Bradford White Water Heater Status Light Blinking 5 Times [Solved]

Bradford white water heater status light blinking 5 times is the error indication of the false pilot light signal in the heater. The pilot valve is stuck in the open position, and there has a pilot light fault. 

bradford white water heater status light blinking 5 times

Plus, if the flame sensor rod of the heater is shorted to the ground, you will detect a flame even after completing a heating cycle. Or the incorrect wiring position to the wiring harness is another leading reason behind your Bradford water heater status light 5 blinking issue.

However, while troubleshooting the issue, you have to check the flame sensor and replace the damaged ones. To resolve the stuck open pilot valve, the only solution is to replace the gas control valve. 

Read through our complete guide to fix the error. 

Bradford Water Heater Status Light 5 Blinking Times [Solved]

The five flashes with a 3-second pause in Bradford white heater tell you the presence of the pilot light where it shouldn’t be. So, you need to do a visual inspection of the pilot assembly and gas valve. Scroll down to learn in detail. 

Note: You can also read how to fix Bradford white water heater beeping.

1. Malfunctioning Of The Flame Sensor

If your water heater’s red light flashes 5 times with a three-second pause, it is sure that the faulty flame sensor is one of the big reasons here. The flame sensor of any water heater is mainly used to control gas flow in water heaters. On older models with standing pilot lights, the sensor is known as a thermocouple.

malfunctioning flame sensor

If this essential device fails, the gas control valve will keep emitting the gas when there’s nothing to ignite it, resulting in a false pilot light. The pilot light will be there when it shouldn’t be, and the red light blinks 5 times as an error. 

Over time, the sensor malfunctions due to accumulating dust buildup, or the device might get bent away. You have to check for flame short to the ground.  


  • First up, head over to the flame sensor of your water heater. Check the sensor to see if the wire is damaged or has bare spots that are touching metal parts.
  • Also, check if the flame sensor rod is touching the pilot shield or other metal parts for bent away.
  • If yes, the new sensor seemed to solve the problem. Follow the below DIY methods to replace the flame sensor. 

How To Replace Flame Sensor On Water Heater

  • First of all, you have to access the combustion chamber.
  • Remove the burner assembly manifold cover by unscrewing the attached nuts and screws.
  • Then, grab the burner supply tube and remove the burner assembly from the combustion compartment.
  • You will see an old gasket around the manifold cover plate. Replace the gasket if it is not in good condition.
  • Now twist the old flame sensor from its mounting bracket. Make sure you’re not deforming the connection between the pilot and the sensor.
  • Remove the sensor by pulling it through the rubber grommet seal from inside to outside.
  • Take the new thermocouple and insert it through the opening in the burner assembly manifold cover. 
  • Install the sensor and ensure it is fully seated or clicks into place. 
  • Also, check the pilot shield is not touching the pilot flame sensor. 
  • Place the burner in the combustion chamber and reinstall the cover assembly.
  • Finally, reconnect the gas control valve.

2. Replace The Faulty Gas Control Valve

The 5 times blinking on the water heater is also an error indicating that the gas control valve is stuck in one position. A gas valve is an integral part of your water heater where several components, including the pilot tube, manifold tube, temperature probe, and pilot tube, are attached. 

replace the faulty gas control valve

If anyhow, the pilot valve gets stuck in an open position, there will continue voltage supply before or after the ignition cycle.

Due to this, the gas supply will continue, and you will see a flame when there’s no call for heat or even if the heater is turned off.

The only solution is to replace the faulty gas valve to get the heater back into operation. You can replace the gas control valve with ease by following the below step-by-step guide. So, here you go!

How To Change A Gas Valve On A Bradford White Water Heater

  • First up, turn the gas control valve to the OFF position. 
  • Then, locate the gas shut-off valve and shut it off.
  • Turn off the water supply and then drain the water from the tank. For this, open the drain valve.
  • Disconnect the gas supply line and take out the valve adapter.
  • Now, disconnect and take off the manifold tube, pilot tube, piezo igniter, and flame sensor from the valve connection.
  • Take a wrench and disconnect the gas supply line from the gas valve which feeds to the burner assembly.
  • Pull and remove the burner assembly.
  • Disconnect the faulty gas control valve using a correctly sized threaded pipe wrench. Don’t use a pipe wrench to grip the valve.
  • Take the new gas valve and reconnect it to the gas tube. 
  • Use the threaded pipe and put the valve back on. Don’t overtight as it will damage the valve and cause gas to leak.
  • Connect the piezo igniter, manifold tube, pilot tube, thermal switches, and flame sensor back.
  • Check the combustion chamber to see if it is clean and clear of any debris.
  • Connect the gas line with the control valve.
  • Turn on your Bradford heater and open the gas supply.
  • The Bradford water heater blinking 5 times will be resolved.

