Intermatic Water Heater Timer Troubleshooting [9 Easy Solutions] 

You obviously know just how great Intermatic water heater timers are. They save you a lot of trouble. But certain issues can hamper their regular functionality. 

However, you don’t have to worry about your water heater timer problems. Leave that to us. In this article, we will discuss 9 vital Intermatic water heater timer troubleshooting.

By the end, you will become efficient enough to deal with all kinds of Intermatic water heater timer issues. So let’s get started.

9 Common Intermatic Water Heater Timer Troubleshooting

If you follow the Intermatic water heater timer instructions, your water heater will stop giving you trouble. However, the timer itself can have certain difficulties as well.

You obviously want to fix these issues, right? Take a quick glance at the following discussion. Here you will find the perfect solution to your Internmatic water heater timer problem.

1. The Pump Is Not Switching On Or Off

The pump may not turn on even if the clock on the timer is functioning perfectly. The reason behind this issue is that Intermatic timer trippers not working.

Tripper sends signals to your pump from the timer. So if the tippers are faulty, the pump may not switch on or off.


Replacing the trippers is the solution in this situation. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Unscrew the tripper on the timer
  • Remove the tripper from its place
  • Clean the spot
  • Place a new tripper in the perfect position
  • Screw it tightly in its place

2. The Heater Is Switching Off At The Wrong Time

Your timer is beneficial only because it switches off your pump at the designated time. But it may stop your heater at the wrong time due to specific issues such as incorrect tripper position and incorrect clock setting.


If your water heater is switching off at the wrong time, then here’s what you can do:

  • Check if the time setting is okay
  • See if the clock time is accurately set
  • Make sure that the tripper is perfectly placed

3. Incorrect Clock-Time

The water heater timer switches your heater on and off in accordance with the time you set. However, if the device clock time is not accurate, the timer will fail to shut the system on and off at the right time.


Setting the clock time in the Intermatic water heater timer is very easy. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Press the CLOCK button and hold it till the options come
  • Hold the DAY button till the display shows the current date
  • Hold the HOUR button till the display shows the current hour
  • Hold the MIN button till the display shows the current minute

After this, your Intermatic water heater’s clock time will be perfectly set.

4. Loose Middle Time Pointer / Time Points Wobbling

With time, your Intermatic timer’s pointer will get loose. A wobbling middle-time pointer can set the tripper off at unwanted hours.


Tightening the middle-time pointer is easy. Here’s what to do:

  • Take a flathead screwdriver
  • Loosen the pointer only a bit by turning the screwdriver anti-clockwise
  • Now tighten up that pointer by turning the screwdriver clockwise

5. Timer Clock Is Not Turning

The timer clock of your Intermatic water heater timer may not turn due to several reasons. Prominent issues can lie in the timer itself. The power supply for the heater timer can be the culprit as well.


If your timer its-self is broken, then fix it in the following way:

  • Examine the timer clock’s time. Incorrect time settings can be the reason why your timer is not turning at the right time
  • Take a flathead screwdriver and tighten up the middle-time pointer
  • Pull the yellow clock toward you and move it around a bit before placing it back 
  • Closely examine if the gears are running. There might be missing teeth or clogged dirt. Change the gear or clean the component with light pressure

The timer can be perfectly fine, yet the clock still may not turn. As discussed earlier, power supply issues can cause it. Here’s how to deal with it,

  • Turn the heater power supply switch off. Then turn it on again after a few minutes
  • Examine the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped. Turn the switch “ON” if it did
  • Measure the voltage of the timer input with a voltmeter. If the reading is over or beyond 110V and 220V AC, then the power supply is faulty. Call your electrician to fix this issue.

6. Timer Fails To Manually Turn The Heater On

Your water heater timer can fail to turn the heater on. This usually happens when you try to use your water heater after a long gap. 


A jammed switch is a reason why your water heater timer failed to turn the device on manually. Here’s what you can do about it:

  • Locate the On/Off switch
  • Use a screwdriver if something hard is stuck there. 
  • Now take a brush and clean off the excessive dirt
  • Use lubricant in the switch

Now try to turn the switch on. It should work perfectly.

7. Mechanical Timer Switch Not Working

This timer switch troubleshooting is a bit dangerous. The mechanical switch not working means that the contacts of the timer switch have worn out. This loose contract leaks electricity.


You have to replace the contacts in the timer. It can be risky to do it by yourself. Call your local electrician instead. 

8. Little Gray Box Timer Not Working

The little grey box makes it easy to control the Intermatic water heater timer. However, you may have to face a lot of difficulties if this component doesn’t work properly. Fortunately, there is a way to fix it.


The best ways of dealing with a faulty little grey box of timer are:

  • Check if the power supply is reaching the box
  • Then check the inside of the box. There can be faulty wiring
  • Locate the defective wires and replace them with new ones

This will bring back the conveniences of the little grey box.

9. Intermatic Timer Turns Off But Not On

If your Intermatic timer automatically turns off but doesn’t seem to turn on, the problem might be the trippers. Notice if the timer point passes the ON point without having any effect. This is a clear sign that the faulty tripper is the issue.


Here’s what you can do in this situation:

  • Locate the ON switch tripper
  • Unscrew the tripper
  • Purchase a similar item
  • Screw it tightly in its position

And this was pretty much it. Knowing about these 9 troubleshooting will help you deal with any issue you may have with your Intermatic water heater timer.

How To Bypass Hot Water Heater Timer To Avoid Issues

Bypassing a hot water heater timer basically means disabling or turning off the timer. As the water heater timer is an external component, its removal does the work of bypassing perfectly. However, you shouldn’t turn this into a regular practice.

Consider bypassing only when you fail to deal with the water heater timer issue. What you can do is keep the water heater timer disconnected and call a professional or Intermatic customer support center for help. Here’s how to disconnect/bypass the Intermatic hot water heater timer:

  • Firstly, you have to turn the whole system off. This will ensure your safety
  • Now, open the timer panel and locate the wiring
  • Once all the wire connection is visible to you, detach each connection one by one

If you turn your water on now, it should run without any impact on the timer. To remove the water heater timer easily, you can watch the video.


How much does the water heater timer replacement cost?

Water heater timer replacement can cost around $100 to $300 on average.

How long does a water heater timer last?

A water heater time lasts around 20 years.

How do you program a timer switch?

You can easily program a timer switch by pressing the PRG switch. It will show you the available programming options.

How do I reset my timer switch?

You can easily reset your timer switch by pressing the Reset switch.

How much does the heater timer tripper cost?

A decent set of Intermatic water heater timer trippers costs around $25.

Final Words:

Knowing about the Intermatic water heater timer troubleshooting will save you from a lot of trouble. If you can follow our discussion properly, then you are sure to have a perfectly working water heater timer for years to come. 

However, if you have any confusion, then let us know in the comment below.

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 “Intermatic Water Heater Timer Troubleshooting [9 Easy Solutions] ”

    • Hi Diana
      Watch this video. Here is the whole installation process of the water heater timer panel. The way he connects the wires, you just need to disconnect them. Remember to turn the whole system off before doing the job.

      Wish you all the best.


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