How To Reset Bradford White Water Heater [Ultimate Guide]

Bradford White water heater is in the range of great appliances for providing hot water effectively through the plumbing fixture. But when you are noticing that the water heater is not operating as it should, you have to reset the unit. 

The resetting procedures of an electric water heater are quite straightforward. Simply locate the reset button near the thermostat behind the metal cover and insulation. Push the button firmly and your heater will be reset. But in the case of a gas water heater, the resetting will be done from the control valve.

how to reset bradford white water heater

Let’s learn the detailed procedures on how to reset Bradford white water heater in both gas and electrically-operated units.

How To Reset Bradford White Water Heater [Ultimate Guide]

Unlike other electric water heaters, the Bradford White water heater equips a reset button which is used to reset the complete unit in default settings. 

Go through the below step by step to reset the electrically operated Bradford white water heater effectively!

Step 1: Disconnect The Electricity To Your Water Heater

As for the first step, you have to turn off the electric supply to your water heater. Locate where your water heater is plugged in. Almost the water heater appliances are connected to the main circuit panel of the home.

If so, head to your home’s central circuit breaker. Find out the exact breaker of your water heater and just flip it into the Off position. The electric supply to the water heater will cut off. 

central circuit breaker

In most cases, the water heater will be found connected to a wall with a cable. If so, you have to unscrew the cable connection to turn off the water heater.

Step 2: Remove The Front Access Panel

You will find the front access panel on the hot water heater. This is basically the thermostat cover where the reset button is located. 

So, in this step, you have to disconnect the front access door on the front of the water heater. This metal plate will be connected with 4 with four screws of which two screws are at the top and the other ones at the bottom. Take a flat-blade screwdriver and unscrew each screw.

remove the  heater front access panel

When done, lift off the front door and set it aside. In most cases, there will be two front panels in a hot water tank. The reset can be found underneath the lower panel.

Step 3: Pull Out The Insulation Covering The thermostat

After detaching the cover plate, you will find a thicker layer of insulation that is covering the thermostat assembly.  Pull out the insulation from the cavity with your hand and set it aside for now.

pull out the insulation covering the thermostat

In most cases, you will see a separate plastic guard beneath the insulation. Just wiggle the cover and disengage it from the connection to access the reset button.

Step 4: Locate & Press The Reset Button

After removing the insulation and plastic cover, you will find the red button in the center of the control panel.  In most cases, it is labelled as the Reset Button.

locate & press the heater reset button

Press down the button and ensure it is pushed inward firmly. An audible click sound will be a confirmation of the successfully reset. If not, keep pressing it until you get the clicking noise.  

Step 5: Re-assemble The Water Heater

After resetting, attach the insulation and plastic cover back in place. Then replace the cover plate in the same way you detach it. Secure the plate with the screws with the screwdriver but don’t over-tighten it. 

When done, restore the electricity to your water heater by flipping the circuit breaker in to “ON” position. Or, plug the cable back in. Your water heater will reset to the default setting and will start running fluently as before. 

How To Reset Bradford White Gas Water Heater

If you have gas operated Bradford water heater, you won’t find any featured reset button like electric models to reset the unit. From the manufacturer’s recommendation, owners have to follow the simple steps to reset the unit. 

Here the gas control valve assembly acts as the reset device and the diagnostic element to indicate the heater malfunctions. 

Anyway, Go through the below phases to reset your Bradford hot water heater:

Phase #1- First off, you have to relight the pilot light. To do so, go along with the following procedure: 

  • Turn the gas control knob to the Off position and leave the unit in this position for 5-10 minutes. It will purge the trapped or unburned gas from the gas line. 
  • After that, switch the control knob to the Pilot position. 
  • In this state, hold the knob all the way in. While doing so, press and hold the piezo igniter button at the same time. Keep depressing the button until a click can be heard and you will see a Status Light start flashing green.

Phase #2- After relighting the pilot, turn the control knob to the “very hot” position for 10 seconds. 

Phase #3- Then switch the knob from the Very Hot position to the Hot position and leave it for 10 seconds.

Phase #4- Now, turn the knob to the Pilot position and count another 10 seconds. 

Phase #5- When done, set the pilot knob to your desired temperature setting. 

Bradford White Water Heater Thermal Switch Reset

The thermal switch is the safety device of the water heater. It mainly cuts off the power supply to the heater when there is a malfunction going through the unit. Here are major reasons that can trip the thermal switch to the trip:

  • Excessive heat buildup inside the chamber.
  • Blocked venting.
  • Clogged burner assembly.
  • Malfunction with the pilot light.
  • Loose wiring connection.
  • Presence of flammable vapors near the unit.

If there are only minor issues, only resetting the tripped thermal switch can get back it into normal operation. To do so, remove the cover panel from the burner chamber and you will see a resettable thermal switch in the middle of the compartment.

resettable thermal switch in the middle of the compartment

Simply press the button inward and you will hear a click sound, confirming that the heater is reset.

How To Reset Flammable Vapor Sensor On Bradford White Water Heater

Almost all gas water heaters including Bradford equip a flammable vapor sensor that acts as a safety device. It is responsible for causing the soft lockout in the water heater after sensing the presence of ignitable flammable vapor nearby.

Anyway, whenever the FVS goes out of the specification mode, you will need to reset the sensor to get it into normal operation. Here are all the needed procedures to reset Bradford’s white flammable vapor sensor.

# Reset FV Sensor On White Rodgers Intelli-Vent Power Vent Control Equipped Models:

reset FV sensor on white rodgers intelli
  • Start by unplugging your Bradford water heater from the power connection.
  • Leave the unit in this stat for 10-20 seconds, and then plug it back in again.
  • After plugging in, wait for more 5 seconds.
  • Now head to the control valve and start pressing both arrows on the valve together. Keep holding the button for 5 seconds.
  • When the green LED blinks, enter the below cheat code by pressing the arrows.