3. Relight The Pilot

After replacing the gas control valve, it is time to light the pilot of your Bradford white water heater. But before attempting to relight the pilot light, you have to ensure there isn’t a gas leak. 

You can usually test the gas leaks using soapy, foamy water. Also, if you smell like garlic or rotten eggs near your water heater, be sure there is a leak in your water heater unit. Fix the gas leak issue first. 

Then, if all is okay with the gas supply of your water heater, it’s time to light the pilot of your water heater.

How To Light A Bradford White Defender Water Heater

  • First, move to the pilot valve of your water heater and rotate it clockwise to the “Off” position.
  • Then turn the knob counter-clockwise and set it to the lowest temperature setting of the valve.
  • Lift off the manifold door of the burner assembly and allow your room to air out for approximately 10 minutes.
  • After that, set the control knob to the “Pilot Light” position.
  • Press and hold the red button on the gas knob.
  • Press the piezo igniter striker while pressing down on the red button.
  • You have to press both buttons repeatedly until the pilot light is relit.
  • Once the pilot light is lit, hold down the red button for one minute and then release it. If the pilot light of your gas water heater keeps going out, it may be a sign of malfunction from the heater elements. Scroll down to fix the pilot light issue, where we have included a step-by-step guide on resolving methods. 
  • If the pilot is successfully lit, reattach the water heater’s outer door.
  • Turn the gas knob to the “ON” position and set your water temperature dial to your preferred temperature.

Why Does My Water Heater Pilot Keep Going Out & How To Fix It

The pilot flame of the water heater keeps going out while in operation is an inconvenient and frustrating problem. Without a stable pilot flame, there will be no heat on the heater resulting in no hot water in the tank. 

If your water heater pilot light keeps turning off, there are some concerning facts that need your attention. Let us walk you through the common reasons why the water heater pilot light won’t stay lit and how to fix it.

i). Clogged Pilot Tube

It’s a common reason behind the water heater pilot light keep going out. Due to dirt build-up in the pilot light, it will fail to supply gas to the pilot light for combustion.

 As a result, the flame will keep going out. The only solution is to unblock the pilot tube, which will ensure you blue and steady flame.


  • To clear the obstructing debris from the pilot tube, you will need a wire brush or stiff-bristled brush.
  • Clean the tube using the wire brush or stiff bristled brush.
  • Gently brush away carbon build-up from the tube.
  • If needed, scrape clean the interior surfaces of the tube and wipe off the dust using a soft cloth.
  • Once cleaning is done, reassemble the heater.

ii). Damaged Flex Tube

The flex tube is an essential tube that connects the gas controller to the burner and the continuous flow of gas to the burner systems. If the tube is damaged, twisted, worn out, or clogged, the pilot lighting system will be interrupted. 

So, here you need to inspect and check the tube to verify the element is degraded.


  • Check the tube and straighten the kinks on the flex tube.
  • Clean the tube if it is clogged with debris.
  • Besides, check for any visual damage to the tube. Replace the damaged tube.

iii). Lack Of Combustion Air

It is one of the most common reasons for a gas water heater pilot light won’t stay lit. The water heater needs a fluent flow of combustion air to keep the pilot light burning.

Due to not having enough combustion air, the flame will keep going out.


  • To increase the amount of air, check if the heater is surrounded by clutter, lint, or debris.
  • Keep clean the heater and surrounding area.


How do I reset my Bradford White water heater?

To reset your Bradford White Water Heater, turn the pilot knob to “very hot” for 10 seconds. Then turn it to “hot” for 10 seconds. After that, switch it to the “pilot” position for 10 seconds.

Why is the Bradford White water heater not heating?

If your water heater is not heating, a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker is the leading culprit. Also, for the faulty heating element and bad thermostat, the water in the tank will not heat. 

Wrapping Thoughts

Well!! That’s all done!! Hopefully, now you have no more queries about the Bradford white water heater red light flashing 5 times. Our above-assembled guide will prove well to fix this major issue with ease. 

Follow each solving method and erase the 5 times blinking error codes from your heater. Let us know if you face any trouble. We will get back to you with the best solution.

Note: You can also read our guide Bradford white water heater won’t light.

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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