State Select Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting [7 + Easy Fixes]

The main problems I’ll discuss in this State Select gas water heater troubleshooting guide are:

  • No hot water.
  • Not enough hot water.
  • Slow hot water recovery.
  • T&P valve dripping.
  • Main burner issues.
  • And more

You’ll learn how you can solve each of these issues in detail. So, keep reading if you’re facing any of these problems. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

State Select Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting [7 + Easy Fixes]

We’ll look at the most common issues you’d face with your State Select gas water heater in this section.

1. No Hot Water

The most painful issue you can possibly face with your heater is not getting any hot water from it. Although many reasons can lead to this problem, the most common culprits are often:

 no hot water
  • No power supply to the heater.
  • No gas supply.
  • The pilot light won’t light up or stay lit.
  • The main burner won’t ignite.


First things first – you have to make sure that your heater has a proper power supply if you’re facing this issue. If the heater is connected to a circuit breaker, check that it’s not tripped. If it was, reset it. Double-check the voltage in your house to rule out any power supply issues.

Secondly, check your status light. If the status light blinks once every three seconds, it means that the pilot is light and there are no error codes in your heater. If you don’t see the status light, your pilot light isn’t lit.

state select gas water heater status light

Check out our guide on fixing State Select water heater pilot light issues if you’re facing this issue. You’ll learn how to light the pilot correctly and troubleshoot any potential issues with it.

If you don’t have a pilot light and power is being supplied to your heater, issues with the gas supply can be the culprit here. If you run out of LP gas, you can refill or replace the tank. But if you’re using natural gas, you need to contact your local gas supplier.

The most common reason behind the main burner not lighting up is the pilot not staying lit. When you solve the issue with the pilot light, the main burner should automatically come on.

Well, a faulty thermocouple is the culprit behind the pilot light going out in most cases. And you need to replace the thermocouple of your state select water heater to fix the pilot issue.

However, the other issues that can interfere with the smooth operation of the main burner will be discussed ahead.

2. Not Enough Hot Water

It will often happen that your State Select water won’t work properly. You’ll be getting hot water from your heater but it won’t be as hot as you’d want it to be. Here’s a list of the most common reasons behind it:

  • Setting the thermostat too low.
  • Faulty thermostatic mixing valves.
  • Using a water heater of a small capacity.
  • Reversed plumbing connections.
  • Plumbing leak.
  • Sediment build-up in the tank.
  • Low gas pressure.
  • Exposed Piping
water not hot enough


Start by checking that you have set the thermostat correctly. Setting it too low won’t get you the water temperature that you desire. If you’ve set it lower than you want, then you need to readjust it.

i. Fixing Setting The Thermostat Too Low

Adjusting the temperature on State-Select heaters with a gas valve can be tricky if you’re not familiar with them. As there are no temperature readings, you can easily get confused about what the right temperature is. Here are the meanings of each position to help you out:

  • “Hot” means a temperature between 120°F and 127°F
  • “A” means a temperature between 128°F and 137°F
  • “B” means a temperature between 138°F and 146°F
  • “C” means a temperature between 147°F and 159°F
  • “Very Hot” refers to a temperature above 160°F
adjust state select gas water heater temperature

With that information, you should now be able to adjust the gas control knob to the right position. Remember that setting the temperature above 120°F opens you up to the risk of scalding. So, if you plan to set the temperature higher than the “Hot” position, use thermostatic mixing valves.

ii. Fixing Thermostatic Mixing Valves

Check the thermostatic mixing valves. While they’re great devices that protect you from suffering a severe burn, they can fail. When they fail, they can reduce the temperature of the water even when there’s enough hot water in the tank.

state select gas water heater mixing valve

Inspect several faucets that are connected to the water heater. If only a particular one fails to deliver hot water, it’s highly likely that the mixing valve in that faucet has gone bad. Just replace it and that’ll solve the issue.

iii. Fixing Using A Hot Water Of Small Capacity

The next thing to keep in mind is whether your hot water demands are too high for your heater. If you have a small water heater and you push it beyond its capacity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’re getting inadequate hot water. Luckily, there are many things you can do to solve it.

