Getting a rash of bad Whirlpool heaters

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Master Plumber Mark

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Over the past month I have been getting calls from all over the USA on the newer
Whirlpool Gas water heaters acting up....

I just had one yesterday at 2pm on a 2 year old unit that would not stay lit.....and this one was in my city.. The person told me their problems and I told them that I cannot work on that brand because the parts are not interchangeable with other brands and they would have to call Whilrpool to get parts sent to them... Of course this customer was a little peeved with me that I would not come out and look at the unit.....

I guess I am gonna have to go down to Lowes and just buy a common Whirlpool heater and see if they can be broken down and re-built with other Honewell parts like what is on the
Rheem heaters from Home Depot.....

has anyone ever taken a standard Honey-well valve and experimented with it to see if it would work on a Whirlpool unit??? I am also worried about liability with cross dressing these heaters with other thermostats made for other brands......

RUNS WITH BISON you got any professional advice on this matter??



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Master Plumber Mark

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well, HJ I called the only place in town that sells the American unit ..

They claim that the parts are interchangeable but they have had nothing but troubles and arguments
from whirlpool people showing up at their store wanting and demanding parts "under warranty" because American is the parent company..

They will sell me the parts outright but wont take them back if they dont work on the whirlpool heaters....no warranty and install them at your own risk... dont blame them if you have problems...

That is their policy and they tell them all to call whirlpool and wait on the parts if they dont like it.... its too bad..

It sort of leaves everyone between a rock and a hard spot... I suppose .....

Let them bathe in cold water..it will teach them a good lesson
 

hj

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quote; whirlpool people showing up at their store wanting and demanding parts "under warranty" because American is the parent company..

That is no different than people with GE/Hotpoint heaters from Home Depot trying to get "warranty" from a Rheem or Ruud or Vanguar, or Richmond dealer. All the same company, but different "divisions".
 

Master Plumber Mark

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quote; whirlpool people showing up at their store wanting and demanding parts "under warranty" because American is the parent company..

That is no different than people with GE/Hotpoint heaters from Home Depot trying to get "warranty" from a Rheem or Ruud or Vanguar, or Richmond dealer. All the same company, but different "divisions".

this is true with many brands.... but no one wants to give away free parts to some sister company that has no
intention of re-imursing them down the road,,,,

My rheem deal has had fits with home owners wanting to warranty home depot parts and they simply wont do it..

The problem with Whirlpool is the fact that LOWES does not stock parts for the very brand that they have had in their store for 15 years now...

s
 

hj

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Very few companies would "Stock parts" for water heaters, especially "free ones". You call the manufacturer if you need them, just like any other plumbing warrantee replacement.
 

jadnashua

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My neighbor has a WH he bought at HD...he needed a part...called the 800-number in the HD documentation, and they answered with the parent company's name...sent him the parts without issues.
 

MARSappliance

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Honeywell – Biggest mistake Water Heater Manufacturers ever made.


What you should know – 1. Reem and American use different valves – you may get them to work but risk voiding warenttees. - Require dif thermal pyle voltage – and have different boards and trouble codes.



I will refer on out to the American Water heater BHG and UG models Honeywell - troubleshootin.


If you suspect the Thermalpyle is bad – allways test – if it gets up to 350 mili volts dc it is good. - guessing will result in wasted troubleshooting time – and may result in a wrong diagnosis – and longer without a hot shower.


To test unplug thermalpyle from bottom right hand corner of GCV (gas Control Valve)

- place probes in female connectors on thermalpyle wires.

- set meeter to 1k or 2k setting.

-light pilot as normal by holding in pilot nob, and hiting ignighter 8 times.

- reading will normaly start somewhere in the 100-150 range and should build if pilot bottom remains pushed in to 350 and can clime over 1k mili volts dc.

-reaches 350 gas valve is bad

-0-349 bad thermal pyle.


Computer board in GCV reads resistnces and ranges. Fault codes should be used as a diagnostic guide but are not absolutly true


The dreaded 4-Flash.

- Always drain and flush heaters when replacing Honeywell GCV's – they can get a false code if setiment lands on the probe -

- inside the probe is an ECO(emergency cut off) if probe reads over 180 degrees the ECO colapses and GCV is no longer able to work.


