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

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

  1. lkulb

    lkulb New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    MICHIGAN
    Pilot Sight Glass Is Round. Called Whirlpool And From What I Was Able To Understand ( Bad English ) They Are Going To Send Me Everything I Need. If Pilot Light Does Not Go Out By The Time I Get The Kit Do You Think I Should Still Pay To Replace It Our Just Hold On To It?
     
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Eventually you will get tired of playing with it!
     
  3. MG

    MG New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    Wait a second - are they making you pay for the parts? Other than shipping?
     
  4. lkulb

    lkulb New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    MICHIGAN
    No Charge For The Parts Just Shipping. I Was Just Thinking That If The Pilot Light Stay's On ( And It Has ) I Would Wait To Have It Installed. Plummer Wants $90.00
     
  5. Squ1rrel

    Squ1rrel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    I still think that's gutsy---screw up your own product, then charge the customer to ship the part, AND make them pay for labor
     
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    That is often how negotiated settlements in class action lawsuits work!
    The lawyers win!
     
  7. lkulb

    lkulb New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    MICHIGAN
    If The Pilot Goes Out And You Are Able To Get It Going Again Does That Mean The Thermocouple Is Still Ok ?
     
  8. Squ1rrel

    Squ1rrel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    Probably not. that thermocouple is going to keep shutting off the pilot randomly.
     
  9. lkulb

    lkulb New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    MICHIGAN
    It's Been Working Perfect For 48 Hrs. The New Kit Will Be In On Tuesday. I Guess I'll Have It If And When I Need It. I Am Still Holding Out Hope That I Don't Have To Pay The Plummer.
     
  10. Tim in Fort Worth

    Tim in Fort Worth Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    I can't believe this thread is still going. Hopefully people all over the country have been able to benefit from it. I'd bet money that this site has become the #1 resource for consumers who have a Flame Lock go out on them and don't know what to do. As for mine, it's still working after the switch upgrade. It's almost a record, coming up on two years now. I really believe removing the viewing window extends the life of the faulty thermocouple, but those who advise caution have a very valid point too. It's better to be safe and get a reliable product. But sometimes it becomes a quest that you can't let go of until it ends in victory or death. I also like to think that I am somehow outfoxing Whirlpool and sticking it to the Man at the same time. For those who for whatever reason will have to keep their Whirlpool Flame Lock for years to come I have this bit of advice: Have at least two extra thermocouples on hand at all times. You get to where you can change them in the dark in about 45 minutes, and when it goes out you will only be without water for a few hours at the most. As they go out, replace them and get Whirlpool to reimburse you for them. One other bit of advice to all who contact customer service, be it in India or wherever. Don't stand for paying for the replacement parts or shipping unless you want the overnight delivery. I respectfully made my points and in the end I've never paid a cent to Whirlpool beyond what I originally paid for the water heater. They always agreed to sending the parts and paying the shipping. My ace in the hole was having the extra thermocouples on hand so I wasn't without hot water while waiting for the parts to arrive.

    Man this thread cracks me up.
     
  11. addict4fun

    addict4fun New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    finally authorized for refund of tank

    i purchased my tank about 2 yrs ago. i replaced the manifold with the upgrade kit, again the gas valve, and again replaced the thermocouple. i continued having problems with the pilot going out at least once a week for months. i was given the run around to have the gas line checked, balanced the water heater because they said the excessive water dripping was not the tank but condensation, cleaned the vent of course, and the check the exhaust vent(what ever that thing is) to make sure nothing else like the dryer was causing pressure. i am a single parent mother doing all the work myself, so i basically lost my mind and was happy when it would just last 3 days. i would check it every night to make sure it was on so the kids could have water in the morning. well, it finally gave out again 4 days ago and the pilot would not stay lit. i called again for the millionth time and got another Indian person i could barely understand. i ended up going back and forth to the store for about 2 hours getting the wrong part, being placed on hold, and then learning how to use a voltage meter on the thermocouple. i did not realize i could purchase a thermocouple at the store, so i had one sent over night for $18. the operator also sent a gas valve. maybe she figured i needed to replace that too just in case, since i had no idea how to use a multipurpose voltage meter (did not tell her but i could tell she knew). yesterday i replaced the thermocouple but the gasket or seal on the manifold door ripped at the bottom. i went to the the store. they did not have a replacement, a plumber overheard and said he carried therm but i needed to pay him $60 and whirlpool will assign it to him. i call whirlpool again this morning and explained to them i needed a new gasket. they had no idea what i was talking about after 20minutes. i went online to see if it was under some other name and that is when i found you guys. well, of course i was very upset. i then called again, tried to explain what i needed. they told me to have the plumber call them. i told them there was no way a plumber was going to explain to them what i needed for free and i was not paying $60 when i had already did all the work. of course i started raising my voice after i explained to them for the 5th time i had a torn gasket, where it was and how big the damage was. he placed me on hold, came on and had me explain again but it sounded like i was being recorded, then :eek:to my amazement told me to take the tank back to the store to get a replacement. :eek:i then commenced to having a nervous breakdown and told them in not so nice of a way that i hated whirlpool, that they sucked and never ever wanted anything to do with them. he gave me my authorization number and told me i could get a refund or replacement:). that is my story and hopefully the end. all i can say is keep on calling them and have a nervous breakdown, lol. good luck to all of my fellow whirlpool victims.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2008
  12. Doug Lassiter

    Doug Lassiter New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    I posted this today to the "daughter" thread over at https://terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19717
    but it's probably more appropriate here. Pardon the crosspost.

