Resetting the #$%@!!* Honeywell Gas Valve on a Water Heater — 378 Comments

    • This may help all. I took the circuit board completely out of the unit and let it sit for about an hour. I re installed it and got the 7 flashes instead of the four flashes. The pilot would light and I let it sit for a few minutes running on pilot. I then turned the gas valve to hot and it lit and ran. After about ten minutes the flashes changed back to the normal one flash operation. We shall see how long this lasts. I think the Board discharged and thus reset the memory allowing it to operate again. Maybe……I also shook chicken bones over it and chanted.

      • Well, how’s your repair going? Still working after these few months? I did the same thing but it immediately returned to four flashes.

        • As I mention in the article, in bold red text, you have to make sure whatever caused the overheat is also fixed. Especially, drain the sediment from the tank.

          • Well it died for good. The new gas valve arrived and after inspecting it I see they redesigned the probe that sets the 4 flash code with a stainless shield. Apparently the probe was too sensitive to heat caused by sediment build up. Draining your tank yearly may have prevented this but who the hell does that. The sediment can build up and surround the stock probe and retains heat insulating the probe and causing the 4 flash situation. I have set a reminder in outlook to drain my tank once a year from now on. I guess Water heaters are now interactive devices requiring yearly maintenance.

      • I removed the circuit board as you expanded. I shorted every connection on the board to the only connection marked GND rather than wait the hour.
        Once reinstalled, it went into the 7 flash mode, but the pilot lit, and when set to HIGH it fired right off.
        Within a couple minutes it reverted to 1 flash, and is working fine.
        Definitely will be draining sediment as a preventive measure later this week.
        Thank you for your terrific post.

        • I want to try this but want to know how your “shorted every connection on the board to the only connection marked GND”. Just a small jumper wire with one end on GND and touch every single solder connection with the other end???

      • I may have gotten lucky too. With 4 flashes, I unplugged the little cable for about 10 minutes and replugged in and got 7 flashes, but after another 10 minutes or so, it reverted to 1 flash and fired up.

        I also drained a small amount of sediment from the bottom of the tank, which was mostly brown water.

        • I had a similar experience on a WV8840B1059 getting the 4 flashes. After reading many of the comments rather than short anything on the circuit board I just unplugged the red and white input power and waited about 1 hour. After I reconnected got 7 flashes instead of 4 flashes and the gas valve opened properly. About 5-10 minutes the 7 flashes reverted back to a single flash, maybe got lucky. Going to researching flushing and cleaning the tank for good maintenance. Glad I found this post.

          • I don’t know what he did, but I left the fire running, and turned off the gas. I heard an owl call my name, so I turned three times clockwise and boiled a goat’s head in a broth of beef tallow. Then the three weird sisters appeared, bearing six blinking lights. I heard a voice telling me that I had a charmed life, but my Honeywell did not.

        • I had same problem with Honeywell Unit on my Whirlpool water heater purchased at Lowe’s — red light blinked 4 times, instead of 1.

          My detailed commentary may not have posted.
          After many hours, this worked for me, in total of 1/2 hr :

          Drain a FEW gallons from water heater — until any rust-colored water is gone. Only takes 1 min, once water starts to flow out.

          Disconnect red-white wires from the white plastic face plate of the Honeywell Unit, and disconnect black wire same way.
          Unscrew the only screw on bottom of Honeywell Unit.
          Gently lift out/off the bottom of the white face plate and let it hang down.

          You will notice the pilot goes out, and red light stops blinking.

          Replace face plate gingerly, making sure the 3 metal pins go back in the 3 holes in/near circuit board, and replug the 2 sets of wires you disconnected.

          Re-light pilot — hold in the round, black Pilot button (until light starts flashing) and press igniter button (small black square button) once. Took about 20 seconds for the light to start blinking again — it blinked 7 times !

          Ok to stop depressing Pilot button, and I turned it immediately to Hot. The burner came on, and it immediately started blinking 1 time!

          Hope this helps somebody.

          • My AO Smith WH went out . I had not found this site at the time . Installed new Honeywell (the name itself should tell us something ! ) electronic gas control device , in warranty by a few months and local supply allowed me to pick it up .The part was charged to warranty but $25 surcharge added . Back to install ; all good except one detail . Forgot to replace red and white wires to reset switch , had already fired up water heater . When I noticed kinda went into panic mode and cracked reset little white plastic piece wires connect to.
            I tried to rig the deal back together and each time I put it in place the pilot went out . The heater works or is working . But what are the consequences of not reconnecting the red and white wires ?

      • i am walking thru all theses steps…working on the circuit board now…drained refilled and this is last effort before calling…circuit board …battery?? not understanding this. detail describe please. and cannot get circuit board out…theres a screw of some sort and and something that looks like glass attached before it will let go?


        • Just installed a Whirlpool water heater with the satanic Honeywell controller. All is well but I’m curious. With all the talk of blinking lights and such there’s never a mention of a battery. There must be one in there somewhere. Am I right?

          • the thermocouple produces a small voltage with the heat of the pilot light. this voltage runs the system…

          • The thermopile in direct contact with the pilot flame generates all the power that circuit will need to run. A capacitor smooths out the input voltage and keeps it charged up for the so called hour that everyone is talking about.

    • I called GE because Honeywell said to. I have a GE water heater with a blower motor on top. The new honeywell gas valve is completely electronic. There is no pilot, it just ignites completely as needed with electronic ignitor. The GE people walked me through a reset process over the phone and it fired right up. Turns out painting and cleaning the basement tripped a code “7 flashes”. They said call anytime and they can help. ( P.S. I had to be transferred to water heater division and wait on hold a while but it was well worth it.)

    • I bought the rheem propane water heater6 months ago now it’s giving me problem 2 blinks every 3 seconds…THERMOPILE voltage low. HELP, what step to go.

    • Easiest method right here… NO WIRES, NO BATTERY, NO TRIPPING THE CIRCUT BOARD AND NO DRAINING THE TANK EITHER.. I had 4 blinking lights.. gritted teeth and pulled hair out BUT THAT DID NOT HELP!! So i decided to try somethig different.. (unorthadox if you will)
      than anything posted and it worked!! and is verrrry simple!! FOR THE Honeywell Gas Valve!


      2. First turn the dial valve to off. make sure pilot light is out. wait 10 minutes for gas to clear.
      3. then set dial on pilot leave it there.. and push the piezo button to start pilot (with the pilot valve still on Pilot ) …now you will still see the blinking light 4 x thats ok..

    • Am intentionally posting here for all with the dreaded four flash syndrome, Please save the effort of reading all posted solutions until after reading David Koresh posting of Dec.25, 2016, yes, Christmas Day.

      What a great present he gives to all.

      Try the simplest of all solutions FIRST, before running out to spend a dime on parts or calling to order a replacement unit. Maybe this will work for you like it did for me.

      MR. VEETZ

  1. Keith, the manual says 7 flashes means “Gas Control electronic fault
    detected.” That doesn’t sound to me like a physical problem with the valve’s connection to the gas line, so I see no reason the Frankenvalve operation wouldn’t work here also.

    • I agree but the cheapest I have found a valve is $199.00 plus shipping and tax. I don’t think it is cost effective. I am thinking about replacing it with a propane tankless. Do you know if the Rinnai is any better than the Jaccuzi? The Jaccuzi is available at Lowes.

      • DO NOT buy a water heater from Lowes. Get a contractor model. Preferably one that doesn’t use that stupid Honeywell valve. Tankless sounds good to me, but I’m not an expert — just another hapless victim who has learned from experience one more thing not to do.

    • Taking out the circuit board and shorting across the pins (on back side of board) of what I believe is a capacitor**, worked to get the 7 flashes and then unit would light. I also drained some water then flushed a lot.

      BTW I wouldn’t try to “short everything in sight” to GND, because the board and components are conformally coated to seal out moisture, so you don’t want to damage the coating.

      Regarding “7 flashes means “Gas Control electronic fault
      detected”: When this happens after the four flashes, it seems like this is saying something like, “There has been a fault detected, and there is no fault any more.” In other words, there was a fault and it went away.
      My unit is a Kenmore, bought at OSH New Year’s day 2012.
      ** sorry, I took no pictures; the capacitor is round, about 1/2″ diameter, about 1/2″ tall, dark color. Its two pins go through the board.

      • Some designers use what’s called a “super cap” instead of a battery to preserve data for short periods of time. That’s what this sounds like and shorting across it is perfectly OK.

      • I just bought a Rheem unit that has a Honeywell WV8840C1605 control valve.  So far, so good but was looking up things that could go wrong and found this page. I haven’t opened the valve yet out of curiosity but from what I read here, the Capacitor sounds like a good culprit. It is likely a “Super Cap” of 1 farad or more used for short term memory retention. (day job of electrical engineer). If that is the case, recommend that you do not short the leads as it can cause internal damage. Rather, drain it at a slower rate with a 1K ohm resistor.

        • Apparently the WV8840 valves designations are followed by a revision letter. The valve in my heater is a revision C and has a blue status LED for normal. This changes to red flash code when there is an abnormal condition. This may be rather new as Honeywell does not even have a WV8840C listed yet (or it may be an OEM spec valve which is proprietary and not published. They do have technical PDFs for the revision A and B valves thought those sheets do not have Un-fubar information listed.

      • okay at this point with circuit board…have no clue..please step by step for dummies please…cannot remove it from whitish housing.appears a screw of some sort and also something that looks like glass attaching to it…?

      • Found three capacitors (bigger one in the middle and the other two towards one of the corners, each is mainly silver with a black small/minor segment ) and shorted all three, replaced unit and relit the pilot light, but 4 flashes still the problem.

        Pulled off the cover with the dial still on pilot position – the pilot light died and the light didn’t flash. Then connected one end of wire to the metal frame of the valve and randomly shorted numerous positions on the bottom of the circuit board.. i.e. the side you see when it the board is in place.  After refitting the cover  and  lighting the pilot again, this resulted in the 7 flashes as mentioned in another post. This changed to normal flashing within a few minutes. Turned the dial to low and it started heating,


        • Just followed your procedure and it worked on my rig…I had the four flashing light fault on mine too. Thank you so much for sharing your work. I tried some of the other ideas, but nothing worked for me except your strategy👍

        • Followed your procedure and it worked great. Tried others on this site and still got the 4 flashes. Shorted out the board, got 7 flashes, then turned to 1 flash within a minute. Thanks for the great tip’

        • Everyone is talking about shooting it out. How do you do that?

          I’m not mechanically inclined but can follow directions well.

      • Did this solution work for your Kenmore water heater? I have the same issue with a Kenmore water heater I bought in 2012.
        I’ve called some of the local plumbing stores and they have the Honeywell gas valve,but for a different water heater. Does it make a difference what type of water heater if it’s the same gas valve? The number on my gas valve is the wv8840b.

    • Is it flashing at you? Count the number of flashes and look it up in the manual. If the flashes don’t indicate a problem, look for a reset button somewhere other than on the valve, especially on the plate that covers the heating chamber. If the heating chamber gets too hot, the button pops out and the pilot will never light until you push it back in.

    • (I realize this is way after the fact but just adding some personal experience)
      If you can’t get the pilot lit, the thermopile that generates the .75 volt power to the controller will not be generating any power either. Check closely to see if you have a spark.  I am not sure if holding the temperature button in is electronic or mechanically acts on the pilot valve (would hope the latter).  I had worked on a water heater that was in a flooded basement and had to open up the sealed combustion chamber, remove the burner/pilot/ignitor/thermopile assembly and dry out the ignitor with a hair dryer for about 15 minutes before it was capable of showing a spark again. Put it all back together and re-sealed the gasket with red (high temperature) RTV gasket sealer. Started right back up.

  2. I have the exact electronic gas valve unit on my Whirlpool water heater I purchased 3 years ago. It is a Honeywell Reliance 9007884 Series 300. Last December, I was forced to replace the valve after I got the four flashes. Two days ago, the replacement unit also died. A plumber I know told me he has replaced dozens of these exact same units. I am convinced there is a design problem with this product and this item should be recalled.

    • I spoke with Whirlpool (Honeywell gas valve) and they sent me a new valve. I had to pay $30 overnight shipping. I told them I had four flashes and the serial number. They didn’t ask any questions or ask for the old one to be returned. I received the new valve and noticed a few differences. The Temperature probe is a different design. It has a stainless steel protective cover. Can’t see internally if it is different. It installed easily. I completely drained the tank and had a little sediment, not much since I have a whole house filter on the incoming supply. You may notice little beads of clear gooey looking stuff that appears to be gelatin. This is actually minerals and should be drained. I also flushed the tank out twice by turning the supply on with the drain open. I installed the new valve and cleaned up the mess. It took right off and has been working fine. Instead of a red flashing light it has a White flashing light. Other than that it looks the same from the exterior. I also examined the circuit board and noticed a few minor differences, but I think the real problem was in the design and components. I have advised my friends to call and tell them they have four flashes and get the gas valve now whether or not it has died. It will die eventually and it would be nice to have the gas valve ready to go.

      • This is huge – the most important post. What number did you call? Clearly the valve controller is mis-designed. I am so happy that the company replaced it for you. I would like to pursue the same solution (get a replacement).

  3. Holy Shite….I’m at the end of my gas heater nightmare with one thing left to do…replace the whole valve and i’m back and running…was researching whether to do it myself, then ran into this article about the dreaded four flashes…already had the valve, and presto, in 10 minutes I had a working water heater…I love the Internet…and Tyler, you are my new hero

  4. Honeywell has a scam going, I paid over $500,00 for my water heater and several hundred to have it installed, since day one I have had nothing but trouble with the Honeywell thermostat,gas valve. Its a Reliant water heater, but at Menards. You cannot find the old fashion w/heaters that you could lite and forget it. I am beyond pissed, Reliant has a warrantee but it don’t cover parts!!! Can you believe this crap! I have to buy parts, shipping and all. F– I’m so mad I want to shoot the prick who cornered the market on Honeywells crap.

  5. I don’t know if I ever got the red lights flashing. Just came home one day and the pilot light was out (this is the second time). The first time a friend was able to turn the pilot light back on with no problem. This time I followed the directions and got it back on myself(after 3 tries) but it won’t remain on. I just found this article. My question is….do I flush out the tank 1st before I do anything else….I have no idea on make and model…it’s raining here and I can’t check on it since its on the outside of my home…I want to see if I can fix it myself before I need to pay or just all out replace it…
    It’s not more than 3yrs old.

    • Flushing the tank regularly prevents many problems. If you haven’t done it in a while, there’s a very good chance that it will help solve whatever’s going on.

      When the pilot won’t light and there are no flashes, the problem is generally that the heating chamber got too hot and tripped the safety interlock. This suggests that the burner was on for a long time but just couldn’t heat the water enough to satisfy the thermostat. So either the thermostat is faulty, or somehow there’s something preventing heat transfer from the heating chamber and the water in the tank. Could sediment do this? I don’t know, but I do know you need to get the sediment out of there in any case, so you might as well try it.

      What your friend did to fix your problem temporarily, was press the reset button on the safety interlock — probably located on the access cover of the heating chamber. You can get the pilot to light by pressing this button, but unless you address the underlying problem, the chamber will overheat and the breaker will trip again.

      Again, not a water heater expert, just saying based on my own experiences with the ones in my home.

    • Generally, if you’re covered under warranty, you would get the part from the MFR of the water heater. If not, you can still try the MFR, but a web search for “honeywell water heater valve” also turned up several vendors. I don’t buy enough plumbing parts to make a vendor recommendation, thank god. I suggest, like anything else you want to buy online, among those sellers with good reviews, choose the one with the best price.

  6. First off, thank you for this article and thread. Although the “Frankinvalving” wasn’t an option/didn’t work, it did show me what I was up against, introduced me to others who have had the same problem and what everyone’s resolution was. After going through this ordeal, I had the pretty much the same experience as ColdShowerMan…

    One morning I woke up to find no lights on the Gas Valve panel. I ignited the pilot and set the temperature but then got the 4 Flash code.

    I called toll-free number on side of tank (877-817-6750), described my issue and gave a serial number. The customer service representative explained to me that I needed a new Gas Valve and that if there was a store around me that had the Gas Valve, I could buy there (Menards, etc.) and submit my receipt for them to reimburse the cost (up to $153). Since I don’t have a location near me and have a demanding household for hot water, I opted for the $30 overnight shipping option. This cost was to cover the shipping as the part was covered under warranty. She did say they were including a return label if I would be so kind to return the faulty part so they could examine why these are giving out so quickly. I told her I would, but more I think about it, “F” that! I have a water heater that is 18 months old and I’m already repairing it? And I’m paying $30 for a part I shouldn’t be replacing? No, I’m not participating. I got pretty bitter there thinking about it.

    Anyhow, the next day I got the part. Now understand, I’m a DIYer, but by no means am I a professional in plumbing, gas, electric or heating/cooling… I’m a computer guy that does home projects from time to time. That said, I decided to tackle this replacement as I wasn’t going to shell out a couple hundred for someone to come in and do it. The entire process from start to finish, including 2 stops to Lowes (once for tools, second for piping) and draining/refilling tank took over 2 hours. I read the included instructions to a “T” and had a successful replacement!

    So a few notes to help those that are experiencing the same thing:

    1. READ THEIR INSTRUCTIONS A FEW TIMES OVER! The instructions are short, but they have very helpful tips and information. Opening hot valve of nearby sink, opening air release valve on top of tank, using 4″ inlet pipe to use as a wrench lever to remove the Gas Valve assembly were a few minor but helpful things.

    2. As ColdShowerMan noted, there are differences in the new design they sent me. While most of it looks similar, I think the subtle differences incorporate a long(er) term fix. I also had a aluminum shield over the thermostat that is inserted into the tank. My light is now white instead of red and the electronic board appears slightly different. Because of these differences, I would recommend NOT to only replace the board, but to replace everything!

    3. Expect difficulties. The 5″ inlet pipe would NOT separate from the Gas Valve assembly, so I had to run up to Lowe’s and get a new inlet pipe (5 1/2″) to connect to the new assembly.

    4. Again, because I’m somewhat inexperienced at this stuff, I found that there is a different teflon tape used for Gas than in plumbing. Be sure to get the “Yellow” gas rated teflon tape and/or no. 5 gas rated pipe sealant. I was told that you can use the yellow teflon and sealant for gas and water, but the water products do not work on gas. Good to know! So… while they said just use the sealant through out, I actually used a combination of both. I used sealant on all the piping going into the valve assembly however I used teflon tape for the screwing portion of the assembly that goes into the tank and touches water. I didn’t want the sealant to contaminate my water. Guess that part is personal preference but I thought I’d share.

    5. Test all joints after install for leaks! While I didn’t have any leaks, I was sweating bullets during the testing and first fire up of the furnace. Contemplated telling my wife and child to go take a ride around the block while I finished it up, but was confident everything was solid and ready.

    Not sure if these links will come thru, however I took a few pictures of my replacement. Maybe they will help others:

    Hope this information helps! Have fun boys!

    • Awesome info. Chris. I tried all of the home remedies above with no success. The number you listed matched the one on the side of my heater and to my surprise the heater has a 6 yr. parts warranty, not the standard 30 second/30 ft. Called the # and within 5 minutes had confirmation a new valve will be in route overnight. While unfortunate to already have to replace parts, $30 is much more affordable than $500 for a new heater. Thanks for your post Sir.

  7. I bought a Rheem water heater from Home Depot, it had this Honeywell valve on it. The water heater would not work properly right out of the box. The pilot would lite, the main burner would come on and it would run for awhile. The main burner would go out without being up to temp (it may of been shutting off on the high limit ?) and then it might come back on or not. The pilot would stay lit for a while and then go out with a code 2 blink. The final straw while talking to Rheem tech support the main burner lit for 1 second, went out, and relit 2 seconds later. Rheem next day shipped me a new Honeywell control valve. The new valve seemed to act the same way except without the main burner lite, out , and relite. The pilot stays lit. I think this Honeywell valve is pretty flakey. Rheem gets my congrats for the great support and fast shipping. Rheems quality control gets low marks for the initial failure.

