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Hackney plumbing
01-06-2010, 08:46 PM
Probably because it saves about $600-800 on a crap shoot with a new unit and plumber. (Flip a coin as to which one of the two is the worse gamble.) As long as it can be DIY repaired for free and the frequency is less than once a year, it is manageable, though a PITA when it happens. Honestly, I don't want to have to buy ANY new water heater for a few years because of the control problems that ALL of them are having.

At this point I'm curious as to how long this Unitrol Robert Shaw Valve will last before it fails. For all of the finger pointing about the FVIR's design flaws, that wasn't the problem for me, nor for many/most of the others I've read about in the past year. Instead it was a component shared by most water heater vendors.

Their are differences in fvir design and some are better than others but its best they have a clean air envirrment and thats just not the case most of the time in the real world. This lack of air causes the heater's combustion chamber to over heat and the heater shuts down. Here is my solution to the problem if the heater is installed in its own dedicated closet. I cut an A.C filter grill into the door and install a filter then weather strip the door. yes its a PITA to change the filter but its reliable protection in dirty air enviroments for the new heaters. Lint will cause them all to fail.

Redwood
01-07-2010, 09:42 PM
Are you talking about the time and inconvenience of waiting around for a plumber and the follow up inspection? Because I generally can do a repair far more quickly and conveniently, and a hell of a lot cheaper than a plumber can. There are things I have to call a plumber for, and I dread the waste of time, cost, and inconvenience when that happens. ;)

No I'm taking about the time that someone spent:

driving to Lowes to buy a water heater
trying to find a smockman for help
waiting for smock man to close the aisle and take one down off the rack
waiting in a checkout line
driving home with it
moving it into the house
installing it
wondering why they don't have hot water
Trying to relight the water heater
going to Lowes for a left handed thermocouple
find out that they don't have any
go home and call 1-800-Racshids India Help Line
Order the burner enhancement kit
wait for the kit to arrive
install the kit when it arrived
be very greatful that you have hot water again after almost a week of putzing around
oops spoke to early its out again
call Rashid again
order the gas valve
wait for the gas valve
install the gas valve when it arrives
hope to hell it works
every morning wake up and wonder "Is the water heater still working"


All this because some dumbazz incompetent engineer can't design a good product...

Hackney plumbing
01-08-2010, 02:26 PM
When I get a cold tank call I ask the brand and if its gas fired or electric. If gas I ask the make,model and serial number. If its a whirlpool theres no worry as I have a case of the left handed thermocouples and that will get them by until we can get the proper parts delivered under the warranty. So I make two service calls out of the deal and the customer gets HOT WATER again with little wait. Sure it costs them money but i didn't install it so its not my fault. I know plenty of people who will gamble with repair a few times before they shell out 1,000 for a new one. I always advise that whirlpool has had problems and I believe they are inferior to a couple other brands but none of them are perfect. Bradford does have a large screen but I have seen them fail also in dirty enviroments.

master plumber mark
01-08-2010, 04:27 PM
you need to add to that long list of reasons..

another good reason.....

sitting on line waiting to get to talk to someone over in INDIA about your problems.... and getting the parts to repair them sent to your home in 4 days...


...

Hillbilly Man
01-08-2010, 05:06 PM
Hot Dang!
This is gittin ta be like the good ol times when my cousin Southern Man useta hang out here.
He wuz an enginear too.

curlysir
01-08-2010, 05:19 PM
you need to add to that long list of reasons..

another good reason.....

sitting on line waiting to get to talk to someone over in INDIA about your problems.... and getting the parts to repair them sent to your home in 4 days...


...


I got my parts overnight at no cost. I would not have bought the water heater if I I known the problems. But, now that I have it I am not going to throw it away because it is not the best WH around. It worked for almost 18 months without a problem and is working now with the new parts.

I will replace it when it is out of warranty or when it starts failing more often.

I could afford a new WH but I don't like to waste money either.

Hackney plumbing
01-08-2010, 05:34 PM
I got my parts overnight at no cost. I would not have bought the water heater if I I known the problems. But, now that I have it I am not going to throw it away because it is not the best WH around. It worked for almost 18 months without a problem and is working now with the new parts.

I will replace it when it is out of warranty or when it starts failing more often.

I could afford a new WH but I don't like to waste money either.

make sure you clean the metal screen in the bottom out very well. Also make sure you install the filter around the bottom and clean it often depending on how dirty it gets. the replacement part has a resetable limit switch. Goodluck!

curlysir
01-08-2010, 07:25 PM
make sure you clean the metal screen in the bottom out very well. Also make sure you install the filter around the bottom and clean it often depending on how dirty it gets. the replacement part has a resetable limit switch. Goodluck!

The screen was clean. And the filter around the bottom did not have a lot of crud on it. I am not defending the Water Heater. It has design problems for sure, but I also am not going to throw money away either. When it does become a major pain in the rear it will be gone for sure. I like hot water and will not spend a lot of money on a bad design. I also have the old gas valve from my previous heater in case I need it.

Torry
01-10-2010, 08:53 AM
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)

I'm finding it hilarious that neither website is active... I've received and installed my second free conversion kit from Lowes... saving up for a Rheem.

Torry
01-10-2010, 09:29 AM
I've learned to immediately demand the "Recall Replacement Kit" to get my free new assembly from Lowes but I have no idea how to go about getting this replacement/auxilary'add-on filter that I'm supposed to wrap around the bottom of this dog.

Torry
01-10-2010, 09:31 AM
I'm on my second free kit and am saving up for a real water heater. I have to agree that it is rather ridiculous that a manufacturer of a gas-fueled product is so casual about rank amateurs installing these replacement kits. ... it doesn't help that their provided connectors will not stand up to the repeated installations.

Torry
01-10-2010, 09:35 AM
I have read this thread from front-to-back and want to thank everyone for all their info and input.

There will NOT be another Whirlpool water heater in my home .... as soon as I save up for the replacement...

Until then, I will be haunting Lowes to demand a SPARE replacement kit so that I will have one on hand for the next failure. It took visits and calls to three stores to track one kit down and I supposedly got their last remaining kit.

curlysir
01-10-2010, 11:01 AM
I have read this thread from front-to-back and want to thank everyone for all their info and input.

There will NOT be another Whirlpool water heater in my home .... as soon as I save up for the replacement...

Until then, I will be haunting Lowes to demand a SPARE replacement kit so that I will have one on hand for the next failure. It took visits and calls to three stores to track one kit down and I supposedly got their last remaining kit.

It is not just Whirlpool, It is also American Standard, U.S. Craftmaster and several others brands made by the same company. Same Water Heater just with different names on them.

Superdave
01-18-2010, 04:19 PM
Just battled my first, amazingly got it to start back up.

the bottom screen wasn't too dirty but i cleaned it anyways, main problem is that the pilot light went out and wouldn't re-light.


I'm not even going to mess with repairs at this point, just going to pick up a new 50 gallon at Home Depot. What brand do you guys suggest?


BTW, my model number was FG1HS040T3NV. It's a shame because it looks amazingly new. (purchased in 2002 by previous home owner). It always sounded like water was leaking on the burner when it ran though.. i just hoped it was condensation. :)

Tim in Fort Worth
01-22-2010, 09:22 PM
Since it was my e-mail to Terry that launched this thread I feel an obligation to inform everyone that Water Heater Zero assumed room temperature a few months ago. The pilot light went out and I ended up going through my entire stash of replacement TCs that Whirlpool sent me free of charge including shipping because I refused to pay. Since it's not likely that a new TC is bad, let alone several of them I think it supports the theory that there are multiple causes of failure for this water heater. I looked for a Bradford White replacement but soon discovered that they were only available through plumbers. I ended up getting a GE from HD because I'm pretty much a DIY guy and couldn't justify the cost to have a plumber install it. So far so good. We'll see how it goes.

But I have to say, Terry, this thread has been one hell of a ride! 100,000+ views and counting. I've never seen a thread with that many views. All the posts that begin along the lines of, "If I had only read this thread before..." are only half the story. No telling how many people you never heard from who read the thread first and were saved the hassle and frustration. Not to mention the other professional plumbers who found it and hopefully put a kid through college because of it. Or the lawyers who used it at a resource for their cases. And even the Whirlpool people who cringed at the thought of this thread but followed it anyway because the just couldn't look away. This place is probably the number one resource on the Internet about the Whirlpool flamelock water heater. You might even have enough material here for a book. And don't sell the movie rights cheap. I'm even beginning to think it will be a bitter-sweet day when the last Whirlpool flamelock water heater in existence gets tossed onto the lawn of Whirlpool's CEO. One of them should probably be saved for a museum exhibit. Again, Terry great job with this thread. You've done a great service for a lot of people, and it will probably be useful for several more years.

Superdave
01-23-2010, 08:41 PM
Mine was replaced yesterday with a nice new 12yr GE unit from Home Depot.


I flipped my old one on it's side just to verify that the screen wasn't clogged and it was as clean as can be. There was a decent amount of sediment in the tank, it actually had a hard time draining. I did make sure to yank out the igniter for use in a potato cannon at a later date. :)


Oh well, it's on it's way to be recycled and my wife and kids have nothing to complain about for a while.




Thanks for all the info guys

vtxdude
01-30-2010, 08:21 PM
I was in Lowes tonight and one thing that caught my eye is that they are promoting that the water heaters now come with a standard right turn thermo coupling?

Verhouze
03-06-2010, 02:58 PM
Please tell me it isn't so. I had one installed yesterday and this thread is freaking me out. Are some models less likely to have the problems? My model number is American Proline UG6150T403N

Redwood
03-06-2010, 03:34 PM
Well the newer ones won't have the one time thermocouple problem but....

You have the California special Low-NOx version somehow I don't anticipate good things but it is different than most of the ones in this thread.

Verhouze
03-06-2010, 04:16 PM
Well, your answer is some relief. I just want to know at this point it is not dangerous. I am no spring chicken and can't run fast. LOL. Not funny really. The fact it doesn't have the same thermocouple is a relief but it does have the same filter underneath.

Do you know what kind of problems go wrong with this model?

Redwood
03-06-2010, 05:32 PM
Basically it just shuts of and doesn't turn on again.

Verhouze
03-06-2010, 06:03 PM
Thanks! Do you know about this particular model?

jimbo
03-07-2010, 07:13 AM
You have the California special Low-NOx version somehow I don't anticipate good things but it is different than most of the ones in this thread.

To the best of my knowledge, residential heaters up to 50 gallon are produced as a 50 state model, in other they ALL are low nox compliant. Commercial water heaters are still made in "regular" and "lo nox".

NOW, if you are in certain counties in CA ( SCAQMD and BAAQMD air quality management districts) you must get the ULTRA LOW NOX version, and pay heavy premium price for those puppies~!

Redwood
03-07-2010, 08:43 AM
Jimbo, the one he has is the SCAQMD and BAAQMD air quality management districts approved version. It's still got the same air inlet on the bottom that is susceptible to clogging with lint and dust among the other problems the BFG units face.

Verhouze
03-07-2010, 11:11 AM
Do you happen to know what the "among other problems" are?

Building Chief
03-07-2010, 03:18 PM
I have 432 apartments with gas water heaters and American Water heaters are by far the worst. Although Rheem/Richmond are becoming a clear second. Contrary to what some are posting they are not much better as we have had some fail after only 2 - 3 years. The safety device inside them is a small temperture sensitive burst vial which Rheem does not consider a replaceable part if it fails they want you to return the water heater to them so they can see why. After having to pull a couple of these It's easy to see why. The screen is smaller than an American's and is only accessable from the inside of the unit which makes it hard to clean properly as all of the accumulated dirt and lint is under the screen and unreachable. To make matters worse the screen is covered in the oil they use when they stamp the screen and acts as an effective dust magnet. We have had conversations with Rheem regarding this and they think there's no problem with it. We have started cleaning the screens with solvents prior to installation to see if this will extend the life of these heaters. Only time will tell...

