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

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

  1. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    The reasons I originally chose the stupid Whirlpool:

    1. Our local plumbing supply house was closed. They carried AO Smith at the time.
    2. I remember thinking: "Well, if its got the Whirlpool name on it, it has to be a decent unit."
    3. I was forced to borrow a truck to get the unit home, and Lowes was the closest.

    I wish now that I would have waited 2 more days until the plumbers supply had opened.

    Clove
  2. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    Well guess what...pilot light went out and won't stay lit again.

    I'm guessing it is the crapola gas valve - I hope.

    If it isn't I'll be putting in a new one from some other company.
  3. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    I had the problem with water temps spiking.

    Funny that they took my word for changing out the valve. As tough and misleading as they were, I am surprise that it was as easy as telling them on the phone.

    I PM you with the rep I spoke to.

    clove
  4. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    Spoke w/an actual person in America today...got a new gas valve installed and it fired right up. Now lets see if the damn pilot light stays lit after it finishes its initial heating cycle.
  5. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    So far so good...but it still bites that you end up replacing all the functional parts of the heater to get it to work.

    I will have to get better with flushing it out - there was a bit of sediment build up and that is a problem for the probe on the gas valve assembly. It clogs up with sediment and doesn't read the temperature correctly.
  6. give it air......

    the only way to be sure it will survive is to
    give it more air.....

    how you do this is for you to figure out...
  7. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    When it is warmer here I'll likely take a day to disconnect it from the piping, put a pan underneath, and raise it up on blocks a few inches. The screen wasn't overly dirty like the ones you've posted pics of.

    BTW - that gas valve is available at Low*s. The manifold kit however, is not.

    The sign I wrote all over was replaced with a new one.
  8. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    If you are going to that much trouble, why not try to get an RA for your unit, or kindly ask lowes to return it for a new one?
    Clove
  9. have a barbecue

    no offence meant here, but
    you got to be nuts to go to all that trouble...

    all that heater is going to do is break your heart

    if that thermostat is a left hand threaded to the threromcoupling, its just a matter of time before it
    bites you in the butt again.......


    I know,......

    a guy has got to do ,
    what a guy has got to do

    good luck.....
  10. MG

    MG New Member

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    The thermocouple on the upgrade kit is a right hand thread that goes into the adapter (that is left hand threaded) which is connected to the reset switch.

    Now whether this is bullshiznit or not I do not know, but the technical support guy I spoke with at WP told me yesterday that because they went to the right hand threaded ones you can replace them with a standard thermocouple. If that is the case those are available all over.

    For now I have it working...and they ate the cost so that's going to have to do.

    (I'm not trying to be argumentative - just passing along what I've learned).

    Hey - what should I barbecue? I made some great chicken the other night that I put homemade mango / habanero jelly on after it was grilled. Sweet and spicy.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  11. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Not if it goes to a reset button because... standard thermocouples don't have reset buttons.

    Maybe they have a replacement thermocouple for this "new and improved" one and that is what they were talking about.

    Maybe you should stock up on thermocouples so you will be ready when it needs replacing. :)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  12. I got one in my shop

    we have one of the new ones in my shop....


    thenew problem with themis not the thermostat anymore,
    or the thermocoupling....

    it is the thermal re=set fuse you have to push
    when it overheats...

    and it does overheat when the flame does not get
    enough air in the mixture to burn properly.



    at Lowes, they dont sell the thermal fuses....


    Technically yes --it is an improvement...

    but anything is an improvemnt when you
    are upgradeing on a piece of junk to begin with...

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

    Bald Eagle New Member

    Messages:
    8
    The thermal resets can go bad I'll bet, do you know if they sell them at low*s?
  14. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    My experience shows that the tech reps will tell you anything, whether it is true or not.

    They have lied again and again.

    Personally, I would not believe anything they said.

    Clove
  15. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Now this from my daughter, who says I need to send it to Whirpool:

    To Whirlpool:

    Liar, Liar.
    Too bad your pilot won't hold fire.
    Hanging customers from a telephone wire.


    Clove
  16. LVCHAS

    LVCHAS New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Thank you, all!

    I found this site following a search of Whirlpool water heaters.

    After doing what I had avoided, I decided to shut of the gas and do a drain and flush. My worst fear (problems) came true, when I tried to restart. No pilot lighting.

    I had a simular problem when I first installed this unit, almost five years ago. Then (American) tech. support walked me through and it started. Oh, this is a FG, not FL model, it was made 01/03.