Your first move should be to improve the conservation of water by using flow restrictors and taking advantage of thermostatic mixing valves. You can also turn the gas control knob to the highest settings. Finally, you can replace the heater with a larger one if it has gotten old.

iv. Fixing Reversed Plumbing Connections

Mixing the hot water and cold water lines is a major installation mistake that can lead to not getting enough hot water. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s also the chance of the dip tube melting if the copper pipes were soldered at the time of being attached to the water heater.

If there are reversed connections, you need to reinstall the lines correctly again. The dip tube will most likely be melted at this stage. If that’s the case, you need to replace it with a new one.

v. Fixing A Plumbing Leak

Even if the burner is on and working properly, the smallest of leaks can lead to not getting enough hot water. The leak can occur in the water lines as well as the faucets.

fixing a plumbing leak

Start by inspecting the faucets as leaks in them will be easier to locate. If you have found the leaky faucet, you can either repair it or place it. You have to turn your attention to the water lines if nothing is wrong with the faucets. In that case, you’ll have to locate the leak in the water line and replace it.

vi. Fixing Sediment Build-Up In The Tank

Your heater will not operate at its usual efficiency if there’s sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank. They obstruct the free flow of water and can even damage the water heater if left unchecked for a long time.

You have to drain the water heater and flush it to get rid of the sediment from the bottom. Here are the steps to do it:

  • Turn off the gas supply to the heater by moving the gas control knob to the “Off” position and shutting off the main gas valve.
  • Open a hot water faucet and let it run until you get cold water coming out of it. Attach one end of a garden hose to the drain valve of your heater and the other end to a bucket or outside.
  • Shut off the cold water supply and open the drain valve. Open a hot water faucet as well so that the draining process goes faster.
  • Inspect the anode rod and replace it if it’s severely corroded. You’ll need a 1 1/16” socket to replace it.
draining the water heater

Now comes the time when you have to make a decision based on the results. If the sediment stopped coming out when the draining was complete, you can finish the job here. But if the sediment continues to drain till the last minute, then follow these steps:

  • Open the cold water supply and let the water run through the tank. Do it until you no longer see any sediment coming out.
  • When there’s no longer any sediment, close the drain valve.
  • Refill the tank and open up a hot water faucet. Let the faucet run for a while so that the air is removed and the tank can be filled with water.
  • Once the tank is full, you can shut off the hot water faucet.
  • Relight the pilot and wait for at least one hour for the heater to start heating up water again.

Remember that you should at least flush your heater once a year to prolong its lifespan. If the hardness of the water in your area is high, you’d have to do it more often. You can also use water softeners to minimize the effect of the hard water on your heater.

vii. Fixing Low Gas Pressure

If you have a manometer, you can inspect the gas pressure. Make sure it’s within the range stated in the water heater’s rating plate. If you don’t have a manometer, contact your local gas company. Have them send someone to check it out and make corrections if needed.

checking the state select gas water heater's gas pressure

viii. Fixing Exposed Piping

Another reason you can get insufficient hot water is when your hot water piping is located outside the walls or they’re exposed to the cold weather in any way. The solution here is to insulate the piping so that the temperature level is maintained when the water goes through the pipes.

insulating the state select gas water heater exposed pipes

3. Slow Hot Water Recovery

It’s not a great feeling to have to wait for a long time before you can take a hot shower. If your heater has a slow hot water recovery rate, here are the main reasons behind it:

  • Small water heater.
  • Low gas pressure.
  • Venting system issues.
  • Clogged flue
  • Improper calibration of the thermostat.


