Rheem Gladiator Water Heater Service Needed Light On!

By - Rajib Ahmed

Updated -

Undoubtedly, having a Rheem Gladiator Water Heater means that you can heat water and operate it efficiently since it has digital control. 

But even more so is that you can access the service needed feature on the digital display with this digital control.

The service needed feature directly impacts the Service Needed Light that either stays red or blinks red whenever it detects a problem with the heater.

If the Service Needed Light turns on, something is wrong with the Rheem Gladiator Water Heater. In addition, the light indicates what kind of error has occurred. The error code will be an alert if the light turns on and stays solid red. However, if it blinks red, the error code is an Alarm.

As we progress in this article, you will learn in detail why the light turns on, what to do when it happens, and how to troubleshoot and reset your Rheem Gladiator Water heater.

Why Does the Service Needed Light on the Rheem Gladiator Water Heater Come On?

Rheem Gladiator Water Heater Service Needed Light On

In line with the statement above, two different error codes make the Service Needed Light of Rheem Gladiator Water Heater come on.

The alarm error codes have a grouping of five based on the number of times the red light blinks.

The table below shows the number of times that the red light blinks and the reason for it:

Number of BlinksReasons
One timeA disconnected lower thermistor 
Two timesA malfunctioning shut-off valve or a rope that comes in contact with water
Three timesNo water in the tank
Four timesFaulty wiring, faulty element, or a tripped or disconnected ECO
Five timesStuck relay of element, defective upper thermistor, or temperature conversion issues

However, the alert error code is identifiable when the light turns on and remains solid red. 

Several reasons can cause the light to turn on, and they are;

  1. WiFi and communication control error
  2. Disconnected leak sensor
  3. Activation of the 24-hour Leak Detection Override
  4. Exceeding Configuration write limit
  5. Failure from the Configuration data store

What to Do When the Rheem Gladiator Water Heater Service Needed Light Comes On?

You can do simple things when the Rheem Gladiator Water Heater Service Needed light turns on. We will analyze a few quick fixes that you can perform when this happens.

We will see the fixes for when the red light stays solid red and the fixes you should perform for the various blinks you will see. 

Below are the individual fixes you are to perform:

#1. For Solid Red Light

You need to confirm that the leak sensor is still attached, and you can do so by just opening the lower cavity to see whether it comes off. If it happens to come off, reconnect it.

But if the problems are related to your WiFi, the best you can do is try to re-establish the connection.

#2. For One Time Blink of Red Light

Since this is a case related to a disconnected thermistor, usually due to failure to lower it, I recommend you seek the assistance of a plumber to address the issue.

You need to call a plumber because it is a task that requires the necessary skill. But an alternative to that would be to call customer service in search of a solution.

#3. For Two Blinks of Red Light

When your rope sensor senses water, it automatically means water in the pan. You have to check the pan for water and remove it from the pan.

Then ensure you dry the pan with a dryer or a shop vac.

However, if you learn that the main reason the service-needed light blinks twice is the shut-off valve, call a skilled plumber to accomplish the task.

#4. For Three Blinks of Red Light

It will happen when there is no water in the tank. An attempt to refill the water heater will not cause the red light to go off. 

Instead, you must turn off the heater and open the water supply valve to the heater.

The moment you succeed in filling the tank, you must close up the water supply valve. And keep in mind that while you are filling, the drain and pressure relief valves should be close to each other.

#5. For Four Blinks of Red Light

If you are addressing this problem, check the upper and lower wiring and the ECO for any disconnection. And if your wire requires reconnecting, start doing so.

If you are not that good at electrical work, it will be best to call a professional electrician with both the skills and experience. You should reset the ECO when it trips off.

Then remember to carefully observe the upper and the lower elements to see if they are faulty or need replacement. Or better still, hire a professional to handle the task.

#6. For Five Blinks of Red Light

All issues that will cause your Service Needed Light to blink five times are problems that require professional handling. On this note, I will advise you to seek the skill of your plumber. 

How to Troubleshoot and Reset the Lights on a Rheem Gladiator Water Heater?

It is already clear to you that the Service Needed Lights will turn on when there are problems with the heater. So, to troubleshoot, you need to know the problems first.

Below are some of the problems that you will see and the way you can go about troubleshooting them when they arise:

#1. WiFi or Control Communication Error

The WiFi or control communication problem is one factor that makes the Service Needed Light turn solid red. 

However, in this particular issue, the light that indicates your WiFi Status will turn red and blink thrice before a pause. 

Before attempting to fix it, you must try resetting the WiFi Module and reconnecting the heater to the internet.

To troubleshoot the problem, you must reset the WiFi Module because you’ve changed the router’s SSID password or got a new router.

To do this, you have to press and hold the WiFi button for not less than five seconds, and you will then hear three beeps from the digital control’s keypad; below is how you set up the WiFi.

  1. Use two seconds to press and hold WiFi, and the indicator light will turn blue after the beep of the keypad. 
  2. For the next 30 minutes, you will have an active setup mode.
  3. The WiFi on your mobile phone should be turned on and connected to your water heater.
  4. Then go to either your Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and download the EcoNet app.
  5. Sign in but by first creating an account.
  6. Your water heater would then be able to communicate with the app.
  7. Follow every instruction given by the EcoNet app to complete the setup.
  8. At this point, you should have a solid blue WiFi status light.

#2. Disconnected Leak Sensor

A detached leak sensor is yet another reason that can cause a solidly red state of the Service Needed Light. It simply means that the leak rope harness is falling apart from the sensor.

To fix this, check the state of the leak sensor, whether it’s loose or not, by opening the lower element cavity.

Note: as an added information, remember to cut off the heater’s electricity from the circuit breaker. To remove the lower element and insulator, use a screwdriver like this.

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#3. Detected Leak

One good thing about the Rheem Gladiator Sensor is its leak detection sensor that notifies you of a leak to avoid further damage. The heater will display a red light once it senses a leak.

It will be best to activate the 24-Hour Leak Detection Override feature, but ensure that there is no leak from the heater before doing so.

The next thing you should do is press the Clear Alarm button for a second. And at the point of release, you should hear a beeping noise.

It can silence the alarm beep and allow water to run for 24 hours. But if this override feature is on when the leak is detached, the Service Needed Light will turn solid red.

Here’s how to resolve this. First, search for the leak source, usually at the bottom, top, or collar vent. The moment you find it, fix it quickly.

If the red light of the Rheem Gladiator heater persists for more than 24 hours, then call the Rheem Support Center or a professional plumber.

However, other reasons still cause the Rheem Gladiator Service Needed Light to stay solid red, and these include:

  1. Configuration write limit exceeded
  2. Configuration data reset failure

To address these problems, endeavor to reach out to Rheem Customer Service or, better still, call for a professional plumber.

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