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

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Terry, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. MsBehavin

    MsBehavin New Member

    Does anyone know what the "enhancement kit" contains? My plumber told me to make sure I receive the burner assembly AND a gas valve. Is the new thermocouple right-threaded? I am hesitant to order this contraption, as the manager at Lowe's has promised me that he will reimburse me in full for a new water heater as long as I return the old one to them. The only catch is, I need $416.87 out-of-pocket to buy the new one and I don't have it. If I can get by with the kit I want to do so at least until after the holidays.
  2. whosyer12

    whosyer12 New Member

    Don't know if links are allowed here---but take a look at: http://flamelocksupport.com/kits.aspx What you see is what you get. No new burner or new valve. Almost a month for me though and working ok (wood knocked).
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    This is the kit it is shown earlier in the kazzillion pages of this thread.


    Don't kid yourself into thinking this is a miracle fix.
    If the "New Improved" Cesspools are still having the problem...
    How good can the "Fix" be?

    If they have offered you you're money back take it and run!
    Put in a Bradford White and discover that once again hot water only requires turning on a tap.

    Even a store credit can be spent on better things!
  4. Are you qualified to do this???

    I wonder how many homeowners they send this kit out to
    attempt to fool with it themselves???

    these things are not that easy to fool with even for someone that does it every day...

    Also....What I have found...
    As long as that "new enhanced kit"
    is somehow installed to let a lot of air in
    through the front of it,
    it will probably work for a long time

    of course that would void the FVIR safeguards on
    the heater.....and that is not something that a company
    should do for a customer...

    but I certainly am running into more and more of them in homes
    that have been...... "modified" .....by the home owner to get
    them to work....

    they really should have a nation wide recall on all of them. http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    I am doing 3 calls todayon heaters, 2 on Whirlpools...both calls ar for bad gas valves...the 3rd call may be one also...
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  6. Cass ..STATE AND SMITH are no better.....

    Cass....are you bragging or complaining??

    I simply wont touch a Whirlpool for anyone ever again...

    I got a cousin with a Whirlpool heater that I "modified"
    for him about 4 years ago, it is still working great...

    I dont think a 1st cousin would sue me if they ever have a
    fire caused by the heater....

    but I am not willing to do this
    for the general public...

    I am also having a lot of troubles
    with STATE and SMITH. jsut acting up like the Whirlpool

    remember to take your air compressor, a couple of wire brushes to clean the air screeen under-neath the unit..

    have a great time.. http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  7. joebob2000

    joebob2000 New Member

    Time for another disgruntled whirlpooo owner to weigh in. It's been like 5 minutes since you all heard that, eh?

    I got this unit in 2004 and had no problems until winter of 08 (10 months ago). I am doubly unfortunate in not only owning a whirlygig water heater, but also an aqua-therm central heating unit! So, when theres no warm water, theres no warm *anything* in my house. Great, right?

    So this story starts 10 months ago (feb of 08), on the coldest day of that winter, of course the water heater craps out on me after working almost nonstop to keep my house warm. It's dedication was admirable. I, of course, tried re-lighting it with mixed success and quickly called support to hope for a quick fix. Replacement parts were headed my way in a few days. Great, back to electric heaters and using the fireplace for me! They were gracious enough to send me a whole gas kit for the unit, including a new burner, valve, and related bits. I figured great, they must have gotten the design right by now since it was about 3 years since I bought the thing. I install the parts and the unit is up and running perfectly the rest of the winter.

    So it would figure that this winter (oops, according to my calendar winter hasnt even started yet! i am in trouble!) the water heater craps out again. No pilot, same kind of problem as last year. Deja vu is swirling in my head as I call whirlpoo again, forking over another $15 for quick shipping of replacement parts. Back to the fireplace and electric heaters for me.

    So, being an overly zealous tinkerer, I start troubleshooing the thing. The safety thermostat has continuity, the thermocouple has voltage, it seems like everything is hooked up right. On a dare, I shorted the thermostat connection and tried to light it. Flame! It ran OK until it got up to temp and the water thermostat shut it off, and then poof no pilot. It won't re-light either. Back to square 1.

    So, I am no HVAC expert but I do know a little about mechanics and I got to thinking, what the heck is that little hexagonal shaped assembly that the thermocouple and the safety thermostat attach to? Is it a fail-shut control of some sort for the pilot gas valve?

