Quantcast

Bradford White Defender lp water heater - urgently need help

Help Support Plumbing Forums:

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
I have just done the most stupid and I'm afraid ultimately an expensive thing. I spent almost all day changing a valve to a combination shower/bath faucet (don't ask) and just finished at about 7:00 pm. This was of course to save money as I'm a retired woman of limited means. Well in this house whoever installed the fittings didn't leave any way to shut the water off except by shutting all the water in the house off, along with the condenser for the well pump and when you do that you also have to shut off the bathroom light. Well, I was tired from removing and repairing the valve, working with no light in the bathroom, and the prospect of having no water and just got careless.

The problem happened because I also shut the gas water heater off because I didn't know whether or not when all the water drained that you should do that, but I know you have to with electric water heaters. Well, when I got the tub finished and turned the water on the water heater wouldn't relight.

I remembered that when it happened once before I found a reset button by watching a You tube video. Well this time I couldn't find it on You tube and "guessed" it was behind the little igniter box (wrong of course). Anyway I found that out when I opened the box. I then struggled and struggled to get the thing back on and in the process I managed to unplug a wire (found out where that went, unless it's backwards). The real problem is that I not only scratched the green circuit board a bit trying to get the little pins and the white plastic things where they belonged, but I snapped off the tiny metal pin that goes into the hole where the flashing green lights are located.

Of course after that happened the cover went back on and I then spent about two hours looking for and finally founding a video that shows where the reset button is as none of the manuals seemed to think this is worth mentioning. It was under the metal cover, not the igniter cover.

My question is this, before I have the call a plumber and spend $200 or so dollars, and admit to outright stupidity, is it dangerous and would I stand a chance of blowing myself up if I hit the reset button and tried to light the pilot?

You don't have to point out the folly of my ways, believe me I'm yelling at myself enough, but if you could let me know what you think about the danger of trying to light the water heater I'd really appreciate it.
 

Mr_David

Easily Amused
Professional
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
4,170
Reaction score
1,058
Location
Santee,Ca,
Bradford White is our go to water heater to install so give me a few minutes to look yours up to see what you are referring to. be back soon.
Is it just a standard propane atmospheric vent type.

here is a service manual. Seems like you have some skills and maybe able to figure out what the problem is.
It's what I use when I have to trouble shoot one. which is very rare. Not like the American brand water heaters we used to install. I rarely have to go fix the BW heaters.

If you have a different heater go to their web site and find the manual. just get the model # off the heater.

The Bradford White heaters integrated gas valve LED pilot lite can sometimes tell you what's wrong. it will blink a code to you. on the side of the heater is a list of those codes. Also found in the manual
 
Last edited:

Mr_David

Easily Amused
Professional
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
4,170
Reaction score
1,058
Location
Santee,Ca,
I heaters. Well, when I got the tub finished and turned the water on the water heater wouldn't relight.

I remembered that when it happened once before I found a reset button by watching a You tube video. Well this time I couldn't find it on You tube and "guessed" it was behind the little igniter box (wrong of course). Anyway I found that out when I opened the box. I then struggled and struggled to get the thing back on and in the process I managed to unplug a wire (found out where that went, unless it's backwards). The real problem is that I not only scratched the green circuit board a bit trying to get the little pins and the white plastic things where they belonged, but I snapped off the tiny metal pin that goes into the hole where the flashing green lights are located.

Of course after that happened the cover went back on and I then spent about two hours looking for and finally founding a video that shows where the reset button is as none of the manuals seemed to think this is worth mentioning. It was under the metal cover, not the igniter cover.

My question is this, before I have the call a plumber and spend $200 or so dollars, and admit to outright stupidity, is it dangerous and would I stand a chance of blowing myself up if I hit the reset button and tried to light the pilot?

You don't have to point out the folly of my ways, believe me I'm yelling at myself enough, but if you could let me know what you think about the danger of trying to light the water heater I'd really appreciate it.
I did it again.
I tried to answer a question without completely reading it.
If you think you may have altered the wires, not knowing what model and type of unit you are referring to then I would recommend NOT trying to light it.
If the heater is the same as the manual I linked above than there is probably no danger in trying to light the heater.
The wires are from a small millivolt generator that pass through a high limit switch. That generator produces millivolt to provide power to the circuit in the control valve. If the pilot lights. the flame is what makes the generator work. If the LED light does not come on after you successfully light the pilot than maybe the wire terminals are damaged. You will need a Millivolt voltage test to trouble shoot it.

Good luck
 
Last edited:

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
Thank you for your reply. The wires are really a flat white ribbon with, white, another color and orange ending with a very small white connector that fits into tiny pins behind the circuit board. I kept them straight, but of course they can fit into the pins either way, so I'm just guessing. I couldn't find the part anywhere by searching the part number (WV8840a5000), I guess that's the part number. I can't even find the number on the water heater as it's located right next to a large water treatment canister and I guess is turned around.

I was really most concerned about the broken pin that is located directly behind where to green flashing light is located. If it only indicates the trouble shooting flashes, that's one thing, but if it regulates something and is dangerous to try and start with the pin broken, even supposing it would start without the pin, that's something else.

This water heater is really complicated. In my old house I always had electric ones and since the area had really hard water I must have replaced 5 of them over the years, but there was nothing in them to compare with the complicated innards of this gas one.

I appreciate the manual, it explains a lot more than the ones I found online. I saved it, and if nothing else, it will show me where the reset button is (not that I'm likely to forget again!) and it will also remind me not to mess with such a complicated piece of equipment.

