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raymel1
09-17-2008, 10:23 AM
Thanks for all the info.

A little background, I bought a Whirlpool Flamelock 40 gallon Natural Gas water heater 2 years ago, last year, I replaced that one after it simply wouldnt light. Lowes installed it, and didnt like it that I was going to replace it and kept giving me the run around. Finally they replaced it, of course I had to AGAIN pay for labor, but it got done.

a month ago, my newest Flamelock decided to go out, and I would have to go back and get it to relight again, usually taking me at least 15 minutes to get it to light. This happened 3 or 4 times.(model #BFG1F4040S3NOV)

Last week the damn thing went out again, and will simply not relight. I went to www.flamelocksupport.com (whoever put that info on here thank you!) and sent an email to them.

It wasnt 10 minutes :eek:(this is wednesday about 12:45pm btw) and they called me on the phone, wanting my serial # on my FlameLock Waterheater.


I tell him what the waterheater is doing and like I expected, he said the "thermal" has gone out.

He offered to send me a replacement part, and I told him that I am not qualified to replace anything like that, and that I doubt whirlpool would like the lawsuit I put on them when I burned my house down, because of it.;)

he then went on to tell me he could recommend someone to do the labor (at a cost to me of course). He tell's me it's "sears". Give's me a reference number and the phone number 1-800-676-5589.


Now, as this is September 17th,2008; and knowing that winter is closer than I want to admit that it is I am wondering to myself, if I am not just wasting my time with any kinds of repairs on this FlameLock POS Waterheater.

I really don't want to have to mess with a possible waterheater change
in the winter time,
but at the same time I really don't have the $ to buy another waterheater at this point in time.

I have no idea how much $ "sears" will charge me to change this "defective thermal" even though the part itself is costing me nothing. (the part will be here tomorrow and I did not pay anything for shipping)

this experience with Whirlpool as well as Lowes selling these junk waterheaters has made me avoid any and all Whirlpool products as well as avoiding Lowes all together.:mad:


I think im going to look around online and see where else has water heaters and do some pricing on them.

any suggestions or insights from all you great people would be appreciated.

Thanks in Advance.

Redwood
09-17-2008, 11:18 AM
I think im going to look around online and see where else has water heaters and do some pricing on them.

any suggestions or insights from all you great people would be appreciated.

Thanks in Advance.

I've got 2 words for you...
Bradford White

This thread now has 32,210 views on the counter and I hope we have saved a few people from making this terrible mistake!

raymel1
09-17-2008, 11:45 AM
I've got 2 words for you...
Bradford White

This thread now has 32,210 views on the counter and I hope we have saved a few people from making this terrible mistake!

and the pricetag on this would be ???

Redwood
09-17-2008, 11:49 AM
I don't know. Check with a local plumber who installs them.
INHO only Bradford White, and Rheem/Ruud have the FVIR technology figured out!

Terry
09-17-2008, 01:10 PM
I've been installing Rheem and Bradford White too.
I thought you just put them in and forgot about them.
I wouldn't bother with water heaters if they gave me the grief that this thread talks about.

I've never installed a Whirlpool.

master plumber mark
09-17-2008, 02:08 PM
Got another customer with a Cesspool water heater
that I looked at on tuesday......

a 2004 American Premere from Lowes ..... basically
the exact same heater


Another plumbing company in town went to lowes and
bought one but now wont touch it and warranty it....


and the store wont give them another one....



So I get ot go out and install a Rheem and throw
that dog in the trash tomorrow for about $650.00



thank you American Water heaters.....


you are the sunshine of my life.....


keep up the good work http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

Redwood
09-17-2008, 02:25 PM
It goes both ways mark....
A few days ago I had a call to repair a water heater...
It turned out that it was one of those pieces of junk....
I informed the customer that I don't repair Whirlpool water heaters...
I replace them!

I informed the customer of the reliability problems even with the fix and the customer was still hell bent on fixing it,:eek:

The problem is that I have to guarantee my work...
Its cheaper to replace it, then to build in enough to cover all the callbacks this POS would generate.
I've got a reputation to consider too!

Anyway the POS generated a wasted trip for me.:eek:

Thats okay though... Who needs callbacks...
Let the competition have them!:cool:

I can't remember when the last callback I had on a Bradford White was...

hotwater
09-24-2008, 01:12 PM
Long thread here for obvious reasons…:(
Ok so not everyone who mistakenly was duped into joining this ever growing group can afford to replace the water heater they bought although some may be better off in the long run after paying the repair bills so I will stay with helpful fact rather than trying to tout a alternate brand.
Although my next will most surly be a well researched reliable model…
I myself bought one of the whirlpool crap lock heater 3/29/08 without first researching reliability ect. :mad:
This is one of the new 50 gal BFG models they are actually no different than the original fg model with the exception of the thermal switch , a standard threaded thermocouple and the square view window .
On 9/23/08 pilot would not stay lit.. Oh joy the fun begins.
Tested the thermo couple and it checks out, it is well over the 17 milliamps required.
So I remove the manifold assembly clean everything (not that any thing was in need including the suspect air intake screen).
Replaced and lit. Seemed to work until the unit reached temp and shut the burner off … the pilot went out with it.
So I assume the gas control valve is bad (no possible way a lack of air flow will cause that is there). :confused:
I first try the 877 number on the tank and after getting suspiciously disconnected 3 times.
I do a little research on the true manufacturer. As we all know by now it is American water heater inc.
I found the direct line to them 800-999-9515 or 423-283-8000.
I spent no time at all on hold explained my findings gave serial ect. And was shipped a new gas control overnight at no charge at all (they threw a extra thermo couple in the box just cause I guess). It arrived early today 9/24/08 almost too early for me at 7am.
After a 15min install heater is up and running seemingly well. :)
Like others have stated I don’t admit defeat easily and will take keeping it running as a challenge until it has lived to its warranty and then buy a new one.(not a whirlPOO thats for sure)
I have made minor “enhancements “ to ensure the air flow I did this by “porting” the airflow to the “flame trap” up the side by 3’ using standard ducting parts and putting a filter there in easy reach to clean. cost = $23 and 45 min of my time (i can be verry creative)
This was only possible while the tank was empty and I had a large friend to help me tip it to attach the lower pieces.
Not something for everyone I’m sure but beat popping out view windows or loosening the manifold.
Ill update if it goes out again

bombjay
09-24-2008, 08:20 PM
Good job. I think! Our shop was delivered 1 of these. No Wirlpool but an American WH brand.The owners are cheap. I warned them that they will sit untill they rust to the floor.Bradley White's or Rheems for us usually.We ended up with this cos' it was $75cheaper. Not even slighty worth it.
Hotwater,good luck to you. I run a 30 year old WARDS w.h. thatI flush 2X a year and it hangs in just fine.

master plumber mark
09-25-2008, 04:51 AM
I have made minor “enhancements “ to ensure the air flow I did this by “porting” the airflow to the “flame trap” up the side by 3’ using standard ducting parts and putting a filter there in easy reach to clean. cost = $23 and 45 min of my time (i can be verry creative)
This was only possible while the tank was empty and I had a large friend to help me tip it to attach the lower pieces.
Not something for everyone I’m sure but beat popping out view windows or loosening the manifold.
Ill update if it goes out again


The thermal switch will eventually fail you

So you made minor enhancements ...huh?????

it sounds very creative......

I would just love to see these "enhancements"
to make your brand new 08 Whirlpool heater work correctly....


I have not had a good laugh yet today.....

and also I would like to post your "enhancements"
to make your brand new 08 heater work corrrectly to my web site..


Please .....with all due respect..... post me a pic.

and I will make your valiant efforts famous.......


Your story will be like an epic fable ....like the knights of old

a quest for the holy grail........


....handy man versus whirlpool water heater.
...will he slay this dragon ??????

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

Dunbar Plumbing
09-25-2008, 08:11 AM
Heeeeeeeey that's a blower for a 78' chevy...


and it's blue! Hoooooooooooooooold On!!!



I have a good one coming for a Whirlpool water heater install. More workmanship than quality issue.


Pictures are coming, might take awhile to get them here.:D

statin
10-22-2008, 06:34 PM
I just installed the new kit from American and when I fired the hotwater heater up I heard popping and could see water droplets popping and flying around. I don't think it could be the hot water heater. Would this be water accumulation in the gas line? Any replies are appreciated. GD

Redwood
10-22-2008, 07:22 PM
Well it's either condensation or, you have a good reason to go get a Bradford White...

Tim in Fort Worth
10-24-2008, 01:58 PM
Wow! 36,000+ views. This thread is surreal. I saw a news story the other night about how corporations now troll the Internet looking for complaints and negative comments in forums such as MySpace, Twitter, etc. They seek out those people and try to rectify the problem. Makes me wonder if Whirlpool has been following this thread at all. What a hoot it would be if Whirlpool actually posted some comments here. Along those lines I also am curious as to the breakdown of that 36,000 views. How many of those views have come from disgruntled consumers who are desperate to find a solution to this problem and end up here, plumbers who noticed a sharp increase in repairs and wondered what was behind it, lawyers trolling for evidence and information, and how many are following it out of morbid curiosity. It's like watching a train wreck happening in slow motion. I noticed that Whirlpool is paying a dividend on their stock this quarter, but their two year stock trend is heading down, down, down:

http://www.marketwatch.com/tools/quotes/intchart.asp?symb=WHR&sid=5420&dist=TQP_chart_date&freq=1&time=9

I also noticed that the domain name "whirlpoolsucks.com" is owned by an entity called Whirlpool Properties, Inc., which appears to be related to Whirlpool Inc.:

http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/results.jsp?domain=whirlpoolsucks.com

If so, it's a preemptive strike because no website with that domain is active. They just bought the domain and parked it in the basement with the crazy aunt.

whosyer12
11-07-2008, 09:20 AM
I just found this thread, like everyone else, after "joining the club". Mine lasted 3+ years--so I guess I'm one of the more fortunate ones. I'm currently awaiting my upgrade kit. I'm not paticularly handy and after viewing pictures of the upgrade kit was pretty intimidated, despite the call centers guys insistance that it is "easy, a moron could do it" (he was american with southern accent BTW). After reading these posts and studying my water heater though I think maybe I can install it.

I'm concerned though -it seems that most posters here haven't had much success unless both the manifold assembly AND the gas valve were replaced. There's no way I'm messing with the gas valve----so I'll need to call a plumber if we get to that point. Or I may decide to scrap this WH. Anyone think I can get anything out of Lo*s at this point?

whosyer12
11-07-2008, 12:18 PM
Just an update--- conversion kit arrived at 3pm EST---great overnight service--eh? Think I'll try and baby old one along till Monday just in case I need professional support.

An interesting sidenote: At 2:30PM I called to be sure it was shipped and this time, same number as yesterday, I got a call center in India. Yestrday (Thursday) I called @ 8:15AM EST and got an American probably from Johnson City, TN --because he sounded like it and that's where this part came from.

whosyer12
11-08-2008, 11:30 AM
Went ahead and installed kit today, as I couldn't get it lit at all for last 24 hrs. Wasn't too bad --took me 90 minutes, hardest parts were 1. Freeing old pilot line nut from gas valve. Due to tight clearances you can only get about 1/8th of a turn at a time. Make sure you have good quality correct size wrench for this, I didn't and had to make a quick trip (yeah to good ol Lo*s only 2 miles away which is why I have this POS) to buy one. 2. re- attaching manifold door---as someone elso pointed out earlier the neoprene "keeps" on the back prevent you from being able to see corresponding screw holes. After fumbling around far too long-- I finally removed the keeps and wasn't too bad after that.

Unit was a lot cleaner than I expected it to be. It's in my not particularly clean garage--maybe that's why i got over 3 years out of it? I vacuumed in and out anyway and will remember to vacuum underneath screen occassionaly.

Why did I buy this to begin with? Well for starters, who knew? I'm 57 years old and I think this is maybe the third gas water heater I've bought in my life. To me a water heater was something that lasted 12-15 years and you never had to touch it unless a big gust of wind came up when the garage door was open. When the tank starts leaking --you go buy another one. I didn't know a thing about flamelock technology or any of the bs safety features on this unit until 3 days ago. Also as I pointed out---Lo*s is very near my house, has favorable hours, gave me 12 months interest/payment free financing AND $99 same day installation. I got a very satisfactory $99 installation too---it ain't the $99 installation it's the POS heater.

If i ever buy another one (which is looking likely)--- I will do my due diligence.

Cass
11-09-2008, 05:00 AM
WoW...$99.00 for a gas heater install...sounds like gasoline prices droping...regular unleaded here is averaging between $1.75 - 1.99 / gal. and here Lo*s charges $225.00 for the install and the installer will charge something on top of that for a removal fee, permit fee and any code upgrades required.



In the Seattle area, I charge $999 for my basic installation of a 50 gallon Rheem gas water heater, plus tax, plus permits. www.loveplumbing.com (http://www.loveplumbing.com/)

Tempo
11-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Well, first off, I guess I've been pretty lucky with my Whurlpul LockFlame hotwater heater. It lasted 4 years before burning out its thermocouple!

Last Friday, when there was suddenly no hot water, I hopped on to Google and started searching. I found lots of links; everything from consumer action, to articles about the class action lawsuit, to this thread.

This thread, however, has been by far the most helpful, so thank you all for maintaining it! Because it's such a good source, I felt like I should jump on and post my "fix".

First of all -- before I go in to the explanation -- please remember that (1). I hate this hot water heater and (2). I'm not suggesting other people should do what I did...

Pretty much, the story is the same as everyone else. Pilot wouldn't stay lit. I even clamped the reset button down with a woodworking clamp, to let the thermocouple get good and hot, before turning to "on"... one time the burner caught, and me and my wife rushed up and took showers. Even that time, as soon as the burner turned off and went back to pilot, the pilot went out.

I ran over to Lowes, and bought the only Whirlpool thermocouple they had in stock.

So, I pulled the burner assembly out. One thing worth noting that I haven't seen else where, is that my burner assembly was kind-of stuck, even after I disconnected the four connections to the thermostat (thermocouple, gas, pilot, igniter wire) and the two screws. It turned out, it was kind-of stuck... I think there was a bit of corrosion around the door.

When I got the old thermocouple out, I saw that it had the in-line fuse (as discussed elsewhere). Putting in the new thermocouple was simple, I just tried not to damage it too much as I was threading it.

As I went to finish up and reattach everything, I found that the new thermocouple not only didn't have a in-line fuse, but was RIGHT HAND THREADED (again, a problem other people have had).

I've read other forums where folks have cut and soldered the thermocouple together, but I was so pissed that I did something different: I just brutally screwed it in!

That's right, I mercilessly screwed a right-handed thread in to a left-handed socket. And now it's jammed in there, with the thermocouple contact engaged, and the stupid POS flameluck working, for the moment. I now have the advantage of having a standard thermocouple in there, instead of the one with the extra fuse.

Yes, I have a temper. Yes I plan to have the thing replaced as soon as I can.

Yes, I'm kinda proud of myself for beating it at its own game ;)

Redwood
11-09-2008, 08:14 PM
I guess when you call whirlpool and get the new burner assy. you better get a new gas valve too.

I'ts still not fixed...

Tempo
11-10-2008, 08:39 AM
I'ts still not fixed...

Well, 'fixed' is kind of subjective. It is providing hot water to the house...

Redwood
11-10-2008, 03:04 PM
Yes I know somewhere in the last 14 pages of this thread there is at least one other instance of someone getting temporary relief from your "Fix"

IMHO the only fix is replacement of the water heater with a Rheem/Ruud, or, Bradford White water heater.

Tempo
11-11-2008, 08:16 AM
IMHO the only fix is replacement of the water heater with a Rheem/Ruud, or, Bradford White water heater.

Could not agree more.

Actually, it was this realization that led me to not care about the durability of the fix to begin with.

Blues501
11-18-2008, 10:16 PM
I bought a WhirlPoo FlameOut in April of 2008. Amazing if they were this bad, why does lowwwws keep selling them..anyways not the reason I write here today. I had flame out two nights ago, called 877 number on water heater, voicemail sends me to website, order replacement (aka enhancement) and install with one hitch..

The TC adapter has left threads and my gas valve has right threads. After reading this thread (pun intended) I decided that I must have already had the enhancement from the factory at some point and that I just had a bad TC and did not install the TC Adapter with the kit.

I am highly dissapointed in WP. My washer, dryer, and refridgerator, which incidentally are the only major appliances I have ever had to buy, are all WP. I am highly dissapointed and have hereby come to the conclusion that WP does not care about their loyal customers or earning new customers so I am hereby declaring my intent to never grace their balance sheet with another purchase.

Thanks to everyone on the thread, truthtellers, B.S'ers, and joe the plumbers for the laughs and insight at a time when I was thinking very creative thoughts about which WP executive would recieve my returned waterheater in a very uncomfortable body cavity.

Lastly, anyone have any constructive thoughts on omiiting the TC adapter (see above)?

jimbo
11-19-2008, 06:37 AM
Today is the third year anniversary of the first post in this thread! Anyone going for 4???

Redwood
11-19-2008, 08:09 AM
Today is the third year anniversary of the first post in this thread! Anyone going for 4???

I'm convinced that this thread will go on until the last Whirlpool water heater of this design is produced, and for sometime afterwards until the last installed one is junked.

edgrimly
12-03-2008, 07:52 AM
Ok, so I have spent the last hour reading the 14 pages of Whirlpoo (my favorite name for it) WH complaints, "fixes", and modifications (love the supercharger). Never did get to see the ductwork filter assembly modification that prompted the supercharger but hey, this is a list topic dedicated to one specific problem and once people figure it out,,, bye bye (like me after I write this ;-) )

So without further adieu, here is my story.

'Bout 3 weeks ago my water heater started quitting. I would go down, relite, and it would run for a little while and quit again. My first stop was low fuel pressure so I called the propane company and they checked the line pressure and replaced my regulator. Now my stove and water heater both work (stove did not like to light either). Fast forward to the Monday following Thanksgiving holiday. Wake up, jump in the shower only to freeze the boys :eek: .
Back to relighting, many times... I DID find out one thing that has not been mentioned (or tried??) was to set the temp fairly low on the control. The lower I set it the longer it seemed to run. Unfortunately this only gained me a week. Now the temp is set at "Vacation" to make it run. I did have fun running around trying to find a thermocouple until I got to GilRoys (they got it don't ya know) and they did not have it, BUT the owner suggested I call Whirlpoo as it should still be under warranty. WARRANTY??? I thought... They put warranty's on water heaters? So I dialed the Whirlpoo 877 number and the first thing the recorded lady said was "If you have a FG (what is she swearing??) model please visit flamelocksupport.com and register for your free upgrade kit". So I hung up and called home and had the wife get on the internet (blazing fast dial up) and look it up. By the time I got home (20 min later) she was putting the finishing touches on our overnight (extra $5) order of a F###G Flame Lock upgrade kit :D

It has not arrived yet, but I am already planning a needle into the pilot jet when I do take it apart, just cause the pilot jet looked weak to me too.

P.s. For all of those stating that the flame out is due to the burner blowing out the pilot when it gets up to temp. At least in my case (which sounds just like your case) that is a load of hooey. I relit my pilot and eliminated that problem by turning the control up and down and making the burner come on and go off numerous times. It NEVER blew out the pilot. Whenever the flame out occurred, the tank was not up to temp so why would it be just a "normal" shut off blowing out the light? :confused:

OK, one other thing. My water heater lasted three years before the problem occurred and here is why I think it did. My wife has been concerned about our kids burning themselves on scalding hot water. Apparently she has seen some of the stupid things I have done and believes the kids will take after me... Anyway, we always keep the water heater below the "warm" setting. Recently my oldest (10 yrs old) has taken to 30 minute showers where he just stands there and let the cleansing power of hot water clean him (heaven forbid soap). Needless to say the WH does not keep up at "Warm" so I turned it up (where do you think he learned 30 min showers??) so I could have some warm water too. It was not long after I turned it up that it started quitting. I think I smoked the weak internal pieces and bye bye they went.

Question for those in the know... Could keeping the heat down prolong the life of the replacement parts?? Those who have replaced these at 1 week as compared to 90 days or 9 months, what was the temp setting?

Do these observations help those with advanced pluming and heating experience or will I just get the same "Trash it and buy a Rheem or Bradford White"? Unfortunately this is Christmas and Congress is giving my money to everyone BUT the company I get a trickle down paycheck from and all they want is a LOAN... Needless to say, I can afford a 5 dollar freight charge but not a $900 water heater. :mad:

Thanks again for this great thread. Keep up the good work.

Oh, wonder what ever became of that "new style thermocouple and old style gas valve" concept... Anyone have any update to that? Sounded like he knew what was up but no one else chimed in to verify.

Ed

edgrimly
12-03-2008, 08:56 AM
P.s. Still searching the new and found http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html that has many many many (500+) complaints. I love reading complaints because eventually some info you can use leaks through.

A couple of the complaints mentioned the gas valve. One guy even talked about hitting the gas valve with a hammer to get the Pilot to stay lit. Another complaint says on a BFG model that American instantly said it was a Main Control but of course that did not fix it.
To me that ties in to the previous email about replacing the Thermocouple and Gas Valve in pairs.


Of course I still have yet to get my upgrade kit and in my mind I am already fixing it again... :(

Ed

http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_gas_control.jpg

edgrimly
12-04-2008, 08:51 AM
Ok, here it is, a couple days after contacting Whirlpoo and my defective unit is still on "limp home mode" and running just over "Vacation" temperature. I did turn it up a little past Vacation trying to figure out where the line is between blow out and operation. Have not figured out the break point just yet.

This should help you "get by" until your parts come in from American/Whirlpoo. Just keep the temp control turned down and don't get greedy and ask for 100+ temps out of it until new parts are in. :cool:

Merry Christmas!!! :D

Ed

master plumber mark
12-04-2008, 09:14 AM
I just love reading all the complaints here too...

If you notice , most of the recent 100 + complaints are on
the NEW STYLE IMPROVED Whirlpool water heater.less than 2 years old.......
NOT the heaters sold over 4 years ago....

It is hard to believe that American Water heaters has actually made
their IMPROVED heater worse than the original heater that they have been sued for..!!!!!.

how can you be stupid enough to shoot yourself in the foot ....twice???.



Looking at the complaints it looks like their new style heaters seem to fail after only about 8 months



I have said before....
All I can figure is that the owner of AMERICAN WATER HEATERS must have
an incompetent son- in-law, as the president of their reasearch and develoment division..

this fellow simply cant be fired ......no matter how bad he screws up...


their cant be any other reason for stupidity like this......


http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/


http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html

MsBehavin
12-05-2008, 09:53 AM
Does anyone know what the "enhancement kit" contains? My plumber told me to make sure I receive the burner assembly AND a gas valve. Is the new thermocouple right-threaded? I am hesitant to order this contraption, as the manager at Lowe's has promised me that he will reimburse me in full for a new water heater as long as I return the old one to them. The only catch is, I need $416.87 out-of-pocket to buy the new one and I don't have it. If I can get by with the kit I want to do so at least until after the holidays.

whosyer12
12-05-2008, 03:43 PM
Don't know if links are allowed here---but take a look at: http://flamelocksupport.com/kits.aspx What you see is what you get. No new burner or new valve. Almost a month for me though and working ok (wood knocked).

Redwood
12-06-2008, 04:38 AM
This is the kit it is shown earlier in the kazzillion pages of this thread.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/Redwood39/Cesspoolfix1.jpg

Don't kid yourself into thinking this is a miracle fix.
If the "New Improved" Cesspools are still having the problem...
How good can the "Fix" be?

If they have offered you you're money back take it and run!
Put in a Bradford White and discover that once again hot water only requires turning on a tap.

Even a store credit can be spent on better things!

master plumber mark
12-06-2008, 05:55 AM
Don't know if links are allowed here---but take a look at: http://flamelocksupport.com/kits.aspx What you see is what you get. No new burner or new valve. Almost a month for me though and working ok (wood knocked).

