Bradford White Water Heater Not Heating [11+ Easy Solutions]

The most common and apparent reasons for Bradford white water heater not heating include:

  • Bad thermocouple.
  • Clogged pilot assembly.
  • Worn-out heating elements.
  • Distraction in the power supply.
  • Faulty igniter.
bradford white water heater not heating

Plus, a broken dip tube, faulty inducer motor, defective pressure switch, bad thermostat, or gas valve can also lead your heater not to heat water. 

However, simply increasing the thermostat temperature & resetting the system may fix the issue. If that does not work, any of the rest issues might be the villain. 

Quick Fixes For Bradford White Water Heater Not Heating

Here we have extracted our complete guide in a short table. So, before moving to the details, it’ll be wise to have a glimpse of the below quick table, highlighting all the solutions.

Probable ReasonsQuick Solutions
Bad thermocouple> Replace the bad thermocouple.
Restricted pilot tube> Clean the pilot tube with a stiff-bristled brush.
Broken dip tube > Replace this defective part. 
Defective draft inducer motor> Replace the bad motor with the assistance of a professional. 
Ignition module issue> Check if the ignition module is getting the right voltage.
> If not, replace it. 
Burnt-out heating elements> Check the continuity of the elements.
> Replace in case any of the ones have no continuity. 
Faulty spark electrode> Replace the faulty electrode. 
Defective pressure switch> Use a multimeter to check the continuity of the switch.
> Replace the bad one. 
Gas or power supply interruption> Open the gas valve all the way.
> Reset the circuit breaker of the heater.
> Reset your water heater. 
Non-operational gas valve or thermostat> Inspect and replace the defective parts. 
High water demand> Use the right size of the water heater tank.

Bradford White Water Heater Won’t Heat [How To Fix]

Below are the above-stated reasons in detail and all that you will need to deal with when your Bradford white water heater goes cold.

Note: You can also read how to fix Bradford’s white water heater won’t light.

1. Thermocouple Issue

In the case of any gas-fired water heater, a bad thermocouple is the root culprit if the heater not getting not. The thermocouple is heat sensitive probe in a water heater system that detects the pilot flame. 

bradford white water heater bad thermocouple

Then it sends an electric signal to the gas valve. Right after that, the gas valve opens and the heater starts heating the water. 

But if somehow the thermocouple fails, it also fails to detect the pilot failure that leads to the gas valve, not opening. The higher chance is thermocouple is broken. 

How To Fix:

First up, remove the whole burner assembly and inspect the thermocouple for any damages. Once you have confirmed a bad thermocouple, you will need to replace it to get the Bradford white water heater starts heating again. 

You can do it by yourself or contact a certified plumber if you are technically inclined. 

2. Restricted Pilot Tube

A restricted pilot is listed as the major reason behind your  Bradford white water heaters with no hot water. It acts a big role in igniting the water heater’s gas burner.

bradford white water heater restricted pilot tube

But after long use, clogging the pilot with carbon deposits is quite obvious, interfering with the gas burner’s ability to light. As a result, the heater will not heat the water. 

How To Fix:

Inspect the pilot tube for any blockages. Use a stiff-bristled brush or compressed air to remove the restrictions of the tube. Then wipe the remaining dirt with a microfiber cloth. 

Experts recommend cleaning the pilot every six months to prevent the buildup of soot in the pilot inside which increases its efficiency. 

3. Broken Dip Tube

A dip tube is an internal pipe that works by directing the cold water from the cold water to the bottom of the hot water heater tank.

Mainly it is connected to the water inlet from the top side and the other end is submerged in water, about eight inches above the tank’s bottom.

bradford white water heater broken dip tube

Anyway, in case the dip tube is cracked or broken, the water will not reach down to the bottom of the water tank. As a result, the water won’t heat.

How To Fix:

The only way to get rid of this problem is to replace the broken dip tube with a new one. It’s not too pricey, starting at $10. But if you will replace it with a professional, you can expect to pay an average of $150. 

4. Defective Draft Inducer Motor

Another potential cause behind Bradford’s white water heater not being hot enough is a non-working draft inducer motor.

