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

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Master Plumber Mark

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Flamelock hell....at Lowes

I feel sorry for the fellows that have to stand
behind the counter of those stores and sell those pieces of
junk to the public....

and have to look everyone in they eye and lie to them

I went in there two weeks ago to try to get parts
for the NEW IMPROVED WHIRLPOOL heater and they
do not carry anything in this town....

of course the new ones are junk too.....

The plumbing "expert" told me he knew nothing about
the troubles that they were having with their heater...


when I told him who I was , and I knew all about their
trobles..... he fesses up to me and claimed that this was
store policy not to admit anything ........

......plausible denyability.......

I suppose you can still claim that,... even after 7 years of
troubles and a whole scrap yard of bad water heaters..

you just didnt know.....

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
 
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brother

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I feel sorry for the fellows that have to stand
behind the counter of those stores and sell those pieces of
junk to the public....

and have to look everyone in they eye and lie to them

I went in there two weeks ago to try to get parts
for the NEW IMPROVED WHIRLPOOL heater and they
do not carry anything in this town....

of course the new ones are junk too.....

The plumbing "expert" told me he knew nothing about
the troubles that they were having with their heater...


when I told him who I was , and I knew all about their
trobles..... he fesses up to me and claimed that this was
store policy not to admit anything ........

......plausible denyability.......

I suppose you can still claim that,... even after 7 years of
troubles and a whole scrap yard of bad water heaters..

you just didnt know.....


That is REALLY sad to see the store has a 'policy' to lie and give out false info.!! People wonder why there are soo many lawsuits, and it indirectly affects your trade. Because people will try blame plumbers for this nonsense when a BAD product is installed. Oh well such is life.
 

Squ1rrel

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This is a pretty sad affair....worked for Low*s until about a month ago selling these things for them. The salespeople were provided NO information about the problem aside from the 1-800 number or the website, and we were the ones who go to deal with angry customers..nice, huh? Not only that, but Whirlpool recalls all the "old" thermocouples, only to provide ones that won't fit the adapter, only the new setup the customer has to order and, in some cases, pay for! here's the fun part...no recall went out on the water heaters, there are still probably some defective ones in the warehouses.
 
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This is a pretty sad affair....worked for Low*s until about a month ago selling these things for them. The salespeople were provided NO information about the problem aside from the 1-800 number or the website, and we were the ones who go to deal with angry customers..nice, huh? Not only that, but Whirlpool recalls all the "old" thermocouples, only to provide ones that won't fit the adapter, only the new setup the customer has to order and, in some cases, pay for! here's the fun part...no recall went out on the water heaters, there are still probably some defective ones in the warehouses.

What was your Low*s experience regarding the adapter and reset-button in terms of being an improvement? Mine's been working for several months now, though I have gotten more than a year out of the old thermocouple by popping out the viewing window to increase air flow. As far as I can tell the adapter just allows you to use a standard thermocouple, and the reset button is little more than a resettable fuse.

It's also funny to see this thread surviving for so long. It comes up early (#2) in Google search returns for "Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters". I bet the lawyers in the class action suit have been following it, as well. It would really be a hoot if this thread somehow ended up in the trial transcripts, even though I would probably get shafted for being the guy who modified his water heater to get better performance.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Modifying your Flame lock water heater

Tim in Ft Worth...

perhaps you will be the lucky guy on the evening news some
day when your water heater goes through the roof or your house burns down...

I am sure its just a matter of time before someone figures
out a way to by-pass that new re-set button when it kicks out
for the 25th time.... that will be a real hoot.......


I wont modify a Whirlpool Junk heater for anyone cause
I could end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit
if the re=set button is over-rode and the heater
catches the house on fire.....

My insurance company will be jumping up and down,.
that will be a hoot too......



this problem wont finally fix itself
for another 10-++ years or more......
thats about how long you can figure the
installed stock of old Flame locks might last....

so its going to be an on-going problem....for a long long time...

and the new ones are not much better either...LOL

aint it a hoot??? http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
 
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Squ1rrel

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What was your Low*s experience regarding the adapter and reset-button in terms of being an improvement? Mine's been working for several months now, though I have gotten more than a year out of the old thermocouple by popping out the viewing window to increase air flow. As far as I can tell the adapter just allows you to use a standard thermocouple, and the reset button is little more than a resettable fuse.

Not too good Tim...I had several customers come in and complain about the new set up.....turns out the reset button doesn't always work. It would pop, and then couldn't be pushed back in. or worse, it came from the FACTORY that way. After dealing with that, I won't buy a Whirlpool or American water heater even if the only other option was a pot and a fire.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Squirrel ---you are wise to leave them

When youknow that you are cheating the public and
you still got to smile and lie to anyone who asks about that
water heater.....its a place you dont want to work..


What amazes me is they cant get it right the second time...

even after getting the pants sued off them..

you would think that they ought to go back to
the drawing board.......

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/

whatever---The company must be in the hands of morons...
 
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T Scott

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Thanks, Now What?

