll come out.

state select water heater thermostat disconnect main gas line

Apply some Teflon tape to the threads of the new gas control valve in a clockwise position to prepare it for installation.

Step 03- Install The New Gas Control Thermostat

Push the new gas control thermostat in place of the old one and give it a few clockwise spins with your hands at first. Then, use the same 4” section of pipe to turn the thermostat and move it to the correct position.

Turn on the water supply slightly to test for leaks. Open a hot water faucet to purge the air from the tank. When the tank is full and the air is purged, you can check for water leaks. And fix the water leaking of your water heater if you find any leakage.

state select water heater slightly opening water supply

Also, if there’s a build-up of old Teflon tape on it, remove it with a brush and apply gas-approved Teflon tape to it. Once you do that, reconnect the main gas line to the gas control valve.

Attach the pilot tube, the main burner gas supply, and the thermopile wiring to the heater. Turn the gas supply back on. If you smell gas or suspect leaks, check the connection to the valve.

Try to relight the pilot and see if it lights up through the burner sight door. It can take a few attempts as the gas line has to purge the air. Once you successfully light the pilot, you can adjust the temperature.

But in case, you fail to light the pilot light, you have to fix the pilot light issues of your state select gas water heater before adjusting the temperature.

Well, the final thing you have to do is to apply soapy water to test for leaks. If bubbles start forming, it means there’s a leak. You’ll have to reconnect wherever the leak is coming from in that case.

That’s how you can replace the gas control valve on the newer models. You may have a gas control thermostat that looks like the picture below:

state select water heater old gas control thermostat

If your thermostat looks like the picture above, there’s no need to freak out. It’s an older model but you have to follow the same process. Just remove the connections of the gas control thermostat and replace it.

State Select Water Heater Thermostat Replacement [Electric Units]

I’ll explain the nitty-gritty of replacing the thermostats in State Select electric water heaters in this section. But before we delve into that, it’s important that you know with certainty that the current thermostat is faulty.

state select electric water heater

If you’re not sure about that and you just want to wing a replacement, it’s not a good idea. Not only will it be a waste of your time and effort, but it also won’t help with the issue that made you change the thermostat in the first place.

Given how easy it is to inspect a thermostat on an electric water heater, there’s no reason not to inspect it first. All you need is a functional multimeter to test it. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Shut off the power supply to the heater and remove the access panels. Fold the insulation and take out the plastic cover so that you can test the thermostat.
  • Connect the red probe of the multimeter to the top left screw and the black probe to the top right screw to double-check that there’s no power to your heater. Then, switch the dial of the meter to check continuity.
  • Disconnect the wires and the screws to check for continuity. Test the two top-left screws first (black on the higher one and red on the lower one), and then check the two top-right screws. You’ll see a picture below that will help you:
  • If there’s no continuity during any of these tests, you can conclude that you have a bad thermostat and there’s no need to go further into the test. But if that checks out, you need to keep on diagnosing.
  • Check the common terminal with the upper heating element screw. If the water in the tank is cooler than the temperature you set, you should have continuity there.
  • Then, check the continuity between the common terminal and the lower heating element screw. If the first one has continuity, then the second one shouldn’t have any continuity.
  • The reverse of that is also true. If the water temperature in the tank is higher than the temperature you set, there will be continuity between the common terminal on the left and the lower heating element screw. There will be no continuity between the common terminal and the upper heating element screw.
  • If all of that is okay, then nothing is wrong with your thermostat. But if you see an exception in any of the details above, you have a faulty thermostat.
state select water heater checking continuity

Once you’re done checking the first thermostat, check the other one following the same methods. If there’s anything wrong with it, you’ll find it.

Now that you know how to check a thermostat, you can easily tell if your thermostat is faulty. If it turns out to be damaged, you need to replace it to avoid any issues with your State Select electric water heater. Here are the tools you need to replace it:

  • Slot Screwdriver
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Gloves
  • Needle Nose Pliers

If you have the tools in order, follow these steps to replace the thermostat in your State Select electric water heater:

Step 01 – Access The Thermostat

Wear work gloves to keep yourself protected before working on the heater. Shut off the power to the heater by switching it off and turning the circuit breakers that lead to the heater.