  8. How to un-fault a controller –
    Basically the Honeywell Electronic Gas Water Heater Controllers are crap (so far). If it finds a fault, it will shutdown. It will not attempt to clear its own fault after it faults. This is how you can un-fault the Controller or make it check for a fault again (and clear the fault). First, the Pilot has to be able to stay lit on its own and a fault blinks on the controller to continue. Please do this at your own risk.
    Look at a site like on how to remove the Controller circuit board (one screw and 3 tabs) and black control knob ( lean it to the side and it will pop out. Do not loose the spring under it!)and insert the circuit board back onto the 3 Valve body pins as it normally would be (circuit components showing) without the cover attached. Make sure the thermostat wires are plugged in to the top of the board. Connect the RED and WHITE power wires back on the two connections on the circuit board. (White on the right and RED on the left as they would be with the cover on). So now it is connected up as it would be normally but without the cover attached.
    You will need two clip leads about 2 feet long each(like from Radio Shack – I used a black lead for negative (-) and red lead for positive(+)) and be able to clip onto a 1.5 volt battery (I used a weak rechargeable battery with tabs ( you only need about .5 volt DC actually).
    Look at where the Valve body pins connect to the circuit board. It is a V pattern. The bottom pin is ground ((-) on the battery)Connect the (-) negative of the battery there with a clip lead. Start the pilot by moving the knob to 6 o’clock and press it in to start the gas and press the piezo starter button on the cover (you have to press the button between two fingers so it will not pop out of the cover – it is possible to get shocked so maybe use a glove) several times until it lights. Keep the knob pressed in until the Pilot valve opens (a click sound and the status light starts blinking on the circuit board). You can now release the knob and the pilot should stay on. Be sure the pilot stays on before continuing. Turn the knob to 9 or 10 o’clock- since your controller is faulted, nothing should happen.
    Looking at the V of the Valve body pins, the left top pin is the pilot valve. The Right top Pin is the main gas valve. What you will do next is connect the (+) positive of the battery to the right top pin so your battery is across the bottom pin (-) and top right pin (+) – you should hear the click of the main valve opening. The main gas valve will open and the burner will fire up (If is does not fire up, it means the pilot was not lit and you should disconnect the battery and start over when the gas clears). The Water heater will appear to be working now, but in a several seconds it will figure out that something is wrong, and it will shutdown the pilot valve and the fire will shut off. Disconnect the battery from the Right top pin. You will now need to restart the Pilot as before.
    Now when the pilot starts and the pilot valve pulls in, and the status light starts blinking, look at the code. It may show now the normal 1 code or it may show a 7 or maybe a 2. Rotate the knob to 9 o’clock to see if it will fire up on its own. If it does, the fault should clear in a few seconds. If it has now cleared. Wait a minute to be sure, then turn the knob to off, and disconnect (the RED and WHITE power leads first) everything and reassemble the controller normally and start it back up. The fault should stay cleared. The Controller should now work normally for a few days to months before it may fault again. This should at least get you hot water and time to get another controller from like Amazon.
    If it does not start up on its own after the shutdown, then you may have to reconnect the battery to the right top pin and go through the above procedure again and it will shutdown again. The most I have had to do this is twice before the fault cleared.
    I have not found a procedure to un-fault a Honeywell Electronic gas controller on any web site, so I think I am the only one to do this. I hope it helps someone.

    • That sounds reasonable. I wish I had known this a few months ago. I copied and pasted your instructions into word and saved the file. I replaced my gas valve and only had to pay the shipping and smell bad for two days. Whirlpool sent me the upgraded replacement. I don’t have faith in this product and may need your instructions at a later date. Thank you for posting this !

      • Great writeup! This worked for me! I tried the other methods to discharge the caps etc… Those Methods did not work. THIS METHOD WORKS!!!

        BONUS!!! I have a slight modification to make it even easier!!!

        The only material needed is one short jumper or piece of wire.

        You don’t need the battery at all. The Thermopile already supplies the current necessary to open the gas valve! Just install the board with the cover removed as outlined. I left the piezo starter installed in the plastic cover. Just plug the starter lead back into the connector to the ignitor and place the back (brass colored) end of the starter against a metal part of the water heater. (For me it was the the inlet gas pipe on the valve.) this will also help the starter get a good ground to make a proper spark. this makes it quite easy to press the starter.

        Once you have the pilot lit and the pilot valve on, (faint click can be heard) all that is necessary to open the main valve is to jump (connect) the top left pin to the top right pin. This will supply current to the main valve and the main valve will open. If it does not open then that means the pilot did not stay on. Now there is no danger of releasing gas. In this case relight the pilot and try again. Everything else worked as previously described.

        This is the second time I have had the dreaded four blink failure in a 30 Gal. Kenmore water heater purchased at OSH in 2012. I had the first valve replaced under the one year warranty but sears will not replace the valve under the six year warranty. I have drained the tank twice and in both cases I got virtually NO SEDIMENT out of my water heater.

        In other words Sediment problem = B.S.!!

        If this problem happens again I plan on wiring a small push-button to the two top terminals and mount it the plastic cover for an easy reset switch!

        Thanks again for the excellent post!

        • Not much of a DIY’er am i but after reading about this “scam” Honeywell has going on about these modules i had to try this and besides how many more cold showers can one man take..My results? OMG!! I cant believe this actually worked!!! thank u CT. U and DB are $$ savers…for now anyway..LOL!

        • I tried taking off the cover, disconnecting everything, and letting it sit for 8 hours. When I put it back together, it still flashed 4 lights and only the pilot would light. Here is the simple fix. I opened the cover again, left everything plugged in, took a piece of speaker wire with the plastic off of the ends, and held the wire ends to the top left pin and the top right pin for a few seconds. I saw that the light went out and the pilot had gone out. I closed the cover again and lit the pilot again. Now the light changed from flashing 4 times to flashing 7 times. This time I left the knob in the pilot position for 10 minutes. When I came back to check the water heater, I saw that the light was flashing normally. I turned the knob to just the Hot setting and it fired up !

            THANKS & GOD BLESS

          • Too good buddy, the solution you proposed works like charm, all working now !

          • I tried all the solutions that people had suggested and still had the 4 blink problem. I did the upper left/upper right. The light went out. (no blinks, no pilot) Turned it around and clipped it back in and went through the lighting the pilot light. started getting 7 blinks, felt hopeful, turned it to hot and heard the burner come on. Getting some hugs and kisses from the wife. Also had flushed out the tank. Thanks that was a big help and a $$ saver. Think I am out of my warrantee point but I will call and see if I can get a freebee. SUPER FIX< SUPER POST

          • What top left and right pins, can you show a picture. I have a water heater only 13 months old and it is not working.

          • What is ” top left pin and the top right pin ” you are referring to, while holding circuit board still inside the controller assembly and facing towards me which corner are you referring to, can you please give me some details or a picture that would be great. 


          • What is ” top left pin and the top right pin ” you are referring to, while holding circuit board still inside the controller assembly and facing towards me which corner are you referring to, can you please give me some details or a picture that would be great. HELP !!


          • This worked well. Thanks to the website and posters for saving me a lot of trouble. The screw on the back of the control board is a Torx T-15 size.

          • followed your instructions for shorting the 2 pins and re-light worked just like you said. I initially did unplug everything and flushed the tank there was some residue and sediment not a ton but apparently enough to confound the sensor. Thanks to all of you!!

          • Well sir thank you took a couple times but burner cooking some hot water thank you sir

          • Thank you so much! I was so excited to see the 7 flashes and then it turned the 1 normalized flash! Thank you so much, after it was at the 1 flash interval, it lit right up 🙃

          • Sir, I tried your method and it took me two tries but it worked. TYVM for posting this info you saved me and a lot of other people lots of $$$$

          • YOU’RE THE MAN!!!!! Did exactly what you said up until leave knob in pilot position for 10 minutes. When I got 7 flashes I went for it! Yahoo!!! Just love shorting stuff out. Thanks again. The wife said maybe we should just get another water heater. Not doing this with out a leak or no hot water when running, not on my watch;>]

        • I am extremely grateful for this information!

          If you’re ever in Fort Wayne Indiana, I’ll treat you to a steak dinner/sushi/(or your preference)!

        • Hey just wanted to say a BIG thank you to you guys for the reboot reset  tips the jumper wire to all points worked best for me! Took the board out and just touched everything with the cross wire and let it sit. reinstalled later in the day and it went to one blink clicked the pilot on and turned to hot and presto! the wife is happy again. I did order free replacement the part and went for the free ground ship to Calif  as well as i had faith in you guys that the tips would   work  before the part got here. My hat is off to all of you. THANK YOU!

        • Tried your method and it worked great with the least amount of extra tools (battery, wire jumpers etc.)Thanks for posting.

          • WhAt would cause an overheat on a new install after about three months would a flu restriction have anything to do with it with too many 90 degrees elbows and flat runs ?

        • Used the one wire method that CrankyTenants recommended and it worked to get the heater lit! However, I’m still getting 4 flashes and once the heater gets up to temp and shuts down, it has no flashes and no pilot so I have to start the process again every time we need hot water. Any suggestions on how to get it to stay lit? I’ve got a new valve being sent next day air but it’s Sunday and I won’t get it until Tuesday so I’d love to be able to keep water hot!

        • I used this method! In my case the control never reset. The 4 blinks continue. My control is on a Lochinvar water heater. They told me that my problem is due to “stacking”, which means if you don’t use much hot water, just enough to cause the burner to come on, that the remainder of hot water not used is re-over-heated and eventually the over heat feature causes a permanent lock-out! So they told me to run more water! Honeywell wouldn’t talk to me, referred me to heater manufacturer.

        • I tried all the suggested methods – none worked (including disconnecting the board for 24 hours, and CrankyTenants jumper wire method. In the latter case, when I jumped the top two posts, the burner ignited. But it never went out after 10 minutes. I also noticed that the replacement unit’s board (this is my THIRD DAMN UNIT) had only ONE small electrolytic and a few round metal case objects. After the jumper wire was removed it went right back to 4 flashes. I suspect that later versions use a non-volatile memory to retain the status indefinitely, and not relying on a super capacitor. So basically I am screwed. The plumber has ordered yet another Honeywell (ETA Jan 3) and will this time vacuum out anything left in the task and flush it a few times before installing the new controller. And I plan on NEVER setting the temperature anywhere close to HIGH. If it fails again, I will demand replacing the ENTIRE UNIT, tank and all (3 years of warranty left).

        • I used part of the process described above but never had to use the wire. Just popped it all apart , used a screw driver to make connection between brass thingy and gas supply pipe. Went thru lighting process and turned up thermostat. It worked! ! Looking foward to cracking open a hot can of whoop ass with honeywell tomorrow.

        • Thank you CrankyTenants and David Boone for your combined efforts. Very easy fix and the speaker wire was a great trick.

    • Holy Crap DB! This WORKS! THANK YOU! I woke up on a Saturday morning to this issue and used your “Fault Clear” instructions and they WORKED! Should save this to a word file…But hopefully I wont ever need them again..My water heater is 2 years old and has a 6 year warranty on parts..I called Monday morning and spoke to a Johnathon (real nice fella) and he shipped me the whole thermostat assembly. He gave me the $30 overnight speech but I opted for the $10 and some change shipping…Got it 2 days later! So in my opinion, WAIT the extra day and save yourself the $20….One thing Johnathon DID request was I send the old one back and that he would place a return label in the package…Well I live 23 miles from town and not going to do a rush job for that…AND I kinda put the replacement on “standby” and like DB said…Clearing the fault it may last for days or MONTHS before it does it again! Anyways DB’s method DOES WORK! Atleast it did for me. DB….THANK YOU kind sir for sharing this! God Bless you! And if you are atheist? TOUGH! God Bless you anyway! (PS…Flushing the tank as other’s have posted is sound advice to)

    • Thanks for the info. New controller on the way but hot water is now flowing. I will clean up the old unit when removed and keep as spare. I will now start flushing sediment every quarter instead of annually. I fitted the WH with a cheap garden hose when I installed it last year and ran the hose permanently to outdoors for convenience. I have well water.

      • The older controllers will reset this way. The newer ones have been “Fixed” so they will not reset. My old controller has a red blinking LED that I can reset. My new controller has a white blinking LED that will not reset.

        • I have an issue with my whirpool water heater the pilot went out and I called the plumber he was going out of town and he told me to light pilot after turn all the way up to very hot then it seemed as though he counted to 8 then then turn to hot then pilot then very hot and it lighted up and worked. This was after he had been out to replace the last Thermal whatever and when that on went out he had me do the same and it lasted a year and he wouldn’t give me the reset he wanted to come out and replace it. So this second one he had to give me the reset again. and it worked some how I think they only need reset and it isn’t only thermal couple because I have had 4 blinks to I dont know I wrote down this procedure because it seem like sometimes they just might need reset and some plumbers are taking advantage.

    • My hat is off to you David, I followed you instruction and it clear the fault and is now heating my water. I must say the internet is a life saver for problems like these. Thanks for you insight

    • David,

      Thank you for the excellent instructions, they worked on the first try. Since my valve is under warranty, I will be replacing it. Thanks to your solution I will have hot water until the replacement value arrives. If the reset procedure needs to be repeated, I figure it can easily be done in less than 10 minutes. One note, since I did not have any clip leads I just used a rubber band to hold two pieces of speaker wire to a AA battery and held the wires on the pins with my index fingers. I did put a piece of electrical tape near the end of the ground wire given my tendency to reverse things.

    • Wow it worked great. I had to do it 2 times, but it is now making hot water again. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

    • Here is what worked for me.

      I had a power outage at my house and coincidentally (?) my water heater pilot light went out. My Kenmore water heater is controlled by the Honeywell Gas Valve (part # 9007884), which contains the WV8840 Communication Port.

      The water heater wouldn’t re-light, but I noticed that the indicator was blinking four times in succession. That signaled an error code for a fatal flaw in the water heater gas valve. The water heater had supposedly over heated, even though I had never had it set to anything but “low” in the 3 years I have had it. By the way, the 3 year warranty expired 3 week ago.

      The manual, and Sears parts deptartment, told me I needed a new control valve at $150. That was their only solution. They said there was no way to re-set the board.

      I researched the internet (many hours!) and found a guy that removed the board allowing the capacitors to discharge fully, (just by removing the board). I ended up doing this and it worked like magic.

      Although, the first time I did it, I only let it sit for about a half hour like he did, and I still got the 4 blinks and it wouldn’t light. So, I decided to let it sit overnight and that did the trick for me. When I put it back in it blinked 7 times. I lit the pilot, and the indicator returned to 1 regular blink (the sign of normal function) as the gas flowed to the burner and ignited.

      There is no need to completely remove the board from the plastic control valve cover. It is held in by one “T-15 tork screw” that would be uncommon for most folks. Just make sure you label (or cell phone picture) where the wires go, to be able to return them, and then disconnect all the wires. This will insure that the board will not be getting any electrostatic signals from the water heater. It’s not very complicated, really.

      The cover on the Water Heater’s gas valve is removed by a single flat head screw at the bottom. And two finger-pressable connectors at the top. You don’t have to drain the tank or disconnect any gas lines. Although, it wouldn’t hurt to turn the gas off at the water heater line by twisting the valve into the horizontal position.

      I thought you might want to add this info to your “do-it-yourself” site. It saved me $150. Honeywell and Sears/Home Depot/etc. would encourage you to waste the money on a new part.

    • Great writeup! This worked for me! I tried the other methods to discharge the caps etc… Those Methods did not work. THIS METHOD WORKS!!!

      BONUS!!! I have a slight modification to make it even easier!!!

      The only material needed is one short jumper or piece of wire.

      You don’t need the battery at all. The Thermopile already supplies the current necessary to open the gas valve! Just install the board with the cover removed as outlined. I left the piezo starter installed in the plastic cover. Just plug the starter lead back into the connector to the ignitor and place the back (brass colored) end of the starter against a metal part of the water heater. (For me it was the the inlet gas pipe on the valve.) this will also help the starter get a good ground to make a proper spark. this makes it quite easy to press the starter.

      Once you have the pilot lit and the pilot valve on, (faint click can be heard) all that is necessary to open the main valve is to jump (connect) the top left pin to the top right pin. This will supply current to the main valve and the main valve will open. If it does not open then that means the pilot did not stay on. Now there is no danger of releasing gas. In this case relight the pilot and try again. Everything else worked as previously described.

      This is the second time I have had the dreaded four blink failure in a 30 Gal. Kenmore water heater purchased at OSH in 2012. I had the first valve replaced under the one year warranty but sears will not replace the valve under the six year warranty. I have drained the tank twice and in both cases I got virtually NO SEDIMENT out of my water heater.

      In other words Sediment problem = B.S.!!

      If this problem happens again I plan on wiring a small push-button to the two top terminals and mount it the plastic cover for an easy reset switch!

      Thanks again for the excellent post!

      • Thank you Cranky Tenants and Dave Boone!  One small jumper wire is all that’s needed!  Got a back-up valve for free since mine was under warranty.  It’s been a week since I reset the valve and everything seems to be working fine and I did not drain the tank.  My unit was only 3 years old!

    • David Boone I Love You. My Family thanks you for the tip to reset the Honeywell Gas control valve.

      Greatly Appreciated,

      Craig Duquette

    • Thanks to this blog and everyone’s exploits with the Frankenvalve Here’s what worked so far for me on a neighbors unit:
      Make a jumper out of phone wire about 10″ long. On one end make two tiny wraps to fit over the left and right pins on the valve under the cover like described elsewhere. Remove cover, put wraps on the two posts and replace cover. Ignite pilot then rotate to hot. Twist the phone wires together, the burner lit for about 20 seconds then shut off. Untwist wires and relight pilot. I believe I was getting 7 flashes until turning burner on and in a short time the flashes went to normal 1 flash. No battery, no removing of circuit board, just a short jumper wire. Thanks to all the posts here!!! Cheers.

      • The two 10 inch jumpers wrapped around the left and right pins was the method that worked for me. Bought my Whirlpool at Lowes. Went back to buy a new thermostat. Nothing on the shelf that looked like the Honeywell. Asked the associate, he said they are all interchangeable. Nope! I had looked at it at 5am it was 7pm by the time I got to Lowes, thought he was wrong but trusted his input! I didn’t think it would work, live and learn. Started looking on line for a replacement and came across this site. So to all of you, thank you!

    • Well, tried this with TWO circuit boards (one was original w/red LED, the second was replacement w/white LED). Neither worked, the second board is now dead. The first continues the 4-blinks after multiple reset attempts.

      This is really bad! I’m looking for a replacement LPG gas control in Mexico (I’m close to the border). Maybe I can purchase one with the G-D F@*CK*! US Government safety features. That’s the problem, not Honeywell — they just build a piece of crap (in China). The government mandates all this crap that fails! We really need to tell the government to BUTT OUT of our lives, Big Brother wants to be my mommy and save me from myself. I really don’t need those (collective) idiots telling me what is safe and what is not. This crap adds $15,000+ to our new automobiles. No, No, No!

    • This procedure worked like a charm.  I did however, use the no battery option submitted by Cranky Tenants which is a little easier.  Thanks for the submission.

    • This is an excellent solution. Nothing else worked for me. I was ready to take the circuit board into work and try to reprogram it through what appears to be a serial port (TX RX pins). Thank you for you detailed instructions.

    • I have to say that thhis is amazing. Speaker wire. 20 minutes and the above solution of shorting it to correct the error worked magic. I want to send you a gift…..paypal??

    • Wow, you are the man, I used old speaker wires, a double A and masking tape, I don’t have any clips, followed your instructions about five times, nothing happening, at one point I did touch the left pin with the positive and heard a click, after that the next three tries it all worked like you said. Thank you sooo much and my daughter thanks you, hot water is a must for her.  Tom

    • Amazing!!!!!!!!! Internet does it again. You have no idea how much this made my day cause I’m broke at the moment and this just bought me a little more time!!!!!!!!!! Thank You so much, it worked exactly as you sated it would.

    • Thank you! Discharging caps, leaving the circuit board off overnight, etc was not effective for me. Closing the ground with the top right pin using a AA battery with some leads to fire up the water heater followed by re-lighting the pilot and setting the water temp was the trick. Working for 5 minutes so far (fingers crossed).

  9. David Boone-you are a godsend.
    i called whirlpool(1877-817-6750), they are sending me the valve free of charge, but its gonna take a couple days to get here. i followed your instructions and bingo! burners are on. thank you so much.

  10. I am getting NO Flash from the led light. Pilot light will come on but wont stay on after releasing the button.

  11. here’s what i did… take off the cover on the valve and disconnect the 3 wire connector. reattach the front cover with the wires still unplugged and light your pilot. you will get a 7 flash error. shut off the pilot and reconnect the 3 wire plug and but the cover back on. light the pilot and you still get the 7 flashes; however the water heater kicks back on and gets back up to temperature and shuts off as normal and you will see that your light now only flashes 1 time every 3 or 4 seconds. worked for me…

    • Charles,
      I followed your instructions to clear the fault and they worked fine. Can you let me know if your WH is still working? I am trying to get an idea of how reliable the soluton is. I did flush the system and I lowered the thermostat to between a and b. and it has been running fine for 2 days.

    • Unfortunately, Charles, your fix did not work for me. Maybe the situation was wrong, maybe I just didn’t hold my tongue the right way. I’m keeping your method in my hip pocket, though, because it is much simpler.

    • Charles……,thank you very much I used ur trick to reset
      my control valve and it worked the very first try!!! I was getting so frustrated you saved me some time and some $$$……thx again

  12. I’ve been reading the above posts with great interest. The pilot on my waterheater went out over night. It lights easily, but won’t stay lit. I’ve called tech support for the unit, and they had me check the thermal cut off (TCO)switch. It did not need to be reset (zero resistance across the terminals). I checked the voltage from the thermopile: 750 millivolts with pilot light lit while holding in the button. But, the light on the control never starts flashing. Checked the wiring. Everything is good. I pay $30 for overnight shipping for a replacement unit. Installed it today. It, too, does not get any flashes after the pilot is lit. (Held the pilot open manually for 10 minutes. Still no flashes.) Tried removing the cover, unplugging 3 wire plug, and then lighting pilot again. Still no flashes. I can’t believe they sent me a dud. Any ideas?

