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

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

  1. dougmiceli

    dougmiceli New Member

    ha ha ha ha

    redwood to funny! Yes grasping for straws or trying to deflect the truth that American water heaters are the biggesr fraud ever thrust on the plumbing world since PVC pipe for sanitary water lines. To funny! You always tell it like it is! Hey maybe he needs the paycheck from AWH. First of all apples to oranges second of all print these out and put them end to end maybe they would run the length of my basement then print out the AWH complaints and we could make paper dolls from here to the space station and back....and back again. Nice try idiot there still junk fact not my opinion...Read what the pro's on here say...a resounding F-.
  2. mjbrunsm

    mjbrunsm New Member

    i just had to replace my water heater last night. like so many others before me, i didn't research the brand before purchasing, for the same reason as many - i needed hot water. i purchased a 50 gal. nat. gas whirlpool model# BFG1J5040T3N - closest store and running out of time to get one on easter sunday :(. I've just now read about the numerous problems with the whirlpool flame lock water heaters not getting enough air. if i routinely monitor and clean the filter, should that keep me out of trouble with repairs to this unit? my water heater is located in my basement and i would hate to have to remove it and get a different one. though this seems like the right thing to do...
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    I'm sorry to hear that you got duped into buying this product.
    Evenings and holidays I'm afraid make up the bulk of sales for this product.
    Sometimes it is better to wait and go without rather than immediately fixing a problem. This is definitely one of them!

    The best advice I can give is keep the basement clean and do your best to prevent dust and dryer lint from reaching the water heater. When it fails, note I didn't say if... Don't mess around trying to get it to work, as you won't, replace it wih a Bradford-White immediately. When you rip it out bring it right down to Lowes wheel it in on their cart without any intention of bringing it out of the store again, and be the customer from hell at the returns desk untill they refund your money. Don't let them hide behind the don't return it sticker on the water heater. They are selling junk product to their customers and they know it!:eek:

    II kinda like the thought of this style of returning it...

    They have known the product is junk for years and while you are at the returns desk ranting and raving about them selling junk rest assured that one of their associates is in the back of the store smiling at a customer telling them that the Whirlpool water heater is the best thing since sliced bread. They even trie selling other makes of water heaters from American Water Heaters like US Craftmaster to diguise the fact that they are the same...

    They are intentionally selling defective product and have been doing so for years.
    Be mad!
    You are entitled to that feeling!
    Let them know how mad you are, they rightfully deserve it!
    Whether or not a water heater will be providing hot water in the morning is not something you should have to do on a daily basis.
    Maybe after a good long service life of 10 or 12 years would be more like it.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  4. Plumber Jim

    Plumber Jim Member

    also be sure to install the long black lint screen. If you keep the area clean you should be ok. tons of people have these working without trouble. The lint and dust will get you on these heaters though.
  5. colleenm248

    colleenm248 New Member

    My water heater started giving me problems last week. The model # starts with BFG, it's a 30 gallon short tank.
    I was told I needed a new thermostat. My question is this - has anyone experienced continued problems after replacing the thermostat.
    Thanks for your help.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Read back through this thread...
    Your question has been answered a thousand times at least....
    As long as you have this water heater installed having hot water available is a crap shoot!:eek:
  7. colleenm248

    colleenm248 New Member

    Thank you for your answer. The thought of reading back thru all those pages was too depressing for me, but I guess I'll give it a shot.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Many of the people that have these units have spent the amount that would have paid for a replacement just keeping the existing one running...

    It is depressing that American Water Heaters and Lowes are doing this to their customers...:mad:
  9. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Chicago, IL
    Hi there Plumber Jim, I have been getting a rash of Bradford White, Rheem, GE, State, and AO Smith FVIR water heaters failing due to lint getting into the FVIR system. Mostly in town homes where they had the great idea to install the water heater, furnace, Washer and Dryer all in one little room. I explain to these home owners when I replace their heater they need to keep that room lint and dust free from now on. The State heaters have a screen around the intake ports but lots of fine dust can get through. I been wondering how to solve this issue with out relocating the heater.