Redwood
03-07-2010, 04:08 PM
I have 432 apartments with gas water heaters and American Water heaters are by far the worst. Although Rheem/Richmond are becoming a clear second. Contrary to what some are posting they are not much better as we have had some fail after only 2 - 3 years. The safety device inside them is a small temperture sensitive burst vial which Rheem does not consider a replaceable part if it fails they want you to return the water heater to them so they can see why. After having to pull a couple of these It's easy to see why. The screen is smaller than an American's and is only accessable from the inside of the unit which makes it hard to clean properly as all of the accumulated dirt and lint is under the screen and unreachable. To make matters worse the screen is covered in the oil they use when they stamp the screen and acts as an effective dust magnet. We have had conversations with Rheem regarding this and they think there's no problem with it. We have started cleaning the screens with solvents prior to installation to see if this will extend the life of these heaters. Only time will tell...

That's why I say Bradford White...

Redwood
03-07-2010, 04:09 PM
Do you happen to know what the "among other problems" are?

36 Pages of reading right here...

dteed4094
03-08-2010, 10:31 AM
Based on my observations, disconnecting the switch will not affect the normal operation of the water heater. The problem is that you are back to the original problem of low air flow and burning out the thermocouple. If you have the switch connected, it should prevent the thermocouple from burning out. Since the thermal switch is resettable it seems preferable to let it pop instead of replacing a thermocouple that is now about $15.



I haven't tried keeping the manifold door loose, because I don't want the entire assembly to be able to rattle around. Probably wouldn't hurt anything, but since I am working with natural gas I don't want to risk doing something that might cause the connections to start leaking. Since the switch is nothing more than a fuse for a fuse, there is no reason to bypass it until it craps out and Whirlpool wants to sell you a new manifold door assembly. If you bypass it, you are back to replacing the thermocouple on a regular basis.

The thermocouple adapter is the key to the whole operation here. I have never bought a thermocouple before I got this water heater, so I don't know how many different ones there are. But I remember the first time I went to Lowe's after it burned out the first time they pointed me to a "standard" thermocouple that had standard threads before I told them it was a Whirlpool Flame Lock water heater. I don't know how much cheaper, if at all a standard thermocouple is. But if it's just a few bucks then it's still cheaper than paying shipping for a new manifold assembly or $15 for the reverse threaded thermocouple.

In regards to the window, as I stated earlier the window is larger and lets in a lot more air. The flow is so strong that the pilot light really flickers. I was worried it might go out so I put some folded metal window screen over it and that calmed down the pilot flame.



That was my theory when I popped out the smaller, round glass a year and a half ago. At that time I also considered attaching a hose to the hole and running it under the house where there is a constant draft that would feed air into the space under the water heater. The square hole is too big for that.



I'm not a licensed plumber, and I wouldn't advise anyone to do it, either. But trust me. "Someone" has popped that glass out and made it more like the old style gas heaters. That's the only reason I think I got a year and a half out of the last thermocouple. Based on everything I have read about the problems associated with the Whirlpool Flame Lock system, it seems that a lot of people are replacing them every few months. If this one lasts a year and a half before popping that resettable switch the new manifold assembly should be good until the warranty expires. I've got 5 years left on the warranty, so using 1.5 years as the guide the thermal switch should pop 3 times before the warranty expires.

I can understand the concern with flammable vapors in proximity to gas water heaters, especially for those installed in garages where paints, solvents and gasoline are also stored. But my water heater is in the house, in it's own closet. The only flammable vaporous liquid in the house is a couple of bottles of rubbing alcohol, and they are 20' away from the water heater. I've got a keg of Blue Dot Smokeless Powder that is closer to the water heater than the alcohol (yes, it's in a different room and stored properly).

Edit: On a whim I Googled these heaters to find out about the class action law suit that is in the works. Here's the link to the search results. There are four returns, including one to this thread:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22class+action%22%2C%22against+whirlpool%22%2C% 22flame+lock%22&btnG=Google+Search

I read the Consumer Affairs articles, and noticing that one of the people quoted lived near me I called him. It seems that he figured out the trick about removing the viewing window, too. He also told me something that was very interesting because it conflicts with the advice being given by Whirlpool about cleaning the filters. The city where he lives has a code requirement that when you replace a water heater you have to put a catch pan under it. The catch pan is about 3" deep, which makes cleaning the bottom of the screen impossible unless you disconnect every single connection on the water heater and lift it out of the pan for cleaning. He also told me that he asked a manager at Lowes how many of the thermocouples they had sold. The manager told him that they sold 40 of them in 3 months. One store. He calculated it out for that store for a year, then for the number of stores in Texas, then for all the Lowes in the United States. The $$ figure he got was in the neighborhood of $10,000,000 at $15 per part.

For those interested, the class action lawsuit against Whirlpool and AWHC in California is set for August of this year. If it succeeds it will spread across the country.

I've done everything including connecting the thermo switch wires. I have also tested the thermocouples and they aren't fried. Pounding on the control valve with my hand seems to extend the time between re lights which I have done (relight) 6 times in as many hours. Sometimes I can get it to stay lit 3 or 4 days. I've been doing this pretty much since the tank was new. This is why I replaced the tank in the first place. They have sent me a new control valve but from everything I've read that is a waste of time also. Maybe the best thing to do is just sue as an individual. There has to be some compensation for all the parts and work I've done on these POS heaters for the past 10 years not to mention the inconvenience of myself and my family. going to try leaving the sensor end of the coupler outside and heat it with a bunsen burner. Just for giggles.

Verhouze
03-08-2010, 04:11 PM
Yes, thank you. I read about all I could read.

I am just going to have to trust my plumber. I am not in a position to make changes now.

whdettmer
04-19-2010, 10:06 PM
A three month old whirpool flame lock water heater has developed the shut off problem. I installed a new control valve sent out by whirlpool. I then replaced the thermocouple. I noticed that the galvanized steel part that holds the thermocouple appeared to be damaged. It looked like the zinc plating on the nut and the bracket has been burnt off. If the base of the thermocouple gets hot, like hot enough to damage the zinc coating on the part that holds the base of the thermocouple, could that heat at the base reduce the temperature differential between the top and bottom of the thermocouple and temporarily reduce the output which would cause shut down? Has anyone measured thermocouple output during heating cycle when shut down occurs? My guess is that the combustion chamber is too hot around the base of the thermocouple.
Also is there a test to determine if the filter is clean enough? Thanks

JimD
05-08-2010, 02:49 PM
Thanks Terry, Redwood, etc. You saved me from becoming another victim. I have a tip for you pro's. (This is not for the inexperienced).
I used a 1.5v battery and 1 or 2 diodes in series (1N4000, 1N4001 1amp are about .65v to .7v at 100mA). So 1.5v - .7v = .8v etc.
I touched the lead for about 1/2 sec to the valve and could here it "click" .Good. Then like you, I checked the voltage and current output
from the hot thermocouple. At that point I was confident that everything would work, so put it all back together. It has worked ok for 20
years. This was a furnace burner but similar to your HW burner. Hope this helps you.
Thanks again for your priceless information.

DIYGurl
08-14-2010, 02:45 PM
I got a new gas water heater installed last night. They quoted a Rheem, but when the installer came out he said the quoter thought it was a tankless and he suggested a Whirlpool. I've had good luck with Whirlpool appliances in the past, so I said OK. But I woke up in the middle of the night nervous about the way it happened and wanted to check on rebate and tax credit potential... I googled the model number ( Whirlpool UG1H5040T3NV ) -- needless to say, I was horrified!

Finally at 4am after searching, I decided that I would cancel the check this morning and ask for a different water heater. I called the plumber to discuss and and he was emphatic that this is a very good water heater and he stands by it. I mentioned the law suit and he said he remembered the problem a couple of years ago (was even contracted for the mass repair work by Whirlpool), but that Whirlpool redesigned the unit to now use a "burner assembly" which is like a coil, not a flame (is this true?) and that he hasn't had a problem with them any longer. He offered to double his labor warranty (to 2 years) and said that if I have any problems with it he'll swap it for a unit of my choosing.

I was worried that I got some old inventory, but I checked and they are still selling this model at Lowes.

I feel like I have a "time bomb of hassle" ticking in my house... Next time I will do my research beforehand now that I know about terrylove.com.

I will wave some chicken bones over the warranty registration form before I send it in...

Any other guidance welcome. Thanks for this thread. Too bad I didn't see it sooner.

bigbuck576
08-19-2010, 06:33 PM
Hey I'm a plumber in Shreveport, La and from experience i can say that the air intake screen should be cleaned but does the heater have the black filter screen that goes around the heater??

Runs with bison
09-07-2010, 09:50 PM
Whirledpooh still working fine well over a year after replacing the gas control valve/thermostat...for free. The real culprit on many of these is the gas control valve/thermostat. (See Curlysir's document about this manufacturer's defect earlier in the thread.) Unfortunately, other manufacturers often share the same Unitrol Robert Shaw valve arrangement (hecho en Mexico) and it has been problematic. So while you can get a better combustion air intake design from a competitor, you might still be saddled with the same poorly manufactured controls.

curlysir
09-30-2010, 07:41 PM
This thread just will not fade away. Haven't been here in a while but it is still alive. I still have the old control valve from my old hot water installed and running in my hot water heater. Has been a year since the original control valve failed, have the replacement they sent me but can't really see the need to replace it as the old control valve just keeps on working. The valve was in service about 10 years before I replaced the heater and stripped it for parts, usually don't do that but am glad I did. I know I lose the "safety feature" of the heat sensor but it is not any worse then what it was with the old heater and it was a direct screw in replacement, no modification required. This does lend some credibility to the control valve/thermostat being a big part of the problem.

junkzoo
10-05-2010, 08:15 AM
Well, add me to the long list of unhappy Whirlpool Flamelocker's. Tho i suppose i was lucky and had this beast for only 4 yrs b4 the infamous pilot loss problem appeared .Tho i DID have to return the first one i bought,, after lugging it downstairs only to find it musta got dropped from 10 feet and left a huge dent in the tank's body,, with no sign of any such damage on the outer cardboard box, and lug it back up the stairs, drive another hrs roundtrip , to find they did not have a replacement and had to wait 3-4 days to make the run back to get it.

Noticed hot water waning yesterday, and checked it out,, found the pilot out, and relit it,, thought it might have been a one time thing(or a t-couple acting up) and checked on it through the evening. Yup, it went out a few more times, removed the silly lil dust ring from the bottom, and since the new ones are sealed up pretty well (compared to the old school ones) i went along with the thinking that maybe combustion air might be part or all of the problem. left the ring off over night, and found i had hot water (and the pilot still it) in the am. So that sorta confirmed my thinking (I'm a industrial electrical tech, so t-shooting is kind of my forte') Thinking i was on the right track, i assumed(you all know what happens when that is done) my wife would have hot water when she goe home from working midnites as a ER nurse this morning. Well, she had "sorta" hot water, and of course the pilot went out since i checked a few hrs prior. Got all needed info off the heater and starting my search online for a new t-couple(It's a LP use one, so i figured my only chance of finding one would be either at my local hardware store, and not "up north" where LP is not the norm.) And during my search i find all the sites regarding this water heater, and happy and sad when i learned of many many problems like mine. For whatever reason , i lucked out since this is the first time w/ a problem in 4-5 yrs of having this unit. I DID try to blow out the screen from below (on the floor w/ no blocks to raise it higher) and relit, but that did not help at all. So,,, looks like cleaning the screen/flame trap is my next move,,and then what? dunno. if that does not fix things, then a t-couple is probably the next action. You folks think /know that i would have much luck finding a replacement t-couple at my local True Value type stores, or am i stuck with going online to the e-stores that carry parts and/or Whirlpool itself? Of course in this situation, you want it fixed NOW , vs. when you have to order one and wait for the brown truck to bring it x amount of days later.