    • If you are getting 750 millivolts at the RED and WHITE connections, then I would think it is a dud. There is a thermo-breaker in series with the thermopile attached to the plate opposite the sight window that may need to be reset or could be bad – just another thought.

    • What is the easiest way to mimic the thermopile 750 milli volt so I can get the brains working without the pilot on. How long does the pilot need to be held on for the thermopile to get to operational mode. Does the brains look at the voltage from thermopile to check for over heating or underheating?

  13. DB: Instructions are clear and hope to follow this to override the Honeywell piece of crap Gas Control Thermostat on my 2.5 year old 50gal tank. All, I called Whirlpool and they didn’t hesitate to send a replacement which I need overnight because of my work schedule, so the $30 is worth it. But get this… They now want owners to drain and flush their tanks every 6 months so calcium will not build up on the sensors! We have a drought in CA and losing 100 gallons (2 TANKS) of water every six months isn’t backbreaking, but it sure is a pain that should not be in the design. DO NOT RECOMMEND WHIRLPOOL HOT WATER HEATERS WITH HONEYWELL GAS CONTROL VALVES! DON’T BUY THEM. Let people know on FB and other places that these tanks are equipped with a flawed Gas Control Valve.

    • Normally, you just need to dump a gallon or two at the most to get the sentiment out of the bottom of the tank. It should not be necessary to completely empty the tank unless it is just full of sediment and you have never tried to flush it out before.
      Note that sometimes it can be hard to get the valve closed completely if this was the first time and you had never done it before in years of use. The note is just a comment – I know it really does not apply to your situation.
      Another comment – when I finally got a replacement from Amazon, the LED light was White in color, not RED as my last two. So far, this one has continued to work for a while – I can not tell yet if they have actually fixed them though. Time will tell.

      • The replacement valve I received also has a white sensor light instead of red, and it has a metal capped sensor instead of black plastic. I suspect it is modified by Honeywell to be less sensitive to the issue because of complaints. If I had just changed out the circuit boards on the old control valve I’d not have gained the better sensor. I suggest going all the way and getting rid of the old plastic sensor. When drained completely,the bottom held a white goo that had a slimy feel with crystals. I suspect it to be calcium and salts. It was very difficult to flush out and I ended removing it by use of a shop-vac and small hose modified to get through the valve hole. It took a while but I hope it is sufficient to extend the life of the valve. Never had this problem with old fashioned hot water heaters. Whirlpool did not improve their product going to this control valve thermostat.

  14. Well I’ve been hit by this same thing…

    Going to talk to Whirlpool and have them ship out the replacement. Going to try the “reset” steps pointed out earlier and see if that will get me by for a little while until the new one gets here.

    With the new unit, since it goes into the water tank itself, do you need to drain all the water from the tank before replacing it?

    Thanks everyone for all the useful info!

    • Yes. You need to drain the tank completely because the valve “sensor” is about one inch diameter probe that screws into the side of the tank from the back of the valve. While you have the old valve out, be sure to probe inside to see if you have gunk/sediment and/or crystals/salts. These things foul the sensor causing the 4 blink death light pattern. Be sure the tank is flushed as much as possible. Good luck, and be sure to write Whirlpool and tell them their tank design valve is a piece of crap. NEVER TO BE PURCHASED AGAIN.

  15. Thanks all and internet! I’m an Innkeeper with few local options for help or assistance and will be following some great advice here. Page bookmarked!

  16. I had the “four blink” Water too hot issue. This is the fourth time in 3 years the control has died. I decided to try the “How to un-fault a controller” instructions above by David Boone as a first resort since it is easy to do. It takes a T-15 screwdriver to remove the cover. My control has an additional wire plugged into the bottom of the controller (I’m not certain what it does). After removing the controller board and the wires, I had to reattach it to light the pilot light. Now, instead of the “4-blink” I had a seven blink. I set the temperature control to just below hot and the burner came on. The seven blink disappeared shortly after that. Now it is one-blinking again. Fixed? If I don’t update this entry, assume it is (for now).

    The previous water-heater was never flushed in its 20 year life (the tank started leaking). This tank was flushed six months ago to install the current control valve. This house is on city water with a water-softener – it shouldn’t need flushing very often.

  17. + One for DB’s repair procedure. After spending a day shopping for a replacement – nowhere to be found for same day repair, and after 2 freezing cold morning showers, I followed DB’s instructions and voila! Back in business again. I’ll call for the replacement to have on hand and keep the instructions. Thank you thank you! Right, my tank is just over 2 years old… the number of posts here, Honeywell would do well to consider a recall and redesign. For sure they’re going to have a lot of unhappy customers.

  18. Just to let everyone know, the above fix by DB works! Now, I urge CAUTION when performing this fix as, without a working pilot, you could accumulate an appreciable amount of gas and risk an explosion. Only the technically adept or handy should do attempt this. As he indicated, YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!

    Now, for the praise! An extremely tense situation with 2 women in the house, Monday morning (Wife and daughter) and no hot water was avoided by the above fix. I am deeply in the debt of David Boone and would offer to buy you lunch should we ever meet. Thanks!

  19. Obviously we’ve all had our issues with the apparently worthless Honeywell controller. I am now one of the afflicted and would not like to have to go through this every 18 months. Is there any non-Honeywell valve that we can use in place of the Edsel we have now?

  20. UPDATE: David Boone’s method worked great for me, exactly as described. It’s definitely a hassle rigging up the battery setup, but I cannot complain with the results. If this becomes a regular issue, I might solder a pigtail to each of the terminals and get a battery holder from Radio Shack with quick disconnect terminals.

    • I’ve also decided that, every year, I’m going to file a warranty claim on this piece of crap valve/circuit board setup. At least then I’ll have a stockpile when the water heater is out of warranty.

    • i was still under warranty so the valve was free less $30 overnight shipping. I was told to flush the water heater 2x’s a year with vinegar to remove sediment, which i did have ALOT..Thanks

  21. Had a 7 blinking light. Water heater runs both water AND heating in the home – 0 degrees in Denver right now! Called and set appointment. Could only see me in the evening…Reading about what you guys have done. Rebooted the pilot and set to just below HOT. Few minutes later, gave me the all clear…Thermostat requiring heat (No faults). Cheers very much, Tyler and y’all!!

  22. Regarding these Honeywell 9007884 Reliance 300 Series gas valves, the manual states that the HOT setting is 120F and the VAC (vacation) setting is 55F, but what temperature setpoint is the LOW setting? This does not seem to be documented anywhere. Also, is the setpoint continuously variable as the dial is turned, or are the labeled settings “stepped” and all there are? -thanks

    • I don’t know this for a fact but the low setting should be somewhere around 100ºF. I have another place with a Rheem Propane Tankless where the lowest normal setting is 100ºF. It is interesting to note that 106ºF is normally just about as hot as you can stand in the shower. The comfort range is very small. Setting this one at hot results in about 120ºF as noted elsewhere, which is hotter than one can stand for continuous exposure.

      • Thanks Randy. My tank is fed solar preheated water, and so far, that water has been warm enough that the main propane burner has never fired with the thermostat set to LOW, so I was just curious. The pilot light alone is keeping the solar water warm all night at about 120F. My installation uses a tempering valve to keep water to the home closer to 110F no matter what the solar temperature is (which can be up to ~140F in summers).

  23. Well my tank is 15 months old and it is giving the 4 flash death sign, called everywhere for parts, can only get from Whirlpool and 3 days later. Cold water for 3 days in winter. I will never by anything that has anything Honeywell on it again. I would like to get my hands on the jerk that designed that piece of sh___.

  24. About to enter the fray and attempt the 4-blink DIY fix solution.

    Second water heater we’ve put into this location in 3 years, due to bad Honeywell controllers. Wish this had been up 2 years ago, when the previous unit failed.

  25. This whole thread is very interesting. I bet between all of us we could design a much better water heater…

    Anyway, I bought that same heater (2″ insulation) only a couple years ago. A few days ago I noticed that the combustion was very loud, like the flame was pulsating or something (I didn’t know I had a pulsejet at home). Worse, when the burner would start (first draw of hot water in the morning), it would start with a bang, literally “boom”, and then go on its pulsing merry way.

    Called Whirlpool, got the run-around everyone else is getting, called a few plumbers who were all in the $150+/hour. While still contemplating my options, this morning the heater quit altogether.

    No flashing lights, no pilot light, nothing. Dead as a door knob.

    I dismantled the gas valve, measure the thermopile, and can’t even get a few millivolts (granted, the pilot light isn’t on, so maybe it’s normal).

    Any ideas? Should I bootstrap the thing by supplying my own voltage of 750mv and try David Boone’s most excellent fault reset procedure?

  26. Let me step in line with all of you. Thank you Tyler and all the responses. I am now an expert at gas valves. My warrantied part is being overnighted. $30 plus tax and I will roll up my sleeves and attempt to do this-I CAN DO THIS (I think) In the mean time I will be stinky at work and my hair will serve as grease for deep frying. Wish me luck tomorrow!

  27. I just duplicated the steps that Charles on 29 July, 2014 took. The results are nearly identical except that when I hooked up the external wires and the three wire plug on the circuit board and reassembled with the pilot on, the codes were different. After reassembly and firing up the pilot there was a “4” code and a “5” code. (With the three wire plug OFF and the pilot on I was getting a “7” code only.) I released the pilot knob and advanced the setting to HOT and the main burner came on….. Yay…. After just a couple of minutes the code changed to “1” and now I have hot water.

    It is interesting to note that the water remained lukewarm with just the pilot lit over the past several days. It was enough “hot” for a fairly comfortable shower actually. Many, many thanks for the previous posters comments that led to this fairly simple fix. Having been working with systems at this level for nearly all my life I will say it looks like the micro-code in the controller goes away and hides when it gets that dreaded “4” code. When that gets combined with another situation it can then escape the tight loop it appears to be in and in effect resets itself. Many thousands of these units replaced unneccessarily because of this coding error and the fact so few regularly do the tank flush. Lessons learned eh?

  28. Thanks for at least giving me some temporary hope (how to reset the white button) on my stubborn heater and for making me smile while you did it.

  29. Fix – Bypass with a 15k, 2 watt resistor, and no problem. I’m 67, and have somehow managed not to blow myself up without a FV sensor by not keeping flammable stuff by open flames, like water heaters and furnaces. Problem solved. Rheem, to their credit, is overnight shipping a new sensor to replace the bad one in the new Home Depot Rheem that I installed yesterday.

  30. I can’t think of how many brands of water heaters use the same honeywell gas valve. I have a state water heater (which are made by A.O. smith), the gas valve went bad so I had to replace it. Right after I was done and moved on to light the pilot, the damn thing started flashing 7 times, which means gas control valve failure, right out of the box !!!! I waited to see if the pilot would go off, but about 3 minutes later it started flashing normal, once every 3 seconds. I turned the knob to the on position and the burner kicked on. So far it’s been working fine. I called my father-in-law and told him about it, he is a plumber and replaces this kind of valves all the time but he said he has never seen one that flashes any codes other than normal right out of the box… Go figure!!!

  31. I too thought no big deal to turn my water heater up ONE NOTCH!!! Just one stinking notch! and now I got myself a huge repair issue, what the hell is wrong with kenmore and Honeywell to make a dial that allows you to raise the temp up to A,B,C AND VERY HOT and just by putting it up to “A” now I get 4 blinking lights and have to pay a repair technician to come give me a diagnostic! This was purchased in July 2013 and this is the first time I clicked it up a notch to get a warmer water temp and now it stops working! What a pile of JUNK!!! Something a major of an appliance like this can’t barely go a year without working. I will never buy anything from Kenmore or Honeywell! and I am spreading the word

    • i bought 2 water heaters for 2 rentals from homedepo with the honeywell (status poop valve), i have no idea how one hasn’t blown, (1) 1st. day installed it i had bad problems to lite, i called Co. they asked if a professional installed it, i told tech iv’e installed over 15 water heaters & never had this type of trouble, he kind of said that since im not a pro-with licence thats why its not lighting, i told him i didnt like this valve sytem & all 15 water with the old school red dial out lasted the 9 yr some worked till 12 years & why would i ever give $400 to install something i could do & i do know what I’m doing just that this system not working at all, i got it 3 years & I got one of the lucky ones, the (2nd one)was built 07/20/2015 i got a call Fri 29th,16 my tenant said water heater stopped working & i had showed him how tom lite it in case im not around & it turns off, he tried many times, depress 1 1/2, 2 min, 3 min & nothing, i got a chance to look into it & i had assumed E-Z fix 5 min ill have it & running, wrong spent hour doing everything instructions had, i asked my tennat at what temp he had it on, he said a lil past the letyter (A) when i installed it i had told him never pass (A) i remember a friend who owns several homes (7) & he told me many nitemare stories of the Honeywell Valve status lite (poop)he was dealing with 7 faulty valves had to pay hotel 3-5 days while they ship parts, even then the water heater co. diagnosed problem wrong, he said a couple times they told him it was the thermopile that was causing pilot lite not to stay on, he waited for part, ordered the Valve although it had warranty but it didn’t cover the wasted time, days & hotel for his tenants, but he some how found on his own that setting those types pass the letter (A) the water heater will over heat, that’s whats going on with me, i checked everything spark good, pilot lights well but doesn’t stay on & the status lite doesn’t come on at all, its like its dead, so i called Co. tech guy told me “oh that’s an E-Z one & no brainner” its your thermopile well let me tell my tenants 4 adults 3 teenagers of how E-Z they’ll have it for 4 days without hot water you certified (DA=dumb ass)i still didn’t feel good about that, i called my friend & my friend said i’ll bet you a $100 its going to be the thermo pile, call m back & have them send you new Valve & get on YouTube & sites to get help, these sites are extremely helpful, you save money, time, days waiting for part & most likely you’ll get wrong diagnosed, so I’m gearing up & ready to get hot water for my tenants, its a rotten dirty shame that so many people have gotten ripped off by honeywell & no law suits for intentionally selling they’re valves to the water heater makers they too are at fault, at least those of us that can tinker with things are able to FIY i feel for the people who have get a licence person to install, then several months later have the valve burn out, call Co. then pro to install wrong part, wait more days for correct one ? water heater $500-$800, pro lic installer $400 $30-$$60 shipping cost for Valve. Honeywell stinks & has caused lots of trouble for me. Thank you all for helping out the FIY

  32. I had a failing honeywell on my AOS smith water heater this morning. The dreaded 4 red flashes. Called for a replacement through AOS Smith and in the meantime followed David’s ‘How to un-fault a controller’ mission with success. At least it works again and I’ll have the replacement ready if it ever fails again. I did do a full drain and it was mostly small white particles which is probably from my water softener. No brown or other weird looking water.

  33. My Honeywell WV8860B1309 failed after 2 years. The water heater is a Kenmore and I called Sears but they only wanted to send out a service worker for $79 to diagnosis the water heater – although I explained numberous times that the water heater is OK… It is the controller that failed. They said they couldn’t do anything about that. They would have to diagnosis the water heater and then order the part, and then come back again to install at an additonal service price. I understand that the Honeywell product is in recall. But they knew nothing about that.
    All that Sears tried to do was sell me a warranty extension for $199. Plus the cost of the above repairs. Add Sears to Lowes of where not to buy a product.

  34. On 21 November, 2014 I performed the fix that “Charles” described on 29 July, 2014. My water heater is still working fine. I keep flushing the tank through a short piece of hose every week or so and the water out looks pretty clean now so I’ll only do it once every six months or so to keep it clean. Flushing the tank briefly seems to be a pre-requisite for this “fix”, so do that first….

    From this thread it is not true that the “4 flash fault” is fatal. There have been several of us who have successfully brought this Honeywell water heater controller back to life. I even suspect there is a simpler method to do it than the one I’ll now detail. I think you could reset the controller by taking off the two leads to the thermocouple and short the two connecter tabs on the bottom right of the controller together for a couple of minutes. This would do the same as pulling the connector off the board and relighting the pilot momentarily. But—- I haven’t tried it so go with this method.

    Let me reiterate the steps Charles and I did so it will be on the end of the thread and readily visible.

    Take the front cover off. Pull the three wire connector off the circuit board by pulling it straight out. Put the cover back on temporarily with the connector still disconnected. Light the pilot. Note the LED flash sequence. Should be some code or combination of codes, possibly including a “7”. Shut off the pilot, remove the cover and reconnect the three wire connector to the circuit board. Reinstall the cover. Light the pilot as before. Note the code flashes from the LED which indicates the pilot is lit. Move the control to “Hot” and the Water Heater main burner should come on. After a minute or so the flashes should change to just one flash every three seconds or so.

    Jolie, even you can do this. Takes one screw driver to unscrew the one screw on the bottom of the controller. The single wire to the rectangular connector just on the left bottom side is the lead to the pilot ignitor so if that’s taken off, please remember to re-attach it. The two wires to the controller on the bottom right are the two leads to the thermocouple which provides power to the controller and also senses when the pilot is lit. Those two must also be connected which ever method is selected to correct the problem.

  35. By the way, while searching for more information when this first came up for me, I found one website which had these controllers for sale for $99.00. Most others had it for from $200.00. This is if the controller just will not cooperate.

    One other thing I could mention and that is there is likely more to this story than what is apparent. Some of us had moved the controller dial through it’s full range and subsequently the controller failed with the “4” code. I know I did this while trying to figure out why no hot water. So I’m thinking that a dirty or intermittent pot could momentarily go open and the controller could see that as a “fatal” error which could not usually be recovered from. If that is true then there could be a case where the manufacturer has just been a little too cute in their programming.

    In any event, my thanks to all of you who suggested steps to take in this matter. Much obliged.

  36. I have the 50 gallon model of the Whirlpool water heater from Lowe’s that has the Honeywell controller on a Bradford White valve. My model doesn’t have a pilot that is lit and stays on all of the time, but rather an electronic ignitor. It does have all of the same issues and the dreaded “4 flashes of death”.
    Mine quit working last Wednesday (Christmas Eve), with a house full of company. I was getting the 8-3 flashing code which said to replace the Gas Control Valve. So I called and paid the $30 to get a new one delivered the day after Christmas. I replaced it in a couple of hours and we were back in business. Well, a couple of hours ago, (New Years Eve), my wife ended up in a cold bath again, so I went down and checked and this time it was the 4 flash code. I got right on the phone to service again and the first person said they would send out another Gas Control Valve, this time no charge for the shipping. She then told me that she would have to transfer me to someone else to finish up because my unit has the power exhaust flap and that was a different group. The next guy I talked to was very surprised that the Valve would be bad again so quickly so he had me go through a reset procedure. This is what he had me do:
    1. Slide the power switch off.
    2. Turn the temp knob down to VAC (lowest setting for vacation)
    3. Unplug the power cord for 20 seconds
    4. Plug the cord back in
    5. Slide the power switch on
    6. Turn the temp knob all the way to High, down to VAC, up to High, down to VAC and then to HOT
    At this point the flashing light went to the “Heartbeat” flash (call for heat), the exhaust flap opened and the ignitor lit the burner.

    I reset the temp to my standard setting and it heated up fine. I just ran enough hot water out to get it to call for heat again and it lit fine on it’s own. Apparently cutting the power and going through the high-low setting twice is a reset procedure.
    I hope this helps others!

    • Well the “throw away ” attitude has caught up with water heaters. I will miss 7 -10 years of worry free
      hot water until the water heater rusts out, explodes, leaks or just plain gives out and you just get another one. I’ve had my Rheem 7 months . We had a power outage and the codes are switching from the 4 beat to the 7 beat to the heartbeat . I’ve tried everything trying to reset it , although it seems the flame is on . I will
      contact customer service and see ……. To be continued

    • rdamitall

      I do not think you have the same honeywell control that this website is discussing, there is no power switch or power cord. Glad you got it back going.

  37. I, too, experienced the dreaded 4-flash-of-death failure after about 8 months of use, was given the replacement valve, did the complete flush of the tank only to discover no sediment issues and, as with most of the rest of you, received a valve with a different color indicator light.

    Some points to consider: 1. The valve location is high enough on the tank that sediment likely won’t interfere with its temperature sensing ability; 2. Sediment in the bottom of a tank reduces efficient heat transfer from the heat source (gas or electric) to the water by putting a layer of less conductive minerals between the two. That SHOULD simply cause the heat source to have to stay on longer to heat water, not get the water too hot; 3. Mineral buildup on the valve’s temp tensor cap – the metal part that sticks into the tank – could cause the high limit situation by delaying the rate at which true water temperature reaches the thermal sensor. Basically, the minerals heat less efficiently than the water, so the water has to get hotter than necessary. It’s not the likely culprit, but possible. My replacement valve had the same stainless steel cap as the old one, so will likely develop the same scaling. Maybe it should be Teflon coated if that interaction is suspect?; 4. Since waaaay too many folks have experienced this failure, and since it seems to be “electronics” related, and since Honeywell is sending out replacements willy nilly and asking for return of the defective valves, I suggest that the true culprit may be that some bonehead just programmed the software at too low a “critical” temperature. Maybe a result of their desire to protect themselves against scald claims and the programmer’s misunderstanding of high hot might have to be to deliver hot at a faucet that is 75 feet from the tank and serviced by uninsulated lines? I my case, I need to deliver about 130 degrees to get a high enough temp at my faucets. That’s just over the “Hot” setting on their valve.

