Bradford White’s ICON System Gas Control Valve was developed with Honeywell for use on many of Bradford White’s new water heaters both light commercial & residential and as a replacement for Robertshaw, and White-Rogers gas control valves on many older FVIR and Non-FVIR light commercial & residential Bradford White water heater models. The ICON System has many benefits that only a microprocessor-based control can offer including tighter control of the water temperature, higher first hour delivery, easy gas valve replacement, and diagnostics.
Bradford White’s ICON System Gas Control Valve uses a thermopile as a sensor to provide an electric signal that the pilot light is lit. This thermopile generates about 750-millivolts, which in addition to providing the pilot signal also provides the electrical power to operate the microprocessor and gas valve. There is no external power required for the ICON System to operate. The ICON System mounts to an immersed thermowell, which screws into the water heater tank providing a watertight pocket the thermister rests in almost completely surrounded by the hot water in the tank. This thermowell allows the gas valve or, thermister to be changed without having to drain the water out of the tank making change out of either component a quick and easy task. The older gas valves did not use a thermowell and the temperature sensing was integral to the gas valve so draining of the tank was required to replace the gas valve. The Thermowell is constructed from an advanced polymer composite that is exceptionally strong despite its plastic appearance. In testing the thermowell withstood over 600 pounds without failing and when tested to failure the steel tank failed not the thermowell.
The Bradford White’s ICON System’s microprocessor uses the temperature readings from the thermister in the thermowell to provide extremely accurate temperature readings of the water in the tank. Previously the readings were accomplished with a bi-metal thermostat, which would bend differently depending on the temperature of the water in the tank. This mechanical design had a wider temperature differential and is slower to react which in some cases resulted in what was referred to as “Morning Sickness” where a water heater had been sitting overnight without reheating giving the first user in the morning a short shower with a fast ending. The Icon System takes constant temperature readings from the thermister and uses algorithms in the microprocessor to maintain tight controls and have a faster reaction to incoming cold water when water is used to not only eliminate morning sickness but provide a higher 1st hour delivery of hot water by jumping the gun and turning on with a faster response time than the older mechanical gas valves.
The Bradford White’s ICON System has a green LED, which provides indications of functions such as the pilot light being lit without having to bend over and peer into the combustion chamber to see it. Lighting the pilot is as easy as turning the knob to the pilot on position and pressing the knob while pressing the piezo igniter button several times then waiting about a minute and a half for the LED to light with a single flash followed 3 second delay before flashing again. The LED also provides diagnostic codes to aid in troubleshooting the water heater making trouble shooting as easy as counting the flashes and reading the chart. The thermopile also provides signaling if a FVIR (Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant) event occurs and shuts the burner and pilot off to provide complete safety.
Installing the Bradford White’s ICON System Gas Control Valve on older water heaters as a replacement valve is no more difficult than changing out a conventional gas valve. The tank requires draining because the older conventional valve does not have a thermowell and the pilot assembly also requires changing for the newer thermopile style assembly but, once that is done the upgrade is complete and any future work will not require draining of the tank. You will also have all the benefits the ICON System provides on your older water heater.
If you are in need of a new water heater or, replacing a gas valve on an older Bradford White water heater ask your plumber about installing a new Bradford White water heater with the ICON System installed or, a new Bradford White Icon System Gas Control Valve.