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

  1. #181
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I didn't realize there was a good one! Even their fix is coming up lame!

  2. #182
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    Pilot Sight Glass Is Round. Called Whirlpool And From What I Was Able To Understand ( Bad English ) They Are Going To Send Me Everything I Need. If Pilot Light Does Not Go Out By The Time I Get The Kit Do You Think I Should Still Pay To Replace It Our Just Hold On To It?

  3. #183
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Eventually you will get tired of playing with it!

  4. #184
    DIY Senior Member MG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkulb View Post
    Pilot Sight Glass Is Round. Called Whirlpool And From What I Was Able To Understand ( Bad English ) They Are Going To Send Me Everything I Need. If Pilot Light Does Not Go Out By The Time I Get The Kit Do You Think I Should Still Pay To Replace It Our Just Hold On To It?
    Wait a second - are they making you pay for the parts? Other than shipping?
    Note: I am a DIY'er and not a professional. My posts here are observations / opinions and may or may not be in accordance with your local ordinances.

  5. #185
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    No Charge For The Parts Just Shipping. I Was Just Thinking That If The Pilot Light Stay's On ( And It Has ) I Would Wait To Have It Installed. Plummer Wants $90.00

  6. #186
    DIY Member Squ1rrel's Avatar
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    I still think that's gutsy---screw up your own product, then charge the customer to ship the part, AND make them pay for labor

  7. #187
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    That is often how negotiated settlements in class action lawsuits work!
    The lawyers win!

  8. #188
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    If The Pilot Goes Out And You Are Able To Get It Going Again Does That Mean The Thermocouple Is Still Ok ?

  9. #189
    DIY Member Squ1rrel's Avatar
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    Probably not. that thermocouple is going to keep shutting off the pilot randomly.

  10. #190
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    It's Been Working Perfect For 48 Hrs. The New Kit Will Be In On Tuesday. I Guess I'll Have It If And When I Need It. I Am Still Holding Out Hope That I Don't Have To Pay The Plummer.

  11. #191
    DIY Junior Member Tim in Fort Worth's Avatar
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    I can't believe this thread is still going. Hopefully people all over the country have been able to benefit from it. I'd bet money that this site has become the #1 resource for consumers who have a Flame Lock go out on them and don't know what to do. As for mine, it's still working after the switch upgrade. It's almost a record, coming up on two years now. I really believe removing the viewing window extends the life of the faulty thermocouple, but those who advise caution have a very valid point too. It's better to be safe and get a reliable product. But sometimes it becomes a quest that you can't let go of until it ends in victory or death. I also like to think that I am somehow outfoxing Whirlpool and sticking it to the Man at the same time. For those who for whatever reason will have to keep their Whirlpool Flame Lock for years to come I have this bit of advice: Have at least two extra thermocouples on hand at all times. You get to where you can change them in the dark in about 45 minutes, and when it goes out you will only be without water for a few hours at the most. As they go out, replace them and get Whirlpool to reimburse you for them. One other bit of advice to all who contact customer service, be it in India or wherever. Don't stand for paying for the replacement parts or shipping unless you want the overnight delivery. I respectfully made my points and in the end I've never paid a cent to Whirlpool beyond what I originally paid for the water heater. They always agreed to sending the parts and paying the shipping. My ace in the hole was having the extra thermocouples on hand so I wasn't without hot water while waiting for the parts to arrive.

    Man this thread cracks me up.

