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

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

  1. Ervserver

    Ervserver New Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    I received and installed the upgrade kit today, took me an hour. Most of that time was getting into clean out that filter good. What a sucky design. My water heater sits up off the ground a bit on some blocks built into the floor so the wrap around screen in the kit don't give full coverage but I installed it anyway. If I can get a couple more years out of this water heater I'm switching to another brand with a better design !! :cool:
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  2. djockers

    djockers New Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    Short story...

    I purchased one of these a couple years ago. I do recall replacing the Thermocoupler one time -- though I don't recall how long ago. No problems since then. I believe I contacted Whirlpool first, who directed me to Lowes for the replacement part and that I'd be reimbursed. I never followed up... but just as well, Whirlpool must have kept my info on file, because... Lo and behold out of nowhere, I received a Class Action Settlement proposal in the mail today. It came from the Court, not the lawyers.

    So anyhow, your thread has been very enlightening for me -- to help me in the future on what I may need to do. Whirlpool is offering "us" several options -- they're leaving the "opt in" deadline open for a year. Here's a link to the Settlement:


    I figure the readers of this thread could appreciate the news. I'll reserve my opinion for now -- and will allow those that have followed this story for so long to comment.

    It sounds like they just want to make this go away -- with no admission of fault by you accepting the settlement... and you give up future rights.

    Read the settlment carefully.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2007
  3. djockers

    djockers New Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    FYI, here's the breakdown of the settlement, from the link I included above:



    A settlement has been proposed that resolves a class action lawsuit and claims against Whirlpool Corporation, Lowe’s HIW, Inc., American Water Heater Company, and A.O. Smith Corporation. The lawsuit alleges the “Flame Lock†and “Flame Guard†water heaters made and sold by these companies, equipped with single-use thermocouples, and sold from 2000 through 2006, are defective in that their thermocouples are prone to premature activation. The companies deny all allegations.

    Settlement Benefits

    If the settlement is approved and you are a class member, you may be eligible to receive an upgraded manifold door assembly for your water heater or reimbursement for a prior purchase of the upgraded assembly and/or reimbursement for a prior purchase of a replacement thermocouple or reimbursement for buying a replacement water heater after suffering multiple thermocouple activations. Please review the Notice for complete details regarding these benefits. To make a claim for settlement benefits, you must send in a completed Claim Form, postmarked no later than June 28, 2008

    Request Exclusion, Object, or Comment

    If you are a class member, you may request exclusion from the class or object to or comment in favor of the settlement. If you do not exclude yourself and remain in the class, you will be bound by any judgment, your claims will be released, and you will be eligible for the benefits of the settlement.

    If you request exclusion from the class, you will not be entitled to any settlement benefits, will not be bound by any judgment, and none of your claims will be released. To exclude yourself, you must mail an exclusion request that complies with all requirements of section 8(C) of the full notice, postmarked no later than August 10, 2007.

    If you wish to object to or comment in support of the settlement, Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses, or the requested incentive awards to the two representative plaintiffs, you must comply with all requirements of section 8(b) or 8(d) of the full notice, including filing your written comments or objections with the Court and sending copies of your comments or objections to the parties no later than August 10, 2007.

    Please review the Notice for complete details regarding your rights.

    Fairness Hearing

    On September 10, 2007, at 1:30 p.m., a hearing will be held before the Honorable Andrew J. Guilford, Southern Division, 411 West Fourth Street, Santa Ana 92701, to decide whether to approve the settlement, award attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses to Class Counsel, and approve incentive awards to the two representative plaintiffs.

  4. djockers

    djockers New Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    Last post on this, here's a direct link to download a PDF of the FULL proposed settlement. Again, read carefully. If you "opt in", you give up certain rights. But if you want to "opt out", then there is a procedure to do so.


