Bradford White Tankless Error Code Troubleshooting

What do you do when you go take a nice hot relaxing bath only to find no hot water and your heater flashing an error code at you? Get your hot water flowing again with our guide to Bradford White error code troubleshooting.

Yes, there are still times when you’ll have to wait and call out a qualified technician to fix your water heater. However, there are also things you can do yourself to restore the status quo.

Let’s take a look at some of the error codes you might see on your Bradford White model and what to do about them.

Table of Contents

    Where Does the Error Code Display?

    This water heater has an LCD window on the front of the unit. It’s where you’ll find the temperature display in regular operation. When something goes wrong, the error code will appear in this window.

    Bradford White Tankless Error Code Troubleshooting

    Let’s take a look at some of the error code messages you might see on your Bradford White water heater, what they mean, and how to get rid of them (1).

    Error Code 10

    What It’s Telling You

    • There’s a blockage to the air supply or in the exhaust.

    The Solution

    1. Check the exhaust and intake ports: Make sure there are no obstructions.
    2. Examine the flue: Check that the flue inlet and exhaust aren’t blocked.
    3. Is the clearance correct? Ensure proper clearance around the unit from combustibles such as wooden structures.

    Error Code 11

    What It’s Telling You

    • There’s no ignition.

    The Solution

    1. Check the gas supply: Make sure the gas supply to the appliance is turned on and flowing.
    2. The type and pressure of the gas: Ensure you have the right gas supply for your unit and that it’s set at the correct pressure.
    3. Air in the gas lines: Bleed any air from the gas lines.
    4. Dip switches: Make sure the dip switches are appropriately set.
    5. Disconnect the MSA controls: If you have more than one heater connected, disconnect them.
    6. Check lines for size: Make sure the gas line, gas meter, and/or gas regulator are the correct size.
    7. Is the unit grounded? Check that your appliance has the proper grounding.
    8. Are the circuits good? Look for any short circuits or open circuits in the gas solenoid.
    9. Check the igniter: Make sure the igniter is working and the wiring harness doesn’t have any signs of damage.

    Error Code 12

    What It’s Telling You

    • There’s a flame failure. This usually indicates a gas valve defect or problem with the power supply.

    The Solution

    1. Gas pressure and type: Make sure you have the right gas type and the pressure is correct.
    2. Air in the gas line: Bleed all the air that might be present in the gas lines.
    3. Dip switches: Make sure the dip switches are correctly set.
    4. Flame rod: Check that the flame rod wire is connected and the rod doesn’t have any carbon build-up.
    5. Line sizes: Make sure you have the correct dimensions of gas line, meter, and/or regulator.
    6. Is the heater grounded? Check your appliance is adequately grounded.
    7. Check the circuits: Look for open or short circuits in the gas solenoid valves.
    8. Look for loose connections: Make sure there are no loose power connections and that the power supply is the correct voltage.
    9. Has there been a change in the power voltage? Check for drops or power surges.
    10. Disconnect all the MSA controls and the keypad: If you have more than one heater connected, disengage them.
    11. Check the wiring harnesses: Disconnect and reconnect the wiring harnesses on the appliance and the PC board.

    Error Code 14

    What It’s Telling You

    • Problem with the thermo-fuse.

    The Solution

    1. Dip switches: Make sure the dip switches are set to the correct position.
    2. Manifold pressures: Check that the high and low settings for manifold pressures are correct.
    3. Correct gas: Make sure you have the right gas type for your appliance.
    4. Look for damage: Check for any cracks or separations in the heat exchanger.
    5. Check the resistance: Make sure the resistance on the safety circuit is correct (2).
    6. Have there been any conversions?: Check that the product has not been improperly converted.
    7. Can the air flow?: Look for any restrictions to airflow around the appliance and in the vent exhaust.
    8. Check for a low flow: Make sure there isn’t a low flow circulating in the system causing the heater to short cycle.
    9. Blockages: Make sure there are no foreign objects in the exhaust piping and/or combustion chamber.

    Error Code 16

    What It’s Telling You

    • Overheating warning.

    The Solution

    1. Obstructions in the heat exchanger: Make sure there’s no blockage in the heat exchanger and that it hasn’t become clogged.
    2. Air flow: Look for any restrictions to the airflow around the appliance and in the vent terminal.
    3. Low flow: Look for a low flow in the circulatory system that’s causing the appliance to short cycle.
    4. Obstructions: Ensure there are no foreign objects or blockages in the exhaust and/or combustion chamber.

    Error Code 32

    What It’s Telling You

    • The outgoing water temperature sensor is faulty.

    The Solution

    1. Check the wiring: Make sure there’s no damage to the wiring to the sensor.
    2. Resistance: Check the resistance on the sensor is correct.
    3. Scale build-up: Look for any scale on the sensor and clean it.
    4. Renew the part: Replace the sensor if necessary.

    Error Code 33

    What It’s Telling You

    • A faulty outgoing sensor on the heat exchanger.

