Where’s The Reset On My Rheem AC Unit?

Rheem AC Reset Button

The Rheem AC reset button is easier to find than most air conditioners. To find your Rheem reset button location, look for the red button next to the copper lines connecting to the unit coming from your house. You may be out of luck if you don’t see a red reset button there. Some units have no reset.

Rheem is one of just a few manufacturers with reset buttons accessible to the curious homeowner who likes to push buttons. It’s available to anyone who wants to reset the button, but beware, there is a reason that this reset has stopped your AC from working.

Rheem Air Conditioner or Heat Pump Reset Button Location

Why Do Air Conditioners Have Reset Buttons?

The Rheem air conditioner reset button is a high-pressure reset meant to protect your system from further damage. Go ahead, push your air conditioner outside unit reset button once, and if it seems to carry on in good order, then OK. But if it trips again, call a professional to figure out the problem.

I’d get it checked out anyway. If it tripped, there’s a reason.

Compressors in heat pumps and air conditioners pump refrigerant, which most people call Freon. Freon is a brand name like Kleenex, and we’ve all gotten used to those little paper tissues being called Kleenex.

So, it’s called refrigerant (or freaky frost) in the HVAC trade.

It’s also very possible that a system could have too much refrigerant, and the pressure switch would trip.

A dirty filter in a heat pump’s air handler (furnace) will cause the high-pressure switch to trip while in heat mode. I’ve found systems with filters in places the customer was unaware of, and they get plugged and cause those resets to trip.

The customer would change the filter he knew about, and the hidden filter got left to plug up like a board in the duct, stopping nearly all the airflow.

Another strange event that seldom happens is an outdoor fan running backward. Everything seems to be operating normally. The last one I caught running backward was peculiar. I didn’t notice the backward fan until I stood right next to the unit and felt only slight airflow, which was in the wrong direction.

A weak capacitor can sometimes cause a fan motor to run or quit altogether. These are excellent reasons for a manual reset.

When an AC compressor pumps refrigerant, it pumps it into a hot, high-pressure state. The fan in your outdoor unit is meant to help cool that refrigerant before it travels into the coil in your house that is closely attached to your furnace.

If something happens to that fan and it quits spinning, that red reset button will trip and shut off the unit. Other situations can occur also to trip the reset. Anything that blocks the airflow that the outdoor fan is meant to create can also cause a tripped high-pressure switch.

Things that block airflow can be anything from brush too close to the unit or debris, like leaves and junk left to accumulate on the coil.

Some outdoor units have coils that are not easy to see, being covered up mainly by a louvered shroud surrounding the unit. You may need to get down on your knees and look up into the coil through the louvers to see if the coil looks clean.

Some of the coils are doubled, and the debris gets stuck between the coil layers. These are significantly difficult to clean, and many get neglected throughout the unit’s life.

Is There Such A Thing As A Nuisance Trip?

As the word connotes, nuisance trips would be the reset button trips for no reason. That’s always possible. The thing to do would be to either replace it or bypass the reset if you have proven that it trips for no apparent reason.

It’s not a common problem for these pressure switches to fail. They are generally very dependable. But they can fail.

Special tools and skills would be required to diagnose the problem.

Why Rheem and Ruud (like Chevrolet and GMC) have to have a pressure switch is for the protection of their equipment. However, many other manufacturers have auto-reset high and/or low-pressure switches.

Some come with high-pressure switches, while others have both high and low-pressure ones. High-pressure switches protect the unit from situations that run up the head pressure, and low-pressure switches mainly safeguard the system from loss of refrigerant.

What Could Happen If I Keep Pushing The Reset Button?

If your heat pump keeps tripping off on the little red reset button, and you continue to push it to reset the unit, you are pushing your luck. The compressor could be damaged internally.

The cost to replace a compressor could exceed $2000 and potentially cause other problems in the system.

It is best to leave well enough alone and call a professional after the first attempt to push the reset.


If your system is old, closely examine the coils. You may need to remove the top of the unit to see what’s on or even in the coils.

On the outdoor coil, you can use a hose with a nozzle and spray directly on the coil, and you will probably see all kinds of junk come out.

Be careful not to use too much pressure as you can damage the aluminum fins, and then you would be blocking airflow in another way.

Indoor coils are a little harder to clean. A vacuum cleaner does not do a proper job. Chemicals are the only way to get indoor coils cleaned. The stuff is embedded in these coils.

If your Ruud air conditioner reset button goes off, get it checked out. The brand doesn’t matter. Reset buttons are not prejudiced; they are installed to protect your pocketbook. It would always be a good idea to have it checked professionally and make sure the symptom is identified.

Chad Peterson

Chad Peterson is a veteran of the HVAC industry since 1977. "I like to explain heating and air conditioning problems in a way the average home owner can understand. "

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