    If people’s replacement valves with the white indicator lights don’t fail about the same rate as the old ones, maybe Honeywell has resolved the issue. If they do fail, at least now, thanks to all your advice, I’ll at least have a workaround to use while I fight with them for another replacement. I’ll let you know in a year!

  38. my brand new kenmore water heater has a weird smell coming from it, its not really a gas smell ,at least I don’t think it is ,anyways my question is.. Is it supposed to smell the first few days or should I b worried?

  39. Sounds like a lot of us are having the some problem:
    The same issues and the dreaded “4 flashes of death”. My Honeywell WV8860B1309 failed after 2 years. The water heater is a Kenmore and I called Sears but they only wanted to send out a service worker for $79/$90 to diagnosis the water heater – although I explained numberous times that the water heater is OK… It is the controller that failed. They said they couldn’t do anything about that. They would have to diagnosis the water heater and then order the part, and then come back again to install at an additonal service price. I understand that the Honeywell product is in recall. But they knew nothing about that.
    All that Sears tried to do was sell me a warranty extension for $199. Plus the cost of the above repairs. Add Sears to Lowes of where not to buy a’s

    what i did… take off the cover on the valve and disconnect the 3 wire connector. reattach the front cover with the wires still unplugged and light your pilot. you will get a 7 flash error. shut off the pilot and reconnect the 3 wire plug and but the cover back on. light the pilot and you still get the 7 flashes; however the water heater kicks back on and gets back up to temperature and shuts off as normal and you will see that your light now only flashes 1 time every 3 or 4 seconds. worked for me…

    Thanks to the post comments I read.

    • To RaulDLC’s 3/25/2015 post:
      I followed the last paragraph instructions (“what i did… take off the cover….”) and everything seems to be in working order again with one caveat: when I reattached the front cover with the 3-wire connector unplugged and lit the pilot, I got a 5-flash error (indicating that there was a sensor failure) rather than the 7-flash error. I followed the the rest of the instructions and got my 1-flash Normal Operation going and the heater is working properly now.

      My background issue: The heater would simply stop working every once in a while, with no lights flashing whatsoever. On all of the occasions that this happened I was able to reignite the pilot and get the heater going again simply by turning the valve controller to “off,” waiting ten to fifteen minutes, and then re-lighting the pilot following normal instructions.

      This last time, that did not work which led me to this posting and Raul’s simple fix. I’m going to take everyone else’s lead and call for a replacement valve.

  40. Land lord got a hot water heater last week because my old one was leaking. On Thursday plubmer came over to install the worthless Whirlpool 40 gallon piece of junk water heater. It refused to even start. The thermal switch on the hot water heater was broken. I have not had hot water since Thursday night. Why won’t the cops shut Whirlpool down?

  41. I have a white LED and my code of 4 flashing lights won’t reset. I tried several times, and flushed the tank. Should I replace the Temperature sensor? This piece of junk is only 13 months old.

  42. I have the same set up as rdarnitall on 31 December 2014 at 7:28 pm and I just wanted to say thanks for that reset procedure, it worked for me. I really did not want to mess with wires inside so extremely glad this works for this controller. Thank again.

  43. Thanks for the above suggestions. Maybe I can avoid the $120 labor charge the next time it breaks. My story–After two years my Honeywell WV8860B1310 gas control valve failed. Honewell sent a new one for free, excl Fed ex cost of $35. For two years I would drain out 5 gallons of water every two months to remove sediment. When the first unit failed, I drained out most of the water, sediment appeared minimal. I had the unit replaced. Two months later I drained out about 5-8 gallons, saw minimal sediment. At just 3 months old the second unit failed! Honeywell said it is my fault because I failed to drain the sediment. Hogwash!! This unit is a P.O.S.! Honeywell covered the replacement unit cost including shipping. Of course I am out $120 (twice!) for labor. My plumber advised he has been seeing A LOT of these units fail. He said do not put the setting any higher than the HOT setting. Even though there are 4 higher settings! I have NEVER had a thermostat unit fail in 35 years of owning houses. Now I have two fail in 27 months. DO NOT BUY THIS THERMOSTAT! This seems like a part that needs to be recalled and a Class Action Lawsuit filed.

  44. I have a red knob with green LED, and white cover. Model U1######## water heater natural gas, 30 gallon. Last year the Pilot light kept going out by itself. After days re-seating all the wires I found that cleaning the lint out of the cage where the main gas flex tube enters an air tunnel leading to the main burner about 6 inches below the white cover fixed it.

    Then This year the pilot went out and I tried to re-light by pressing the red knob pointed at “PILOT” and pressing the square igniter button. After the pilot heats the thermopile, and the LED blinks, I released the Red knob but the pilot would not stay on. I dis-assembled the cover and the circuit board, then tested the actual gas valve by itself using a AA battery and jumper wires (mentioned elsewhere above earlier) ( negative (-) to the bottom of V and positive to left upper pin of V. So I got no click (but supposed to get a click).
    The next steps may void the warranty, and Now DISCLAIMER: Do not try this at home:
    Days Later after reading further I turned the main gas off, and removed the gas valve and the Torx security screws ( that have a pin to prevent regular Torx from entering the screw head). There is also a White or clear silicone rubber gasket that is entangled with pins and solenoid wires. The two upper pins of V push out of the cover and have doughnut shaped gaskets to seal gases. The pins have very thin (about 28-30 gauge) wires that are going to electromagnetic solenoid that has a metal armature that covers a hole. That is the valve mechanism. And so the very thin wires (at point where wire became tinned or soldered) became brittle and had broken. The wires for the main burner valve solenoid had not broken.
    So thanks to commenters earlier, before, and above.
    So I would recommend to you ( with Valve off the water heater and no gas applied, to test the pilot valve (left pin to (+))with the AA battery, and test the main valve (Right pin to (-)), and each individually should click.

    • CORRECTING LAST SENTENCE: “main valve (Right pin to (+)”

      So I would recommend to you ( with Valve off the water heater and no gas applied, to test the pilot valve (left pin to (+))with the AA battery, and test the main valve (Right pin to (+)), and each individually should click

      • mistercat thank you ! so does my mother in law ! Your experience was just like mine.
        Our problem was different than most on this thread, we had pilots that would not stay on, no code problems. The battery check on both coils lead me to the open winding inside the gas valve. Took some doing to get the wire tinned and soldered back on the post but it worked !
        FYI for those needing a little more info the coils were 11.3 ohms each.

  45. This Honeywell gas control has been intermittent every few months, but i was always able to restart until this week. Only 18 month old water heater and I too had the four flashes of death, with working pilot light. After reading most of this string I found a small piece of wire between the pilot light pin and main valve pin after pilot light was on did clear the code after relighting the pilot again to flashing 7 which normalized to one flash shortly after. I do believe I will call for my warranty replacement anyway as it is likely needed.

  46. Removal of the 3 pin wire to the control board and pilot restart did Not work for me with the Honeywell White Light Gas Valve. The original red light gas valve broke after 2 years. They charged me $30 to ship a new white light control valve and i installed it. This one broke after less that 1 year. Tried the reset a bunch of times but could not get it to stop the 4 flashes. This time they are sending me a new gas valve for free overnight. Will most likely do the control board swap.

    Would appreciate any info on fixing the WHITE Light Gas valve. Thanks E

  47. Update : Tried all the reset methods and none worked for me for the white light control valve. Was sent a new one with a bad (stuck) push button sparker. I replaced the bad push button with the old one and did the Franken valve face switch. All working fine now. I did call Whirlpool and told them that the new valve they sent was broken and they did send another replacement free overnight. Will keep this for next year when it breaks again. Thanks for creating this site!

  48. Wow, amazing! The combo of using the battery trick as well as just running wires from the posts rather than unscrewing the module worked perfectly. Fixed it last night and still have hot water this morning. Big thanks from MN!


  49. My house is going into escrow and it worked on my red light control board and saved me from buying a new control board or WH! I didn’t use a battery and just jumped upper left and upper right pegs. Got a 7 blink code which cleared to a 1 blink normal code after a few minutes.  Awesome! Thanks guys!!!

  50. Thanks to everyone that posted with this problem.  I got the dreaded 4 blink on a 3 year old water heater that had to have the control module replaced after the first year.  Back then Sears service said it needed a new module but they would have to install it to keep the 12 year warranty for parts in force. Of course I would have to pay for service.  I told them BS, that I was going to install it myself.  After a lot of back and forth they sent me the module which was a breeze to install.  Now the replacement goes on the fritz.  So, again Sears says they need to send a repair guy out.  I said BS, send me a new module.  They said it needs to be assessed by a factory authorized repairman.  For $75 they’ll come out to asses.  I pay for labor and after much debate they agreed to pay for parts.  Like they’re doing me a favor even though I reminded them that it has a 12 year warranty on parts.  They could not find that in their records.  What a cluster outfit.  So, I set out to see if I could do a reset of some sort by scouring the internet.  Thank goodness I found this site.  I tried a few things and finally did a pilot light start up with everything attached, took the front cover of the module off with the lights blinking X4, the pilot went out and the blinking stopped.  I shorted the 2 pins on top of the module base for maybe 30 seconds.  I put the cover back on and the light flashed 7 times as I put the heat dial to “hot”.  The light started the “all is good” single blink and the furnace fired up.  I got my first shower in after 2 days.  I did read here that a service man said to not go above “hot” setting.  I have always had it at one above on “A”.  I don’t know if this will last or not but it got us a reprieve as we’re hosting my daughters wedding shower in 2 days.  Hot water is a good thing!!  Thanks again to all….

  51. And everybody wonders why plumbers charge what they do. Remember these guys deal with this everyday. Their knowledge and expertise has a value.

  52. After reading all these comments I thought I would give it a shot. Let the pilot without the chip wires plugged in then turned it off. Then plugged them in and lit pilot. Went from four blinks to seven. Then once it started running went to one blink. Thank you all for your help.

  53. My 83 year old dads water heater went out. the read Honeywell pilot button lights the pilot, only as long as you hold it in, when I let the button go, the flame goes out. I replaced the Assy Unit thermocouple with the pilot light…NOW it flashes 7 times with 3 second pause. Bear with me guys, 🙂 but I’ve been whacked in the mellon for over 16 years, and am blessed that I can actually type, and am a little bit mechanically inclined…a little. I was reading how you guys help one another and just thought AWESOME! I’d rather spend money at some local cage, or boxing matches here in So. Cal. then buying parts, or paying for those appreciated plumbers…All help, is appreciated! Ernie

  54. After less than 4 yrs of having the Whirlpool water heater, I got 4 flashes. Regardless what I tried, it was still 4 flashes. I called Whirlpool customer service, got the replacement valve for $30 cost of the shipment. Got it the next day, installed it. When I screw the gas adapter, just half way in the screw, the housing cracked. I called Whirlpool again, they agreed to ship a new replacement for $30 shipment again! I didn’t mind to pay for the shipping cost, but, what I minded was the device was poorly made. Quality was very bad.

    It is sad to see big companies are not really care about the quality and safety of the consumers. We are dealing with possible gas leak & explosion here guys!


  55. Hi I have a Honeywell gas valve and the pilot button popped off. I was wondering if anyone knew if this part is replaceable? Thanks in advance. I tried to call Honeywell just to ask and they won’t give me any info because I didn’t have the model number on me. I guess I will try tomorrow but I would appreciate any help anyone can offer me.

  56. So this is the only site I could find regarding this stupid gas valve!!!

    Of Course I am here because I got a call from my mother in-law that they had no hot water on the their brand new Water Heater. The thing is less then a week old!!

    I am calling the plumber who installed it.

    Is there a replacement gas valve that people have had success with? Maybe a model or serial number?



  57. My problem may

    be similar to what’s being discussed here, except my Whirlpool has electronic ignition and a flue damper that opens and closes. When it calls for heat the damper opens and the pilot ignites but the main burner will not activate. Whirlpool send me a new igniter/flame sensor and it does the same thing. I cleaned burner and vents as well. They don’t want to send any more parts until I pay someone to come look at it. I hear a click when the pilot tube opens but no 2nd click for the main tube. Can a control valve partially fail like this? The pilot (the flame is definitely more than a pilot) does stay on and slowly heats and with the therm set pretty low it will eventually satisfy demand and shut off, and repeat next time it needs heat.

  58. Forgot to add one more important bit of information…I do not have any error codes, the red light blinks for standby mode and shows a heartbeat while the pilot light is on and continues despite the burner failing to ignite.

  59. Thank you , thank you, thank you all in particular thank you David Boone.    For anyone who encounters valve control failure, as long as the problem relates to this particular Honeywell valve controller model (mine was model NU50T61-403),  I suggest to go straight to David Boone’s instruction in this thread for resetting the fault.   Don’t take this for granted,  make sure you do your part of manufacturer’s suggested periodic maintenance such as tank drainage, Anode rod inspection, etc… to prevent future faults.

  60. Thanks to this thread and bigger thanks to David Boone and the follow on info from CrankyTenants, after 10+ days without hot water and zero expense my water heater is now performing as intended again. Before I go on I want to point out that patience is a requirement in this repair, as it may take more than a couple of tries with these methods before results occur.  So don’t give up, it does work and I’m guessing that these methods will work on 100% of the failed controllers if you follow the steps to a “T” with the knowledge that you may have to do it more than one or two times before it “takes” and clears the fault code.

    “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…”

    I was successful in clearing the fault code from my Honeywell WV8840B1109 Supply Valve Controller simply by utilizing the single jumper wire method as described in the post from CrankyTenants.  Interestingly though, I tried this method two times and each time it didn’t appear to have worked as I continued to receive a 4 flash fault code.  After reading through everything in both Cranky and DB’s posts a couple more times, finding a 9v battery and making a second jumper wire to try the battery procedure described in DB’s post, I went back to the unit, turned the gas supply back on and re-lit the pilot, when BINGO! as the faint click was heard and the flashing light reappeared, it was now only blinking once!  I nervously turned the controller dial to the 9 o’clock position, the burner burst to life, and today I have hot water again.  Its funny how a grown man can get so excited in satisfaction from getting this $%&)%^ing thing working again…if anyone would have seen me they may have thought I just won the lottery with all the fist pumping and rants of “YES!!” coming from me!

    An honorable mention here needs to go to Bob Robeson, who posted here as well, but it was his original post I found on that set me onto a pathway of searching for another option after I was thoroughly disgusted with Sears/Kenmore Service, which would be more accurately described as Sales based on their approach to my concern.  My contacts with them left me in complete distrust, with the feeling that their solution failed to provide any real value, and my belief that while they may get my water heater working again, I’d be left lighter in the wallet after being taken for an unpleasant ride that I could have (and did!) taken care of on my own…

  61. Brilliant!!!  After spending 51 minutes with Sears customer non-service the problem was resolved within 20 minutes following David’s instructions.  Genius.

    As for Kenmore and Sears… they would send a replacement part our for $185.00 and 2-5 days delivery or since the part is under warranty I could pay $79.00 and wait for a service appointment, then wait for the replacement part to be shipped for me to install.  Give me a break.  Either solution is unacceptable.

    Looking for a new appliance retailer who values its’ customers.


  62. We have a Whirlpool from Lowe’s. NEVER AGAIN! I have dealt with the dreaded 4 blinks three times. in about 3 years. The first time they sent us a new valve for free and my husband installed it. The next two times we dealt with it in in a very non-technical way. I turn the switch to off. I let the water sit until the water in it is no longer hot–the last shower usually takes care of that. When I turn the dail on I IMMEDIATELY turn the dial all the way up to the highest setting and back to the lowest repeatedly–I did it 7 times in quick succession. I then end up on the “Low” setting. The water heater turns on and hubby and I live happily ever after.

  63. The methods that describe jumping the “top left and top right” .. what exactly are we talking about here? On the board? Mine is the 1109 and has no posts. Top left is a small dot and top right is a post. Could someone make a diagram or snap a pic and circle what posts to jumper?

  64. I had to do it again so I’ll detail what seems to have worked form me.

    1: Remove the cover (it just snaps on & off with out tools on mine)

    2: Unplug the three wire connector on the top-back of the circuit-board (no need to remove it from the cover so no tools required)

    3: Snap the cover back onto the heater (so you can light the pilot-light).

    4:Follow directions to lite the pilot-light.

    5: Wait for the status light to start to blink (Mine alternated between 4 blinks and 5 blinks).

    6: Remove the cover and re-install the 3-wire plug (it will only fit one way)

    7:Snap the cover back on and light the pilot light again.

    8: Once the status is blinking, set the temperature to desired level.  At this point mine lit the main burner and blinked 7 a few times then blinked 1 – 1 – 1 – 1.

    If no updates – this worked for me. Do this at your own risk, your mileage may vary.


  65. I had issues let the unit sit and drain. I took the battery idea and did a minor mod.

    I put a speaker wire on the positive  then put the board and on the water heater. did the light and turn the unit to hot and touched the other end of the speaker wire to the right upper of the V it fired up and reset. the gas did shut off but it was drained for a vinegar cleaning.



  66. There is also a little white switch in the middle with wires attached on each side of the thermocoupler that is a reset button. Push for 5 seconds then light fixed mine. Yeah!!!!

  67. So is there now way to reset the white light model?

    Well, I am having issues again and think I may have just screwed myself…

    Last year I had the blinks. Did the reset and got a replacement valve on the way. Since the old value was working again I just left it in there. It has lasted about a year then gave the 4 blink code again. I reset it and it worked again for a few days. Then I came down later when I felt the barely warm water. No lights at all this time… I couldn’t even get it to do any lights when trying to light the pilot light.

    Troubleshooting (just to make sure it wasn’t the thermal switch or something) I took the board only out of the new valve they sent and put it on there. Lit right up. Switched back to the old board and still couldn’t get it to work. I’m assuming that the old board just completely died…

    Since the new board (white light) worked, I slapped it on there and fired it up so we could have water for showers for work, etc. My plan was to fix it Saturday and replace the entire unit with the new one.

    Tonight I came home to the 4 blink code again… No problem – I’ll just reset it one more time to get us through showers tonight and replace it tomorrow.

    But, I didn’t know that the new board (white light) had been ‘fixed’ so it seemingly can’t be reset… So I think I just screwed myself trying to cut corners and buy a few extra days…

    So I’m going to drain the tank and replace the valve tomorrow as planned and call them and see how soon they can get me yet another unit.

    But I just wanted to confirm – is there no way to reset the 4 blink code for a newer, white light, unit?

  68. Pingback: Home Tips: How Do I Remove A Stubborn Element From A Water Heater?. Remove, Element, Stubborn. ~

  69. my light is not blinking the pilot will light but the burner won’t come on so i called whirlpool; and they said i had on warranty as  we had stated on the warranty that we put it in the bathroom the heater is just now 3 years old,,, so i told her that it was not in the bathroom it was outside and that it had been installed in a shed that got storm damaged so we had to remove the shed and that my husband being 70 had had some medical issues and he had not been able to get the new shed over it but that had put a small cover around it but that wasn’t real worried about the warranty i just want to fix it. they refused to sell me a new control///

    i will not buy a whirlpool; any thing again////////////

    • I have a 2 yr old whirlpool 30 gal gas model with the Honeywell valve unit. I came home from a 10hr workday Wednesday to a cold shower!  When I checked  the water heater the status light was not blinking at all.  On relighting, I got the dreaded 4 blinks. After a lot of Internet searching (and some unsuccessful attempts at repairing) I finally came upon this site after another 10hr work day Thursday night! I tried to jump the posts a few times (Using twist tie wire, no battery) but kept getting the 4 blinks. I finally decided I would remove the burner unit & give it a thorough cleaning (blow, brush & vacuum the screen) in the morning. Even though it did not appear excessively dirty or clogged there was some soot present on top of the screen and a small amount of dust under the burner (& one dead ladybug). Apparently that is the key…keep it clean!!!  After re-installing the burner and reattaching all the wires, it started up with the 7 blinks & eventually went to normal 1 blink. I will be calling the Whirlpool number to see if I can get a replacement valve unit before this one goes out for good!

      Thank you so much Tyler for this website & Dan for the awesome reset solution & others who contributed their variations of that!  Looks like you guys have saved a lot of people a lot of $$!

      BTW To those who are confused about the posts…they are not on the circuit board or between the board & cover. The posts are located on the valve unit that remains attached to the heater after you remove the cover. They are the 3 thin metal posts that stick out beyond everything else in an upside down triangular V pattern. I just wrapped a twist tie around the 2 posts on the right & replaced the cover to restart the pilot then removed it when all was well & done.

