State Select Water Heater Not Heating Water [A Complete Guide]

The reasons behind the State Select water heater not heating water vary depending on the type of heater you use. Though some reasons are common for all gas, electric, and tankless heaters, there are a few unique issues with each type of heater.

Lucky for you – I’ll cover the causes and fixes of all types of State Select water heaters in this guide. I’ll start with the gas units, and work our way into the electric and tankless models. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

State Select Water Heater Not Heating Water [Gas Water Heaters – Fixes]

I’ll look at the most common reasons why you get little to no hot water from your State Select gas water heater in this section.

state select water heater not heating water

1. Power Supply Issues

Yes, I’m starting with a fairly obvious one. Of course, your heater won’t operate if it has no power. So, start by checking that and make sure that your heater has power. Check the circuit breaker first and see if they’re tripped.

state select water heater circuit breaker

If they have been tripped, now you know what was causing the issue. If nothing is wrong with the circuit breaker, the next thing you should check is whether there’s the right voltage in the power outlet.


For tripped circuit breakers, the solution is simple – reset it and you’re good to go. But if there are issues with the voltage, you need to consult an electrician. Especially, if it’s in a particular power outlet.

If your circuit breaker keeps on tripping, I recommend hiring an electrician to resolve that too as it’s not normal. It indicates something is wrong with the electrical wiring in your home. You’re one step closer to getting hot water after doing these fixes.

2. Gas Supply Issues

Gas is the main fuel in gas water heaters. Without it, you’ll never have hot water. So, start by inspecting whether gas is being supplied to the heater.

The first thing you can do is turn on another gas power appliance and see if that lights up. If it does, that means the main gas supply is fine. But hold on – there could still be issues with the gas supply to the heater. It could be disrupted due to obstruction in the gas lines.

state select water heater gas supply issues

Gas could also leak if there are any holes in the gas line. So, you need to inspect them thoroughly. You can spray some soapy water on the gas lines and look out for the reaction.

If you see bubbles forming, it means there’s a gas leak. Even a faulty gas control thermostat could be the reason behind gas supply issues in your water heater.


You’ll have to contact your local utility company if there’s no gas supply in your house. It’s up to them to send someone and fix the issue. However, if other appliances powered by gas are running properly and there are issues with the gas line to your heater, you need to replace it.

If there are obstructions blocking the proper flow of gas, just cleaning the lines with a thin wire may do the trick. But it’s better to be safe than sorry and I’d recommend sealing the leak.

The worst reason behind gas supply issues is a faulty gas control thermostat. Unfortunately, your only option is to replace it if it goes bad. Check out our guide on replacing State Select water thermostats to learn all about it.

3. Pilot Light Issues

Is the status light blinking on your gas water heater? If not, it means that you don’t have a pilot light. Make sure you have ruled out power supply and gas supply issues before moving on with the diagnosis as the issues can also the status light to be turned off.

state select water heater pilot light

Remove the burner access door concealing the slight glass. Look through the viewport and see if the pilot light is lit. If it’s lit and there’s still nothing from the pilot light, it means you have a faulty thermocouple. But if the pilot is out, then you have found the culprit.


The first thing you should do when the pilot light is out is to try and relight it. There’s a lot that can go wrong with your heater that’ll keep the pilot light off. A faulty thermocouple, igniter, and gas control thermostat are all worthy reasons behind a pilot light not coming on.

In such case, you may need to replace the igniter of your state select water heater or another part that you get faulty.

Well, as it’s a big topic, we have a guide on it as well. Check out our post on solving the State Select pilot light issues to learn all about it. After going through it, you’ll have a clear idea of how to fix pilot light issues and light it up. Hopefully, that’s all it’ll take to get hot water from your heater again.

4. Error Codes

Many people dread seeing error codes come up in their heaters. But if you think about it, they’re the best guide you could have ever hoped for. Error codes tell you exactly what’s wrong with your heater.

When you try to light the pilot and are unsuccessful at it, chances are that you can tell what the issue is by looking at the status light. When it flashes every three seconds, it indicates that your heater is operating fine.

state select water heater status light

But any other number of flashes represents an issue. For example, 7 flashes mean that you have a bad gas control thermostat. Check your owner’s manual and find the meaning of your error code if you see one popping up.


