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

  1. #346
    DIY Junior Member biking_brian's Avatar
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    Sunday I went to my local Lowe's, without the water heater and explained my situation to the lady at the returns desk. She said if I had the water heater with me I could return it if I wasn't satisfied with the product. I mentioned that I had to go home and get it, so I was back with it about an hour later. There was a different person at the returns desk when I returned. She had to call a manager in the plumbing department to authorize the return. The conversation went like this:

    Manager: "Are you going to exchange this for a new water heater?"
    Me: "No."
    Manager: "Why not?"
    Me: "Because it's a piece of crap."
    Manager: "You know, the other ones across the street (i.e., Home Depot) are the same ones made by American Water Heater Company."
    Me: "No they're not."
    Manager: "Are you sure?"
    Me: "Yes, they're GE water heaters made by Rheem."

    At that point he said nothing else to me, turned the cashier, and authorized the return. Finally, success!

    The return process was less painful than I had expected. I felt a bit bad for the manager because it was obvious that he knew of the problems with these water heaters, but he probably had instructions from above to do some token push back on the returns.

  2. #347
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_brian View Post
    Sunday I went to my local Lowe's, without the water heater and explained my situation to the lady at the returns desk. She said if I had the water heater with me I could return it if I wasn't satisfied with the product. I mentioned that I had to go home and get it, so I was back with it about an hour later. There was a different person at the returns desk when I returned. She had to call a manager in the plumbing department to authorize the return. The conversation went like this:

    Manager: "Are you going to exchange this for a new water heater?"
    Me: "No."
    Manager: "Why not?"
    Me: "Because it's a piece of crap."
    Manager: "You know, the other ones across the street (i.e., Home Depot) are the same ones made by American Water Heater Company."
    Me: "No they're not."
    Manager: "Are you sure?"
    Me: "Yes, they're GE water heaters made by Rheem."

    At that point he said nothing else to me, turned the cashier, and authorized the return. Finally, success!

    The return process was less painful than I had expected. I felt a bit bad for the manager because it was obvious that he knew of the problems with these water heaters, but he probably had instructions from above to do some token push back on the returns.
    Good For You!



    Another satisfied Ex-Whirlpool Customer!

  3. #348
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    I love working on Whirlpool water heaters...every one I work on is a future sale of a real water heater when they finally get tired of throwing $$$ away or going without HW for a while...people tend to freak out when there is no HW...they will do without many things but HW tends to be one thing that is top of the list of not being with out...

  4. #349
    DIY Senior Member CarlH's Avatar
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    My parents were visiting this weekend and I mentioned that I was planning on replacing my water heater soon. He then tells me that he had recently stopped at Lowes to look at water heaters. I told him not to bother with that junk and told him to contact a plumber in his area to get a Bradford White.

    Hey. This thread that will not die has saved yet another person from frustration...

  5. #350
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlH View Post
    My parents were visiting this weekend and I mentioned that I was planning on replacing my water heater soon. He then tells me that he had recently stopped at Lowes to look at water heaters. I told him not to bother with that junk and told him to contact a plumber in his area to get a Bradford White.

    Hey. This thread that will not die has saved yet another person from frustration...
    Thats all we hope for it to do!

  6. #351

    Thumbs down Whirlpool Sucks

    I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

    I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

    Is this heat that bad??????

    Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????

  7. #352
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by removethehaze View Post
    I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

    I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

    Is this heat that bad??????

    Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????


    Let's see, you've spent $715.00 with your plumber to make two repairs on your water heater?


    I'd say another $285.00 putting another kit in, bringing the grand total to $1000.00 to fix a water heater that'll break again...


    I don't know.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  8. #353
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by removethehaze View Post
    I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

    I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

    Is this heat that bad??????

    Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????


    Where do you live...Did he install that heater originaly...If yes What did he charge... do you use this plumber all the time???

  9. #354
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by removethehaze View Post
    I just had my flame lock kit installed. Within four hours, it quit working. By the way, the plumber charged me $465.00 to install that little piece of junk.

    I am going to have that same plumber replace the kit with a second one Friday. I can only hope it works. I have other problems, like a major leak from the in nipple. That cost $250.00 to replace.

    Is this heat that bad??????

    Did the plumber overcharge me for installing it????
    You're lucky you found someone to install it...
    I don't repair whirlpool gas water heaters...
    I replace them!

  10. #355

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    I just found this thread two days ago. I wish I would have found it sooner! We have 5 of these units at my office. Ironically, a couple of them are still working with the original thermocouple. One had a replacement put in 2 months ago and it is still working. Then my boss decides to volunteer me to check on the last one to stop working. While searching for parts by model number, I came across this thread. Unbelievable!