      Feeling clean & grateful for hot water!  🙂


  70. This one honeywell water heater thermostat is completely a lemon..

    OK just replace with newer updated green computer board without the sensor.. New ones don’t have Sensor clip or wire. Get it from e-bay, just look at picture to make sure it only has red & white wires to the right and  NO wire to left side under COM..


  71. Got the same 4 blinking lights Saturday . Read all these posts Sunday and tried the unplugging of the board then relighting pilot. Didn’t work first time but tried it again and let board set for 10 minutes unplugged before relighting pilot. Got 7 blinking lights burner came on and back to 1 blinking light. Still working so far. Wife called whirlpool Monday. My heater approximately 3 years old. Lady on phone said they weren’t aware of any “problems” but our heater still under warranty and would send us a new valve. Said any time they shipped something it would be 10, 20, or 30 dollar charge. Wife took the 10 dollar shipping. Wednesday morning early looked on porch for another package I was expecting and found the new control valve. Had to have come Tuesday. Next day shipping for 10 bucks? Think I’ll leave my old one on till it goes out again then replace with new one. Thanks a lot guys for these posts. Only 1 day without hot water thanks to you. Also, if a capacitor is all that is stopping the board from resetting it can be discharged by placing 1 leg to ground. Do this at work sometimes before shipping a job we tested with a charged capacitor. Thanks again.

  72. Thanks alot guys got mine up and running as well after taking the electronic crap out. The question now is for how long? Does anybody know of an other brand that could replace this crap of a unit? It is obvious that they are making a killing on money selling this to just about every water heater brand out there.

  73. Pingback: Home Projects: Is It A Problem That I Have Two Of Each Color Wires On My Honeywell Thermostat?. ~

  74. Pingback: Home Projects: How Do I Remove This Exterior Water Valve Cap?. ~

  75. Yes my 20 month old envirotemp gas water (purchased from lowes) heater quit and is displaying 4 flashes of death . Called the company  and basically was told yes we can send a new thermostat/gas control valve for $185.00 + tax +shipping and it may not solve the problem Have a nice day and go for yourself …..what bs . I did the jumper wire and at least heated enough water for my wife and I to shower .what to replace it with ???  when I drained it I observed no sediment !

  76. Guys, this is a great post Thanks I FIXED IT but, make it EASY FOR DUMMIES after spending hours reading this I FOUND the EASIEST WAY to fix the 4 blink issue Just lit the pilot take out the plastic cover with the pilot on, do not disconnect any cords, use a “flat-bladed screwdriver.” just short (touch) the top 2 left pins( there is a set of 4 pins together use the 2 on the left) and the led light will go off and the pilot will shut off too, put the plastic cover back to the unit and DONE!! Just lit the pilot again and set the temperature!! ENJOY    

  77. After turning the heater off and shutting off the gas to the unit.  I now have no indicator lights at all and when I try to relight the pilot it does not appear that the gas valve is opening for pilot flow at all.

    I don’t seem to see a little white reset button. Where is it located exactly?

    New valve on the way from Whirlpool.  Is replacing just the inner board still a valid option? Other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

  78. Mine got here today, won’t be changing it. I pulled the cover yesterday , left every thing hooked up. Took a wire and touched the two pins where the thermo plugs in. I touched the two top ones. Working fine. If I had found this earlier I would have saved the next day shipping and done the $10 one. This is the second time mine has gone out in 27 months.

  79. I have gone through several failures with this type of water heater (with the Hon. controller). First, do NOT buy any water heater with this type of controller (you can zoom in on the ad pic. and see what the thermostat looks like).

    Next, there are at least two variations of this unit. One has a red mode indicator (the older one) and a white one. The red one, I found, CAN be reset using above methods. I found the most reliable one is to install the parts without the cover and short the top two pins that go to the pilot light (left) and the main burner (right) and running it for a while. Error clears.

    Now the white one does NOT clear, in my experience, by the posted “this will clear the 4-blips of death error.” I am digging out the old board I have positioned for disposal.

    Folks, here is the problem with this controller design. If one uses a slow supply of hot water (like rinsing a lot of dishes), then the heater stays on making VERY hot water until it triggers a non-resetable error. Intelligent designers would program a fault reset capability after the water temperature drops to a safe point, like say 170 degrees. Instead, the tank becomes unusable. Far out.

    A good business would be to offer a replacement board that has been restored for use to customers blessed with this hunk of junk!

    Lastly, be VERY careful when ordering your replacement unit, in that one has a square COM plug with four pin slots. The later version has a board-edge trace for accepting another type of slip-on connector. They are not interchangeable.

    • This is 8 months later, but I believe Ron was on to the basic engineering mistake here. I believe that it is the fact that the early design Honeywell valve (which I have) has its thermostat sensor protrude into a well without direct contact with the water. Advertised to the trade as “quicker to replace”. Also, slower to respond to water temperature change in the tank. (I believe the later design with white light has the thermostat in direct contact with the tank water.)

      With a slow draw of hot water for rinsing dishes as Ron noted, the water does get hotter and hotter, a lot hotter than the thermostat setting. I had the thermostat set at “HOT” which is stated in the owner’s manual as being 120F. I observed it going to 145F over 2 minutes at a faucet using an accurate quick reading thermometer.

      So, if the thermostat was set high on the dial, and there was a slow draw, the water could exceed the max point at which the heater shuts down.

      I am keeping mine set no higher than “hot” and flushing the tank yearly or more.
      Ha, and I bought this heater because it was supposed to be “the best” and for “professional use only”.

  80. Hi guys!

    Franken valve worked!  Got the ominous 4 flash a couple days ago after turning heat up too high.  Probably had sediment on bottom and overworked it.  Called phone number on the tank and they overnighted a new valve.  Had to pay 30.00 shipping.  Emptied tank and there wasn’t much sediment.

    Tried disconnecting the old board for an hour.  No luck.  Still four flashes.  Wish I’d read deeper in the thread to try jumping the valve with wire.

    Removed the old cover and board and replaced it with the new one.  Important to note, new wires were different colors!  BUT, the adapter for the wire harness only goes into the new board one way.  I was afraid of cooking the old board.  Any way, the pilot fired up rather quickly and flashed one time every three seconds!  This option is great because it saves you a lot of plumbing and headaches replacing the old valve.

    I too will never buy another hot water heater with a Honeywell valve!  As a side note, the light on the new valve is white.

    As info only for the less mechanical people out there, if you lay down on your back and look through the sight glass window, it makes lighting your pilot very easy.

  81. Ok my turn…

    Like everyone else here I HAD the same issue yesterday.  Here is what I did with pictures to solve this issue.

    1.  Light the pilot light as normal.  4 Blinks will still happen.

    2.  Using a flat tip screwdriver remove the bottom screw that holds the housing on.  Picture: here

    3.  Use a flat tip screwdriver and remove the housing by putting the blade into the two top tabs and depressing slightly.  Gently wiggle out the housing.  Picture: here

    4.  This is a picture of what it looks like with all the wires attached and the actual valve pins in the “V” formation (on the right side of the picture).  Picture: here

    5. Taking your screwdriver and hold it against the upper right pin and the lower pin for about 3 seconds.  The led light will go off and the pilot will shut off as well.

    6. Put the cover back on and relight the pilot and set your heat temperature.  The unit will go to 7 blinks initially, but the burners will kick on and after a bit will revert to 1 blink every few seconds (normal operation).


    Just for reference THIS picture shows the wire that attaches to the control board.  With my method you do not need to remove it, but sometimes it’s hard to visualize what everyone is talking about if you have never seen it before.

    Tyler, I will be buying a copy of your book to show support for you hosting this thread and helping to save people a LOT of $$

    • Oh and THIS is what it looks like in the little window when your BURNERS are running (water heater is heating).  When the pilot is lit, it will only glow blue, and not look this intense.

    • Hi. I can’t seem to remove the housing without the pilot going out. It’s very weird, but I guess that’s par for the course with these units. So I can’t really follow your procedure because the minute I remove the housing the pilot lot goes out and the gas stops flowing.

      • That’s because when you remove the housing, you are removing the connections to the circuit board which provide the voltage necessary to hold the pilot gas valve open.

  82. Lore leaf, Great post! Wish I’d had it before I Paid the 30.00 shipping for the new board. Oh well, hope your post saves people a lot of time and frustration.

  83. Okay….   I have a newer version.  Heater is only 7 months old.  WV4262E1107 it has a much larger board and connects a bit different.  any help????

  84. Thank you Tyler for starting this thread. Thank you David Boone for your excellent instructions in your, “How to un-fault a controller” post. I used your method with Crankytenants jumper wire modification; thanks to crankytenants, as well. I tried letting the circuit board sit, unplugged, for an hour and a half but that did not clear the four flash code. Whirlpool owners are fortunate that the company is sending them replacement valves. Sears is charging $181.64. Although the part is covered under warranty, they will not just send a replacement. They require that a service technician come to check it out out first for a charge of $95.00. That visit it’s no guarantee that they will give you a new valve. They may just reset it, then charge again for the next time it needs resetting.

    • January 20, 2016, while washing dishes I ran out of hot water. It has been one year to the day that I applied the reset. I looked at the gas valve, no flashing light. Next day drained tank and flushed it as well for good measure. There was a good amount of chunky white sediment. I tasted it, it didn’t taste like salt. I held the thermostat button in past 90 seconds; no red light, let go of button, pilot goes out. Multimeter shows 500 milivolts generated by the thermopile. My best information seems to be that it should be 750. I used a double A battery to supply the spades where the thermopile plugs into with energy to see if I could get the light to flash. I was careful, checked with multimeter, nothing. I did not want to spend not one cent towards this water heater because it had other issues besides the faulty gas valve. I bought a new one today from home depot. It’s so nice to have a properly working water heater. Good riddens to bad rubbish. Honestly, I’m surprised it lasted a whole year!

      • Today for curiosoty’s sake I unplugged the thermopile on the brand new water heater to see what millivolts it generated. It got to 500 fairly quickly and took longer to climb to 740 before the pilot light shut off. Next, while the pilot was out, I supplied energy to the spades of the plug using a double A battery and two pieces of wire. The blue light flashed and I could hear a click sound of some valve operating; Just proves that the other water heaters gas valve was, indeed, dead. That one did not flash nor click. No more Sears products for me. This makes two 9 year warranty water heaters that failed. The first, after six years; tank leaked, the second after three years because of a faulty Honeywell valve that Sears would not replace without me paying 95 dollars for a service call. So, though their warranty states free parts replacement it’s not really free. That’s why I bought elsewhere rather than waste my time calling Sears to get the run around.

  85. Thanks for sharing this info!

    I have 2 bad Gas valves that i tried this on. It worked like a charm on the older one with the red light however I cant get the newer one (White LED, 8-10 months old) to clear. It will stay on once i jump the top left and right pins but it wont clear the code.

    Any suggestions?


  86. Got up this morning,  no hot water.

    I’ve been reading through all this information, but other than learning the honeywell unit is a POS, I haven’t figured out my problem.  I have no status light.  Tried taking the cover off, unplugging connectors, pushing the pilot button with the connector plugged in, not plugged in, still got nothing.  Suggestions?   One big question.  What powers the light?  is there a small battery? any help would be welcome.  Thanks

    • The light and the whole board is powered by a Thermo-electric generator powered by the pilot light.

      It only puts out about 0.5 volts, but it is enough energy to operate everything.


    • The two wires (red/white) pluged to the honeywell box front rightside, power the box, make sure the wires are not loose, refer to diagram, mine were loose had to reattach  with tiny plyers.

  87. Thx loreleaf for the post and pics.  Wish you had shown a pic of the screwdriver touching the 2 posts.  Some people said touching the 2 top posts and you said top right and bottom one.  I had put a piece of wire between the 2 top ones, not sure if it did anything.  After trying multiple things mentioned here I finally unplugged the wires to the board only, tried to ignite then left it for a while and then plugged it in and it lit!  Now WH is working fine.  Mine is 3 1/2 years old.  Hope this doesn’t keep happening.  I did follow the advise of flushing the tank.  I saw some white crystals come out but not that bad.  In the meantime I figured the shutoff valve to the WH was not working then started to leak!  Great just what I needed, obviously the plumber who installed the WH did not change the 30 yr old shut off valve at the same time!  So I changed that out for a 1/4 turn one, much easier.  So since my controller is under warranty I will get a new one, may pay $10 for shipping or try and find one in town where they charge Honeywell directly, they gave me a special number to give to the store.  So that is an option for those that want one straight away in town, or they will reimburse you.  This controller issue is a serious concern for me as I often leave for weeks at a time with the rest of the family to tend to the fort, but they would not know what to do, so I shall have to give specific instructions with pics etc.  The reason I got a new WH was so there would be no problems!

  88. Good info here, had 4 flashes, remove white valve cover after lighting pilot, place a jumper wire across two posts that were right side top , pilot quit, waited, relit pilot, turn gas control to low, main burner lit.  Also remove heat sensor to check possible problem, no issue.  Drain a few gallons, a little scale.  Turner up temp control to hot, all is well.   Thank you “Pioneers”



  89. Thank you Tyler. I used the short across the top left and right connectors while everything was still connected method as my problem was a straight 7 flash error. Loosened cover, shorted the connections, refitted cover and fired the pilot until the 7 flashes appeared again, left dial in pilot position even though it had not lit and then left it for 10 minutes. Came back and it fired right up.

  90. Loreleaf’s procedure (5 January 2016) worked for me – remove cover and short 2 pins with a screwdriver. This is the second time in a year that I got the 4-flash-overheat failure. Both times there was VERY LITTLE sludge in the bottom of the water heater. The first time I paid Sears their blood money. This time I turned to this forum. I suspect that shorting the posts is the way the Sears tech did it the first time. He removed the cover but did not remove any wires (he fixed it very quickly). NOTE: the 7-flash error seemed to last for quite awhile but eventually went to a normal single flash. A huge thank you to Tyler, Loreleaf and everyone who has contributed here.

  91. Took the whole circuit board out and shorted the back of the capistor. It is now running with no problems thank you for saving me 125$ plus shipping.

  92. Thank you Tyler… and all the great contributors on this thread. I would like to add my experience with this hoping it may shed some light. Although the majority on this thread are dealing with Whirlpool heaters and the infamous 4 flashes of death, my heater is a brand new Rheem, installed just a couple weeks ago. 40 gal, nat gas, no external attachments. The gas valve is a Honeywell WV8840C1406, red led which changes to blue, 1 flash, when everything is working right. However, I started getting a 5-flash code (water temperature sensor failure) shortly after install. I first noticed it a few days after install and immediately freaked and went to get the manual. By the time I returned (maybe 30 minutes later), the led had returned to its ‘normal’ blue 1-flash mode. This happened again a day or 2 later and again, after a short while, the status led reverted back from the 5-flash red to the 1-flash blue. As the days moved on, it continued happening more frequently and each time the red 5-flash error condition persisted longer and longer before resetting itself. Finally this past week it was in the error mode and stayed there. This was when I discovered this thread and prepared to contact Rheem since the heater is brand new.

    On my initial contact with their tech support, they asked that I verify the gas pressure coming into the heater ( spec range is 5.5 – 10.5 inches water column). I had the local utility company come check it and the inlet pressure was right on the money. When I contacted Rheem again, without hesitation they said they were Fed-Exing me a new valve. It arrived today within 24 hours. What the gas pressure has to do with a faulty temperature sensor is a mystery to me, and perhaps just part of their damage control process to delay things. But the whole process raises a couple of questions in m y mind.

    A day or so after install, I did raise the temp just a tad to 130. As many others have suggested, perhaps this is the event which started the fail process?

    My install is brand new, so there is no connection to any sediment buildup causing any malfunction state.

    My error condition began with very short intervals of error which reset themselves without my doing anything. So the fault condition DID (initially) reset itself.

    However, the length and duration of self-correcting fault conditions rapidly grew more frequent and longer over a matter of days. Culminating in a permanent fault condition. I’ve been keeping an eye on the heater ever since installing, so I was able to notice this. Perhaps others with faulty valves may have begun their collapse in a similar fashion, but were not noticed until the hot water turned cold… people don’t usually babysit a water heater.

    I have not touched mine in any way, just been doing watchful observation until I have (and now do have) new valve in hand. When utilities came to check gas pressure, my gas was shut off and meter opened for half hour or so. When I relit the heater, it started up just fine and went into the normal 1-flash mode and still is, a day later. Although the reset procedures in this thread are obviously great and simple workarounds to the problem of resetting this damn valve, I also wonder if there may be some secondary interlock linked to the gas pressure which would cause the valve to retain an error condition as long as it is detecting gas pressure? I.E. no gas pressure would indicate the heater has been shut down and the error code is released? Something to consider.

    Thanks again to everyone’s input… you all are a life saver!

  93. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES when calling about warranty repair tell them that your water heater is accessible from the bathroom or bedroom or they will void your warranty until you send them pictures that show you have moved it to a new location. I no longer have a warranty because my water heater is accessible through a removable panel in the back of a bathroom closet, even though it is properly vented on the floor and ceiling to use air from the Kitchen area

    • It seems they look for every possible scapegoat these days. They have gotten to the point where some brands like Bradford will only warranty a unit to the exact plumber who bought it from that exact supply house. Any little detail they can use to defraud you out of the warranty they will. May as well print your Miranda rights on the warranty book anymore!

  94. In addition to the post above they had already sent me a new valve three years before under warranty, so this either is a new practice or another way to not warranty their product

  95. would someone please show photo of how you shorted it. please!!!!
    When I take the cover of I do not see the circuit board, it is not accessible.

  96. I have 7 blinks, I just turn mine off, hit the striker (pilot lighter) click click click and then move the valve to pilot, click maybe click again and the pilot lights. I wait about a min. until the unit gas valve is blinking (and you hear a faint click). I release the pilot and it stays lit. I then move dial to hot, burner ignites (but the last time it took a few seconds to light and that was odd as it usually is instant). All this last about 2 weeks and poof for no reason at all back out again. I have learned to look for the blink in the morning when I come home from work and sporadically thru day. So I do not need to short circuit board but do wonder what anyone thinks about the constant 7 blink. Will flush a few gallons as it has never been done before. As a side note, this has been happening for the last few years more frequently now and my water tank was purchased 10 years ago. Honeywell control valve, whirlpool tank.

  97. Extremely grateful to those who took the time to hack these valves! That said there are a couple of techniques which work on certain valves and others require a different attack… On a valve approx 2 years old with a red LED the method in which u simply use a jumper wire between the pilot and main burner pins, that technique was effective on first attempt. Awesome! However on a more recent valve which was replaced this year with a white LED the technique involving a slightly depleted 1.5v battery worked in one attempt while the other methods failed dozens of attempts. I suppose the capacitor discharge method may work on some of the older valves, however the later models appear to use a static memory and there is no way to clear it without pushing new failure codes in on top of it with the battery method described above. Much love to those who made victory possible over these unfair little devices! Will follow up with model numbers and specific techniques…

  98. I’ve been tryin to figure out what’s my problem with my honeywell gas valve….I’m my status light went out an could not get it to come back on to get the water heater to work so I called the service provider an they said it sounds like the gas valve so the sent me a new 1 I put it on an it’s still the same issues pushed in the little white button as they said then used a multimeter it’s gettin the power what can it be? Please help me my fam an I need not water asap….

  99. I have a rheem 40 gal mfg date aug 2012 with a Honeywell controller AP14671-2. I am getting an 8-1 blinking pattern on the controller. This is a power vent unit so I have a top blower switch and a red power switch on the Honeywell. this unit doesn’t have a vacation mode although I will try the reset procedure above. Dial Positions:low is the bottom at 5pm on the dial. Hot is at 9, then A-B-C and Last Very Hot at 2am. Any help would be apprciated. Dropbox link for Pics

  100. I have a Bradford Water Heater. It has the ‘green light’ version of this Honeywell controller everyone is talking about. Came home from a long business trip and pilot light was off.

    I can press and hold pilot, get a spark and see blue flame going.

    I’ve held this state for up to 2 mins and the Honeywell will blink single green well before that to say okay go ahead and put it back on whatever setting you want.

    It will quickly do 2 flashes (weak pilot detected) and never seem to come on.

    Nothing has changed except the amount of time that has passed. I had hot water at the start of the New Year prior to leaving. I know my power has gone out a couple times in my absence and nobody has used the water here so it was literally just sitting for 4 months keeping the hot water hot.

    Any thoughts from any of you that all seem to know what you’re talking about!

  101. Ok, this works. Very quick and easy DYI fix. Don’t try this without first watching the great Youtube video about it. He has an even simpler method, that does NOT remove the circuit board, just the white cover. 10 minutes to fix this

  102. Just thought I would post this. This if from from Rhuud service to reset the codes back to factory and it appears to work. It didn’t at first but after lighting the pilot it worked, for now. Could have been I didn’t wait long enough. I have a new upgraded valve in a box if it should go out in the future.

    Resetting the valve and erasing codes.