The fix for the problem will depend on the issue that’s causing the error code to come up. You’d have to replace the gas control thermostat in the example stated above.

Similarly, other situations require other solutions. Read the error code chart thoroughly to identify the problem correctly. Once you do that, it should be easy enough to heat the water.

5. Tripped Thermal Switch

There is a device called a thermal switch that will keep the pilot from lighting up or staying lit when the temperature inside the combustion chamber goes beyond a certain point.

state select water heater thermal switch


Locate the resettable switch at the bottom of the heater and press it. If it clicks, you’d know that it was tripped, and the issue is fixed. If it doesn’t click, it wasn’t the reason behind this no-hot water issue and you need to move on with the diagnosis procedure.

Keep in mind that the thermal switch doesn’t get tripped without any reason. You have to fix the underlying reasons behind it at some point. It’s better to address them sooner than later.

The primary reasons behind a tripped thermal switch are a lack of combustible air going into the combustion chamber and obstructions in the exhaust.

Check the air intake screen and see if it’s clogged. If it is, vacuum it and make it clean. Next, check the baffle under the draft hood and make sure it’s not misaligned. When they’re not aligned properly, the exhaust won’t be able to escape, and that trips the switch. 

The water heater should be cool when you inspect the baffle. Remember that the exhaust system will be hot if you tinker with it immediately after using the water heater. So, give it some time to cool down after using it. Fixing these issues will solve this problem for good.

6. Not Setting The Thermostat High Enough

The issues I’ve mentioned so far will give you no hot water at all in most cases. But what if you’re getting hot water from your heater but the problem is that the water is not hot enough?

state select water heater gas control thermostat

That’s what I’ll be explaining from here on. And I’m starting with the most simple thing that you may have forgotten to check. Maybe, you or someone in your house has dialed down the thermostat in your house and that’s why the hot water isn’t hot enough.


Thank your lucky stars if this was the reason behind the hot water problem. All you have to do is turn up the thermostat and your problem will be solved. Here’s a quick guide for you about the hot water temperature you can expect at the different positions:

  • “Hot” – Between 120°F and 127°F
  • “A” – Between 128°F and 137°F
  • “B” – Between 138°F and 146°F
  • “C” – Between 147°F and 159°F
  • “Very Hot” – Between 160°F

Adjust the temperature higher and see if that solves the issue. When you push beyond the 120°F mark, you should use thermostatic mixing valves to protect against scalding and accidental burns.

7. Bare Piping

If the piping of your hot water system is located outside or exposed to the outside weather, it makes sense that you won’t get enough hot water.

state select water heater bare piping

The temperature outside will have an effect on the water temperature. Even if it’s in the cold water side, it’ll reduce the temperature of the water and make it even colder. So, the heater will have to work harder to heat it. The hot water going from the heater will also be affected in the same way.


Thankfully, this issue has a simple fix. If you are dealing with an exposed piping issue, you have to insulate it. There are insulating materials you can find for your pipes. Cover your pipes with them and the severity of the issue will be minimized.

You can’t solve this problem fully as redoing the plumbing lines is easier said than done. So, for now, you’ll have to settle for insulating the pipes. Hopefully, doing that would be enough to make a difference and you’ll get much hotter water from the heater.

8. Damaged Thermostatic Mixing Valve

I’ve already talked about the importance of using thermostatic mixing valves. They protect you from scalding by mixing some cold water with the hot water that’s coming in.

state select water heater thermostatic mixing valve

They’re great and it’s always recommended to use them when you’re using hot water at higher temperatures. But when they’re damaged, you won’t get enough hot water despite the water being hot in the tank.

The simple diagnostic test to determine whether you have a bad thermostatic mixing valve is to test all the hot water faucets. As they’re installed individually in hot water faucets, they won’t all go bad at the same time. If the problem is specific to a faucet, that means you have a faulty thermostatic mixing valve.


When you have a faulty thermostatic mixing valve, you need to replace it with a new one. They are relatively cheap and it doesn’t take much work to replace them. So, you can breathe easier if you’re facing this issue.