It works by providing fresh air to the burner and through which the combustion air get out of the flue. 

bardford white water heater defective draft inducer motor

When the air flows through the draft inducer assembly, right then, it closes the vacuum switch which signals that airflow is present.

Now in most cases, the inducer motor gets failed, and the water heater won’t heat. It mainly fails due to any of the following facts:

  • The older age of the heater. 
  • The internal bearings of the motor wear out because of extreme temperatures. 
  • Collecting dirt or soot around the fan shaft

How To Fix:

Whatever the reason is, once the inducer motor wears out, it’s completely beyond repair. Thus you need to replace it to get the heater back to normal functions. 

Better if you will do it with the assistance of a professional. The replacement of a bad draft inducer motor will cost between $250 and $500.

5. Defective Ignition Module

The ignition module is an essential part of your water heater. It plays a big role in lighting the burner in each ignition cycle by creating a spark at the pilot assembly.

When this module fails, it also fails to turn on the igniter for why the heater won’t heat the water.  

How To Fix:

If you have to check whether the ignition module is getting the right voltage or not. Go through the manual of your heater model to get a better acknowledgment of the power of the module. If you find the module is defective, consider replacing the ignition module.

6. Burnt Out Heating Elements

If your Bradford water heater is electrically operated, then it is a bet that the heating elements are fired out behind not heating the water.

bradford heater burnt out heating elements

Generally, the heater has two heating elements. One is the upper elements and another one is down toward the bottom of the water heater. 

The heating elements contain an electric current which converts into heat and distributes outward in every direction of the heater. Through which the tank’s water temperature rises.

How To Fix:

The only way to deal with burnt-out heating elements is to replace them with new ones. But before that, you can check out the continuity of the elements to determine its defective. Here are the needed procedures:

How To Test A Water Heater Element With A Multimeter

Follow the step-by-step processes to test the heating elements:

Step 1: First turn off the electrical power to your water heater from the main circuit breaker. 

turn off the electrical power from main circuit breaker

Step 2: Next, remove the screws of the metal plate to access the heating elements. Use a Philips head screwdriver to take out the screws. Then, pull out the insulation just beneath the metal cover and set it aside.

pull out the insulation just beneath the metal cover

Step 3: Pull the plastic safety cover in front of the heating elements. Now, take a multimeter and rotate the range selection dial to the lowest setting for ohms of resistance.

take a multimeter and rotate the range selection

Insulate the heating elements from the circuit by removing the power wires. 

Step 4: Now attach a lead to one of the terminals and another lead to the second terminal. 

reading between 10 to 30 ohms if the elements have continuity

The resistance should give a reading between 10 to 30 ohms if the elements have continuity. If the resistance is not in this range, indicating that the component is defective and needs replacement. 

7. Faulty Igniter Or Electrode

If your Bradford water heater won’t heat the water anyway, be sure the igniter is defective and no longer operating.

replace the bardford water heater faulty igniter

It mainly works to initiate the ignition by producing a spark. When the igniter sparks, the pilot lights and opens the gas valve to let gas in.  

In case the igniter fails, the burner won’t light leading to an interruption in the heating system.

How To Fix:

The only solution is to replace the bad igniter from the pilot assembly. But before that, we recommend you test the igniter electrically with a multimeter.

If it doesn’t show the recommended voltage mentioned in the manual, consider replacing the defective igniter with a working one.

8. Defective Pressure Switch

After attempting all the above processes, still, the heater is not heating, malfunctioning of the pressure switch can also be the culprit. It works by sensing the airflow of the heater. 

When the water temperature decrease, the control board sends voltage to the inducer motor which draws the air into the burner.

bradford water heater defective pressure switch

As the fan motor reaches its maximum speed, and there is sufficient airflow, the pressure switch closes allowing the control board to send voltage to the igniter.

Anyway, if the switch is defective itself, it stalls the ignition process which prevents your gas water heater from heating.

How To Fix

You can use a multimeter to determine if there is a continuous electrical path to the switch. If the switch tests negative for electrical continuity, then it is defective and should be replaced immediately.