    Having foolish faith in tech support, I called. Got the recorded message about the lawsuit, that came as a surprise! After listening, got through to India, not such of a surprise. The person, after I said that I couldn't get the pilot to light,speaking very good English, asked for the serial number.

    He asked if I was indeed, me. I had regestered it on the first call five years ago. He told me that I could get the parts to repair the heater for free. I went for the $18 charge, for overnight. True to word, made the call at 10:20 am, and it came 10:15 am, next day.I live in Henderson, NV, DHL was the carrier.

    I got the manifold door aasembly and a new gas valve. The valve came as a surprise to me, didn't remember that was to be included.

    I'm thankful that the gas valve was included. I didn't want install it and get into that potential problem, unless I had to. I had to!

    The manifold assembly install, was no problem. I got the pilot to light, but not stay on. After a lengthy and wet struggle, the gas valve solved the problem.:)

    I like the large window and location, I can see the ignitor and pilot work! The old, small round window was worthless. IMHO!

    The adapter for the thermalcoupler, now allows for right-hand, common used ones.

    The connections for the reset switch on the adapter, do react to grounding. Today, while rechecking the gas line connection, I touched the wire connection on the adapter with the wrench. The gas valve shut down, burner and pilot. After waiting for the gas to clear, the start up worked. I would say that the reset switch should work, too. It did not need resetting, this time.

    This is longer than I intended to post, but I wanted to thank all of you that posted you stories! I read all the posts and it offered me countless comfort! Thank you.

    I also got a Quote for a Bradford-White replacement I can live with. That will be next.

    Thanks, again!:cool:
  17. SJProwler

    SJProwler New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Now just remember.... Every Habitat for Humanity home built in North America with Natural Gas will have one of these Water Heaters in it courtesy of Whirlpools Corporate Compassion. They donate all the appliances for each house.

    I live in their hometown, Benton Harbor Michigan. They pulled their "Iowa Move" here about 18 years ago. Moved 18,000 jobs out in less than 6 months to TN, AR, Mexico, OH. Now they are spearheading a drive to drive people out of their homes and legally steal 22 acres of Lake Michigan Shoreline property from the City of Benton Harbor to create a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course to pay back for when they took all of the high paying manufacturing jobs away. Also it is a nice way to put green grass over the property where their manufacturing plants sat and cover up contamination.

    They aren't a very nice company. Any corporation that has a "Director of Outsourcing" definitely isn't thinking about it's employees or it's customer base in their own country.

    I live in their World Headquarters hometown and every appliance in my home is either G/E, LG or Sharp.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  18. clovis

    clovis New Member

    Messages:
    21
    If you call Whirlpool, good chance you will get someone from India.

    Each time I got someone from India, I told them I wanted to speak to an American. They put me right thru.

    Maybe I would have had better luck with the operator from India. The Americans did nothing but LIE, LIE, LIE.

    Clove
  19. Ode2Pops

    Ode2Pops New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    My first post here. What a fantastic forum!

    I purchased one of these Whirlpool “Flame Lock†water heaters from Lowe’s in January, 2004. After reading the details of the “Flame Lock†design, I realized the importance of keeping that flame arrestor screen underneath the burner chamber clean. I called and confirmed this with American Water Heater (the actual manufacturer of Lowe’s Whirlpool line of water heaters) and began to follow their recommendations. Every three months or so, I would take a damp sponge, get under the water heater and wipe off the arrestor screen.

    The water heater worked flawlessly. Unfortunately about a year ago, I got lazy and stopped cleaning the arrestor screen (my bad!). Last week, the heater failed. Being still under warrantee, we received a free upgraded burner/thermocouple assembly from American Water Heater (shipping was 8 bucks – took 3 days to arrive).

    I made sure the new thermocouple was pushed in completely in its mounting (it wasn’t) and installed the new assembly; however, before I did this, I made sure to clean and vacuum the burner chamber, including a good brushing and cleaning of the flame arrestor screen inside the burner chamber. It took me about 45 minutes to prepare the new burner assembly and install it in the water heater. It fired up the first time and has been working fine since.

    I now have a printed maintenance schedule taped to the water heater closet door. Every three months, that flame arrestor screen is going to get cleaned and checked off.

    Just my experience in the hope that it may help someone else.

    I sure miss the old days when you didn’t have to bother with things like this!

    O2P
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If you had bought a different brand you still wouldn't have to!

    I notice something interesting about Lews...
    As I walk through their aisles of Whilrpool Flame Lock water heaters for sale and turn down the aisle past the Zurn PEX fittings...

    Why don't they pull the defective crap off the shelves?
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