    1. Light pilot (Their instruction said to do this last but didn’t work)
    2. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
    3. Wait 10 seconds
    4. Turn the temp control to HOT
    5. Wait 10 seconds
    6. Turn the temp control to PILOT
    7. Wait 10 seconds

    As I said, I did it without the pilot lit and it didn’t work. I may have not left it off long enough, but I did light the pilot and go through the sequence and going on a month now with it set between hot and very hot. No issues.

    Hope this helps

    • I too have had the dreaded famous LED 4 flash from Honeywell, had to replace valve/thermostat twice in 4 years. Got it again today. My valve/thermostat has the White LED status Light in lieu of Red, so none of the posted solutions seam to work for me until this one, Thanks TC for the post. I went through all 7 steps and I now have hot water again!

    • Thank you TC……worked 4 hours and did all the the other things and nothing worked….gave up and called Whirlpool talked to a guy said all you can do it change the whole thing, not resettable ……came back and read your post and thought I would try……what do you know it works!……guess I have a new gas valve on the way for a spare now…..

      • Mine is still working. I still have a new style control unit sitting in a box. From what I’ve read, some are just defective.

    • One year ago, I replaced the valve. Now I am getting the 4 flashes of death again. I still have the original and saw that it had the red flashing light. I put the circuit board in the new valve. Went through TC’s 7 step process and it worked. Not sure if it would have worked with the circuit board with the white flashing light. If I get ambitious, i might try it. Since it is under warranty, I also might have them send a replacement.

    • Thanks for the info TC. I gave it a try and it fired up. I will drain out the heater tomorrow and hope it keeps running for a long long time.

      Good thing I read all of the posts before taking the unit apart and shorting out things I know nothing about.

      I was ready to go out and get another water heater.

    • I was getting error code #4. I tried the 9-volt battery trick – no bueno.

      This 7-step procedure for resetting the controller using only the temp dial worked first time.

      Thank you!

    • This method was the ONLY one that WORKED for me. I have the Honeywell wv8840b1110 model (I believe their latest generation). Note that I performed the following first although I am not sure I really needed to, just listing as an additional step if TC’s post instructions fail without them.

      Take off the cover on the valve and disconnect the 3 wire connector. reattach the front cover with the wires still unplugged and light your pilot. you will get a 7 flash error. shut off the pilot and reconnect the 3 wire plug and but the cover back on. light the pilot and you still get the 7 flashes; however the water heater kicks back on and gets back up to temperature and shuts off as normal and you will see that your light now only flashes
      Then do the following –
      With pilot running, 4 blinks, turn thermostat to –
      1) Very HOT for 10 seconds
      2) HOT for 10 seconds
      3) Pilot for 10 seconds
      4) Desired setting

    • TC,

      After spending all day on the earlier posts that didn’t work for the white LED, so glad I searched for “white” and got your solution. Made us very happy. We had the original one replaced on 7/14 and it lasted till today so more than 2.5 years, and now we can reset at will.

      Thanks again!

  103. The power of the internet is truly amazing.
    Found this post this morning after contemplating the replacement of my wv8840b5068 from HoneywellthereisnohotwaterontheFridaybeforeMothersDay. Drained the mung out from the water heater, probably the cause of the overheat alarm, should’ve been doing it yearly [Time Machine still on HoneyDo list].
    Watched a neat YouTube on replacement of this part, psyched myself up for the plumbing adventure of a lifetime but couldn’t find the part any closer than Iowa, and any sooner than Monday with premium shipping.
    Yet my google raised up this gem. Hot water is a-brewing right now!!

  104. I have a 2 yr old Reliance LP 40 Gal Water heater that just developed the 4 flash code with no hot water. After the first call to Reliance I received a warranty code and the required replacement gas valve part number. In response to a request for a local source for the valve, I was given multiple phone numbers, none of whom either stocked or were able to obtain the needed parts. After multiple calls to Reliance I finally agreed to have them ship me a new one for the $30 next day air delivery. THEN, I was referred to this site by my local hardware store. I tried the matter technique first multiple times with NO success. Always the 4 blink codes. After multiple attempts, I came back to the web site and found the “short the top two pins together after removing the printed circuit board from the cover trick”. So, although not optimistic, I tried “ONE MORE TIME”. I removed the thermocouple connections from the bottom, the printed circuit board from the cover, the red control button from the front and installed the board onto the gas valve, the thermo leads back to their required locations and pushed with the control valve while in pilot and “much to my surprise” I got even flashing blinks. I turned the control to on and for the first time in 24 hrs the main burner lit. The seven flashes continued so I took a break. Came back 15 min later and I was back to a normal 1 blink every 4 seconds or so and I have hot water again. Why on earth is Reliance sending me a $250 valve (that can be obtained much cheaper elsewhere) instead of giving me or developing reasonable “reset” procedure. I guess I will have a backup tomorrow when and if the valve fails again and/or the reset procedure you folks have described doesn’t work. Thanks so much for the information. I’m not sure what worked and it certainly did not work the first time but I am back in business with hot water.

  105. Very similar 4 blink code. Tried the remove short all connections multiple times and continued with the 4 blinks. Last ditch looked deeper into this blog lit pilot removed cover shorted left two pins until pilot extinguished shorted the right two pins for good measure. Reinstalled cover and lit pilot got seven flashes. after about 2 minutes went to 1 flash.
    Thanks guys digging deeper sometimes helps.
    (Maybe a 10k resister between the posts would pull down the charge?)

  106. My neighborhood has one of these problem water heaters. I replaced the gas valve with older style gas valve and burner and now it works as an older tank. But it has to run with the burner open. I also notice that they sale a upgrade burner that looks like it will fit the newer gas valves with older analog design valves using the old type of thermocouple. (Cost 35 dollars) ACE hardware sells a universal thermocouple (14 dollors) that maybe able to be used in the newer design burns. With newer style control valves having spark igniters built in some mod may need to be done. And I have not checked to see if the ACE thermocouple can be installed to light the pilot light. The big problem is that of using the the push button igniter. It needs to be wrapped with electrical tape so you do not get a shock for the igniter. The burner has 7 thermo type censors as well installed on it, which may cause problems as well. The water heater I’m working gets no and again lights the water is working now with older style control an burner.

  107. Hello ok so I have been resetting my Honeywell gas valve the way you demonstrated on your tutorial unfortunately the white plug that is attached to the circuit board came off and I’m trying to super glue it back on to the circuit the pilot is on but I’m getting 5 flashes what can I do?

  108. Thank you. Saved me $1,000 as the repair man wanted to just install a new one. Manufacturer gave me a choice of paying $30 for overnight shipping (for my free replacement part), $20 for second-day air and $10 for ground. Got it in two day with ground anyway. Followed the instructions to simply swap out the front electrical panel and not touch the guts–and while it took 60 seconds and 30 presses–eventually fired right up. Manufacturer said it could take 90 seconds and 90 presses, so don’t give up in the first 10 seconds if you try this as it might take time.

  109. THANK YOU! This worked like a charm. Followed the instructions to simply swap out the electric panel to a T! Took about 2 minutes and then the presses took about 20-25 times and now have a blinking light and the hot water heater is heating up. So ready to take a warm shower! 🙂 Thanks a million, I saved several hundreds for a silly plumber. Go me!

  110. I had the same problem this week. Drained the tank, let the unit sit in the off position for an hour and still was flashing 4 when I re-lit the pilot light. Called my brother. He said to remove the screen around the bottom of the water heater and vacuum underneath it. What do you know. After 2 days messing around the darn thing, it only took a quick vacuum to fix it. Working just perfect now. Hope this helps!!

  111. As posted earlier, this sequence reset the 4 blink code for me. This forum is great. Thanks to all.

    Hope this works for others too. I is so simple and requires no disassembly.

    Resetting the valve and erasing codes.

    1. Light pilot (Their instruction said to do this last but didn’t work)
    2. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
    3. Wait 10 seconds
    4. Turn the temp control to HOT
    5. Wait 10 seconds
    6. Turn the temp control to PILOT
    7. Wait 10 seconds

    • Thanks a ton for posting this! I tried every other method on this forum and nothing erased the codes, tried this as a last ditch effort abs it writhed like a charm. Only wish I would’ve tried it first and saved the $30 on expedited shipping for the replacement valve. Thanks again for posting Ken!

  112. this was great, thanks a ton. saved me 300$ and the hassle of dealing with a heating company. the only thing i had to do different was wait about 90 minutes after unplugging everything instead of 60. seems like mine is slightly newer, maybe that’s why?
    i tried it after 60 minutes and it had the same error (4 blinking lights). i was unable to pull the red and white wire from step 2, so i disconnected the red wire from the slide on connector that the red wire plugs into (to the connector on the bottom of the heater)
    thanks again for saving my day!!!

  113. This message board is fantastic by the way, but i have an issue that someone mentioned earlier that was never discussed.
    (State Select water heater with the infamous Honeywell control valve) I have NEVER received any error codes. The pilot light turns on and stays lit, but the burner won’t kick on. When my wife noticed only warm-ish water yesterday i came out to look at the tank (as if i know what the heck i’m doing) and the pilot was on and the burner would kick on for maybe 10 seconds then shut off. Then it would just repeat the process of the burner only firing up for 10 seconds periodically. HELP!

    As a sidenote, when you are showering with freezing cold water, wet one arm/leg/area at a time then soap it, then rinse and move to the next body area. This keeps your body from going into hypothermic shock. My wife and son are using the neighbor’s shower since he’s out of town. Wish I had known that last night!

  114. Ken, you were a life saver. I posted back in March that I successfully reset my 4 flash code after much frustration using the battery technique. Six months later, the code was back. I tried for 2 hours to reset it unsuccessfully and finally installed the new board from the new control I received after the first failure. I worked for 24 hours but failed again with the 4 blink code. At this point I decided to drain the tank and install the new Control valve with the hope I could reset the boards with the new control valve. I spent three hours last night trying to reset the valve by shorting the two upper pins after the pilot was lit. All to no avail. I came back to this site to see if I missed anything and “praise the Lord” I found your sequence. I sent back to the water heater, tried it and was able to reset both boards to the operating mode. Where has this procedure been all my life. I now have hot water and a back up board if required. Whether I could make the original control valve work again is unknown. When I drained the tank I did have enough deposits to block the drain valve. I eventually had to remove the valve and dump 40 gal of water on the floor but there was minimal deposits on the valve sensor itself. I agree, I don’t think deposits should cause this problem but thanks again for the simple seven step reset sequence. It worked better than all of the previous procedures and required no disassembly, battery or jumpers.

  115. WOW !!! I believe that resetting the orange/white/white plug enabled the water to turn on !!! Very helpful and much appreciated.

  116. Success on 2016 Model. This unit was underwater for 18 hours as the cellar had flooded to 19″ depth.

    pilot light then 7 flashes “Gas control or Valve failure” [lies, damn lies!]

    My steps:
    1) remove water 8-]
    2) remove module cover [as described]
    3) remove circuit board [as described] for 6 hours
    4) check that pilot lite and main valve actually work
    a) press brass button, light via piezo [no problem]
    –deviation– [circuit board is still out]
    b) put red thermopile wire [+] on left [pilot] terminal
    this allowed pilot to stay on
    c) used a copper jumper from pilot terminal to main burner valve terminal – main burner lit! [I can get a tank of hot water now, but have to cutoff manually][go eat lunch]
    — end deviation —
    5) disconnect all above and reassemble to factory setup
    6) normal pilot light procedure – blue LED flash, normal ops
    7) set temp control to low or hot

    Thank you Internet.

  117. Thanks DB and especially thanks to Charles who posted July 29, 2014. I did a simpler modification of what he did and it worked when I got my 4 blinking light code.

    1) Hook up a water hose to your drain and drain at least a half tank. Here in San Diego because of the drought and low water level in reservoirs, we’ve been getting a LOT of mud and silt in our water. For 10 years I have used the Zero Waste Reverse Osmosis system from Watts Premier and I swear by it! When I’ve changed my RO filters there is even dark mud at the bottom in some of them. And, when I watched the water coming from the water heater… same thing, the 1st water out was dark brown.. muddy, then it ran clear.

    2) Refill your water tank.

    3) Unscrew the cover but DO NOT remove it (yet).

    4) Light your Pilot Light. Mine came on and I had the 4 blinking light code.

    5) Pull the cover off and pull the 3 wire connector out of the circuit board.

    6) If your Pilot Light doesn’t go out.. turn the black knob to OFF. You’ll get a 7 blinking light error code.

    7) Wait about 5 minutes and plug the 3 wire connector back into the circuit board and snap the cover back on.

    8) Light the Pilot Light (you’ll get the 7 blinking code error), then turn the black heat adjust knob clockwise as far as it will go then back to HOT (normal heat). The water heater will come on and heat your water.

    9) After the unit heats the water and shuts off.. the blinking light returns to normal and the water heater keeps going on and off as normal.

    This water heater is a 3 year old Rheem from Home Depot and I’ll be sure to drain the sediment every year.. maybe sooner depending on drought conditions.
    I can’t blame Honeywell… as this is really a protection for the water heater. When the filthy water gets too high, it is GOOD that the sensor shuts the unit off. However, I DO blame Honeywell for not letting us reset the EEPROM!

    Here is what I mean. When you get a “Check Engine” light on your vehicle dashboard… your vehicle has set an error code in its little computer. These chips are made out of Gallium Arsenide and called EEPROM’s. Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. They have some microcode in them and when alerted to a problem, they pull up one of the codes and either put on your Check Engine light or, in the case of the water heater, make a light blink a number of times. When your dealer puts on his code reader, he can send a low voltage signal to the EEPROM to reset it. By the way, you can also buy a cheap code reader at Harbor Freight Tools and trouble shoot your own Check Engine light. Anyway, pulling off the 3 wires from the circuit board while the pilot light is on seems to reset the microchips code.

    Hope this helps someone.

    • Addendum: I just figured out why Charles and my methodology works. I owned a computer business for 15 years where I custom built computers for all sizes of businesses including servers, software customization, etc., etc. Also, when I was a kid my grandpa said “Steve… yo’re ’bout half smart. 😉

      1) Your Pilot Light is lit. Your light is blinking 4 times every 3 seconds which means “High water temperature limit tripped.” This code is coming from the EEPROM set by the tiny CPU (Central Processing Unit) on the circuit board and is a non-resetable code by you. However Honeywell says: “Contact a qualified service technician.” Yep.. he can either flush out your water heater and reset the code or he’ll flush your system then charge you for a new thermostat, and who knows what else!

      2) When you leave the Pilot Light on and you pull off (disconnect) the 3 wires from the circuit board… the CPU goes nuts because there’s no loop-back. Therefore it sets the 7 blink code in the EEPROM. GREAT!! That’s what you want! The 7 blink code IS resettable and it just OVERRODE the 4 blink code and wiped it out!

      3) When you turn off the Pilot Light, plug the 3 wires back in then relight the Pilot Light… the water heater will start with the 7 blink codes. Your in hot water heaven once again. But why?

      Its because the CPU goes through an error checking process. Kind of like shaking hands. For example, if you and I agree that a hand shake with 2 up and 2 down movements is normal.. but then I shake your hand and give it 3 up and down movements.. you’ll know that something is wrong. Right?

      So the CPU has kicked on the 7 blinking lights while it goes through a hand shake type of check of your system. This is where it sends out a different set of binary instructions for each Code (zero’s and one’s). If it gets a return of the same set of zero’s and ones then the handshake is complete and it knows there is no problem. For example:

      Is the Pilot Light on? Yes. Okay. Is the burner burning? Yes. Okay. Is the temperature too high? No. Okay. Is there a water temperature sensor failure? No. Okay. Is there a Combination Gas Control Failure? No. Okay. And so on. After the CPU has done the system check and found everything working correctly.. it sends out the NORMAL code of 1 Blink every 3 seconds. It can do this BECAUSE THE CODE 7 IN THE EEPROM WAS ACTIVATED AND WIPED OUT THE CODE 4 WHEN THE PILOT WAS LIT BUT YOU DISCONNECTED THE 3 WIRES FROM THE CIRCUIT BOARD. Got it? 😉

      And, because the Code 7 blinking IS RESETTABLE, in the EEPROM.. after you fired that puppy up and when the CPU ran its hand shaking check it set the Code back to (Normal) 1 blink every 3 seconds.

      Just flush your water heater once per year to alleviate build-up on your sensor. Just like when you boil water in a pan and it leaves a white residue on the sides.. the heat of the water is leaving a build-up on your sensor of the same calcium (limestone) deposits.

  118. This blog is really cool. I have bookmarked it. Do you allow guest posting on your site ?
    I can write hi quality articles for you. Let me know.

  119. Since I can’t find any mention of this problem elsewhere, i’ll give this forum a try.

    It started with a very noticeable decline in hot water temperature. So I went downstairs to see what that was about and discovered a small dripping behind the Honeywell gas valve and 5 flashes (sensor failure) on the controller.

    The dripping I soon discovered was coming from the thermowell (where the temperature sensor resides). The water didn’t get to the computer board and just trickled down the back of the gas valve housing. I drained the tank and removed the whole contraption from the water heater. The thermowell was made of just a plastic and had become very brittle. And with several years of mineral accumulation in the bottom of the tank (yea — forgot to flush), the thermowell was basically surrounded in this stuff — I guess it might have damaged the plastic housing itself and caused a leak.

    Anyway, I absolutely REFUSE to pay $125 (or whatever it was) for a new unit until absolutely necessary. So I invented an homemade screw-in thermowell from copper and brass parts, which solved the leaking problem, and slid the thermostat sensor in — snug fit deliberately. But I was still getting the 5 flashes. The pilot stays lit, and the water relatively warm (even though the setting is on Very Hot) which suggests the error clears itself and the flame kicks in every once in a while.

    I tried the resetting as mentioned above and got the 7 blinks. Then it cleared to 1 blink and the flame would run for 10 minutes or so … then abruptly go out, leaving the pilot on and 5 blinks and lukewarm water.

    The funny thing is, I can remove the temperature sensor from the thermowell and blow on it to cool it down a little and the flame will kick, reinsert thermostat for safety, and it’ll run for 10 minutes, 1 flash, and then go out again and back to 5 flashes.

    Is it possible to ruin the temperature sensor if it got wet? Cuz it definitely got wet with that leak. Or maybe that somehow shorted the circuit board somewhere?

    I’m extremely patient so I don’t mind piddlin’ with this for a while — a little lukewarm water doesn’t bother me for a while. But seriously, if anyone might have some input on this — I’m stumped.


    I removed the control knob per David Boone’s 6/14 post. I popped it out, set the spring aside and followed the rest of the post. Things seemed to work. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to reinstall the knob and spring. Nothing seems to hold it in place, and it seems possible to depress it in all positions, which I assume means the pilot valve can be opened in all positions. Looking at the control knob’s backside I notice that there are all sorts of plastic protrusions to make this impossible. Clearly I’ve done something wrong reassembling it. It’s probably something really dumb, but at the end of a long day messing with the #@!!&&# Honeywell masterpiece, my brain is fried. Any help would really be appreciated.

  121. Many thanks to Ken for the reset routine on Sep 19. Tried everything else. Too bad I did not find the easy fix first. house in austin was new 3 1/2 years ago. Guy replaced the probably fine red flash variety. 3 days later I started looking here for the 4white flash issue. Thanks to all.

  122. Well this sucks. It worked yesterday and I posted this morning with some minor excitement. I get home and ask my wife it the temp was okay (it was way too hot set on “B”, so I set it to low). She said it was okay. I go into the attic to find the pilot out, but the water heater pipes feeling very hot. Re-lite and 4 white flashes again. I go through the routine Ken posted in Sept., and I get one flash. Place to “Low”, but burner is not coming on (assume it is still really hot).

    Could it be that the temp sensor that shuts the burner off is messed up and it is getting so hot the sensor is triggering the shut down. I think so, probably need to replace whatever is supposed to properly assess the water temp.

    Re-posting Ken’s instructions (they work, but be aware there may be something more here):

    Resetting the valve and erasing codes.

    1. Light pilot (Their instruction said to do this last but didn’t work)
    2. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
    3. Wait 10 seconds
    4. Turn the temp control to HOT
    5. Wait 10 seconds
    6. Turn the temp control to PILOT
    7. Wait 10 seconds

  123. I have a Rheem water heater w/ Honeywell WV4262e1107 control valve. I finally called a plumber and he called Rheem tech support and got the reset sequence for the Honeywell and wanted to share.

    I ran into the 7-blink error after losing power. First, I also did the unplug/plug, power on/off, and also taken apart the control valve and pulled out the circuit board and shorted every capacitor that I can find. None of that helped. Still blinked 7 times, pause, repeat.

    To reset the gas controller valve:
    1. Turn switch to “off” position. Turn temperature to lowest setting.
    2. Unplug power. Wait a few seconds.
    3. Plug in power. Turn switch to “on” position.
    4. Turn temperature from lowest to highest 7 times.
    5. Turn temperature to middle setting. The LED should pulse between dim to bright (not on and off)

    There you have it: The secret handshake. Now if you get the decoder ring, you’ll be all set.

