I have had this water heater for 5 1/2 years and have had to replace the thermocouple three times. Now I discover that there was a recall, and the adapter for the damn thing stripped as it was a left handed thread and they made the thermocouple right - and of course that went to crap as it was ill fitting and aluminum! Now they are sending me a new adapter and a gas valve thing (whatever!) and if that doesn't work then I will get a new unit. (Oh! And let's not forget that the warranty only covers parts! So by the time you pay a plumber you could buy 2 or 3 new water heaters - or at the very least top of the line in the market for the size you need and THEN save money!)
The last water heater I had in the house was the original - 7 years old when I bought it and another 10 before replacing it. THAT is how an appliance should act! I was happy with the 17 years of service without ever having to touch it! Well, I'll take the new unit - sell it and put it towards a different brand. And there I was thinking that buying a Whirlpool was going to be a good thing! As it is an old name in the marketplace. Well, it is apparent that the quality hasn't stayed with the name.
Not to mention the website! I typed in the model number (many times!!!!) and got nothing. It is not a user-friendly site for water heaters. I can only guess why! And forget the 24/7 support. Banker's hours, oh and maybe a little more! Don't try sending e-mails either - never found those on the site!
79110 -- I purchased my water heater from Lowe's. After 5 days it would not stay lit. I called customer service. At that time they had a plumber that did warranty work for them. He said they always have this problem (thermocouple), he showed up with one already to go. The replacement lasted a week. I called Whirlpool back. They told me they no longer had a repairman in my area so they gave me a po for a free thermocouple. I went to Lowe's and spent an hour getting an OK for the thermo I replaced myself. It lasted 6 days.
I called them again and they said the air flow was not sufficient. I informed them that I was a contractor and that I was aware of what air flow was needed and was told that they would get me a thermocouple. I informed them that I have already replaced it twice. Their response was that they could do nothing else. I called Lowe's. They told me to bring the product back and they would replace it with a new water heater. I reinstalled the water heater and 3 days later had the same problem.
The customer service at Whirlpool is rude. They try to tell people that the problem is improper air flow even though every other water heater brand works in the same area. Whirlpool has no intention in making this right with anyone. They just took everyone's money, knew the product was faulty and kept on selling the product anyway. I will not recommend any Whirlpool product to friends or customers ever. You mess up, admit it. Make it right - that's how a real company does business.
I am yet another of the countless saps who thought they were getting a good deal on a gas water heater at Lowes. The thing was a real pain to install and fire up initially because of the flame lock appliance For example, the instructions say to stop using the pilot button after ten seconds if it doesn't fire. Had I not pressed the button for 30 seconds or more to purge the air from the line, I probably still wouldn't have hot water two years later.
Almost two years to the day later, my thermocouple failed. I was able to find one at a local Lowes, and after some trepidation I was able to dismantle the existing unit and install a new one. All was going swimmingly until I tried to thread in the last manifold cover door screw (yup...one screw away). After just two turns, the thing snapped off.
Suffice to say much of the next several hours involved wailing and gnashing of teeth as I fought to remove the fragment from the hole and get another piece of hardware to secure the manifold door.
LEARN from my mistakes:
Never buy a Whirlpool Flam Lock water heater. Millions of hits on the internet can't be wrong on this one. It is flawed. I fully expect to fight mine again at some point in the not so distant future.
If you had the misfortune to install this lemon, be INCREDIBLY CAREFUL not to over torque those screws when making the seemingly inevitable replacement of a thermocouple!
MACON, ILLINOIS -- I purchased a flame lock water heater on March 13, 2004 from Lowes in Forsyth, IL. We installed the water heater Nov. 19, 2004. On Dec.31, 2004 the thermocouple burnt out. I called my son-in-law, as luck would have it, he was at Lowes and stated he knew what the problem was and he would pick up a thermocouple and he installed it for us. The reason he knew what was wrong, he owns the same water heater and has now replaced 4 thermocouples in less than 7 months. The last one lasted 10 days. I went to Lowes a few days later to speak with the manager about the problem with the water heaters, and was told he was in a meeting.
I talked with a zone manager and preceded to tell him about the defective water heater, and asked for Lowes help to resolve my issue. I explained I was told by Lowe employees that this is an ongoing issue and they have passed out hundreds of cases of thermocouples. I also advised him that I did not want to have to drive 40 miles round trip to replace the thermocouple every 6 weeks. He was quite nice and took my name and number and stated he would call Whirlpool and let me know what they said. I told him I was calling Whirlpool also. He refunded the money I paid for the thermocouple, and gave me a spare, and apologized for the inconvenience.
I sent Whirlpool an e-mail because they were closed for the Holiday. I did receive a call from American Water Heater Co. which I found out makes Whirlpool water heaters. He asked me a series of questions to determine why the thermocouple burned out. He had me to do a draft test to determine if there was enough air flow. He stated the flame should be going directly into the vent. Since I only had a lighter and not a match to test, it was difficult to determine because I had to turn the lighter sideways, and the flame only wanted to go straight up.
