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

  1. #496
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing View Post
    I concur Mr. Redwood except for the suggested brand as i prefer Rheem water heaters,however they are not perfect either and utilize an extra safety feature and we all know that safety features are famous for failing causing the heater to shut down
    I would gladly debate this subject with you any day and I assure you that Rheem while far superior to all the other brands is only second rate to a Bradford White.

  2. #497
    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    I received the 'kit'. I am going to go install it in the next hour. I hope it works.

    I have a bit of doubt however, I test the old and new Thermocouple(TC) with the multimeter, and the old one hit around 22Mv faster than the new one did (in about 1 minute)! I heated the tip of the TC by applying a flame from a BBQ lighter. They both ohmed at around 0.3ohms!

    I have been tricked by mulitmeter tests, in the past, into thinking something was good, and found after buying a new part that the old one was indeed bad (even though it tested good) - for example a coil pack on my car.

    I don't want to have to order a valve, and wait for that to be shipped, before I can get hot water again!

  3. #498
    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    So I installed the upgrade 'kit' with the new thermocouple, and so far so good, the pilot stays lit, and I have hot water.

    I was surprised how far I had to screw the pilot line into the thermostat/valve.

    I still do not understand how I could get about the same voltage and ohm readings on both the old and the new thermocouple, and one works and the other does not?

  4. #499
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnalep View Post
    So I installed the upgrade 'kit' with the new thermocouple, and so far so good, the pilot stays lit, and I have hot water.
    Make sure that you clean the flame arrestor on the bottom of the water heater that is what initially triggered your troubles and will cause endless headaches for you...

    I really don't understand why people put so much effort into fixing these POS water heaters...

    There must be a lot of Masochists that buy these whirlpoo's...

  5. #500
    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    Hi Redwood,

    Thanks for that tip. I did clean out the filter/arrestor on the underside of the tank.

    It was not that bad from what I could tell, not much came out of it. I did sweep under the tank and their was some hair and lint, so maybe it was actually worse than I have just described.

    To answer your question about fixing it - this is the first trouble I've had with it, and I have had it almost 6 years - come this April.

    I'm not defending the unit, I'm actually quite upset that it came with the Left Hand threaded thermocouple - which I could only get by calling that 877 phone number, and waiting 2 days to get by mail! Why would any company need to have the only left hand threaded thermocouple on the market to begin with!

    If I had read this entire thread before my purchase, I would have never bought this Whirlpool unit.

    But as it is already installed, and as this is my first trouble in almost 6 years, and seeing as how the parts cost me nothing under warranty, how could I not try to fix it? The alternative would be spending hundreds of dollars on a new tank, and then paying for, or installing it myself. I would be reluctant to do that - even if I was still working.

    I hope it keeps working...in spite of the bad track record I've read about here.

    PS: I know you know your stuff, as you've helped me in the past. Do you have any explanation why I was getting almost the same voltage and resistance measures with both the old and the new thermocouple? (besides operator error ;-) )

  6. #501
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    Probably because it saves about $600-800 on a crap shoot with a new unit and plumber. (Flip a coin as to which one of the two is the worse gamble.) As long as it can be DIY repaired for free and the frequency is less than once a year, it is manageable, though a PITA when it happens. Honestly, I don't want to have to buy ANY new water heater for a few years because of the control problems that ALL of them are having.

    At this point I'm curious as to how long this Unitrol Robert Shaw Valve will last before it fails. For all of the finger pointing about the FVIR's design flaws, that wasn't the problem for me, nor for many/most of the others I've read about in the past year. Instead it was a component shared by most water heater vendors.
    Their are differences in fvir design and some are better than others but its best they have a clean air envirrment and thats just not the case most of the time in the real world. This lack of air causes the heater's combustion chamber to over heat and the heater shuts down. Here is my solution to the problem if the heater is installed in its own dedicated closet. I cut an A.C filter grill into the door and install a filter then weather strip the door. yes its a PITA to change the filter but its reliable protection in dirty air enviroments for the new heaters. Lint will cause them all to fail.

  7. #502
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bison Got The Runs View Post
    Are you talking about the time and inconvenience of waiting around for a plumber and the follow up inspection? Because I generally can do a repair far more quickly and conveniently, and a hell of a lot cheaper than a plumber can. There are things I have to call a plumber for, and I dread the waste of time, cost, and inconvenience when that happens.
    No I'm taking about the time that someone spent:
    • driving to Lowes to buy a water heater
    • trying to find a smockman for help
    • waiting for smock man to close the aisle and take one down off the rack
    • waiting in a checkout line
    • driving home with it
    • moving it into the house
    • installing it
    • wondering why they don't have hot water
    • Trying to relight the water heater
    • going to Lowes for a left handed thermocouple
    • find out that they don't have any
    • go home and call 1-800-Racshids India Help Line
    • Order the burner enhancement kit
    • wait for the kit to arrive
    • install the kit when it arrived
    • be very greatful that you have hot water again after almost a week of putzing around
    • oops spoke to early its out again
    • call Rashid again
    • order the gas valve
    • wait for the gas valve
    • install the gas valve when it arrives
    • hope to hell it works
    • every morning wake up and wonder "Is the water heater still working"


    All this because some dumbazz incompetent engineer can't design a good product...