I wonder how many homeowners they send this kit out to
attempt to fool with it themselves???

these things are not that easy to fool with even for someone that does it every day...

Also....What I have found...
As long as that "new enhanced kit"
is somehow installed to let a lot of air in
through the front of it,
it will probably work for a long time


of course that would void the FVIR safeguards on
the heater.....and that is not something that a company
should do for a customer...

but I certainly am running into more and more of them in homes
that have been...... "modified" .....by the home owner to get
them to work....

they really should have a nation wide recall on all of them. http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

Cass
12-06-2008, 06:11 AM
I am doing 3 calls todayon heaters, 2 on Whirlpools...both calls ar for bad gas valves...the 3rd call may be one also...

master plumber mark
12-06-2008, 06:40 AM
Cass....are you bragging or complaining??

I simply wont touch a Whirlpool for anyone ever again...

I got a cousin with a Whirlpool heater that I "modified"
for him about 4 years ago, it is still working great...

I dont think a 1st cousin would sue me if they ever have a
fire caused by the heater....

but I am not willing to do this
for the general public...


I am also having a lot of troubles
with STATE and SMITH. jsut acting up like the Whirlpool



remember to take your air compressor, a couple of wire brushes to clean the air screeen under-neath the unit..


have a great time.. http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

joebob2000
12-06-2008, 09:52 AM
Time for another disgruntled whirlpooo owner to weigh in. It's been like 5 minutes since you all heard that, eh?

I got this unit in 2004 and had no problems until winter of 08 (10 months ago). I am doubly unfortunate in not only owning a whirlygig water heater, but also an aqua-therm central heating unit! So, when theres no warm water, theres no warm *anything* in my house. Great, right?

So this story starts 10 months ago (feb of 08), on the coldest day of that winter, of course the water heater craps out on me after working almost nonstop to keep my house warm. It's dedication was admirable. I, of course, tried re-lighting it with mixed success and quickly called support to hope for a quick fix. Replacement parts were headed my way in a few days. Great, back to electric heaters and using the fireplace for me! They were gracious enough to send me a whole gas kit for the unit, including a new burner, valve, and related bits. I figured great, they must have gotten the design right by now since it was about 3 years since I bought the thing. I install the parts and the unit is up and running perfectly the rest of the winter.

So it would figure that this winter (oops, according to my calendar winter hasnt even started yet! i am in trouble!) the water heater craps out again. No pilot, same kind of problem as last year. Deja vu is swirling in my head as I call whirlpoo again, forking over another $15 for quick shipping of replacement parts. Back to the fireplace and electric heaters for me.

So, being an overly zealous tinkerer, I start troubleshooing the thing. The safety thermostat has continuity, the thermocouple has voltage, it seems like everything is hooked up right. On a dare, I shorted the thermostat connection and tried to light it. Flame! It ran OK until it got up to temp and the water thermostat shut it off, and then poof no pilot. It won't re-light either. Back to square 1.

So, I am no HVAC expert but I do know a little about mechanics and I got to thinking, what the heck is that little hexagonal shaped assembly that the thermocouple and the safety thermostat attach to? Is it a fail-shut control of some sort for the pilot gas valve?

Anyway, in summary, love the site, hate the whirlpool. Thanks to everyone who posted good info!

Cass
12-07-2008, 03:26 AM
With 41,000+ views I wonder if this is the most viewed thread on the internet...

Redwood
12-07-2008, 07:43 AM
I just love what they say at the link posted by whosyer12


Owners of Whirlpool® gas water heater models that have model numbers that begin with the letters “FG,” may have experienced water heater performance complications related to a replacement thermocouple part. This is due to the discontinuation of that part.


Masters of understatement aren't they!:cool:


With 41,000+ views I wonder if this is the most viewed thread on the internet...

Those numbers are only going to increase until production of this lemon is halted and the last remaining unit goes out of service. The most viewed probably goes to a Paris Hilton "Sex Tape" but in the long haul this one is sure to chug along right past it... Kinda like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album which as of may 5th 2006 had spent 1500 weeks on Billboard's top 200 album chart and probably this Christmas season will once again climb on for a few more weeks. That's almost 29 years on the charts for an album released in 1973! Whooda Thunk! Pink Floyd 1500 week article (http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/floyds%20dark%20side%20marks%201500%20weeks%20on%2 0us%20chart_06_05_2006)

edgrimly
12-08-2008, 09:23 AM
I got my kit over the weekend and managed to take pictures of the whole process start to finish. Funny thing is the water heater was technically still working although it was on low and just barely warm enough for someone to take a shower with. :eek:
It was not a bad job, the whole door assembly was all assembled you just had to transfer the orifice from the old to the new and re hook up everything. The new switch pieces were simple and straightforward. Yes, there were NOT written directions on how to do it, but a picture is worth a 1000 words and they had a nice picture instead of directions.
The main problem I had was the pilot jet line used a one piece compression fitting nut that took a LOT of strength to tighten. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK YOUR CONNECTIONS. Use a squirt bottle of soap and soap and water (lots of soap and a little water) to check for leaks and then have people sniff the area later for signs of leaks and then maybe check for leaks again. I did not like that compression nut, not even a little bit. :mad:

Other then that, very straight forward and easy to do.

BTW: The pilot light is much stronger and I DID NOT modify the jet that came with the kit. I am thinking they got the idea. :D

I still have not turned up the heat past warm and proly never will if it will prolong the life of this setup and I do not have to do it again. Warm is plenty hot for showers.

p.s. With this new kit installed I can now buy the 7 dollar thermocouple from Lowes next time. :p

Ed

Cass
12-08-2008, 09:27 AM
Just remember that if a gas valve came with that that they only will warranty it 1 time so when the new one goes bad the whole cost of replacement will be on you...

MsBehavin
12-08-2008, 09:38 AM
[QUOTE=master plumber mark;170379]I wonder how many homeowners they send this kit out to
attempt to fool with it themselves???

Definitely not me, if I knew what I was doing I would have known whether the kit contained a gas valve. I dunno a whozit from a whatzit. I am truely surprised that nobody has blown up their house yet.

sinsta
12-15-2008, 08:55 AM
I wonder how many homeowners they send this kit out to
attempt to fool with it themselves???

these things are not that easy to fool with even for someone that does it every day...
Glad to read that... i was going to try it myself... sounds like you're suggesting that i get the kit and contact my plumber.

Redwood
12-15-2008, 11:58 AM
Glad to read that... i was going to try it myself... sounds like you're suggesting that i get the kit and contact my plumber.

If you called me I wouldn't even install the kit!

The choice I give if install a new Bradford White or find another plumber to do it!

There is no way in hell that I want any of these lemons hanging over my head.

master plumber mark
12-15-2008, 02:15 PM
REdwood, I totally agree with you about this

I am changeing out a Whirlpool heater tomorrow....

they have not had hot water since last Thursday....

cant get the parts, and like you stated ,

no REAL--- LEGIT ----PLUMBER in town
wants to tangle with them...



I have a lot to be thankful for this x-mas

Thank you Whirlpool....

you are keeping me busy....


please keep up the good work.....

please keep selling your shitty --crappy --
water heaters to the un-suspecting public..


and Thank you
LOWES for selling this junk in all your stores..
thanks for not warning your customer how awful this product is......


Thanks to both of you
becasue in about 3 years down the road I get a new customer
when I replace the junk you sold them....
and wont warranty anymore..





http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/




..

Cass
12-16-2008, 03:25 AM
I went and installed a new gas valve on a 1 yr. old Whirlpool last week and now the water won't heat up hot... I have to go check it out but it seems on the surface like I will have to replace the new valve...

master plumber mark
12-16-2008, 03:57 AM
Cass...their new problem now is the "improvement"

that they made to their crappy design... Most likely

you will find that it is the little thermal switch that

they put on the fire wall.....(you cant get that part either)

is over heating and shutting down the unit...


to win that battle,
you will probably have to break out the looking glass
and crack the seal on the front of the unit for more air ....



Cass...have fun. this X-mas with your whirlpool water heater calls.....

and be thankful for all the work...

Merry X-Mas


and god bless us everyone....

Cass
12-16-2008, 04:28 AM
Merry Christmas to all the Whirlpool owners...Mark it is just that the water is not getting hot enough...the pilot is staying lit... so it will be a thermostatic valve change out...again...I will work on them as long as they keep paying me...with the understanding that the unit should be replaced...the more I work on them the more they hate them espicially when I say stuff like "this is the 5th one I have changed in 2 weeks"...I have one call coming up where the tennant has been with out hot water for 6 months...I am not sure I want to go on that call...I may just charge extra...

61kretch
12-16-2008, 12:01 PM
Just wanted to say Merry Christmas and thank you for creating this site. You saved me much time and heartache (although, sorry to say, I wasn't completely spared), as a Whirlpool BG hot water tank owner. Yes, just failed after 1 year exactly. They are overnighting a new gas valve. Changed the thermocouple and cleaned, (not that dirty, had the external filter around tank), but no good. Don't want to alter anything until after plumber installs gas valve. Have already started a Bradford-White savings account (that's what I had for 25 years, and would still have, if my basement hadn't flooded). Ah well, I've made more expensive mistakes. Thanks again for giving me the info I needed to decided to cut and run rather than throwing good money after bad.

Hillbilly Man
12-16-2008, 08:28 PM
I got on o these things real cheap at Lowes. Sumbuddy installed it an it didn't work rite so they retured it an I got it cheap.
I'm turnin it into a still ta make whiskey with.

MsBehavin
12-20-2008, 08:10 AM
I guess when you call whirlpool and get the new burner assy. you better get a new gas valve too.

I'ts still not fixed...


Did that. American Water Heater sent it to me at no charge. Just paid a plumber $100.00 and the friggin' thermocouple won't thread into the gas valve. Now I am on my way to SOMEPLACE to get another gas valve at my expense. Looks like no hot water this Christmas....:mad:

theplumber
12-20-2008, 02:41 PM
The thermocouple on the new assy is standard thermocouple. The new valve should use a standard thermocouple. The AWH reverse threaded TC was a crappy idea in the first place. People would go to remove it and end up breaking the valve from accidentally tightening it. They should have sent you the valve with this new assy. There was a class action lawsuit out against these heaters. That's why they send out a whole new assy and valve to people now. If you add on to the lawsuit, all you can get out of it is $25.

Anyone with these flamelock heaters needs to read their manuals. There's a page there telling you to clean the microscreen filter underneath the heater. That new assy u have w/ the fuse replaces the need for those reverse threaded thermocouples that initially were used on these waterheaters. These heaters were the worst idea ever. Think about if you have this in a smitty pan and the homeowner is an 80 yo widow.

PS - you don't really have a huge selection of waterheaters these days. There's only about 3 companies making them. They just slap on a different skin on their units to sell them through different outlets. If you look at a Rheem from a wholesale house and a GE from Home depot you'll notice they use the exact same shell with the same air intake design. Just as every heater with that rectangular microscreen on the bottom of their heaters is made by the same company. They licensed that fuse w/ the reset button from B&W after the lawsuit. So it really doesn't matter where you get a waterheater, it matters who's design you unwittingly buy into.

hondo21
12-29-2008, 07:28 AM
Here's my story: I have a natural gas BFG model (BFG1F4040S3NOV to be exact), purchased at Lowe's and installed 11/21/07 ($308). I had no hot water and found that pilot went out on 12/17/08. I couldn't get it to stay lit. So I called Whirlpool support and the Indian gentleman diagnosed that I needed a new gas valve/thermostat unit. I got one at Lowe's (with intention to send receipt for warranty reimbursement) and asked a friend who does HVAC and plumbing on the side to help me install it. Before doing that he thought the problem may be the dirt/lint around the intake on the bottom. After cleaning it up he got the pilot lit. But that night it was out again. I relit it and it worked for 3 days, then out again. He recommended I try a more thorough cleaning of the flame-trap, so I disconnected everything and opened up the manifold and thoroughly brushed the plate top and bottom and vacuumed it out. To be honest, it didn't look too bad (I had the external filter assembly installed originally). After reassembly I lit the pilot and it worked for 5 days. Now for several days I keep having to relight the pilot to heat the tank, and then it immediately goes out after a burn cycle. It's not always easy to get it to light though. I'm getting real familiar with the floor next to the waterheater as I depress the red button.

So now, after finding this thread I wish I had a Bradford White, knowing the aggravation this has caused already and is likely to continue to cause due to the faulty design. But I'm not prepared to just scrap this beast and incur that expense at this time.

1. Based on what I've read here I think at the least I need a new thermocouple. Can I get it at Lowe's since it's now just a standard (right-handed) version? Am I right to conclude that all the comments about Lowe's no longer carrying the part refer to the old left-handed version that doesn't apply to my newer model? Are the new ones pre-bent to shape?

2. I still have the gas valve/thermostat unit in the box from Lowe's. I don't want to return it until I know it's not needed (and maybe I'll keep it even so and have Whirlpool reimburse me, just to have for the future). If installing a new thermocouple doesn't solve the problem, I could install the new gas valve too (with my friend's help on that part of it).

3. Even though I already have the BFG model, could I get the kit from http://flamelocksupport.com/kits.aspx for $5 (scratch that - the ground shipping price went up to $8 since yesterday), even to have as a future backup on hand? They ask for your serial number - if mine corresponds to a "B" model would they decline to send me the kit?

4. I'm tempted to remove the view window to improve chances of avoiding future problems, but am chicken of the safety implications, even though I have no nearby hazards of any kind.

Dunbar Plumbing
12-29-2008, 08:17 AM
hondo21,



I had sympathy in the beginning of your rant about your water heater, but to turn around and have 'faith' in a water heater that has a thread riddled with complaints,


you certainly haven't found the good logic embedded by the professionals who've responded kindly to help those who have became victims of this product.


Here's where this started:


You like many others are price conscientous, that's what brought you to Lowe's as they covet the most inexpensive water heater along with installation. You're savings that produced the cheshire grin on your face was wiped clean when your savings got ditched at the door when the heater walked out of that store.

You now have the luxury of being a water heater detective with free parts from whirlpool that they know has nothing but problems, and now they are not resisting on sending the parts out.

You'll invest a lot of think time on this, your sanctity of wondering if your heater will fire, daily, will be something stuck in your mind because it simply isn't a reliable product. You know this from this thread and if you can't understand this logic,


then by all means enjoy your fun replacing parts and troubleshooting a heater that should of never been built and sold.


The smartest thing a consumer can do is ditch the saving of this sinking ship and buy a product that doesn't have such a high return of failure points.


Nothing I'm going to say as a professional can get through people's skulls that your water heater is not special, and will take kindly to the new parts they send.


So, playing the dumb card, I go ahead and tell people that I'll take your parts and put them on your POS heater, but I guarantee NOTHING.


Last one I did was right before christmas, made $170 for 2 visits because the burner assembly didn't work, it was the gas valve.


Good money earned and even though the heater is working currently, he's had to relight it twice since I installed.


Guess which customer thinks about his water heater operating daily?


You and him will own that same misery if you don't change your logical thinking pattern.


This post is also designed to target anyone who comes across this post thinking they can "save" their coveted Whirlpool Water Heater thinking you have a chance of resurrecting the bad product line it follows.

GOOD LUCK

hondo21
12-29-2008, 08:48 AM
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate where you're coming from and the postings of all the professionals here. To respond to some of your points:

1. After reading all the horror stories, believe me, I have no faith in or illusions of "saving" this water heater, and I don't think it's special. I fully realize that its design is flawed and it isn't reliable.

2. While I do appreciate savings, that isn't why I purchased this water heater. On 11/21/07 my wife called to inform me that the water heater had broken (it was 10 years old and had never had a problem, but I was expecting it wouldn't last much longer). My friend, who does plumbing but not as a full-time profession, told me he could come over and install a new one late that afternoon if I went and picked it up. I also needed some new inlet piping and valves - the old ones leaked when shut off. So I left work and got the Whirlpool at Lowe's. I had no knowledge of these issues with the Whirlpools. While I'm generally a consumer who researches purchases first, in this case it was more a matter of getting it fixed quickly with a supposedly name-brand unit right before a holiday weekend. I sure don't remember walking out of Lowe's with any grin on my face.

3. So now I've become educated, and would love to have a better unit installed and cut ties with the Whirlpool. BUT, that is a significant expense that I would rather avoid at this particular time. I fully realize that I may be in the same position again before long, but if I can replace a thermocouple for little or no cost under warranty and get another year of operation (I know, it may not last that long), that would be worth it to me. If it keeps crapping out too quickly then I can always replace it. Believe me, knowing what I do now I would not spend big bucks getting this repaired by a professional only to have it fail again. But if I can replace a part myself (or get a friend to help) without a big outlay, that is a different proposition.

whosyer12
12-30-2008, 07:23 AM
Get the kit (if they'll send it to you.) and install yourself. I'm 2+ months since install and (wood knocked) ok. A few posters have seemingly (without outright stating it) recommended knocking out the window. I didn't do that--but if it fails again--I'm sure gonna.

Most, if not all, Lowe's stock the maniflod kit as well. I got one shipped to me from the Whirlpool toll free phone # AND went to Lo's and got one at the plumbing help desk---no receipt no questions asked. So I've already got my spare if needed.

Redwood
01-01-2009, 07:08 AM
I have noticed of late, fewer of the "Whirlpool" brand name water heaters on the shelves at Lowes and more of the other brand names of the American Water Heaters Company like American Proline, Envirotemp, Mor-Flo, Powerflex, Premier Plus and US Craftmaster. This is clearly an effort to further deceive the customers of Lowes as the word of the "Cesspool" debacle is finally having an impact on their sales...

Same Junk just a different name!:mad:

Rather than offer a quality product Lowes is pulling out all the stops and tricks to keep on selling defective products to their customers!

"Lets Build Something Together"
Yea Right!
How about trying to rebuild the consumer trust they have lost!:mad:

master plumber mark
01-01-2009, 07:17 AM
Redwood,

I will have to mosey down to Lowes today and see what kind of dog doo they are selling now....

ANYTHING from AMERICAN WATER-HEATERS is basically
no good.... no matter what name it is under....


I cant understand what Lowes is thinking,,, and why they have not kicked that company out their door...

If Lowes ever went to the GE line,
their troubles would be over..

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

SewerRatz
01-01-2009, 07:30 AM
The only water heaters i will ever install is State, A O Smith, Bradford White and Lochinvar. I get home owners calling me to install one they bought at a hardware store, I refuse to install it for them. In the past I have installed these home owner bought heaters informing them there is no guarantee from me on the water heater what so ever. Do never listen, it fails they call screaming at me about its my duty to repair this under warranty for them. I also stand behind the policy of not installing home owner supplied parts, pumps, faucets and any other thing plumbing related.

F9PRO
01-01-2009, 07:51 PM
I guess I should consider myself lucky that my Whirlpool FG water heater lasted 2 years 7 months before it died like many others have. Called Whirlpool customer support and talked so someone in India who was barely able to reply to my questions and the answers were from a scripted answer sheet. He could not answer a simple question...


Was told I had to order and pay shipping on a "repair kit" that was a free upgrade. This seems to be a short term fix from reading other complaints. So no hot water, several day wait for a temp fix at best and really crappy customer service. So I purchased a Bradford White heater because I don't want to wait 3 more days for a part from Whirlpool. If they had half a brain they would stock the kit in the Lowes stores that sold the heaters...Maybe too simple of a solution... Seems that Whirlpool products have taken a severe turn downhill on quality. My less than 2 year old refrigerator has a broker ice maker too.

I WILL NEVER PURCHASE A WHIRLPOOL PRODUCT AGAIN. IF THIS IS THE BEST THEY CAN DO THEN FORGET IT...


Buying another heater paid off as I got the kit and same problem. The control valve is bad and it isn't worth it to try to fix it...

amateur_plumber
01-03-2009, 08:51 PM
I'm another Whirlpool/Lowes victim. Here are my grim facts:

My model: BFG1F4040S3PV (40 gallon, propane)

Dec 26, 2007 - purchased from Lowes in a hurry, after old tank of 20 years dies.

Dec 30, 2008 - almost exactly 1 year - no hot water. Pilot light won't stay lit. Later that evening, astonished to discover all the thousands of complaints. Kicking myself. Call the 800 number on the heater - they're closed.

Dec 31 - I call again, and EVEN THOUGH my model begins in BFG instead of FG - I PRESS ONE ANYWAY - it takes me directly to the line for American Water Heaters - no one from India. He sends me a NEW VALVE and WAIVES THE SHIPPING CHARGE - he says - because it's so new. I was expecting to pay for shipping, so this is a pleasant surprise.

Dec 31 - more - I call the number to schedule a tech - it's Sears. They won't make an appointment until the part is in hand. Screw it, I'm not waiting to get the part just to make an appointment - I'll do it myself.

Jan 2 - New Valve arrives. They didn't send a thermocouple, interestingly. But it fires up, so I guess I didn't need one. It's all right-handed thread, so everything goes according to plan.

Today, I still have nice hot water. I'm continuously checking the pilot - yup, still lit. I'll be doing this daily for awhile.

My game plan: I have low expectations, so I expect this to fail again, and I'll do this over. I will tolerate one more cycle of this. On the third, I will pursue a refund of my money from Lowe's and get a new one.

Like another one of the posters, I kind of get a satisfaction from tinkering with these things, so that offsets some of the aggravation.

Thanks everyone for posting this incredible epic thread.

master plumber mark
01-04-2009, 03:20 PM
[quote=amateur_plumber;175950]I'm another Whirlpool/Lowes victim. Here are my grim facts:

My model: BFG1F4040S3PV (40 gallon, propane)

. Screw it, I'm not waiting to get the part just to make an appointment - I'll do it myself.

Jan 2 - New Valve arrives. They didn't send a thermocouple, interestingly. But it fires up, so I guess I didn't need one. It's all right-handed thread, so everything goes according to plan.

Like another one of the posters, I kind of get a satisfaction from tinkering with these things, so that offsets some of the aggravation.

No offence to you personally, but propane is a differnet kind of animal...

I am leerey of fooling with propane gas water heaters... you can get yourself killed easier with propane than natrual gas.


Whirlpool is stupid for sending out propane parts to just anyone...I would not sell them over the counter
and I would not give them to just anyone to install...


when propane gas leaks from a defective joint , it lays near the floor and usually you dont smell it,
then when you strike the striker for the heater,
you find yourself the next block over on the roof..

that is if you live through it.....

someday their will be a lawsuit ....someday.....http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

amateur_plumber
01-04-2009, 11:30 PM
Point taken, Mark, not offended.

Certainly I soaked all my propane connections in leak bubble test fluid - all looked good to start, but I had bubbles after 10 minutes on the connections to the valve (manifold tube and pilot tube). My own connections from the source were fine.

Interestingly the instructions say NOT to use thread sealant on the connections to the valve. So, I got the best leverage I could and cranked out another quarter turn out of each - re-tested twice - no bubbles.

I was a bit scared of over-tightening - it was way more torque than I'd normally be comfortable with, but I got the result. Wish they could have designed it with quasi-normal LP fittings, that you can just put TFE paste on and not have to worry about these delicate fittings.

Now that I think of it -- you're right, I wouldn't put this job in the hands of your average DIY-guy. It took a pretty diligent leak-hunt to fix everything correctly.

As for Whirlpool worried about being sued - I think their business decision making process is crystal clear to everyone by now -- the sheer volume and profit margins on these pieces of crap outweighs a lot of outcomes, including the class action settlement. Scary to think about.

hondo21
01-06-2009, 08:47 AM
Just to follow up on my situation noted above ...

I had been able to manually relight the pilot on my BFG unit and get hot water each time, but then the pilot always went out after the burn was over.

