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

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Bruce S

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Do you have a expansion tank ? Are you on city water ?

Some noise can be expected due to expansion from a cold to hot water tank heating up.

From what I have seen, The better heaters DO NOT have a plastic drain valve. A plastic drain valve is a dead giveaway of Cheap.

Good Luck.
It's on a well. It does not have an expansion tank. There was not one installed on the original system back in 2001 and the plumber did not even mention installing one for the replacement in 2012.
Sorry, I wasn't completely clear in my original post. Seems like every time the burner turns on I get the thumping noise but it only recently started happening. I'm would have thought it would have thumped from day one if it was due to expansion. It does have a plastic drain valve and if I remember I purchased it from Lowes. Thanks for the help.
 
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Bruce S

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you are wasting your time with a 2001 water heater.... its 19 years old
so what more can you expect from it???

I think its probably a whirlpool heater from before the change over to the
FVIR series.... You have done extremely well with the heater to last that long
on well water... so dont waste any more money..

To be pro-active and change the heater out with another brand would probably
be wise to do some day before it decides to go out on a holiday or on christmas...

No. The original WH failed in 2012 (bottom rusted out). It was replaced in 2012 with the current system. So now 8 years old. This is the one that is now thumping. Still produces hot water, but I wonder if I am now living on borrowed time.

Is Rheem or Bradford White still the recommended brands? Thanks.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Sorry that I misread your info..... 8 years is not all that old but the lime build up in the unit is
making it bang and carry on... I never have any luck getting those things to quiet down once they
come alive ... you can flush it till you are blue in the face and it wont help for long..
its a battle not worth fighting..

If you have nothing but time on your hands you can totally drain down the heater, then throw 3 or 4 gallons of
vinegar into the top of the unit through either the t+ P outlet or hot or cold inlets...
Let the vinegar sit all day long or all night long and it should dissolve the mineral build up....
Flush it all out and fill it back up... you are gonna take a few baths that smell like salad dressing but
"in Theory" it should solve the problem.... NO PROMISES HERE....

I have even heard of folks throwing in CLR to really clean out the lime but it really has to be flushed out well.....

I will NEVER do this for anybody--- I have heard about it before but I think you got to be nuts-- its too time consuming and
how do I charge for my time and effort.??? .. This dont always work....
this is strictly a DIY project

I would just change out the heater if it is driving you nuts
 

MaryBrooks

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Bought a Whirlpool water heater about 18 months ago. Had it professionally installed. The water heater quit heating. Called customer service. Explained the problem. Customer service acted like they had no idea what part I actually needed. Got the parts. Plumber said good luck with that, after installing the burner assembly. Water heated up once, and after 5 days without hot water and a $160.00 repair bill, the pilot won't keep the flame burning. Couldn't believe it. That's why I've decided to buy myself a tankless water heater because it was very well-written and contain a lot of important information needed when you decide to purchase something like that.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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good luck with that tankless path....... the parts on a tankless are far more complicated and harder to
repair than a simple water heater.. and can be worse than fooling with the whirlpool heater....

Might I suggest getting a Rheem hot water heater and living happily ever after???
 

Larry Baxter

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This has been an informative thread. So I bought my Whirlpool water heater in about 2005. I knew nothing about the problems discussed here until now. Now, the pilot goes out after the burner turns off. I expect I just need to replace the thermocouple, but no one appear to sell TCs compatible with this model, perhaps because of the issues discussed here. Does any one know where to buy one.
It appears that these are no longer available but there is a new burner assembly with a converter that allows the left-hand threaded TC port in the controller to accept the RH threaded new TC in the kit. I was quoted $39.99 for the kit. Seems like this is the only way forward aside from replacing the heater. Comments welcome.
 

Terry

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Water heaters tend to last between 7 and 15 years. A few will last longer. How much money and time would you like to invest in a product that could fail tomorrow. With no guarantee, no matter how much you spend, that is will last one more day? It's a gamble that plumbers don't like to take, because, we cant make it last longer either. At some point, the welds on the tank are going to give out. If you don't mind the flooding, it might be entertaining.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Just like Terry said above.... you got 16 years out of that piece of junk which is very , very good considering how many folks could not get 2 years out of one..... and their are many who threw hundreds of dollars towards repairs all in vain...

Basically you are wiser to get a new water heater and throw that one out.....
unless you are somehow emotionally attached to the whirlpool water
heater I would not throw a dime into repairs...
its like giving someone 100 years old a triple bypass and spending a fortune on
the operation..... so how many more years is the old fart gonna last????

Just put it down like you would an old dog, because you are
the only one that is gonna suffer if you don't.
 

Terry

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Mark is the man with water heaters.

mark-with-water-heaters.jpg
 

Terry

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Sorry we missed you in Seattle last week.... My wife and I really went the distance driving from Indiana to the coast...
we just ran out of time..... got home last Thursday and have had jet lag for a few days....
maybe next year....

You're missing our Seattle area heat wave.
103 degrees today and supposed to hit 110 degrees on Monday.

Next year then. :)
 

Norcal01

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After reading this thread, very thankful for my 40* YO State WH, suspect it was one of the last WH's insulated with fiberglass, only been drained a few times but the sediment has built up, but any appliance that old classifies as prehistoric, I always liked & had good luck with Whirlpool, but those water heaters are just good scrap metal.

*I installed it in 1982.
 

fitter30

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When combustion air is choked off flue temperature is lowered till the burner and flue passages soot up the flame efficiency goes up. Normal size pilot for natural gas water heater is .018 With a flue analyzer it would be easy to see how a 1" hole changes combustion with and without.
 
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