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

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jimbo

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Water heaters are listed by GAMA ( the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association), AGA ( American Gas Association) and possibly UL.....as to design, safety features, etc. ANY modification of the water heater MUST be designed and provided by the manufacturer, and installed by a factory approved technician. I cannot disagree more with the plumbers frankly glib assertion that you have two safety devices and the third is not needed.

A search on the internet will turn up MANY photos and videos of houses BLOWN TO BITS by gas and water heater issues. Even myth busters launched one! A ten year old water heater ( especially Whirlpool) is not worth spending what it would cost, or even what you have already spent, to repair properly. At this point, call Whirlpool and see if they will provide a new burner assembly and gas valve free of charge. You will still probably have to pay the factory approved repair tech to install it..

As you can tell, we do get our dander up about gas and water heaters, because we have seen the results of improper maintenance and installation.


http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/exploding-water-heater.htm
 
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jrigal

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I did see that mythbusters episode (which has more to do with the pop off failing). Thanks for the FVIR info, I looked it up and got a better understanding. Admittedly, I don't know much about water heaters, but I guess my question is more about the little white thermofuse. If all water heaters are required to have the screen to prevent a flame coming through, I assume the thermofuse is to detect a problem there. So how are other water heaters better? Different style thermofuse?

And don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate this water heater and will never buy another Whirlpool water heater. I will be replacing it soon. I was just curious.
 

jimbo

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In the basic design to compy with the then-new ( 2003) FVIR rules, Rheem and Bradford White got it right, and A.O. Smith ( American, Craftmaster, State, Reliant, Whirpool, Sears, etc) got it WRONG. Their design had filter screens which clog with lint and cause overheating if not cleaned twice a year. I think the thermal fuse integral with the original left hand thermocouple had to do with this. The other brands have a design which does not clog, is maintenance-free for the life of the heater, and in general did not suffer any of the myriad problems which have plaqued the AO Smith models. I am not familiar with what they are actually producing today. Somewhat improved, I assume.

Did I ever have an "accident" with a water heater??? YES. It involved a can of spray paint, and yes those fumes can ignite!!!! Fortunately, no injury and no serious damage, but it could have been worse! You do develop a healthy respect!
 

Terry

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A local story about a painter in a garage laquering woodwork with the garage doors closed.
When he went to plug in the compressor, it sparked at the plug, exploding the vapors in the garage, and throwing the painter through the garage door with burns all over his body.


My story in California. 1991
I picked up a motor home from the dealer, just filled the LP tank. I open the window from the drivers seat, and tell them there is a gas leak inside the vehicle.
They very firmly told me the gas had just been worked on, and that I was wrong.

Drove it to the in-laws, they wanted me to sleep in it that night. I explained to them, there was no way I would risk my life sleeping in a motor home with a gas leak.
My father in-law and brother in-law proceeded to start lighting burners on the stove, the entire time me telling them to stop. Finally they lowered the oven door, and that's when it exploded.
I went and hooked up a garden hose and started puitting out the fire, but not before there was $6,000 in damage to the motorhome.
 
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JB74

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Add me to the list of Whirlpoo haters...

Son says last night that the water is all freezing cold. Realize the pilot light is out and start dinking with it all evening. After some research (but not enough at the time)... I come to the conclusion that it's either the thermocouple or the valve. No biggee me thinks... something I can easily fix... will just pick up a new thermocouple while I'm out the next day. "What?... left threaded thermocouple's don't exist anymore?... I have to call Whirlpoo exclusively to rectify this?... WHAT THE FLIP????" Lowe's (where this FG model was bought in 2005) tells me that there "used to be a kit, but they don't have them anymore!" and can't seem to tell me if the BFG valve can be used in it's place.

Sooooo, I call the Whirlpoo customer service line... and ask how to make the new BFG valve work with a new right-threaded thermocouple?... figuring that there's gotta be a way to get it fixed within 24 hours so the missus is happy that we're not going to be going another night without hot water. "Oh, that cannot be done," says the lady at Whirlpoo... "we have to send you a special kit"... "the BFG valve won't work because your existing manifold does not have the sensor the new valve has to hook to!" Okay, whatever... at this point, if they'd have just over-nighted whatever it all needed and made this right, I would've been happy, but when the lady told me it would be $34.95 because I was no longer under warranty, I had enough and came absolutely unglued! THE H*LL I'M PAYING THEM ANOTHER SINGLE CENT FOR SOMETHING WITH KNOWN PROBLEMS AND CLASS ACTION SUITS THAT OTHERS GOT FIXED FOR NOTHING!!!!! At that point I just said I'll get a new hot water heater that WON'T be a Whirlpoo product and hung up on her! Funny, she had my contact info... and have I heard anything whatsoever from Whirlpoo to make this right?... NOPE, ZIP, NADA... @$$holes!

