Troubleshooting, repair and support for the Whirlpool Water Heater.
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A readers email,
I read the thread regarding the Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters. I also own a Whirlpool Flame Lock water heater like those described (FG1H4040T3NOV), and have had the same problem several times. Last week the thermocouple burned out again, and Whirlpool insists that the problem is related to the air intake screen.
I replaced the thermocouple (which I think I could now do blindfolded), but this time tried something else. I popped out the round viewing plug that allows you to see the pilot light when lighting and checking the water heater. I'm sure it isn't recommended, but my water heater is no where near combustible material or vapors, so I'm not worried about it. I originally popped out the plug the day the water heater was installed because the ignitor wasn't working and I resorted to using a match on a long stick. At that time I replaced the viewing plug. In removing it after this last thermocouple replacement the water heater now has a new source for air that is approximately 1" in diameter.
Other than the safety aspects, which I believe are minimal, do you think this will supply enough fresh air to the burner compartment to keep the thermocouple from burning up?
Tim in Fort Worth
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Here is an update from Master Plumber Mark
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....