I guess what is really getting my goat is the unaccustomed feeling of having to pay for my own stupidity. I'm old enough that as you usually learn from your mistakes I haven't done something this dumb in a long time. Hope this isn't a bad sign. I always thought that it was prudent to do what you could for yourself to save for the time that you had to hire people to do things for you. I guess in this case that time is here. Probably would have been less expensive to hire a plumber for the replace the valve in the tub!

Anyway if you have any thoughts about the pin, let me know, and thank you for taking the time to help.
 

Mr_David

Easily Amused
Professional
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
4,170
Reaction score
1,058
Location
Santee,Ca,
If it just the led light pin, I don't think it pose any danger.
If the heater lights and the thermostat controls the temp then light it up.

I have installed a lot of BW heaters and maybe only serviced 2 or 3 of them.
never had to take one of control valves apart.

best thing to do is replace the valve.
FOR me that is easier than trying to disassemble it and change the parts in side of it.
$200 and another broken pin in the process.:mad:

Bradford White LP Honeywell gas control valve

honeywell gas control.jpg
 
Last edited:

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
I know you are right about replacing the valve. I wouldn't feel safe even if I managed to light the heater. There seems to be too many things going on in that water heater. I'll just have to bite the bullet, own up to my mistake and get the plumber in. On the upside I did manage to fix the valve in the tub/shower and a leaky toilet, so maybe that's something. (That last sentence is an attempt at a little self justification, but it doesn't seem to be working for me.)

Thank you for your help and the manual and illustration. I appreciate just having another person who knows what he's doing to weigh in on the subject. This weekend has been nothing but a series of things that I can't put to right until Monday, very frustrating.

Take care.
 

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
Update.

Had the gas control valve replaced, cost $385. It's heating fine but is now making a noise like it's running all the time. It never made that noise before. It sounds like the noise it used to make right before the heater started to heat, only now it does it all the time. They can out and checked it, took it apart and cleaned it, but it didn't stop. He said that he thought it was working ok, but that he would call back, but hasn't yet. Do you have any ideas? I'm afraid that sound means that it's wasting more propane than it should.

Thanks for your help.
 

Mr_David

Easily Amused
Professional
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
4,170
Reaction score
1,058
Location
Santee,Ca,
Are you sure he installed a propane valve and not a natural gas one?

It should be red like the one in the link in my previous post
Look in the site glass. pilot should be small and blue.
maybe you hear the pilot hissing and it's to big.
 

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
Hi, I'm glad you are still sticking with me. I took a little video and tried to download it to see if you could hear the sound, but couldn't my computer somehow has started downloading in avi which doesn't take. It does, however, look like the right part, it's red. The sound it makes is like the sound the old one made right before the thing fired up. The sound right before the "swoosh", if that makes sense. Only now it does it all the time. It's loud and you can hear it across a big bathroom with the door closed.

The plumbers, three so far, have all agreed that they hear it, don't know why it's doing it, but "they could be they are making them noisier now", "don't think it's burning any more gas", "they had a noisy electric one,once", "there's no way of telling if it's burning more propane, but the pilot flame looks ok", and "maybe it's sediment". None of this is helpful, one at least was not pertinent! The last one said that he was going to call the manufacturer. I'm sure that both the manufacturer and the plumbers will agree that it's just fine. It is heating, but I don't think going from quiet to noisy happens for no reason. I would really like to know what's going on with this thing. I'm I going to just have to put up with it and hope for the best and that my propane bill doesn't sky rocket, or should I insist that they put another "non-noisy" one on?

Thank you for all your help.
 

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
I forgot to say, but I can't see the flame, so I can't tell that it's small and blue, but they said it was ok. They also said that there "could be air in the line".

I guess the gist is that they don't know what's causing it and they don't want to put another one on.

Thanks.
 

Mr_David

Easily Amused
Professional
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
4,170
Reaction score
1,058
Location
Santee,Ca,
Air in the line? That's a good one :rolleyes:

one more try. The plate that closes up the burn box has a gasket that seals the burn box. Maybe was not put on right, or has a gap, and the noise is getting through there, making it sound louder.
 

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
Sorry, I just saw your post. At this time they have sent out 3 different sets of plumbers, all saying it was loud, none fixing it. They called the manufacturer (Honeywell) with no help from them. They said that they would let me know, but haven't gotten back to me in over 10 days. I don't guess that they intend to do anything. Their motto is "Solutions, not Excuses", maybe they should reverse that. I'll let them know what you said, maybe they'll check it out. Thank you so much for your help.
 

Dixie

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
,
Update. Thought I'd let you know after about 5 different plumber's visits they finally sent their expert out. He didn't try and fob me off and he said that maybe Honeywell has mistakenly sent the wrong part (a natural gas, instead of an LP gas) in the package. When they replaced the whole assembly with a new one, it worked, no more noise! The flame is smaller and it doesn't take forever to restart it once it's turned off.

Out of curiosity, he took the one apart and compared it to an LP orifice and there was a noticeable difference, so I guess when they assembled the package they ran out of LP and put in a natural gas one in to finish up, I don't know.

Anyway, it's working beautifully now, just like it did before I broke it! I'm so glad I didn't let them fob me off and stuck to my guns so now it's repaired correctly. Unfortunately, now my furnace is now on the blink. I'm not touching it and I'm calling a repairman.

Thank you for your help.
 

Latest posts

Top