Add me to the list of Whirlpoo haters...
Son says last night that the water is all freezing cold. Realize the pilot light is out and start dinking with it all evening. After some research (but not enough at the time)... I come to the conclusion that it's either the thermocouple or the valve. No biggee me thinks... something I can easily fix... will just pick up a new thermocouple while I'm out the next day. "What?... left threaded thermocouple's don't exist anymore?... I have to call Whirlpoo exclusively to rectify this?... WHAT THE FLIP????" Lowe's (where this FG model was bought in 2005) tells me that there "used to be a kit, but they don't have them anymore!" and can't seem to tell me if the BFG valve can be used in it's place.
Sooooo, I call the Whirlpoo customer service line... and ask how to make the new BFG valve work with a new right-threaded thermocouple?... figuring that there's gotta be a way to get it fixed within 24 hours so the missus is happy that we're not going to be going another night without hot water. "Oh, that cannot be done," says the lady at Whirlpoo... "we have to send you a special kit"... "the BFG valve won't work because your existing manifold does not have the sensor the new valve has to hook to!" Okay, whatever... at this point, if they'd have just over-nighted whatever it all needed and made this right, I would've been happy, but when the lady told me it would be $34.95 because I was no longer under warranty, I had enough and came absolutely unglued! THE H*LL I'M PAYING THEM ANOTHER SINGLE CENT FOR SOMETHING WITH KNOWN PROBLEMS AND CLASS ACTION SUITS THAT OTHERS GOT FIXED FOR NOTHING!!!!! At that point I just said I'll get a new hot water heater that WON'T be a Whirlpoo product and hung up on her! Funny, she had my contact info... and have I heard anything whatsoever from Whirlpoo to make this right?... NOPE, ZIP, NADA... @$$holes!
Sooooo, irritated enough that I'm not about to screw with the darn thing any further myself... and bound & determined to have hot water before 24 hours had went by (I'm not a patient person with such things)... I'll just pay for somebody to put in a whole new stinking water heater. This had become a principal thing now! Repair tech shows up within 45 minutes and proceeds to tell me he can fix it for "half the price of a new one" and produces a whole spanking new manifold that supposedly "wasn't" locally available according to the Whirlpoo morons. Gee, if it was something only THEY could provide... why did my local repair tech have one?... hmmm? Grrrrrrr!
With the research I've done since the tech left and after watching what he did... I'm pretty certain I could've somehow done it all myself and saved some more money... if the Whirlpoo chick had just been a tiny bit more helpful instead of demonstrating her and her company's stupidity!!!! If there was a way to legally take it outta Whirlpoo's hide in blood, I'd be doing it. The greedy bastards owe it to me and everyone else I'm seeing posting out here on the internet!
We all work hard for our money and shouldn't get shafted on something that should have parts commonly available to easily fix! Like... DUH!