You already know how to deal with a small water heater and low gas pressure. So, let’s look at the new issues I’ve found that are specific to this problem.

i. Fixing Venting System Issues

Begin by making sure that the area around the heater is clean. If it’s surrounded by too many objects, it won’t get proper airflow for combustion. So, remove any objects that are around it.

state select gas water heater venting

The exterior of the heater can also get clogged and obstruct the required airflow for proper combustion. Clean the heater and also clean under it with a brush to get rid of the dirt.

Finally, check the vent piping and make sure that there are no obstructions in them. If they are dirty, you have to clean them. The exhaust pipe also needs to be aligned properly with the heater so that the heater functions normally.

ii. Fixing Clogged Flue

If you have installed any air-moving devices like fans or dryers, they can interrupt the operation of the heater. In bad cases, it can cause flue reversal and can make the flue gases trapped in the combustion chamber.

state select gas water heater flue damper

Besides that, clogged or defective flue dampers and flue baffles can also cause this issue. You’ll have to identify the culprit here and replace the faulty component. Remember that the flue being trapped can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. So, fix this issue as soon as you can.

iii. Fixing Thermostat With Improper Calibration

Make sure that you haven’t set the thermostat too low before proceeding with this fix. One of the signs of improper calibration of the thermostat is that you won’t be able to turn it off.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to repair the gas control valve. Your only option is to replace it. It’s an easy job and you can do it without any outside help. Check out our guide on State Select water heater thermostat replacement to learn all about it.

4. T&P Relief Valve Dripping

The T&P relief valve is one of the most important safety devices in your heater. It controls the pressure inside the tank when the water pressure is too high and the water is exceedingly hot.

state select gas water heater t&p valve

When you see the T&P valve dripping, it’s never a good sign. Sometimes, you’d also see a lot of water coming out of the T&P discharge pipe. It’s usually due to the tank overheating. If you see your T&P relief valve dripping water, here are the main reasons behind it:

  • Excessive water pressure.
  • The T&P valve is clogged.


If you’re dealing with high water pressure, there are many ways you can go about fixing it. The first thing you can do is to add a Pressure Reducing Valve or PRV to the main cold water supply line. Make sure that the pressure is between 50 to 60 PSI.

Secondly, you can install a thermal expansion tank to control the water pressure. If you already have one installed, it may have gone bad or the water pressure is too high. In that case, you’ll have to call a plumber and fix the water pressure if it’s beyond the acceptable range.

Finally, you have to try to clear any debris stuck in the T&P valve by manually operating it. By letting small quantities of water pass through, the debris may come out with it. But if that doesn’t work, you’d have to replace the T&P valve. As it’s a very important part, you should hire a professional to do this job.

Keep in mind that you should never operate your heater without a functioning T&P relief valve. Without it, the tank may explode as there’ll be nothing to regulate and control the water pressure.

Operate the T&P relief valve manually at least once a year to make sure that it’s working properly. As it can get blocked due to the build-up of minerals, this checking will confirm that the waterways are clear.

Remember that hot water will pour out of the T&P discharge pipe. So, make sure that the water won’t come into contact with your skin and will go to a safe place. If hot water doesn’t come out, turn off the gas control knob and consult a qualified technician.

5. Main Burner Issues

Many issues with the main burner are annoying as hell. The worst one is when the main burner won’t ignite at all. When that happens, you’d get no hot water from your heater.

The main reasons behind the burner not igniting are:

  • The Pilot won’t light or stay lit.
  • Gas supply issues.
  • Setting the thermostat too low.
  • Clogged main burner.
  • Malfunctioning flue damper.
  • Faulty gas control thermostat.

In the absolute worst-case scenario, you’ll have a faulty gas control thermostat. As they can’t be repaired, you’d have to replace it. When you do all these things, there should no longer be any issues with your heater’s main burner.

Besides the burner not igniting, the burner can also have a yellow flame. It’s more commonly known as lazy flame. This issue is also caused by many of the reasons mentioned above.

