I can't believe my luck. I didn't know anything about water heaters, so when my old Bradford White finally started leaking after 12 years, I went to Lowe's and picked up a Whirlpool 50 gallon water heater. Its one of those low nox ones.
So I found a plumber who would install it for around $200 and he came out and installed it. He said that he didn't like this brand and it had problems, but I stupidly didn't listen to him and had him install it anyway.
Now 2 days later, and the pilot light keeps turning off.
I looked at it for quite a while and what I noticed is that when I first light it, it stays on. The thermocouple tip is in the flame and is glowing hot.
But I noticed after the burner kicks in for a while and heats up the tank, when it shuts down the burner, the pilot light is actually a little bit smaller than it was initially. The result is that the thermocouple is only barely touching the flame, and as it flickers it actually doesn't touch it at all. Then it gets shut off.
Is this similar to the problem you guys are all taking about? Would it be a simple matter of positioning the thermocouple a bit further so that more of it is in the flame's path?
I called whirlpool and since its only been 2 days since I bought it, they gave me an authorization number and a plumber to call for an appointment. I called the plumber and he is going to try to have someone come by today if possible.
Meanwhile, I after reading all these posts, I am tempted to just pay the same plumber to take it down and help me pack it back in my van and then take it back to Lowe's and ask for a refund. I believe you can return it up to 30 days right? Of course, then i've wasted the $200 installation, and whatever he charges to help me remove it...
I should have stuck with the Bradford white model I had before. But who sells those? I only found them on amazon.com. Ironically they are the same price or less than the Whirlpool I bought.
Do you know, for the 12 years I had it, I never once had to light the pilot on this bradford white? In fact, I didn't even know you had to do that. I thought it was automaticaly doing it...