I went to Lowe's and bought two thermocouples (about $7 each), figuring to keep one as a spare. I replaced the old thermocouple and put it all back together. Same behavior. So now I'm thinking there must be something wrong with the gas valve/thermostat after all. I drained the tank and my plumbing-experienced friend came over and helped me install the stat unit I had previously picked up at Lowe's. He had the nice big box wrench that enabled us to turn the whole unit.

After installation, we still couldn't get the pilot to stay lit. In fact, it was even harder to light it. We took the manifold out again and inspected it. Everything looked good. Hooked up the pilot tube and lit the pilot external to the water heater to inspect the flame. The flame clearly was hitting the thermocouple, which was also properly seated and connected. Not knowing what else it could be we replaced the new thermocouple with the second new one. We also took pliers and gently squeezed the pilot assembly to move the spark unit and pilot slightly closer to the thermocouple.

Success! This one works fine and stays lit. I guess the first thermocouple was bad right out of the bag. Either that or the slight adjustment with the pliers helped somehow, but I really doubt that since it didn't move much at all. So the gas control/thermostat unit probably didn't need be replaced. Too late, we weren't about to drain the tank and put the old one back. I'll just keep it as a spare and I'll send the receipt in to Whirlpool for a warranty claim for both it and one thermocouple, and return the faulty new thermocouple to Lowes for refund.

Problem solved? Hopefully for the time being, but I intend to keep a thermocouple on hand for the expected future replacement need. If it happens too soon or too frequently I'll replace the water heater.

After doing it three times, I can say that removing and replacing that manifold unit is kind of a pain by the way. Trying to line up the both screws with the holes is difficult when you can't see them. They should have a better connecting method with fixed bolt posts or something that remains in place to ensure a quick and easy connection.

If nothing else, this has been an education and I'll be prepared to get a better water heater next time around.

Dunbar Plumbing
01-06-2009, 10:35 AM
hondo21,


I wasn't expecting you to have problem with your whirlpool flamelock water heater, so soon. ;)


I have to ask, as you've confirmed you've read my red print,


how many hours do you have invested in this water heater to keep it operable at this point?



Cuz I was gonna say,


when you get up to around 8, you qualify for an authorized Whirlpool Heater Associate. :D Plenty of job security with that title! No chance of a happy customer, either! :eek:

hondo21
01-06-2009, 10:47 AM
Ha. I don't think I'm up to 8 hours quite yet. Probably only about 3 to 4 hours of actual "repair" time. But if I count all the times laying on the floor to manually relight the pilot and travel time to Lowe's, it's probably getting close.

Maybe they'll issue me a uniform like the Maytag Repair Man. :)

Dunbar Plumbing
01-06-2009, 05:35 PM
Ha. I don't think I'm up to 8 hours quite yet. Probably only about 3 to 4 hours of actual "repair" time. But if I count all the times laying on the floor to manually relight the pilot and travel time to Lowe's, it's probably getting close.

Maybe they'll issue me a uniform like the Maytag Repair Man. :)



Wearing the Whirlpool name on your shirt will most likely get you shot in a Lowe's parking lot, wrapped with a red vest like they wear and sent off in a shopping cart for proper burial.


I'm tellin' ya; there's a whole lot of angry people over this product.

tyler99
01-08-2009, 11:05 AM
Today is the third year anniversary of the first post in this thread! Anyone going for 4???
===================================
I put an UG2F404T3NV in a rental to replace the 8yr old one that was still working so I wouldn't have any problems with new tenants. It's been 7 months and the pilot stopped working making the new tenants really upset. Talking to India there going to have a new gas valve delivered today. I'm wondering if I should install it or try to call Whirlpool and get service. Anyone have the Whirlpool number handy?
Where do I sign up for the class action suit? I'll probably lose renters over this.
Great help on this site, thanks

drayjr
01-08-2009, 03:03 PM
I have been having issues with this water heater for quite some time (model # FG1F3030S3NOV). The problem seems to be with the gas valve/thermostat. The BFG conversion kit has had to be installed (according to Lowe's and Whirlpool this would fix everything). Needless to say, it did not work. Then I was told that the flame trap must be dirty or clogged. This was not the case due to fact that the heater was place on blocks when installed just for the purpose of cleaning the flame trap which would have been almost impossible to access otherwise. After the kit did not take care of the problem, I changed the gas valve and immediately had a pilot light after just a few seconds of holding down that blasted red button. I just recently had to change the gas valve again (item #6910555) for the second time, after having to repeatedly light the pilot light over a period of 3 months to the point that it finally would not light at all. And yes it is exactly the same as the first replacement so I can figure on about 6 months to one year of hot water before I have to replace it again. In my case, it had nothing to do with the thermocouple, or the flame trap, or the conversion kit, as I was initially told by Whirlpool. The good news is...Whirlpool ground shipped me the gas valve this time at no cost, however I was told this would only be a one time shipment (this just tells me that they have not rectified the problem and fully expect it to happen again). They were extremely accomodating this time (kind of scary since this has not been their norm). So if anyone is still having problems you might want to call Whirlpool and see if they will ship you a gas valve as well. Even if you don't need it now.....you will eventually.

Redwood
01-08-2009, 05:21 PM
I'm going to say the solution once again!

As you read through these threads time and time again you hear the tale of how the "repair" kit was installed and it either did not work or, failed again after a short period of time.

The only known cure is to remove the Cesspool Water Heater from service and replace it with a Bradford-White or, Rheem Water Heater.

It's that simple!

Dunbar Plumbing
01-08-2009, 06:41 PM
What I can't understand is why somebody will join, read this entire thread or the majority of it,


and still have "hope" that their heater is "special" and that they'll pat it on side and hope it keeps working.



At some point of reasonable thinking aside from the cost perspective and peace of mind, you pull that hammer back, aim and shoot at the half dead animal on the side of the road,

and put the whole thing out of its misery.

Nobody gets a cookie for limping your piece of junk whirlpool heater along till the voice of "CHUCK or BILL" from India brings any sense of hope or promise listening to him authorizing parts from halfway around the world.


I gotta stop...lol.

Cass
01-09-2009, 03:19 AM
It is because no one wants to believe the "Deal" they got wasn't....or that a big company like the big box stores would sell a piece of junk...it does not compute...

gpb
01-10-2009, 04:32 PM
My husband installed the Whirlpool Flamelock "enhancement" kit some time in November 2008. I opened our gas bill for 11/31/08 to 12/31/08. It had tripled. We were gone 10 days of that period as well. We have gas heat, but in 15 years, we have never had a bill that high and we both like the house cool - around 69 in the winter.

The only thing that has changed was the replacement of that part in that Whirlpool water heater.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Thanks.

Wall to Wall Woods
01-11-2009, 10:23 AM
I installed the "T/C Enhancement Kit" myself and all went well. I also had great service with all whom I spoke with on the phone. However, I did make the mistake of ordering the kit "Next Day" for $20 at (http://www.flamelocksupport.com/kits.aspx) on Thursday evening expecting to receive it Friday. Wrong! I would not get it until Monday as they placed the shipment order on Friday. (order before 3:00 pm). The lady I spoke with said that I could place an additional order "Saturday Delivery" for $30 as long as I did it by 3:00pm (it is now Friday morning). I then called other Lowe's stores near my location and found the kit I needed (Type A). They said they would put my name on it and leave it at the service desk. It was a 40 mile one hour drive (very bad weather) but the kit was FREE! Great, now I can get started!


I started on it Saturday morning and encountered only one problem. This kit is fairly easy to install as long as you follow the instructions provided. However, the one problem I ran into was installing the 1/4 inch pilot tube and compression fitting into the valve. The fitting did not hold the line in! Oh S**T!!! This fitting is a one time shot as you will not find it in any hardware store! Here is a very helpful tip: When installing this fitting, the instructions tell you to: (1)screw the fitting into the valve finger tight only at first(this is correct) (2)push the 1/4 inch pilot line up into the fitting all the way until it comes to a dead stop(wrong)...this is actually correct but, when you tighten the fitting while holding the line in, you should back the line away from the dead stop no more than 1/16 of an inch. This allows the line some space to move forward a little when you tighten the fitting. (I believe that when I held the line to a dead stop and tightened the fitting, the line had no space to move as the fitting clamped onto the line. Therefore, when drawing the fitting up tight, the line broke free from the fitting as it had no space to move once clamped into the fitting. (I tried to explain this the best I could!)


1st pic: Gas valve with everything removed..........
http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_gas_control.jpg

2nd pic: empty Combustion Chamber..........
http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_chamber.jpg
3rd pic: Burner assembly..........
http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_burner.jpg

Wall to Wall Woods
01-11-2009, 02:31 PM
I installed the "T/C Enhancement Kit" myself and all went well. I also had great service with all whom I spoke with on the phone. However, I did make the mistake of ordering the kit "Next Day" for $20 at ( http://www.flamelocksupport.com/kits.aspx ) on Thursday evening expecting to receive it Friday. Wrong! I would not get it until Monday as they placed the shipment order on Friday. ( order before 3:00 pm ). The lady I spoke with said that I could place an additional order "Saturday Delivery" for $30 as long as I did it by 3:00pm (it is now Friday morning). I then called other Lowe's stores near my location and found the kit I needed (Type A). They said they would put my name on it and leave it at the service desk. It was a 40 mile one hour drive (very bad weather) but the kit was FREE! Great, now I don't have to spend another $30 and can get started on it today!


I started on it Saturday morning and encountered only one problem. This kit is fairly easy to install as long as you follow the instructions provided. However, the one problem I ran into was installing the 1/4 inch pilot tube and compression fitting into the valve. The fitting did not hold the line in! Oh S**T!!! This fitting is a one time shot as you will not find it in any hardware store! Here is a very helpful tip: When installing this fitting, the instructions tell you to: (1)screw the fitting into the valve finger tight only at first(this is correct) (2)push the 1/4 inch pilot line up into the fitting all the way until it comes to a dead stop(wrong)...this is actually correct but, when you tighten the fitting while holding the line in, you should back the line away from the dead stop no more than 1/16 of an inch. This allows the line some space to move forward a little when you tighten the fitting. (I believe that when I held the line to a dead stop and tightened the fitting, the line had no space to move as the fitting clamped onto the line. Therefore, when drawing the fitting up tight, the line broke free from the fitting as it had no space to move once clamped into the fitting. I hope you understand what I,m talking about(I tried to explain this the best I could!).....I did get lucky and managed to find a way to reuse the fitting which failed. Wheeewwwww!!! It is now Sunday morning at this time and I have hot water!!! Oh.....and I still have the other kit still on the way Monday morning also! I would be glad to help anyone with any questions concerning this particular model (fg1f4040s3nov)! ( guitarzan_brad@yahoo.com )...............





Here are a few more pictures to check out.

1st pic: Gas valve with everything removed..........
http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_gas_control.jpg

2nd pic: empty Combustion Chamber..........
http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_chamber.jpg

3rd pic: Burner assembly..........
http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_burner.jpg

edgrimly
01-12-2009, 10:23 AM
After doing it three times, I can say that removing and replacing that manifold unit is kind of a pain by the way. Trying to line up the both screws with the holes is difficult when you can't see them. .

The original housing at least let you take the bolts out and then you could see the mating holes through the housing. The new one came with clips to keep the bolts in the holes so you cannot see what your doing. Guess if your a trained Whirlpoo tech you don't need to see what your doing, just aim and screw it up.

edgrimly
01-12-2009, 11:18 AM
I'm going to say the solution once again!
As you read through these threads time and time again you hear the tale of how the "repair" kit was installed and it either did not work or, failed again after a short period of time.
The only known cure is to remove the Cesspool Water Heater from service and replace it with a Bradford-White or, Rheem Water Heater.

It's that simple!


reasonable thinking aside from the cost perspective and peace of mind, you pull that hammer back, aim and shoot at the half dead animal on the side of the road, and put the whole thing out of its misery. I gotta stop...lol.


So are you two gonna foot the next "Water Heater Bailout bill"?

I think most everyone on here (customers not businesses) bought the Whirlpoo because it was a name they knew and a name grown to trust. Unfortunately there are companies that buy up these names and then sell JUNK under the trusted name. So then the poor suckers (me included) come here and try to find out information (17 pages of it) only to be jumped on for thinking that maybe just maybe they can salvage the 300+ bucks they just lost. In today's economy it is hard to get that 300 back again. OF COURSE the next time we buy we will be getting something more substantial but who in their right mind would have thought at first glance Whirlpool was not substantial? First indicator should have been that it was at LOWES but hey, who wants the high pressure sales in a heating and cooling/plumbing shop? I just want a water heater and go home. That and Lowes is open when I can get there and do not need to take time off of work cause I really need the extra money to pay for the water heater... Personally I have been taken to the cleaners by more heating/cooling guys then I have by Lowes.

Tell you what, next time you get the urge to state your "solution" again, maybe you can tell us all exactly how you would do this without just throwing this FG (or BFG) thing into a truck and dumping it into the bay (or pulling a trigger so to speak). How could we maybe get something out of Lowes or American that we can actually use towards buying a Bradford White (whose name will be forever in my mind from reading your solution after every post). Think about it as if it were YOUR money you were throwing away, think as if YOU were a customer.

p.s. It is NOT in my nature to give up on a problem. I like to figure it out for myself and take pride in my work. If I had listened every time someone told me to just give up and throw something away I would be a much poorer man now. I believe you must be the same way otherwise you would not even be on here. And yes I do take it personal that you think we are all idiots.

Redwood
01-12-2009, 01:16 PM
So are you two gonna foot the next "Water Heater Bailout bill"?

I think most everyone on here (customers not businesses) bought the Whirlpoo because it was a name they knew and a name grown to trust. Unfortunately there are companies that buy up these names and then sell JUNK under the trusted name. So then the poor suckers (me included) come here and try to find out information (17 pages of it) only to be jumped on for thinking that maybe just maybe they can salvage the 300+ bucks they just lost. In today's economy it is hard to get that 300 back again. OF COURSE the next time we buy we will be getting something more substantial but who in their right mind would have thought at first glance Whirlpool was not substantial? First indicator should have been that it was at LOWES but hey, who wants the high pressure sales in a heating and cooling/plumbing shop? I just want a water heater and go home. That and Lowes is open when I can get there and do not need to take time off of work cause I really need the extra money to pay for the water heater... Personally I have been taken to the cleaners by more heating/cooling guys then I have by Lowes.

Tell you what, next time you get the urge to state your "solution" again, maybe you can tell us all exactly how you would do this without just throwing this FG (or BFG) thing into a truck and dumping it into the bay (or pulling a trigger so to speak). How could we maybe get something out of Lowes or American that we can actually use towards buying a Bradford White (whose name will be forever in my mind from reading your solution after every post). Think about it as if it were YOUR money you were throwing away, think as if YOU were a customer.

p.s. It is NOT in my nature to give up on a problem. I like to figure it out for myself and take pride in my work. If I had listened every time someone told me to just give up and throw something away I would be a much poorer man now. I believe you must be the same way otherwise you would not even be on here. And yes I do take it personal that you think we are all idiots.

Ed,

Believe me I understand your situation! I wouldn't like being in your position either! Sometimes you just have to be a realist though and in the case of these water heaters the design is flawed and American Water Heaters is not offering a solution. They have adopted the position of offereing 1/2 hearted "solutions" that fail to address the real issue of airflow into the burner, while they continue to offer and sell the flawed merchandise through Lowes resorting even to the trickery of substituting differend brand names of the same defective design. Until they either redesign the water heater to truly fix it or, pull it from the market there is no solution.

Put yourself in my shoes... I get called to go to a house and fix something that can't be fixed. I install the factory kit and it seems to work I write out the bill, get paid and leave. The problem is now that I own this water heater. I guarantee my work 6 months on repairs. Now several days later you call me back and the water heater is not working yet again. I'm fixing it for free! How many times in the next 6 months? Sorry! I know about the problem and all I can do is say what I say here! I have to work and make a profit in order to make a living. I cannot substidize the deceiteful business practices of American Water Heaters and Lowes. All I can do is call a spade a spade and hope that enough people see it that the future victims will be limited.

If I were you I'd pull that junker out and deliver it to Lowes and loudly state your case and demand your money back! They are the ones who continue to smile and bank the profits as they "build something together with you" then point to the sticker on the water heater that says not to return it to Lowes but call American Water Heaters India help line!

Evo_guy
01-12-2009, 04:38 PM
If you were to take your hotwater heater back to Lowe's (and I mean physically have it there with you), Lowe's will call me at Whirlpool and I will authorize an RA#.....but you have to have the tank with you.

Also, if your plumber/technician says you need a new one, they can fax over to Whirlpool their recommendation to replace, and we will follow through.

Redwood
01-12-2009, 08:03 PM
If you were to take your hotwater heater back to Lowe's (and I mean physically have it there with you), Lowe's will call me at Whirlpool and I will authorize an RA#.....but you have to have the tank with you.

Also, if your plumber/technician says you need a new one, they can fax over to Whirlpool their recommendation to replace, and we will follow through.

Does that mean thay they will be getting a "nice new" Whirlpool water heater or, they will get cash back so they can get a good water heater installed?:cool:

hussy250f
01-13-2009, 09:00 PM
I bought a Whirlpool Flamelock, LPG , 1 year ago from Lowes. The old B.W. blew a leak late on a Saturday, Lowes is nearby, blah blah blah. This new one went out about 3 weeks ago.
To shorten this post up I'll say that the thermocouple is fine, checked with a multimeter during lightup, and I have a clean flash arrestor in the bottom of the unit. I also checked for voltage before and after the "circuit breaker" located below and to the right of the gas valve, 22mv in (black wire), 19mv out (white wire).
Lowes did not have a LPG valve in stock, and most of the local plumbing supply places only carried the normal "I could care less" looks.
I called the # on the water heater, got them to send me a new gas valve, under warranty, so no cost to me. The new valve would not be in for a few days because this took place on a Friday. So I pulled the gas valve out of my old B.W. water heater, all the connections lined up and she fired right up even with the old thermocouple in place.
All I had to do was adjust the burner pressure down a bit to eliminate the slight yellow flickers off the ends of the burner flames, the yellow was not present when the Flamelock was in operation before this.
This past weekend I pulled apart the original Flamelock gas valve to see how the pilot circuit is setup. I found out that the white wire from the "circuit breaker" runs up into the temperature sensing element that protrudes into the tank and thru what I figure is a thermistor that must cut off the pilot circuit at some really high water temperature.
I'm figuring the thermistor breaks down internally over time and the pilot won't stay lit. When I get the time I'm going to try and rig up a test stand to put a controlled
heat source on the temperature sensing probe of the gas valve and see if the mv signal to the pilot circuit drops after a bunch of on / off cycles.
I would have to say the the problem I am diagnosing is centered in the RobertShaw gas valve and not the flash arrestor like some people here are saying. When I first started to lose the pilot, upon restart the burner would light right up and burn all blue flames, no yellow at all, stay "burner on" all thru a heat up cycle, shut off and then I could see the pilot slowly lose gas till it also died. I'm pretty sure if the main burner can work at all the pilot will not be starved for air between heat cycles, so pulling out the glass or drilling some holes in the unit won't help.
I don't know if the new gas valve has any changes from my original, but they do look identical. That would explain why the "upgrade" kits seem to have the same problem down the road. The thermistor in the temperature sensing tube would be the quick fix AWH and RobertShaw came up with to replace the left hand threaded thermocouple on the early models.I think I saw in a picture somewhere that left hand thermocouple had a bulge in the tubing back a bit from the coupling head.
Maybe if an AWH or RobertShaw employee is going thru this pile of post they can look into this.
And no, I still have not changed to the new gas valve.
I might just remove the sensing tube first to see if they changed that thermistor to a different spec part. Shes' still working fine with old B.W. gas valve.

Dunbar Plumbing
01-13-2009, 09:21 PM
If you were to take your hotwater heater back to Lowe's (and I mean physically have it there with you), Lowe's will call me at Whirlpool and I will authorize an RA#.....but you have to have the tank with you.

Also, if your plumber/technician says you need a new one, they can fax over to Whirlpool their recommendation to replace, and we will follow through.


No wonder you haven't been back after two posts, calling your own product "hotwater heater". :confused:


Talk about a sad state of affairs for all parties involved. :(

Dunbar Plumbing
01-13-2009, 09:42 PM
And yes I do take it personal that you think we are all idiots.



But apparently you take me for an idiot. Want me to prove it?


I've been in the biz too long to know why so many of these heaters are being installed,

PRICE.

They are the cheapest on the market, that's why you go there. Now, it doesn't stop at Lowe's,


this tracks to Home Quarters, aka the Craftmaster.


Before then, Furrows, and Central Hardware.


Customers going after the rock bottom price on a heater and they found it. Whoopee, want a gold star for that?


So you have people that don't have a effing clue to how a water heater operates, they just know the damn thing makes them feel good in the shower or on their hands, that's about it. Everything else is "Oh look honey, you can save $50 by going to Lowe's."

I'll say it again; the MAJORITY were driven to LOWES FOR PRICING, not quality, not brand name, not warranty. PRICE.

It's always about the price because every time I have to work on these damn things, I have to hear "Well I don't have a lot of money to fix this, how much is this going to cost" attitudes like it's my damn fault you made a stupid buying decision. Not so compadre. I didn't buy my logic in the sunday's sales flyer with your morning coffee and donut after church.


I can't even get customers of mine to join together and file a lawsuit...they got hot water! At least for the current moment, why waste all that time?


I CYA myself real well; I used to dump these service calls on these heaters and now I got smart:

Get those free parts, I'll put them in...but I'm not guaranteeing **** because I've done my job as a licensed plumber in trying to enforce logic and understanding over the phone that "you'll eventually rip this piece of crap out of your home, sooner than later" mentality and once again, the consumer fails at thinking knowledgeably and instructs me to part the unit together.

It almost always goes bad again, given the customer calling me back days/weeks/months later that somehow it's my fault it broke again? Screw you! I did my job, so did chuck or bill, larry from india...

you just didn't listen to reason when the product failed and it went into the twilight zone of repair after repair after repair.

It's plausible when a product has one, maybe two problems that relates to product dissatisfaction, but this heater takes the crown for having multiple problems and the answers aren't found in free parts whether at the store OR from the India hotline of hot water love. :D


So to end this ongoing rant of mine once again, I feel sympathy for anyone who makes the call to listen to my words when I'm asking them to believe me that the poor buying decision started this mess.

We all know big box stores don't offer the "best" product reliability when it comes to these products...otherwise there wouldn't be such a gap between the businesses that sell them exclusively.

When I see a Lowe's water heater, I see somebody trying to save a buck. I've been at this too long to see anything else. Most would call their plumber, let the plumber get their own heater from a supply house...


but apparently some like to get their product from the big business model of


"We care about you until our product breaks, and you'll still buy from us no matter how little we care."

PeteV
01-14-2009, 02:19 PM
I came up with my own solution. If my photo comes up OK, it will show that I wrapped aluminum foil around the thermocouple. This was to reduce the effect of rapid fluctuations of flame and temperature on it. I did this over a year ago and have not had a problem since. This is the second replacement of the original t.c. I will assume that if there is a real big flame or fire that the flamelock will work. If there are those that say I shouldn't have tampered with it, I dont give a c>>p, I am entitled to hot water and not having to run all over finding thermocouples. It seems that Lowes doesnt even carry it anymore. The purpose of my writing this is the hope that it may alleviate this problem for those who try it. Best of Luck. Pete

http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_bad_fix.jpg

Terry
01-14-2009, 02:43 PM
Terry Love Plumbing & Remodel DIY ask, advice & help forum
Ask your everyday plumbing questions. Get help, answers and advice, DIY welcome.

Just changed it.

Most of the time, it's pretty even keeled.
There are a few times when people but heads, that's true.
It's supposed to be a "treat each other with kindness" type of thing.
But sometimes the claws come out too.