The only additional thing you need to check is that the main burner orifice isn’t clogged. When the main burner orifice is too big, it can also lead to a burner flame that’s too high.


Nine times out of ten, the main burner is fine and it will work if you can get the pilot stay lit. But if this is one of the rare cases where the pilot light is causing the issue, make sure you’ve set the thermostat high enough to trigger the burner.

If the temperature of the water is already as warm as the settings in your thermostat, the main burner won’t get activated. So, dial up the thermostat and see if that solves the problem.

Make sure you have a proper gas supply and there’s no obstruction in the gas lines. If the flue damper doesn’t seem to be working properly, cycle the heater off and on. If the issue still remains, you have to replace the flue damper.

Next, check that the area around the heater is clean. If there are too many objects or dirt near the heater, the main burner can get clogged up. You’d have to do a thorough cleaning of the heater to get rid of this issue.

Sometimes, you’d have to take the main burner out and clean it. Especially, if the main burner orifice is clogged. If the orifice is too large which leads to a high flame, you’d have to replace it with one that’s of the right size.

In the absolute worst-case scenario, you’ll have a faulty gas control thermostat. As they can’t be repaired, you’d have to replace them. When you do all these things, there should no longer be any issues with your heater’s main burner.

Also Read: How to replace the igniter of your state select water heater.

6. The Hot Water Temperature Is Too High

If the hot water temperature is too high, it’s a serious issue as it can cause scalding. The main reason behind it is setting the thermostat too high. Other than that, not using thermostatic mixing valves can also cause this issue.


The fixes for this issue are super simple. First, check if you’ve set the thermostat set too high. If you have, just dial it down and that’ll do the trick.

state select gas water heater gas control thermostat

Secondly, you can use thermostatic mixing valves if you don’t want to turn down the thermostat and get hot water quickly. Install these mixing valves at each hot water faucet. They’ll mix the hot water with cold water and give you nice warm water.

7. Low Water Pressure

If you have low water pressure on both the cold and hot water lines, it means there’s an issue with your water supply. In that case, you should call your local water utility to fix that. But if you face this issue only on the hot water lines, the main reasons behind it are:

  • The supply valve is partially closed.
  • Melted dip tube or heat traps.


First, make sure that the supply valve is fully opened as well. If they are, you need to look into the second issue. When copper pipes are soldered together, they can melt the dip tubes or the heat traps. They can block the flow of water. So, you have to replace them if they are melted.

8. Water Smells Terrible

There are bacteria present in the tap water that can multiply when they get into the hot water tank. The warmer water is more suited for their growth and they produce hydrogen sulfide. That’s what makes the water smell like rotten eggs. It also has a bad taste if you’re wondering.

bad water smell


If you can tolerate the smell, this isn’t a big issue as the bacteria is harmless. The sure shot way of getting rid of the horrifying smell is to kill the bacteria altogether. But there are a few other solutions you can implement to keep the growth of the bacteria to a minimum. Here they are:

  • Increase the temperature to 140°F to reduce bacterial growth. Make sure you have mixing valves installed as such a high temperature can cause scalding. You don’t want to hurt yourself in the process of killing the bacteria.
  • Use a special zinc anode rod instead of the regular one that comes with your water heater to reduce the smell.

9. Status Light Red Flashes

If the status light in your heater’s gas control thermostat blinks blue, that means everything is fine with your heater. Blinking once every three seconds suggests the normal operation of your heater as well.

state select gas water heater status light red flashes

But if it blinks red, it indicates that something is wrong with your heater. The number of flashes will specifically tell you what’s wrong with your heater. After the flashes, you’ll notice a three-second pause. Here’s a quick glance at the different status light flash codes and their meanings:

  • No Flashes – The pilot isn’t lit or there’s not enough power to keep it lit.
  • 2 Flashes – Not enough power at the gas control thermostat.
  • 4 Flashes – The water temperature is too high and has activated the overheating sensor.
  • 5 Flashes – Issues with the temperature sensor.
  • 7 Flashes – The gas control thermostat has failed.
  • 8 Flashes – The thermopile produces electricity even when the gas control knob is turned off.