9. Sediment Build Up

Whenever there’s too much sediment in the heater, the first sign of it is that you’ll hear unusual noises coming from the heater. It means that the sediments have settled at the bottom of the tank and they’re preventing the free flow of water. In that case, you won’t get hot enough hot water.


You have to flush the tank to get rid of the sediments in the tank. Drain the water inside the tank and the sediment should come out with it. In some cases, you’d also have to replace the anode rod if it’s corroded.

state select water heater draining

It’s not hard to drain the tank and you can definitely do it on your own without any assistance. It’s a good idea to flush your tank at least once a year to keep it from being severely corroded and accumulating a lot of sediments.

10. Plumbing Issues

Are you getting little to no hot water from your heater despite installing a new heater? One of the most common installation mistakes is to reverse the cold and hot water lines. Chances are that it happened in your case as well.

Otherwise, you shouldn’t get insufficient hot water right off the bat. Another potential issue is plumbing leaks. If water is leaked at any point, you’ll lose a lot of hot water and not get enough of it.


For new installations, you should look into the hot water and cold water line reversal issues. All you have to do to fix it is to reverse them again.

If you suspect plumbing leaks, start off at the hot water faucets. Those leaks will be the easiest to locate. Replace any faucet that turns out to be leaky. If nothing is wrong with them, you need to work your way into the water lines. Once you find the source of the leak, you need to seal it.

Also, you can go through our solution guide on why State Select water heater is leaking & how to fix it in detail.

11. Undersized Heater

Have you considered the possibility that maybe everything is okay with your water heater? Yes, it may very well be the case that there’s nothing with the water heater but you still don’t get enough hot water from it.

The main reason behind it is that the heater you’re using is too small for your hot water needs. Believe it or not – heaters have a limited capacity in terms of how much hot water they can produce.

When you push the heater beyond its limits or you have multiple people using it at the same time, it explains why you don’t have sufficient hot water.


Though there is nothing wrong with your heater, you can increase the temperature settings on the thermostat for more hot water. Make sure you’re using mixing valves to avoid scalding.

You can also limit hot water use at any given moment. Plan the hot water usage with the other members of your family and make sure not too many hot water faucets are utilized at the same time.

If that doesn’t work, you have to upgrade the heater as you clearly need a better heater. Hopefully, doing any one of these things will solve your problem and you’ll get hot water again.

State Select Water Heater Not Heating Water [Electric Water Heaters – Fixes]

It was a long list but I finally got through the major issues in gas water heaters. Now, it’s time to shift focus to the electric ones. There are a lot of similar reasons that cause the same issue in electric water heaters.

state select electric water heater

The common issues between gas and electric water heaters are:

  • Setting the thermostat too low
  • Damaged thermostatic mixing valves
  • Using an undersized water heater

Apart from that, there are other issues that are unique to electric water heaters. They can also cause the no hot water issue. Let’s look at how you can fix each of these issues.

1. No Power Supply

It’s no wonder that you won’t get any hot water from your heater when there is no power. More often than not, the common culprit behind this issue will be problems with the wiring in your house or the circuit breakers.


You can do a simple test to check if your heater is getting power. All you need to do this test is a non-contact circuit tester. Once you have that, you can follow these steps:

  • Flip the circuit breaker that powers your water heater to the “Off” position.
  • There’s an electrical junction box at the top of your water heater.  Locate it and remove the cover.
  • You’ll see power wires and ground wires. The power wires will be black/black or black/red. You need to use them for the diagnosis. Avoid the green or copper wire as it’s the ground wire.
  • Turn the circuit breaker back on and see if there’s any power to the power wires by using the tester.

Doing this test will reveal whether your heater is getting power or not. If it’s getting power,  you need to keep on diagnosing. If it’s not getting power, the issue is most likely either with the wiring or the circuit breaker itself.

state select electric water heater circuit breaker

Place the cover of the junction box back on after doing the test. You can try replacing the circuit breaker on your own. If you have experience in doing that, it’d be a piece of cake.

But if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire an electrician for the job. He can not only change the circuit breaker but also see if there are any wiring issues and fix them.