    Anyway, in summary, love the site, hate the whirlpool. Thanks to everyone who posted good info!
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    With 41,000+ views I wonder if this is the most viewed thread on the internet...
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    I just love what they say at the link posted by whosyer12

    Masters of understatement aren't they!:cool:

    Those numbers are only going to increase until production of this lemon is halted and the last remaining unit goes out of service. The most viewed probably goes to a Paris Hilton "Sex Tape" but in the long haul this one is sure to chug along right past it... Kinda like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album which as of may 5th 2006 had spent 1500 weeks on Billboard's top 200 album chart and probably this Christmas season will once again climb on for a few more weeks. That's almost 29 years on the charts for an album released in 1973! Whooda Thunk! Pink Floyd 1500 week article
  10. edgrimly

    edgrimly New Member

    I got my kit over the weekend and managed to take pictures of the whole process start to finish. Funny thing is the water heater was technically still working although it was on low and just barely warm enough for someone to take a shower with. :eek:
    It was not a bad job, the whole door assembly was all assembled you just had to transfer the orifice from the old to the new and re hook up everything. The new switch pieces were simple and straightforward. Yes, there were NOT written directions on how to do it, but a picture is worth a 1000 words and they had a nice picture instead of directions.
    The main problem I had was the pilot jet line used a one piece compression fitting nut that took a LOT of strength to tighten. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK YOUR CONNECTIONS. Use a squirt bottle of soap and soap and water (lots of soap and a little water) to check for leaks and then have people sniff the area later for signs of leaks and then maybe check for leaks again. I did not like that compression nut, not even a little bit. :mad:

    Other then that, very straight forward and easy to do.

    BTW: The pilot light is much stronger and I DID NOT modify the jet that came with the kit. I am thinking they got the idea. :D

    I still have not turned up the heat past warm and proly never will if it will prolong the life of this setup and I do not have to do it again. Warm is plenty hot for showers.

    p.s. With this new kit installed I can now buy the 7 dollar thermocouple from Lowes next time. :p

  11. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Just remember that if a gas valve came with that that they only will warranty it 1 time so when the new one goes bad the whole cost of replacement will be on you...
  12. MsBehavin

    MsBehavin New Member

  13. sinsta

    sinsta New Member

    Glad to read that... i was going to try it myself... sounds like you're suggesting that i get the kit and contact my plumber.
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    If you called me I wouldn't even install the kit!

    The choice I give if install a new Bradford White or find another plumber to do it!

    There is no way in hell that I want any of these lemons hanging over my head.
  15. Why i love whirlpool heaters

    REdwood, I totally agree with you about this

    I am changeing out a Whirlpool heater tomorrow....

    they have not had hot water since last Thursday....

    cant get the parts, and like you stated ,

    no REAL--- LEGIT ----PLUMBER in town
    wants to tangle with them...

    I have a lot to be thankful for this x-mas

    Thank you Whirlpool....

    you are keeping me busy....

    please keep up the good work.....

    please keep selling your shitty --crappy --
    water heaters to the un-suspecting public..

    and Thank you
    LOWES for selling this junk in all your stores..
    thanks for not warning your customer how awful this product is......

    Thanks to both of you
    becasue in about 3 years down the road I get a new customer
    when I replace the junk you sold them....
    and wont warranty anymore..


    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  16. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    I went and installed a new gas valve on a 1 yr. old Whirlpool last week and now the water won't heat up hot... I have to go check it out but it seems on the surface like I will have to replace the new valve...
  17. Cass....Merry X-mas...

    Cass...their new problem now is the "improvement"

    that they made to their crappy design... Most likely

    you will find that it is the little thermal switch that

    they put on the fire wall.....(you cant get that part either)

    is over heating and shutting down the unit...

    to win that battle,
    you will probably have to break out the looking glass
    and crack the seal on the front of the unit for more air ....

    Cass...have fun. this X-mas with your whirlpool water heater calls.....

    and be thankful for all the work...

    Merry X-Mas

    and god bless us everyone....
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  18. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Merry Christmas to all the Whirlpool owners...Mark it is just that the water is not getting hot enough...the pilot is staying lit... so it will be a thermostatic valve change out...again...I will work on them as long as they keep paying me...with the understanding that the unit should be replaced...the more I work on them the more they hate them espicially when I say stuff like "this is the 5th one I have changed in 2 weeks"...I have one call coming up where the tennant has been with out hot water for 6 months...I am not sure I want to go on that call...I may just charge extra...
  19. 61kretch

    61kretch New Member

    Merry Christmas, and thank you Terry

    Just wanted to say Merry Christmas and thank you for creating this site. You saved me much time and heartache (although, sorry to say, I wasn't completely spared), as a Whirlpool BG hot water tank owner. Yes, just failed after 1 year exactly. They are overnighting a new gas valve. Changed the thermocouple and cleaned, (not that dirty, had the external filter around tank), but no good. Don't want to alter anything until after plumber installs gas valve. Have already started a Bradford-White savings account (that's what I had for 25 years, and would still have, if my basement hadn't flooded). Ah well, I've made more expensive mistakes. Thanks again for giving me the info I needed to decided to cut and run rather than throwing good money after bad.
  20. redwoodvotesoften1

    redwoodvotesoften1 New Member

    I got on o these things real cheap at Lowes. Sumbuddy installed it an it didn't work rite so they retured it an I got it cheap.
    I'm turnin it into a still ta make whiskey with.
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