Also, do i have any recourse with maybe getting money reimbursed from Whirlpool over this, even after the class action lawsuit is long over?

Glad i found this forum, and like i said happy AND sad i found a direct discussion regarding this problem,

Thanks you guys!(and gals i guess)

junkzoo
10-05-2010, 08:21 AM
Hey I'm a plumber in Shreveport, La and from experience i can say that the air intake screen should be cleaned but does the heater have the black filter screen that goes around the heater??

As stated in my 1st post above this one, i removed the black "filter" ring (would prob only stop the biggest of dust bunnies IMO) last evening and the pilot stayed on overnite, longer than prev attempts prior to doing so. BUT it DID go out (with ring removed) after i confirmed in the morning it was stil lit, a few hrs later.
IMO, it does not appear to be the kind of filter to do a real good job it trapping anything since it's not much of a filter ,so to speak it's prob just a kneejerk reaction to Whirlpool's problem with this unit back when it first came out. Do i re-install it? likely. do i hold any faith that it does any good? NOPE.

Well, other than looking up a new t-couple , i guees i better get busy pulling the combustion ring unit, and get to cleaning/blowing thing out b4 i commit to getting/trying a new t-couple.

junkzoo
10-05-2010, 03:43 PM
Well, did a good blow out/vacuum/clean of the Flame Lock screen, (was not covered or clogged at all, but i'm assuming there might have been some stuff in the openings) and nothing much else more to it.
The pilot has been on now for 6-7 hrs since, but that is not saying i'm out of the woods yet:rolleyes:

I'm hoping i was just one of the lucky ones (probably a small group, right? ;) ) that got lucky with a screen cleaning (but like i said, there was probably very little there) and i might be good to go, and will need to clean/check this a few times a yrs from now on.

Since it's been running w/out a problem since 2-15-06 til yesterday, even one more flame out of the pilot is gonna put me back in my bad :mad: mood, and back in the larger club of hating and regretting they bought this tub of crap.

curlysir
10-05-2010, 04:34 PM
Well, did a good blow out/vacuum/clean of the Flame Lock screen, (was not covered or clogged at all, but i'm assuming there might have been some stuff in the openings) and nothing much else more to it.
The pilot has been on now for 6-7 hrs since, but that is not saying i'm out of the woods yet:rolleyes:

I'm hoping i was just one of the lucky ones (probably a small group, right? ;) ) that got lucky with a screen cleaning (but like i said, there was probably very little there) and i might be good to go, and will need to clean/check this a few times a yrs from now on.

Since it's been running w/out a problem since 2-15-06 til yesterday, even one more flame out of the pilot is gonna put me back in my bad :mad: mood, and back in the larger club of hating and regretting they bought this tub of crap.

If you will go back and read most of this thread you will see that it is more then likely not your thermocouple causing the problem, it is the control valve assembly. What you describe are the classic symptoms of the valve failing. You may be able to limp alone for a short period by replacing the thermocouple and the other things but the control valve will fail shortly. The manufacture should replace it under warranty, they even paid the freight for me and would have sent someone out to install it if I wanted it.

junkzoo
10-05-2010, 09:51 PM
If you will go back and read most of this thread you will see that it is more then likely not your thermocouple causing the problem, it is the control valve assembly. What you describe are the classic symptoms of the valve failing. You may be able to limp alone for a short period by replacing the thermocouple and the other things but the control valve will fail shortly. The manufacture should replace it under warranty, they even paid the freight for me and would have sent someone out to install it if I wanted it.
Thanks,
Looks like things are NOT ok with my problems, since i just 5 minutes ago checked on it (after i ran a load of clothes in the washer) and the pilot was out , but the hot water lines were pretty warm, so it just must have gone out. So i looks like i'll be needing a control valve replacement. I'll call the number listed on the unit in the morning ,unless you folks know of a "better" number to call to help things along (No i don't mean a different maker of water heater LOL ,, well , maybe not right now but perhaps later :rolleyes: , if this does not take care of things)

Thanks for all your help here, i REALLY appreciate it! :D

junkzoo
10-06-2010, 02:00 PM
Latest and not surpising to you here, I called Whirlpools' number and shockingly did not get India, but a nice sounding Southern gal, who did ok with helping me out. Well , sorta. Told my short story, told her i wanted a new control valve sent out to me, since it was determined by the consenus here, and by a "professional" i fibbed and told her i called. Was on hold for only a surprising 5 minutes, and she came back telling me , with what i told her, it sounded like i needed a new "improved" burner assembly etc, w/ resetable overtemp. bla bla bla. Mentioned i RATHER cut out the waste of time for both of us, and get a control valve but i soon shut up and went along playing the game here. So it'll be here overnite,and prob means i install it, find out it did not solve anything , get back on the phone w/ Swirlpool, chew them out sorta nicely , get a control valve sent to me and hopefully get things moving b4 i lose a few days with the weekend coming up around then since i don't think i'll be getting anything overnited during the weekend, but i dunno.

I had done a few things outdoors today, and figured i needed to assume the position laying down @ the water heater and babysit it a few cycles of relighting the pilot and laying there until the flame/burner shuts off and repeat a few times to get enough 1/2 way warm water to possibly take a quick/warm shower. Did so, but after about the 4th short cycle of flame, i could not get the pilot to "seal" in... was this maybe due to a overtemp condition? or is the dang thing just failing worse? Ended up taking a birdbath over the basement laundry tub, so i got a lil cleaned up after the outside chores here.

It went from maybe getting 6-7 hrs overnight staying lit/heated up, to maybe 5 minutes of burner time to the end of me trying just now, to not getting the pilot to stay on.

Is this still a sign of a bad control valve?
Also got the wheels rolling w/ the wife in telling her what might happen here is we cut our losses and time spent messing with this tube of crud,and look for a new one (and RESEARCH it b4 we buy one) if a burner or a control valve maybe after the burner does not fix things.

Thanks

Rcutlass70
11-02-2010, 10:50 AM
I'm am new to this forum and have read most of the thread here on Whirlpool. I do have a question based on what I have read.

I am in need of a new water heater. Currently mine is 16 years old and the dip tube is starting to deteriorate. Rather than replace it, I think it would probably be wise to just replace the water heater. According to this thread and several others, Bradford White seems to be the heater of choice. The problem is that it is not available in my area. Most plumbers in the area install State water heaters. My question is: Is State a reliable brand heater or does it fall into the same category as Whirlpool, Kenmore?

Redwood
11-02-2010, 01:21 PM
Here is the water heater "Hall of Shame"

Water Heater Hall of Shame Click Here To Enter (http://www.aosmith.com/OperatingUnits/Detail.aspx?id=138)

curlysir
11-08-2010, 07:46 PM
I'm am new to this forum and have read most of the thread here on Whirlpool. I do have a question based on what I have read.

I am in need of a new water heater. Currently mine is 16 years old and the dip tube is starting to deteriorate. Rather than replace it, I think it would probably be wise to just replace the water heater. According to this thread and several others, Bradford White seems to be the heater of choice. The problem is that it is not available in my area. Most plumbers in the area install State water heaters. My question is: Is State a reliable brand heater or does it fall into the same category as Whirlpool, Kenmore?

Bradford White is probably the best, but it does appear as if the problem has quieted down quiet a bit lately. The problem was with a part on the control valve that failed over time. It may be that the problem is somewhat resolved with an updated conrol valve. I am currently running mine with the old contol valve out of the hot water heater I replaced. It had been in service for 10 years or more, so at one time they did use good control valves.

State is made by the same company as Whirpool, American and others.

MACPLUMB 777
11-25-2010, 05:01 PM
I got a call from a friend of mine from work last night his american pro-line water heater

stopped heating going over on sat. When his new parts come in to retro fit his

water heater and see if i can get him back up and running

cmcramer
12-24-2010, 03:29 PM
Thanks to all for this very informative discussion. To summarize my sad story... pilot light won't stay lit; installed free thermocouple kit from Lowes; pilot lit still won't stay lit; free Gas Valve on the way from Whilpool help line. Hope this fixes it. I had two difficulties installing replacement thermocouple kit. 1) manifold tube-to-to gas valve is left handed, thermocouple-to-gas valve is left handed. orifice-to-manifold door assembly is left handed, but pilot tube-to-gas valve is right handed ! YIKES! Carelessly, I stripped the thermocouple-to-gas valve pretty good - up inside the gas valve itself - so now I'm not getting a good firm, tight connection with the replacement thermocouple. I realize this may have prevented new thermocouple from functioning properly.....but I asked for a new gas valve anyway... I'll be more careful with installing the new TC and its left-to-right adapter. Second issue is unresolved and I could use some advice: The one piece, 'break-away' ferrule/nut for installing pilot tube to gas valve did not clamp down firm enough - gas leak! I tightened ferrule/nut so tight I was stripping its outer hex part - had the proper open end wrench, too! An earlier post here suggests that I jammed pilot tube TOO TIGHT up into ferrule/nut, leaving no space for expansion of tube as nut tightened onto it. Remedy was to hold back pilot tube 1/16" to provide some slack. Since I don't want to ruin this unique looking ferrule/nut....and I don't know how many times it can be re-tightened - Does this remedy make sense to you more experienced plumber-types? Many thanks.

JessiB2010
01-15-2011, 07:36 PM
Although I agree that these heaters are total junk, the Flame Lock system (with the filter on the bottom) Is actually a safety mechanism. If there was to be a fire caused by flammable vapors, that vent prevents it from spreading, hence the name "Flame Lock". And just like your car, obviously, if you don't keep your air filter clean, this product is not going to be able to function properly. It's in the manual. And like any man made machine, something is going to fail. It's inevitable. There are only two working parts to these machines to begin with, and I mean really, I know what it's like to be without hot water, it sucks, but people act like it's the end of the world. It could definitely be worse.

JessiB2010
01-15-2011, 09:34 PM
Whirlpool's lawsuit was settled in their favor. The unit was found to be functioning as it should, and the court papers stated that they were not to provide free shpping or labor to have it installed. Call Whirlpool and ask. :)

WYGK
02-21-2011, 10:41 AM
I was told by a saleman at Lowes that the Whirlpool was a "piece of shit" (his words, not mine), but that they had done a major redesign and claimed the flaws were fixed. He said, unfortunately, they didn't have any data on the new model, and of course the bad reviews for the older models will be around for years.

Does anyone know anything about the supposed redesign?

Techjunkie
03-16-2011, 09:24 PM
I have an FG************ model American Water Heater Company Flame Guard 50 gallon heater, installed by Keyspan in 2004. From what I've read here (I'll admit to not reading all 37 pages of this thread) AMC makes the despised Whirlpool unit this thread is about and the similarities between my unit and the one discussed here are enough that for the sake of argument, we can assume my unit is the same as the Whirlpool.

Several days ago, my family woke up to no hot water. I was able to relight the pilot and the unit started up but failed again later that evening. After several days and increasingly frequent restarts, I called the manufacturer today and they're sending me a new thermocouple. In the meantime, my family would like to avoid cold showers tomorrow morning and in researching the problem, I found this thread.