Sooooo, irritated enough that I'm not about to screw with the darn thing any further myself... and bound & determined to have hot water before 24 hours had went by (I'm not a patient person with such things)... I'll just pay for somebody to put in a whole new stinking water heater. This had become a principal thing now! Repair tech shows up within 45 minutes and proceeds to tell me he can fix it for "half the price of a new one" and produces a whole spanking new manifold that supposedly "wasn't" locally available according to the Whirlpoo morons. Gee, if it was something only THEY could provide... why did my local repair tech have one?... hmmm? Grrrrrrr!

With the research I've done since the tech left and after watching what he did... I'm pretty certain I could've somehow done it all myself and saved some more money... if the Whirlpoo chick had just been a tiny bit more helpful instead of demonstrating her and her company's stupidity!!!! If there was a way to legally take it outta Whirlpoo's hide in blood, I'd be doing it. The greedy bastards owe it to me and everyone else I'm seeing posting out here on the internet! :mad:

We all work hard for our money and shouldn't get shafted on something that should have parts commonly available to easily fix! Like... DUH! :confused:
 

Master Plumber Mark

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you have just screwed yourself......

[. Gee, if it was something only THEY could provide... why did my local repair tech have one?... hmmm? Grrrrrrr!

With the research I've done since the tech left and after watching what he did... I'm pretty certain I could've somehow done it all myself and saved some more money... if the Whirlpoo chick had just been a tiny bit more helpful instead of demonstrating her and her company's stupidity!!!! If there was a way to legally take it outta Whirlpoo's hide in blood, I'd be doing it. The greedy bastards owe it to me and everyone else I'm seeing posting out here on the internet! :mad:

We all work hard for our money and shouldn't get shafted on something that should have parts commonly available to easily fix! Like... DUH! :confused:[/QUOTE]


I dont mean to throw salt in the wound but if you have read the 1500 complaints at complaints.com
or on consumer reports.... what exactly makes you think you are going to fare any better than the thousands of folks that have sunk hundreds of dollars and repairs over and over , into their whirlpool heaters????


the tech that changd out your parts for half the price of a water heater did you a great dis-service... . I have attempted to help out little old ladies before only to see my efforts go all in vain..... I cleaned the bottom of the unit and installed all new parts and it only lasted about 2 weeks.....:mad:

the repairs he made to your unit might last a while and they might not......
either way I doubt that he is not going to refund your money like I did .in a few weeks

Did he give you any kind of 90 day or year warranty with his repairs???....

that is the reason no one works on them any more.... no one wants to waste time
and effort only to feel bad in a month from now and refund monies to old ladies....

you should get yourself a Rheem or Bradford white...
Its just a matter of time before it goes out again......
 

Terry

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did anyone get singed by the fire????

I think that was in 1991
And yes. My brother in law was totally singed. Even his eye brows. He looked like he had an Afro.
The flames when the oven exploded in flames went right past his wide body. When he turned around he looked like a different guy.
I was hiding in his shadow and right near the door. Propane is pretty scary stuff.
 

JB74

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the tech that changd out your parts for half the price of a water heater did you a great dis-service... .

Maybe he did... but other than possibly needing the anode rod replaced and having buildup in the bottom of the tank, everything else seems in good condition. I thoroughly cleaned the thing out top-bottom as far as the burner chamber, flu, underneath, etc. And with an all new valve and burner assembly now, it's been running like a champ again.
 

Terry

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Mark,
Thanks for posting that. By the way, my son Jamie just mentioned that yes, we are getting more water heater work lately.
Thanks for selling me that domain name.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I have not looked , but did you ever get around to optomizeing that domain name yet.
with its own web page??...

we do probably around 15 heaters a week and
Jamie will be useing muscles he never knew he had..:cool::cool:.
and maybe he never wanted to know about
;);)
it certainly keeps you in shape...
and the coin is not too bad at usually a grand each...

http://whirlpoolwaterheaterrepair.com/

so does my new web site look fairley civilized???





http://plumberindianapolis.com/
 
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Hubbard

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Oh, boy... Just this morning I ordered a Whirlpool hot water heater from Lowe's. The estimated arrival date is April 23 so now I'm wondering if I should cancel the order and start all over. I notice this thread started several years ago... has the problem really not been fixed since then? I'll take any advice I can get on this. Here's what I ordered...