  5. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Jun 18, 2007
    Plumber, self employed
    Licensed Grump
    HD, Low*s are pawning "vent-free" gas fireplaces in my state...they're "legal", based on the fact that they're 40K btu or less, like a standard oven.
    Most inspectors dislike them, based on the argument that they are used to produce constant heat..unlike an oven.
    Guy calls me to install one...I tell him "You might want to consider a vented one...inspectors don't really like them."
    He insists..."The guy at low*s said they're fine"
    I told him that although the vented one is a bit more (also on labor) it's worthwhile to sleep at ease knowing a fixture isn't spewing CO directly into your living area.
    Make a long story short, I humored him...got the permit for both gas and fire.
    Gas inspector passed , fire dept laughed on the way out the door muttering under his breath "I won't pass one of those things in my lifetime."
    He now owns a fully installed & legally un-useable vent free gas log.
    (Use at risk....god forbid a fire occured...no insurance.)
    The guy at Low*s offered him a full refund...well no, he didn't.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2007
  6. Ervserver

    Ervserver New Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    reading the settlement claim form they want to make us pay for any shipping charges, what a crock! a defective part and we have to pay shipping!!!
  7. BuzzDog

    BuzzDog New Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    I want to thank you guys for the information in this thread.

    Last Sunday I got back from a week's vacation, and was welcomed by...NO HOT WATER!!! Oh well, I'm one of the lucky ones, as my Whirlpool FlameLock water heater worked for two years, eight months before the thermocouple threw in the towel.

    I ended up shelling out $24 for overnight delivery of the "Manifold Door Switch Kit" (part number 6910813); however, I did NOT get the wraparound filters to go around the bottom of the unit. I agree with others that it's kind of stingy to charge shipping for this, but then again, the optimist in me is happy that a great deal of my water heater is now brand spankin' new.

    I'm a reasonably handy do-it-yourselfer, and ended up getting the kit installed in a little over 30 minutes, including the time it took to clean the air grate. However, it bears mentioning that I had taken out the old unit the day before to troubleshoot, so I had an idea of how things came out, and went back in. Fortunately, I'm handy and fairly limber...I couldn't imagine what an elderly or otherwise less-than-fit person would have done.

    Bottom line is that I'm glad to have this fix in place, but I wonder how long things will STAY fixed. Guess I'll end up changing this tank out to a Bradford White if it happens again.

    Thanks again for the posts guys...it really made my task MUCH easier, and I'm back to taking HOT showers!
  8. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Good tip. I had a heard time putting on the wrap around filter. I unfortunetly installed on about a month an half ago. Sucks to be me.

    So far no problems.

  9. techboy

    techboy New Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Ok Guys,

    I just picked up one of these units at LOW*S Yesterday and got the display for more than 50% off. I figured I got nothing to loose and before I install I called the hotline and ordered the conversion kit and the filter that wraps around the unit. To make access easier, I am going to put it on 2" blocks so I can go underneath and clean the screen once in a while. I was looking at the screen and noticed that it was about the size of a filter that you would find on a stove hood or microwave hood. I am thinking I might mount one of those as a pre-filter and see how that works before I take off the viewing window. I figure I have nothing to loose since I purchased the thing for $150 bucks, I should get $150 of hot water out of it!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2007
  10. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Dont bet on it.....

    I like that settlement aagreement that they reached with
    the consumers..... its nothing but a joke.....

    as far as your heater goes......if you are selling your house in less than an year from now.....and you only paid $150

    you will probably be ok. Anything more than about 1 /2 years you will have troubles

    I wonder what brand LOW*S is going to switch to next??http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  11. Swaged

    Swaged New Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    I've looked at the screen on the bottom of this water heater(B model-new).
    I haven't seen a picture of the new wrap around filter.
    Anybody got one?

    What does the screen/filter/intake of the Bradford White look like?

    It seems to me, that if new wrap around filter is securely installed, and fits tight to floor and heater, there would be no need for the existing screen.
    Maybe just an adjustment to the size of the slots in the existing screen would be necessary.

    I can't see the purpose of such a small slot, 1/64 x 7/32.
    (Catching rust from above?)

