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

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

  1. Squ1rrel

    Squ1rrel New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Texas
    Whirlpool Brands that I know of:
    Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, Jenn-Air, Maytag, Roper, most Kenmore and Kenmore Elite...the sad part is is that in the last 5 years, Maytag appliances were even worse than Whirlpool...You'd be best off with LG, Fisher, and other brands like that, GE can be just as bad when it comes to appliances
  2. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Well, here is the story.

    Whirlpool (WP) sent the manifold kit. This is after 2 phone calls.

    Took about an hour to replace, and I did everything exactly to their specs.

    WH, or as my 6 y.o. daughter says, water-ater, fired up, but wouldn't stay lit.

    I am at day 7 at this point. Wife is upset, but not steaming.

    Call WP. First call: The guy insists that the WH is not drawing. I confirm that it is pulling air thru the system. Basically says I am an idiot and I don't know what I am talking about.

    Call 2: They next guy says that there is no way that the WH is venting/drawing thru the flu. Says that the 2" of snow last month iced over my flu outside. Basically calls me an idiot.

    Call 3: Next guy says that the WH is not level. Basically says I am an idiot.

    Funny that the WH has worked flawlessly for 4 years, and now its out of level? The flu is not drawing?

    Call 4: This guy insists that I have negative pressure in the flu....whatever.

    Call 5: Woman says that I have installed manifold incorrectly, but can't tell me what I have done wrong. Says that WP never has given an RA for return. Says that I am confused about what I have read on the internet about the Flame-lock WH. Says WP has only "had a few go bad".

    Note: Wife starting to be REALLY upset.

    Call 6: I ask about the RobertShaw valve. New guy says that the Robert Shaw valves never go bad. They either work perfectly or not at all. Says they have never had to warranty the valve.

    Call 7: Guy tells me to contact RS for warranty info.

    Call 8: Another guy tells me that my gas has been turned off by the gas company...while I stand over the forced air furnace vent while it blows hot air on me. Then tries to convince me that Vectran has a broken meter not allowing gas into the house.

    Call 9: I think I got the guy from the first call. Tells me that the furnace is evacuating all the gas from the lines, causing the pilot on the WH to go out.

    Wife is stupid angry at this point.

    Call 10: I finally got someone with a brain. She knew this stuff inside and out. She walked me thru each and every step, and actually helped me trouble shoot EVERYTHING.

    Tells me it is in fact the RS valve.

    They will work intermitantly, and will super heat the water to scalding levels, which I have experienced for the past year.

    Something about the bad valve allowing it to overheat a magnet inside (?), which ruins the unit.

    Tells me to go to Lowes, buy the RS valve, and WP will refund the money within 15 days. I do not have to send the original reciept. ($58)

    If this doesn't work, WP will give a RA.

    Trip to Lowes: Two on shelf. One is opened and missing parts. Other is sealed, or so I thought. Got home and someone slicked Lowes buy returning their used part and sealing the box on the bottom.

    Call 11: Guy informs me that they can send new RS valve, but it will take 6-10 days. Insists they NEVER give an RA. Then lied about the woman that helped me. I lost my cool at this point.

    Trip to Lowes: I decided not to yell or curse at anyone, but I am obviously mad. I don't hide emotions well, per my wife. I am so agitated and mad that I am surprised that customer service didn't call a SWAT team. I was so mad that I wasn't making sense as I talked, except for "Get me a manager, NOW!"

    Conversation with manager: I am still mad, and probably not making sense. He acted clueless at first about the Flamelock WH problem, then kinda fessed up. Not sure if he really didn't know, or if he was trying to avoid calling the police on a crazed customer.

    I think he did hear me say: "I have been a loyal Lowes customer....I have been jacked around and lied to by WP...I am on day 11 with no hot water...."

    Anyway...this Lowes manager is good....sent me out the door with an upgraded 40 gallon WH, and comped the $60 delivery fee!!!!!!! (I was too mad/lazy to go get my own truck.)

    New Lowes WP WH is now installed. I have hot water again.