    This is indeed one of the most extraordinary consumer appliance horror stories I've ever seen. Unfortunately, I guess I've bought into it.

     
  13. Plumber Jim

    Plumber Jim Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Has anyone actually tested teh thermocouple? I have tested about a dozen and all were good. I believe the problem is with the gas valve. when the thermocouple gets just a bit weak ( plenty strong enough ) the pilot valve won't open. I think the tolerance on the valve is way off. The reason I decided to check all the thermo couples at one poit was because a teacher at a nate clase told me i was wrong that the thermo couple was completely fine after testing one i brought in. Seems all of the ones after that were too.. but the valves wanted a new one to work





    http://www.broomfieldplumber.com
     
  14. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    plumber jim

    The only way to say it is this water heater is
    like "the perfect storm" ...... a total clusterfu// .......

    their is supposed to be some sort of high limit build into that fat thermocoupling that senses the heat....

    and when it gets too hot due to the screen underneath the heater being clogged up, it breaks the circuit to the heater...

    the NEW thermocoupling has to be installed EXACTLY like
    the old one was factory installed....
    if you slap it in there
    and get it slightly closer to the flame that the original one was then it usually goes out almost at once.....

    of course you cant win becasue you cant get enough good
    air into the thing to keep a back flash of gas from
    burning out the t-coupling in the first place...

    I cant get one to go back in perfectly...

    how many have you had to man handle to get them
    to lay right in the burner cage?

    their only way to win is to get more air into
    the unit and that is pretty simple to do.

    but defeats the whole purpose
    that the government and insurance comapnies was trying
    to accomplish makeing them safer...

    http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  15. etsi_yona@embarqmail.com

    etsi_yona@embarqmail.com New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Occupation:
    disabled
    Location:
    Mid-Missouri
    WP, Lowe's and the similarity to leeches

    First of all, thanks to all who have posted great advice. I now know what I wish I'd known 3 yrs ago.

    Being a disabled RN, I can't help but see the similarity between these "major" corporations and leeches. They are sucking the life right out of the American people a little at a time. When did the American people loose their pride in "Made in the USA"? Greed and the almighty dollar are making this phrase almost as worthless as the words "Made in China".

    Ever wonder if these parts are purposely being manufactured by "3rd world manufacturers" and shipped to us to get even with us for shipping all of our outlawed, unsafe junk to them for so long?

    Sorry, don't mean to get on a soap box, but these companies "done pissed Mama off." I know nothing about water heaters, but this WP Flame lock hunk of junk needs to be shoved up someone's corporate potooty. The settlement is not a settlement at all on that class action suit, it's more like putting a Band-aid on hurt feelings, entirely worthless!

    I wish I had been aware of the problems with this wh before I purchased it in 2004. I've been lucky that it has held out this long. I'm now in the relight-on-a-regular-basis mode (hopefully that will continue to work for a little while longer) until I can get replacement parts, which I can't afford to pay shipping for, or a new wh falls out of the sky and miraculously lands in my utility room, all installed of course (ha ha ha). If I owned a truck and had the means to do so, I would return it to Lowe's and camp at their front door until it is replaced with a brand that actually performs as advertised. Actually, BBQing the thing in the middle of their parking lot sounds like such fun, but since the hubby and I are on a first name basis with most local law enforcement officials through our volunteer work, that might not be too fun....."yes Sheriff Greg, I did burn this thing intentionally!!!...." explain that to the kids as you're being given a ride in the car with the pretty flashing lights, wearing a pretty pair of silver bracelets.
     
  16. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Occupation:
    Robber, with some DIY on the side.
    Location:
    USA
    Had my Bradford White installed last week. Thanks for the advice on which heater to buy.

    The plumber left it leaking (a very slow drip where the copper pipe screws onto the dielectric nipples), so I had to cut the pipe and repair it. Typical.

    But it's working a treat now. I wish DIYers could buy these, then I would have taken my time and got the install just right the first time. Nevermind. Next time I'll get the plumber to leave it at the door.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2008
  17. gmt

    gmt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I now qualilfy my customers who want me to repair their water heater. I ask where they purchased it or what brand it is... If they say Whirlpool or Blowes I tell them good luck, sorry, you will have to call someone else to repair. I will not tie myself to this junk.

    If they want it replaced, fine.... But to try and get it going, no way.


    Lesson learned....the hard way.
     
  18. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Occupation:
    Retired energy systems engineer
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    etsi_yona@embarqmail.com, if you want to rant specifically about the "Flame Lock" design of ALL water heaters now sold in the US then you need to complain to your elected representatives in Washington D.C.

    This design is a REQUIREMENT that was forced by the National Government, specifically the Consumer Product Safety Commission, because of a very few incidents of a water heater being the secondary cause of explosions and fires in residences.

    If the HOMEOWNERS that had had these unfortunate incidents had OBEYED the rules about no flammable items near the heater AND had they been properly (according to long-standing fire and safety codes) installed and maintained these incidents would not have happened. I'm willing to bet that in many cases the unfortunate incidents were a result of DIYers installing the heaters incorrectly and without benefit of a permit and inspection.

    Americans, as a whole, have demanded the nanny-state we now live in.
     
  19. gmt

    gmt New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I agree. But many of the manufacturers have designed a respectable unit that is trouble free.

    Too many times Blowes and Home Sleazo have dictacted to the manufacturers how to cut costs and sell an inferior product.

    That is where the troubles begin.
     
  20. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Sounds Good Furd But.............

     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
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