I suppose some of it, is the way we were trained in the business.
Most of us were hammered a bit, to see if we would quit before they were done training us. It's a hard habit to quit sometimes.
They mean well, and sometimes, someone just walks into a long lasting argument, that the newcomer hasn't been aware of.
There is a lot of good information though, and they do have a sense of humor. Sometimes you just need hit them up alongside the head and get their attention. But it's never boring.

max432
01-14-2009, 02:53 PM
I'll say it again; the MAJORITY were driven to LOWES FOR PRICING, not quality, not brand name, not warranty. PRICE.

."[/B] [/CENTER]


Just curious. What do you think of people that would go to Sears for a water heater? I doubt that I would go to a DIY center for a water heater but in the past I have used Sears because I have always been happy with their appliances and the plumber they sent to install my water softner did an excellent job. I am the type that likes to see and touch the product before I buy. Price is important but not number 1 on my list. I want the "best value" which is seldom the lowest price.

Terry
01-14-2009, 03:20 PM
I think most plumbers are installing Rheem and Bradford White.

And from reading this thread, some are repairing Whirlpool installations done by others.

Dunbar Plumbing
01-14-2009, 03:55 PM
Just curious. What do you think of people that would go to Sears for a water heater? I doubt that I would go to a DIY center for a water heater but in the past I have used Sears because I have always been happy with their appliances and the plumber they sent to install my water softner did an excellent job. I am the type that likes to see and touch the product before I buy. Price is important but not number 1 on my list. I want the "best value" which is seldom the lowest price.


I encourage it. For one reason, customers have a credit card with sears. Also, sears usually tags a longer warranty on their product than the original mfg.


Not all plumbers like dealing with Sear's products, I'm a rareity. I have enough of them under my belt to say that if they were chronically defective, I'd be bashing them right here because they was costing me money.

You yourself might be one of the "best value" hunters out there, but I'm experiencing the exact opposite whenever I come across these Whirlpool heaters. It is the cheapest one out there, just like it was at HQ, Builders Square, Central Hardware, Furrows.

Seeing and touching the product is exactly why my customers usually always have faucets and disposals, toilets already there at the home for me to install because they got their hands on it firsthand. It's all good by me; if it malfunctions I'm sitting right there charging for the downtime.


We are both on the same wavelength on this topic.

Dunbar Plumbing
01-14-2009, 04:14 PM
whosyer12,




Let's take away that I'm smart, and let us say I'm just well informed. I'm like the constantly drunk uncle that you have to invite to the family gatherings even though he's like a ticking time bomb sitting on the couch, everybody stays away from him because if you talk to him, anything is capable of happening and the statements are as disturbing as Rosie ODonnell's underwear. :eek:

Informed is meaning I'm becoming a catch all for this product. I've went from avoiding working on them to taking the money because I can't convince people to dump the product. It's horrible.

Whose side do you think I'm on...Whirlpool? I've been around this thread for a long time, I've watched it grow, and as of late, I'm heavily throwing my opinion out there for all to see because NOTHING is changing with the victims of this product.

They want to keep throwing parts at this, keep laying down every night wondering if they'll have hot water in the morning. Now I'm taking a different approach, ridiculing the notion that this is logical thinking on behalf of the property owner. I'll hear the "I'm broke" excuse, or "I'll just see what happens" mentality.

With what I know, the angry customers that call me furious at Lowes and Whirlpool, why would you think that I care what a solo voice has to say about my rhetoric. Track my posts and you'll see that I offer my advice to those I feel deserve it. Being criticized means as much to me as getting thanked.

Just remember that my poor attitude you've characterized me by has everything to do with the DIY/homeowner not coming to the plate to get away from this product when it clearly is riddled with more problems than fixes. If you're one of those diehards that wants to stick by your $350 investment, have at it.....because this product isn't a very expensive product in the big picture.

I can't see how the average person would take as much effort, deal without hot water, inconvenience their family out of stubbornness.

One example; dishwasher. Costs the same and after one repair people will chuck it, get rid of it. It just makes plain sense. This water heater though because it's big and clean, looks important, seems like people are looking for the hardship, and that points back to my statement about people driven by price.

The buying choice has robbed the person of a once "good deal". You shouldn't be ragging me, you should be praising me for trying to bring this out in the open.

How many Whirlpool heaters have you repaired whosyer12?

What did you tell them, how did you respond to the first, third, 42nd phone call when the person on the other end of the phone is upset that their less than 30 month old heater is not working anymore.

biking_brian
01-21-2009, 11:16 PM
I have a Whirlpool UG model that I bought in 5/08. The pilot light problems started 1/09, just 8 months later.

I called the toll free number and someone from Johnson City suggested that I check the current on the thermocouple. The thermocouple was OK.

Then I found this thread - and although I've only read pages 13 through 18, I've decided I'm not going to waste my time ordering replacement gas valves, etc., when I know that in the end I'm going to get a new water heater anyway. I just need to buy some time while I try to get a refund. Any advice for keeping the water heater limping along in the meantime?

BTW, the one point I take issue with in this thread is the notion that most of us bought these water heaters just to save a buck. In my area the choices are Home Depot, Lowes, or call a plumber. Although I was in a hurry to get a new water heater put in to keep the family happy, I figured it was a simple enough DIY project to not have to pay a plumber. So that left Home Depot or Lowes, and from past experience with other products, they both carry trusted brand names of comparable quality. So it boiled down to me just happening be closer to Lowes that day.

biking_brian
01-24-2009, 07:45 AM
I called technical support again. They said they could overnight a valve to me and have a plumber install it for me, both at no charge. Couldn't hurt I figured, so I had them overnight the valve. I called the plumber to set up an appointment but he didn't want to do so until the parts arrived. The parts didn't arrive early enough today for me to schedule with the plumber, so it would have to wait until after the weekend, and I happen to be traveling next weekend.

I'm convinced that the "fixes" such as promptly sending new gas valves is a stall tactic without solving the root problem.

I didn't hear any responses to my question about how to keep the water heater "limping along" - so I assume the only solution is to light the pilot right after getting out of bed, have breakfast first, and then take my shower. :D

Cass
01-24-2009, 11:30 AM
Saturday, January 24, 2009...14:50 hours...I am heading out to a Whirlpool (Cesspool) water heater call...guess for what...no hot water...can you believe that...seems hard to believe....

Dunbar Plumbing
01-24-2009, 05:03 PM
They said they could overnight a valve to me and have a plumber install it for me, both at no charge. Couldn't hurt I figured, so I had them overnight the valve. I called the plumber to set up an appointment but he didn't want to do so until the parts arrived. The parts didn't arrive early enough today for me to schedule with the plumber, so it would have to wait until after the weekend, and I happen to be traveling next weekend.

I'm convinced that the "fixes" such as promptly sending new gas valves is a stall tactic without solving the root problem.

I didn't hear any responses to my question about how to keep the water heater "limping along" - so I assume the only solution is to light the pilot right after getting out of bed, have breakfast first, and then take my shower. :D



There is no limping along on these heaters. The most important component on these are the items you're receiving. Just get to know chuck in india on a first name basis so he remembers ya the next time you call.

Nothing wrong with taking issues about choice by price. We all know big box stores offer everything cheaper than say a plumbing supply house or building supply, it's guaranteed to be. That's why they move so much inventory; cheaper.


Without being cynical...wait, I'm going to try real hard, you could take that gas valve out, burner assembly out, turn that into a small kindling fire from sticks out back. Just stoke it like a woodburning stove, no more calls to india.

If you happen to find defective twigs in your back yard, this world is truly coming to an end real soon.


This thread died for a really long time, I thought I made a difference. History is repeating itself again.


Cass! Make sure you sell them the extended warranty! Don't back down! They must be protected!

biking_brian
01-24-2009, 11:18 PM
Ask almost anyone nowadays who sells water heaters, and likely the only places they will come up with are the big box stores. For many of us in newer suburbs, the big box stores are indeed the only option - unless we want to drive a long ways to a place we've never shopped at before. So it's not just a question of price, it's a question of (perceived) availability.

As long as AWHC is going to make crappy heaters, Whirlpool puts its name on them, and Lowe's sells them, history will continue to repeat itself. Because when the water heater goes, the average person isn't going to have time to do the research - need a quick fix ASAP to keep the family happy! But don't despair, this thread has still made a difference (at least for me) - although I didn't see the thread soon enough to avoid buying the water heater, at least I know now not to have any false hopes for long-term success. Furthermore, maybe a lot of would-be buyers have seen this thread and decided to get another brand instead? On the other hand, maybe there's a lot of people who are stuck with these and haven't seen this thread, and they're dealing multiple calls to India, thinking that they're the only one with this problem, and they haven't had hot water for weeks?

More to follow on my situation when I have more time...

Redwood
01-25-2009, 06:36 AM
Ask almost anyone nowadays who sells water heaters, and likely the only places they will come up with are the big box stores. For many of us in newer suburbs, the big box stores are indeed the only option - unless we want to drive a long ways to a place we've never shopped at before. So it's not just a question of price, it's a question of (perceived) availability.

It depends on who you ask!

http://www.bradfordwhite.com/finda.asp

biking_brian
01-26-2009, 08:43 PM
Sunday I went to my local Lowe's, without the water heater and explained my situation to the lady at the returns desk. She said if I had the water heater with me I could return it if I wasn't satisfied with the product. I mentioned that I had to go home and get it, so I was back with it about an hour later. There was a different person at the returns desk when I returned. She had to call a manager in the plumbing department to authorize the return. The conversation went like this:

Manager: "Are you going to exchange this for a new water heater?"
Me: "No."
Manager: "Why not?"
Me: "Because it's a piece of crap."
Manager: "You know, the other ones across the street (i.e., Home Depot) are the same ones made by American Water Heater Company."
Me: "No they're not."
Manager: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yes, they're GE water heaters made by Rheem."

At that point he said nothing else to me, turned the cashier, and authorized the return. Finally, success!

The return process was less painful than I had expected. I felt a bit bad for the manager because it was obvious that he knew of the problems with these water heaters, but he probably had instructions from above to do some token push back on the returns.

Redwood
01-26-2009, 11:01 PM
Sunday I went to my local Lowe's, without the water heater and explained my situation to the lady at the returns desk. She said if I had the water heater with me I could return it if I wasn't satisfied with the product. I mentioned that I had to go home and get it, so I was back with it about an hour later. There was a different person at the returns desk when I returned. She had to call a manager in the plumbing department to authorize the return. The conversation went like this:

Manager: "Are you going to exchange this for a new water heater?"
Me: "No."
Manager: "Why not?"
Me: "Because it's a piece of crap."
Manager: "You know, the other ones across the street (i.e., Home Depot) are the same ones made by American Water Heater Company."
Me: "No they're not."
Manager: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yes, they're GE water heaters made by Rheem."

At that point he said nothing else to me, turned the cashier, and authorized the return. Finally, success!

The return process was less painful than I had expected. I felt a bit bad for the manager because it was obvious that he knew of the problems with these water heaters, but he probably had instructions from above to do some token push back on the returns.

Good For You!

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/Redwood39/smiley_with_thumbs_up.gif

Another satisfied Ex-Whirlpool Customer!

Cass
01-27-2009, 06:14 AM
I love working on Whirlpool water heaters...every one I work on is a future sale of a real water heater when they finally get tired of throwing $$$ away or going without HW for a while...people tend to freak out when there is no HW...they will do without many things but HW tends to be one thing that is top of the list of not being with out...

CarlH
01-27-2009, 02:47 PM
My parents were visiting this weekend and I mentioned that I was planning on replacing my water heater soon. He then tells me that he had recently stopped at Lowes to look at water heaters. I told him not to bother with that junk and told him to contact a plumber in his area to get a Bradford White.

Hey. This thread that will not die has saved yet another person from frustration...

Redwood
01-28-2009, 11:43 AM
My parents were visiting this weekend and I mentioned that I was planning on replacing my water heater soon. He then tells me that he had recently stopped at Lowes to look at water heaters. I told him not to bother with that junk and told him to contact a plumber in his area to get a Bradford White.

Hey. This thread that will not die has saved yet another person from frustration...

Thats all we hope for it to do!

removethehaze
01-29-2009, 09:51 PM
I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

Is this heat that bad??????

Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????:eek:

Dunbar Plumbing
01-30-2009, 12:21 AM
I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

Is this heat that bad??????

Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????:eek:



Let's see, you've spent $715.00 with your plumber to make two repairs on your water heater?


I'd say another $285.00 putting another kit in, bringing the grand total to $1000.00 to fix a water heater that'll break again...


I don't know.

Cass
01-30-2009, 03:05 AM
I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

Is this heat that bad??????

Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????:eek:



Where do you live...Did he install that heater originaly...If yes What did he charge... do you use this plumber all the time???

Redwood
01-30-2009, 04:33 AM
I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

Is this heat that bad??????

Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????:eek:

You're lucky you found someone to install it...
I don't repair whirlpool gas water heaters...
I replace them!

rbarton
01-30-2009, 10:11 AM
I just found this thread two days ago. I wish I would have found it sooner! We have 5 of these units at my office. Ironically, a couple of them are still working with the original thermocouple. One had a replacement put in 2 months ago and it is still working. Then my boss decides to volunteer me to check on the last one to stop working. While searching for parts by model number, I came across this thread. Unbelievable!

I received a retro-fit kit from American Water Heater through Whirlpool on Wednesday and installed it yesterday. This particular water heater is located on a platform about 30 feet in the air in a warehouse. The kit consisted of the new manifold/door assembly, thermocouple adapter, and gas valve/thermostat.

I followed the instructions to the letter, just to ensure that nothing was overlooked. As I attempted to light the pilot light, it caught on the first push of the igniter. I held the pilot button down for about 60 seconds and released it. The pilot went out immediately. So I tried again 3 more times. When that didn't work, I detached and replaced the wire leads for the resettable thermocouple and made sure everything I had replaced was in order. Still nothing. Out of frustration, I held the stupid red pilot button down for 5 minutes and it went out as soon as released. Out went the pilot.

I have not contacted AWH or Whirlpool yet concerning this matter but I wanted to see if anyone else here has has this issue after installing their kit? I noticed that some of the kits mentioned seems to have different components than what mine came with. I could have easily overlooked this in reading over 18 pages of posts on this subject. There is a test in the instructions concerning checking the resettable thermocouple with a meter that I have not done as yet. I have to be lifted by forklift in order to gain access to the area the water heater resides in and have not been able to do that yet today. It seems to me that it would have to be either a faulty thermocouple setup or the gas valve/thermostat they furnished.

If any of you has seen this same thing with the new kit, please let me know. Thanks!

Cass
01-30-2009, 12:32 PM
It may be the gas valve that is bad and not able to read the millivolts coming from the thermocouple...

rbarton
01-30-2009, 12:39 PM
It may be the gas valve that is bad and not able to read the millivolts coming from the thermocouple...

Thanks for the input. Is there anything obvious I could have likely done to the new one to foul it up during installation? I used a large pipe wrench with rubber jaw covers to install it and tightened it to the last point I could where it was still in the proper operating orientation.

I know this is all just a band-aid even if it does work in the end. Still it is all I have to work with right now. I will likely perform the tcouple test on Monday to see how that works out.

Thanks again.

Dunbar Plumbing
01-30-2009, 06:03 PM
I'd love to know how much money this thread has saved the unsuspecting buyer from making a bad purchase.



I think Terry should win a golden globe award for product awareness in the plumbing industry.


What other benchmark offers this much?


Nothing.

Redwood
01-30-2009, 10:52 PM
I just found this thread two days ago. I wish I would have found it sooner! We have 5 of these units at my office. Ironically, a couple of them are still working with the original thermocouple. One had a replacement put in 2 months ago and it is still working. Then my boss decides to volunteer me to check on the last one to stop working. While searching for parts by model number, I came across this thread. Unbelievable!

I received a retro-fit kit from American Water Heater through Whirlpool on Wednesday and installed it yesterday. This particular water heater is located on a platform about 30 feet in the air in a warehouse. The kit consisted of the new manifold/door assembly, thermocouple adapter, and gas valve/thermostat.

I followed the instructions to the letter, just to ensure that nothing was overlooked. As I attempted to light the pilot light, it caught on the first push of the igniter. I held the pilot button down for about 60 seconds and released it. The pilot went out immediately. So I tried again 3 more times. When that didn't work, I detached and replaced the wire leads for the resettable thermocouple and made sure everything I had replaced was in order. Still nothing. Out of frustration, I held the stupid red pilot button down for 5 minutes and it went out as soon as released. Out went the pilot.

I have not contacted AWH or Whirlpool yet concerning this matter but I wanted to see if anyone else here has has this issue after installing their kit? I noticed that some of the kits mentioned seems to have different components than what mine came with. I could have easily overlooked this in reading over 18 pages of posts on this subject. There is a test in the instructions concerning checking the resettable thermocouple with a meter that I have not done as yet. I have to be lifted by forklift in order to gain access to the area the water heater resides in and have not been able to do that yet today. It seems to me that it would have to be either a faulty thermocouple setup or the gas valve/thermostat they furnished.

If any of you has seen this same thing with the new kit, please let me know. Thanks!

I think the best thing for you to do with this water heater is disconnect it and load it onto the forklift to bring it down to where you can work on it comfortably.

As you go to move the forklift with the water heater on the forks perhaps let the clutch out a little fast with the foot on the gas to hard then hit the brake hard...

Oopppps! It was an accident...
Guess we better go pick up a Bradford White....

PeteV
01-31-2009, 07:11 AM
My Whirlpool heater has now gone about 1 1/2 years after putting the third thermocouple in, along with the aluminum foil shield that I posted a picture of on 1/14/09. I know that a professional plumber could not legally do this, but for the average homeowner, it could alleviate alot of problems. My heater is now 4 1/2 years old, and in this part of the country, we only get about 6 years out of one usually.

aititi
01-31-2009, 07:25 PM
Wish I'd caught this thread about 8 months ago. I'll keep trying to get it working but after reading this I expect I'll be replacing it in a couple months. Any recommendations, I will be installing it so no bradford white. How are the heaters Home Depot sells, GE's I think?

Anyway this thread has been a big help to me, I know to not waste money on the piece of junk and start saving for a new heater asap.


Edit: Looking at home depot they have 2 different models: PG40S09AVJ00 and GG40S06AVJ00 is one better than the other? I am low on cash atm, just graduated college and just started working so saving some money is good for me... But I don't want a heater that will not last even a year again...

Redwood
02-01-2009, 07:59 AM
The GE's sold by HD are made by Rheem. They may be an extra cheap version or not but they will not have the problem that these whirlpools have.

rbarton
02-02-2009, 05:21 AM
I will likely perform the tcouple test on Monday to see how that works out.Thanks again.

Just finished this test and wow...what a shocker...the replacement tcouple setup failed their own test. :mad:

I hate to even waste a phone call to these people to report it but I know the company will not spring for a new water heater when this one is only 2 years old.

Redwood
02-02-2009, 07:11 AM
Apparently they feel that your time has no value.

Ah what the heck you have to be there for 8 hours anyway...

rbarton
02-02-2009, 07:32 AM
Apparently they feel that your time has no value.

Ah what the heck you have to be there for 8 hours anyway...

Ha! The sad thing is you may be right. I am salaried! I have to get my work done regardless of what other issues I deal with. If you knew what my actual job title is, this would make it even more humorous or sad, depending on which side you are looking at it from. Systems Analyst / Data Services Manager....now doesn't that just scream qualified to work on plumbing :confused:

Redwood
02-02-2009, 07:53 AM
I can't believe that any company in their right mind would have an unqualified person working on a gas appliance...
Click Here (http://www.osha.gov/html/Feed_Back.html)

master plumber mark
02-13-2009, 12:23 PM
hard to believe , but I have had 8 calls for
whirlpool water heaters this week..

all acting up due to the thermal fuse on the side of it.....

all of them are the newer units under 2 years old.

I am wondering if the change of the water temp has
something to do with the high of calls on them this week...




I got one in my shop that I am going to tear apart
to take a better look at next week.....,,.

.I dont get a good feeling about any of this either, its like
every last one of the " new improved ones "
are going to fail soon and all at once.......

that would be very bad for Lowes.....very bad....,


send out a sunami alert......

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/



.

Dunbar Plumbing
02-13-2009, 09:00 PM
hard to believe , but I have had 8 calls for
whirlpool water heaters this week..

all acting up due to the thermal fuse on the side of it.....

all of them are the newer units under 2 years old.

I am wondering if the change of the water temp has
something to do with the high of calls on them this week...




I got one in my shop that I am going to tear apart
to take a better look at next week.....,,.

.I dont get a good feeling about any of this either, its like
every last one of the " new improved ones "
are going to fail soon and all at once.......

that would be very bad for Lowes.....very bad....,


send out a sunami alert......



.




Take some C-4 explosives and blow it up, post the pictures,

That'll really promote sales of them heaters.


What we need is someone to photoshop a picture of a few hundred of these orphaned heaters in a parking lot at Lowe's, then make sure it becomes fodder across the internet for all it's worth.

master plumber mark
02-14-2009, 07:40 AM
Rugged....

I Decided to upgrade my web site with more information than
you really want to know about this piece of junk

enough to choke a horse....


tell me if you think its pretty http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

http://www.terrylove.com/images/mark/mark_wh_wp_01.jpg

http://www.terrylove.com/images/mark/mark_wh_08.jpg

dust, lint, cat hair, dog hair, people hair.....ect
http://www.terrylove.com/images/mark/mark_wh_02.jpg

JMH3
02-15-2009, 01:27 PM
Hi Folks!

I wish I had known about all this before I bought 1 of these from Lowes last week! I thought it was odd it included a complete separate burner unit.
It was installed last Tues and the pilot light would not stay lit all day, I would have to light it every nite after work. Lucky for me there is a 3" floor vent coming up under the unit so I think it's getting sufficient air.
The pilot has been working ok since I adjusted the vent at the top I had to shorten my vent pipe for the hood to fit correctly.
The only thing that is troubling me now is the loud pop when the burner fires up, it's louder than any other w/heater I ever heard.
Is that normal for this unit? If not how should I go about fixing it?
Thanks! John

master plumber mark
02-15-2009, 01:42 PM
a loud pop is not a good thing...

too much gas and not enough air in the mix ????


also , what are they giving you now with the unit

when you purchase it....a complete seperate burner unit???

were you supposed to take the unit apart and to install this new burner unit??

maybe you ought to call the "experts at lowes"

and ask about this...




http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/..


I got to go out tomorrow and look at one of these peices of junk

its such a waste of time

JMH3
02-15-2009, 02:19 PM
Yes, a complete burner assembly was in the box. There was no note,etc., to tell one to replace the installed unit with the other one. Maybe I should install the extra one and see what happens but I am tired of messing with the *&^%$ thing. I was told that maybe there was too much air going in and the loud pop was delayed combustion but from what I have read here I don't see how that could be.

master plumber mark
02-15-2009, 05:33 PM
Yes, a complete burner assembly was in the box. There was no note,etc., to tell one to replace the installed unit with the other one. Maybe I should install the extra one and see what happens but I am tired of messing with the *&^%$ thing. I was told that maybe there was too much air going in and the loud pop was delayed combustion but from what I have read here I don't see how that could be.

Tell me it aint so,

they sell you a water heater with an extra burner
assembly along with the heater, but dont tell you to change it>???

SO They just give you an extra one in the box
cause they already know you will need it.......LOL.....

I would consider takeing the thing out and marching down to lowes with it... and asking for my money back... piss on them


AMERICAN WATER HEATERS has gone into
TOTAL COMPLETE DENIAL


http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

JMH3
02-15-2009, 07:36 PM
Well I took the old one out by myself, put this one in by myself. I had to do some changes to my cold water line and other things to get it hooked up and no leaks.
I really hate the thought of doing all that over again, lol!
If I could just figure out the loud BAM when the burner fires up I could live with it, I think. The first time it fired up my dogs barked.