4-7 flash GCV must be replaces, 8 flash on some units can turn off for 10 min and it may reset if it does not replaces


Why oh Why did we ever get away from the Robert Shaw (UNITROL) GCV.


Mobile Appliance Repair Services
 
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Master Plumber Mark

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Mars appliance....

It appears that you are the expert on this subject. hands down.
I have never gone to the trouble of testing either the thermopile or the control

Like with bradford white... we simply change out everything....... if the unit is under warranty
and take all the parts back in the box and get a credit for them no questions asked.......

I honestly dont have the time to carry controls for every brand of water heater on the
market that is useing some style of honeywell control on the water heaters......or thermopiles
for all makes and models too... this is a total nightmare in my opinion


I would like to learn more about al of this but I really dont have the time and its simply a waste of
time to me ...

I install the Rheem pro style with the robert shaw old style thermostat on them and I dont have
to fool around much with that over pulling your hair out with the ICONs from bradford white
or all the other forms of junk out on the market.....

any more I just tell the customer to call Whirlpool, American , Home Depot, or whomever they are
stuck with and order the parts and call me when they finally arrive at their home... I will gladly come out
and install the parts

........... and if they received the right parts from whilrpool, they are good to go............LOL.


..
 

MARSappliance

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I work on lots of appliances and there is often a wait factor for some parts. certainly customers without hot water are even more understandably impatient for parts. on gas heater with light off no hot water - or 1 to 2 flash no hot water - the fastest way to diagnose is by testing the thermal pyle. in our area we don't see to many gas heaters next time i get one i think i will try to throw up some pictures on testing.
for quick part installs i only charge my customers for an additional 1/2 an hour to come back out - i have found this to work a little better than charging a full service call fee every time i come to the door.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I work on lots of appliances and there is often a wait factor for some parts. certainly customers without hot water are even more understandably impatient for parts. on gas heater with light off no hot water - or 1 to 2 flash no hot water - the fastest way to diagnose is by testing the thermal pyle. in our area we don't see to many gas heaters next time i get one i think i will try to throw up some pictures on testing.
for quick part installs i only charge my customers for an additional 1/2 an hour to come back out - i have found this to work a little better than charging a full service call fee every time i come to the door.



The problem we are running into is they are buying this junk themselves and are stuck
with no-where to turn to get it repaired when it breaks down in 2 years. If I installed
the product then I will certainly stand behind it and I usually give a 3 year labor warranty on
the Rheem units I do....

If you call me up with a whirlpool, sears , smith, lochinvar or a Home depot Rheem heater
or some other dog on the market .....
I do not and cannot spend my day attempting to help them for free..... or cost....

I just went down this road with a Lochinvar gas heater and a burnt out honeywell valve on it..
Their were not any parts available from that supply house and I am not gonna rig up some
other brand of gas valve on their unit ....The HUGE liability is just not worth the trouble... so we tore it
out and installed a Rheem to get them hot water on wed afternoon before their x-mas crowd arrived

It is commendable that you are not charging them a full price service call for repairing what they
probably installed themselves and kept you out of the loop. They got hung out to dry by Lowes
or HD or sears and now they are crying for someone
to come and get them out of a jam ..

it is not economically
feasible for me to do this
 
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During the summer, when people are baking in 110°F ovens, they are just happy that a tech show up to service their air conditioner. Often they can't get a hold of the installers, or they are given a delay of more than a week.

I know and the client knows that their unit is under warranty, but they always choose to pay me to get it fixed.

All you can do is offer your options that you know works for you and your business, the client will make the choice for them.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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During the summer, when people are baking in 110°F ovens, they are just happy that a tech show up to service their air conditioner. Often they can't get a hold of the installers, or they are given a delay of more than a week.

I know and the client knows that their unit is under warranty, but they always choose to pay me to get it fixed.

All you can do is offer your options that you know works for you and your business, the client will make the choice for them.


you are 100% correct.... If they want hot water tonight then they just have to make the choice,,,,
either wait for Whirlpool to send them free parts in about 5-10 days that might get them hot water
or they just have the junk replaced today .......
 
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