    I received a retro-fit kit from American Water Heater through Whirlpool on Wednesday and installed it yesterday. This particular water heater is located on a platform about 30 feet in the air in a warehouse. The kit consisted of the new manifold/door assembly, thermocouple adapter, and gas valve/thermostat.

    I followed the instructions to the letter, just to ensure that nothing was overlooked. As I attempted to light the pilot light, it caught on the first push of the igniter. I held the pilot button down for about 60 seconds and released it. The pilot went out immediately. So I tried again 3 more times. When that didn't work, I detached and replaced the wire leads for the resettable thermocouple and made sure everything I had replaced was in order. Still nothing. Out of frustration, I held the stupid red pilot button down for 5 minutes and it went out as soon as released. Out went the pilot.

    I have not contacted AWH or Whirlpool yet concerning this matter but I wanted to see if anyone else here has has this issue after installing their kit? I noticed that some of the kits mentioned seems to have different components than what mine came with. I could have easily overlooked this in reading over 18 pages of posts on this subject. There is a test in the instructions concerning checking the resettable thermocouple with a meter that I have not done as yet. I have to be lifted by forklift in order to gain access to the area the water heater resides in and have not been able to do that yet today. It seems to me that it would have to be either a faulty thermocouple setup or the gas valve/thermostat they furnished.

    If any of you has seen this same thing with the new kit, please let me know. Thanks!

  11. #356
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    It may be the gas valve that is bad and not able to read the millivolts coming from the thermocouple...

  12. #357

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    It may be the gas valve that is bad and not able to read the millivolts coming from the thermocouple...
    Thanks for the input. Is there anything obvious I could have likely done to the new one to foul it up during installation? I used a large pipe wrench with rubber jaw covers to install it and tightened it to the last point I could where it was still in the proper operating orientation.

    I know this is all just a band-aid even if it does work in the end. Still it is all I have to work with right now. I will likely perform the tcouple test on Monday to see how that works out.

    Thanks again.

  13. #358
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I'd love to know how much money this thread has saved the unsuspecting buyer from making a bad purchase.



    I think Terry should win a golden globe award for product awareness in the plumbing industry.


    What other benchmark offers this much?


    Nothing.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  14. #359
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarton View Post
    I just found this thread two days ago. I wish I would have found it sooner! We have 5 of these units at my office. Ironically, a couple of them are still working with the original thermocouple. One had a replacement put in 2 months ago and it is still working. Then my boss decides to volunteer me to check on the last one to stop working. While searching for parts by model number, I came across this thread. Unbelievable!

    I received a retro-fit kit from American Water Heater through Whirlpool on Wednesday and installed it yesterday. This particular water heater is located on a platform about 30 feet in the air in a warehouse. The kit consisted of the new manifold/door assembly, thermocouple adapter, and gas valve/thermostat.

    I followed the instructions to the letter, just to ensure that nothing was overlooked. As I attempted to light the pilot light, it caught on the first push of the igniter. I held the pilot button down for about 60 seconds and released it. The pilot went out immediately. So I tried again 3 more times. When that didn't work, I detached and replaced the wire leads for the resettable thermocouple and made sure everything I had replaced was in order. Still nothing. Out of frustration, I held the stupid red pilot button down for 5 minutes and it went out as soon as released. Out went the pilot.

    I have not contacted AWH or Whirlpool yet concerning this matter but I wanted to see if anyone else here has has this issue after installing their kit? I noticed that some of the kits mentioned seems to have different components than what mine came with. I could have easily overlooked this in reading over 18 pages of posts on this subject. There is a test in the instructions concerning checking the resettable thermocouple with a meter that I have not done as yet. I have to be lifted by forklift in order to gain access to the area the water heater resides in and have not been able to do that yet today. It seems to me that it would have to be either a faulty thermocouple setup or the gas valve/thermostat they furnished.

    If any of you has seen this same thing with the new kit, please let me know. Thanks!
    I think the best thing for you to do with this water heater is disconnect it and load it onto the forklift to bring it down to where you can work on it comfortably.

    As you go to move the forklift with the water heater on the forks perhaps let the clutch out a little fast with the foot on the gas to hard then hit the brake hard...

    Oopppps! It was an accident...
    Guess we better go pick up a Bradford White....

  15. #360

    Default homeremedy

    My Whirlpool heater has now gone about 1 1/2 years after putting the third thermocouple in, along with the aluminum foil shield that I posted a picture of on 1/14/09. I know that a professional plumber could not legally do this, but for the average homeowner, it could alleviate alot of problems. My heater is now 4 1/2 years old, and in this part of the country, we only get about 6 years out of one usually.

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