JMH3
02-17-2009, 02:19 PM
I just got off the phone with American Water Heater tech support about these issues and guess what?
The tech informed me that the heater I had was not supposed to be installed with indoor access due to HUD Regs., it was for an outside closet on a mobile home. He said if I leave it where it is I was supposed to seal the door.
I wish the saleman at Lowes had informed me of this! Can I use the thing where it is in the original w/h closet or am I going to have to move it outside, build a shed and re plumb the whole mess?
I can't afford to eat the $450 I already have invested and go out and buy a new heater.
Can someone give me some options? Thanks!

sedin26
02-18-2009, 08:38 AM
If you've read through the thread, you already know that the only reasonable course of action is to take the heater back to Lowe's and go out and get a Bradford White or Rheem unit somewhere.

If you continue with what you have, it is highly likely that you will experience continuing problems.

Based on the posts from other members above, it appears that it is not a problem to return the heater to Lowe's.

dougmiceli
03-02-2009, 06:29 PM
Hey I've been following the threads about my whirlpool water holder(heater would be a misnomer). Last week my tenant called to tell me she had no hot water. I tried the usual things. Pilot wouldn't stay lit blah blah. Called Hodgy in India and he said they would send me the replacement part for free and then offered me a menu of prices depending on how fast I needed it. I thought at that moment how long would the wife of the president of Whirlpool put up with not having hot water. I took the two day delivery for 20.00. I figured out how to install it and vacumed the screen and also around the tank. That being said it's worked for 4 hours so far. That particular 40 gal. tank was purchased by my ex-wife for that house(whole nother story) ANyway I was upset because about a month ago I had a problem with a whirlpool water heater I bought at Loews(I know ugh). I had no idea! Anyway I called whirlpool because it was less than a year old. This time american chick on the phone sent a local plumber over N/C. He didn't even really look at it before he whipped out a new control box and just arbitrarily started to install it! I said "I guess they know the units are junk." Anyway now it seems like it doesn't give me a full tank of hot water. While I'm showering I have to keep turning down the cold water to keep the water hot. By the time I'm done showering the cold is all the way OFF! What the hell is going on now?? Two whirlpools two problems both junk. Uhm my bathtub doesn't hold 40 gallons of hot water. UNBELIEVABLE! Anyway who can help me with this new charming feature of american water world? Besides a bullet in the back of my head...Thanks Doug

Cass
03-03-2009, 03:22 AM
Did you check to see if he changed the temp at on the dial and didn't turn it back up...it sounds like it is set very low or the gas valve / thermostat is bad

firepro
03-04-2009, 05:32 PM
Wanted to thank everybody for the information. I have just expereinced this problem in one of our rentals and with the input, its a lot easier decision just to replace it then try to fix it. The unit was 2 years old and it was in a new house.

I do kind of take exception to Rugged. He makes the argument that because we picked a low price product we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I can tell you I hire a lot of contractors and beleive me there is no reason to trust anyone just because they happen to be a plumber. There are some honest, dishonest, Ignorant and smart plumbers. My experience in contracting is I have hired many plumbers and then had to have our crew go behind them to do the job right, many times.

I would think you could trust Lowes and Whirlpool as much as you could trust your average plumber. In fact it seems that Lowes in case after case has tried to take back units they were selling. Seems like the right thing to do.

In consumer reports they do scientific and extensive testing on many products and very often the highest priced product is not rated the best. Sure their results are occaisionally controversial but at least their based on science and most major products are tested.

Take for example, a plumber that might have a charge account with a plumbing supply company that handles one type of water heater or maybe only one type in stock so he gets that one, or maybe he gets a bigger discount on one brand than the other. How is this different than buying one as cheap as possible at Lowes.

Recently I went into Discount Tire and the salesman tried to upsale me on tires saying that the ratings on treadware were meaningless and essentialy I just had to take his word on it. He further stated that the manufacturers themselves give these ratings and therefore they could not be trusted. I told him let me think about it, I then went back to the office where I googled it and in fact he was wrong, the manufactures dont provide this information but that all tires are taken to the same test track and ran through the same course, to get these ratings. So much for trusting the Salesperson.

A lot of times products are priced according to who buys them. There is one major paint company that sells paint in Consumer Grade and Contractor Grade for 30% less, and it's the same paint.

You can pay the same amount of money for a top of the line cadillac and a similar featured lexus but if you think there is any comparison in reliability look at the April issue of consumer reports. This information comes directly from the consumers. There is no comparison between these two cars in reliability even though they might be priced about the same.

I do think that a company that doesnt stand behind their product should be put out of business by customers telling the whole world. This forum has at least helped me and now I know to stay away from American water heaters.

The bottom line is if your going to spend money on something that can burn your house down or blow up or flood your house or cost a lot of money its probably worth doing some reserach on the water heater and the plumber and that doesnt mean just asking the guy with a horse in the race.

By the way I have bought several houses over the years that have caught on fire becuase of water heater malfunction or improper installation.

Ray

Flamelocksucks
03-04-2009, 09:32 PM
I have a Whirlpool Flame Lock LP water heater. Wish I didn't. Model # BFG1F5040T3PV. Bought it March 10, 2008 from my local Lowe's in Newton, NJ. The unit crapped out last Sunday. Pilot won't stay lit. Whirlpool or American sent me a box containing an entire burner unit assembly. Only needed a thermocouple. Got the new TC off the new assembly and replaced my existing. This one lit once and won't light again. Whirlpool is disappointing.

Cass
03-05-2009, 03:01 AM
If it won't light with the new one it is because the Gas control valve is the problem not the thurmocouple...

http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_gas_control.jpg

Cass
03-05-2009, 03:05 AM
By the way I have bought several houses over the years that have caught on fire becuase of water heater malfunction or improper installation.

Ray

If you have that many homes that have caught fire because of the water heater then any home you buy in the future you should change the heater from gas to electric...you are jinxed...I do work for a LL that has close to 200 scattered single family rentals with about 90% or more of them gas water heaters and in the almost 20 years I have been working for him can't recall 1 fire he has had caused from a water heater...

master plumber mark
03-05-2009, 03:24 AM
I have a Whirlpool Flame Lock LP water heater. Wish I didn't. Model # BFG1F5040T3PV. Bought it March 10, 2008 from my local Lowe's in Newton, NJ. The unit crapped out last Sunday. Pilot won't stay lit. Whirlpool or American sent me a box containing an entire burner unit assembly. Only needed a thermocouple. Got the new TC off the new assembly and replaced my existing. This one lit once and won't light again. Whirlpool is disappointing.


you got to get it more air, it needs more air...
changeing out the thermocoupling is simply not enough...

kingsotall
03-05-2009, 05:21 AM
Flamelocksux,
Did you test the thermocouple with a multi meter¿ Or how are you determining that it is the thermocouple¿ Worked on one the other day and tested the thermocouple first, it went up in millivolts DC like it should. Pilot still would not stay lit. Called American told them I tested the tc and they overnighted free of charge a gas control valve. Did the trick. Oh, yeah, due to a "glitch" in their system the part took two days.

Disconnect thermocouple from gas control, set multi meter to millivolts DC to a range within 200, attach with alligator clips red test lead to copper part of thermocouple and black test lead to silver end of thermocouple. Follow pilot lighting procedure and once pilot light lights with red button on gas control pushed down watch the multimeter. If it goes up from 0-12 millivolts or more thermocouple is good. One I tested went to 17 before I called it good.

http://www.terrylove.com/images/wp/wp_gas_control.jpg

agk
03-08-2009, 09:16 PM
We purchased a Whirlpool 30gallon water heater with the flame lock model in November of 2007 from Lowes. As many people have reported, the pilot light would not stay on. My husband first went to our local small business plumbing supply store to get a replacement part. The owner told him that he hears about this problem at least once a week! My husband researched the model number and found many complaints about customers dealing with both Lowes and Whirlpool.

So, we decided to attempt returning the faulty water heater back to Lowe’s and request our money back $348. At first, the customer service manager told us that the standard procedure to correct the problem is for us to work directly with the manufacturer. We told her that we researched the repair on-line, were shocked to find the many customer complaints and that we did not want to spend the time and energy in repairing it. We printed the first 5 pages of the water heater complaints from the Consumer Affairs site and showed them to her, pointing out the 182 total pages with the most recent complaints on 3/3/2009. We told her that we were very surprised that Lowe’s continued to sell an inferior quality water heater, even after a class action suit. She picked up the phone and talked to another manager. They both agreed they had not heard about this issue before, but agreed to refund the money. Lowe’s returned our money! Way to go Lowe’s.

I hope that others can benefit from our experience and can get their money back. As some of the writers said, when a water heater goes out, one does not make the time to research because it really is an emergency to get hot water running in the home. So, don’t buy one from Lowe’s!

Redwood
03-08-2009, 09:30 PM
Almost 54,000 views of this thread...
We'd like to think it did some good!:D
Evidently in your case the research worked.
I do hope that you picked up a Bradford White or, Rheem as a replacement.

master plumber mark
03-09-2009, 04:06 AM
I have a Whirlpool Flame Lock LP water heater. Wish I didn't. Model # BFG1F5040T3PV. Bought it March 10, 2008 from my local Lowe's in Newton, NJ. The unit crapped out last Sunday. Pilot won't stay lit. Whirlpool or American sent me a box containing an entire burner unit assembly. Only needed a thermocouple. Got the new TC off the new assembly and replaced my existing. This one lit once and won't light again. Whirlpool is disappointing.


I know that I am just repeating myself,
but fooling with an LP water heater is fairley dangerous ,,,

and then to be expected to break it down every so
often to clean the air screen is absolutely insane.

why not give a monkey a loaded revolver with the hammer
cocked back and see what will eventually happen???


and they send you the wrong parts so you can play russian roulette
with your LP water heater... I think that is just wonderful.



I wonder what kind of insurance Whirlpooh has that allows
them to send out parts to people that have never
messed with GAS water heaters before??.



either way good luck...be careful


.


http://weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/






t

dougmiceli
03-12-2009, 05:13 PM
The thermostat control valve is turned all the way up and as a matter of fact I had this problem before a tech came out and replaced it so what else might it be???

kingsotall
03-12-2009, 06:14 PM
What might what else be¿

onealmr
03-16-2009, 10:09 AM
Whirlpool or American sent me a box containing an entire burner unit assembly. Only needed a thermocouple. .

It's not going to be the T/Couple. It's going to be the G/Valve. Let me spell that out just so you're not confused...... it's going to be the gas valve. The t/couple is protected by the thermal switch. I recommend you clean the ft-vent at least twice a year. Go through Whirlpool to get the g/valve. Lowe's doesn't have any. I think they can ship it to you for free and for overnight.

Redwood
03-17-2009, 07:42 AM
I think they can ship it to you for free and for overnight.

No, they charge extra for expedited shipping...

Somehow I find it odd that their good will for the customer expects that someone would wait without hot water in the home, for free shipping via bicycle courier across the country....

Just one more good reason to tear it out and return it to Lowes...
By the end of the day you could have a Bradford White installed in it's place and never have to wonder if the water heater is going to work or, not...

dougmiceli
03-17-2009, 07:55 AM
I love the pedal the part on a bicycle across the country. Funny. After replacing everything but the tank I pulled it out and it's sitting on my porch. I bought a rheem and even when you first open it you notice the quality difference. The vents are on the side of the tank. All the way around the tank I might add also very large! So from the brass drain valve to the piezo starter quality the Rheem is a beauty. I didn't buy the whirlpool because of price originally I bought it out of ignorance. Guilty...My tenant is so happy she invited me to shower with her. Maybe that's why they call it a Rheem..Hmm

kingsotall
03-17-2009, 05:47 PM
My tenant is so happy she invited me to shower with her. Maybe that's why they call it a Rheem..Hmm

:eek:

That's one satisfied customer. :cool:

brianko
03-20-2009, 03:46 PM
FWIW, those with the FG water heaters can simply walk into any Lowe's with model number in hand and ask for the "FlameGuard conversion kit." It's the complete manifold assembly (minus the orifice and burner, which you can move from the old manifold assembly), and also includes an adapter that changes the left-hand thread to a right-hand thread to accommodate a universal thermocouple. There's no cost to the consumer. Whirlpool no longer stocks the left-hand threaded thermocouple, so don't even bother trying to contact them to purchase one.

Anyone with reasonable mechanical skills can handle installation of the new manifold.

I apologize if this has been posted earlier; I simply didn't feel like reading through 20 pages of forum posts. This forum post saved me quite a bit of time and research after my third (or fourth, perhaps?) thermocouple failed.

kingsotall
03-20-2009, 04:11 PM
All lowes has to do now is hand out free gas controls then all's well.

dougmiceli
03-20-2009, 05:09 PM
replaced both those items and it still didn't work. I gave up after two weeks without water.

Cass
03-21-2009, 03:01 AM
Did you shop vac out the air intake located under the heater...were you carefull to be sure the end of the wand was up against the screen...then vac it out from the inside of the burner area...

master plumber mark
03-21-2009, 05:06 AM
I brass drain valve to the piezo starter quality the Rheem is a beauty. I didn't buy the whirlpool because of price originally I bought it out of ignorance. Guilty...My tenant is so happy she invited me to shower with her. Maybe that's why they call it a Rheem..Hmm


Whatever she looks like,
that only spells trouble in my mind.....

dougmiceli
03-21-2009, 06:08 AM
Yes she is good looking. Try going two weeks with intermittent hot water. You'll be the happiest person around when you get it back.I did everything and installed everything properly and then I gave up. Vacumed it from the inside while I had the burner out. Also used a brush to scrub the screen.I was truly looking for solution not for a reason to go spend money on a new water heater. Besides it's ridiculous. I know most of you are plumbers here my experience was the Navy as a H/T and of course 40 years of life. So maybe you guys do cobble together water heaters BUT I DOUBT IT. Mostly you replace them because the tank is shot. Just a guess. My point being is you put a water heater in it last 10 12 or 20 years like my old one and then you replace it. No one I know piece meals the water heater along to keep it working after three years. Its just unheard of and stupid. And yes I agree sending parts out to be installed by unqualified people is so ridiculous and scary it negates all the benefits that this new style flamelock W/H is supposed to provide. Mainly to keep people from blowing themselves up. The units and there parts are junk. The design is poor at best. They contunue to sell them that's what I don't get. When I talked to my friend and picked up my rheem replacement. He told me rheem does all their engineering testing and so on in house. He also told me they hold 95% of all the patents related to water heaters. Interesting. The girl is really pretty actually but I can't go there it opens a whole new can of worms.

dougmiceli
03-26-2009, 03:44 PM
I'm not sold on tankless. Consumer reports isn't either. Unless you have elephants to wash why bother. Look it up. Although I think they have been using them overseas for years with some success. I'm not a plumber and there are plenty of pro's on here that have seen it all and done it all over the course of years. I defer to them. My Rheem tank heater lasted twenty years. Yes 1988 died last year. RIP.

dougmiceli
03-26-2009, 06:18 PM
redwood to funny! Yes grasping for straws or trying to deflect the truth that American water heaters are the biggesr fraud ever thrust on the plumbing world since PVC pipe for sanitary water lines. To funny! You always tell it like it is! Hey maybe he needs the paycheck from AWH. First of all apples to oranges second of all print these out and put them end to end maybe they would run the length of my basement then print out the AWH complaints and we could make paper dolls from here to the space station and back....and back again. Nice try idiot there still junk fact not my opinion...Read what the pro's on here say...a resounding F-.

mjbrunsm
04-13-2009, 07:25 AM
i just had to replace my water heater last night. like so many others before me, i didn't research the brand before purchasing, for the same reason as many - i needed hot water. i purchased a 50 gal. nat. gas whirlpool model# BFG1J5040T3N - closest store and running out of time to get one on easter sunday :(. I've just now read about the numerous problems with the whirlpool flame lock water heaters not getting enough air. if i routinely monitor and clean the filter, should that keep me out of trouble with repairs to this unit? my water heater is located in my basement and i would hate to have to remove it and get a different one. though this seems like the right thing to do...

Redwood
04-13-2009, 09:08 AM
i just had to replace my water heater last night. like so many others before me, i didn't research the brand before purchasing, for the same reason as many - i needed hot water. i purchased a 50 gal. nat. gas whirlpool model# BFG1J5040T3N - closest store and running out of time to get one on easter sunday :(. I've just now read about the numerous problems with the whirlpool flame lock water heaters not getting enough air. if i routinely monitor and clean the filter, should that keep me out of trouble with repairs to this unit? my water heater is located in my basement and i would hate to have to remove it and get a different one. though this seems like the right thing to do...

I'm sorry to hear that you got duped into buying this product.
Evenings and holidays I'm afraid make up the bulk of sales for this product.
Sometimes it is better to wait and go without rather than immediately fixing a problem. This is definitely one of them!

The best advice I can give is keep the basement clean and do your best to prevent dust and dryer lint from reaching the water heater. When it fails, note I didn't say if... Don't mess around trying to get it to work, as you won't, replace it wih a Bradford-White immediately. When you rip it out bring it right down to Lowes wheel it in on their cart without any intention of bringing it out of the store again, and be the customer from hell at the returns desk untill they refund your money. Don't let them hide behind the don't return it sticker on the water heater. They are selling junk product to their customers and they know it!:eek:

II kinda like the thought of this style of returning it...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QjTIm-vSKg

They have known the product is junk for years and while you are at the returns desk ranting and raving about them selling junk rest assured that one of their associates is in the back of the store smiling at a customer telling them that the Whirlpool water heater is the best thing since sliced bread. They even trie selling other makes of water heaters from American Water Heaters like US Craftmaster to diguise the fact that they are the same...

They are intentionally selling defective product and have been doing so for years.
Be mad!
You are entitled to that feeling!
Let them know how mad you are, they rightfully deserve it!
Whether or not a water heater will be providing hot water in the morning is not something you should have to do on a daily basis.
Maybe after a good long service life of 10 or 12 years would be more like it.

Plumber Jim
04-13-2009, 07:36 PM
also be sure to install the long black lint screen. If you keep the area clean you should be ok. tons of people have these working without trouble. The lint and dust will get you on these heaters though.

colleenm248
04-20-2009, 06:58 AM
My water heater started giving me problems last week. The model # starts with BFG, it's a 30 gallon short tank.
I was told I needed a new thermostat. My question is this - has anyone experienced continued problems after replacing the thermostat.
Thanks for your help.

Redwood
04-20-2009, 10:41 AM
My water heater started giving me problems last week. The model # starts with BFG, it's a 30 gallon short tank.
I was told I needed a new thermostat. My question is this - has anyone experienced continued problems after replacing the thermostat.
Thanks for your help.

Colleen,
Read back through this thread...
Your question has been answered a thousand times at least....
As long as you have this water heater installed having hot water available is a crap shoot!:eek:

colleenm248
04-20-2009, 10:52 AM
Colleen,
Read back through this thread...
Your question has been answered a thousand times at least....
As long as you have this water heater installed having hot water available is a crap shoot!:eek:
Thank you for your answer. The thought of reading back thru all those pages was too depressing for me, but I guess I'll give it a shot.

Redwood
04-20-2009, 11:14 AM
Many of the people that have these units have spent the amount that would have paid for a replacement just keeping the existing one running...

It is depressing that American Water Heaters and Lowes are doing this to their customers...:mad:

SewerRatz
04-20-2009, 02:48 PM
also be sure to install the long black lint screen. If you keep the area clean you should be ok. tons of people have these working without trouble. The lint and dust will get you on these heaters though.

Hi there Plumber Jim, I have been getting a rash of Bradford White, Rheem, GE, State, and AO Smith FVIR water heaters failing due to lint getting into the FVIR system. Mostly in town homes where they had the great idea to install the water heater, furnace, Washer and Dryer all in one little room. I explain to these home owners when I replace their heater they need to keep that room lint and dust free from now on. The State heaters have a screen around the intake ports but lots of fine dust can get through. I been wondering how to solve this issue with out relocating the heater.

Oh I checked out your website. You still have a couple of the template place holder pages up. I would put up the info you want go get out there on them pages or remove the place holder Latin speak and put "Page Under Construction please check back later".

master plumber mark
04-20-2009, 05:50 PM
[quote=SewerRatz;197027]Hi there Plumber Jim, I have been getting a rash of Bradford White, Rheem, GE, State, and AO Smith FVIR water heaters failing due to lint getting into the FVIR system. Mostly in town homes where they had the great idea to install the water heater, furnace, Washer and Dryer all in one little room. I explain to these home owners when I replace their heater they need to keep that room lint and dust free from now on. The State heaters have a screen around the intake ports but lots of fine dust can get through. I been wondering how to solve this issue with out relocating the heater.

Sewer Ratz, what kind of rash are you getting with the Rheem heaters and the bradford whites????

Neither brands have a screen on them, and that is why I use them... they never have given me a rash yet. They have both performed out-standingly for me

What is the nature of your rash with them???



I am having fits and rashes with the Kenmores, Smiths, and the States...myself.
the lint screens clog up terrible like, and cant be easily repaired

I am carrying around an air compressor with a 150 foot hose to
take into the home and blow out the lint from inside the units...
THEY ARE ALL stinking JUNK



...

takeing out a State select tomorrow afternoon

took out 3 whirlpool gas heaters in the last 10 days...
peopel were just fed up with fooling with them...

this is only gonna get worse....

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/products/

SewerRatz
04-20-2009, 08:15 PM
Sewer Ratz, what kind of rash are you getting with the Rheem heaters and the Bradford whites????


They suck in the lint and dust and the flame arrester gets clogged enough to starve the burner enough combustion air to where it will put it self out. You can relite the pilot as soon as the burner runs you can see the flame roll and out goes the flame and pilot again. Open up the sealed panel just a little bit and the unit works fine. I tried to blow the flame arrester clean , on some it works others it did not. Already replace 3 Rheims and 2 Bradford Whites this month all in the same subdivision where the units are in the "utility room" a 10' x 10' square room with the washer, dryer, WH, and furnace in the same room with a 8" duct for make up air. Each heater was 2 years old and there was a lot of dust and lint in each of these rooms.

I would think having a filter to clean every three months is a great idea to help prevent the flame arrester from clogging. Yes its a nuisance but a necessary one.

mattnjodie
04-22-2009, 03:52 PM
i installed one of these @ a month ago for a couple in our church. too bad i'd not read this earlier. i came upon one of these that is @ 3 years old, it would not keep a pilot so i replaced the thermocoupler, no luck. found this string and i read and i read. next step, i replaced the burner assembly gratis from whirlpool because the big blue box keeps 'em on hand (wonder why). no pilot still... replaced the thermostat and voila! i now have a pilot and it proves the flame so i have fuel for the burner. a funny thing @ these heaters, i know that gas heaters sweat alot, but when this one kicked on i thought it had a leak... lots of condensation! wow! problem solved, thermostat $60, replacement burner assembly FREE, 4 hours of labor $240, remembering this site to gain the knowledge that i needed PRICELESS!!! thanks to all of you before me for your wisdom. oh yeah, the replacement box did not have the wrap around screen that was refered to earlier in this string, but the new one that i installed did, weird...

master plumber mark
04-22-2009, 05:03 PM
[quote=SewerRatz;197110]They suck in the lint and dust and the flame arrester gets clogged enough to starve the burner enough combustion air to where it will put it self out. You can relite the pilot as soon as the burner runs you can see the flame roll and out goes the flame and pilot again. Open up the sealed panel just a little bit and the unit works fine. I tried to blow the flame arrester clean , on some it works others it did not. Already replace 3 Rheims and 2 Bradford Whites this month all in the same subdivision where the units are in the "utility room" a 10' x 10' square room with the washer, dryer, WH, and furnace in the same room with a 8" duct for make up air.

Sewer Ratz, Rheem heaters DO NOT have any kind of lint filters on their units.
the Rheems have a spring loaded flame shut down system that snaps shut and
wont allow air into the unit.
..

Bradfords DO NOT have a lint filter on theirs either......


that is why they are both the best brands out there...



and all these are happenning in the same area???
It makes me wonder if you are in a sub-division that has gotten a bad load of gas ???? Are the burner assemblies burning badly???

could that possibly be the casue of your rash???

