Rheem Gladiator 50 gal "a114 error"

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Rachel Bayne

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Hello! I installed a Rheem Gladiator 50 gal water heater 3 weeks ago. Worked perfect. No leaks, perfect temp every time. During my daughters' bath last night the WH started beeping. Checking the app said it was an a114 error... And WH should be replaced. (Manual suggests it is a temperature problem) The water temp was normal and the unit didn't feel hot at all. I called Rheem and they said it most likely is something that broke while at Home Depot or during shipment. They are sending someone out tomorrow.

My question is if there is something I could have done wrong during installation. I was super careful, followed all rules. House is 10 years old. Went from a 4500 to a 5500. Checked breaker and it's a double 30a. I replaced the thermal expansion tank and made sure it's pressure matched the house's pressure. Any other info needed from me to answer my question?

Thanks!
 

WorthFlorida

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The usual mistake DIYer's make is power is turned on before the heating elements are covered with water. It is usually an instant burn out of one or both heating elements so your problem could be a bad controller. There is nothing else that you could have done to cause a problem.

My 2 cents worth:
Other than a heat pump water heater, all of these smart WH are is a standard water heaters with a fancy controller, and like all electronics they are subject to failure. Standard electric water heaters have two heating elements and two mechanical thermostats. Generally bullet proof and years without failures and the parts are cheap.
 

Rachel Bayne

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Thank you for your reply! I made sure to wait until long after all air burps in the hot line were done for all taps in the house. My construction boss neighbor (who helped me by answering lots of questions) forgot to fill his sister-in-law's WH before turning the power on. It was dead the next day. I was extra careful because of his mistake.

My money is on also on the controller. This unit has great reviews, but several have changed their review after getting never ending error messages. Most had to do with leaks.

Thanks again :)
 

HudsonDIY

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Just to put your mind at ease HD plays ping pong with these things. I recently installed a new Rheem from HD and had to go through 4 units to get one that wouldn't leak. The store manager verified that this is a very common problem.

Having worked for a multibillion dollar millwork supplier who supplied both HD and Lowes I'm guessing they just send them back to Rheem and Rheem has to just bite the bullet. On paper we were selling them both below margin, they set the prices and terms.

After all was said and done I ended up with a free water heater so it wasn't a total waste.
 

Rachel Bayne

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Thanks, Hudson. Home Depot said they'd swap it out... but Since I picked it up myself, I think Im stuck with draining current WH and lugging it back. WH is in a closet in the upstairs master bedroom. So dumb to put it there.

Plumber finally called... Originally said he'd be here at 7am... It's almost 9am. Hopefully he isn't a jerk. I could hear his assistant roll her eyes at me when, on the phone, I said I installed it myself. Fingers crossed!
 

Rachel Bayne

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Plumber says he thinks there must be some residual water under the tank from the previous one. Our old one didn't leak until we moved it. He removed the water sensor and the alarm isn't going off. I'm going to drain the WH, lift it up and dry underneath. (Can't imagine there is much water... I did dry it first) He also recommended a larger pan underneath.

Still confused that the error code (and Rheem) said something is broken. The leak sensor never went off. I think I'll call Rheem later to see what they say.

The plumber did say I installed properly. So there's that!
 

Rachel Bayne

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So, it's been 3 days and, again, during my kids' bath the beeping went off. Another a114 error. Thankfully their support line is open on a Sunday. They had me take both panels off and inspect the wires. Everything looks good, nothing melting, no smells. Multimeter reads normal so they think it's the control panel. A one month old unit and I have to replace a part. I kinda want to take it back and get a new one, but I might be too lazy to go through all that. They said could I continue to use it... I'll just have to keep resetting it each time I get an error. Clearly the plumber was not smart.
 
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