So, you can kill two birds with one stone by hiring an electrician. Though it’ll cost an arm and a leg to hire an expert, it’d be well worth it. Because you could injure yourself if you don’t have experience working with these parts.

2. Faulty Heating Element

Heating elements themselves are parts that are found in electric heaters. So, it’s obvious that they won’t be the reason behind not getting hot water in gas heaters. When a heating element causes the no hot water issue, it’s either burned out or dirty.

state select electric heater heating element

You can tell if you have a bad heating element by doing a test using a multimeter. Shut off the power supply to the water heater and expose the screws of the heating element. Check the resistance between the two screws.

A reading between 5 and 25 Ohms indicates that you have a good heating element. It’s not the culprit in your case if the reading comes within that range. But if it’s outside that range, you have found the issue and you can be sure that you have a bad heating element.

Remember that there are two heating elements in electric water heaters. So, repeat the test for the other heating element as well. More often than not, it’s the lower heating element that goes bad first.


When you find that you have a faulty heating element, you have to replace it. Follow these steps to do it:

  • Turn off the power to the heater and drain the water from it. 
  • Remove the access panel, fold the insulation, take off the thermostat cover, and expose the thermostat.
  • Undo the connection between the heating element and the power wires and pull it out.
  • Clean the threads of the tank, insert the new heating element, and tighten it.
  • Reverse engineer the above steps and turn on the power to the heater after you do it.

That’s all you need to do to replace the heating element. If you find water leaking after the installation, you have made a mistake and you have to install the heating element again. Also, make sure the gasket remains intact as the leak could come from a cracked gasket.

3. Defective Thermostat

When you have a bad thermostat, your heater won’t produce water at your desired temperature. So, you get cold water in the end. The issue could be with either the upper thermostat or the lower thermostat.

state select electric heater thermostat


When you have a bad thermostat, your only option is to replace it. But how can you know that it’s bad for sure? We have a dedicated post on ‘how to replace State Select thermostats’ that is linked above in the solution section of the ‘gas supply issues’ section.

You can not only learn about replacing the thermostat but also how you can test it. Visit the page, go to the section on electrical units and you’ll find out about it in detail.

4. Tripped ECO

Just like there’s a thermal switch in the gas units, there are Electric cut-off devices in electric units. The ECO gets tripped when the temperature of the water becomes too hot to handle.

When the switch trips, it shuts off the operation of your heater. Eventually, the temperature of the water comes down and you get cold water from your heater.


You can easily solve this issue by resetting the ECO. It’s the red button on your thermostat. Remove the access cover, the insulation, and the plastic cover to expose the button.

state select electric heater reset button

If you hear it click when you press it, you can be sure that it was tripped. After resetting it, your heater should work normally again. We have a dedicated guide on the reset button and how to reset it if you want to learn more about it.

If the switch keeps on tripping time after time, it means there’s an underlying issue with your heater. More often than not, it’s a bad thermostat that causes the ECO to trip over and over again. In that case, you’d have to replace the thermostat if you wish to solve the problem for good.

5. Plumbing Errors

If you’ve newly installed a heater and you’re not getting any hot water right off the bat, there’s a high chance that the hot and cold water lines have been reversed. Often, you’d get hot water due to this issue but it won’t be at your desired temperature.

There could also be leaks on the hot water side. Even the smallest of leaks on the hot water side can lead to no or very little hot water. 


First, check the outlet connections and make sure that the hot water pipes in your heater are connected to the hot water outlet. If the connections are reversed, you’d have to put them back in the right order.

If you’re dealing with a plumbing leak, you’ll have to locate its source to diagnose this issue.  Now, it’s up to you whether you want to do the dirty work yourself or delegate it to a mechanic. Either way, the source of the leak will have to be identified and replaced.

State Select Water Heater Not Heating Water [Tankless Water Heaters:- Fixes]

Even in the tankless units, there are gas heaters and electric heaters. Their mechanism is a little different from each other as their fuel source is not the same. But here are the issues that they have in common with the previous heater types and you must rule out them out first:

  • Gas supply issues. (For gas tankless units)
  • Failed temperature sensor or heating element. (For electric tankless units)
  • Power supply issues.
  • Setting the thermostat too low.
  • Reversed cold and hot water lines or cross plumbing.
  • Faulty thermostatic mixing valve.