Hemmerling
04-26-2009, 03:41 PM
Yeah problem is still not fixed with the BFG models. We have replaced the theralcouple and the valve 6 months (July 2008) after purchase (12/31/2007 Happy New Year!) Now 04/26/2009 we have been out of hot water since Friday night. Of course it is a weekend and the company isn't available. We have the reset valve and are getting nothing! So aparently we will be replacing another thermalcouple Tuesday. Thankful my hubby is mechanically inclined and can do the work.

Thanks for the tip on the cleaning. I'll make sure I let them know we clean it "religously" every 2 months, LOL. After I clean it the first time! I didn't get that memo.

I'll keep you posted on the reset valve when my hubby gets home. i tried; but i have no clue. i would just as soon go back to the last water heater that was in this house since July of 1977. It was a Whirlpool from Sears. they sure dont make thing the way they used to!

kingsotall
04-29-2009, 07:00 AM
Yup, that's right after they get off the phone with the customer shipping them a thermocouple! :p

mjjamj
05-30-2009, 03:37 PM
Have been reading through this forum. I have the same problem. When I called they told me I needed the kit and they are sending it to me. Of course it will not arrive until next Tuesday. Then I heard you can get the kit from Lowes. I went there and they gave me kit C. When I went to install it it does not seem to actually fit. Comparing to my old one the door portion is not as rounded and is a little bigger. Checked with Lowes again and they said it is the correct one. Has anyone else had this problem? MY model number is FG6150T403NOV.

Also does anyone know how to get support from an American. I cannot seem to find a way.

Thanks

Got it to fit. Thanks anyways.

Redwood
05-30-2009, 06:01 PM
The part you got from Lowes is for after the kit from Whirlpool arrives...
You're stuck waiting til Tuesday...


Bradford White Doesn't treat their customer like that...

MichaelRoger
06-04-2009, 10:32 PM
f you have a Whirlpool Flame Lock Water heater (like model FG1F4040S3NOV I own) you are no doubt aware of the class action suit (Bowen, et al v. Whirlpool Corp., et al) whose deadline just passed. If you went to www.waterheatersettlement.com, downloaded, printed, filled out and mailed in the claim from - I think there’s a better way!

My thermocouple (the part that needed repeated replacement and probably the reason for the lawsuit) just burned out recently and its about the 6th time. But this time when I went out to buy a new one guess what? They don’t sell them any more! So I called Whirlpool’s toll-free number and the recording mentioned www.flamelocksupport.com where you can request that they ship you the flame lock replacement kit (Whirlpool calls it a “Flame Lock Enhancement Kit“) for free. Yes, I said FREE! If you don’t need it right away UPS Ground is even FREE! Those of you that want it shipped faster they offer UPS 2nd Day and UPS Next Day shipping, and you only pay for the shipping.

Parking Sensor (http://www.backup-sensor.com)

WPHeaterHater
06-05-2009, 01:06 AM
So I called Whirlpool’s toll-free number and the recording mentioned www.flamelocksupport.com where you can request that they ship you the flame lock replacement kit (Whirlpool calls it a “Flame Lock Enhancement Kit“) for free.
That URL just goes to a go-daddy placeholder...

Anyway, I have a conflict of interest. I work at Low*s, and I have one of these wonderful water heaters that came with this house when I bought it 2 years ago. I haven't had any problems with it until a couple of days ago.

Not working anywhere near the plumbing section, I never knew of any issues with these things before mine went out. I didn't even know WP water heaters were exclusive to low*s. After asking around the plumbing dept, information starts to trickle down about the Kits, they have some in stock that they could give me, but not the one I need (the A kit). That is apparently their most common kit, and it goes fast once it comes in.

I ask why I can't just replace the thermocouple, and they start telling me about how it's reverse threaded, and they don't sell those anymore. I asked how we can sell the water heater, but not sell the part to fix it. I received a shrug.

So I call the WP help line during my lunch break, and I'm very quickly greeted by a nice fellow from India apparently named Stan. Stan begins to ramble his way through the "choose your own adventure" book known as their customer service script, and I start getting annoyed. After getting nowhere with this guy. It will take a week for the part. That's unacceptable to me. I make sure Stan is well aware of how unacceptable it is.

So I head back in to the store with a fresh idea on my mind. I'm looking at the immediate problem, I hate cold showers. To fix this problem, I need a reverse-thread thermocouple. The store (and everyone else) only sells right hand thread thermocouples. So I decide to just re-use the old left hand nut.

I buy a new TC for $7, go home and detach and remove my burner assembly. I take the old TC out of the assembly, and put the nut in my vise with a flat edge sticking up. I then put a wafer wheel in my drimmel and started cutting the nut in-line with one edge if the TC tube. then cut along the other edge. I then cut the tube and knocked it out with a small screwdriver. At this point, I had a slot that would almost slip the new TC through, I just had to clean it up a bit more with the drimmel. once I cleaned it up, I inspected the threads closely and hit them with a wire brush to take off any boogers. I replace the TC with the new one, making sure to pop it all the way into that hole so it's positioned right. then I just pull the new nut down out of the way (no need to cut it off) and put the newly-slotted old nut on the new TC... hand tight + 1/4 turn, and I'm done, and I've got hot water until the new kit arrives.

As far as low*s being at fault goes, I can't buy that because I work there and I really do think it's a great company to work for, and we typically go out of our way to help a customer. Now, the corporate side of things, that's another story. There's no doubt that low*s and whirlpool have some sort of deal going on, for low*s to stock them exclusively, and to not dump them after this whole fiasco, it has to involve some serious money. But it could also involve an investment or contract by low*s that they can't back out of.

That does put those store employees in an awkward situation, because they can't just tell a customer that the product is junk. Though one manager over in that area DID tell me that he had talked a few customers OUT of buying a WP water heater.

Long Story Short, Just don't buy your Water Heater from low*s until they get a new brand. It doesn't mean that everything from low*s is junk, it doesn't even mean that everything from WP is junk. Though it's difficult to convince someone who has already been deeply burned. I DO know from experience though that Low*s will go above and beyond to keep you as a customer. So go back to Low*s, stay calm, but don't be a pushover. And get your money back, or at least store credit. 99 times out of 100, they will take care of someone if their loyalty as a customer comes into question...

master plumber mark
06-05-2009, 05:07 AM
That does put those store employees in an awkward situation, because they can't just tell a customer that the product is junk. Though one manager over in that area DID tell me that he had talked a few customers OUT of buying a WP water heater.

Long Story Short, Just don't buy your Water Heater from low*s until they get a new brand. It doesn't mean that everything from low*s is junk, it doesn't even mean that everything from WP is junk. Though it's difficult to convince someone who has already been deeply burned. I DO know from experience though that Low*s will go above and beyond to keep you as a customer. So go back to Low*s, stay calm, but don't be a pushover. And get your money back, or at least store credit. 99 times out of 100, they will take care of someone if their loyalty as a customer comes into question...

I think that their is a gag order in place that Lowes has made
their employees take if they want to keep their jobs.


they simply are not supposed to speak about it,
which to me is rather deceitful....

the new improved whirlpool design that they have half --assed put together
to weasel out of this class action lawsuit is actually worse then the original problem ..

check out the dates on this long list of complaints, most are on heaters that are less than a year old.......

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html


you will notice that 90% of these complaints are NOT on the old style units,
most are on the 2007,8,9 brands...






in my honest opinion, Lowes and Whirlpool -- American Water heaters ----simply MUST be owned by the same larger conglomerate, and LOWES is simply being forced to sell this junk by the higher powers running the whole show...

Lowes is not a bad place to buy materials from, but when you have a situation like this where they cannot dump a product that is 100% junk probably under threat of losing their jobs,
and they are forced tho sell another divisions trash,


then no one wins...

Whirlpool Water Heater pictures (http://www.terrylove.com/whirlpool/)

WPHeaterHater
06-05-2009, 09:01 PM
I think that their is a gag order in place that Lowes has made
their employees take if they want to keep their jobs.


they simply are not supposed to speak about it,
which to me is rather deceitful....

the new improved whirlpool design that they have half --assed put together
to weasel out of this class action lawsuit is actually worse then the original problem ..

check out the dates on this long list of complaints, most are on heaters that are less than a year old.......

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html


you will notice that 90% of these complaints are NOT on the old style units,
most are on the 2007,8,9 brands...






in my honest opinion, Lowes and Whirlpool -- American Water heaters ----simply MUST be owned by the same larger conglomerate, and LOWES is simply being forced to sell this junk by the higher powers running the whole show...

Lowes is not a bad place to buy materials from, but when you have a situation like this where they cannot dump a product that is 100% junk probably under threat of losing their jobs,
and they are forced tho sell another divisions trash,


then no one wins...

I wish the world were that simple.
Unfortunately, it's not.
Low*s is a publicly owned company, WP doesn't have a controlling share, It's mostly private shareholders and employees themselves.

Like I said, it's most likely a contract that Low*s and WP made years ago, and Low*s can't back out of it. Yes, the Water Heaters are junk, but they have 2 choices; Sell the junk, or stop selling water heaters. With a contract, there is no 3rd choice without serious financial ramifications. Shareholders wouldn't agree to that, ever. They would say "well, can't they just start making better water heaters?" ... and here we are, at this catch 22...

No company makes the perfect decision 100% of the time. Hell, they're doing better than most if they hit 50%. Low*s is doing a good job in that they tend to take good care of the customers. That allows a lot of dishonest people a chance to take advantage, but it also puts the customer first. If low*s corporate made a stupid contract with whirlpool, then that's 1 bad decision that does hurt some people, but it's nothing compared to what other companies do.

Example: Home D*pot firing people who have been there for 10+ years just so they can bring in fresh blood with smaller salaries. Yeah, I would rather be associated with the store that sells crappy water heaters.

jimbo
06-06-2009, 04:05 AM
[quote=WPHeaterHater;204275]C... hand tight + 1/4 turn, and I'm done, and I've got hot water until the new kit arrives.

quote]

What you have done is jury-rigged in a part which is not correct....does not have the safety limit built into it......SO, I hope your little house on the prairie is not BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS before the proper part gets there!

WPHeaterHater
06-07-2009, 05:50 PM
What you have done is jury-rigged in a part which is not correct....does not have the safety limit built into it......SO, I hope your little house on the prairie is not BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS before the proper part gets there!

Yeah, I'm sure my little house will be fine. If not, I'm insured... However, I'm NOT independently wealthy, so an emergency trip from a plumber is not an option. And if you lived with my wife, you would know that cold water is not an option either.

Whirlpool Water Heater pictures (http://www.terrylove.com/whirlpool/)

okiedoki
06-17-2009, 10:10 AM
Why did you delete my post..?
on how to fix the pilot light problem

You might add to it or edit.. but just to delete..? please explain..

All these posts on thermalcouple and air probs.. is a fricken joke .. I told you wht the pilot light prob is and it is going out due to an open circut..! .. This is from an inside source.. from whirlpool.. the prob is the microtemp shutoff.. it should open at 196f as a safty feature.. after a few months it opens at 100 then at around 80 then it totally fails and stays open.. it is not the valve or the thermalcouple or the air prob.. 99 percent of these tanks are failing from the microtemp shutoff circut on the temp probe failing..!!!.

I have fixed 5 bfg tanks in the last month.. why did you delete my post..?

test a few for yourself.. if you have a voltmeter that will test continuity not just voltage test the thermalcouple.. it will be good.. then pull the wires from the reset and test for continuity..the circut will be open.. this only leaves 1 item that is causing the open circut.. the microtemp shutoff.. now pull the wires from the thermostat temp probe and test for continuity.. loop over the microtemp shutoff..and you will find you have a closed circut which means the pilot will now stay on..!.. the problem is the microtemp shutoff.. over the past 4 years I have fixed around 50 of these tanks.. microtemp shutoffs can be purchased at any radioshack.. I bought a 50 count box..

all these posts on thermalcouples and valves..and conversion kits is a fricken joke.. pull your darn voltmeter out and use it, make sure you have one that will test continuity.. I have fixed 5 tanks in the last month..

now I ask again why did you delete my post..????



I just happened across this site while looking for a part.. and could not belive wht I was reading.. lawsuits and experts saying this and that.. I agree these tanks are not the best.. but the air prob is not the real prob.. like I said 99 percent of the fails are caused by a 1/2 inch 196f microtemp shutoff made in china.. that is failing 3 months into use.. this is from a rep in the ft smith whirlpool..
the only tru fix is to ask for the new valve with the new microtemp switch or fix the prob yourself.. $2.00 switch and a soldering iron..or a 2 cent but connector.. and rid yourself of the prob forever.. I have not had one of my bfg jobs call back..!!!


really this thread is so fricken funny.. all these posts and none point to the problem...except the post of hussy250f he was on the problem.. and would have found it if he used a meter that tested for continuity.. I bet if he tests that microtemp shutoff circut for continuity from the valve he has pulled, it will be open and failed..

it should be closed until 196f.. but if he tests it it will be open.. guaranteed..which is causing his pilot not to stay lit..

cheers.. and buy a voltmeter that will test continuity not just voltage..! so you can see the open circut..lol...!

Please do not delete the truth..!
Thanks,
Okiedoki

If you really want to take this to the next step.. ask yourself why the mfg would use a 196f microtemp shutoff, that is not even waterproof and is wrapped in scotch tape..??? thats the real joke.. when you can buy the same microtemp shutoff sealed in rubber and waterproof.. which I use..! a circut that is not waterproof in water.. this is the real joke..!
but this time it came back to bite them because the circut started failing in 3 months.. not 4 years.. as the specs of the circut call for..!.. The main reson for the early failure is because the circut is not waterproof.. as described in the specs... It is the same circut found in a lot of hair dryers and curling irons to keep them from over heating.... a drop of rubber would have have saved millions in lawsuits for this mfg.. what a stupid , stupid mistake..! or was it..?

Terry
06-17-2009, 06:28 PM
One of the Mods thought that what you suggested would be a dangerous solution.

Here is his comment
Reason: too dangerous and irresponsible

ohament
06-23-2009, 10:52 PM
Of course I only find this website/thread AFTER purchasing a Whirlpool 50-Gallon 40,000-BTU Natural Gas Water Heater
Item #: 285252 Model: UG1H5040T3NV
from Lowes last night. Its replacing a 40g natural gas that has been in use for 15 years. I'll presume that most kinks about this product have been worked out especially since the class action law suit deadline was last year.

Anyways, my issue is that the burner will only stay on for about 2 to 3 minutes. The pilot will stay lit for more than 5 minutes, so I presume that the gas is fine. On this replacement, I have a new gas line, new water hoses and galvanized nipples with those plastic inner lining & heat washer thingys. The vent pathway is sealed after the draft hood all the way to the bucket in the ceiling.

What is causing the burner to go out completely? At first I thought it was the Safety+Plus excess flow valve (http://www.brasscraft.com/Products.aspx?Id=214), but I took that out just to make sure.

Please help! I'm tired of boiling water for my sponge baths!

ohament
06-24-2009, 04:52 PM
is the thermocouple supposed to have a flame contacting it at all times? i noticed this afternoon that when the pilot is on, the flame touches the thermocouple but once the burner kicks in, the flame no longer touches the thermocouple. could this be the reason that after about 2-3 minutes (when the thermocouple cools off) the gas gets shut off? i like the safety feature, but the water needs to warmed up.

i opened it up and wiped the thermocouple to make sure it didn't have extra debris and made sure that it, the pilot and igniter are tight so we're good there. is there an adjustment screw to make the flame contact the thermocouple when burners are on? or is there a more accurate solution?

Terry
06-24-2009, 05:10 PM
The new Whirlpool heaters are as bad as the old ones.

The thermocouple needs heat.

Sounds like a call to Whirlpool so they can send you a fix for your new water heater.

Whirlpool Water Heater pictures (http://www.terrylove.com/whirlpool/)

Troubleshooting WHIRLPOOL GAS FVIR Water heaters---call Mark at 317-714-0759 for free information and tips to repair this troublesome brand of water heater. All remarks stated here are MY HONEST OPINION ONLY.

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/

ohament
06-24-2009, 05:45 PM
UGH! I'm beginning to learn that. I just got off the phone with Whirlpool Tech Support and they referred me to a "local shop" that will come out. She even gave me some "code" that will trigger the fee for service to be directed back to Whirlpool. But alas, it is after 5pm PST so it sounds like another bucket shower tonight.

I'm curious though, it it work the time/trouble to get this working or should i just venture the return it route. Then get a different brand heater from that orange apron store. I'm hoping this could be easily rectified, because it was a beast to get it in. not to mention that whole transport upright printed on the box. that was not fun at night.

Terry
06-24-2009, 06:38 PM
Most of the plumbers are installing Bradford White and Rheem.

You should really check out Marks page on the subject.
http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/

master plumber mark
06-25-2009, 07:20 AM
The new Whirlpool heaters are as bad as the old ones.

The thermocouple needs heat.

Sounds like a call to Whirlpool so they can send you a fix for your new water heater.

Whirlpool Water Heater pictures (http://www.terrylove.com/whirlpool/)

Troubleshooting WHIRLPOOL GAS FVIR Water heaters---call Mark at 317-714-0759 for free information and tips to repair this troublesome brand of water heater. All remarks stated here are MY HONEST OPINION ONLY.

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/


I see that you deleted that post from the guy who was changeing out the thermal fuse built into the gas valve itself.. actually he might have something, he might actually be right... .... but end up dead wrong.....

the liability of disconnecting or putting something different into that gas valve is not what I need hanging over me for the next 10 years...
I guess the fellow has changed out over 50 of them!!!
Wow...Thats 50 chances for a lawsuit..someday.
Thats better odds than lottery tickets....


If his insurance company would stumble onto this link, I bet they would cancel him in a heartbeat....
--------------------------------------------------------------

TERRY, I was wondering why I was getting an influx of calls about the whirlpool heaters....

I dont mind talking to people at all about them as long as they are not calling me at 11:45 in the evening.......from texas.

Most are desperate to find a way to solve their problems, but are usually dismayed when I explain the jam they are in...


--------------------------------------------------------------

also I like what you did on your own site with the
heater info...

getting links to your site like this only sends me up higher on the google food chain around here..

again

thank you

ohament
06-25-2009, 08:33 AM
considering the headache i've gone thru since installing the water heater monday, it seems that perhaps there is too much air for this whirlpool unit. the heat rises and escapes the room as it is supposed to. after talking to the plumber over the phone this morning, the flame being pulled away from contacting the thermocouple could be too much air entering the chamber. he explained that once the burners kick in, the unit is calling for more air. since this unit has so much space and opening at the bottom, the flame being pulled away from the thermocouple is collateral damage.

i know it is not a safe nor permanent solution, but tonight i will try to cover the screen under the unit with a piece of cardboard. if the flame remains in contact with the thermocouple then that validates the concept of too much air.

do they make a skirt/shield to wrap around the base? i notice with the previous water heater, it was a solid ring around the base as opposed to the 3 stilts/legs that this one has. i've read about screens to help limit amount of dirt/debris, but will that be enough to limit air intake? and where to get one?

jadnashua
06-25-2009, 09:58 AM
Restricting the air intake could really mess with the fuel/air ratio, and create a lot of CO, and or soot. Probably not a good idea at all. Unless the unit is sitting in a drafty area, it will only draw the air it needs...

master plumber mark
06-25-2009, 10:41 AM
considering the headache i've gone thru since installing the water heater monday, it seems that perhaps there is too much air for this whirlpool unit. the heat rises and escapes the room as it is supposed to. after talking to the plumber over the phone this morning, the flame being pulled away from contacting the thermocouple could be too much air entering the chamber. he explained that once the burners kick in, the unit is calling for more air. since this unit has so much space and opening at the bottom, the flame being pulled away from the thermocouple is collateral damage.

i know it is not a safe nor permanent solution, but tonight i will try to cover the screen under the unit with a piece of cardboard. if the flame remains in contact with the thermocouple then that validates the concept of too much air.

do they make a skirt/shield to wrap around the base? i notice with the previous water heater, it was a solid ring around the base as opposed to the 3 stilts/legs that this one has. i've read about screens to help limit amount of dirt/debris, but will that be enough to limit air intake? and where to get one?


You really cant get enough air.. and they probably are blowing smoke up your ass here....

if the flame wont stay on the thermocuopling, it could be something as simple as adjusting the thermocoupling to be more into the flame....

you will have to open up the front of the unit and
be sure that the thermocoupling is fully inserted into its port, it could have moved during shipping..

then take a pair of needle nose pliers and simply bent the probe more over the piolit light...

Dunbar Plumbing
06-25-2009, 05:18 PM
I spin those burner assemblies 180 out, that way I can make all those adjustments without looking through that 2" square glass, having to take it all back apart each time to adjust it.


Of course, this should only be done by licensed plumbers.

ohament
06-25-2009, 08:24 PM
thanks all for the informative posts. i broke down and gave up on the challenge tonight. i took the assembly out and verified that the thermocouple was intact. it moved in/out just a smidgen, but nothing meaningful and i was too nervous to bend it closer to the pilot. looking at the old reliant that i replaced, that thermocouple is much closer to the pilot. the whirlpool seems to be blocks away.

so i drained it, boxed it up and returned it. i went to that other place and grabbed a GE that went in easy and stayed on after the burner kicked in. i have to admit that the piezo starter on the whirlpool was nicer and seemed to lite the pilot quicker than the one on the GE, but the GE is still on.

all in all i am happy. yes because i have hot water now without having to babysit the water heater, but moreover for getting the opportunity to learn. if it was just plug and play, then i would not have learned anything nor gained the reassurance that i can do it.

thanks again everyone!

master plumber mark
06-26-2009, 04:10 AM
Helen of Rochester, NY June 24, 2009
was overcome by carbon monoxide after repairing whirpool hot water tank FG1 model. They sent the recalled part and we had it put on by a licensed plumber. It cost 75.00. Suddenly after 2 months, I smelled something and walked around the house and basement. The smell was stronger near the hot water tank. I heard a sound upstairs and ran up to find the carbon monoxide detector going off, called 911, the numbers were over 300 in basement and over 180 upstairs. I was taken to the hospital and given oxygen for 6 hours and sent home. They have argued with me because I wanted money to replace the tank. They said they would give me another one but I refused that because I would never trust that kind of tank again. We are still fighting about it. I would like to know if anyone had a problem with carbon monoxide like I did.


Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html#ixzz0JX6ZUlIe&C (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html#ixzz0JX6ZUlIe&C)


This is the main reason I dont care to be fooling with the
whirlpool heaters....

even if you do someone a favor for only $75.00 and get the damn thing running for them,

once they spend the night in the hospital on Oxygen
they usually are mad at everyone involved...

Perhaps Maybe only a squirrel got down into the chimmney...

but someone is still probably gonna get sued...

GailJ
07-07-2009, 11:17 AM
Does the pilot light work after you clean the air screen or do you have to replace the thermal couple afterwards?

fmonty54
07-15-2009, 04:01 PM
I've owned mine for about three years... same story you shared, also drove around town to find the part. No one wants the responsibility for the piece of junk. I just got my thermocoupler today and will be installing it in the morning. Any advice? I have my heater on a tray, would screening the tray against the tank help keep dust and other debris away from the heater's filter? Not sure if it is worth the effort.

Comments?
fmonty54

laytonlight
07-29-2009, 06:29 PM
I wanted to post to let you folks who are still stuck with one of these worthless... Well all of the adjectives have been used in previous posts. I bought mine almost five years ago and have gone through three regular thermocouples (And cleaned the screen as well as one can considering where it's located.) and one of the "reset" type thermocouples, (Obtained through the law suit settlement.) which is the last one that went out about two months ago. I would have posted earlier, but I've been doing all of the summer repairs around the house & hadn't thought about it in awhile.