    Wife is very pleased.

    WP did in fact give a return authorization number today.

    Wife is happy.

    I am not thrilled with the idea of having yet another WP WH. Especially since they have not changed the design. I am looking at this as an inconvenience, and am mad that WP kept LYING TO ME and MISLEADING ME.

    I STILL BELIEVE THAT WHIRLPOOL IS DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO KEEP FROM REPLACING THE WATER HEATERS. IN DOING THIS, MOST CUSTOMERS WILL GIVE IN, JUNK THE WP UNIT, AND BUY SOMETHING ELSE.

    BUY TREATING THE CUSTOMER POORLY, AND MISLEADING THEM, WHIRLPOOL WINS BIG TIME. THEY WOULD HAVE WON HUGE IF I WOULD THROWN THIS ONE INTO THE SCRAP PILE!!!!!! Think of the thousands of people that have done this already!

    Now, before you all beat me up for replacing with another WP junk heater:

    This could be a blessing:
    1. I moved the WH out of the way....house is better functionally, and we have more room.
    2. I got 4 years out of my old WH, and am starting anew with a free one. Saved $400.
    3. I am within code now on 6 aspects of my gas and water.
    4. I did in fact find a problem with the old brick flu, that could possibly be a safety issue.
    5. I got a bigger WH than I had before.
    6. I learned everything I needed to know about gas WH.
    7. I learned alot about plumbing and gas lines.
    8. We are getting the basement cleaned out. This got the ball rolling.
    9. I have been buying new tools for years, and this helped me justify it with my wife.
    10. I learned again that you don't have to scream and cuss to get something done.
    11. Corporate America can be as bad as some people claim.
    12. I think I have greater empathy for the poor, who have had their gas shut off, and for those in the world without clean hot water on demand, 24/7/365.
    13. My wife thinks I am a hero of some sort. (Please don't tell her otherwise.)

    Clove
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  3. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    I sure hope I don't have the troubles you had Clovis...my BFG upgrade kit arrives tomorrow.

    This is the 2nd time the thermocouple has crapped out - in the winter too. It couldn't happen when the cold water is coming in at 72 degrees...no...it has to happen when it is 52 degrees.

    I went to Lowes to try to find a thermocouple last night - and as Mark said, they have pulled them all from the shelves. There was a note there that said to call the 1-800 # to get the part. I wrote on that note...

    "WHY IS LOWES NOT SELLING THIS PART???"

    "WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO SELL THESE DOGS???"
  4. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    MG-
    You are right...Lowes does not sell the replacement thermocouple.

    If I were you, I think I would install the kit that is coming.

    Then, as soon as you have hot water again, I would start on trying to get an Return Authorization number to return the old unit to Lowes.

    I was told that if you say the right things, and go thru the right process, you can get an RA.

    The Robert Shaw thermostat regulator valve on my WH was bad. I have had super spikes in the water temperature over the last year to scalding levels. I guess this caused the burner to warp, and also kept burning out the thermocouple. I understand that this also caused some magnet to burn out, thus ruining the unit.

    They instructed me to buy a new Robert Shaw valve and replace the old one.....if that didn't work, they would give me an RA.

    You can do what you want with the info....but you have the answers you need....

    Clove
  5. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Feel free to pm me.
  6. making the consumer the patsy

    It would certaily piss me off if I went into
    a LOWES and the store manager acts like you
    are the first person to ever go into a rage about
    that water heater..


    treat you like a patsy and a chump on the phone,
    then do the same thing in person......


    The only thing I come away with from all this is I
    appreciate my job..and my life....


    because

    How would you like to be the pathetic jerk that sits
    at a phone bank all day long ..

    Being told its your job to literally lie to
    everyone that calls in about a their water heater

    make them go away and we give you a raise???


    What a great job and wonderful heights
    you have reached working for whirlpool......

    I wonder where do they find the souls to
    accept a job like that?

    working in the whirlpool service department is

    basically like a "special place in hell" for losers that cant

    find a real job anywhere else.....

    or at least living in purgatory


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

    .
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  7. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    I hope that upgrade kit fixes the problem. I haven't had trouble w/runaway temps so maybe it will.

