I found this site following a search of Whirlpool water heaters.
After doing what I had avoided, I decided to shut of the gas and do a drain and flush. My worst fear (problems) came true, when I tried to restart. No pilot lighting.
I had a simular problem when I first installed this unit, almost five years ago. Then (American) tech. support walked me through and it started. Oh, this is a FG, not FL model, it was made 01/03.
Having foolish faith in tech support, I called. Got the recorded message about the lawsuit, that came as a surprise! After listening, got through to India, not such of a surprise. The person, after I said that I couldn't get the pilot to light,speaking very good English, asked for the serial number.
He asked if I was indeed, me. I had regestered it on the first call five years ago. He told me that I could get the parts to repair the heater for free. I went for the $18 charge, for overnight. True to word, made the call at 10:20 am, and it came 10:15 am, next day.I live in Henderson, NV, DHL was the carrier.
I got the manifold door aasembly and a new gas valve. The valve came as a surprise to me, didn't remember that was to be included.
I'm thankful that the gas valve was included. I didn't want install it and get into that potential problem, unless I had to. I had to!
The manifold assembly install, was no problem. I got the pilot to light, but not stay on. After a lengthy and wet struggle, the gas valve solved the problem.
I like the large window and location, I can see the ignitor and pilot work! The old, small round window was worthless. IMHO!
The adapter for the thermalcoupler, now allows for right-hand, common used ones.
The connections for the reset switch on the adapter, do react to grounding. Today, while rechecking the gas line connection, I touched the wire connection on the adapter with the wrench. The gas valve shut down, burner and pilot. After waiting for the gas to clear, the start up worked. I would say that the reset switch should work, too. It did not need resetting, this time.
This is longer than I intended to post, but I wanted to thank all of you that posted you stories! I read all the posts and it offered me countless comfort! Thank you.
I also got a Quote for a Bradford-White replacement I can live with. That will be next.