In prep for the thermocouple replacement, I scrubbed the vent thing at the bottom from inside and out with a toothbrush, but did not find it to be clogged. (Surprising, considering it's been 7 years without a cleaning.) I reassembled the unit with the original thermocouple in place and started it again. It shut off, pilot and all rather quickly.

When I lit the pilot and started it again, I noticed through the view port that the large flame from the burner was engulfing the pilot, starter, and thermocouple. I had never looked before, so I don't know if that's normal or not.

It seems counterintuitive to me to design it that way intentionally, but maybe the tolerances of the thermocouple are so great that being constantly submerged in normal burner flame is not hot enough for it to trip the safety shut off, but out-of-control heat/flame is.

To the point of this post... Using the gas control valve outside the heater, I restricted flow to the heater's control valve by turning the supply valve to half-off while looking through the viewport. This reduced the diameter of the burner flame to about 80% or normal to the effect of the thermocouple no longer being submerged in flame. Since then, the burner has cycled on and off properly several times, the pilot staying lit each time. We've had two showers and run the dishwasher and everything appears to be operating as usual.

Most importantly, is this interim solution safe?

Secondary to that, is the thermocouple the source of the problem as I was advised by AWC, or is the burner flame as I described it not in normal operation, in which case I can expect to burn out another thermocouple? (Meaning the thermocouple is doing it's job as intended 'cause the burner is running too hot.)

Does the flame engulfing the thermocouple, pilot and starter indicate that a gas pressure regulator needs to be replaced, or is that normal?

Thanks!

MACPLUMB 777
03-17-2011, 07:51 AM
the gas regulater is built into the gas valve,
so the whole gas valve needs to be changed
the thermocouple is there to prove pilot flame so you don't have the main gas valve open unless there is a pilot there to light it !

delta2185
04-08-2011, 12:05 PM
I have owned a Flame Lock (flame Guard) FG model since 2005. shortly after purchasing the water heater, I had to replace one thermocouple with the LH thread and thermal fuse. Fixed the problem. Flawless for almost six years(surprising after reading other owners testimonials). Just a short while ago, the second thermocouple finally went. I did some research, only to find nothing but trash talk about my water heater from every source on the planet. It was a bit disheartening. I also learned of the class action suit, and of the enhancement kit. I went to the whirlpool water heater site, and filled out the online contact form, and explained my problem followed by Serial number, product number, and model number. I received a response by the next morning, and here it is copied and pasted straight from my email.

Thank you for your email. We do however regret to hear that you have had
some problems with the pilot light on your hot water heater.
A new enhancement kit has been shipped to you via UPS and you will
receive the parts on Monday if UPS runs in your area on Monday. A
tracking number will be sent to your email as well.
There is a website you can go to for a video on how to install the kit.
It is www.hotwater101.com. If you have any questions please fell free to
contact us by phone at 1-877-817-6750. We do not pay any labor to
install the parts.

I was never asked to pay for anything, not even the shipping, they just sent it out to me. I was a bit surprised, especially after reading about so much heartache and headache associated with this problem. So, from my personal experience, I believe that whirlpool wants to help fix models with their name on it. I am sorry that others have not been helped the same as I have though, and thus leading to a horrible experience with their heaters and with whirlpool.

Joe Hafford
06-09-2011, 06:11 PM
I have a Whirlpool Model. No. FG1F404053PV LP 40Gal. heater. Was made aware of the thermo couple problem via US mail after settlement of the lawsuit and got a replacement resetable thermo couple. It failed this afternoon as my daughter was taking a shower and the unlighted heater proceeded to fill the house with gas. When I got through to Whirlpool to tell them about the failure, the lady proceeded to tell me that I should call the local gas company about it. I asked her if the proper thing to do was to stand back, call the local propane dealer and watch my house blow up. Didn't faze her. I said put yourself in my place. What if it was your house? Nothing. I will replace this dangerous piece of crap at my own expence, but I will be the first to sign on to any suits regarding this. Someone is going to die or has died because of this calous attitude. Property is going to be lost. I pray that the record of my call is kept intact. It will prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that Whirlpool is negligent.

master plumber mark
06-10-2011, 04:44 AM
I have a Whirlpool Model. No. FG1F404053PV LP 40Gal. heater. Was made aware of the thermo couple problem via US mail after settlement of the lawsuit and got a replacement resetable thermo couple. It failed this afternoon as my daughter was taking a shower and the unlighted heater proceeded to fill the house with gas. When I got through to Whirlpool to tell them about the failure, the lady proceeded to tell me that I should call the local gas company about it. I asked her if the proper thing to do was to stand back, call the local propane dealer and watch my house blow up. Didn't faze her. I said put yourself in my place. What if it was your house? Nothing. I will replace this dangerous piece of crap at my own expence, but I will be the first to sign on to any suits regarding this. Someone is going to die or has died because of this calous attitude. Property is going to be lost. I pray that the record of my call is kept intact. It will prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that Whirlpool is negligent.


You are 100% correct about this and you are lucky that something very , very ...bad did not happen......

Did Whirlpool actually sent you out parts to repair your PROPANE gas heater?? And did you do the change outs on your heater or did you have a plumber do the change over for you.???
I ask this because the Plumber should have known better...


You should NEVER let anyone mess with an older Propane gas water heater.... it is just too dangerous if the old gas valve acts up...

we never fool with them, and when someone wants us to repair some older unit...you cannot even buy the replacement gas valves for a decent price. they dont even wnt to sell them to us and most places dont even keep them in stock....
....so we attempt to sell them a new one.

Whirlpool will have blood on their hands eventually sending out replacement parts directly to home owners to install themselves.... .. .


get that junk out of your home before you really have something to cry over.....


whirlpoolwaterheaterrepair.com

jadnashua
06-10-2011, 07:48 AM
For those that may not know, the way propane and natural gas react when leaking are quite different and present different problems. Natural gas normally has no odor, so they put that distinctive one in it so you can smell it if it does leak. Then, natural gas is (at room temperature) normally a gas that is lighter than air, so it rises. If you have a leak, it will rise up to the highest point and then, if it can't escape, fill from the top down.

But, propane is normally stored at high pressure and is generally a liquid until it is released and the pressure drops. And, it is heavier than air. When it leaks, it will fill a room from the bottom up. So, say your water heater was in the basement - the entire basement could be full of propane gas, and none of it would have yet reached the upper levels, so you may not know it. Give it a spark at the right concentrations and the basement blows up, taking the house with it.

Not to say that natural gas isn't dangerous too, but because it rises, you are more likely to smell it and take corrective action. But, if the house IS tight, and it filled from the top down, since most spark sources (like a pilot light, or furnace or other device with a pilot or an ignitor) are likely in the basement or at least on the lower floor, you may have more of the house full of gas before it ignites. Instead of blowing the basement up and taking the house with it, it blows the roof off and the walls out. I guess, neither is likely to allow the house to still stand.

FYI, similar to a smoke detector, there are gas detectors available that can warn you at the first signs of a gas leak. Something to consider when you have gas appliances in the home. First, you're not always home, and then, depending on the type, you may not notice until it has reached a dangerous level.

master plumber mark
08-27-2011, 11:08 AM
dont know how many of you have seen the new version of this old pig yet... I had to go out and re-pipe the unit in for a customer this morning....

they have incorporated a honeywell--icon gas valve on the new unit... I do not know whether it is identicle to the ICON valve or not.... I actually like the valve better than what Bradford has on their product becasue the instructions are clearly on the unit...
but I feel that this is going to turn into a service mans worst nightmare...

they still have the same hi-limit switch,
it appears they are useing a larger piolit light tube than bradford does,

the one thing that they have failed to change is the air intake underneath the unit,,,
you can see it through the glass of this picture...
I think the screen wrapped around the bottom of it is totally retarted...

well, have they improved the unit or not?? http://onsmartpages.com/weilhammerplumbingco/nss-folder/pictures/Photo460.jpg
I dont think so, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while....

master plumber mark
08-27-2011, 11:26 AM
http://onsmartpages.com/weilhammerplumbingco/nss-folder/pictures/Photo460.jpg

Reese
09-27-2011, 12:59 PM
I have a model# ND40T62-403 Flame Lock purchased 7-10-11 and it has the same problem with not staying lighted. After seeing numerous posts on the internet about the same problem, I calle Whirlpool today and was told that this model didn't have that problem and that he would be glad to explain to me the misinformation that was on the internet regarding these units! I need no explanation. It's the same problem. Can you suggest to me a quality LP hot water heater that won't break my bank account? Thank you and I'm am enjoying your website. So informative.

Terry
09-27-2011, 03:25 PM
I normally go with either Bradford White or Rheem.

I notice the picture of the Whirlpool above has a plastic drain. I don't see that with the heaters I'm installing.

Whirlpoolwaterheaterhelp
09-28-2011, 07:07 AM
I would love to help you get back into hot water. Can you contact me directly so I can help?
www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com/help
Thanks ~ Chris
American Water Heater, authorized licensee for Whirlpool Water Heaters

Reese
09-28-2011, 07:51 AM
In reading the posts and on the net, it says that the heaters sold in the big box stores are of a lower quality than would be sold elsewhere. If that's true then I should purchase either of the 2 you suggested through a plumber? Is that how you would suggest I go? You are after all the expert and I just want to get the hot water flowing continually.

Reese
09-28-2011, 07:54 AM
Thank you for your offer to help but honestly, I think it's time to pack this one out of the house and move another brand in but thank you again for your offer to help.

Texian
10-27-2011, 01:27 PM
MP Mark,
Thanks for your info about the screen. I replaced the thermocouple (for about the 8th time), pilot would not stay on. Cleaned the screen (after calling Whirlpool, again, and giving them another piece of my mind...not a whole lot left to give) after reading your very good advice and the pilot stayed on. Wife happy and I'm proud to know that you guys are out there.
PS We bought this water heater in 09/2002 after having hardly any trouble with our original 30 gallon water heater manufactured in circa 1960. I agree with you about the morons and the hazards of this unit.

master plumber mark
11-27-2011, 08:52 AM
I would love to help you get back into hot water. Can you contact me directly so I can help?
www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com/help (http://www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com/help)
Thanks ~ Chris
American Water Heater, authorized licensee for Whirlpool Water Heaters

looks like the " Dummies at Whirlpool"
have finally taken notice of this thread..

I doubt this fellows name is Chris...
better odds its some indian name like Rahma.. or Bagwan

I am getting a few calls a week from all over the USA on this junk..

the new one they have made looks very nice but I would wager that they
did not put any R+D into the design before they massed produced it and dumped it on
the consumers in this country........ I would give teh new unit about a year
and all hell with start breaking loose ...again......

To the folks at Whilrpool... R+D stands for "research and development"
...you are supposed to test your product for long time in real world situations
before you sell the product....to the public.......

you are supposed to pass UL rateings and antsi standards which I highly doubt
you have done with this new product......
IMHO. you probably "bought a waiver" from the government and they let you slide
on passing the UL and antsi regualtions... ..

dont worry Whirlpool,
we have been repairing this junk and dealing with your screw-ups since 2001.