It went out on a weekend and of course the Whirlpool help line isn't available, so it was stove heated water and cold showers until Monday, which I took off of work to deal with this nonsense. I had all of my information ready, Warranty, prior thermocouples, etc. and called the "Help Line." That's funny in and of its self. Started off with a gentleman in Dubai who wanted to send me a new thermocouple that would take days to get there unless I wanted to pay extra to overnight it. Told him that wasn't an option that I was going to take a hot shower that day come hell or high water and I wasn't interested in that option. After explaining my position several times, I asked for his supervisor. I then spoke to someone who sounded suspiciously like his brother & went through the same sequence of offers, my declining them and explaining my position & asked for his supervisor. I then spoke to someone with English as a first, as opposed to a second language & went through all I had been through before & I was insisting on being able to return it. To my surprise he gave me a Return Authorization Number without much more of an argument. I was told that I would need my receipt to return it to Lowe’s. He did say that they would only exchange it for credit, but I was determined not to do that! After a bit of digging (I save EVERY receipt for at least five years! :eek: I found the receipt.

I drained that piece of junk, cut it out, threw it in the back of my truck, and went to the Lowe’s return desk with my truck parked outside. They very cheerfully :) refunded my money and had someone go out and unload it. (They probably wanted to hide it as quickly as possible! :o) It had been so long that they didn’t have the transaction in their system and rather than credit my debit card, they had to go through extra steps to give me cash! I promptly went to Menard’s and bought a Richmond (Rheem) 9-year model, brought it home and installed it. It’s extremely quiet, works great, with loads of hot water, and they even point out the fact that their air intake is about 1 foot off of the ground, so it doesn’t suck up dust and debris. It was a LONG day, but that first hot shower with my new Richmond water heater was heaven!

So there! Just wanted to let you folks who feel stuck with them; Take heart, you don’t have to be. Patience and persistence paid off & another Whirlpool anything will never darken my door again! It says something about the power and profit margin of large corporations that these companies can survive a multi-million dollar law suit and keep making junk, and keep making a profit.

choyak
09-07-2009, 06:01 PM
Well I have a FuWaHe (guess what this is!) whorfool in a house I bought august 2008. I have tenants there and since it was like 100 degrees last week, not that bad, but I had the SAME CRAP happen same old rigamarole pilot refuses to stay on, so I get the bangalore and go to highs, (oops I mean LOWS) get the 'D' box, install it and I was ELATED it functioned for FIFTEEN MINUTES!!!!! now the same damned crap again. I will use ALL of the suggestions before I replace the gas valve. I got a gas valve from LOWS and I hope I can return it. I will stare in the window to see the flame hitting the thermocouple, thoroughly clear out the vent. (I sort of did that already), bend the thermocouple closer to the flame, and even minimally increase the size of the pilot hole. After that I will replace the gas valve, and if it is still crap, I will go to HD and get a GE. My house had a FuWaHe about 8 years ago. Brand was HOYT I think like 20 years old and I received NIAGARA FALLS from the bottom. I then got a GE from HD and it has been good ever since, did not have to light the pilot even once after initial lighting. I had a bunch of other crap like replace galv with copper etc.

One other thing that I noticed is when I installed this assembly, the burner attached to the old assembly had no nut to hold it, just 2 screws on the bottom. I will need to dig for the nut, or was it ignored since the beginning?. I also wonder where I can get another nut (if there was one there). Does the nut have special gas flow wormholes in it?

I am wondering what to name if WHORFOOL is my name, I have seen CESSPOOL WHIRLPOO. I have a WHORFOOL washer now I am SCARED it is like 6 years old (knock on wood). It is good that the house with the WHORFOOL is only 4.5 miles from me in Anaheim (I am in Buena Park).

If I need to replace, I WILL remove it and carefully put it in front of LOW*S front door, take a pic and then quickly depart.

I don't know which LOW*S it was purchased at because I got it with the house (how sad). BTW model number ends with NOV so it is the older one.

I also remember seeing here a post calling it WATER HOLDER, that is basically what it is!

FuWaHe FuWaHe

Runs with bison
09-07-2009, 10:00 PM
Choyak,

Two comments:
1. When mine went out it wasn't the TC it was the Unitrol/Robert Shaw gas valve that did the trick. The pilot relit twice after the initial failure then it wouldn't light again. New TC did nothing, pilot wouldn't light, died every time I released the button. New gas valve (along with the TC) got it working, lint filter...err I mean flame arrestor was immaculate. If this happens a few more times I'll open a few discrete ports in it with a Dremel. I don't pour gasoline next to water heaters or furnaces or in my basement at all, so I'm not exactly worried. Lived with plenty of water heaters without FVIR, nary a problem with combustion on any of them.
2. I was also planning to go the GE/Rheem route in the event that I quit getting warranty parts...until I saw the exact same Unitrol Robert Shaw gas valve on the one in Home Depot--(okay it had red knobs instead of black.) Since this part has been the problem on my Whirlpool it doesn't give me any confidence to see the same #$@!^& thing on the GE. The intake looks better on the GE, but it was the control (which isn't exposed to the combustion heat) that failed on the Whirlpool.

Good luck with yours, we all need it... In my defense, I didn't buy this thing, the previous home owner did.

choyak
09-08-2009, 06:25 PM
sept 8
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I do not know if the DENIZEN OF LUCK has arrived yet, or if it will FUBARIZE again, but what I did was BEYOND BELIEF but I had only enough TIEM to watch the water get pseudo hot. THE PILOT STAYED ON for one time so far it did not dump, the water got hot. I DECREASED THE GAS FLOW THROUGH THE MAIN VALVE!!!!!!!!!! OMGOMGOMG

I also (WITH GAS ON FULL) WATCHED THE MAIN FLAME IGNITE, and FLAMES SHOOT THROUGH the alleged 'flame arrestor' (you needed to brush it)

one more time, I WATCHED FLAMES SHOOT THROUGH THE GRILL OUT OF THE BOTTOM ONTO THE WOODEN BASE. So I put an 8" square aluminum plate underneath there.

I put the gas valve close to being OFF, the main flame was about 50% of when gas on. I am aware it will require more time for the water to get hot, but AFAIK that will not be a problem until 3 billion people simultaneously take showers. It's 40 gallon.



I just went outside and stared at the GE and yupp same damn unitrol crap, but the 3 lines go STRAIGHT DOWN into the combustion chamber, not all curlicue like the WHORFOOL!!

yes, I inherited this POS just like you did.

and yes, I also inherited this POS from the previous homeowner. My 6 year old or so GE is still flawless so far


Well, I don't know if I drained enough water, like maybe 2 gallons, but water was pissing out of the pressure relief pipe and it arbidumped again. Isn't there a shutoff valve on the inlet??? I am conjecturing that the gass valve refused to shut off when it got hot. I have another new gas valve that I guess I will have to replace tomorrow 4 miles drive again not happy with exxon stock. I just set it to off and the tenants have one tank of hot water for a few showers. I guess I will screw with it tomorrow it is 4 miles away from me so no one will get to retire with their exxon stock. I also am aware that when you remove the gas valve, the water will all gloog out unless you MT the tank.

As for the flames shooting through, I should camcorder it and start a PROPER class action suit, like getting the dictators of these DUMPANIES in JAIL

I will post the pic of my car rear window with WIRPOOL WATER HEATERS SUCK sign attached......


update sep 9
Well I got the new gas valve in. THE OLD ONE REFUSED TO SHUT OFF so the water BOILED and then it dumped. I HAD TO BASH THE WATER HOLDER shell to get the new one to fit. THE THERMOCOUPLE DICK sticking out had a shorter threaded rod, but I got it in and I observed the temperature get up and the burner dumped without the pilot dumping, SFSG!!!11 one one. I do not trust it yet, however.

choyak
09-11-2009, 10:42 PM
Well it has been 2 days so far. This is what I did to accomplish this feat of impossibility. First, I removed the window and installed OLD steel (I think) screen folded into 3 layers and wedged into the old glass tabs. Second I did the bend on the thermocouple to get it JUST ABOVE the pilot. I speculated that the burner flame messes with the pilot and makes it go higher. Third I REDUCED THE GAS with the main valve. After this, I watched it operate 3 cycles and today (2 days later) I jingled the tenant and was informed 'the tiny torch flame is still there behind the screens'.

I even put the hot water on to drain the tank and watch 3 cycles successfully.

And here is my dose of sarcasm.

The stupid arrester screen that allows flames to go through has apertures that ate TOO TINY to allow oxygen molecules (O2) to go through so it all goes through the window converted into a screen thing (The pilot appeared healthier after the modification)

And yupp, I had to piss all the water out with a garden hose B4 replacing the gas valve. The gas valve has the wires built in and a forward threaded insert so no more weird adapter. I now need to beg for luck on an astronomically gargantuan basis! I hope that I produced an EPIC WIN that I kicked the WHORFOOL's HINEY

Redwood
09-12-2009, 09:07 PM
hmmmm sound like we are once again having modifications done...:eek:
Taking out the window defeats the FVIR function.

master plumber mark
09-13-2009, 06:11 AM
hmmmm sound like we are once again having modifications done...:eek:
Taking out the window defeats the FVIR function.

it seems to be the only way to defeat this dog......

of course the customer does not care that it aborts the
fire safety protocal on the heater....

all they really want is hot water...

all I would like to see is Whirlpool own up to their mistakes......

.

Runs with bison
09-13-2009, 10:49 PM
hmmmm sound like we are once again having modifications done...:eek:
Taking out the window defeats the FVIR function.

Who really needs it? It wasn't necessary for decades and water heaters worked fine without it. Now we have this so-called feature with the result that water heaters no longer heat water and everyone's busy working on their gas lines to fix controllers that shouldn't be failing in the first place. Give me the old control boxes that worked, get rid of the flame arrestor and things should be peachy. I was drooling at one of these just this weekend...21 years old and still going strong...huge open window.

The strange thing about this is that the gas valve is not exposed to the combustion heat and should function with or without the FVIR changes. Ruin 100 TC's and the gas valve should still be working. Since it is not a (or the) major problem appears to be that Unitrol Robert Shaw gas valve. Maybe the FVIR kills half of them...but the clean ones (like mine) that are having trouble seem to be experiencing a different failure mechanism.

master plumber mark
09-14-2009, 04:32 AM
Who really needs it? It wasn't necessary for decades and water heaters worked fine without it. .

the story goes is insurance comanies bribed the congress to pass these laws, and any heater company that did not go along with them would not be able to insure themselves
or their rates would go sky high......

sorry , I meant to say the insurance companies "lobbied"
congress to pass these new mandated laws....

in all honesty , they were having terrible fires quite often with the old style water heaters...
Kids and were getting burned alive in garages and in mechanical rooms
houses were catching fire pretty often due to something leaking out of a
paint can set near the heater....

I myself was almost burned alive when I was
about 19 in a waterheater fire.... fooling around out in the
mecahnical room with paint brushes and
cleaning them with gasoline near the water heater....
I was very , very lucky I was not blinded

the New FVIR heaters work great....
RHEEM and BRADFORD WHITE have never had a problem with them...

its only Whirlpool and the stupid dumb asses that designed
this dog that wont admit fault..

I suppose that they too have "lobbied: congress"
to weasel out of recalling them all

http://weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

dripdrip
09-14-2009, 02:41 PM
Well I'm sorry to admit that I bought one of these water heater's from Lowe's and it stopped working after 6 months.

I replaced it with a Bradford-White.

My question is, what should I do with the POS Whirlpool? I kinda hate to just throw it out, since it holds water, etc.

Thanks,

DD

master plumber mark
09-14-2009, 03:23 PM
If you get nasty,, they will give you an in-store credit
for the heater.....

Lowes motto is supposed to be satisfaction guaranteed

they will take it back, you might have to threaten to set it on fire in tha parking lot, but they will eventually

curlysir
09-21-2009, 05:39 PM
I bought a Whirlpool Flamelock, LPG , 1 year ago from Lowes. The old B.W. blew a leak late on a Saturday, Lowes is nearby, blah blah blah. This new one went out about 3 weeks ago.
To shorten this post up I'll say that the thermocouple is fine, checked with a multimeter during lightup, and I have a clean flash arrestor in the bottom of the unit. I also checked for voltage before and after the "circuit breaker" located below and to the right of the gas valve, 22mv in (black wire), 19mv out (white wire).
Lowes did not have a LPG valve in stock, and most of the local plumbing supply places only carried the normal "I could care less" looks.
I called the # on the water heater, got them to send me a new gas valve, under warranty, so no cost to me. The new valve would not be in for a few days because this took place on a Friday. So I pulled the gas valve out of my old B.W. water heater, all the connections lined up and she fired right up even with the old thermocouple in place.
All I had to do was adjust the burner pressure down a bit to eliminate the slight yellow flickers off the ends of the burner flames, the yellow was not present when the Flamelock was in operation before this.
This past weekend I pulled apart the original Flamelock gas valve to see how the pilot circuit is setup. I found out that the white wire from the "circuit breaker" runs up into the temperature sensing element that protrudes into the tank and thru what I figure is a thermistor that must cut off the pilot circuit at some really high water temperature.
I'm figuring the thermistor breaks down internally over time and the pilot won't stay lit. When I get the time I'm going to try and rig up a test stand to put a controlled
heat source on the temperature sensing probe of the gas valve and see if the mv signal to the pilot circuit drops after a bunch of on / off cycles.
I would have to say the the problem I am diagnosing is centered in the RobertShaw gas valve and not the flash arrestor like some people here are saying. When I first started to lose the pilot, upon restart the burner would light right up and burn all blue flames, no yellow at all, stay "burner on" all thru a heat up cycle, shut off and then I could see the pilot slowly lose gas till it also died. I'm pretty sure if the main burner can work at all the pilot will not be starved for air between heat cycles, so pulling out the glass or drilling some holes in the unit won't help.
I don't know if the new gas valve has any changes from my original, but they do look identical. That would explain why the "upgrade" kits seem to have the same problem down the road. The thermistor in the temperature sensing tube would be the quick fix AWH and RobertShaw came up with to replace the left hand threaded thermocouple on the early models.I think I saw in a picture somewhere that left hand thermocouple had a bulge in the tubing back a bit from the coupling head.
Maybe if an AWH or RobertShaw employee is going thru this pile of post they can look into this.
And no, I still have not changed to the new gas valve.
I might just remove the sensing tube first to see if they changed that thermistor to a different spec part. Shes' still working fine with old B.W. gas valve.

Read the above and thought I had already posted as I am in the same boat and did the same thing for a temporary? fix. Did same checks on thermocouple and it was good, replaced just in case because it was cheap and Lowe's had them in stock. Both old and new had about same output 18-20 ma.

Joined this site so I could become a member of the club. Purchased a LPG BFG1F5040T3PV in April 2008, worked fine until this weekend. Water Heater is the US CraftMaster version. Previous heater was American Standard, same manufacture just different brand, and had worked fine just was getting old, so purchased without reading. Really mad at self because I could have got a Bradford at same price. Anyway, reason I quoted this post is that I have done the same thing (installed Old Control Valve In Water Heater) because I didn't want to be without hot water for 2 days while new LPG control value is shipped. Don't know why but the valve is being shipped overnight at no cost and they even gave me a number to call for free installation. If I install the new valve I will do it myself as the installer is A & E Sears, and the reports on them are not that good. And installing the control valve/thermostat is not that hard.

Only thing I see that I am not getting with the old control valve is not having the thermal switch on the thermocouple, which may be a good thing. When I bought the new water heater it came with the skirt and it appears to do a good job as the screen on the bottom was clean.

Will not spend any money on this water heater and when it fails again will probably replace.

Read all 23 pages and this thread will go on for a while.

curlysir
09-22-2009, 11:31 AM
Received my replacement valve today. I am debating whether to install the new valve or leave the older style control valve/thermostat in. The old valve is working fine. The only thing that I see that I do not have with the old valve is the resettable thermal switch wiring that is on the new valve. The thermal switch never had to be reset so I did not have a problem with that. What exactly does the thermal switch protect against and do I really have a major safety issuse with the old valve? I don't see that it is any different then the previous water heater that was there for years without any problems. I still have the flash back screen in place and have not made any other modifications.

curlysir
09-22-2009, 05:59 PM
Found this little tid bit of info http://www.macdonaldsupply.com/customer/masuin/customerpages/web_resources/Gas%20Valve%20Message%2011-08.pdf about "We want to apprise you of an unfavorable service trend with certain Robertshaw gas valves which were used on American residential heaters manufactured between September, 2007 and May,2008 (water heater serial numbers range from 0735 to 0822) The typical consumer call has been “pilot will not hold”. This is also a quote from the same letter "We apologize for the inconvenience this problem may have caused you and your customers. We can assure you that gas valves used after May 2008, incorporate an ECO which is in compliance with our specifications".

Pretty much describes the condition of what I had (serial # 0804) and several others have discussed here. I don't know if the problem has truly been "fixed" on the newer gas valves but I will probably put the new valve in when the weather clears up in a few days and see how long it will last.

master plumber mark
10-12-2009, 06:40 PM
got a boat load of whirlpool calls today...

the first was from a poor guy in Houston, with a 1 year old Whirlpool heater installeled up in his attic.. behind the furnace.... wanted to know how to reapir the unit.. he has got troubles


the second guy was from San Deigo, the previous owner had majic markerd the heater with dates every time the reapir man fixed that dog, it had been repaired 5 times in the last 6 years... i told him to jsut throw it out , and he agreed...

then it really began...

I get 4 more calls scattered through the day...
all from Indianapolis, wanting me to repair their Cess-pools, all of them about 2 years old...

I told them to call Raji in India and have the parts sent to them.... then call me back...:D

.This would almost be funny , if it were not for the people that have beed screwed so deeply by whirlpool...

salexander303
11-06-2009, 07:48 AM
Found this little tid bit of info http://www.macdonaldsupply.com/customer/masuin/customerpages/web_resources/Gas%20Valve%20Message%2011-08.pdf about "We want to apprise you of an unfavorable service trend with certain Robertshaw gas valves which were used on American residential heaters manufactured between September, 2007 and May,2008 (water heater serial numbers range from 0735 to 0822) The typical consumer call has been “pilot will not hold”. This is also a quote from the same letter "We apologize for the inconvenience this problem may have caused you and your customers. We can assure you that gas valves used after May 2008, incorporate an ECO which is in compliance with our specifications".

Pretty much describes the condition of what I had (serial # 0804) and several others have discussed here. I don't know if the problem has truly been "fixed" on the newer gas valves but I will probably put the new valve in when the weather clears up in a few days and see how long it will last.
Have this very issue Serial # begins with 0817. No continuity found as tested though the white and black wire running from the thermal cutoff switch once the the water tempture is near the cutoff set at 120 degrees the ECO cuts off the main burner and pilot before reaching the desired temp. After that the pilot will not stay lit until after the water cools down cold then the ECO closes and continuity is present again as tested though the white and black wire running from the thermal cutoff. The thermal switch continuity tested ok so the thermal switch is not the issue.

Runs with bison
11-06-2009, 09:44 PM
Missed curlysir's follow up with that very useful information. So much for the plumber claims here that the Robert Shaw valves could not be the problem. Turns out they were, and my serial number in the range mentioned! My serial is #0808.

This explains why there was no indication of any other problem on mine and some others: no air restriction/draft problem apparent, clean FVIR screen, yet the Robert Shaw valve had obviously failed after one or two relights.

Of course the question now is whether or not the replacement Robert Shaw valve is really fixed...only time will tell.

jfkn
11-21-2009, 01:25 PM
I have purchased already 3 Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters from Habitat. These were donated to Habitat for sale by Lowe's, obviously warranty returns with problems. All 3 had removed model and serial numbers so I do not know what models I have. To order parts I need model numbers, otherwise Whirlpool can't locate the replacement parts. Can anyone help me using the pictures below to identify the model? The thermocouple has right-hand threads and manifold tube also right-hand threads. The water heater is similar to what Lowe's has on the floor now, but my does not have the Thermal switch.

When purchased the problem was not thermocouple but the high temperature sensor (HTS) in all 3 cases. That is an internal part (penny value) and I suppose the whole thermostat (gas control valve) needs to be replaced. In first instance I got around by taking the HTS from the 20 year old water heater I was replacing. Second and third time I took it from new similar valves that I happened to find at Habitat and bought it cheaply. These HTS are very easy to replace, problem is to get it. If someone knows where to buy it I will appreciate the information. See the last picture below that shows 2 HTS, one as removed from the gas valve and one with insulation stripped. It would be very easy replaced (silver solder) if the electronic component was available to buy. I do not have the problem with clogged screens. One water heater is installed outside as shown on the picture, one in my garage elevated above the floor 18”. Also I need outer doors for both. My email jfkn@cox.net.

master plumber mark
11-21-2009, 01:52 PM
that is a new one on me,,,, I have never seen this new peice of junk bdefore

this is not a flame lock water heater.....

that burner assembly is some sort of
energy star type that is close to the same radiant burner assembly that BRADFORD has is their new energy star models..

I cant immagine how bad these must be considering they cant make a normal water heater work corretly..

LOWES dontated some real junk to
habitat for humanity and should be held accountable... being the fact that they scraped off the model numbers and serial numbers should tell you what kind of crap you got there....

I would tell them you to take them back and "dontate " a better water heater to those homes....or you are going to the local news papers.

jfkn
11-21-2009, 07:36 PM
I think that it is called Ultra Low Nox. Judging from this manual http://www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com/downloads/315422-000.pdf that depicts the same burner assembly.

What is the "Flame Lock" feature? Thanks. :)

RPlumber
11-21-2009, 07:40 PM
So at the end of the day, we have one guy saying the screen just gets clogged up, another saying it's too small, another saying it's both. One saying it's the gas valve, many more saying it's the thermocouple, and one guy saying it's the thermal switch.

So do any of you know for certain what the problem is?

Runs with bison
11-21-2009, 08:07 PM
So at the end of the day, we have one guy saying the screen just gets clogged up, another saying it's too small, another saying it's both. One saying it's the gas valve, many more saying it's the thermocouple, and one guy saying it's the thermal switch.

So do any of you know for certain what the problem is?

All of the above, but it is a different issue on each unit--or group of units anyway. There is no doubt about the Robert Shaw valve/thermostat being the problem on some units (such as mine). This has now been documented from the manufacturer (see curlysir's link.) The emergency cut off in these were failing rendering the valve worthless. If you had a failure in the Robert Shaw valve you wouldn't know it until you replaced the thermocouple and it still didn't work. This has been a common theme in the thread.

Then there were some units where it appears to have only been a TC problem. On others it was a problem with the FVIR screen plugging. The screen for it is too small for the service and it is poorly placed. Lack of appropriate surface area is the norm for many kinds of equipment. I don't think half of the folks doing the design for suction and discharge grates have a clue as to what is needed. I say that from the perspective of having done such designs for process equipment, and re-engineering/modifying some of the messes that have been in my own appliances. They rarely provide sufficient open area.

The point is that none of the explanations fit all of the failures individually. But take them together and they appear to explain all or nearly all of them.

master plumber mark
11-21-2009, 08:59 PM
So at the end of the day, we have one guy saying the screen just gets clogged up, another saying it's too small, another saying it's both. One saying it's the gas valve, many more saying it's the thermocouple, and one guy saying it's the thermal switch.

So do any of you know for certain what the problem is?



Which came first, the chicken or the egg???

here is a link to the low knox that this fellow has...

this will be a ball trying to figure out what they screwed up on that model....


http://www.americanwaterheater.com/products/pdf/U_LNOx.pdf

jfkn
11-22-2009, 06:23 AM
So at the end of the day, we have one guy saying the screen just gets clogged up, another saying it's too small, another saying it's both. One saying it's the gas valve, many more saying it's the thermocouple, and one guy saying it's the thermal switch.

So do any of you know for certain what the problem is?

All of them.

Cass
11-22-2009, 06:57 AM
Well a competent plumber can diagnose it if he were there...you start by checking the millivolts coming from the thurmocouple....and go from there but it could be a combination of different things because of the bad design if the unit...

