Bradford White Water Heater Reset Button (Ultimate Guide)

Bradford White makes solid water heater units though they are not as popular as brands like Rheem, Rinnai and Navien. 

Complicating the cause of the manufacturer is that they have chosen the use Honeywell branded control valves on their water heating units. 

So when faced with an issue in the middle of a shower or load of laundry without hot water, it can be quite the challenge trying to figure out how to reset the water heater to resume flow of hot water. 

Also, manufacturers make reset buttons hard to activate to prevent someone from bumping into them and shutting off the water heater. 

This article will discuss you where the Bradford White Reset Button is located and how to use it.

Where is the Reset Button on a Bradford White Water Heater

Bradford water heater

The reset button on the Honeywell Gas valve on the Bradford White Water heater is the pilot light knob. You can reset the water heater by lighting the pilot and turning the knob to “very hot” for ten seconds, “hot” for ten seconds and to “pilot” for 10 seconds. Your code light will begin blinking normally

Most water heaters have a reset button which is usually found underneath a metal cover in the middle of the water tank. The Bradford White Water Heater is different in this regard. 

Bradford White Hot Water Heater Control Valve

How to Reset Your Bradford White Water Heater

When you arrive at your water heater, you will notice that the code light is either blinking abnormally or permanently on, indicating that there is a fault.

You can reset your Bradford White hot Water heater in four steps.

Bradford White/Honeywell Gas Control Valve
  1. Head to you hot water tank and make sure that the pilot light turned on.
  2. Turn the pilot light knob to the “very hot” position for 10 seconds. 
  3. Turn the pilot light knob to the “hot” position for 10 seconds. 
  4. Turn the pilot light knob to the “pilot” position for 10 seconds 

At the end of this sequence, the pilot light will begin blinking again.

Why is My Bradford White Hot Water Heater Tripping the Reset Button?

Bradford White designs its heater reset buttons to trip as a safety precaution. When the water temperature rises in an uncontrolled fashion, the reset button is tripped.

Here are some reasons why the reset button may trip.

Bad Heating Element

The heating element is responsible for raising the temperature of the water in the tank.

If it is damaged or has a short in it, the temperature of the water will continue to rise. This triggers the reset button to trip because it is unable to communicate with the thermostat.

To resolve this issue, a replacement heating element may be required.

Pair of two corroded hot water heater elements.

Faulty Thermostat

The thermostats in the water heater are responsible for monitoring the temperature in the tank.

It operates by delivering signals to the heating element, which either turns on to boost the temperature or turns off to lower it.

If the thermostat fails, it is unable to perform its function, causing the reset button to trip since there is no communication between the thermostat and the heating element.

Electrical Problems 

Electrical issues are a common cause for the Bradford White water heater’s reset button to trip. I normally start by looking for faulty wiring and damaged circuit breakers.

The reset button might be tripped by loose wires. In many circumstances, you can see when there is an issue with the wiring of your unit’s components. You may find burnt pieces, or when you delicately pull on a wire, it may entirely detach from the component to which it is attached.

Circuit breakers deteriorate as they age as well. When you open your electrical panel, you may notice that they are hot to the touch, and you may even smell burning.

Checking for and removing electrical problems as a possible reason of your unit’s reset button tripping is an important step in the troubleshooting process.

What setting should my Bradford White Water Heater be on

Bradford water heater 1

Your Bradford White water heater should be set at a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature recommended by the department of energy.

This temperature maximizes the balance between what is needed for most home uses and controlling your energy costs. The hotter the temperature, the more energy is required to maintain that temperature because your water heater will need to cycle on and off more frequently. 

Bradford White Hot Water Heater Control Settings

The Bradford White Water Heater has the following Temperature Settings

Low90 degrees
Hot120 degrees
A130 degrees
B140 degrees
C150 degrees
Very Hot160 degrees

Bradford White Hot Water Heater Settings

One thing I have noticed is that the temperature setting at the water heater can be very different from the temperature at the point of use. Heat losses can occur all through your piping system. It is important to keep this in mind and use a thermometer to determine if the temperature is where you expect it to be.

How to Turn Up Bradford White Water Heater

The Bradford White Control Valve has three settings, A, B, C on the pilot light knob to control the maximum temperature of the water heater. 

To change the maximum temperature on the water heater, turn the dial up from A to B or to C. It is important to wait for at least 30 minutes for the switch in temperature to take full effect. It takes the heating elements that much time after the dial is adjusted to heat up the water that is in the tank.

Does a Bradford White Water Heater Thermostat Have a Battery

No. The Bradford White Water Heater Thermostat/Gas Valve is not powered by a battery. The thermostat is powered by a thermocouple. The thermocouple works by converting heat it generates in to electricity. 

Thermocouple – Photo Credit Grainger Supply House


The heat is generated as a result of the deferential in conductivity that occurs within the thermocouple. That differential causes electrical current to flow which in turn powers the thermostat. 

Bradford White Water Heater Flammable Vapor Sensor Reset

The flammable vapor sensor is reset differently from other faults on the Bradford White Water heater. Here are the steps to reset this fault.

  1. Turn the gas valve by turning off the pilot light.
  2. Turn the pilot dial to the very hot position 
  3. Turn the pilot dial to the vacation setting 
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 six times.

The above steps will reset the flammable vapor sensor fault. 

Bradford White Water Heater Reset

Resetting your Bradford White Water Heater is relatively easy once you realize that there is no reset button. Make sure that the pilot is turned on, switch the dial to “very hot” for 10 seconds, to “hot” for 10 seconds and to “pilot” for 10 seconds. This will reset your water heater.