    The Solution

    1. Check the wiring: Make sure there’s no damage to the sensor wiring.
    2. Resistance: Check that the resistance on the sensor is correct.
    3. Scale build-up: Look to see if there’s any scale on the sensor and clean it if there is.
    4. Renew the part: Replace the sensor if necessary.

    Error Code 34

    What It’s Telling You

    • A faulty air combustion temperature sensor.

    The Solution

    1. Check the wiring: Make sure the wiring for the sensor isn’t damaged.
    2. Resistance: Check that the ohms on the sensor are correct.
    3. Clean the sensor: Look for any dirt or debris on the sensor and clean it if necessary.
    4. Inspect the fan blade: Check the fan blade is fitted tightly on the motor shaft and is free from damage or dirt.
    5. Clean the blades: Check the blower blades for dirt and clean them.
    6. Renew the part: Replace the sensor if necessary.

    Error Code 52

    What It’s Telling You

    • There’s an abnormal signal from the modulating solenoid valve.

    The Solution

    1. Inspect for damage: Make sure that the wiring harness and terminals for the solenoid valve aren’t damaged or loose.
    2. Test the ohms: Check that the resistance on the valve is correct.

    Error Code 61

    What It’s Telling You

    • Failure of the combustion fan.

    The Solution

    1. Is the fan obstructed? Make sure the fan can turn freely and isn’t prevented from moving. The motor will still work when there’s a small amount of restriction.
    2. Inspect the wiring: Make sure the wiring harness for the motor isn’t loose or damaged.
    3. Check the ohms: Test the resistance on the motor winding to make sure it’s correct.

    Error Code 71

    What It’s Telling You

    • The solenoid valve circuit for SV0, SV1, SV2, and SV3 is faulty.

    The Solution

    1. Inspect the solenoids: Check each solenoid for loose connections or damage.
    2. Test the resistance: Make sure the resistance on each solenoid is correct.

    Error Code 72

    What It’s Telling You

    • There’s a fault in the flame-sensing device.

    The Solution

    1. Test the power: Check the microamps produced by the flame rod are correct.
    2. Check the flame rod: Remove the flame rod and inspect it for carbon build-up. Use some sandpaper to clean it if necessary. Make sure the flame rod touches the flame when the appliance fires.
    3. Inspect for obstructions: Look inside the burner chamber for any blockages affecting the flame at the flame rod.
    4. Look for damage: Is the wiring to the flame rod intact?
    5. Renew the part: Replace the flame rod.

    Error Code LC

    What It’s Telling You

    • There’s a build-up of scale in the heat exchanger.

    The Solution

    1. Power supply: Turn the power to the appliance off and back on. If the code does not reappear, separate the control wires from the appliance’s power supply.
    2. Clear the limescale: Flush the heat exchanger in line with the instructions in your owner’s manual. This might need doing often if you live in a hard water area.
    3. Renew the part: Replace the heat exchanger if necessary.

    No Error Code

    There are occasions when you might activate water flow to your heater but nothing happens. You look for an error code but nothing is showing.

    Below is a list of things that you can troubleshoot to rectify the issue.

    1. Clean the filter: Remove the filter on the water supply inlet and scrub it with a toothbrush to remove debris.
    2. Check the flow rate: Make sure your flow rate is at least the minimum needed to fire up the appliance.
    3. Look for blockages: Ensure there’s no pipe dope in the control turbine for the water flow.
    4. Inspect the water supply pipes: If the installation is new, make sure the hot and cold water lines haven’t been crossed.
    5. Remove air from the system: Bleed the lines by turning off the hot water to your home and opening the pressure relief valve. If the appliance fires up, there’s a bleed over in the plumbing. When doing this, if there’s a circulatory system in use, you must isolate it.
    6. Check the water flow control: Disconnect the water flow control motor and turn on your hot water. If the unit then fires up, replace the water flow control.
    7. Test the resistance: Check the resistance on the sensor for the water flow control.

    The correct resistance for any of the troubleshooting tips above can be found in your owner’s manual.

    Safety First

    Remember, when doing any maintenance on a tankless water heater you are dealing with electricity and gas. Think safety first and disconnect the power and gas supplies before carrying out any work.

    Tips on Maintaining Your Tankless Water Heater

    Error codes appear when things go wrong. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that can’t be avoided, but there are some things you can do to lessen the impact:

    • Descale your water heater: Flush it annually every 6 months if you live in a hard water area. This will improve the efficiency of your appliance and could save some money on heating bills. Check your owner’s manual for full instructions (3).
    • Get a water softener: Think about investing in a water softener. This will help reduce the scale build-up and prolong the life of your heater (4).
    • Turn the thermostat down a few degrees: Heat causes the minerals and deposits in water to clog up your heater. Turning that dial down a few degrees will help and will also save energy (5).

    Go With the Flow

    Now you can see whether you can perform a quick fix on your water heater and resolve the issue yourself. Knowing what the error codes tell you and how to address each situation can get your heater working again.

    If you don’t feel comfortable or are in any way not sure what to do when an error code appears, call in a professional.

    We’re happy for any questions you want to throw our way, and please let us know about your own experiences in the comments section. Don’t forget to share this article with your Bradford White owner buddies!

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