I dont mind doing it for another decade because its pretty good money..
so keep up the good work....
;);)

Runs with bison
12-19-2011, 04:05 PM
It has been nearly two and a half years since I replaced the gas valve/thermostat and thermocouple on mine (fully reimbursed by Lowe's) and it is still running. Reports of the problem have faded away so it looks like the Unitrol/Robert Shaw gas valve manufacturing problem has been resolved. (Note that this same gas valve was on the Rheem's at the time and I saw some reports of the same problem developing with them.) Thanks to Curlysir for providing the documentation that confirmed my suspicions about the source of the problem.

master plumber mark
12-21-2011, 06:43 AM
It has been nearly two and a half years since I replaced the gas valve/thermostat and thermocouple on mine (fully reimbursed by Lowe's) and it is still running. Reports of the problem have faded away so it looks like the Unitrol/Robert Shaw gas valve manufacturing problem has been resolved. (Note that this same gas valve was on the Rheem's at the time and I saw some reports of the same problem developing with them.) Thanks to Curlysir for providing the documentation that confirmed my suspicions about the source of the problem.

I disagree with you about this.....
we are still getting on average about 2 calls a week on
whirlpool water heaters in Indiaiapolis... most are 2008-10 units....

I get a lot of folks call me from all over the usa for free advice...
when they do a search they find whirlpoolwaterheaterrepair.com...
on average the heaters range from 1-3 years old when they break down..

the new unit with the honeywell thermostat is going to be the next hurdle
and I am wondering how long they will work ??

any one wanting to make a wager?

Runs with bison
12-21-2011, 08:52 PM
I would expect those calls, since the gas valve problem was resolved in the 2009 timeframe. So factor in that "new" units with the old thermostat would probably still be installed as late as 2010 even, and the reality that many of them would run a year or more before failing. And the Rheems had the same gas valve other than a different color knob on the gas valve.

The significant change is that the replacement gas valves from mid-2009 on for the Unitrol/Robert Shaw appear to be holding up. Although frustrating as the failure is, the parts can be had for free and it is a DIY level job.

Don't know on the Honeywell. Only time will tell.

hj
12-22-2011, 05:18 PM
If you are referring to the ""I-Con" control, it has to be the biggest POS ever made. My Bradford White dealer cannot keep enough parts on hand to handle all the warranty parts needed on a daily basis. There are four parts that can cause problems and you often have to replace them one at a time until you find the problem. Often, the supply house will not have all four, and we have to shop his other branches to get all the parts, then spend a couple of hours servicing it.

master plumber mark
12-26-2011, 01:40 PM
If you are referring to the ""I-Con" control, it has to be the biggest POS ever made. My Bradford White dealer cannot keep enough parts on hand to handle all the warranty parts needed on a daily basis. There are four parts that can cause problems and you often have to replace them one at a time until you find the problem. Often, the supply house will not have all four, and we have to shop his other branches to get all the parts, then spend a couple of hours servicing it.

HJ... so how are you doing??

It appears you have had the same difficulties that I have run into with the ICON valve.
perhaps even worse than me.... and now the Whirlpool has basically the same ICON honeywell
gas valve on their units.........

we do not like to install them because just to get them to light it is a crap shoot
and we have fought a few of them for 15 minutes..

I am keeping a complete valve assembly in my truck cause I know its just easier
to change out the whole valve and thermopile at one time over trying to trouble shoot
one of them for half a day.....


we only trust RHEEM ....
and they appear to be keeping things simple so far....

master plumber mark
01-08-2012, 06:55 AM
Here is a new complaint from consumer affairs on the new styleWhirlpool water heater, its like the " honeywell icon one" I have pictured in a few post back it looks like the next wave of troubles is about to begin....

they are going to be pulling their hair out over in India trying to explain to the customer how to re-set this Icon valve and clean the burner assembly of lint,

....its hard enough for me to fool with the Honeywell ICON valve..let alone having a home owner attempt to replace one... the valve is nothing but trouble waiting to happen

I think that this is gonna be another huge disaster...... once their are about half a million of them out there going bad.


this is gonna be fun to watch them scramble.....again.

I wonder if you can you have a second class action lawsuit on the same product

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.htmlI purchased a 50 Gal. Whirlpool gas water heater on Saturday, 12/31 to replace a 20-yr old unit that had failed. The unit was installed that day and it started right up but I noticed the burner had gone out about an hour later and the status light indicated FV Sensor Lockout. I tried calling Whirlpool but their customer service was closed. I tried troubleshooting myself using manuals and Internet forums without success. Everything I could find indicated that an FV Sensor failure could not be repaired and would require replacement parts. I called Lowe's and was told they could not help me and I would need to talk to Whirlpool.I called Whirlpool again Sunday, 1/1, but they were closed again for the Holiday. I called two plumbers and both told me that the Whirlpool units were problematic and that if they did come out, there would be little they could do except charge me a lot of money and recommend parts to order as Whirlpool does not let them stock parts. Both plumbers also suggested that I consider buying another brand.So I went to Home Depot and purchased another brand with similar specs. I installed it that day and it fired up right away and has been running fine ever since.I talked to Whirlpool on Monday, 1/2, and they told me they would not issue an RMA for a unit that they considered usable. They also told me there was an FV Sensor reset procedure that they would have walked me through had I been able to talk to them that would have bypassed the sensor until a replacement could be installed. I told them that if they would publish this procedure in their manuals or on the Internet, I would have certainly done that. I'm now fighting with both Whirlpool and Lowe's to get a resolution to this problem. I'm not sure about other Whirlpool products but their Water heaters seem to be very problematic.Ads by Google (http://www.google.com/url?ct=abg&q=https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/request.py%3Fcontact%3Dabg_afc%26url%3Dhttp://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/whirlpool_water_heaters.html%26hl%3Den%26client%3D ca-pub-0200629403145096%26adU%3DWhirlpool.JustAnswer.com% 26adT%3DAsk%2Ba%2BWhirlpool%2BTech.%26adU%3DShopCo mpare.net%26adT%3DTop%2B5%2BWater%2BHeater%26adU%3 Dwww.AngiesList.com%26adT%3DAngie%26%2339%3Bs%2BLi st%2BDoctors%26adU%3Dwww.ConsumerReports.org%26adT %3DBuying%2BA%2BMicrowave%2BOven%3F%26gl%3DUS&usg=AFQjCNHlhS8nJfN78aNXMjgfwCT2NftEkw)

wibble
01-10-2012, 01:19 PM
The FG1F3030S3NOV that my father installed in August '04 finally conked out with the classic deep-fried thermocouple. Imagine my surprise and horror after googling the model number and finding this thread! I had no idea that the "Whirlpool" water heaters were (a) not really made by Whirlpool in the first place, and (b) were a true vortex of suck. It figures that it would have a bizarre, fused left-handed thermocouple, just to make things aggravating and turn a $7 thermocouple replacement into a $35+shipping manifold replacement.

Not wanting to replace the whole tank (knowing that he's planning to get a tankless unit when he returns this summer anyway), I went ahead and ordered the kit. As the tank is out of warranty, no free kit. At least my phone call didn't go to India - but they should either ditch the voice recognition or set it up so it can recognize touch tones so you can just key in the serial number. They provided a new burner orifice in the package, so I didn't have to wrestle with getting the old one out. I vacuumed out the screen with a brush attachment, and the installation went smoothly (though the thick rubber gasket and the tight quarters where the heater is installed made it tricky to get the bolts in).

Once I turned on the gas and double-checked for leaks, the pilot light fired right up and stayed lit. The burner lit up just fine once I turned it on, and additional triple-checking showed no leaks. Overall, it took me about an hour to get it going again.

Judging from the troubles people have been having with these units, I'm amazed we got over 7 years out of it before any problems occurred. I don't recall him ever vacuuming the flame screen, and I wasn't even aware of it until I got room-temperature water out of the tap. The only thing I can figure is that, since it was in an alcove off the kitchen instead of the laundry room, it was a bit less prone to clogging.

DavidRF
08-06-2012, 11:43 PM
I have a "Whirlpool" FG1F4034t3NOV model, and surprise; the pilot light went out and will not stay lit. I am uncertain how old the unit is, but I know it is at least 5-6 years old. I have seen this and numerous other threads pretty much calling this make and model a piece of crap. It is in a position, as I have come to find out, where it is practically impossible to clean the lint screen to try to see if that makes a difference in regards to getting it going again unless you have it about a good 6-7 inches off the floor. Who the h*ll knew water filters had filter screens you had to keep clean to keep it working properly?

My question is: Would I be better served replacing the water heater altogether or seeing if the upgrade/repair kit is available? I've sen on a few threads it may not be available in stores anymore, and I don't know how long I want to be without hot water if they have to ship one, if it's even something they would do anymore. Any information would be most appreciated.

MACPLUMB 777
08-07-2012, 07:19 PM
Have a plumber replace it with a RHEEM or a Bradford White, get a new water heater,
with a new warranty, and live happily everafter !

Runs with bison
08-07-2012, 10:56 PM
I have a "Whirlpool" FG1F4034t3NOV model, and surprise; the pilot light went out and will not stay lit. I am uncertain how old the unit is, but I know it is at least 5-6 years old. I have seen this and numerous other threads pretty much calling this make and model a piece of crap. It is in a position, as I have come to find out, where it is practically impossible to clean the lint screen to try to see if that makes a difference in regards to getting it going again unless you have it about a good 6-7 inches off the floor. Who the h*ll knew water filters had filter screens you had to keep clean to keep it working properly?

My question is: Would I be better served replacing the water heater altogether or seeing if the upgrade/repair kit is available? I've sen on a few threads it may not be available in stores anymore, and I don't know how long I want to be without hot water if they have to ship one, if it's even something they would do anymore. Any information would be most appreciated.

Easiest and least expensive thing to do is to go Lowes and pick up a new thermostat/gas control valve and thermocouple. (They don't keep much stock of these so it can be an issue.) When I did mine 3 years ago I checked with a manager who told me to buy the parts, do the swap and return the old ones for credit, which I did. You can also call Whirlpool to see if they are still sending out the kits, but then you have to wait for them to ship or do some sort of swap with the store.

While it is a good idea to keep the screen clean if you can (mine has not had any build up and I have cleaned it twice) this was not the major source of the problem people were reporting. Instead there was issue with the manufacture of the gas control valve. Now if the screen does get plugged, then the unit will have problems and swapping the gas valve won't cure it...or at least not for very long.

I wouldn't replace the whole WH unless it has repeated problems, it is simply a waste of money and material to do so. I'm not sure how good the new controls are on the newer water heaters either. These keep getting more complex, which presents more opportunity for failure. On the units three years ago the Rheems (and even the Bradford Whites in images) had the same controls...only external difference was the color of the knobs. These have been updated on both since then.

Javlin
10-12-2012, 03:39 PM
Well I am finding out that these WP are POS for the most part.It appeared on my mani setup the wire casing for the igniter was of poor quality seperated and hence began grounding out on the thermacoupler and burnt the casing off of it.I do not know if the lint and dust build caused that issue the screen was about 50% clogged after 18 months of use.So I ordered the mani and installed but opted out of installing part#23 thermocoupler adapter really did not see the need.Was I wrong?everyhting seems to be operating properly.I put a new coupler in the old unit for $8 and fixed the wire to the igniter and now saving it for a backup it got me by till the new mani came in.I did notice on the new mani unit the igniter has been rotated 90' out from the coupler and further from heat.Anybody had luck with Lowes on getting refunds on the manifold units?Thanks for any responses :)

Chet S
01-13-2013, 07:24 PM
Trying to be a good neighbor I am helping with a Whrilpool water heater. It is a 2003 model and the thermocouple went bad. Because of the left hand thread on it the person at Lowes told sold them a new thermostat with a right hand thermocouple. I changed them and got it back up and running but......it has wires to go to the over heat sensor that the old unit doen't have. I found out the over heat sensor was part of the old thermocouple.
I jumped the wires just to get going for now. If I have them order the replacement burner assembly from Whrilpool will it work since I now have a right handed thermostat? Will I just have to use the right hand therocouple and have it work OK? They don't have much money and I tryed to be nice and help, but now got my self in a mess!

jimbo
01-14-2013, 05:59 AM
The Whirlpool water heater from 2003 was possibly the worst design ever produced. It was the subject of class action lawsuits, and a thread on this forum that ran for 3 years!!!