  12. #192

    Default finally authorized for refund of tank

    i purchased my tank about 2 yrs ago. i replaced the manifold with the upgrade kit, again the gas valve, and again replaced the thermocouple. i continued having problems with the pilot going out at least once a week for months. i was given the run around to have the gas line checked, balanced the water heater because they said the excessive water dripping was not the tank but condensation, cleaned the vent of course, and the check the exhaust vent(what ever that thing is) to make sure nothing else like the dryer was causing pressure. i am a single parent mother doing all the work myself, so i basically lost my mind and was happy when it would just last 3 days. i would check it every night to make sure it was on so the kids could have water in the morning. well, it finally gave out again 4 days ago and the pilot would not stay lit. i called again for the millionth time and got another Indian person i could barely understand. i ended up going back and forth to the store for about 2 hours getting the wrong part, being placed on hold, and then learning how to use a voltage meter on the thermocouple. i did not realize i could purchase a thermocouple at the store, so i had one sent over night for $18. the operator also sent a gas valve. maybe she figured i needed to replace that too just in case, since i had no idea how to use a multipurpose voltage meter (did not tell her but i could tell she knew). yesterday i replaced the thermocouple but the gasket or seal on the manifold door ripped at the bottom. i went to the the store. they did not have a replacement, a plumber overheard and said he carried therm but i needed to pay him $60 and whirlpool will assign it to him. i call whirlpool again this morning and explained to them i needed a new gasket. they had no idea what i was talking about after 20minutes. i went online to see if it was under some other name and that is when i found you guys. well, of course i was very upset. i then called again, tried to explain what i needed. they told me to have the plumber call them. i told them there was no way a plumber was going to explain to them what i needed for free and i was not paying $60 when i had already did all the work. of course i started raising my voice after i explained to them for the 5th time i had a torn gasket, where it was and how big the damage was. he placed me on hold, came on and had me explain again but it sounded like i was being recorded, then to my amazement told me to take the tank back to the store to get a replacement. i then commenced to having a nervous breakdown and told them in not so nice of a way that i hated whirlpool, that they sucked and never ever wanted anything to do with them. he gave me my authorization number and told me i could get a refund or replacement. that is my story and hopefully the end. all i can say is keep on calling them and have a nervous breakdown, lol. good luck to all of my fellow whirlpool victims.
    Last edited by addict4fun; 03-29-2008 at 02:12 PM.

  13. #193

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    I posted this today to the "daughter" thread over at http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19717
    but it's probably more appropriate here. Pardon the crosspost.

    This is indeed one of the most extraordinary consumer appliance horror stories I've ever seen. Unfortunately, I guess I've bought into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lassiter View Post
    I installed a Whirlpool BFG model 40 gallon water heater from Lowes in December 2006. I actually haven't had any trouble with it so far (knock on wood!), though I do notice that I've had to turn the thermostat knob up somewhat to keep the hot water temp where I think it used to be. Is that the sign of an about-to-fail thermocouple?

    I selected to claim the replacement manifold assembly, at least so I'd have it around when the thing failed. I sent that claim in by mail, using the claim form provided by the Settlement, on 12/07, but haven't gotten the replacement unit. Am I supposed to follow up the mailed claim to actually get one sent to me?

    The unit is in a closet in the garage, open to the attic. It is on it's own short legs, so it's almost impossible to see the vent screen, but there is very little dust in that closet. I decided to remove the flame viewing window anyway, based on my impression from the posts in this thread about the importance of ventilation to the burner. Given the absence of flammable materials near the closet, and the "outer door" that should keep solid burnables away from the flame, this seems justified.

    What precisely causes the thermocouple to fail, and how does airflow to the burner affect that? Never have understood that.

    The thread is pretty long, and hugely informative, but it's gotten to the point that it's hard to pull out recommendations. Who (based on the particular unit that they have) needs to do what, to keep this beast alive? Is there some place where all this information is distilled?

    Thanks!

    Doug

  14. #194

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    Has anyone actually tested teh thermocouple? I have tested about a dozen and all were good. I believe the problem is with the gas valve. when the thermocouple gets just a bit weak ( plenty strong enough ) the pilot valve won't open. I think the tolerance on the valve is way off. The reason I decided to check all the thermo couples at one poit was because a teacher at a nate clase told me i was wrong that the thermo couple was completely fine after testing one i brought in. Seems all of the ones after that were too.. but the valves wanted a new one to work





    http://www.broomfieldplumber.com

  15. #195
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking plumber jim

    The only way to say it is this water heater is
    like "the perfect storm" ...... a total clusterfu// .......

    their is supposed to be some sort of high limit build into that fat thermocoupling that senses the heat....

    and when it gets too hot due to the screen underneath the heater being clogged up, it breaks the circuit to the heater...

    the NEW thermocoupling has to be installed EXACTLY like
    the old one was factory installed....
    if you slap it in there
    and get it slightly closer to the flame that the original one was then it usually goes out almost at once.....

    of course you cant win becasue you cant get enough good
    air into the thing to keep a back flash of gas from
    burning out the t-coupling in the first place...

    I cant get one to go back in perfectly...

    how many have you had to man handle to get them
    to lay right in the burner cage?

    their only way to win is to get more air into
    the unit and that is pretty simple to do.

    but defeats the whole purpose
    that the government and insurance comapnies was trying
    to accomplish makeing them safer...

    http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

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