“Left, Right, Left, Left, Right, Left, Right, Right.”

  • That’s all! The FVS on your water heater is reset. 

# Reset FVS On Honeywell Gas Control Equipped Models:

reset FVS on honeywell gas control equipped models

If you have the Honeywell gas valve on your Bradford white water heater, follow the below instruction to reset the FVS on this gas valve:

Step 1: Remove the power connection from the water heater. Leave the unit for 10 seconds and plug it back again.

Step 2: Now set the control knob to the “Pilot” position first.

Step 3: After that, turn it to the “Very Hot” position. 

Step 4: Now start switching the knob from the “Pilot” to the “Very Hot” position back and forth about 5-6 times.

Step 5: Continue this attempt for 30 seconds and your water heater will be out of the lockout mode.

5 Major Issues That Could Trip The Bradford White Water Heater Reset Button

A hot water heater is designed to supply hot water with the turn on the plumbing fixtures. For various purposes, you may have to reset your water heater unit to enhance its efficiency or restore certain functions. 

Anyway, when you notice that you need to reset your water heater frequently, it’s a warning sign that there are some major malfunctions going through the heater. 

Here are the 5 major issues that will lead to the reset button repeatedly tripping. Learn the probable reason with the right fixes

01. Faulty Thermostat

If the reset button is continually tripping, higher chances are that the thermostat is cut off from its connection and stops operating. The core function of the thermostat is mainly regulating the water heater temperature. 

Due to defection, it is failing to do so and you may encounter various water temperature issues like no hot water and too much hot water. 

Either the thermoset is stuck on or there is no continuity going through this element. A broken thermostat is also a major reason that causes the reset button to trip.

How To Fix

Inspect the thermostat and check the continuity of this element. If the result shows negative, be sure the thermostat has failed and you need to replace it. Contact a qualified plumber to test and replace the bad thermostat.

02. Burnt Out Heating Elements

Unlike other electric models, Bradford’s white water heater equips two heating elements that mainly convert the electric energy to heat energy to raise the water temperature. It is basically a resistance process named Joule heating.

If you are noticing the reset device is tripping often or there is a major lack of hot water, it’s a bet that the heating elements get worn out and stop operating due to long use.

How To Fix

As for the defective thermostat, the only solution is a replacement. But before replacing it, you can test the heating elements electrically to check where there is any continual electrical path within them. 

Take a multimeter and set it to the lowest ohms setting. Now attach the red probe to the screw on the heating elements and the black probe to the other screw.

test the heating elements electrically

The heating elements will give a reading between 10 and 30 Ω. If not, be sure it is defective and replace it.

03. Bad Reset Button

Most of the time, the featured reset button is the culprit itself behind continuously tripping. Mainly the reset button is designed to turn off the power supply to the heater unit if the internal temperature exceeds 180°F. 

Also, chances are the reset button is worn out and cut off the power to your unit even if the water temperature is normal.

How To Fix

Inspect the reset button for any defection. We recommend contacting a professional plumber to do the best task for you in this case. 

04. Wiring Issues

Sometimes, the bad wiring connection of the heater leads to the reset tripping frequently. The wiring may get loosen up over time or due to improper installation. Or the wires may get burnt out or melt at any point. If so, it is a critical safety hazard and you need to take immediate action. 

Also, the possibility is that your home’s circuit breaker has worn out, responsible for the reset button tripping. In such cases, you may find the circuit breaker too hot to touch or emitting a burning smell when you are opening the electrical panel.

How To Fix

If you are suspecting any single deterioration is the circuit breaker or heater wiring connection, immediately contact a plumber to identify and fix the issues.

05. Sediment Build Up

If you have a hot water storage tank, the term of sediment buildup may be a common phenomenon for you. During the water heating process, the water heater elements come in contact with the hard minerals of water like calcium and magnesium. 

After long use, the minerals turn into hard particles and settle into the heater’s internal parts like the heating elements and reset button, affecting the performance of that element. Also, you may experience:

  • Too hot to lukewarm water
  • Rising energy bills
  • Rumbling or popping sounds while running the water heater.
  • No hot water, and so on. 

How To Fix

When sediment builds up, you will have to drain and flush your water heater. You can tackle it yourself or can hire a professional plumber to handle this task for you.


How much does it cost to replace the heating elements on a water heater?

If you have bad heating elements, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 to replace the bad parts. But if it needs only repair to fix the issues, the cost range will differ. 

How to turn up the temperature on the Bradford White water heater?

To adjust the temperature, remove the front metal cover of the tank. Pull out the insulation and inspect the thermostat. Now adjust the thermostat screw with a flat-blade screwdriver and set it to your desired settings. 

What is the right temperature for Bradford’s white water heater?

According to Bradford White manufacturer, it will be highly better to set the temperature between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher than 140 °F will result in scalding and lower than 120 °F will be responsible for boosting the growth of Legionella and other microorganisms.

What is the Bradford white temperature setting a b c?

The A B C setting of the Bradford White Water Heater means the followings:

A= 130 degrees, B= 140 degrees & C= 150 degrees. 

In Bottom

When the heater heating component stops operating normally and you are having issues to heat the water due to that, the reset device comes into operation. A reset is quite an effective step to get things back on track and help to restore the operation of that components. 

If you own a Bradford White water heater, our compere guide is enough to learn the details of the resetting process.

Well, that’s all from us here. Hope that you have no confusion left over on how to reset Bradford’s white water heater. Don’t forget to share your valuable thoughts through comments.

Note: Read our ultimate guide on why Bradford white water heater not heating and how to fix it.

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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