When you say you "jumpered" some wires, I will look for your house on the six o'clock news, having blown up your entire neighborhood. Honestly, you need to turn off the gas RIGHT NOW and get a licensed plumber in to examine the heater. In the past, the manufacturer ( Craftmaster division of A.O. Smith made them licensed under the Whirpool name) provided a complete new burner and gas valve assembly, which needs to be installed by a licensed plumber. Given the age of your heater, I would consider just replacing it. There are a LOT of issues....have you cleaned the filter screens? you may experience overheating and you have bypassed some safety features from what you have said.

jrigal
01-14-2013, 06:31 PM
I can't talk my licensed plumber into replacing my 2003 FG1F4034SNOV water heater. He swears I'd be wasting money. He keeps telling me to bypass the thermofuse by putting a jumper between the two wires, but I keep refusing. But honestly, I'd really like to know what this switch does. Several people here keep saying things like "having blown up your entire neighborhood". Every other brand of water heater doesn't have this switch. If you have the gas shut off safety and a pop-off valve for pressure - like all the other water heaters - then why is this switch there and why don't the other water heaters have it?

And here's my brief experience. While mine has lasted almost 10 years, I had all the same problems within 3 years of installing it. I used the reset button and got it lit the first couple times. Now we deal with the heater set to warm - which sucks. It's the only way to keep the switch from tripping.

jadnashua
01-14-2013, 07:16 PM
And, why do you want to keep the thing that isn't working right?

jrigal
01-14-2013, 07:58 PM
Reread my post. I DON'T want to keep it. I refuse to bypass the thermofuse with a jumper as my plumber suggested. Every time I call him and express my frustration, he insists I'd be wasting a water heater by replacing it. I've known him forever and he's been plumbing for 30+ years. He's always been very reasonable and does great work. I think he thinks he's helping me save money by suggesting the jumper. He says with the other two safeties, the thermofuse isn't necessary. I posted just to get clarification on the purpose of the third safety (thermofuse).

I'll end up doing it myself. I've just never done a lot with gas lines, so I've been kinda leary.

ZZZ
01-14-2013, 10:53 PM
I can't talk my licensed plumber into replacing my 2003 FERGUSON water heater. He swears I'd be wasting money. He keeps telling me to bypass the thermofuse by putting a jumper between the two wires, but I keep refusing. But honestly, I'd really like to know what this switch does. Several people here keep saying things like "having blown up your entire neighborhood". Every other brand of water heater doesn't have this switch. If you have the gas shut off safety and a pop-off valve for pressure - like all the other water heaters - then why is this switch there and why don't the other water heaters have it?

And here's my brief experience. While mine has lasted almost 10 years, I had all the same problems within 3 years of installing it. I used the reset button and got it lit the first couple times. Now we deal with the heater set to warm - which sucks. It's the only way to keep the switch from tripping.

FVIR was designed after a lady allowed her 4 year old son to play in the garage and he found a gas can and poured it on the floor. The ensuing fire resulted in his death, and she tirelessly campaigned Congress until a solution? was found in the form of FVIR.

The way it is supposed to work is by the fact that a flame will not travel through a fine screen. You will see this screen on the expensive "safety gas cans" that have been made for decades. It is a well known principal.

When the flammable vapors are drawn up through the screen and ignite in the combustion chamber of the water heater, there is no way for the flame to travel back out to the source of the vapors. The heat of the burning vapors will trip the thermal switch or fuse and shut down the water heater. It does this by interupting the 30 millivolt signal from the thermocouple (simulating a pilot failure) and shutting down the gas valve. There is nothing special about the valve or thermocouple, except for the left hand thread used for a short time by Whirlpool.

A clogged screen will cause insufficient oxygen, and an oxygen starved flame will produce carbon monoxide which will mostly go up the flue. The starved flame will also produce a lot of soot which will stick to the metal surfaces in the heat exchanger tube, causing poor heat transfer and wasted utilities. This is in addition to the gas which is wasted because it can't be completely burned without excess oxygen in the combustion chamber. Even after correcting the cause, the soot will remain until physically removed.

A clogged screen will cause poor drafting and the combustion chamber will get excessively hot, this will cause the thermal limit will trip before the heat exchanger tube is fouled with soot, if you're lucky.

Whirlpool doesn't care. When they purchased Maytag in 2007 for 1.8 Billion dollars, they immediately fired all 7,000 USA employees and moved the factories overseas. They also raided the pension funds for those workers.

jimbo
01-15-2013, 06:51 AM
Water heaters are listed by GAMA ( the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association), AGA ( American Gas Association) and possibly UL.....as to design, safety features, etc. ANY modification of the water heater MUST be designed and provided by the manufacturer, and installed by a factory approved technician. I cannot disagree more with the plumbers frankly glib assertion that you have two safety devices and the third is not needed.

A search on the internet will turn up MANY photos and videos of houses BLOWN TO BITS by gas and water heater issues. Even myth busters launched one! A ten year old water heater ( especially Whirlpool) is not worth spending what it would cost, or even what you have already spent, to repair properly. At this point, call Whirlpool and see if they will provide a new burner assembly and gas valve free of charge. You will still probably have to pay the factory approved repair tech to install it..

As you can tell, we do get our dander up about gas and water heaters, because we have seen the results of improper maintenance and installation.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bU-I2ZiML0

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/exploding-water-heater.htm

jrigal
01-15-2013, 07:37 AM
I did see that mythbusters episode (which has more to do with the pop off failing). Thanks for the FVIR info, I looked it up and got a better understanding. Admittedly, I don't know much about water heaters, but I guess my question is more about the little white thermofuse. If all water heaters are required to have the screen to prevent a flame coming through, I assume the thermofuse is to detect a problem there. So how are other water heaters better? Different style thermofuse?

And don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate this water heater and will never buy another Whirlpool water heater. I will be replacing it soon. I was just curious.

jimbo
01-15-2013, 07:51 AM
In the basic design to compy with the then-new ( 2003) FVIR rules, Rheem and Bradford White got it right, and A.O. Smith ( American, Craftmaster, State, Reliant, Whirpool, Sears, etc) got it WRONG. Their design had filter screens which clog with lint and cause overheating if not cleaned twice a year. I think the thermal fuse integral with the original left hand thermocouple had to do with this. The other brands have a design which does not clog, is maintenance-free for the life of the heater, and in general did not suffer any of the myriad problems which have plaqued the AO Smith models. I am not familiar with what they are actually producing today. Somewhat improved, I assume.

Did I ever have an "accident" with a water heater??? YES. It involved a can of spray paint, and yes those fumes can ignite!!!! Fortunately, no injury and no serious damage, but it could have been worse! You do develop a healthy respect!

Terry
01-15-2013, 09:25 AM
A local story about a painter in a garage laquering woodwork with the garage doors closed.
When he went to plug in the compressor, it sparked at the plug, exploding the vapors in the garage, and throwing the painter through the garage door with burns all over his body.


My story in California. 1991
I picked up a motor home from the dealer, just filled the LP tank. I open the window from the drivers seat, and tell them there is a gas leak inside the vehicle.
They very firmly told me the gas had just been worked on, and that I was wrong.

Drove it to the in-laws, they wanted me to sleep in it that night. I explained to them, there was no way I would risk my life sleeping in a motor home with a gas leak.
My father in-law and brother in-law proceeded to start lighting burners on the stove, the entire time me telling them to stop. Finally they lowered the oven door, and that's when it exploded.
I went and hooked up a garden hose and started puitting out the fire, but not before there was $6,000 in damage to the motorhome.

JB74
01-30-2013, 06:38 PM
Add me to the list of Whirlpoo haters...

Son says last night that the water is all freezing cold. Realize the pilot light is out and start dinking with it all evening. After some research (but not enough at the time)... I come to the conclusion that it's either the thermocouple or the valve. No biggee me thinks... something I can easily fix... will just pick up a new thermocouple while I'm out the next day. "What?... left threaded thermocouple's don't exist anymore?... I have to call Whirlpoo exclusively to rectify this?... WHAT THE FLIP????" Lowe's (where this FG model was bought in 2005) tells me that there "used to be a kit, but they don't have them anymore!" and can't seem to tell me if the BFG valve can be used in it's place.

Sooooo, I call the Whirlpoo customer service line... and ask how to make the new BFG valve work with a new right-threaded thermocouple?... figuring that there's gotta be a way to get it fixed within 24 hours so the missus is happy that we're not going to be going another night without hot water. "Oh, that cannot be done," says the lady at Whirlpoo... "we have to send you a special kit"... "the BFG valve won't work because your existing manifold does not have the sensor the new valve has to hook to!" Okay, whatever... at this point, if they'd have just over-nighted whatever it all needed and made this right, I would've been happy, but when the lady told me it would be $34.95 because I was no longer under warranty, I had enough and came absolutely unglued! THE H*LL I'M PAYING THEM ANOTHER SINGLE CENT FOR SOMETHING WITH KNOWN PROBLEMS AND CLASS ACTION SUITS THAT OTHERS GOT FIXED FOR NOTHING!!!!! At that point I just said I'll get a new hot water heater that WON'T be a Whirlpoo product and hung up on her! Funny, she had my contact info... and have I heard anything whatsoever from Whirlpoo to make this right?... NOPE, ZIP, NADA... @$$holes!

Sooooo, irritated enough that I'm not about to screw with the darn thing any further myself... and bound & determined to have hot water before 24 hours had went by (I'm not a patient person with such things)... I'll just pay for somebody to put in a whole new stinking water heater. This had become a principal thing now! Repair tech shows up within 45 minutes and proceeds to tell me he can fix it for "half the price of a new one" and produces a whole spanking new manifold that supposedly "wasn't" locally available according to the Whirlpoo morons. Gee, if it was something only THEY could provide... why did my local repair tech have one?... hmmm? Grrrrrrr!

With the research I've done since the tech left and after watching what he did... I'm pretty certain I could've somehow done it all myself and saved some more money... if the Whirlpoo chick had just been a tiny bit more helpful instead of demonstrating her and her company's stupidity!!!! If there was a way to legally take it outta Whirlpoo's hide in blood, I'd be doing it. The greedy bastards owe it to me and everyone else I'm seeing posting out here on the internet! :mad:

We all work hard for our money and shouldn't get shafted on something that should have parts commonly available to easily fix! Like... DUH! :confused:

master plumber mark
02-10-2013, 08:11 PM
[. Gee, if it was something only THEY could provide... why did my local repair tech have one?... hmmm? Grrrrrrr!