If you’ve made sure that none of the above issues are causing the no hot water problem in your heater, then here are the additional things you have to check:

1. Flow Rate Issues

The number one reason behind not getting hot water from the fixtures when using tankless water heaters is flow rate problems. This issue occurs in both gas and electric tankless heaters.

The flow rate needs to be at least 0.5 GPM to ignite the burner in the gas tankless models. Otherwise, you’ll get no hot water at all. But you can’t even increase it too high.

state select tankless water heater flow rate

If you do, the tankless heaters won’t be able to heat the water properly. It has a very short window of time to heat the water and when the water has a high flow rate, it’d pass by quickly and the heater would fail to do its job properly.


You have to keep the flow rate at the right level. If the burner doesn’t engage at all and you have no hot water when you turn on the faucets, make sure that the flow rate is at least above 0.5GPM.

If you have hot water but it’s not hot enough, it’s likely that the flow rate is too high. You’d have to adjust the flow rate and bring it down so that the heater can provide hot water without any issues.

2. Long Pipe Length

When it comes to tankless heaters, you have to realize that timing is of the essence. The heater heats the hot water quickly. So, if the piping between the heater and the hot water fixtures is too long, the water will get cold.

On top of that, it’ll also take a long time to get hot water if the distance between the pipes and the heater is long.


If your heater has the feature of using a recirculation timer, make sure it’s active. It’ll reduce the inefficiencies of the tankless water heater and you’ll have hot water much faster.

Are you getting hot water despite turning on the recirculation timer? In that case, you need to make sure that the flow rate to the recirculation pump is good. Apart from that, there’s not a lot you can do about this issue.

As it’s safe to say that you won’t be messing with the plumbing lines or the position of the heater in your house, you’ll have to accept this one and settle for getting hot water at regular intervals.

3. Dirty Filter Or Fixtures

Another reason that you may not be getting enough hot water from your tankless heater is a dirty cold water inlet filter. The cold water won’t be able to get through the heater properly if the filter is not clean.

state select tankless water heater water filter

So, it’ll mess up the flow rate and you won’t get a steady supply of hot water. Besides that, obstruction or debris in the hot water fixtures can also be the reason why you don’t get enough hot water.


You have to inspect the cold water inlet filter first. It’s a good idea to drain the heater before you remove the filter. Place a bucket under the filter to catch the water that would fall when you take off the filter from the heater.

Clean it against running water until you get all the dirt out of it. If dirt still remains, use a soft brush to get the debris out. Once it’s clean, you can reinsert it and enjoy hot water again.

Plus, it’ll be helpful to read our problem solution guide on State Select tankless water heaters in detail if you’re struggling with other issues with your tankless water heater.


How to bypass the thermal switch in State Select gas heaters?

Place a piece of metal between the wiring connections of the thermal switch. If you failed to previously light the pilot and you can do it now, the switch is bad and you have to replace it.

What type of flame should the burners have in tankless water heaters?

You should see a steady blue flame from the burners and it shouldn’t be too high. If you’re seeing a tall flame that’s yellow or orange in color, it’s not a good sign. Take steps to resolve the issue immediately.

Can I set the temperature of my water heater to 155°F?

No, that’s too high. Setting the temperature to 155°F can cause a serious burn in less than a second. Whenever you turn the temperature above 120°F, you should get cautious.

Is it okay to use the heater after bypassing the thermal switch?

No, it’s not safe at all. There’s nothing wrong with bypassing the thermal switch for testing purposes and seeing if there’s anything wrong with it. But you should have a functional thermal switch at all times to avoid accidents.


What causes the State Select water heater not heating water? Now, you know all about it in detail. Not for just one type of heater, but for all of them. I’ve made this guide as detailed as possible.

Hopefully, you’ll find the solution to your problem after going through it. Be patient with diagnosing the heater and when you find the culprit, take the corrective actions.

Well, you can also go through our troubleshooting guide on State Select electric water heater if you face any issues with your electric water heater.

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