    Oh I checked out your website. You still have a couple of the template place holder pages up. I would put up the info you want go get out there on them pages or remove the place holder Latin speak and put "Page Under Construction please check back later".
  10. Whit kind of Rash are you getting Sewer Ratz???

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  11. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Chicago, IL
    They suck in the lint and dust and the flame arrester gets clogged enough to starve the burner enough combustion air to where it will put it self out. You can relite the pilot as soon as the burner runs you can see the flame roll and out goes the flame and pilot again. Open up the sealed panel just a little bit and the unit works fine. I tried to blow the flame arrester clean , on some it works others it did not. Already replace 3 Rheims and 2 Bradford Whites this month all in the same subdivision where the units are in the "utility room" a 10' x 10' square room with the washer, dryer, WH, and furnace in the same room with a 8" duct for make up air. Each heater was 2 years old and there was a lot of dust and lint in each of these rooms.

    I would think having a filter to clean every three months is a great idea to help prevent the flame arrester from clogging. Yes its a nuisance but a necessary one.
  12. mattnjodie

    mattnjodie Plumber

    whirlpool h2o heaters

    i installed one of these @ a month ago for a couple in our church. too bad i'd not read this earlier. i came upon one of these that is @ 3 years old, it would not keep a pilot so i replaced the thermocoupler, no luck. found this string and i read and i read. next step, i replaced the burner assembly gratis from whirlpool because the big blue box keeps 'em on hand (wonder why). no pilot still... replaced the thermostat and voila! i now have a pilot and it proves the flame so i have fuel for the burner. a funny thing @ these heaters, i know that gas heaters sweat alot, but when this one kicked on i thought it had a leak... lots of condensation! wow! problem solved, thermostat $60, replacement burner assembly FREE, 4 hours of labor $240, remembering this site to gain the knowledge that i needed PRICELESS!!! thanks to all of you before me for your wisdom. oh yeah, the replacement box did not have the wrap around screen that was refered to earlier in this string, but the new one that i installed did, weird...
  13. Rheem heaters

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  14. Hemmerling

    Hemmerling New Member

    Whirlpool Flameless Water Heater models BFG1F4034T3NOV

    Yeah problem is still not fixed with the BFG models. We have replaced the theralcouple and the valve 6 months (July 2008) after purchase (12/31/2007 Happy New Year!) Now 04/26/2009 we have been out of hot water since Friday night. Of course it is a weekend and the company isn't available. We have the reset valve and are getting nothing! So aparently we will be replacing another thermalcouple Tuesday. Thankful my hubby is mechanically inclined and can do the work.

    Thanks for the tip on the cleaning. I'll make sure I let them know we clean it "religously" every 2 months, LOL. After I clean it the first time! I didn't get that memo.

    I'll keep you posted on the reset valve when my hubby gets home. i tried; but i have no clue. i would just as soon go back to the last water heater that was in this house since July of 1977. It was a Whirlpool from Sears. they sure dont make thing the way they used to!
  15. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Yup, that's right after they get off the phone with the customer shipping them a thermocouple! :p
  16. mjjamj

    mjjamj New Member

    Have been reading through this forum. I have the same problem. When I called they told me I needed the kit and they are sending it to me. Of course it will not arrive until next Tuesday. Then I heard you can get the kit from Lowes. I went there and they gave me kit C. When I went to install it it does not seem to actually fit. Comparing to my old one the door portion is not as rounded and is a little bigger. Checked with Lowes again and they said it is the correct one. Has anyone else had this problem? MY model number is FG6150T403NOV.

    Also does anyone know how to get support from an American. I cannot seem to find a way.


    Got it to fit. Thanks anyways.
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    The part you got from Lowes is for after the kit from Whirlpool arrives...
    You're stuck waiting til Tuesday...

    Bradford White Doesn't treat their customer like that...
  18. MichaelRoger

    MichaelRoger New Member

    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
  19. WPHeaterHater

    WPHeaterHater New Member

    That URL just goes to a go-daddy placeholder...