Remove the screws holding the access cover in place and take the access cover out. If you want to remove the upper thermostat, you have to remove the upper access cover and vice-versa.

state select water heater removing plastic cover

Fold the insulation back and tape it to the heater so that it doesn’t get in your way during the job. Remove the white plastic safety cover placed before the thermostat to have access to the thermostat.

Step 02 – Remove The Thermostat

Before removing the thermostat, take note of the wiring. You can take a picture with your phone and it’ll be helpful when you install the new thermostat.

state select water heater removing the thermostat

Remove the screws holding the wires in place and disconnect the wires from the thermostat. Pull back on the tabs to lift the thermostat and take it out.

Step 03 – Replace The Thermostat

Take the new thermostat in place of the old one. Place it from the top and push it down so that it can get locked into the tabs and be secure. Connect the wiring to the thermostat using the picture you clicked earlier.

Make sure you do it correctly. Add the safety cover, fold the insulation like before, and install the access panel cover. Turn the heater back on.

Now you know how to replace the thermostat correctly. Make sure you adjust your temperature to the right level so that the water inside the tank doesn’t get too hot.

If it gets hot beyond a certain point, it’ll trigger the ECO and shut off the heating element. If you don’t know how to adjust the temperature correctly, keep reading to learn all about it.

State Select Electric Water Heater Temperature Adjustment

There’s a right way to adjust the temperature in the State Select electrical heaters. For example, you’re supposed to turn the heater off before you reset the temperature. Here’s how you can do it:

state select water heater temperature adjustment knob
  • Make sure that there’s no power to the heater. Switch off the heater and flip the circuit breaker that’s connected to the heater.
  • Unscrew the upper and lower access panels cover and remove them. Fold away the insulation until you have access to the thermostat.
  • You can increase the temperature by moving the temperature adjustment knob clockwise (>>) and vice versa. It’s important that you have the same temperature on both upper and lower thermostats.
  • Fold the insulation back to its original position, and screw the access panels back in to secure them in place.
  • Turn the power supply to the heater back on and wait for a while for the heater to heat up the water. It can take a few hours if you set a high temperature.

That’s how easy it is to turn the heat up and down in State Select water heaters. If your heater has only one thermostat, it’ll be located behind the lower access panel. You can just adjust that.

Note: If you have two thermostats like discussed above, make sure that you don’t set the temperature on the upper thermostat higher than the one on the lower thermostat. It can lead to a shortage of hot water and cause other issues. Ideally, you should set both of them at the same temperature.

Remember that setting the temperature above 120°F increases the chance of scalding. That’s why the heaters are set to 120°F by default. So, be sure to use thermostatic mixing valves if you turn up the temperature higher than that.


How to adjust the temperature in State Select gas water heaters?

You can adjust the temperature by changing the position of the gas control knob. The “hot” mark refers to 120°F and the “very hot” mark represents 160°F. Think of the other markings as 10°F intervals and adjust the knob.

Why do you have to turn off electric water heaters before working on them?

You can be electrocuted if you work on heaters that have power. It can cause serious injuries and can even lead to death. To be extra safe, check the wires using a circuit tester and ensure that there is no power.

What does pressing the reset button on the State Select water electric water heaters do?

There’s an ECO device that shuts off power to the heating elements when the water temperature inside the tank becomes too hot. By pressing the reset button on the State Select water electric water heaters, you’re actually resetting the ECO device.

Do you need to drain State Select electric water heaters before removing the thermostat?

No, it doesn’t matter if there’s water inside your water heater if you want to replace the thermostat in electric heaters. But you have to make sure that the heater doesn’t have any electricity flowing into it.

When should you replace the State Select water heating element?

You can test your water heater’s heating element for continuity using a multimeter. If there’s no continuity, it means it has gone bad and you need to replace the heating element


Now you know how to do State Select water heater thermostat replacement. Hopefully, you no longer have any confusion regardless of whether you’re changing it in a gas or electric water heater.

I’ve tried to cover both of these heaters with as many details as possible so that things go smoothly on your end. If you suspect you have a faulty thermocouple, check out our guide on how to replace State Select water heater thermocouple.

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