The pilot light on a Bradford White water heater may not light due to issues such as no gas flow, a pilot button not being fully depressed, a gas control knob set to the wrong position, an obstructed pilot orifice or pilot tube, or a faulty piezo igniter or pilot electrode. Solutions include checking gas flow and proper positioning of controls, cleaning or replacing various ignition parts.
Possible Reasons a Bradford White Water Heater Pilot Wont Light
|No gas coming through||Turn on gas supply|
|Pilot light button not being fully depressed||Fully depress pilot lighting button|
|Gas control knob set to wrong position||Review lighting instructions. Set combination/thermostat|
|Pilot orifice or pilot tube is obstructed or kinked.||Clean, repair or replace|
|Piezo igniter not functioning||Replace Piezo igniter.|
|Pilot electrode not sparking to pilot.||Ensure electrode is in correct position or replace pilot assembly|
No gas coming through
If there is no gas coming through the supply line to your Bradford White water heater, then the pilot light won’t be able to light. This can be caused by several different issues:
Gas valve turned off: If the gas valve supplying gas to your home or water heater is turned off, then no gas will be able to flow to the water heater.
This could be because of maintenance or repair work being done on the gas line, or it could be an intentional shut-off for safety reasons.
Gas supply interrupted: If there is a problem with the gas supply to your home, such as a gas leak or an issue with the gas meter or regulator, then gas may not be flowing to your water heater.
This is a serious issue and should be addressed immediately, as it could indicate a dangerous gas leak.
Clogged gas line: If there is a blockage in the gas line that supplies your water heater, then gas won’t be able to flow through to the pilot assembly. This could be caused by debris, rust, or other materials that have built up in the line over time.
Faulty gas valve: If the gas valve that controls the flow of gas to your water heater is faulty or malfunctioning, then gas may not be able to flow to the pilot light.
This could be due to a mechanical issue or an electrical problem with the valve. In the worst case scenarios, you might need to replace the gas valve. And below are the steps to take to achieve this.
Replacement of the control gas valve is pretty much easy,
- Start by Rotating the knob of the Gas Control to the “OFF” position.
- Turn off the gas supply to the water heater.
- Disconnect gas supply line from Gas Control.
- Turn off the water supply and drain the water heater completely. Step 5. Remove the outer jacket burner access door.
- Right side inner door removal.
- Disconnect red wire leads from resettable thermal switch
- Remove 2 hex drive screws from the RIGHT side inner door.
- Remove 2 hex drive screws from FLANGE SECTION of inner door.
- Remove the right side inner door and set aside. Be careful not to damage gasket material on inner door
Procedure to remove gas control
Follow steps 1 – 5 given above and then disconnect main burner feedline, pilot tube, piezo igniter wire, inner red door wire and white thermocouple wire
from Gas Control.
b) Remove Gas Control from water heater by rotating counter clockwise.Pilot light button not being fully
Procedure to install a new gas control
Install new Gas Control into the water heater by rotating clockwise. DO NOT use a wrench on the Gas Control body, damage to the Gas Control may occur. If necessary, use a length of ½” NPT pipe threaded into the gas inlet of Gas Control.
Pilot Button Not Fully Depressed
The pilot light button is a small button or lever on a Bradford White water heater that you need to press down in order to light the pilot light. When you press the button, it opens a valve that allows gas to flow to the pilot assembly, and an igniter or match is used to light the gas.
One common problem that can prevent the pilot light from staying lit is if the pilot light button is not being fully depressed. If you don’t hold the button down long enough, the gas valve won’t stay open and the pilot light will go out. This can be frustrating, as you may have to repeatedly try to light the pilot before it stays lit.
Gas control knob set to wrong position
The gas control knob is an important component of a Bradford White water heater that regulates the flow of gas to the burner and pilot light. When this is set to the wrong position, it could be the reason your Bradford white water heater pilot won’t light. The gas control valve typically has several settings, including “off,” “pilot,” and “on.”
When the gas control knob is set to “pilot,” gas flows to the pilot assembly, which is a small flame that ignites the gas burner. This pilot flame is essential for heating the water in the tank, so it’s important that the pilot stays lit.
If the gas control knob is set to the wrong position, the pilot flame may not light. For example, if the knob is set to “off,” then no gas will flow to the pilot light or burner, so the water heater won’t work.
Similarly, if the knob is set to “on” instead of “pilot,” then the gas will flow directly to the burner, bypassing the pilot light, and the pilot won’t light.
It’s important to note that the gas control knob should be handled with care and only be adjusted by a qualified technician or plumber.
If the knob is turned too far or too quickly, it can cause a gas leak or other dangerous situation. If you suspect that the gas control knob is set to the wrong position.
Read also: How to fix Honeywell thermostat red light
Pilot orifice or pilot tube is obstructed or kinked.
Pilot orifice or pilot tube is obstructed or kinked: The pilot orifice and tube are responsible for delivering gas to the pilot light.
If they become obstructed with dirt or debris, or if the tube gets kinked, then gas won’t flow to the pilot and it won’t light. Cleaning or replacing the orifice and tube can usually fix this issue.
How to clean the pilot orifice
Follow step 1- step 6) then Inspect pilot for the following:
a) Primary air openings for blockage. This must be free from any debris including dirt and lint.
b) Kinks or cracks in the pilot tube. If found, the pilot must be replaced.