Model #: N40T121-403
Whirlpool 6th Sense 40-Gallon 12-Year Tall Gas Water Heater (Natural Gas)
 

BeastSlayer

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I wish I had seen this before I bought my replacement water heater.

I installed mine two months ago but had to detach and replace the flexible water outlet and inlet pipes to the Whirlpool Water Heater because of some major leaks.

The re-ignition was without a hitch and the lights indicating smooth operations is blinking normally (after every 3 seconds).

The problem is that water pressure at the shower seems a lot weaker than before, it takes longer for heated water to come out and children complain of alternating blasts of cold water or inadequate heated water when two people are in the showers (when it was not a problem before).

I adjusted the knob to a tad near the hottest as suggested in the manual but this did not seem have solved the problem.

Thank you in advance for any helpful advice you can provide.
 

mika00

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whirlpool water heater recall?

I was just wanting to know if any one else has heard of any recall on the Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters??? the reason I ask is that I am continually replacing the thermocouple on one and I am still trying to figure out why. I caught wind of a recall and thought that I might have my answer but wanted to see if any one else has heard of such a recall?
www.flushawayplumbing.com
 

Master Plumber Mark

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there is no recall

There was a recall on the original FLAME-LOCK heaters
that were modified about 2007....

The new whirlpool fvir heaters now come with the honeywell
thermostat on them... I am getting about a call a week from
folks that cant keep them lit....

perhaps its a better design, but its too early to tell

If you want to start another class action lawsuit,
go for it......knock your self out






 
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klingon

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Ditto for all the problems. Mine was originally purchased in 2010 and by early 2011, Lowes was fed up with the numerous complaints for the same problems, and replaced it (including installing it) at their own expense. It turns out they originally sold me one recalled due to the original class action suit. The new replacement one was manufactured in 2010 and was installed in my home in March 2011. The same problem has occurred with the thing not staying lit. Lowes has bent over backwards by sending their own installers out to fix this one on 5 occasions since March 2011. The latest "fix" of replacing the entire gas control valve (the third one for this 2 year old unit), only lasted a week before dying again.

Whirlpool's 800 number was ARROGANT and claimed my 6 year warranty was voided when the first lemon was replaced. And even if they chose to replace it, I would have to pay for new installation. I went back and forth with them. Here in Michigan we have the Consumer protection Act in addition to the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (aka the federal lemon law). I have a huge amount of papers and research regarding these lemons.

The Whirlpool corp headquarters did not know of the problem (yea right!) and tried passing the buck to the subcontractor who actually manufactures these lemons. Lowes is very angry as well and I have amassed a large pile of documentation on these products and they have sent it up the chain of command to the division who is reviewing their contract with Whirlpool in order to possibly cancel it. It will be the best avenue they could make to cover themselves.

I have prepared my own small claims paperwork which will be filed tomorrow. In addition to the costs I incurred replacing it with a GE which I had to purchase from Home Depot, the Consumer protection act has provisions of a $250.00 judgement for damages for each and every time Whirlpool violated this act. I counted 6 instances .

So for all other Michigan residents, you have an outlet to get back at Whirlpool. The only way to ensure you will have reliable hot water, it to junk your hot water heater and buy anything that is NOT made by Whirlpool.
 

klingon

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Got rid of it right away. You will have major problems and headaches and the manufacturer will refuse to help except to send more parts which will only work for a couple of months at a time.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Terry>>>>the party is over

Terry, thought I would pass this information on to everyone
about the new policies that Whirlpool has just implemented..in the last few months..

I am getting calls from all over the USA stating that Whirlpool will
not send out free parts any longer to the older heaters...
THE RECALL PERIOD IS OVER on that older flame lock heater and
they are telling everyone to pound rocks up their butts ...
They will send new parts but at the low low price of about $$179.00 plus shipping..
so most folks I talk to see the writeing on the wall and just install a better brand

Basically the free-bees are over now and their whole tone on the phone has gone to one of acting like they care to totally snotty and could care less....

their newer heaters 2006--2010 are still giving them fits but they are not
willing to help much more than sending one set of parts... and now they are trying to place the blame on bad gas, bad ventilation ect....


..


 
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