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Dave_O
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2018
163 posts

Help with a water heater
I’ve got a Bradford White gas water heater. It seems like every year, about this time, while it’s starting to heat up, I’ve gotta head up to the attic and reset the water heater because it’s shut off for one reason or another. This time of year it can happen 2-4 times/week. Once it gets hot and stays hot, it seems like everything works fine. Any of you guys have any idea of what I’ve got going on and how I can go about fixing it myself? TIA.
This post was edited on 5/22 at 9:23 pm


gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
4010 posts

re: Help with a water heater
Sorry I can't really help, but I know what you're dealing with. My electric water heater did the same thing for a while and I'd have to reset it a couple times a week, then all of a sudden it worked right and I've not had to do that for a couple years now.


At least mine was on the ground floor and not in the attic.


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CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
579 posts

re: Help with a water heater
You have to keep re-lighting the pilot? If so, sounds like it could be a bad or dirty/corroded thermocouple. If so, cheap part and easy DYI fix. Sometimes just cleaning the tip of the thermocouple with a wire “toothbrush” or sandpaper will fix the problem but if you have to take the thermocouple out to clean it, you might as well replace it. Just check YouTube videos on this.
LINK
This post was edited on 5/22 at 10:55 pm


Dave_O
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2018
163 posts

re: Help with a water heater
I forgot to mention that I replaced the thermocouple 2 years (I think) ago. I’m gonna call a plumbing supply store this morning and get their opinion on it.


CoolHand
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2011
1895 posts

re: Help with a water heater
Is it a whirlpool? I had this issue as well and had to purchase a kit to replace the thermocouple assembly. It was a new design because the old design had been recalled (due to the issue you described). There is a 1-800 number on the side you call. There are so many flavors of this kit, so it’s hard to figure out which one you need without their help. It was about $50.


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mdomingue
LSU Fan
Lafayette, LA
Member since Nov 2010
9035 posts

re: Help with a water heater
You might want to check out the Bradford White website, there is some good info there. You'll need your model number.

https://www.bradfordwhite.com/documentation


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Tigerholic
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2006
1710 posts

re: Help with a water heater
How is the make up air in your attic? Could be a problem with the air quality or venting.


Dave_O
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2018
163 posts

re: Help with a water heater
I called the plumbing supply store down the road from my house, and this was one of the things the guy mentioned as a potential problem. I have ridge vents, fwiw. I’ve never taken a thermometer up there and got an ambient temp. Any suggestions as to lowering the ambient temp, short of installing more ventilation?


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
579 posts

re: Help with a water heater
If you replaced the thermocouple a couple years ago it’s likely another issue. If you have ridge vent in the attic it’s hard to believe you have a venting issue, but I suppose that’s possible. As an aside, last Aug I placed a thermometer in the attic (ridge vent, pretty well ventilated) to see how hot it got and temp approached 130 by 3 pm. No water heater issues.

By chance does the water heater have Honeywell gas valve? If so there are lot of problems with those. Father has a water heater with a Honeywell gas valve and the pilot constantly goes out. I tried troubleshooting shooting for him and came across the issue with those valves, problem in the circuit board in the gas valve as I recall. Wasn’t a simple fix to it as I recall.
This post was edited on 5/23 at 9:24 am


Dave_O
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2018
163 posts

re: Help with a water heater
It IS a Honeywell gas valve. That was another potential problem the guy at the plumbing store mentioned, the circuit board. Is that something I could DIY or should I just call an electrician? I know nothing of circuits and things like that.


idlewatcher
Houston Astros Fan
Houston
Member since Jan 2012
40990 posts

re: Help with a water heater
quote:

You have to keep re-lighting the pilot? If so, sounds like it could be a bad or dirty/corroded thermocouple. If so, cheap part and easy DYI fix. Sometimes just cleaning the tip of the thermocouple with a wire “toothbrush” or sandpaper will fix the problem but if you have to take the thermocouple out to clean it, you might as well replace it. Just check YouTube videos on this.


This guy gets it.

I do think it's a lot more detailed though for weekend warriors. Plus, if it's already out, might as well just replace it with a new TC.


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CoolHand
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2011
1895 posts

re: Help with a water heater
Like I mentioned earlier, if there is a 1-800 on the unit, call it and tell them what’s happening and that you need the kit to fix this. If it’s the recalled one, you might get it for free. At the minimum you’ll get the right replacement part at a reasonable price.


Dave_O
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2018
163 posts

re: Help with a water heater
I’ll do that. Thanks CoolHand.


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
579 posts

re: Help with a water heater
Yes, recommend doing what CoolHand suggests. I went back and checked and it was Nov of last year when discussing this with my father and I did some homework on it. But I’ve forgotten many of the details.

If I recall, one of the complaints stated if even if the gas valve was replaced, Honeywell had not fixed the fundamental issue with that circuit board and so there was no guarantee that a replacement gas valve was going to fix the problem. I would hope that’s changed

Fixing the board is something more along the lines of a “computer tech” or electronics guy. I watched a video of a homeowner that had that background re-soldering certain circuits on the board to fix the problem, and others who watched the videos doing the same and saying it fixed the problem for them.

Hopefully they will send you a new and improved board that will fix the problem. Now that it’s fresh on my mind I’ll check with my father, I think he still has issues with this, but the plumber who installed the unit is a family friend so he just drops by a relights it for him when needed.


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lnomm34
Clemson Fan
Louisiana
Member since Oct 2009
11029 posts

re: Help with a water heater
quote:

It IS a Honeywell gas valve. That was another potential problem the guy at the plumbing store mentioned, the circuit board. Is that something I could DIY or should I just call an electrician? I know nothing of circuits and things like that.


When it fails, what fault code is it giving you? Mine was giving me a 'bad thermopile' fault code a while back. I replaced the thermocouple assembly and tried to light it. It was getting proper signal from the thermocouple, but the pilot wouldn't stay lit when I'd release the button (it would immediately die out).

I ended up ordering a new Honeywell gas valve off of Amazon for $105. The local plumbing supply place was more than double that for the part and they were less than helpful when I went in there to buy one locally.

If you do replace it, you have to drain the tank. It's not difficult and gives you an opportunity to flush the build-up off the bottom of your tank anyway.


Dave_O
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2018
163 posts

re: Help with a water heater
It’s not giving me a code. The pilot goes out, and when I go up to re-light it, I just press the little button to “reset” it. The pilot lights and starts reheating the water. Eventually the pilot goes back out for whatever reason and I repeat the above process.


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
579 posts

re: Help with a water heater
Watch these 2 videos and see if they can help you troubleshoot and potentially fix the problem.

LINK
LINK


Dave_O
Mississippi St. Fan
Member since Apr 2018
163 posts

re: Help with a water heater
Thanks dude


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