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Thread: Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters, reviews, troubleshooting, repair and support.

  1. #436

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

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

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

    thanks again everyone!

  2. #437
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking I am gald I am not the plumber who installed these parts.....

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


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


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

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

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

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

    but someone is still probably gonna get sued...






  3. #438

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    Does the pilot light work after you clean the air screen or do you have to replace the thermal couple afterwards?

  4. #439

    Default Another sad Whirpool H2O heater owner

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

    Comments?
    fmonty54

  5. #440

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

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

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

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

  6. #441
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    Well I have a FuWaHe (guess what this is!) whorfool in a house I bought august 2008. I have tenants there and since it was like 100 degrees last week, not that bad, but I had the SAME CRAP happen same old rigamarole pilot refuses to stay on, so I get the bangalore and go to highs, (oops I mean LOWS) get the 'D' box, install it and I was ELATED it functioned for FIFTEEN MINUTES!!!!! now the same damned crap again. I will use ALL of the suggestions before I replace the gas valve. I got a gas valve from LOWS and I hope I can return it. I will stare in the window to see the flame hitting the thermocouple, thoroughly clear out the vent. (I sort of did that already), bend the thermocouple closer to the flame, and even minimally increase the size of the pilot hole. After that I will replace the gas valve, and if it is still crap, I will go to HD and get a GE. My house had a FuWaHe about 8 years ago. Brand was HOYT I think like 20 years old and I received NIAGARA FALLS from the bottom. I then got a GE from HD and it has been good ever since, did not have to light the pilot even once after initial lighting. I had a bunch of other crap like replace galv with copper etc.

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

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

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

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

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

    FuWaHe FuWaHe
    Last edited by choyak; 09-07-2009 at 06:49 PM.

  7. #442
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Choyak,

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

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

  8. #443
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    sept 8
    OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I do not know if the DENIZEN OF LUCK has arrived yet, or if it will FUBARIZE again, but what I did was BEYOND BELIEF but I had only enough TIEM to watch the water get pseudo hot. THE PILOT STAYED ON for one time so far it did not dump, the water got hot. I DECREASED THE GAS FLOW THROUGH THE MAIN VALVE!!!!!!!!!! OMGOMGOMG

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

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

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



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

    yes, I inherited this POS just like you did.

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


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

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

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


    update sep 9
    Well I got the new gas valve in. THE OLD ONE REFUSED TO SHUT OFF so the water BOILED and then it dumped. I HAD TO BASH THE WATER HOLDER shell to get the new one to fit. THE THERMOCOUPLE DICK sticking out had a shorter threaded rod, but I got it in and I observed the temperature get up and the burner dumped without the pilot dumping, SFSG!!!11 one one. I do not trust it yet, however.
    Last edited by choyak; 09-09-2009 at 06:59 PM.

  9. #444
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    Well it has been 2 days so far. This is what I did to accomplish this feat of impossibility. First, I removed the window and installed OLD steel (I think) screen folded into 3 layers and wedged into the old glass tabs. Second I did the bend on the thermocouple to get it JUST ABOVE the pilot. I speculated that the burner flame messes with the pilot and makes it go higher. Third I REDUCED THE GAS with the main valve. After this, I watched it operate 3 cycles and today (2 days later) I jingled the tenant and was informed 'the tiny torch flame is still there behind the screens'.

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

    And here is my dose of sarcasm.

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

    And yupp, I had to piss all the water out with a garden hose B4 replacing the gas valve. The gas valve has the wires built in and a forward threaded insert so no more weird adapter. I now need to beg for luck on an astronomically gargantuan basis! I hope that I produced an EPIC WIN that I kicked the WHORFOOL's HINEY
    Last edited by choyak; 09-11-2009 at 10:50 PM.

  10. #445
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    hmmmm sound like we are once again having modifications done...
    Taking out the window defeats the FVIR function.

  11. #446
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking they just want hot water

    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    hmmmm sound like we are once again having modifications done...
    Taking out the window defeats the FVIR function.

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

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

    all they really want is hot water...

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

    .

  12. #447
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    hmmmm sound like we are once again having modifications done...
    Taking out the window defeats the FVIR function.
    Who really needs it? It wasn't necessary for decades and water heaters worked fine without it. Now we have this so-called feature with the result that water heaters no longer heat water and everyone's busy working on their gas lines to fix controllers that shouldn't be failing in the first place. Give me the old control boxes that worked, get rid of the flame arrestor and things should be peachy. I was drooling at one of these just this weekend...21 years old and still going strong...huge open window.

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

  13. #448
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking it was never necessary..but Most work great

    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    Who really needs it? It wasn't necessary for decades and water heaters worked fine without it. .
    the story goes is insurance comanies bribed the congress to pass these laws, and any heater company that did not go along with them would not be able to insure themselves
    or their rates would go sky high......

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

  14. #449
    DIY Junior Member dripdrip's Avatar
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    Default What should I do with Whirlpool water heater?

    Well I'm sorry to admit that I bought one of these water heater's from Lowe's and it stopped working after 6 months.

    I replaced it with a Bradford-White.

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

    Thanks,

    DD

  15. #450
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking take it back to Lowes

    If you get nasty,, they will give you an in-store credit
    for the heater.....

    Lowes motto is supposed to be satisfaction guaranteed

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

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