With the research I've done since the tech left and after watching what he did... I'm pretty certain I could've somehow done it all myself and saved some more money... if the Whirlpoo chick had just been a tiny bit more helpful instead of demonstrating her and her company's stupidity!!!! If there was a way to legally take it outta Whirlpoo's hide in blood, I'd be doing it. The greedy bastards owe it to me and everyone else I'm seeing posting out here on the internet! :mad:

We all work hard for our money and shouldn't get shafted on something that should have parts commonly available to easily fix! Like... DUH! :confused:[/QUOTE]


I dont mean to throw salt in the wound but if you have read the 1500 complaints at complaints.com
or on consumer reports.... what exactly makes you think you are going to fare any better than the thousands of folks that have sunk hundreds of dollars and repairs over and over , into their whirlpool heaters????


the tech that changd out your parts for half the price of a water heater did you a great dis-service... . I have attempted to help out little old ladies before only to see my efforts go all in vain..... I cleaned the bottom of the unit and installed all new parts and it only lasted about 2 weeks.....:mad:

the repairs he made to your unit might last a while and they might not......
either way I doubt that he is not going to refund your money like I did .in a few weeks

Did he give you any kind of 90 day or year warranty with his repairs???....

that is the reason no one works on them any more.... no one wants to waste time
and effort only to feel bad in a month from now and refund monies to old ladies....

you should get yourself a Rheem or Bradford white...
Its just a matter of time before it goes out again......

master plumber mark
02-10-2013, 08:13 PM
Terry,,,,

It Sounds like you got over your cancer only to
almost get killed in a mobile home....


did anyone get singed by the fire????

Terry
02-11-2013, 12:23 PM
did anyone get singed by the fire????

I think that was in 1991
And yes. My brother in law was totally singed. Even his eye brows. He looked like he had an Afro.
The flames when the oven exploded in flames went right past his wide body. When he turned around he looked like a different guy.
I was hiding in his shadow and right near the door. Propane is pretty scary stuff.

Hackneyplumbing
02-11-2013, 05:32 PM
I HAD about 30 of those funky pre-bent thermocouples. I have two left. :) Thanks for the business whirlpool!

JB74
02-17-2013, 10:33 AM
the tech that changd out your parts for half the price of a water heater did you a great dis-service... .

Maybe he did... but other than possibly needing the anode rod replaced and having buildup in the bottom of the tank, everything else seems in good condition. I thoroughly cleaned the thing out top-bottom as far as the burner chamber, flu, underneath, etc. And with an all new valve and burner assembly now, it's been running like a champ again.

master plumber mark
03-12-2013, 06:36 PM
Terry,,,,

Check out the new web site I just launched with information
about troubleshooting whirlpool water heaters.....

http://whirlpoolwaterheaterrepair.com/

it is in flash or you can click over to html at the bottom of the page....

Terry
03-12-2013, 07:14 PM
Mark,
Thanks for posting that. By the way, my son Jamie just mentioned that yes, we are getting more water heater work lately.
Thanks for selling me that domain name.

master plumber mark
03-12-2013, 07:20 PM
I have not looked , but did you ever get around to optomizeing that domain name yet.
with its own web page??...

we do probably around 15 heaters a week and
Jamie will be useing muscles he never knew he had..:cool::cool:.
and maybe he never wanted to know about
;);)
it certainly keeps you in shape...
and the coin is not too bad at usually a grand each...

http://whirlpoolwaterheaterrepair.com/

so does my new web site look fairley civilized???





http://plumberindianapolis.com/

Hubbard
04-08-2013, 05:44 PM
Oh, boy... Just this morning I ordered a Whirlpool hot water heater from Lowe's. The estimated arrival date is April 23 so now I'm wondering if I should cancel the order and start all over. I notice this thread started several years ago... has the problem really not been fixed since then? I'll take any advice I can get on this. Here's what I ordered...

Model #: N40T121-403
Whirlpool 6th Sense 40-Gallon 12-Year Tall Gas Water Heater (Natural Gas)

BeastSlayer
04-23-2013, 09:30 PM
I wish I had seen this before I bought my replacement water heater.

I installed mine two months ago but had to detach and replace the flexible water outlet and inlet pipes to the Whirlpool Water Heater because of some major leaks.

The re-ignition was without a hitch and the lights indicating smooth operations is blinking normally (after every 3 seconds).

The problem is that water pressure at the shower seems a lot weaker than before, it takes longer for heated water to come out and children complain of alternating blasts of cold water or inadequate heated water when two people are in the showers (when it was not a problem before).

I adjusted the knob to a tad near the hottest as suggested in the manual but this did not seem have solved the problem.

Thank you in advance for any helpful advice you can provide.

mika00
06-09-2013, 03:31 PM
I was just wanting to know if any one else has heard of any recall on the Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters??? the reason I ask is that I am continually replacing the thermocouple on one and I am still trying to figure out why. I caught wind of a recall and thought that I might have my answer but wanted to see if any one else has heard of such a recall?
www.flushawayplumbing.com (http://www.flushawayplumbing.com)

master plumber mark
06-25-2013, 02:28 PM
There was a recall on the original FLAME-LOCK heaters
that were modified about 2007....

The new whirlpool fvir heaters now come with the honeywell
thermostat on them... I am getting about a call a week from
folks that cant keep them lit....

perhaps its a better design, but its too early to tell

If you want to start another class action lawsuit,
go for it......knock your self out



http://whirlpoolwaterheaterrepair.com/ (http://whirlpoolwaterheaterrepair.com/)

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


http://freeplumbingestimateindianapolis (http://freeplumbingestimateindianapolis.com/)


http://waterheatersindiana.com/

klingon
09-05-2013, 12:02 PM
Ditto for all the problems. Mine was originally purchased in 2010 and by early 2011, Lowes was fed up with the numerous complaints for the same problems, and replaced it (including installing it) at their own expense. It turns out they originally sold me one recalled due to the original class action suit. The new replacement one was manufactured in 2010 and was installed in my home in March 2011. The same problem has occurred with the thing not staying lit. Lowes has bent over backwards by sending their own installers out to fix this one on 5 occasions since March 2011. The latest "fix" of replacing the entire gas control valve (the third one for this 2 year old unit), only lasted a week before dying again.

Whirlpool's 800 number was ARROGANT and claimed my 6 year warranty was voided when the first lemon was replaced. And even if they chose to replace it, I would have to pay for new installation. I went back and forth with them. Here in Michigan we have the Consumer protection Act in addition to the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (aka the federal lemon law). I have a huge amount of papers and research regarding these lemons.

The Whirlpool corp headquarters did not know of the problem (yea right!) and tried passing the buck to the subcontractor who actually manufactures these lemons. Lowes is very angry as well and I have amassed a large pile of documentation on these products and they have sent it up the chain of command to the division who is reviewing their contract with Whirlpool in order to possibly cancel it. It will be the best avenue they could make to cover themselves.

I have prepared my own small claims paperwork which will be filed tomorrow. In addition to the costs I incurred replacing it with a GE which I had to purchase from Home Depot, the Consumer protection act has provisions of a $250.00 judgement for damages for each and every time Whirlpool violated this act. I counted 6 instances .

So for all other Michigan residents, you have an outlet to get back at Whirlpool. The only way to ensure you will have reliable hot water, it to junk your hot water heater and buy anything that is NOT made by Whirlpool.

klingon
09-05-2013, 12:04 PM
Got rid of it right away. You will have major problems and headaches and the manufacturer will refuse to help except to send more parts which will only work for a couple of months at a time.

master plumber mark
09-15-2013, 10:19 AM
Terry, thought I would pass this information on to everyone
about the new policies that Whirlpool has just implemented..in the last few months..

I am getting calls from all over the USA stating that Whirlpool will
not send out free parts any longer to the older heaters...
THE RECALL PERIOD IS OVER on that older flame lock heater and
they are telling everyone to pound rocks up their butts ...
They will send new parts but at the low low price of about $$179.00 plus shipping..
so most folks I talk to see the writeing on the wall and just install a better brand

Basically the free-bees are over now and their whole tone on the phone has gone to one of acting like they care to totally snotty and could care less....

their newer heaters 2006--2010 are still giving them fits but they are not
willing to help much more than sending one set of parts... and now they are trying to place the blame on bad gas, bad ventilation ect....


..

DonL
09-15-2013, 01:22 PM
Terry, thought I would pass this information on to everyone
about the new policies that Whirlpool has just implemented..in the last few months..

I am getting calls from all over the USA stating that Whirlpool will
not send out free parts any longer to the older heaters...
THE RECALL PERIOD IS OVER on that older flame lock heater and
they are telling everyone to pound rocks up their butts ...
They will send new parts but at the low low price of about $$179.00 plus shipping..
so most folks I talk to see the writeing on the wall and just install a better brand

Basically the free-bees are over now and their whole tone on the phone has gone to one of acting like they care to totally snotty and could care less....

their newer heaters 2006--2010 are still giving them fits but they are not
willing to help much more than sending one set of parts... and now they are trying to place the blame on bad gas, bad ventilation ect....


..






That does Suck a Vacuum.


I wonder if Sears is still honoring the recall ?

master plumber mark
09-16-2013, 04:29 AM
That does Suck a Vacuum.


I wonder if Sears is still honoring the recall ?


That is a very good question.. their are plenty of sears complaints on the
internet too
http://baheyeldin.com/technology-in-society/mistaken-identity-help-with-kenmore-water-heater.html
Sears and Whirlpool belong to the same group and I have
heard that in some parts of the country a Sears guy will come out
and service the Whirlpool heater.....

Of course that is if you want to wait about a week
and take a full day off work to meet their service schedule

they know that both heaters are
peices of junk and cannot afford to send repairman all over the
place for free..... It apprears that the tactic used now is
to run complaints through a guantlet in the hopes that the customer will give up

#1 increase the phone waiting times to about a 45 minutes, then
mis-direct them with the first call for service... having them experiment
themselves by calling the gas company first, ect... I have also heard of a
lot of accidental hang ups while waiting on the phone...

#2 it appears they hope that the the customer will not wait a week for service or having to find their own plumber to service the heater for Sears or Whirlpooll

#3 pay a few hundred dollars for parts to be shipped out in about a week, then fork over about $200 to pay a plumber up front and hope to get re-imbursed by
Whirlpool or Sears later down the road.. that could take 6 months

I can usually fix a Sears heater with repair parts from A>O>Smith.
They are interchangeable.... But I dont and will not warranty the
materials and its all C>O>D ... I cannot even guarantee how long
the repairs will last....

Only a very stubborn few people will hang on line for an hour, or call back. and start over after they have been misdirected a few times by the operator...

Most folks finally just give up and go away ...the only ones that hang on are the heaters that are only a few years old...

I usually try to tell the folks with a heater over 6 years old just to walk away and buy a better brand....

DonL
09-16-2013, 06:14 AM
That is a very good question.. their are plenty of sears complaints on the
internet too
http://baheyeldin.com/technology-in-society/mistaken-identity-help-with-kenmore-water-heater.html
Sears and Whirlpool belong to the same group and I have
heard that in some parts of the country a Sears guy will come out
and service the Whirlpool heater.....

Of course that is if you want to wait about a week
and take a full day off work to meet their service schedule

they know that both heaters are
peices of junk and cannot afford to send repairman all over the
place for free..... It apprears that the tactic used now is
to run complaints through a guantlet in the hopes that the customer will give up

#1 increase the phone waiting times to about a 45 minutes, then
mis-direct them with the first call for service... having them experiment
themselves by calling the gas company first, ect... I have also heard of a
lot of accidental hang ups while waiting on the phone...

#2 it appears they hope that the the customer will not wait a week for service or having to find their own plumber to service the heater for Sears or Whirlpooll

#3 pay a few hundred dollars for parts to be shipped out in about a week, then fork over about $200 to pay a plumber up front and hope to get re-imbursed by
Whirlpool or Sears later down the road.. that could take 6 months

I can usually fix a Sears heater with repair parts from A>O>Smith.
They are interchangeable.... But I dont and will not warranty the
materials and its all C>O>D ... I cannot even guarantee how long
the repairs will last....

Only a very stubborn few people will hang on line for an hour, or call back. and start over after they have been misdirected a few times by the operator...

Most folks finally just give up and go away ...the only ones that hang on are the heaters that are only a few years old...