  12. Zookeeper

    Zookeeper New Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    My hot water heater gave up a couple of weeks ago & I was in a hurry, so I ran to LOW*s and picked one up with out doing any research. You guessed it, picked up the Whirlpool Flame Lock. So, from the get-go, I have had problems with the pilot going out because when the furnace kicks on, it robs the hwh of enough air (small opening that has been described/never had this problem with the old one). Now tonight, I have already had to replace the thermal couple.

    So my question is, has anyone tried to return one of these to LOW*s? Did they take it back? I mean really, it doesn't work, so they should accept it as a return. I don't want to uninstall it & haul it there if they are going to refuse. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    As you can see, this is my first post even though I've been roaming the site for some time, appreciate all the great advice on here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2007
  13. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    take it back

    I have had a couple of peope raise hell
    and they usaully will takeit back...

    one lawyer had me take the 50 gal gas back to the front
    door of Low*s for them when I changed out the heater
    and then they threaten the manager of LOw*s to leave it there....

    it really depends on how nasty you can be-have....

    their is one fellow in town that actually took his water
    heater and put it in the back of his pick up truck and put a
    sign above it calling it a lemon and piece of junk

    and then parked it near a Low*s entrance..

    the sad thing about Low*s is that they are fully aware of
    the class action lawsuit but simply dont care...
    and keep dumping this junk on their customers..

    they have also stopped carrying the repair parts due to
    the liability and the agreement in the lawsuit.

    Its a cheesey way to do people

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  14. Zookeeper

    Zookeeper New Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I figured I would just raise hell with the manager. I can usually get pretty upset & cause a scene.

    Next is to figure out what to get. I'd get a Bradford, but I plan on installing myself. I'll figure out what to get & try to take it back this weekend.


  15. JorjaGirl

    JorjaGirl New Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    Stay at home mom
    Midland, TEXAS
    Settlement from WHIRLPOOL!!!

    I have the same waterheater and called whirlpool warranty 877 # on the side of the tank. The recording stated something about the FG models....it informed me to go to website www.waterheatersettlement.com
  16. ano

    ano New Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    I'm glad I caught this forum. I had purchased one of these water heaters and it was to be installed today. I went back to Low*s and cancelled it for a full refund. It also looks like the class action suite only covers 2000-2006 purchases, but it doesn't appear they have ever fixed most of the problems so would be out of luck.

    I should have known something when the warranty on parts was 12 years, but the warranty on labor was only 1 year. Extending the labor warranty cost $79 more. At least HD includes the full labor warranty, but I'm not sure their models are much better.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2007
  17. bdorom

    bdorom New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters

    Yes, I also have a 50 gal Whirlpool water heater series number starting with "FG"; guess what? Trying to replace the water heater's control box, I neither have hot water nor running water! The inept plumber Low*'s sent to install my water heater used a defective faucet.
    It is very sad that American products such as the ones from 'American Water Heaters' [(800) 999-9515] ultimately result in distrust of what we produce in America. It is also scarry to think that outside America everyone may distrust "Made in the USA"...
    I am now in a crusade to discourage people to buy Whirlpool and Lowe's products. I am looking now for a good Japaness or German water heater which I plan to install myself.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2007
  18. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    What's hilarious

    Is I told somebody that had a low*s water heater that they'll most likely won't get parts for it, that they are notorious for failure and sure enough....

    He went out and bought another brand of heater.

    Put it in 2 nights ago, had hot water before I even left. He took the water heater back and got a sizeable return......even though it was 3 years old.

    I think they might be doing this more often than not to show proof when the big lawsuit comes that they were working with the customer in the situation of bad product.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2007
  19. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    If they won't refund I say give it back to them through thir front window and call it customer satisfaction!:mad:
  20. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Low*s policy is they will take back anything they sell any time, period.

    If you have the receipt they will refund the $$$ if you don't have a receipt they will issue a store credit.
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