The right solution depends on the number of flashes. You’ll already know the issue by taking a good look at the flashing sequence. From there, it’s only a matter of taking corrective actions.

Lucky for you, we have a guide to help you with that. Visit our guide on State Select gas water heater flash codes to learn all about the solutions to these problems in detail.

Sometimes, you’d also find that the status light won’t flash at all. Under normal circumstances, it means that the pilot isn’t lit. But if you can’t get it to light up even after multiple attempts, something is wrong with your heater.

Don’t worry, our State Select water heater no flashes guide will walk you through this problem in detail. You’ll find out about the different reasons why the status light won’t flash and how you can fix each of those issues.

10. Water Leaking

You may also find your State Select gas water heater leaking due to various reasons. The leak can also come from different positions. It can be at the top, bottom, or sides of the tank.

state select gas water heater leaking

Here are the common areas of water leaks:

  • The tank itself is corroded due to sediment buildup.
  • The drain valve if it’s not closed properly or damaged.
  • The T&P valve.
  • The pipe connections.
  • The gas control thermostat.


A leak coming from inside the tank is the worst-case scenario here. It usually occurs when the scale build-up leads to corrosion and causes permanent damage to the tank. Repair isn’t an option here. You’ll have to replace the entire tank or the heater.

But the bright side is that the source of the leak can be from the other mentioned points too. They’re all relatively easier and cheaper to fix. We have a detailed guide that’ll walk you through how you can inspect each of these problem areas and take appropriate actions.

Visit our guide to know why your State Select water heater is leaking along with fixes to learn all about it.  On top of that, you’ll also learn how to spot the difference between normal condensation and a water leak.

11. Temperature Sensor Failure

When the temperature sensor in your water heater fails, you may face many issues with your water heater. The water can be too hot or too cold. The gas control valve may even fail as a result of it.

state select gas water heater temperature sensor

Those issues also indicate that you could have a potential problem with the temperature sensor. The most obvious indicator of a failed temperature sensor is the status light in your gas control thermostat flashing five times.

The temperature sensor could be bad if you see that error code. But it can also be bent or the wiring may have come loose. It can also get dirty with time from the burner soot and not be able to sense the temperature properly.


You have to inspect the temperature sensor and test it whether it’s actually faulty or not. If it turns out to be at fault, you’ll have to replace it. Check out our State Select temperature sensor guide to learn how you can do it all.


How often should you replace the anode rod?

You should inspect the anode rod at least once every year. If it’s depleted, you have to replace the anode rod. If you use a water softener, then inspect it every six months and replace it when it’s corroded.

Does the State Select gas heater have a reset button?

No, State Select gas heaters don’t have any reset button to reset the heater like most other gas heaters. You’d have to manually turn the heater off and on if you want to reset it.

Why is my using my State Select water heater so costly?

There are many reasons behind high operating costs when using your heater. The main ones are setting the thermostat too high, sediment build-up in the tank, and leaking faucets.

When should you replace the T&P relief valve?

It’s a good idea to replace the T&P relief valve every five years. If you don’t have a thermal expansion tank or the water pressure in your home is excessively high, it’ll go bad much faster.

What does State Select water heater no status light mean?

If there’s no movement from the status light in your hot water, it means that the pilot light is not lit. It could be before or after the heater has power. The status light will only flash once the pilot is lit.


Hopefully, you have a clear idea of all the possible issues you can face with your heater after reading this State Select gas water heater troubleshooting guide. You should also be able to solve each of the issues by now.

Keep calm whenever something goes wrong with your heater and diagnose the issue peacefully. Once you find the culprit, you can take corrective actions and get your heater to work normally again. If you own an electric heater, we have a State Select electric heater troubleshooting guide for you as well.

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