I usually try to tell the folks with a heater over 6 years old just to walk away and buy a better brand....






I guess Sears has really gone down hill over the years.

When I worked there I could do whatever it took to make a customer happy.

That included Replacement of a Lemon, using another model.

And Technicians had a book that lists problem units, and recalled parts.


I think some of those post, in the link you provided was a bit over the hill. But fun reading, Thanks.

You don't call someone trying to help you a dumb ass, even if they are, If you expect good service at a later date.

I would call the Sears Service Manager, and ask politely, If he could help fix the problem.

Most likely this falls under the Lemon Law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson%E2%80%93Moss_Warranty_Act


What a mess.

bill242
10-05-2013, 01:48 PM
While it may be covered somewhere I failed to see any mention of steps taken to minimize the "lint problem" at its source.
I am a retired refrigeration tech who has had to deal with refrigeration condensors plugged with various forms of debris including lint. My first exposure to a common cause was dealing with an old style beer case--the kind that had an air curtain you reached through to get your six-pack(s). The earlier sixpak beer containers were made of cardboard not the plastic you see now. When I was trying to find the cause of reduced airflow from the honeycomb at the top where the air was discharged downward to the intake at lip of reach in case I decided to call an old retired refrigeration guy who was one of those unique guys who had always taken the time to determine the "root cause" of the various problems he was confronted with. When I explained my problem with low airflow even though the fans were all working fine, he asked me if the case contained any bottles in cardboard containers. When I told him they were all cardboard, he said for me to pull the honeycomb down and out and to remove all the lint that I would find on the top of the honeycomb air straightener. I was amazed there was so much lint and that it had come off the edges of all the cardboard beer holders. Not long after, I was called to fix an ice machine at Children's Hospital in Palo Alto. As I walked down the hall towards the ice machine I could see cardboard boxes stacked on top, around the sides and elsewhere nearby. I couldn't help but wonder if the condensor was plugged like the beer case, with a lot of lint from the open edges on the box flaps--well it was and from then on I always explained to customers the importance of eliminating the storage of cardboard of any kind, on top of or anywhere near a refrigeration system if they wanted to cut down on the problem with dirty condensors--and to check for lint before they called me. Shutting off the machine for a few minutes and then brushing the condensor and/or using a vacume if available was all they had to do.

I would suggest a likely cause of a water heaters screen plugged with lint is due to cardboard boxes stored somewhere in the area nearby. Removing the boxes or covering them well with plastic might help to reduce the frequency of cleaning
At home I only use those plastic boxes you can buy at Hum Depot or Lowers (and walymart, trrget, etc) --no cardboard boxes at my home, anywhere. A solution if you cant remove cardboard boxes is to use a can of spray-paint to coat the edges which will help limit the fibers coming loose (remember not to spray-paint near a gas water heater as the paint vapors are flammable--be careful

Smunderdog
11-09-2013, 07:03 AM
Terry, thought I would pass this information on to everyone
about the new policies that Whirlpool has just implemented..in the last few months..

I am getting calls from all over the USA stating that Whirlpool will
not send out free parts any longer to the older heaters...
THE RECALL PERIOD IS OVER on that older flame lock heater and
they are telling everyone to pound rocks up their butts ...
They will send new parts but at the low low price of about $$179.00

..




Just a quick note to say thanks for everyone that has contributed to this thread...

I just had the opposite experience described above. My unit info is:

FG1H5040T3NOV model #
0441108411 serial # (first 4 digits are year and week of manufacture)
0730269 product #

It is a Whirlpool branded Craftmaster unit from 2004.

Over the past week we have had the pilot go out 3x. The first two times I was able to get it to relight, but this morning (Saturday) it would not.

The 800 number on my manual I called is 877-817-6750. I spoke to Jessica who was most definitely not in India and she was very helpful. Armed with the info in this thread, I told her I was aware of a recall and there was a replacement part available. She made it clear that it wasn't technically a recall, but they had redesigned the part. Whatever. :)

Since my unit was still under warranty, she is shipping out the part today and claims it will be here on Monday. We'll see.

Hoping this puts us back in business for awhile longer as I start shopping for a tankless replacement...

DonL
11-09-2013, 07:28 AM
Hoping this puts us back in business for awhile longer as I start shopping for a tankless replacement...


Nice that they say they will ship the parts. They should be installed by a licensed technician.

I think tankless is great.


22296

master plumber mark
11-09-2013, 09:50 AM
Just a quick note to say thanks for everyone that has contributed to this thread...

I just had the opposite experience described above. My unit info is:

FG1H5040T3NOV model #
0441108411 serial # (first 4 digits are year and week of manufacture)
0730269 product #

It is a Whirlpool branded Craftmaster unit from 2004.

Over the past week we have had the pilot go out 3x. The first two times I was able to get it to relight, but this morning (Saturday) it would not.

The 800 number on my manual I called is 877-817-6750. I spoke to Jessica who was most definitely not in India and she was very helpful. Armed with the info in this thread, I told her I was aware of a recall and there was a replacement part available. She made it clear that it wasn't technically a recall, but they had redesigned the part. Whatever. :)

Since my unit was still under warranty, she is shipping out the part today and claims it will be here on Monday. We'll see.

Hoping this puts us back in business for awhile longer as I start shopping for a tankless replacement...




I think you must be the original owner of the water heater
and you simply got lucky... A Craftmaster is not technically
a Whirlpool heater.... I dont know if you have the left handed
threads on the craft master ...

its all good either way if they are sending you the parts for free.
that at least takes the sting out of it especially if they dont solve your problem..
being a 10 year old heater, I would not attempt to throw too much money at this dog if I were you


now all you got to do is find someone willing to work on it..


the tankless route is not the way I would suggest going if this repair does not happen....

but you can decide that on your own

I hope that you have good luck with your experience...next monday....

Smunderdog
11-11-2013, 09:50 AM
I think you must be the original owner of the water heater
and you simply got lucky... A Craftmaster is not technically
a Whirlpool heater.... I dont know if you have the left handed
threads on the craft master ...

its all good either way if they are sending you the parts for free.
that at least takes the sting out of it especially if they dont solve your problem..
being a 10 year old heater, I would not attempt to throw too much money at this dog if I were you


now all you got to do is find someone willing to work on it..


the tankless route is not the way I would suggest going if this repair does not happen....

but you can decide that on your own

I hope that you have good luck with your experience...next monday....



Actually the previous owners of the house put this water heater in back in 2004 - not sure if they ever registered it or not, but I didn't have any trouble with getting Jessica on the other end of the 800 number to send this kit out. It arrived as promised this morning by 11 am.

The unit is a Craftsmaster unit - has their information on the label where the model, serial number etc info is located. It also has Whirlpool branding on it etc.

There are left hand threads on it, so the new parts included the manifold door assembly and thermocouple adapter. No gas valve sent in this shipment.

Just installed it and agree with previous posters that the small amount of clean up/vacuumiung (thx for the 90 degree elbow tip!) and getting the screws aligned on the manifold door are the only minor trouble points in the process. I am on my first cycle of getting the water heated back up and so far so good. We'll see what happens over the coming hours/days....

I know I may have only bought myself some time with it of course. And Mark, I hadn't taken a look at the tankless pros/cons in quite some time and agree that it probably won't be the best fit when we need a new one. Since I'm here in Indy (up in Nora), I may be calling you for a Bradford White install....

master plumber mark
11-12-2013, 06:20 PM
I suggest that you leave some gap in the fire wall on the unit so it might get more
air into it instead of depending on the bottom screen to suck in enough air...

I did not realize you were in indy, and you are 100% correct that you bought yourself
some time here... Most heaters dont last more than about 10 years in our water before they
start to lime up .... You have done well with a craftmaster... they are actually more of a step down
from the whirlpool back at that time....I think they have gone out of business since then...

Be warned if the heater is somewhere in yourhome where it might cause some water damage
I suggest you go to ******* and buy a 10 dollar water alarm called Zircon and place it close to the heater
cause that day its gonna start to leak is soon comming.....

good luck either way....

Tim in Fort Worth
02-08-2014, 01:28 PM
Man, it really cracks me up that this thread is still out there and churning up trouble for Whirlpool! Is it possible that the comments here have somehow affected the engineering and design of later water heaters? Hopefully, no one has died because of these water heaters and if true, that might be in part because of all the information here. But I am also curious, does the person with the last Whirlpool Flamelock water heater still standing win a prize of some sort? It would be cool if someone could acquire it and put it on display in the Smithsonian, or at least the Plumbing Hall of Fame.

fiveliter8
03-05-2014, 06:55 AM
Man, it really cracks me up that this thread is still out there and churning up trouble for Whirlpool! Is it possible that the comments here have somehow affected the engineering and design of later water heaters? Hopefully, no one has died because of these water heaters and if true, that might be in part because of all the information here. But I am also curious, does the person with the last Whirlpool Flamelock water heater still standing win a prize of some sort? It would be cool if someone could acquire it and put it on display in the Smithsonian, or at least the Plumbing Hall of Fame.

Just found this thread looking for a dip tube for my FG1H5040T3NOV. I bought and installed this October 2004, and two weeks ago, started getting 10 minute hot showers. From what I saw on the internet, the dip tubes were a problem on mid-late 90's models, not in 2004. At any rate, the tube broke at the flare but was otherwise intact. While I had the tank drained, I pulled the gas valve and burner, both of which were in great shape, save for some lime crust covering the thermostat. There was VERY little debris inside the tank, which surprised me, especially not having a water softener or filter. There was a thin layer of white soot on the bottom of the tank which cleaned up easily. I cleaned the thermocouple and pilot nozzle with a dollar bill and re-installed everything. I fished the dip tube out and went all over town looking for a replacement with no luck. I reinserted the dip tube into the nipple and secured it temporarily with stainless screws until I can find a replacement. I fired it back up, checked for leaks, then went to bed, dreaming of a nice hot shower in the morning. No luck. The pilot went out at some point. The thing made it all this way, then I go and clean it up and now this, lol. Will try to give Whirlpool a buzz to see if they'll bite. :)

master plumber mark
03-06-2014, 03:58 PM
Just found this thread looking for a dip tube for my FG1H5040T3NOV. I bought and installed this October 2004, and two weeks ago, started getting 10 minute hot showers. From what I saw on the internet, the dip tubes were a problem on mid-late 90's models, not in 2004. At any rate, the tube broke at the flare but was otherwise intact. While I had the tank drained, I pulled the gas valve and burner, both of which were in great shape, save for some lime crust covering the thermostat. There was VERY little debris inside the tank, which surprised me, especially not having a water softener or filter. There was a thin layer of white soot on the bottom of the tank which cleaned up easily. I cleaned the thermocouple and pilot nozzle with a dollar bill and re-installed everything. I fished the dip tube out and went all over town looking for a replacement with no luck. I reinserted the dip tube into the nipple and secured it temporarily with stainless screws until I can find a replacement. I fired it back up, checked for leaks, then went to bed, dreaming of a nice hot shower in the morning. No luck. The pilot went out at some point. The thing made it all this way, then I go and clean it up and now this, lol. Will try to give Whirlpool a buzz to see if they'll bite. :)



you have really stepped in it now....
you should have let sleeping dogs lie...

10 years is really a great life out of one of these peices of junk
You would be wiser to just get a new heater from Rheem or bradford.

I am very curious to see what whilrpool will do for you....wether they charge
your for parts or send them for free...

I am presently
getting about a call a day on average with someone asking for help
with this trash.... most have already repaired the unit once or twice..

good luck.... it will be an experience you wont soon forget