Whirlpool smart flamelock water heater
Maybe this might shed some light on whirlpool or not but recently i purchased a whirlpool smart flame lock water heater 50 Gal. I noticed that the piolet would go out after a few days. I watched as i re-lit the piolet and noticed that water would drip down the center tube that vents the heat. It appeared to be a leak but was not a constant rate. At first i thought a new water heater leaking? and a high priced model too? I called Whirlpool and got a tech from india that brought back all the nightmares i have had dealing with any american company that has out sourced there customer service. To make a long story short the tech said the water heater swets and this is normal. After calling him several good old american names i learned from sailors i got his attention and found out that their is a massive recall on these units. For the so call sweting over the pilot light as well as the thermocouplers and a few other poorly designed components. Best decesion is to call Whirlpool give them hell get a return recall ID number haul the crap back to the store and buy a different brand for now. Seems they are in a big low on manufacturing water heaters at this time. in short run away from whirlpool as fast as you can!
Whirlpool Flame Lock Flamer Woes.....
This is a great thread, and a great site! Thanks to all that posted your troubles about this crazy hot water tank design!
Here is the bottom line......
I have had this hot water tank for about 1.5 years. It is a 40 gallon version. Yep, bought it at Lowes. It is located in my basement. I work from home, and can hear when the tank comes on to heat the water because the burner is so loud. The last few weeks I have been getting really light headed, and getting terrible headaches. I also noticed that I would smell a "soot" type smell in the house. Well, being the airhead that I can be, I never once thought that what was actually happening was my headaches and the smell I was getting in the house was from the hot water tank, and just thought I caught a bug or something. About three days ago, I went down to the basement, and the smell that was in the house was very strong down in the basement. I then noticed that the smell was coming from the hot water tank, and it seemed to be coming from the bottom of the tank. So, I then started the search, and found all of you peoples woes.
So I decided that day to see if the "vent" on the bottom needed to be cleaned. It was dusty, but to me, not clogged in anyway. I then took off the front cover by the gas inlet, and to my surprise, I noticed that my take had the "new and improved" larger square viewing window and such. I vacuumed under the tank where the dust was on the "vent", and not much came off. This did not help. So, I then decided to take off the viewing window, and actually make the square hole bigger, to let in more air.
The smell has stopped, the burner is actually not as loud, and it seems like the "on-time" of the burner is less.
I am okay with this because I am not an idiot that stores flammable things in the basement. The smell has stopped, and I have not had a headache in days.
I really think that this tank does not supply enough air to the burner. Again, my "vent" at the bottom was not all that clogged.
I don't want to deal with Whirlpool, nor Lowes about this issue. I do want to eventually replace this tank with a "Tankless" gas hot water system. I just have not done enough research to find out what is that best right now.
I am not expecting everyone to do what I did! That is not the intention of this post. It did however, work for my "flame less" tank. And if can hold out for another year, that would be great.
Thanks again for your post! I would have never figured this out on my own. It is however scary to me to think that these tanks are working in this manner, all over the United States!