    Anyway, I have a conflict of interest. I work at Low*s, and I have one of these wonderful water heaters that came with this house when I bought it 2 years ago. I haven't had any problems with it until a couple of days ago.

    Not working anywhere near the plumbing section, I never knew of any issues with these things before mine went out. I didn't even know WP water heaters were exclusive to low*s. After asking around the plumbing dept, information starts to trickle down about the Kits, they have some in stock that they could give me, but not the one I need (the A kit). That is apparently their most common kit, and it goes fast once it comes in.

    I ask why I can't just replace the thermocouple, and they start telling me about how it's reverse threaded, and they don't sell those anymore. I asked how we can sell the water heater, but not sell the part to fix it. I received a shrug.

    So I call the WP help line during my lunch break, and I'm very quickly greeted by a nice fellow from India apparently named Stan. Stan begins to ramble his way through the "choose your own adventure" book known as their customer service script, and I start getting annoyed. After getting nowhere with this guy. It will take a week for the part. That's unacceptable to me. I make sure Stan is well aware of how unacceptable it is.

    So I head back in to the store with a fresh idea on my mind. I'm looking at the immediate problem, I hate cold showers. To fix this problem, I need a reverse-thread thermocouple. The store (and everyone else) only sells right hand thread thermocouples. So I decide to just re-use the old left hand nut.

    I buy a new TC for $7, go home and detach and remove my burner assembly. I take the old TC out of the assembly, and put the nut in my vise with a flat edge sticking up. I then put a wafer wheel in my drimmel and started cutting the nut in-line with one edge if the TC tube. then cut along the other edge. I then cut the tube and knocked it out with a small screwdriver. At this point, I had a slot that would almost slip the new TC through, I just had to clean it up a bit more with the drimmel. once I cleaned it up, I inspected the threads closely and hit them with a wire brush to take off any boogers. I replace the TC with the new one, making sure to pop it all the way into that hole so it's positioned right. then I just pull the new nut down out of the way (no need to cut it off) and put the newly-slotted old nut on the new TC... hand tight + 1/4 turn, and I'm done, and I've got hot water until the new kit arrives.

    As far as low*s being at fault goes, I can't buy that because I work there and I really do think it's a great company to work for, and we typically go out of our way to help a customer. Now, the corporate side of things, that's another story. There's no doubt that low*s and whirlpool have some sort of deal going on, for low*s to stock them exclusively, and to not dump them after this whole fiasco, it has to involve some serious money. But it could also involve an investment or contract by low*s that they can't back out of.

    That does put those store employees in an awkward situation, because they can't just tell a customer that the product is junk. Though one manager over in that area DID tell me that he had talked a few customers OUT of buying a WP water heater.

    Long Story Short, Just don't buy your Water Heater from low*s until they get a new brand. It doesn't mean that everything from low*s is junk, it doesn't even mean that everything from WP is junk. Though it's difficult to convince someone who has already been deeply burned. I DO know from experience though that Low*s will go above and beyond to keep you as a customer. So go back to Low*s, stay calm, but don't be a pushover. And get your money back, or at least store credit. 99 times out of 100, they will take care of someone if their loyalty as a customer comes into question...
  20. it makes you wonder....

    I think that their is a gag order in place that Lowes has made
    their employees take if they want to keep their jobs.

    they simply are not supposed to speak about it,
    which to me is rather deceitful....

    the new improved whirlpool design that they have half --assed put together
    to weasel out of this class action lawsuit is actually worse then the original problem ..

    check out the dates on this long list of complaints, most are on heaters that are less than a year old.......


    you will notice that 90% of these complaints are NOT on the old style units,
    most are on the 2007,8,9 brands...

    in my honest opinion, Lowes and Whirlpool -- American Water heaters ----simply MUST be owned by the same larger conglomerate, and LOWES is simply being forced to sell this junk by the higher powers running the whole show...

    Lowes is not a bad place to buy materials from, but when you have a situation like this where they cannot dump a product that is 100% junk probably under threat of losing their jobs,
    and they are forced tho sell another divisions trash,

    then no one wins...

    Whirlpool Water Heater pictures
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2009
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