  8. #503
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    When I get a cold tank call I ask the brand and if its gas fired or electric. If gas I ask the make,model and serial number. If its a whirlpool theres no worry as I have a case of the left handed thermocouples and that will get them by until we can get the proper parts delivered under the warranty. So I make two service calls out of the deal and the customer gets HOT WATER again with little wait. Sure it costs them money but i didn't install it so its not my fault. I know plenty of people who will gamble with repair a few times before they shell out 1,000 for a new one. I always advise that whirlpool has had problems and I believe they are inferior to a couple other brands but none of them are perfect. Bradford does have a large screen but I have seen them fail also in dirty enviroments.

  9. #504
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Redwood your forgot something>>>>>

    you need to add to that long list of reasons..

    another good reason.....

    sitting on line waiting to get to talk to someone over in INDIA about your problems.... and getting the parts to repair them sent to your home in 4 days...


    ...

  10. #505
    DIY Member Hillbilly Man's Avatar
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    Hot Dang!
    This is gittin ta be like the good ol times when my cousin Southern Man useta hang out here.
    He wuz an enginear too.
    Hillbilly Eng-in-ear
    Moonshine Maker
    Dumb as a Stump

  11. #506
    DIY Junior Member curlysir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    you need to add to that long list of reasons..

    another good reason.....

    sitting on line waiting to get to talk to someone over in INDIA about your problems.... and getting the parts to repair them sent to your home in 4 days...


    ...

    I got my parts overnight at no cost. I would not have bought the water heater if I I known the problems. But, now that I have it I am not going to throw it away because it is not the best WH around. It worked for almost 18 months without a problem and is working now with the new parts.

    I will replace it when it is out of warranty or when it starts failing more often.

    I could afford a new WH but I don't like to waste money either.

  12. #507
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    Quote Originally Posted by curlysir View Post
    I got my parts overnight at no cost. I would not have bought the water heater if I I known the problems. But, now that I have it I am not going to throw it away because it is not the best WH around. It worked for almost 18 months without a problem and is working now with the new parts.

    I will replace it when it is out of warranty or when it starts failing more often.

    I could afford a new WH but I don't like to waste money either.
    make sure you clean the metal screen in the bottom out very well. Also make sure you install the filter around the bottom and clean it often depending on how dirty it gets. the replacement part has a resetable limit switch. Goodluck!

  13. #508
    DIY Junior Member curlysir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing View Post
    make sure you clean the metal screen in the bottom out very well. Also make sure you install the filter around the bottom and clean it often depending on how dirty it gets. the replacement part has a resetable limit switch. Goodluck!
    The screen was clean. And the filter around the bottom did not have a lot of crud on it. I am not defending the Water Heater. It has design problems for sure, but I also am not going to throw money away either. When it does become a major pain in the rear it will be gone for sure. I like hot water and will not spend a lot of money on a bad design. I also have the old gas valve from my previous heater in case I need it.

  14. #509
    DIY Junior Member Torry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelRoger View Post
    f you have a Whirlpool Flame Lock Water heater (like model FG1F4040S3NOV I own) you are no doubt aware of the class action suit (Bowen, et al v. Whirlpool Corp., et al) whose deadline just passed. If you went to www.waterheatersettlement.com, downloaded, printed, filled out and mailed in the claim from - I think there’s a better way!

    My thermocouple (the part that needed repeated replacement and probably the reason for the lawsuit) just burned out recently and its about the 6th time. But this time when I went out to buy a new one guess what? They don’t sell them any more! So I called Whirlpool’s toll-free number and the recording mentioned www.flamelocksupport.com where you can request that they ship you the flame lock replacement kit (Whirlpool calls it a “Flame Lock Enhancement Kit“) for free. Yes, I said FREE! If you don’t need it right away UPS Ground is even FREE! Those of you that want it shipped faster they offer UPS 2nd Day and UPS Next Day shipping, and you only pay for the shipping.

    Parking Sensor
    I'm finding it hilarious that neither website is active... I've received and installed my second free conversion kit from Lowes... saving up for a Rheem.

  15. #510
    DIY Junior Member Torry's Avatar
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    I've learned to immediately demand the "Recall Replacement Kit" to get my free new assembly from Lowes but I have no idea how to go about getting this replacement/auxilary'add-on filter that I'm supposed to wrap around the bottom of this dog.

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