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

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

  1. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Their are differences in fvir design and some are better than others but its best they have a clean air envirrment and thats just not the case most of the time in the real world. This lack of air causes the heater's combustion chamber to over heat and the heater shuts down. Here is my solution to the problem if the heater is installed in its own dedicated closet. I cut an A.C filter grill into the door and install a filter then weather strip the door. yes its a PITA to change the filter but its reliable protection in dirty air enviroments for the new heaters. Lint will cause them all to fail.
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    No I'm taking about the time that someone spent:
    • driving to Lowes to buy a water heater
    • trying to find a smockman for help
    • waiting for smock man to close the aisle and take one down off the rack
    • waiting in a checkout line
    • driving home with it
    • moving it into the house
    • installing it
    • wondering why they don't have hot water
    • Trying to relight the water heater
    • going to Lowes for a left handed thermocouple
    • find out that they don't have any
    • go home and call 1-800-Racshids India Help Line
    • Order the burner enhancement kit
    • wait for the kit to arrive
    • install the kit when it arrived
    • be very greatful that you have hot water again after almost a week of putzing around
    • oops spoke to early its out again
    • call Rashid again
    • order the gas valve
    • wait for the gas valve
    • install the gas valve when it arrives
    • hope to hell it works
    • every morning wake up and wonder "Is the water heater still working"

    All this because some dumbazz incompetent engineer can't design a good product...
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    When I get a cold tank call I ask the brand and if its gas fired or electric. If gas I ask the make,model and serial number. If its a whirlpool theres no worry as I have a case of the left handed thermocouples and that will get them by until we can get the proper parts delivered under the warranty. So I make two service calls out of the deal and the customer gets HOT WATER again with little wait. Sure it costs them money but i didn't install it so its not my fault. I know plenty of people who will gamble with repair a few times before they shell out 1,000 for a new one. I always advise that whirlpool has had problems and I believe they are inferior to a couple other brands but none of them are perfect. Bradford does have a large screen but I have seen them fail also in dirty enviroments.
  4. Redwood your forgot something>>>>>

    you need to add to that long list of reasons..

    another good reason.....

    sitting on line waiting to get to talk to someone over in INDIA about your problems.... and getting the parts to repair them sent to your home in 4 days...


    ...
  5. redwoodvotesoften1

    redwoodvotesoften1 New Member

    Messages:
    78
    Hot Dang!
    This is gittin ta be like the good ol times when my cousin Southern Man useta hang out here.
    He wuz an enginear too.
  6. curlysir

    curlysir New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Texas

    I got my parts overnight at no cost. I would not have bought the water heater if I I known the problems. But, now that I have it I am not going to throw it away because it is not the best WH around. It worked for almost 18 months without a problem and is working now with the new parts.

    I will replace it when it is out of warranty or when it starts failing more often.

    I could afford a new WH but I don't like to waste money either.
  7. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    make sure you clean the metal screen in the bottom out very well. Also make sure you install the filter around the bottom and clean it often depending on how dirty it gets. the replacement part has a resetable limit switch. Goodluck!
  8. curlysir

    curlysir New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Texas
    The screen was clean. And the filter around the bottom did not have a lot of crud on it. I am not defending the Water Heater. It has design problems for sure, but I also am not going to throw money away either. When it does become a major pain in the rear it will be gone for sure. I like hot water and will not spend a lot of money on a bad design. I also have the old gas valve from my previous heater in case I need it.
  9. Torry

    Torry DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I'm finding it hilarious that neither website is active... I've received and installed my second free conversion kit from Lowes... saving up for a Rheem.
  10. Torry

    Torry DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I've learned to immediately demand the "Recall Replacement Kit" to get my free new assembly from Lowes but I have no idea how to go about getting this replacement/auxilary'add-on filter that I'm supposed to wrap around the bottom of this dog.
  11. Torry

    Torry DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I'm on my second free kit and am saving up for a real water heater. I have to agree that it is rather ridiculous that a manufacturer of a gas-fueled product is so casual about rank amateurs installing these replacement kits. ... it doesn't help that their provided connectors will not stand up to the repeated installations.
  12. Torry

    Torry DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I have read this thread from front-to-back and want to thank everyone for all their info and input.

    There will NOT be another Whirlpool water heater in my home .... as soon as I save up for the replacement...