9. Not Enough Gas Pressure Or Interruption In Power Supply

In the case of the electric water heater not heating, this could be a sign of a serious problem with the power supply. There are a few factors that can be responsible for this issue:

  • Bad breaker.
  • Damaged wiring.
  • Broken glass fuses.
  • Tripped energy cut-off. 

Now if you have a gas-operated water heater, then the higher chance is there is not sufficient gas pressure in the unit. If the gas pressure is too low, the heater’s efficiency will go down and won’t heat the water. 

How To Fix:

Whatever the fact is, we will assume the effective solution in both cases. Here you go:

  • First up, you need to adjust the gas valve. Start turning the adjustment screw clockwise until you’ve reached the proper pressure.
  • Now, it is time to check the power supply issue if you have an electric water heater. To do so, check your home’s circuit breaker and ensure it is not tripped. If it is tripped, simply switch it off and then back on.
  • Check and replace the broken fuses as well.  
  • Then reset the energy cut-off switch to fix the problem. 

How To Reset Bradford White Electric Water Heater

Follow the steps below to reset your water heater effectively:

Step 1: First up, turn off the circuit breaker of your home that powers the water heater. 

Step 2: Remove the screws of the cover panel holding the upper elements. 

Step 3: Remove the insulation back of the panel. A red reset button will be inspected.

Step 4: Press and hold the button and you will hear a click, indicating the heater is reset. 

10. Faulty Gas Valve Assembly Or Bad Thermostat

The gas valve is an essential part that controls the pilot light and the water temperature. When the valve gets a signal from the pilot light, it opens and starts gas to flow to the pilot which lights the burner.

bradford water heater bad thermostat

But due to a bad gas valve, the burner won’t light and the water won’t heat. On the contrary, in an electric water heater, the thermostat is a mechanical device that controls both the upper and lower elements.

After sensing the decreasing water temperature, it energizes the elements to heat the water. Due to several reasons, the thermostat could be worn out, interrupting the heater’s functions.

How To Fix:

Whatever the fact is, you need to inspect the gas valve and thermostat you have an electric water heater.

Replace the defective elements to get your Bradford water heater to heat the water again. Contact a professional plumber to perform this job precisely.

11. High Water Demand

Last but not least, high water demand at a time is one of the major reasons why a water heater not reaching the set temperature. Chances are you using an undersized water heater. 

Plus if the multiple taps are open for hot water, your heater is failing to cope with the high demand. It is the most frequent mistake that homeowners do.

How To Fix:

Operating the correct size of the tank is one of the big concerns to prevent any heater problems. So, you have to ensure the right size of the water heater tank as it could impact your budget as well. 

In such cases, there are a few factors that need to be specified. Peak Hour Delivery is the major one of them. It shows the data of the highest amount of hot water from the tank during the operating time. 

Go through the below list of the manufacturer’s recommendations about what should be the Peak demand for a water heater based on family size:

Family size Peak demand (gallons)


How much does it cost to replace a gas valve on a water heater?

The replacement charge of the gas valve on the water heater will be $150 to $550 on average including the new part. In most cases, the factors depend on the plumber’s hourly rate. Generally, it will take up to 1 to 1.5 hours to replace it. 

How Do I Reset My Bradford White Gas Water heater?

Start by setting the pilot light in the “On” position. Then rotate the pilot knob to a very hot setting for 10 seconds and turn it to the lowest setting. Finally, switch the knob to the pilot and keep it here for 10 seconds.

Why is my water heater pilot light on but not the burner?

Burner lighting problem mainly happens due to insufficient oxygen levels. That’s the reason the flame is not getting oxygen to continue the burn. Clean out the combustion chamber properly to fix the issue for the most part. 

Wrapping Up

Well! There’s all we have it! Hope that there are no more queries left over on Bradford’s white water heater not heating. Through this guide, we have input all the responsive factors behind this issue with the exact solutions. 

Dealing with the issue will seem just like a piece of cake for you as long as you will follow each instruction of us. Also, do concentrate on the proper maintenance of the water heater to increase its efficiency and prevent such annoying issues further. 

Don’t forget to share your valuable thoughts with us through comments. We will always be glad to hear from our readers!

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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