  124. Mine went out yet again. temp was on low, but heated up to scalding. When I returned home, pilot was out. I believe this core issue is that the gas control valve is either getting an incorrect reading from the thermopile or the electronics are simply not working to register the water temp. So, it cooks until it flips the overheating trigger, shuts down and has to be reset and re-lit.

  125. Had a problem relighting my pilot on state water heater with the Honeywell controller,(no blinks)finally unhooked the lines going to the burner unit(left hand thread on the flex line)removed the burner unit and the cable from the piezoelectric had lost it’s insulation in two places,allowing a short condition and not going to the tip where the pilot gas exits the pilot tube.Wrapped the cable with high temperature fibre glass tape,then reassembled,works perfectly now

  126. Thanks Tyler and all.
    I tried the method of remove the cover but with everything connected. While the pilot flame is on I short two needle like pins on the right side of the gas valve. The pilot went off (that is ok), I reconnected everything back and relight the pilot light as per normal pilot lighting procedure. I got seven flashes then turn the control knob to between Low and Hot.
    Hola! the burner turns on and stay on……
    Earlier of the day I call Whirlpool and tole them that I have 4 flashes and this is my third time within 6 years ( I have 12 years warranty unit) and I also told them that I drained and flushed the heater twice a year (I lied 🙂 ). The said since I do that they will send me a new unit free of charge as well as free shipment cost.

    Again, thanks everyone and Tyler for starting this forum and shared your experiences.

    Love you guys!

  127. I tell you what I ultimately did to fix my electronic water heater — I converted it to a mechanical thermostat. Well, technically I guess it’s not purely mechanical, because its not built exactly like the old ones were but close enough.

    You can use the burner assembly that comes with your water heater if you want, but you need to replace the thermopile with a traditional thermocouple and get a new mechanical thermostat from the hardware store. But what I ended up doing is taking the burner assembly from a defunct water heater with a good condition burner assembly and mechanical thermostat and swapping it into my modern water heater.

    I just find it sickening that my water heater lasted a measly 5 years before something screwed up! Its just ridiculous and I wasn’t going to spend 500 for a brand new one when there was nothing wrong with this one, just a crappy thermostat. So I figured it out. I couldn’t even find the exact model thermostat replacement — but there are a lot of very similar model numbers, but I don’t know the compatibility of them. And then, they were ridiculously expensive — like 150$ so yea, again, I’m not paying 150%$ or 500$ or anything for that matter to fix a 5 year old water heater. it’s insane.

    Probably made by dirty stinkin’ Mexicans in dirty stinkin’ mexico who put in the amount of quality they thought was necessary to keep the thing working just long enough so they just barely exceed the manufacturers warranty but at the same time not put themselves out of a job. ahhhhhh!

  128. Here is what worked for me on 5 year old 40 gallon natural gas whirlpool hot water heater with 4 flash code
    1. removed control panel
    2. unplugged all electric from panel and heater
    3. cut gas off
    4. drained tank and refilled
    5. left panel off for 12 hours.
    6. reassembled and turned on gas
    7. turned to pilot, pushed in and started clicking, lit on about 20th click. held in for one minute, then turned to hot, burner ignited with 7 flashes, about an hour later getting 1 flash.

  129. I didn’t read the entire thread but I could not get my card to reset. What I did find was a $35 replacement cover with a new card attached. The Honeywell part number is 50034208-006 and it is the replacement control module assembly for Bradford White. It has a Bradford White number of 239-47852-00. It clipped right on and after three attempts it fired up.

  130. I have a plumber looking into my gas water heater problem. From what you all have said, he has no clue as to what is going on. Wants me to buy a Bradford White water heater when my heater is only 3 years old. and still in warranty-or used to be. The company, U.S. Craftmaster gave me this BS reason for voiding my warranty. There’s a “law” or so they say, that says you can’t have a gas water heater in bathroom or bedroom because that’s where you spend most of your time and if the thing malfunctions, you will be killed by the carbon monoxide. I asked if it was okay to put the water heater in the living room and the “technician” said that’s fine. So I can be killed by CO in LR but not bathroom. Can you believe that crock of BS. So he said my warranty was voided. But, yes, I could build a little closet in the LR and put the water heater there, just send pictures of this and all will be right with the world and my warranty would now be okay. A stupid $1,000 closet in my LR! I’m trying the fix(es) found in the blog. I’m sure one of them will work. We had power fluctuating off and on for a day when the water heater stopped working. I’m sure that’s what caused the circuit board to malfunction.
    I’ll let you know what happens.

  131. Tyler,
    I’m delighted to see this page is more current than most “ask for useful information from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about and can state it clearly” blogs.

    I’ve been to several sites googled by “hot water-valve or sensor failure”, which, for the Honeywell, is designated by three blinks which is indicated on my unit. The first site went straight away from 2 to 4, with no recognition that they were missing a value in between. Yours is the second listing (congratulations) and I see no reference to three flashes either (yet). I had already gone thru Honeywell help desk and got it relit and working which worked for about a week. I re-lit again and it went out within a few hours.

    Any clues re: the elusive three blinks of red indicator light?

    I will try draining the tank as I’ve been to this rodeo for a lifetime, albeit with less tech. and on units that lasted 20 years. This unit is only a few years old. I’ll put “draining hot water heater” into my phone calendar, right next to “inspection on truck” and “wife’s birthday”. Then I just need to not loose or crush the phone.

    Also, I will join the hunting party to take out the designer of this device.


  132. Tyler Tork and David Boone, thank you for a very informative and useful information. a friend of mine had the dreaded 4 blinks. I tried David Boones approach several times, but I couldn’t get it off the 4 blinks. but she did have the old valve that went bad two years ago with 4 blinks. I swapped out the front covers and tried to light it, but the 4 blinks came back. I went through Dave’s steps again, and great Gatsby, it went from the 4 blinks to 7 blinks. I took his advice and left it on pilot and after about five minutes, It went from 7 blinks to 1 blink, which is normal operation. I turned it over the hot and the burner fired up. Note: I did clean the dust vent on the bottom and I also drained it. I will be picking up a copy of Doctor Dead. your help was appreciated, Merry Christmas and happy new year

  133. Well, I have just joined the ‘club.’ I found this thread very very helpful, although there are a few things that seem to be missing.

    I fully agree – if you don’t fix the root problem you haven’t accomplished much or for long. There is very little discussion that I found, here or elsewhere about what those issues might be. Yes, I flushed my tank some and sure ’nuff, sand came out. It’s my first time and I have no idea if there was enough sand to think it was the problem. BTW, the engineer in me thinks that when flushing, open the valve ALL the WAY. Velocity is your friend when trying to purge solids.

    I never could see the pilot thru the little window, so I didn’t realize that it might be on, even in 4-blink mode.

    Since the official answer seemed to be replace the valve, I figured that there was very little to loose trying to fix it myself – especially as this hit on a holiday weekend. If you are worried about blowing up your house, you shouldn’t be here – you should be looking for plumbers. Note that concerned is different from worried. Follow the safety precautions!

    The rationalist wants to understand the why of the procedure, and the lazy man in me wanted to start with the easiest of the various procedures mentioned.

    I started with the unplug the power leads, wait 10 minutes and try. Still 4 blinks. I suppose the point of the EPROM is to persist thru a power outage; why would I expect this to have succeeded? I unplugged it again, we took showers at my daughter’s house and went to bed – perhaps more time without power? Silly, right?

    I also went back thru the blog, looking for various solutions and ranking them in priority order for the morning.

    One thing that struck me was a lot of discussion about shorting pins to discharge capacitors. At least there was some mention that it could be a shocking experience. Anyhow, there was not much illustration of which pins, nor was there much in the way of agreement about which pins. The lack of agreement convinced me that the pins might well be a side-show. Besides, disassembly required so not Plan A.

    This morning, after burying the chicken bones [NOT] I plugged in the lead, and still 4-blinks after hitting the ignite button a few dozen times. But I realized now that the error was about the main valve operation; the pilot might actually be on despite the failure code, so the easiest thing to try was the:
    0) With pilot running, 4 blinks, turn thermostat to –
    1) Very HOT for 10 seconds
    2) HOT for 10 seconds
    3) Pilot for 10 seconds
    4) Desired setting
    — and FOOM — on comes the main burner!

    I don’t really understand the thermostat fiddling unless it is an “Easter Egg” of some sort, but no disassembly and no $$ so no complaints. It probably would have worked yesterday had I realized that the Pilot was on. If there is ever a next time, I will try without pulling the power leads.

    Thanks folks. Y’all are great.

    I also put draining the sediment onto my Google Calendar with an annual repeat.

    • Mr. Karesh,

      You are a freakin’ genius. I was in fatal four blink mode. I drained my heater tank, finding very little sediment, just some faint rust in first two gallons and very fine white particulates in next couple of gallons until water was clear.

      After reading the various approaches, I did not want to attempt more complicated solutions unless absolutely necessary.

      My initial attempt included removing the three wire circuit board connector and shorting the top two pins with a screwdriver, which seemed simple enough. The result was a combined four blink/five blink combination, which reverted back to a constant four blink pattern……crap.

      Not wanting to be too invasive in my approach, I was following your logic and was hierarchically listing solutions in order of simplicity and effort. THEN I SAW YOUR LISTING OF CHRISTMAS DAY, 2016.
      Immediately, I knew that this was to be at the top of my list.

      Five minutes later, I have fire and my wife and son now have hope of a warm shower in the morning.


      1) In my case, thermostat set to OFF position for eight hours.

      2) Relight pilot light, keeping pilot button depressed for extra ten to twenty seconds before releasing. Still in four blink mode.

      3) Turn thermostat to VERY HOT for 10 seconds.

      4) Turn thermostat to HOT for 10 seconds.

      5) Turn thermostst to PILOT for 10 seconds.

      6) Turn to HOT and WHOOSH……FIRE. det thermostat to desired setting.
      (Not recommended above HOT setting).

      7) One hour later and water heater is still in one blink mode and the 40 gallon tank is fully heated.


      Mr. Karesh, my wife and son will give me credit for genius, but I know better……thank you for sharing, especially on Christmas Day.

    • David Karesh, THANK YOU for this post!! I just tried this and my heater fired up with one blinking light 😃👍. Going back down to check on it in an hour, hoping for a hot shower soon. Pissed 😡 that the manufacturer won’t tell you this, just order a $200 part + shipping, greedy bastards!!

    • How in God’s green earth did you figure that out? Just did the trick and it worked like a charm. Thank you

    • I have no idea how you hit upon that solution to the “four blink problem” but it is, Mr Karesh, brilliantly simple and – knock on wood – it worked straight away. Even our plumber, on hearing it was a Honeywell, wouldn’t look at it and pointed us towards Sears, which would have cost $$.

      I’m glad that my lazy call to a plumber failed because I looked through any number of complicated solutions on websites and YouTube and eventually got directed to your comment. We had some tepid water coming out the faucets so I guessed that maybe the pilot was on so forged ahead with your idea.

      The word ‘genius’ is bandied around too often these days but I shall apply that label in this instance if I may. Thank you! And thanks for the additional tips about flushing.

    • Unbelievable!! I was skeptical but this seemed too easy not to try it. After days of limping along with warm water (oddly) and 4-blinks, decided to give this a try before ordering the replacement valve. Feels a lot like wrapping a chicken bone and eye of newt in the first poopy diaper of a girl-twin and burying it in the west corner of the yard. But as promised, the woosh of the heater firing up for the first time in days was right on cue!! Thank you so much!!

    • This worked for me. I tried letting it sit unplugged, and shorting various contacts with wire and foil, to no avail. The 10-10-10 sequence worked perfectly.

      FWIW, once the pilot is off, the LED fades out because it runs out of power. I think once it stops flashing, the board is dead – no amount of sitting will change anything, and the capacitors are already discharged. I’m very glad someone figured out the reset sequence!

  134. The problem I am having is the pilot will not stay lit. I’ve replaced the thermocouple/pilot assembly, but still did not fix problem. Lites operating correctly no 4 or 7 flashes just a single blink every 3 seconds and then stops when it has figured out it is not on. Any ideas.

  135. Had the 4 flash problem. Had to replace the unit as tried all aspects to reset even with total unassembling and letting sit overnight. The problem where honeywell should have a class action against them is the unit faults under their own designed setting field, and you need to purchase a new one to replace as it cannot be reset. Luckily I replaced it myself for the cost of the unit, 165.00 (US) but had to buy from a plumbing supply wholesaler. If I could have replaced it with the old style I would have to not have to deal with the design flaw. My unit was less than 2 years old. I am going to try to send the one I took off back to honeywell to see if they will give me money under warranty.

  136. Great posts!!. I had the 4 blinks issue and the following worked for me like a charm:
    1. Turn the control off and unplug the thermocouple wire
    2. Remove the front panel and unplug the cable connected to the circuit board
    3. Let it sit around for 10 mins or so
    4. Put everything back in including the panel
    5. Light pilot and hold the temperature control button down for 40 some seconds
    6. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
    7. Wait 10 seconds
    8. Turn the temp control to HOT
    9. Wait 10 seconds
    10. Turn the temp control to PILOT
    11. Wait 10 seconds
    12. Turn the temp control to HOT
    13. If you are lucky, the burner will kick in 🙂

  137. Steve H. again. My success was short lived. Mine was under warranty so I called Westinghouse who over-nighted me a whole new gas control unit.

    Not wanting to wait another day without hot water I bought and replaced the cover with circuit board with the cover from Bradford White (See above post for part number). I had also drained my tank and some ruble came out.

    The new unit lasted for 10 days and again the 4 blinks. I promptly swapped it out for the other brand new one from Westinghouse. It promptly gave me the 4 blinks. This tells me that the memory is not in the circuit board, but in the Gas control Unit itself.

    Long story short, I drained my tank and wiggled it around some and found it to be around 40 – 50 pounds over what it should weigh. It was full of sediment that wouldn’t flow out. I ended up buying a new water heater, unfortunately also with a Honeywell controller.

    I Recommend trying to short out the gas flow controller, not the circuit board in the cover plate. I put a brand new cover plate and circuit board on and when I connected all the wires it gave me 4 blinks. The memory is not in the circuit board.

    Good luck

  138. This site was amazing – not because it covered my exact controler, but the principals were the same. I have a new Whirlpool high efficiency pilotless model with then trap door on the exhaust vent. The Honeywell valve looks completely different, but the cover comes off exactly the same – 1 screw at the bottom a and 2 clips at the top. Be very careful to pull the cover straight out because there are 3 long ground pins that go into the controller board. The pc board was covered by an internal black plastic cover which I could not remove and the 4 conductor ribbon cable could not be disconnected. I was disappointed and resigned to order a replacement from Whirlpool on Tuesday January 3rd. I had the AC power to the controller turned off and left the valve disassembled overnight. Reassembled the next morning code 4 was gone and it has worked since. I did drain the tank the next day and didn’t get anything out. I had turned the temperature up because we had daughter and grandchildren in town, but it was nowhere near “Very Hot” which was the maximum setting. Not sure why I got the Code 4, but I am going to order a new valve and replace it. Thanks!

  139. Wow. Thank goodness for this site. I got my second four flash in three years. Manufacturer, American Water Heater, is sending my a new box again for free. But in the mean time I was without hot water and it is frustrating that the unit couldn’t be reset.

    I flushed my tank and got tons of white and and white with blue tint particulates.

    Unplugged everything except the Piezo igniter and let the whole thing sit out overnight.

    Then lit the pilot, 10 seconds at very hot, 10 seconds at hot, ten seconds back to pilot, turned the dial and WHOOSH.

  140. After reading all comments, I took a different approach. Here is what I did; With pilot lit, and led flashing 4 times, i unplugged. The black wire between igniter and red and white plug and as fast as i could blink, the valve open and status light went to one flash and hot water for every one.

  141. David Karesh on 25 December 2016 at 3:48 pm said…. method worked for my ao Smith thermostat model wv8860b1317. Thanks to the op for the well thought out rationale. I was about to give up having tired all the previous tips mentioned before Dec 2016.

    Thankful for this thread

  142. First I want to thank Tyler Tork for hosting this blog. I wasn’t crazy after all. My Whirlpool water heater went out this past Sunday Jan 15th. The same problem with the four flashes and they wouldn’t go away nor ignite the burner. I tried multiple times to reset it. It is Whirlpool 40Gal Ultra Low Nox heater. It has the Honeywell WV8860B1309 gas control valve. I bought the water heater in Feb 2013. So it is four years old on a 12 years warranty.

    Want the other posters like ColdShowerMan, Christopher, David Boone, Mike Miller, Patrick, David Karesh, and many others for their suggestions for fixes, observations, and advice. I tried many of the suggested fixes but they didn’t work. Maybe I was too impatient. I did call the toll number (1-877-817-6750) on Tuesday and talked to a customer rep. Monday was MLK Day. Explained the problem and she knew instantly that I had the Honeywell gas control valve’s “Four Flashes of Death”. She said she will have to ship out the replacement gas control valve overnight and it would cost $30. What is a hot shower worth? Did it. The $30 billing confirmation was from American Water Heater in Johnson City, TN, the maker of the Whirlpool water heaters.

    Received it yesterday Wednesday afternoon and started on the replacement. I drained the tank and it took a long time. Lots of the sediment and blue jelly clumps in the outflow. I should have done the annual draining but I didn’t and I think this contributed to the high temp overload. Followed the detailed instructions and advice from Christopher and got the old gas valve out. Lots of mineral buildup found on the metal cover on the thermostat that was inserted into the tank. Patrick was spot on his observations. The replacement was the Honeywell WV8860B1310. I noted the circuit traces on the back of the new control board was different from the 1309 unit. Hardest part of the installation was the fitting of all the gas lines, inlet, pilot, into the control valve. Got the tank refilled and started up the Honeywell control valve and it works. Suggestion to replace or refit the plastic drain valve with a simple hose cutoff valve and a couple of brass hose caps. Makes for faster draining and easier connections with a hose. The original plastic plug that opens the drain valve blocks much of the flow and is slow.

    I went to Lowes and HomeDepot and checked out all the available gas water heaters for sale yesterday. Same brands, Whirlpool, Rheem. All of them had the Honeywell gas valve controllers. I will now drain my water tank at least annually if not every six months. Learn something from everyone who posted to this blog. Thanks.

  143. Correction: Want to thank the other posters like ColdShowerMan, Christopher, David Boone, Mike Miller, Patrick, David Karesh, and many others for their suggestions for fixes, observations, and advice.

  144. Hey Tyler,

    Quick note to say that ~3yrs later, this article is still funny and (as of this afternoon – 01/21/17) still relevant and helpful. You’re a good man Charlie Brown!

  145. I’m happy I stumbled onto this website when trying to solve the “4 blinks” on my water heater. I have lived in this house for 10 years. I have (2) 40 gallon heaters side by side, and about 2 years ago they both started leaking within a couple months apart. I decided to replace at least one of them myself. I bought a 40 gal. Whirlpool from Lowes and installed it. It worked fine, and I removed the second leaker, and capped off the plumbing to it. I have been running on the one for a couple years. When the kids come, we run low on hot water, so I turned it up a bit. (not all the way)… Well, following about 4 months, I woke up to cold showers. Couldn’t get the burner to fire, and now experienced the dreaded 4 blinks on the valve. I went back to Lowes and they weren’t any help at all getting a replacement thermostat. Being in a pinch, I bought a second water heater and replaced the missing one. It works fine and got me out of a pinch. Since then, I figured I’d better get the failed one fixed, and that’s when I found all of this good information. I tried what I think Abner described as removing the circuit board inside the plastic thermostat housing, and draining the voltage from electrolytic capacitors on the small board to reset the tiny computer. I found there to be (3) on the board. They look like small silver cans on the board with a + and – on either side of them silk screened on the board. I took a small piece of about 24 gauge wire and shorted between the + and – on each of them several times, not knowing which one or all three were retaining the memory. I replaced it being careful to align the (3) pins inside the thermostat that have to plug into the receptacles on the board its self….. I just wanted to thank the authors for publishing this advice. It really worked, and saved me LOTS of time, effort and $$….

  146. May I offer a suggestion to everyone? Please list the model number on your Honeywell gas valve controller that went bad, the year the WH was bought, and if you get a new Honeywell controller, list the model number as well. This will give everyone a tracking history of what worked and what didn’t. Thanks.

  147. Drill a hole in the word” status” and expose the back side of the main gas valve pin .I bought a cheap continuity tester at autozone for 8 bucks to use as voltage source and touched the back side of pin with it .clamped the ground onto pilot line the aluminum one .
    Fired right up when turned to 9 o clock .
    I left the tester there along with a note to myself on what to do Tanks David Boone .

  148. Guys. There is a simpler method told to me by a Rheem engineer. I was getting thee dreaded 7 blinks and the problem was a water sensor which they sent me for the asking. The trick was to reset the Honeywell control. Here’s what they told me: Turn off the power and wait a few seconds. Turn Gas switch off. Turn the temperature adjustment all the way from full colt to full hot and back to full cold. Do this over and over. About the 6th or 7th time you cycle the temperature control, the Honeywell control will reset. Quickly turn the gas switch back on because the burner does fire on the residual gas in the valve.