If you are using a Honeywell pilot office, it is not replaceable in this cause you might need to replace pilot assembly)
Piezo igniter not functioning
There are several potential reasons why the piezo igniter may not be functioning:
Faulty igniter: Over time, the piezo igniter can become worn or damaged, making it less effective at producing a spark. If the igniter is faulty, then it may not be able to produce a strong enough spark to ignite the gas.
Loose or damaged wiring: If there is a problem with the wiring that connects the piezo igniter to the ignition module or control board, then the igniter may not be able to produce a spark.
could be due to a loose or damaged wire, or an issue with the ignition module itself.
Dirt or debris on the igniter: If there is debris or build-up on the piezo igniter, then it may not be able to produce a spark at all. This could be caused by dirt, dust, or other materials that have accumulated on the igniter.
Incorrect placement of the igniter: If the piezo igniter isn’t positioned correctly, it may not be able to produce a spark that reaches the pilot assembly.
The igniter should be positioned close enough to the pilot light that the spark can jump the gap and ignite the gas.
In the worst case scenario you could have a defective piezo igniter. But how do you know if you need to replace a piezo ignitor?
When there is no pilot flame you can check the Piezo and electrode circuit by viewing the pilot through the sight glass located on the inner door and observing the spark action. Here are the steps to follow
Step 1. Remove the outer jacket door.
Step 2. Repeatedly depress the Piezo igniter while viewing the pilot thru.
If you can see a spar then this simply tells you that there is no problem with the circuit. Otherwise if the spar is present then we need further with the troubleshooting
- Start by removing orange/white wire from Piezo igniter. Then install a jumper wire in its place.
- Hold the other end of the jumper by the wire insulation or using an insulated tool to an unpainted surface such as the feedline or gas valve. This is to try manually generating a spark
- Now depress the Piezo igniter. If there is a spark, the igniter is OK and the problem is probably with the pilot which is not functioning properly and should therefore be replaced.
- How to replace the pilot
- If no spark is present the igniter is not functioning and must be replaced.
Read also: Carrier furnace light blinking 3 times
Pilot electrode not sparking to pilot.
The pilot electrode is an important component of a Bradford White water heater that produces the spark needed to ignite the gas in the pilot assembly. If the electrode isn’t sparking to the pilot, then the pilot light won’t light.
There are several potential reasons why the pilot electrode may not be sparking:
Faulty electrode: Over time, the electrode can become worn or damaged, making it less effective at producing a spark. If the electrode is faulty, then it may not be able to produce a strong enough spark to ignite the gas.
Build-up on the electrode: If there is debris or build-up on the electrode, then it may not be able to produce a spark at all. This could be caused by dirt, dust, or other materials that have accumulated on the electrode.
Incorrect electrode placement: If the electrode isn’t positioned correctly, it may not be able to produce a spark that reaches the pilot assembly. The electrode should be positioned close enough to the pilot light that the spark can jump the gap and ignite the gas.
Wiring issue: If there is a problem with the wiring that connects the electrode to the ignition module or control board, then the electrode may not be able to produce a spark. This could be due to a loose or damaged wire, or an issue with the ignition module itself.
If the pilot electrode is defective is defective, you might need to replace the whole pilot assembly, below are the steps you can take:
- Turn off gas supply to water heater by Rotating knob
of gas control/gas valve to “OFF” position. If you are using a Honeywell Honeywell Control, simply rotate the knob counter-clockwise to the “OFF” position. But if you are using a White Rodgers Control, you’ll need to depress the knob slightly and rotate clockwise to the “OFF” position. For Robertshaw Control, rotate knob clockwise to the “OFF”
- . Remove the outer jacket door.
- Remove right side of inner door per
- Disconnect thermocouple/thermopile, pilot tube, and feedline from gas control/gas valve.
- Disconnect piezo ignition wire from piezo igniter.
- Remove burner assembly from combustion chamber.
- Remove pilot/electrode assembly from feedline
- Inspect pilot for blockage, dirty or crack. Incase there kinks or cracks, you’ll need to replace the pilot.
Why won’t my Bradford White water heater pilot light stay lit?
If your pilot light won’t stay lit, it could be due to a faulty thermocouple or a problem with the gas control valve. A qualified technician can diagnose and fix the issue.
Can I relight the pilot light myself?
If you’re comfortable working with gas appliances and have experience lighting pilot lights, then you may be able to relight the pilot light yourself. However, if you’re not experienced or comfortable working with gas appliances, it’s best to call a professional plumber or technician to handle the job.
How do I know if the gas control knob is set to the wrong position?
Check the owner’s manual for your water heater to determine the correct position for the gas control knob. If it’s not in the correct position, you may need to adjust it to allow gas to flow to the pilot assembly.
Why is my piezo igniter not working?
If your piezo igniter isn’t functioning, it could be due to a faulty igniter, loose or damaged wiring, or dirt and debris on the igniter. A qualified technician can diagnose and fix the issue.
Can I clean the pilot orifice or pilot tube myself?
Cleaning the pilot orifice or pilot tube requires specific tools and expertise. It’s best to call a professional plumber or technician to handle the job to ensure it’s done safely and correctly.
Why is my pilot electrode not sparking to the pilot?
If your pilot electrode isn’t sparking to the pilot, it could be due to a faulty electrode, build-up on the electrode, incorrect placement of the electrode, or a wiring issue. A qualified technician can diagnose and fix the issue.
Remember, working with gas appliances can be dangerous, and it’s important to follow all safety precautions and manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re not comfortable handling the issue yourself, call a professional plumber or technician to diagnose and fix the problem.