Saturday, October 11, 2014

Water Heater Pilot Light

(Update 10/21/14: This post has been corrected as some steps were inadvertently left out in the procedures for relighting the pilot light.)

I recently lost hot water in my home and found that the pilot light had gone out. In case you aren't sure how to check this, these are the instructions for a Bradford Model M-2-XR65T6FBN 65-gallon gas water heater as was typically installed in Autumn Walk.

If you're unable to light the pilot light after trying these procedures more than once, then something has likely failed and you'll need to call a plumber.

Your water heater may be still covered by the Bradford White Manufacturer's Limited Warranty. In the model listed above, the part number means:

  • Model M2
  • 65 gallons
  • 6 year tank warranty (and hence also a 6-year parts warranty)

Instructions as posted on the water heater itself:

1. First check that the red temperature knob is turned on and that it is at the temperature setting you want.

Base of the water heater

2. If it is, remove the metal cover on the bottom of your water heater.

With the cover removed

3. Look into the small round hole into the interior of the water heater. If the pilot light is lit, you will see a blue flame inside.

The pilot light will be a blue flame

4. If you don't see the pilot light, you can re-light it by following the instructions printed next to the red control knob:
  • To Light Pilot Light:
    • Turn gas control knob clockwise to "Pilot" position.
    • Press & hold in gas control knob, and immediately press igniter button till you hear a "click" sound, then release the igniter button.
    • Continue to hold down the gas control knob until the status light blinks steadily every three seconds. Release the gas control knob, it should pop back out.
      • (If the gas knob does not pop out, stop and immediately call a service technician.)
    • Check to see that the pilot light is still lit.
    • If pilot light goes out, repeat the previous steps.
    • If the pilot light will not stay lit after several tries, turn gas control knob to OFF and call a technician.
The igniter button is the small red square button in the pictures above, for this model of water heater.

The Status Light is the LED light on the control unit, to the right of the control knob and instructions.
  • Note that the Status Light can also be used to help diagnose problems. See the chart below.

5. Check the Pilot Light again. If it's still lit, replace the cover.

6. Turn the red control knob to the desired temperature.

Status Light Chart:

CONTROL DIAGNOSTIC CODES (See Installation Manual for probable causes associated with each code)
None (LED not on or flashing) Millivolt power is not present. Light pilot.
One flash and three second pause. If set point knob is in “PILOT” position then pilot flame is detected. Turn set point point knob to desired setting. If the set point knob is at desired setting the thermostat is satisfied (no faults).
LED strobe (two quick flashes) and three second pause. Thermostat is calling for heat (no faults).
LED on continuously. Set point knob has been recently turned to the “OFF” position. Wait until the LED goes out before attempting to relight.
Two (2) flashes and three second pause. Weak pilot signal detected. System will reset when pilot flame is sufficient.
Three (3) flashes and three second pause. Insufficient water heating. System will reset.
Four (4) flashes and three second pause. Excessive tank temperature.
Five (5) flashes and three second pause. Thermostat well/sensor fault.
Six (6) flashes and three second pause. Water leak detected by the accessory module.
Seven (7) flashes and three second pause. Gas valve electronic fault detected.
Eight (8) flashes and three second pause. Standing pilot remains on while set point is in “OFF” position.

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