  149. Oops. Forgot a key thing that should be obvious: Before you do all the control turning, turn the power back on after the short time off. THEN do the heat control turning back and forth

  150. My problem was different, but it was solved the same way. I had 7-blink warning, and pilot light would NOT stay lit. Tried many times with many wait times throughout the day.

    Most of the above posts begin with 4-blink warning, then progress through 7-blink WITH pilot light lit, then to normal operation. I have no sediment in the bottom of the tank and my temperature setting has never been set above “Hot” much less A, B, C, or Very Hot; so the 4-blink Temperature Exceeded failure was never possible in my case.

    1. Turn the control off and unplug the thermocouple wire.
    2. Unscrew white plastic front panel and remove by depressing top clips and pulling straight forward.
    3. Unplug the 3-wire cable connected to the circuit board and unclip cable from plastic case.
    4. Remove the circuit board and discharge the capacitors*.
    5. Replace circuit board and reinstall front panel without connecting the 3-wire cable.
    6. Attempt to start pilot light. Should see 7-blink warning plus 5-blink Sensor Failure warning.
    7. Remove front panel again and reconnect 3-wire cable.
    8. Reinstall front panel and start pilot light. Should see 7-blink warning with pilot remaining lit.
    9. Turn up temperature, and burner should start.
    10. Blinking light returned to normal 1-blink every 3 seconds after a few minutes.

    * May not have needed to discharge capacitors, but since I went to all the trouble of opening up the system to examine the contents, I didn’t want to leave out such a simple step only to have to redo it if this fix didn’t work.

    Didn’t try any options involving multiple temperature settings. I assumed gas control valve was receiving no power since the pilot light wouldn’t stay lit and power the thermocouple.

    It’s sad that water heater manufacturers have to keep buying these things from Honeywell for warranty repairs when a simple reset option might resolve many of these failures.

  151. Bought a brand new State(AOS) powervent(the Honeywell valve is powered with AC I believe) waterheater(made at the end of 1/2017) and it heats to 140 on the LOW setting, over 150 on hot. If I set it a bit before low it heats to 90 degrees. Too scared to try A. I called about it and they told me to drain the tank, and they made nothing of it. Same story when I refilled. Can’t believe how they can sell an 1100 dollar appliance and it has such a safety issue. They will hear from me.

    • PQR – I can relate to your issue. My State/Honeywell WH produces scalding (haven’t taken Temps) water at LOW. I keep mine between VAC and LOW. I still have to use about 50% cold to have a nice hot shower. It’s no wonder so many of us are getting the godforsaken 4 flashes of death… Thats what I got with it set between VAC and LOW. Without the pressure/temperature pop-off valve, we’d all be housing potential bombs. No kidding. The P/T valves could stick closed too. HAZARD. I reposted TC’s 7-step fix below on 5/3/17. and here:

      Resetting the valve and erasing codes.

      1. Light pilot (Their instruction said to do this last but didn’t work)
      2. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
      3. Wait 10 seconds
      4. Turn the temp control to HOT
      5. Wait 10 seconds
      6. Turn the temp control to PILOT
      7. Wait 10 seconds

      This DOES work on the newer WHITE flashing models. Most of the fixes above are for the older RED flashers. I thought I was doomed, bc everybody was saying the white flashing models could NOT be reset. Oh yes they can…and its much easier than the RED. You do not have to disconnect anything. No tools, no jumpers, no 1.5v batteries, etc…I can tell you from experience, those measures will NOT work on a white flashing model. Just follow the 7 simple steps above…and three of those are just “wait 10 seconds” LOL!!

      • BigD,

        THIS WORKS!!!

        I wish, wish, wish I had read your comment before the beginning of a trying 3-day weekend of dealing with my Honeywell control valve. I could have gotten so many other things done. I have the model with a white flashing light. I have the Honeywell WV8840B1110, which came with a Kenmore hot water heater I purchased in March 2015. I am repeating your steps in the hopes it will catch some other frustrated person’s eye.
        Resetting the valve and erasing codes.

        1. Light pilot (Their instruction said to do this last but didn’t work)
        2. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
        3. Wait 10 seconds
        4. Turn the temp control to HOT
        5. Wait 10 seconds
        6. Turn the temp control to PILOT
        7. Wait 10 seconds

        I tried the Tyler method, the David method, reset the thermal switch reset button, joined the two red wires, shorted out the board and/or capacitors, drained and flushed out my tank, and watched countless videos and read the comments. Though I appreciated all the helpful tips, nothing worked. I refused to give up and was back on the internet re-reading everything when I stumbled across your post. I thought, what do I have to lose at this point? Within 5 minutes, my burner was firing and has remained so.
        Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

        BTW-I also bought my HVAC system (furnace and air conditioning units) and have had nothing but headaches from them. I am in a legal battle with them right now even though two of the technicians stated SEARS sold me the wrong unit and first technician installed it incorrectly. SEARS will send different technicians hoping you’ll get confused, frustrated and give up. They requested I have a systems check and when it confirmed they had made a load calculation error (my choice of company to perform it), still refused to fix the problem and wanted one done by the company who installed incorrectly to begin with. DO NOT BUY FROM SEARS. I made the mistake of trusting they were still the company they were 20 years ago. They’re not.

        Sorry for the rant, just tired of junk and SEARS runaround tactics.

        Thanks again Big D

  152. Here’s the simple solution. Drain Your tank. Pull the burner assembly by opening up the sealed panel on the burn chamber, unthread the gas tube, the pilot tube, unplug the thermocouple leads and the igniter, then unscrew the entire gas valve out of the body of the water heater tank. Next go down to your local professional plumbing wholesale supply house and head out back to the scrap pile where everyone brings their dead water heaters. Find an old water heater the same size as yours and repeat the process of pulling the burner and the gas valve. You can get a new pilot assembly and thermocouple for this new ‘donor’ set up if you want to be proactive about things, or if you’re a motivated scavenger just grab several complete ‘donor’ set ups. Then go home and rebuild your water heater with this “old school” donor components and kiss your Honeywell Blues goodbye forever. Remember, when in doubt yank it out! No more stupid fail safe sensors and finicky over engineered Bull $@!+.
    And also let’s not forget there’s nothing common about common sense. I don’t know why that phrase ever came about. Think outside of the paradigms that the military industrial consumer complex has proscribed for you and you will have a better time once your mind is not colored.

    • Or turn the gas valve on the input line down a bit to keep the flame from being too large.. I think the holes in the burner might be a bit too big, if you have excess pressure in the Nat Gas supply side. Many of our meters have a regulator on them, but are 20+ years old. so no telling how weak they are. Check the burner when full on, and you will see what i am talking about.

  153. David Boone’s posting worked well for me. Only one slight change – while holding in the black pilot button and the smaller gas button on the gas valve mechanism, light the pilot using the spark igniter. Then after pilot lit, release black button while still holding the gas button in or pilot light will go out. Then while still holding the gas button in, short the gas valve with the positive and negative leads. It’s easier if you have 3 hands.

  154. If you have the dreaded 4 flashes on the newer Honeywell gas valves with the WHITE flashing light. TC gave us the simple fix on 5/5/16. I found that after trying a gazillion fixes for the older RED flashing light… For your easy reference here is what TC posted.

    Resetting the valve and erasing codes.

    1. Light pilot (Their instruction said to do this last but didn’t work)
    2. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
    3. Wait 10 seconds
    4. Turn the temp control to HOT
    5. Wait 10 seconds
    6. Turn the temp control to PILOT
    7. Wait 10 seconds

    Worked on my 2nd try…Sweating bullets after first.

    Cheers all

  155. Follow-up: These 7 steps will clear most, if not all WHITE flashing errors. If you have tried the dozens of methods suggested for the RED flashing models, you would have removed your cover many times…like I did….So many times, with and w/o removing the one bottom screw, my cover was warped as hell. In fact, for the fix above, I had to use a long flat headed screwdriver to hold the brass pilot light button, as I could not get the cover back on. I finally did.

    My point is, if you are having Honeywell errors with the WHITE flashing light. They built in a very simple reset method. NO TOOLS. Remove NOTHING.

    Work smarter, not harder 😉

  156. I opened up cover and reconnected the board to the pins. Ignite pilot. The problem for me is that the pilot won’t stay lit. Once I release the knob, it comes off. Any tricks, reset for the pilot to stay lit before I connect the top left to top right?
    Many thanks

  157. I have one of these Pieces of Junk and have been following these comments with interest.

    My problem is that mine will heat the tank to scalding and then refuse to heat again for hours. Even if 2 or 3 showers have been taken and the tank water is dead cold. It might wait another half an hour before turning the burner on.

    In the Olden Days the burner would fire pretty much as soon as you used any substantial hot water and keep running a few minutes after you were done. This one used to behave that way too.

    What on earth is going on?

    • >I have one of these Pieces of Junk and have been
      >following these comments with interest.
      >My problem is that mine will heat the tank to
      >scalding and then refuse to heat again for hours.
      >Even if 2 or 3 showers have been taken and the
      >tank water is dead cold. It might wait another
      >half an hour before turning the burner on.
      >In the Olden Days the burner would fire pretty
      >much as soon as you used any substantial hot water
      >and keep running a few minutes after you were done.
      >This one used to behave that way too.
      >What on earth is going on?

      Well after putting up with this for a while I broke down and called the company. They sent me a new one and I put it in. Lots of hard scale in the tank but none anywhere near the probe and the new control works flawlessly like it used to.

      For the record
      Gas type Propane
      Model WV8840B5077
      Old Rev. C : New Rev. E
      Old SW 6.3 : New SW 6.7
      Both my models cream colored face; some I have seen have been gray

      In case this one decides to die also, I would like to replace it with a good old Robertshaw unit like the olden days. Problems I can see:

      1. Left hand thread on main burner outlet: can I get one like this?
      2. Pilot generator is different. I suspect higher voltage to drive the electronics. Either dig deep and replace with standard pilot generator thermocouple or adapt the wires to the Robertshaw control?

  158. As a landlord, I have replaced half a dozen of these failed water heaters, in last couple of years, Finding this site has been rewarding. Seems that the Heat limit check is not resetting well. which means the flame is getting too hot. Maybe it is a bit unorthodox and will be open for criticism. But here goes, Better than trying to read chicken bones, or doing a hat dance…

    After draining and the capacitor spark procedure, I did the dial reset sequence twice and still too hot.. So then once i went thru the process again, i watched the flame inside the chamber. thought that it was too hot, I turned back the GAS LINE SHUTOFF valve at the tank a bit for a smaller flame, and then TOOK OUT THE GLASS in the LITTLE WINDOW. Seems to be working better. Be sure to replace the chamber cover. I now actually put a screw in the covers, as too many renters have knocked them out of whack.

    Fellas, I have replaced thousands of dollars of Water heaters of different brands, because of these control valves. Converting to the old control is not an option in my city. Plumbers charge almost the same for repairs as a new one, So what was needed is a work around.. When a tank only 6 months or a year old, costing $400-$500 plus labor becomes unreliable, you have to take matters in your own hands.. Talked to a lawyer about legal action, but was advised it would be expensive and never ending..

  159. I havent had any luck with the steps. I left mine unplugged for several hours and still get the 4 flashes upon reinstalling and trying to ignite.

    Lowes doesnt sell Whirlpoolwater heaters anymore. They JUST switched to AO Smith.

    I’ll be calling Honeywell after this holiday weekend. Good thing I live in Arizona where there isnt much of a shortage of hot water from either tap in the summer.

  160. Love it when people help people. Had 4 flashes on my Honeywell whirpool h/w heater. Followed everyone’s steps, didn’t get the capacitors to click like I heard they do bit waalaa! Have 7 blinks and heat and jk point will go to one! Thank you everyone!!

  161. I don’t have any flashes….at all. I replaced the pilot light assembly first, then tried the board reset, but when I tried the battery reset on the 3 posts, the top right post (valve control I think) I didn’t get a “click” sound. The left post did click. Do I need to replace the entire control valve?

    • Nick, you do not need to do anything. Just see what I did in my post. It’s easy, you do not even need Multi-meter or batter to reset

  162. I went through the same issue with water heater not working and Pilot light flashes 4 times (High temperature shutdown). This means the circuity somehow set the fault bit in it’s memory (too much electronics if you are not in hitech). The easiest way to fix this disconnect all the wires to the gas valve and you have to unscrew inorder to take out the gas valve. Once you took out the gas valve, use some Aluminium foil and cover the back of the Circuit board in order to discharge the Capacitor. In this way, you do not have to wait for an hour to discharge the Capacitor. Plug back in and you are ready to go with 7 flash light On initially, once you ignite then turn the know to high temperature to heat the water. Good luck

  163. Does anybody have a phone number or contact info for either American Water Heater or Honeywell? And not just some worthless front line customer support?

  164. BigD,

    Your RESET method “WORKED” for my WV8860B1317 Honeywell Gas Valve Controller that was doing the 4-Flash message and I didn’t have to disconnect anything. I tried other suggested methods like, 1)shorted out the board and/or capacitors or 2) drain and flush out my tank to no avail. These may have worked for other but not for me.

    I’m reiterating your method here so others can do this first before trying anything else since it is the easiest.

    Resetting the valve and erasing codes.

    1. Light pilot
    2. Turn temp control all the way up to VERY HOT
    3. Wait 10 seconds
    4. Turn the temp control to HOT
    5. Wait 10 seconds
    6. Turn the temp control to PILOT
    7. Wait 10 seconds (Then I turned dial to somewhere between HOT and Very Hot, Then my water heater fired up)

  165. I have this 4-blinks code on my 6 year old water heater purchased at Lowe’s. Here’s what I think happened:
    1. sediment at the bottom of the tank caused a high temperature condition on the sensor and thus the Honeywell controller shuts the main gas valve closed.
    2. If pilot light is on, the thermocouple and thermopile it will generate enough electricity to keep the pilot on the circuit board powered on, thus the energy to keep flashing the LED. So, if you could never keep the pilot on, you need to fixed the thermocouple problem first. (The Honeywell controller converts the small 300-700mV to higher voltage using power boost circuitry and keep a capacitor via trickle charge to maintain power to the digital logic circuit, search for Honeywell controller patent).
    3. When you have the dreaded 4-blink (meaning the thermocouple has power to operate, the controller board is detecting that the main gas valve is is in a LOCKED down state (it does this by sending a query to the gas valve via the 3-wire cable/connector, and received a response/indicator that the valve is in a locked down state.
    4. So to reset this valve, use a voltmeter that has a diode check mode. Open the case/cover (many instruction on you tube on how to do this). and upon removal see that there are 3 pins on the valve assembly. The bottom is GROUND, the left is PILOT VALVE and the right is MAIN VALVE pin. All you need to do is touch the black probe to GROUND and hold it there, while repeatedly a few times touch the MAIN VALVE pin with the red probe. Doing this in my case cycles the MAIN VALVE solenoid to a default sate.
    5. Put everything back together, and do a normal startup. All should be well. David Karesh’s method should be tried first as I think Honeywell probably changed the controller design so that they can reset the state that way,. Min tis the older model that has a RED LED indicator, and may not have that reset method programmed into it.
    6. Oh, just to be complete, I think flushing the tank once or twice a year should probably be done as well. I didn’t, and thus the problem. I do plan to replace the drain valve with a better quality one soon.

  166. This is a insult to American Made products. The reviews and my experience with this products goes totally against what advertisement is saying. The gas controller valve on Bradford White Hydrojet water heater melts from the plastic piece which is connected directly to the hot water tank. READ THE REVIEWS and COMPLAINTS to Consumer Affairs and also google the information on a potential Class Action Lawsuit. There should have been a RECALL on the Honeywell Gas Valve on this poorly made unreliable plastic model. I went to a supplier to replace my gas control valve for the third time today, ($185.00) and the first thing I noticed, was that the new part is made of METAL NOT PLASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dare you talk to me about a WARRANTY when you know that you sold me faulty equipment and a faulty product. Companies that are legit, reliable, trustworthy and sincere, stand by their products and respect their customers. BUYER BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the third time I am having to change out this controller, not to mention the carpet cleaning, wetvac, and cost of a plumber. I am very displeased and certainly unsatisfied with this American Made Product. I also had several problems with the pilot light staying lit.

    • Deborah, I got mine fixed from the 4-blinks code, but as a retired engineer, I got curious and research the Honeywell controller issue. As it turned out they have a patent USRE30936 E on gas safety and I think that this Honeywell product is well engineered functionally and you should be glad that the safety system worked as intended, i.e., it shuts down the gas flow when it detected an over temperature considered safe. What I think happened is that over a period of time 1 or more years, the calcium and other minerals in our water formed a sediment at the base of the tank especially if you have “hard water” source, and if it is not flushed out periodically, the amount of sedimentation is high enough to reach and partially or fully covered the gas valve temperature probe. So on the next heat cycle, the water is not quite at the set temperature, but this sedimentation, because it is directly over the burner got really hot and thus gave the temperature probe a high temp info and thus triggered the over temperature shut down. I am glad it worked. Imagine what would have happened if it continues to keep the gas burner going. To me this is a great American ingenuity. There are two things that could reduce the number of occurrences: 1. Set the probe higher up in the tank and/or 2. Flush the tank regularly. HOWEVER, as you and I could probably admit, I have not till this week did No.2, and I suspect you did not either, and you perhaps live in a hard water source area. I think I’d say KUDOs to Honeywell. PS: I am an retired electrical engineer and DO NOt ever worked for them.

  167. Here’s a reset procedure for Bradford and White with Honeywell controller with “green” 4-blink GREEN LED from their own manual:

    “The Honeywell Gas Control is designed with an ECO device that will reset.
    To reset the Gas Control after an error code (4), turn the Gas Control knob to the “OFF” position and wait a minimum of (5) minutes before relighting following the instructions located on the lighting instruction label or the lighting instructions located in the installation and operation manual.”

  168. My problem is that I can can get the pilot light lit and the water heater going, but it turns itself off after a while. No blinking lights. Then I go and relight pilot light and turn heater on again. Keeps doing this almost daily. This is a new water heater bought this year. Any suggestions? Thanks

  169. Awesome! Used a battery to reset and finally get it to blink 7 times instead of 4. After that, turn the knob to just below “high”, voila, heater turned on. As other poster has mentioned, make sure to clear the over heating issue. Gather from other post, the old Honeywell unit is not designed well, but I also never flush the heater for the past 4 years and there were quiet bit of stuff other than water came out when I flushed it during troubleshooting. So, if overheating is due to sediment, then make sure to flush the water heater.

    Got my finger cross to see if this is permanent fix.

  170. Notes from an commercial HVAC technician.

    1-Always blow down a hot water heaters and/or hot water boiler and hot water storage tanks quarterly

    2-Low water cutoff mechanisms are to be blown down once/week

    3-if a safety device is tripped or an electronically displayed fault is present there is a serious problem, particularly when it is a lockout condition. IE: high temperature/high pressure.

    The source problem causing the fault must be identified and corrected.

    4-All valved must be actuated a couple of times a year to prevent them from seizing, this applies to manual and automation valves

    5-If the system has no power cord and is not hardwired it is more than likely a milliamp system which means it operates solely on the power generated from the thermocouple with a pilot flame. Thermocouples are made of dissimilar metals. When dissimilar metals are combined and exposed to an open flame or enough heat electrolysis occurs. This power, in milliamps, runs the electronics of the appliance. This is how thermal energy is produced.

    6-Continuous resetting of safeties and faults will undoubtedly cause further problems at some point.

    7-Burners and heat exchangers need to be cleaned once per year at minimum.

    8-Always locate and read the SERVICE manual. The owner’s manual is generally worthless for troubleshooting.

    9-Always have a way for fresh air to reach your appliance.

    10-If a manual spark ignition system does not spark when following lighting directions then the ignitor is probably worn out or the switch is not working correctly.

    11-If a pilot lights but does not stay lit then there are a few possibilities:
    -lack of combustion air (possible airflow restriction)
    -lack of fuel (whichever kind it may be)
    -Electronic malfunction
    -mechanical failure of the gas valve

    The list can go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.


    Clean your burners, check your pilot assemblies for corrosion, clean your pilot, clean your thermocouple, clean your heat exchangers, blow down your tanks/boilers/water heaters, and test operations of all settings, and identify and resolve the root cause of a safety trip or control fault code.

    Failure to perform all these functions will result in problems.

    But no matter how diligent you are something will eventually fail. Nothing lasts forever. So make a secondary account and out $50/month into it for failures with appliances for your home.

    When shit hits the fan it can be absurdly expensive.

    Oh, one more thing. Buy high quality appliances.

  171. You Sir, and your guest com are heroes. After flushing my water heater tank, and removing the circuit board, I randomly shorted the solder points on the board with a hex key and reassembled it. it relight perfectly. Thanks so much everyone for saving me from calling a plumber. Honeywell and Whirlpool should be ashamed of themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *