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How To Start a Bradford White Water Heater

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Starting a Bradford White Water Heater may seem like a daunting task, but with the right guidance, you can get your water heater up and running in no time. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process, from the necessary preparations to step-by-step instructions, troubleshooting tips, common mistakes to avoid, and safety measures.


To start a Bradford White Water Heater, first, ensure it’s properly installed and connected to the necessary supplies. Turn off the main water supply, relieve the pressure, and then refill the heater. Locate the gas control valve, turn it to “Off” and wait for five minutes. Then, turn it to “Pilot” and hold it down while pressing the spark ignition button. Once the pilot light is lit, release the valve, turn it to “On,” and set your desired water temperature on the thermostat.

Necessary Preparations

Before starting your Bradford White Water Heater, you need to ensure that it’s properly installed and connected to the gas supply, water supply, and electrical supply. Check the plumbing connections for any leaks and ensure the condensate lines are in place. You should also verify that the electrical supply is 208/240 VAC to L1 and L2 at the tank.

A key feature to note is the Bradford White Connect™, which turns your AeroTherm® Series heat pump water heater into a smart, connected appliance that can be controlled via a mobile app.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Start

  1. Turn off the main water supply valve and open a faucet to relieve the water line pressure.
  2. Close the faucet once the pressure has been relieved.
  3. Open the main water supply valve and fill the water heater, opening several hot water faucets to allow air to escape from the water system.
  4. Locate the gas control valve on the water heater and turn it to the “Off” position. Wait for at least five minutes to allow any residual gas to dissipate.
  5. Turn the gas control valve to the “Pilot” position and hold it down.
  6. Press the spark ignition button while continuing to hold down the gas control valve.
  7. Once the pilot light is lit, hold the gas control valve down for about one minute, then release it.
  8. If the pilot light stays lit, turn the gas control valve to the “On” position.
  9. Set the desired water temperature on the thermostat.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When starting your Bradford White Water Heater, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Not ensuring proper gas supply or incorrect gas control knob position.
  • Not fully depressing the pilot light button or a malfunctioning piezo igniter.
  • Poor thermocouple connection, or a weak or defective thermocouple.
  • Open ECO on combination thermostat gas valve.

Safety Measures

Safety should always be your priority. Ensure regular maintenance, professional installation, proper ventilation, and keep flammable materials away from the water heater. Monitor the temperature and pressure, and inspect the anode rod periodically.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter issues when starting your water heater, consider these troubleshooting tips:

  • For a unit not heating, check for sediment build-up and ensure the igniter is getting the required voltage.
  • If the pilot light is not igniting, check for incoming gas supply and gas pressure.
  • If the water is too hot, ensure the thermostat is set correctly.

In conclusion, starting a Bradford White Water Heater involves a series of steps that require a basic understanding of the water heater’s operation. By following this guide, you can ensure your water heater runs efficiently and safely. Remember, when in doubt, always contact a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I inspect the anode rod in my Bradford White Water Heater?

Anode rods in water heaters should generally be inspected once every two years and replaced if necessary. However, the frequency can vary depending on the quality of your water. If your water is highly corrosive, you may need to inspect and replace the anode rod more frequently.

What is the purpose of the Bradford White Connect™ feature?

The Bradford White Connect™ feature allows you to control your AeroTherm® Series heat pump water heater remotely via a mobile app. This includes features like setting the temperature, scheduling, and monitoring the performance of your water heater.

What should I do if the pilot light goes out frequently?

Frequent pilot light outages can be caused by several issues such as a faulty thermocouple, a clogged vent, or even a draft. If your pilot light goes out frequently, it’s best to get a professional to diagnose and fix the problem.

What is the ideal water temperature setting on the thermostat?

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum energy efficiency. However, if you have specific hot water needs, you may adjust the temperature accordingly, but never exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit as it can lead to scalding.

Is it necessary to hire a professional for the installation of the Bradford White Water Heater?

Yes, it’s strongly recommended to have your Bradford White Water Heater installed by a licensed professional. This ensures that the unit is installed correctly and safely, and it also keeps the warranty valid.

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