Taking a cozy, warm shower is a daily ritual we cherish, but it can leave you in the cold when your Bradford White water heater is not heating. Don’t worry if you’re hooking up with a Bradford water heater; there’s no heating scene. This comprehensive guide is designed for Bradford White water heaters with no heating problems, finding common culprits and offering step-by-step troubleshooting to get your hot water supply back on track.

Bradford White Water Heater Thermocouple

Some gas water heaters rely on a small but crucial thermocouple component. It detects the pilot flame and allows the gas valve to open. Check if the pilot flame is lit. If not, try safely relighting it. If the thermocouple itself is faulty, consider a replacement.

Incoming Power Problem

Electric water heaters require a solid 240-volt supply, while their gas-powered counterparts depend on a 120-volt blower assembly. Confirmation of the presence of power is essential. To be sure, check the outlet voltage using a multimeter or plug it into another working device. Remember to check the breaker or fuse of an electric water heater.

Tripped Limit Switch or Thermostat

Most water heaters have resettable limit switches or thermostats that can trip, interrupting the flow of electricity to the heating elements. Find the reset button on the limit switch or thermostat and press it. Listen for that satisfying click. If this fails to reset, it’s worth considering replacing the component.

Bradford White Water Heater Pilot

The pilot gas is the ignition source for the burner. Any obstruction or defect can disrupt the heating process. If the pilot passage is blocked by carbon deposits or other debris, thoroughly cleaning with a stiff brush or compressed air is possible. But if it’s gone too far, replacing the pilot is the next step.

Bradford White Water Heater Gas Valve and Thermostat Assembly

The gas valve assembly regulates the flow of gas to the burner. Bradford water heaters need help with heating problems. Make sure both the ignition source and sufficient gas pressure are working correctly. If they check out, consider replacing the gas valve and thermostat assembly.

Reset Button Tripped (Electric Water Heaters)

Electric water heaters have a built-in safety feature—a limit switch that cuts power to the heating elements if it detects overheating. To restart your heater, press the reset button to restore power. Also, check the condition of the heating element and thermostat for possible replacement.

Bradford White Water Heater Draft Inducer Motor

The draft inducer motor ensures proper airflow, a prerequisite for efficient heating.

Inspect the motor for signs of wear or obstruction in the vacuum port. If you find problems, a replacement may be necessary.

Bradford White Water Heater Ignition Module

The ignition module ignites the burner. A malfunction here spells ignition trouble.

Verify that power is reaching the ignition module. If power is present, yet the burner refuses to light, it’s time to consider a new ignition module.

Gas Valve Assembly in Bradford White Water Heater

The gas valve assembly regulates the flow of gas to the burner. A malfunction can stop the heating process. Verify that both the ignition source and gas pressure are up to snuff. If they are, the gas valve assembly may need replacement.

Bradford White Water Heater Heating Element

Electric water heaters rely on heating elements to do the heavy lifting. A defective part can easily interrupt the heating process. Use a multimeter to test the element for continuity. If it falls short, a replacement is in order.

Flame Sensor

The central burner relies on a flame sensor to detect the presence of a flame. If the main burner does not stay lit, it may be due to a dirty or damaged flame sensor. Inspect the flame sensor for dirt or damage and replace it if necessary. Manufacturers usually include flame sensors as part of the igniter assembly and may not sell them separately.

High Limit Thermostat

High-limit thermostats are essential safety devices that can trip if the water temperature gets too high, shutting off power to prevent overheating. Check if your high-limit thermostat has a reset button on the back. Press it and listen for a click. If it does not reset, consider replacing the thermostat.

Temperature Control Thermostat

A temperature control thermostat senses and regulates the temperature of the water. If it is faulty, it can lead to incorrect heating. Consider replacing the temperature control thermostat if your water heater’s temperature is inconsistent.


The thermostat is responsible for monitoring the water temperature in the tank. A faulty thermostat can result in insufficient heat. Testing for proper operation with a multimeter is recommended if you suspect a defective thermostat. Change it if needed.


The function of the igniter is to ignite the pilot. When the pilot ignites, the gas valve allows gas to enter the main burner, starting the heat. If the pilot does not land, the problem may be a defective igniter. Consider replacing it to ensure a smooth ignition process.

Temperature Sensor

Water heaters with an explosive vaporization system (FVIR) may have a temperature sensor to ensure safety. If this sensor trips, it can cause heating problems. Instead of trying to reset a tripped temperature sensor, consider replacing it. Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions.

 Bradford White Water Heater Temperature Sensor (FVIR)

If your water heater has a flammable vapor system (FVIR), the temperature sensor can occasionally trip, causing heating problems. Instead of resetting the tripped sensor, Your owner’s manual recommends replacing it.

Bradford White Water Heater Limit Switch 

Like other limit switches, these can occasionally trip and disrupt the heating system.

Locate and press the reset button, listening for a reassuring click. If it remains unresponsive, consider replacing the switch or thermostat.


Troubleshooting a Bradford White water heater that refuses to heat can be a daunting task, but rest assured that this guide to Bradford White water heaters covers the most common problems, not just heating issues, and provides a roadmap for assessing and resolving them. Safety should always be your priority when working on your water heater, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help to ensure a safe and efficient solution to your heating problem. With patience and persistence, you’ll soon be enjoying the warmth of your hot water once again.

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