    I wish I had time to pull that heater out and raise it up on bricks so I can get under there easier. Cleaning that screen out from underneath is damn near impossible.

    I am guessing CessPool is not giving Lowes the new part to sell. Instead I get the part / kit for "Free" - as long as I pony up the $18 for overnight shipping. At least that isn't so expensive.
  8. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    About Lowes not selling the thermocouple:

    I just skimmed over the lawsuit stuff...and if I got this right, part of the lawsuit is about Whirlpool knowingly selling thermocouples even though they knew there was a problem.

    Again, I just skimmed over the info. I maybe incorrect about that.

    As for the bottom screen: WP says this is the problem. My WH heater sits in a pretty dirty basement, yet the screen was spotlessly clean. Go figure.

    Clove
  9. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    By the way:

    As for the original reciept topic that has been an issue with Whirlpool.

    I forgot to mention that the gal who was the only person to help me, told me "NEVER send an original reciept to us. Only send a photocopy. Uhhh...those sometimes tend to get *lost*, if you know what I mean. Again, only send a photocopy."

    She spoke this very clearly, with special emphasis as to say: Send the copy....good chance the original will get trashed, and you will have no recourse."

    Just goes to prove that Whirlpool or American Water Heater is telling their employees to lie to the end user of the WH's.

    Clove
  10. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Sad...We went to Menard's tonight, and on clearance, sat my wifes dream stove. She had that look on her face that said "I am going to own this stove."

    That look lasted until I asked her "Did you know that Whirlpool owns Maytag?"

    Her reply..."I wouldn't buy this stove in a million years!!!"

    Clove
  11. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
  12. took out one yesterday...

    went out yesterday and changed out a 3 year old one...

    the gas valve was bad, and parts were 10 days out....



    you cant win, you can only delay the ineviatiable.......

    http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    MPM as this begins to explode and people find out how big this problem really is and how Cesspool and Low*s kept lying about the problem and continued to knowingly sell a product with problems but doing nothing about, it I think it will hurt sales to Low*s in general and,

    Whirlpool could become a name with a meaning like what "made in Japan" used to mean.
  14. the truth will set you free

    the only way that they will become

    clean again is simply admit their troubles and

    ask for forgiveness.....and pay real damages instead of

    of trying to weasel out of everything.......

    like Bill Clinton did years ago....



    perhaps a full page ad in the new york times might help

    or maybe Bribe Bill Clinton to become their spokesman....


    http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  15. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    I am not an engineer nor a plumber, just a happy home owner. The more I think about it, I wonder if Robert Shaw is to blame for a good part of the problem. Thier faulty valves, combined with a poorly designed thermocouple, could be the real deal.


    Clove
  16. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    There's still the vent screen problem as well.
  17. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    It doesn't matter if it is the Mfg. of the valves and thermocouples, they (Cesspool) did nothing about the problem, and they Low*s kept selling them.
  18. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    MG,
    If you want my old thermocouple manifold kit, you can have it as a back up. All you have to do is pay the actual shipping.
    This is the original part assembly, not the upgrade kit that WP sent. I am sure that the thermocouple is still good.
    Clove
  19. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    I may take you up on that offer. I got the part today and it is working.
  20. This thread is the main reason I always ask when they call for water heater repair, "what brand name" is standard procedure.

    And I dare the next customer to call me up and say "Yeah, Lowe's/HD told me you all would come out and fix this water heater. They said that you send the bill to them."


    Those are fighting words in my book as that's a blatant lie.

    I sympathize with any customer getting bad quality product but do not call a plumber out of the blue expecting to pass the torch of doom to them.

    I despise american mfg. water heaters. Same ones Central Hardware had,

    Furrows
    Home Quarters
    Builders Square

    select supply houses that don't care about customer satisfaction.


    It's the cheapest priced heater out there so of course, it's going to get mass installed.
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