Whirlpool Energy Smart Water Heater Bypass (How and Why)

Whirlpool makes excellent Smart Water heaters that are much more convenient and easier to use than traditional heaters. But there are certain situations where you might want to bypass the innovative feature.

In this article, I will show you proven ways to bypass the intelligent functionality in your heater so that it can be operated as a standard heater.

Here is a list of tools that you might require to fix this problem.

How To Bypass Whirlpool Energy Smart Water Heater

Whirlpool Energy Smart Water Heater Bypass (How and Why)

The intelligent functionality on your Whirlpool Smart Water Heater can bypass the thermostat control panel or a non-Smart thermostat.

1. Reset the heater

Before we move on to more complex and more complicated steps, it is always good practice to reset the heater to clear any errors that might pop up unexpectedly.

Firstly, look for an LED on the control panel of your heater and check if it is blinking. A blinking LED will tell you if the temperature sensor is working correctly.

You should not bypass your heater’s smart panel if your temperature sensor malfunctions. A reset of the heater should also reset the sensor.

Here is how you can reset your Whirlpool Smart Heater-

  1. Turn off the heater and unplug it from the wall.
  2. Wait for 10 minutes at the least.
  3. Check for a broken fuse.
  4. Make sure the connections are intact and start it back up again.

If your Whirlpool Smart Water heater has a reset button, this process is even more straightforward-

  1. Find the control circuit on the side of your Whirlpool Smart heater. The control circuit is a rectangular panel that contains the heater’s safety controls
  2. At the center of the control panel of your Whirlpool Smart Heater, locate a large red button.
  3. Press this large red button for at least 3 seconds. This will reset the thermal switch on your Whirlpool Smart Heater.

2. Check the heater’s power

Before you bypass intelligent operations in your Whirlpool Water Heater, check out the power situation around the heater and in your home.

The last thing you want when working on the heater is a power surge that might harm you.

Here are a few ways you can make sure there are no power issues.

1. Test your outlet

Make sure that the heater’s plug is securely plugged into an outlet. If it still doesn’t power on, plug in another appliance to find out if the outlet is faulty or the washer.

2. Look for blown fuses or tripped breakers

Check your home’s circuit box and replace any fuses or breakers that are blown. Note that heaters need at least 1 of them to run correctly.

3. Do not use extension cords

These can’t power large appliances and lead to malfunctioning as they cannot safely conduct the required voltages. Plug your heater directly into the wall.

3. Unlock the heater interface

The next step you must carry out before bypassing the Whirlpool Smart Water Heater is to unlock its user interface.

Unlocking the heater interface is necessary as it allows us to access previously inaccessible functions.

You can unlock the interface on your control panel by following these steps-

  1. Locate the lock button on the main control panel. It might not be immediately visible, so have a closer look.
  2. Press and hold the lock button for 5 seconds at the least and then let go.
  3. Your panel should now be unlocked, letting us bypass the Smart functionality for use as a standard heater.

4. Bypass the thermostat control panel

It is a more straightforward solution to bypass the Smart function by using the thermostat control panel.

If you don’t already know, your Whirlpool Smart Water Heater has an intelligent control panel that lets you change all heater functions with a button.

Bypassing the control panel will let you start the heater manually. But remember that this solution is a temporary one. 

Although I would recommend calling a technician, you can follow these steps to bypass the control panel-

  1. Turn off your Whirlpool Smart Heater and unplug it from the wall.
  2. Pull out the control panel by unfastening the clips that hold it on either side.
  3. You will now see a bunch of wires with letters. Find the connectors marked ‘W’ and ‘R.’
  4. Using a nose plier, push the ends of a 22-gauge wire (size can differ) inside the ‘R’ and ‘W’ sockets.
  5. The bypass is complete. You can turn on the heater but keep in mind that it takes a few minutes to turn on after this.

5. Bypass using a non-smart thermostat

Another method is to replace the intelligent thermostat entirely in your Whirlpool Smart Water Heater with a non-smart thermostat.

This is another method where you should know what you are doing, as it is complex and easy to get wrong.

For this reason, I recommend getting the help of a professional. But if you want to do it yourself, here’s how you can-

  1. Turn off your Whirlpool Smart Heater and unplug it from the wall.
  2. Find the thermostat panel and cut through the insulation wallpaper.
  3. Follow the wiring. They should be reconnected with the replacement thermostat precisely as you found them.
  4. Cover the solid wires before connecting them to avoid fire and other accidents.
  5. Cut off the orange wire and ensure you have capped off the opening. Leave the black and red wires in the same place.
  6. Reconnect the rest of the wires as they are and ensure that the cables are securely connected to the terminals.

Alternatives Of Bypassing The Whirlpool Smart Water Heater?

Whirlpool Smart Water Heaters heat water on demand using a smart thermostat and other intelligent functions on their control panels.

However, some might need help finding the imaginative aspect as they have drawbacks.

If someone finds the intelligent control panel overwhelming and complicated, I would recommend some other options.

1. Regular or Non-Smart Heaters

Whirlpool offers a massive range of electric water heaters that vary depending on your needs, do not have the hassle of an intelligent panel and have reliable quality and warranty from the company.

2. Gas Water Heater

Similar to electric heaters, Whirlpool also offers gas-powered heater models that come in various categories fitting many use cases and use natural or propane gas.

Suppose you still want to continue using a Smart Water Heater but want to avoid dealing with the hassle that the smart panel brings. In that case, you can call a professional near you to sort out your issue.

Final Remarks

Whirlpool Smart Water heaters are convenient but can be frustrating when the smart functions do not cooperate, requiring you to bypass them. Here is how you can do that-

  1. Reset the Heater
  2. Unlock the Heater interface
  3. Check the Heater’s power
  4. Bypass the Thermostat control panel
  5. Bypass using a Non-Smart Thermostat