    Until then, I will be haunting Lowes to demand a SPARE replacement kit so that I will have one on hand for the next failure. It took visits and calls to three stores to track one kit down and I supposedly got their last remaining kit.
  13. curlysir

    curlysir New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Texas
    It is not just Whirlpool, It is also American Standard, U.S. Craftmaster and several others brands made by the same company. Same Water Heater just with different names on them.
  14. Superdave

    Superdave New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Iowa
    Just battled my first, amazingly got it to start back up.

    the bottom screen wasn't too dirty but i cleaned it anyways, main problem is that the pilot light went out and wouldn't re-light.


    I'm not even going to mess with repairs at this point, just going to pick up a new 50 gallon at Home Depot. What brand do you guys suggest?


    BTW, my model number was FG1HS040T3NV. It's a shame because it looks amazingly new. (purchased in 2002 by previous home owner). It always sounded like water was leaking on the burner when it ran though.. i just hoped it was condensation. :)
  15. Tim in Fort Worth

    Tim in Fort Worth New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Texas
    Since it was my e-mail to Terry that launched this thread I feel an obligation to inform everyone that Water Heater Zero assumed room temperature a few months ago. The pilot light went out and I ended up going through my entire stash of replacement TCs that Whirlpool sent me free of charge including shipping because I refused to pay. Since it's not likely that a new TC is bad, let alone several of them I think it supports the theory that there are multiple causes of failure for this water heater. I looked for a Bradford White replacement but soon discovered that they were only available through plumbers. I ended up getting a GE from HD because I'm pretty much a DIY guy and couldn't justify the cost to have a plumber install it. So far so good. We'll see how it goes.

    But I have to say, Terry, this thread has been one hell of a ride! 100,000+ views and counting. I've never seen a thread with that many views. All the posts that begin along the lines of, "If I had only read this thread before..." are only half the story. No telling how many people you never heard from who read the thread first and were saved the hassle and frustration. Not to mention the other professional plumbers who found it and hopefully put a kid through college because of it. Or the lawyers who used it at a resource for their cases. And even the Whirlpool people who cringed at the thought of this thread but followed it anyway because the just couldn't look away. This place is probably the number one resource on the Internet about the Whirlpool flamelock water heater. You might even have enough material here for a book. And don't sell the movie rights cheap. I'm even beginning to think it will be a bitter-sweet day when the last Whirlpool flamelock water heater in existence gets tossed onto the lawn of Whirlpool's CEO. One of them should probably be saved for a museum exhibit. Again, Terry great job with this thread. You've done a great service for a lot of people, and it will probably be useful for several more years.
  16. Superdave

    Superdave New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Iowa
    Mine was replaced yesterday with a nice new 12yr GE unit from Home Depot.


    I flipped my old one on it's side just to verify that the screen wasn't clogged and it was as clean as can be. There was a decent amount of sediment in the tank, it actually had a hard time draining. I did make sure to yank out the igniter for use in a potato cannon at a later date. :)


    Oh well, it's on it's way to be recycled and my wife and kids have nothing to complain about for a while.




    Thanks for all the info guys
  17. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    I was in Lowes tonight and one thing that caught my eye is that they are promoting that the water heaters now come with a standard right turn thermo coupling?
  18. Verhouze

    Verhouze DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Please tell me it isn't so. I had one installed yesterday and this thread is freaking me out. Are some models less likely to have the problems? My model number is American Proline UG6150T403N
  19. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Well the newer ones won't have the one time thermocouple problem but....

    You have the California special Low-NOx version somehow I don't anticipate good things but it is different than most of the ones in this thread.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  20. Verhouze

    Verhouze DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Well, your answer is some relief. I just want to know at this point it is not dangerous. I am no spring chicken and can't run fast. LOL. Not funny really. The fact it doesn't have the same thermocouple is a relief but it does have the same filter underneath.

    Do you know what kind of problems go wrong with this model?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
Similar Threads: Whirlpool Flame
Forum Title Date
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Whirlpool Flame Lock Heater Often Fails to Maintain Hot Water ("False" Status Light) Jul 6, 2012
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Sears Power Miser 12- Similar Symptoms as the stickied Whirlpool Flamelock ? Jun 4, 2011
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Whirlpool flamelock water heaters Oct 28, 2009
Water Heater Forum, Tanks 6 Year vs. 12 Year (plus canceled Whirlpool and ordered Bradford White) Apr 9, 2013
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Whirlpool Heat Traps, leave in place or remove? Jan 24, 2013

Share This Page