Thanks to all of you for your informative posts.
[It's VERY hard not to launch into a 10 page tirade on my various disappointments regarding Whirlpool, Lowes, et. al., but you gentlemen have heard it all before, so I'll spare you....]
I'm going to pull my Whirlpool and install a replacement, and would like a name of a reliable brand. (Given that some forums do not allow recommendations, I've included my email address here).
s4temp@verizon.net
Your recommendations greatly appreciated!
t
 

Cass

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The only 2 that are worth a hoot are Bradford-White and Rudd/Rheem.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Cass ----What is everyones problem anyway???

Cass, It makes me wonder what everyones problem
is with the gas water heaters today???


It is now 2008, almost 5 years has passed and

the only two water heaters left standing tall are

Bradford and RHeem.....


Why in the world would these other water heater companies like American, State, Sears and SMITH
keep plodding forward with their own crappy design
that no professional in their right mind would use????


Is it all just pride and Male Ego that is at stake hers or are their simply PATENT Rights involved here that keeps them from makeing the changes to their designs that desperately need to be done???


I had heard that their were no patent rights involved with any of the water heaters designed becasue back in 2000- 03 they had all worked together to
figure out the fvir heaters....

http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
 
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Cass

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I quoted a W/H replacement the other day and yesterday when I went over for some other things the guy had purchased a Cesspool Heater and had it in the garage.

I told him to find another plumber, I wouldn't install it because he would blame me for any future problems, after I explained the problems with them and told him to look online, he said he would return it.

I must say though, to their credit, the new Cesspool Heaters have pretty red lettering on the boxes.
 
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PeteV

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My thermocouple went for the second time on this 3 year old Whirlpool. When I went to put it in a few minutes ago I had the idea of wrapping the fat part of the thermocouple wire with aluminum foil, secured by wire wrapped around it. This would disable the flame arrest feature but should shield the thermocouple from heat so maybe it will last a little longer. It some of the plumbers in the group would care to comment with their honest opinion I would appreciate it.
 

Redwood

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I would make no modifications to this unit other than the approved up grade. This is for life/safety reasons!

Personally I'd return it whether they want it or not... If not just means it hits the plate glass window on the way to the returns counter and I'm not there! Also any identifying marks would have been removed and it would be while the store was closed!
 

Master Plumber Mark

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go ahead and burn your house down....

My thermocouple went for the second time on this 3 year old Whirlpool. When I went to put it in a few minutes ago I had the idea of wrapping the fat part of the thermocouple wire with aluminum foil, secured by wire wrapped around it. This would disable the flame arrest feature but should shield the thermocouple from heat so maybe it will last a little longer. It some of the plumbers in the group would care to comment with their honest opinion I would appreciate it.

Of course you can do antyhing you want to in your own home.... itis your risk and yours only.......



Only by breaking the law ....
by totally aborting the FVIR features of this heater is probably the only way to modify the unit...

this would involve getting a gas valve for a pre-2003 heater
and installing it on your heater....then simply putting a normal thermocoupling and older style burner assembly into the unit...

and leaving the front cover off so it can get air into it
like the old style ones......


basically you would have gone back in time to the older
type heater doing this

It really is not worth the effort, expence,
and risk of future troubles.. ie fires....ect.....


and of course again.....

it is against the law to do this



e http://www.weilhammerplumbing.com/galleryiii/
 
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GrumpyPlumber

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No lawyer here, but response from one might be nice...
Whats to stop individual homeowners/plumbers from filing motions on their own and taking Whirlpool to court?
I betcha a few thousand summons from all over the country might make them consider a recall.
 

imready

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American Waterheater

My waterheater expired at year 3 1/2 years. I called American and they sent me the complete KIT-FG Door Switch and I was told that a plumber was not need and that I could install it with no problem.

I disconnected all the suggested items including the 2 screws holding the door. My problem was that I could not get the old door to budge. I call for support and when I told them what problem I was having they immediately gave me an RA number, no questions. Lowes also took the unit back even though I had no receipt for the unit.

I am not sure I want a "new" American/Whirlpool unit but I guess I am stuck. BTW, my new Whirlpool unit (not an American brand) did not come with screen filters to go around the bottom.
 

PeteV

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I was wondering- what brought the need for a flame lock? Were there fires from the burner of water heaters, or was it just the fear that something "might" happen, i.e. a liability issue? I've never heard of a fire that started with a water heater, although I havent made it a point to find out the statistics. Maybe, its better to convert to an electric water heater, if the new gas ones are going to cost a lot more, and be less reliable.
 

boober

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Man, THANKS TERRY! for running this site. My near 20 year old water heater is acting up, I've replaced the dip tub, but I'm not sure if that will fix it, so I was looking at replacements since I think it's better to change it out now than later when it starts leaking. I looked at Lowes, since I have over $300 in gift cards for them, and was considering a Whirlpool until I came across this thread. Looks like I saved myself some SERIOUS hassles.
I also was considering the the Sears Power Miser 12, because it can highly recommended for Consumerresearch.com. I'm VERY leary of all Sears products these days since their track record has diminished so greatly over the last decade or so. Any ideas on this type?

Edited-
I took a look at the link from Master Plumber Mark. Is it agreed that Rheem has a quality product? I wanted a direct vent model, but they have such a limited warranty compared to standard venting water heaters, I'm confused as to why. I looked at Bradford, but their closest person is in MN, and since I'm in WI, that doesn't work. Any other suggested models to look at?
 
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