Redwood
11-24-2009, 07:16 AM
So at the end of the day, we have one guy saying the screen just gets clogged up, another saying it's too small, another saying it's both. One saying it's the gas valve, many more saying it's the thermocouple, and one guy saying it's the thermal switch.

So do any of you know for certain what the problem is?

It's all of the above don't you get it?:eek:

This thing has had more different problems than you can shake a stick at:

Thermal Fused Thermalcouple models without burner enhancement kit installed prior to BFG model
Flame Arrestor/Air Inlet Too Small all models.
Flame Arrestor/Air Inlet Clogging all models.
TCO on gas valve some models.


Don't hold me responsible for missing anything missed...

Want reliable hot water?
Rip it out and put in a Bradford White!

These Flame Guards are just evil evolving over time!

rdlsz24
11-29-2009, 09:04 PM
Hey guys just found this while searching around for my water heater, an American Water Heater. We moved into our current house (build in 05) in August and honestly I don't think I even looked at the water heater until Thanksgiving day when I hopped in the shower and couldn't get hot water even with the knob turned all the way to hot. Went downstairs and found the instruction manual down there near the water heater and found that the pilot light was out. After looking at the diagrams and reading the instructions a hundred times (water heater newb here) I got the pilot lit and cranked the water heater up and was back in business! Pretty proud of myself, but had to take a quick cold shower. Oh well the next one will be hot.

Came home from Thanksgiving festivities and ran downstairs to check the pilot. Out again! Pushed the clicker and got it going. Found online that I may need a thermocouple. Went to ******* to get a thermocouple but blast they only have right hand thread ones! Came home from ******* and the pilot light was out again. This is getting old. Now it won't stay lit once I let go of the red button. No more hot water for us :(.

Is the number I call to get a thermo the one on the side of the unit (800-999-9515)? I realize I am just delaying the inevitable after reading through this thread, but I need to get the water hot for now, and a quality unit isn't exactly in the budget right now. I want to give it one last try with a new thermocouple and cleaning the screen. Our unit is up on some 3" blocks so I could get my Shop Vac in there at least.

For the future, what is a good price, installed by a plumber, for a Rheem unit?

Thanks for reading,
Rob

jfkn
11-29-2009, 11:15 PM
If you just bought your house then check with your buyer's insurance policy. It may pay for the repairs or replacement. What model is your water heater? Read the model and serial numbers. Most likely it is the high temperature sensor and that means to replace the thermostat gas valve.

rdlsz24
11-30-2009, 06:43 AM
Unfortunately we didn't go with the home warranty, so we're probably out of luck in that department. The model is FG6140T403NOV. Serial is 0420117330 (2004)

Rob

rdlsz24
11-30-2009, 06:53 AM
Cool just got the green light from the wife to get a Bradford White or Rheem installed :) I guess having a 1 year old and another one on the way was enough to convince her we need a reliable cooker.

Rob

jfkn
11-30-2009, 07:39 AM
I would call Whirlpool 800 number that is on the unit and find out how much they charge for the thermocouple and how much for the thermostatic gas valve. Please let me know I am interested in the prices. They will not sell or give price without model and serial number. I have one water heater with left hand thread thermocouple. Lowes used to sell it, but recently they have only right-handed. They may have it in your area. Where do you live? Here in CA I purchase recently a thermostatic gas valve for newer model, it was $58.69.

rdlsz24
11-30-2009, 09:36 AM
Six seventy installed for a new Bradford White unit, getting installed tomorrow. They offered to work on my current one until I told them it was an American. Those are junk I believe was the quote.

Rob

Redwood
11-30-2009, 12:52 PM
They offered to work on my current one until I told them it was an American. Those are junk I believe was the quote.

Well Rob you won't regret it....

I think the plumber was being very diplomatic in his assessment of your existing water heater...:D

smokinpsd
12-08-2009, 06:38 AM
Just found out we have a FG1F303S3NOV Have had intermittent hot water for 2 weeks now. My husband cleaned it all out this weekend, and I found all this info regarding this problem. It worked for about 2 days then went out again, was able to lite this am and get enough for a shower, just heated up tank and shut off and no pilot again. I know this has been discussed but still not sure what to ask for and number to call. Tank was in home when purchased this year so we didn't buy it and don't know where it came from. No homeowners warranty and tank serial is 0510120563 so if I read correctly it is a 05 model, is there any different parts etc that I need to fix, replacing is out right now and we don't have a service person in our area most will be at least 60 miles away so hefty service call and small towns so probably not right parts. My husband works in lrg town and may be able to get parts if I know what to tell him. Everything else is fine whole house works on nat. gas furnace and range are fine so gas line are good and water heater works fine when on which is less and less now. Thanks for any help you can give!!!

Runs with bison
12-08-2009, 07:37 AM
Just found out we have a FG1F303S3NOV Have had intermittent hot water for 2 weeks now. My husband cleaned it all out this weekend, and I found all this info regarding this problem. It worked for about 2 days then went out again, was able to lite this am and get enough for a shower, just heated up tank and shut off and no pilot again. I know this has been discussed but still not sure what to ask for and number to call. Tank was in home when purchased this year so we didn't buy it and don't know where it came from. No homeowners warranty and tank serial is 0510120563 so if I read correctly it is a 05 model, is there any different parts etc that I need to fix, replacing is out right now and we don't have a service person in our area most will be at least 60 miles away so hefty service call and small towns so probably not right parts. My husband works in lrg town and may be able to get parts if I know what to tell him. Everything else is fine whole house works on nat. gas furnace and range are fine so gas line are good and water heater works fine when on which is less and less now. Thanks for any help you can give!!!

I'm not sure if the '05 will have the reversed TC thread or not. I guess it won't matter if you have to replace the gas valve too.

I was in roughly the same situation in that I was not the original purchaser. I suggest your husband do what I did: go to a Lowe's, tell them you have their water heater and that you need the thermocouple AND the gas valve/thermostat. (Actually, best to call ahead, talk to a manager and have them reserve the parts for you--often they don't have any on the shelf...I bought the last of each when I went in.) It might only take the TC. About half the time that works. The other half of the time it takes the gas valve. So you want both in hand. Following the appliance manager's instructions I returned the old defective parts to the store with my receipt for the new ones and they refunded my money.

If you or your husband are somewhat mechanically inclined and have some tools it is not too difficult to swap the parts. The important part is leak checking the gas lines before lighting it off. Reinventory the tank with water before lighting the pilot or burner. And don't be surprised when the flame burns yellow for several minutes while the whole tank is cold. Condensate dripping down the central chimney onto the burner pan will cause that yellow flame. It will change back to a normal blue as the heater approaches temp.

curlysir
12-08-2009, 08:26 AM
Just found out we have a FG1F303S3NOV Have had intermittent hot water for 2 weeks now. My husband cleaned it all out this weekend, and I found all this info regarding this problem. It worked for about 2 days then went out again, was able to lite this am and get enough for a shower, just heated up tank and shut off and no pilot again. I know this has been discussed but still not sure what to ask for and number to call. Tank was in home when purchased this year so we didn't buy it and don't know where it came from. No homeowners warranty and tank serial is 0510120563 so if I read correctly it is a 05 model, is there any different parts etc that I need to fix, replacing is out right now and we don't have a service person in our area most will be at least 60 miles away so hefty service call and small towns so probably not right parts. My husband works in lrg town and may be able to get parts if I know what to tell him. Everything else is fine whole house works on nat. gas furnace and range are fine so gas line are good and water heater works fine when on which is less and less now. Thanks for any help you can give!!!

Sounds like your gas valve has failed. Should still be under warranty. Call the number on the side of the hot water heater (1-800-999-9515) and give them your serial number. In my case they sent me a new gas valve next day air at their cost. Being an 05 model you will probably get a new burner assembly, thermocouple, and gas valve. They are not that hard to install.

smokinpsd
12-08-2009, 11:13 AM
Called # after posting and they are sending me parts, was very hard to understand so I am sure India answered the phone, however they didn't even ask any questions just what address do we send parts to and there was no shipping charge will be here tomorrow they said, but I couldn't understand about the gas valve? Where is it on tank and general descrip? can we get that part else where if not in box? Tried to ask for it but they said that they were sending "everything I needed" and was easy to install. Hate working with gas and electric, but can replace myself if needed. Can't send husband to town to get parts as he is 180 miles away at work only comes home on weekend, I do not want to wait that long for parts so will try what they send. Tired of no hot water!

master plumber mark
12-08-2009, 02:39 PM
we took out two whirlpoolheaters on monday...
One 50 that was 5 years old and not working and the other was a 40 from 07....

I directed them to the consumer reports site with 199 pages of complaints and told them if they felt that they were gonna have better luck than all the rest of these folks, to go ahead and wait for the parts....

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html



they both called me back and said they had seen
and read enough and they both had new Bradfords installed by noon...


Whirlpool, you are helping my bottom line...
dont ever change your design....

smokinpsd
12-08-2009, 03:29 PM
Trust me as soon as it can be afforded it will be the first thing to get replaced, but I have to at least make it through the holidays. If I could it would have been out of the house 2 weeks ago when it first started acting up.

curlysir
12-08-2009, 04:33 PM
Trust me as soon as it can be afforded it will be the first thing to get replaced, but I have to at least make it through the holidays. If I could it would have been out of the house 2 weeks ago when it first started acting up.

I will keep mine as long as it is in warranty and not costing me money. I had the advantage of having the gas valve from my old water heater to install, so I was not out of hot water except for a few hours. The easiest way to remove the gas valve is to thread a pipe nipple into the valve and use the nipple as a lever to turn the valve. I used a 12" nipple but a shorter one will work but will require more effort. If the new "improved" gas valve is truly fixed it should last a few more years. The old water heater I replaced was still working good but was getting close to 10 years so I replaced it. It was not in that bad of shape after I got it out and examined it and really didn't need replacing. I had moved to this house from an area where the water was so bad that the water heaters very seldom lasted the warranty period be it 6 years or 10 years. Wished I had found this thread before I replaced it.

Runs with bison
12-08-2009, 07:23 PM
Called # after posting and they are sending me parts, was very hard to understand so I am sure India answered the phone, however they didn't even ask any questions just what address do we send parts to and there was no shipping charge will be here tomorrow they said, but I couldn't understand about the gas valve? Where is it on tank and general descrip? can we get that part else where if not in box? Tried to ask for it but they said that they were sending "everything I needed" and was easy to install. Hate working with gas and electric, but can replace myself if needed. Can't send husband to town to get parts as he is 180 miles away at work only comes home on weekend, I do not want to wait that long for parts so will try what they send. Tired of no hot water!

The gas valve/thermostat is the square control assembly with the temp dial, pilot shutoff dial, igniter and reset buttons. A temperature bulb extends inside of the tank to measure the water temperature. There are many parts of this whole assembly but they are fitted/replaced as a contiguous unit. It will screw out although it will need some "persuasion." A pipe nipple should turn it as curlysir suggested.

Since they are sending the parts without hassle or payment you should be in good shape.

smokinpsd
12-09-2009, 04:41 PM
Got parts today but to late to start that project tonight, looked like they sent the front with the new square window and was told explicitly that I had to remove and use old burner, also had a call to remind me they would not cover labor if I hired someone to replace the part. If that doesn't work I will call back and get a new thermostat control box. I am hoping that what they send will work and at least give me enough time to replace the waterheater later. Will let you all know if it works, plan to tackle it tomorrow after work. Thanks for all the help

Fremen9
12-28-2009, 02:02 PM
I can't believe my luck. I didn't know anything about water heaters, so when my old Bradford White finally started leaking after 12 years, I went to Lowe's and picked up a Whirlpool 50 gallon water heater. Its one of those low nox ones.
So I found a plumber who would install it for around $200 and he came out and installed it. He said that he didn't like this brand and it had problems, but I stupidly didn't listen to him and had him install it anyway.
Now 2 days later, and the pilot light keeps turning off.
I looked at it for quite a while and what I noticed is that when I first light it, it stays on. The thermocouple tip is in the flame and is glowing hot.
But I noticed after the burner kicks in for a while and heats up the tank, when it shuts down the burner, the pilot light is actually a little bit smaller than it was initially. The result is that the thermocouple is only barely touching the flame, and as it flickers it actually doesn't touch it at all. Then it gets shut off.

Is this similar to the problem you guys are all taking about? Would it be a simple matter of positioning the thermocouple a bit further so that more of it is in the flame's path?

I called whirlpool and since its only been 2 days since I bought it, they gave me an authorization number and a plumber to call for an appointment. I called the plumber and he is going to try to have someone come by today if possible.

Meanwhile, I after reading all these posts, I am tempted to just pay the same plumber to take it down and help me pack it back in my van and then take it back to Lowe's and ask for a refund. I believe you can return it up to 30 days right? Of course, then i've wasted the $200 installation, and whatever he charges to help me remove it...

I should have stuck with the Bradford white model I had before. But who sells those? I only found them on amazon.com. Ironically they are the same price or less than the Whirlpool I bought.
Do you know, for the 12 years I had it, I never once had to light the pilot on this bradford white? In fact, I didn't even know you had to do that. I thought it was automaticaly doing it...

Terry
12-28-2009, 02:19 PM
Bradford White and Rheem are sold by plumbers.
All you have to do, is call them, and they will bring the heater with them to your house.

jadnashua
12-28-2009, 02:22 PM
Bradford White is typically only carried by plumbing supply houses and they often won't sell directly to retail customers...your plumber will be glad to supply one and probably a reasonable price.

Fremen9
12-28-2009, 05:53 PM
Just had the gas company guy come out to take a look.
He tested the thermocouple and said its not giving off quite enough voltage. He thought it was positioned as high as it can be and it was just quite enough...he thought maybe someone could reposition it another 1/16th of an inch, but he said the thermocouple is not giving off enough voltage so will shut off intermittently. He said that whirlpool heaters are junk and he sees this problem 2 times a day.

So anyway...has anyone had experience returning a used water heater to Lowes? I called them, and I told her what happened and she said they would take it back if its within 7 days. Since I bought it 12/26 I should be able to take it back tomorrow night and return it.
The gas guy actually said if it was him, he'd even throw it away and buy another one. wow...guess he feels strongly about it.

Redwood
12-28-2009, 06:48 PM
The gas guy actually said if it was him, he'd even throw it away and buy another one. wow...guess he feels strongly about it.

If you read back through the pages of this thread I might have a very similar strong opinion....:rolleyes:

Fremen9
12-28-2009, 10:18 PM
Hey guys,
what do you think of the Kenmore brand from Sears??
Compared to the Whirlpool from Lowes and GE from Home Depot?

I can't find anywhere near the number of complaints for Kenmore 50 gallon gas than I can find for the other two.

My plumber says he doesn't buy water heaters.

master plumber mark
12-29-2009, 04:09 AM
Hey guys,
what do you think of the Kenmore brand from Sears??
Compared to the Whirlpool from Lowes and GE from Home Depot?

I can't find anywhere near the number of complaints for Kenmore 50 gallon gas than I can find for the other two.

My plumber says he doesn't buy water heaters.


get the GE unit...it is the best by far of all 3

Stay away from SEARS..they are junk too

here are a few hundred complaints to read if you need to

http://baheyeldin.com/technology-in-society/mistaken-identity-help-with-kenmore-water-heater.html

Fremen9
12-29-2009, 09:27 AM
I was looking over the front of my water heater last night ,and I noticed that the thermocouple wire which is a fairly stiff wire was actually slightly touching the metal guard that covers it. I thought maybe it shouldn't be touching that, I mean isn't it supposed to conduct heat or something?
So I pushed it in and made sure it wasn't touching anything.
Also, the guy from the gas company had unscrewed it from the control box and then put it back in.
Since then, so far, the pilot light hasn't shut off.
Is that a coincidence? maybe that's all that was wrong right now?
until it clogs up of course
or burns up.

curlysir
12-29-2009, 05:35 PM
I was looking over the front of my water heater last night ,and I noticed that the thermocouple wire which is a fairly stiff wire was actually slightly touching the metal guard that covers it. I thought maybe it shouldn't be touching that, I mean isn't it supposed to conduct heat or something?
So I pushed it in and made sure it wasn't touching anything.
Also, the guy from the gas company had unscrewed it from the control box and then put it back in.
Since then, so far, the pilot light hasn't shut off.
Is that a coincidence? maybe that's all that was wrong right now?
until it clogs up of course
or burns up.

Touching the metal won't cause a problem. The thermocouple generates a small electrical voltage (mV) and unscrewing and reinstalling can sometimes "fix" a problem with the thermocouple if the fitting was loose or if there was a small amount of corrosion on the tip of thermocouple.

vtxdude
01-01-2010, 02:19 PM
Hey guys,
what do you think of the Kenmore brand from Sears??
Compared to the Whirlpool from Lowes and GE from Home Depot?

I can't find anywhere near the number of complaints for Kenmore 50 gallon gas than I can find for the other two.

My plumber says he doesn't buy water heaters.

Stay the F away from Kenmore...I'm going to try to have them take back a month and few day old Power Miser 9 and replace it with a Bradford White Next week...no pilot light issues (yet) but it just doesn't want to seem to run right.....I'm all over this forum with the issues I have had with it......in any event my main beef with it is the small openings in the bottom to take in air....I'm thinking this is contributing to the issues I am having and the Bradford White air intake system looks superior. Flame at times burns pretty yellow and it looks like soot already forming in flue...my venting appears to be good doing a lighter test so it seems the drafting is there.


If you replace the Whirlpool either go Rheem or Bradford White and find a good plumber you can trust to install it...you will be glad you did...sounds like the install of the BW might even be close to 200 dollars less than the Kenmore......

If I could reverse time and had found this forum before November I probably would be all set right now...I'm not happy about having to spend a lot more money than I had planned originally but peace of mind and knowing it should not have the issues that Mark's link points out makes me feel a lot better

mnalep
01-04-2010, 08:35 PM
Hi,

I have a Whirlpool hot water tank (FG1F4040S3NOV). I have the frequently mentioned problem with the pilot light not staying lit - after I release the pilot gas reset button.

I just called the 877-817-6750 Whirlpool warranty number, and am going to have shipped to me a replacement 'kit' (which I think includes the new thermocouple, converter, and manifold face plate).

I had 2 questions that I hope someone here could answer.

1) I have the pilot/thermocouple/burner unit out of the water tank. How can evaluate my test of the thermocouple so that I can be absolutely sure the problem is the thermocouple, and not the gas valve?

- I put a multimeter on the aluminum tip and on the TC line near the pilot flame site. I heated the TC for 2 minutes, and did not get any milliamps reading on my voltmeter, which was set at 200mA DC (Is is DC, right?) I thinks that is saying the TC is not sending any power to the Valve to tell the valve the pilot is staying lit?

- I then set my meter to the 20 Ohms scale and tested again. This time with the TC hot from previous 2 minutes of heating the meter read 0.0 Ohms. After the TC cooled down for 5 minutes, the meter read 0.3 Ohms. So I interpret this as when the TC is heated it has 0 ohms resistance - which is impossible for any metal to be that low? So the TC is bad.

- But why would it show 0.3 Ohms resistance when the TC is cold? That indicates a small amount of resistance, which might mean the TC is ok?

2) Since I have to wait until Wednesday, or even Thursday, for the kit to arrive (it's Monday today) - I was wondering if I could try and fire up the main burner just long enough to heat the water tank tomorrow (for a shower and to do the dishes). I was thinking that I could just manually light the main burner with a long match, that I'd insert through the 'peep' hole, after removing the glass cover? Would this be safe to do?

mnalep
01-05-2010, 10:07 AM
One more question...Has anyone considered pulling the left hand thread nut off the existing thermocouple, and using it to replace the right hand threaded nut on a new thermocouple?

The old TC could be cut to get the LH thread off easily enough.

And it looks as if the aluminum? tip is clamped on to the copper TC line, and maybe could be pried off and then back on a new TC line? If the tip cannot be wrenched off, could the new TC line be cut, the nuts exchanged, and then the line soldered back together?

Redwood
01-05-2010, 07:19 PM
One more question...Has anyone considered pulling the left hand thread nut off the existing thermocouple, and using it to replace the right hand threaded nut on a new thermocouple?

The old TC could be cut to get the LH thread off easily enough.

And it looks as if the aluminum? tip is clamped on to the copper TC line, and maybe could be pried off and then back on a new TC line? If the tip cannot be wrenched off, could the new TC line be cut, the nuts exchanged, and then the line soldered back together?

The right hand thread thermocouples are incompatible with your application.
Don't do it!

Wait for the parts or install a Bradford White and end your problems!

Hackney plumbing
01-06-2010, 07:50 AM
The right hand thread thermocouples are incompatible with your application.
Don't do it!

Wait for the parts or install a Bradford White and end your problems!

I concur Mr. Redwood except for the suggested brand as i prefer Rheem water heaters,however they are not perfect either and utilize an extra safety feature and we all know that safety features are famous for failing causing the heater to shut down:D

Redwood
01-06-2010, 08:31 AM
I concur Mr. Redwood except for the suggested brand as i prefer Rheem water heaters,however they are not perfect either and utilize an extra safety feature and we all know that safety features are famous for failing causing the heater to shut down:D

I would gladly debate this subject with you any day and I assure you that Rheem while far superior to all the other brands is only second rate to a Bradford White.:D

mnalep
01-06-2010, 09:44 AM
I received the 'kit'. I am going to go install it in the next hour. I hope it works.

I have a bit of doubt however, I test the old and new Thermocouple(TC) with the multimeter, and the old one hit around 22Mv faster than the new one did (in about 1 minute)! I heated the tip of the TC by applying a flame from a BBQ lighter. They both ohmed at around 0.3ohms!

I have been tricked by mulitmeter tests, in the past, into thinking something was good, and found after buying a new part that the old one was indeed bad (even though it tested good) - for example a coil pack on my car.

I don't want to have to order a valve, and wait for that to be shipped, before I can get hot water again!

mnalep
01-06-2010, 01:48 PM
So I installed the upgrade 'kit' with the new thermocouple, and so far so good, the pilot stays lit, and I have hot water.

I was surprised how far I had to screw the pilot line into the thermostat/valve.

I still do not understand how I could get about the same voltage and ohm readings on both the old and the new thermocouple, and one works and the other does not?

Redwood
01-06-2010, 02:05 PM
So I installed the upgrade 'kit' with the new thermocouple, and so far so good, the pilot stays lit, and I have hot water.

Make sure that you clean the flame arrestor on the bottom of the water heater that is what initially triggered your troubles and will cause endless headaches for you...

I really don't understand why people put so much effort into fixing these POS water heaters...

There must be a lot of Masochists that buy these whirlpoo's...:rolleyes:

mnalep
01-06-2010, 02:43 PM
Hi Redwood,

Thanks for that tip. I did clean out the filter/arrestor on the underside of the tank.

It was not that bad from what I could tell, not much came out of it. I did sweep under the tank and their was some hair and lint, so maybe it was actually worse than I have just described.

To answer your question about fixing it - this is the first trouble I've had with it, and I have had it almost 6 years - come this April.

I'm not defending the unit, I'm actually quite upset that it came with the Left Hand threaded thermocouple - which I could only get by calling that 877 phone number, and waiting 2 days to get by mail! Why would any company need to have the only left hand threaded thermocouple on the market to begin with!

If I had read this entire thread before my purchase, I would have never bought this Whirlpool unit.

But as it is already installed, and as this is my first trouble in almost 6 years, and seeing as how the parts cost me nothing under warranty, how could I not try to fix it? The alternative would be spending hundreds of dollars on a new tank, and then paying for, or installing it myself. I would be reluctant to do that - even if I was still working.

I hope it keeps working...in spite of the bad track record I've read about here.

PS: I know you know your stuff, as you've helped me in the past. Do you have any explanation why I was getting almost the same voltage and resistance measures with both the old and the new thermocouple? (besides operator error ;-) )