AO Smith Water Heater Blinks 3 Times [4 Easy Solutions]

AO Smith water heater blinks 3 times because of the blower problems, issues with the pressure switch, faulty gas valves, and a blocked exhaust vent.

Here, in this guide, we have done extensive research and come up with these 4 reasons for this problem and their solutions.

We declare that these solutions will help you to fix your water heater problems. And it will help you to order the correct parts of the AO Smith water heater for replacement. Therefore, let’s get started.

Here are the common reasons behind your AO Smith water heater blinking 3 times and their solutions.

1. Blower Problems

If the blower of your AO Smith water heater has a long vent run, then the cubic feet of air moved per minute will be decreased over time.

The problem is when the fan’s cubic feet of air moved per minute decreases it won’t pull the pressure switch in. 

As a result, the AO Smith water heater will keep blinking 3 times. You will also keep listening to the pilot attempting to light and cycle, but there will be no flame on the bottom. In this case, you need to replace the blower to solve the problem.

2. Pressure Switch Problems

Sometimes, the pressure switch failed to close, causing your Ao Smith water heater to blink 3 times. It will also cause the fan of the water heater not to work.

To remove a stuck closed draft pressure switch, you need to check for continuity across the pressure switch terminals when the fan is not working. 

If you have continuity then you will have to change the pressure switch. You can also try removing a lead from the pressure switch to solve this problem.

3. Faulty Gas Valve

If the gas valves of the Ao Smith water heater are faulty, then it will blink 3 times. You need to replace the gas valves to solve this problem.

However, if the age of your Ao Smith water heater is more than 10 years, then replacing the gas valves is possibly not cost-effective since the tank of the water heater could leak at any time.

In that case, you may need to change and install the whole Ao Smith water heater.

4. Blocked Exhaust Vent

Sometimes a blocked exhaust vent or a weak fan causes an open draft pressure switch. As a result, your Ao Smith water heater will blink 3 times. In this case, you need to replace the exhaust vent and the fan.


How to reset the Ao smith water heater?

Before doing anything, first, you need to ensure that there is no electricity reaching the power unit by disconnecting the power unit. Then, find and remove the cover plate. For doing it, you will require a screwdriver. Now, remove the insulation. After that, tap the reset button. Finally, reassemble and turn on the Ao Smith water heater.

How long does an ao smith water heater last?

Generally, an Ao Smith water heater lasts between 10-12 years. But, it depends on various factors including water quality, usage volume or frequency, temperature setting, and many more. Some Ao Smith water heaters can even last more than 20 years.

Why is my ao smith water heater beeping?

Your Ao Smith water heater can beep for your water heater requiring descaling, overheating warning, extreme water pressure, low fuel, and the air intake or vent channel being blocked. Your Ao Smith water heater can also beep if there is any leakage, it can be a water or gas leakage or a faulty sensor. A low inlet supply or clogged inlet or aerator can also cause this problem.

How long does it take for the water heater to reset?

The average reset time for an 80-gallon electric tank water heater with an arriving water temperature of 62 degrees is 120 minutes. And the average reset time for an 80-gallon gas tank water heater with an arriving water temperature of 62 degrees is 60-70 minutes.

Is there a reset button on a hot water heater?

Yes, there is a reset button on a hot water heater which comes with the red color button.


We are hopeful that after reading this guide, now you can solve the 3-blinking issue easily. If your problem has not been solved after trying all the solutions described in this article, then let us know in the comment box.

We will be happy to help you.

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

2 thoughts on “AO Smith Water Heater Blinks 3 Times [4 Easy Solutions]”

    • Hi Mark

      As your water heater light blinks continuously & the pilot won’t light, there may be a problem with the pilot light.

      In this case, first, clean the pilot assembly using compressed air. If cleaning doesn’t work, check the pilot assembly & fix it if needed. Plus, ensure the proper gas flow, airflow & spark which are needed to light a pilot light.

      Well, if you are not comfortable with the whole procedure, you can take help from a technician or your local AO Smith dealer.

      Have a great day!


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