He determined that it was an installation problem. I explained to him about all the thermocouples they were replacing at Lowes and there was no way, that all of these water heaters were improperly installed. I stated to him I believe it is a design defect or a manufacturing defect. He stated that was my opinion and we hung up. I contacted Whirlpool customer service again by phone and was transferred to Am. Wtr. Htr Co. again. The CSR told me the same thing. It is an installation problem, advised me to send copies of the water heater, the area it was in, my furnace and the vents.
I sent these over 3 weeks ago, and still have not heard from anyone. Eight days ago I contacted Whirlpool again by e-mail and have not heard from anyone. This is the poorest customer service I have ever encountered. I am going to return the water heater back to Lowes and get my money back. I would not recommend Whirlpool products to anyone, and I will never buy another one of there products.
MICHIGAN -- My husband and I purchased a brand new water heater from Lowe's. From the day we purchased it has not worked properly. The pilot light will go out 7-8 times a day. We called a service company that said there are pages upon pages of complaints online about this product.
Lowe's told us we would have to get an "RA" number to get a refund and all Whirlpool does is play games, you have to talk to a manager to get the RA number, and they won't let you talk to a manager or call you back! I would think in this day and age there would be better consumer protection against selling faulty products. I believe there was even a recall with this product yet Lowe's continues to sell them. Unbelievable!
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Do Not Buy this Water Heater unless you want to replace the Anode every two months. Whirlpool will not honor the warranty for this. We have replace the anode with a BETTER one less than a month ago and the water is smelling again. First replacement after less than 2 months for the anode and have a plumber replace it $150.00... Less than a month later the water is starting to smell again. Cannot afford to replace it each month, will be getting a different water heater and will have to just absorb the cost since they will not honor the warranty.
CULLMAN, ALABAMA -- Never buy a Whirlpool Energy Smart water heater. 2 months after I installed it the electric thermostat goes out. After walking through tech support they tell me because I called Friday @4:00 I can expect my new part sometime on Monday. Leaving my family of 5 without hot water until then! As if I could schedule when their part would fail.
I asked if there was anywhere I could go to get the part? Jessie the tech support guy said well you could try looking around. I said, "Seriously? That's the best you can help me? What are we supposed to do until Monday?" His words of wisdom were, "I guess you'll just have to improvise." I spent nearly $1000 on this unit. What a rip off. If you are thinking about purchasing anything Whirlpool I would definitely reconsider.
AMARILLO, TEXAS -- I bought a fairly expensive Whirlpool BFG 40 gallon tall water heater in 2003. It had a 12 year warranty. After thousands of couplers were replaced, I griped enough to where Whirlpool gave me an updated model in 2006. Now I need parts for this piece of crap water heater, and the lazy technician at Whirlpool says that this is not my water heater. I read him the serial number and he says that my water heater actually belongs to a woman in another state.
He even suggested that I had stolen the unit. And he suggested that, "maybe you bought the water heater from a guy down the street, which is perfectly fine, but it is not under warranty." I think that other customer in question is scamming Whirlpool and getting parts for free using a random bogus serial number -- mine -- or when Whirlpool turned over to GE someone in the typing pool screwed up the numbers.
To make matters worse the lazy technical refused to connect me to a supervisor. He said I didn't have a supervisor issue. I said yes I do. I want to talk to a supervisor. He said NO... it's not going to happen. And I said "why not?" and he said... "because it's not your water heater." I have emailed Whirlpool asking for a supervisor to call me back, but of course, they haven't. I am taking my complaints to the BBB. Other than sue Whirlpool, there is no recourse, except to warn you all... do not buy anything from Whirlpool.
ACWORTH, GEORGIA -- Several service calls had to be made to a plumber due to this unit not working. The door assembly was shipped to me by Whirlpool. I had to pay "again" for the plumber to install this part. He's been here 3-4 times since I bought the unit. Last Wednesday, May 2, 2012 no hot water "again". The same plumber came out and said the door assembly had again gone bad.
Whirlpool was contacted on Thursday Morning and would not agree to do ANYTHING. They were given my plumber's name and number and I never heard back from them. I contacted Lowe's in Acworth, GA and they agreed to replace the hot water heater. So now I'm forced to pay for ANOTHER install. I requested that Whirlpool pay this expense, and their representative, ** said NO.
I intend to sue them for all monies spent on this lemon and due to this lemon. I will NEVER buy another Whirlpool product of any kind. I have told family and friends and they've agreed that due to the bad product and worse customer service, they will also stay away from purchasing anything made by this company.
Whirlpool certainly won't be hurt by me and me alone but I'll make sure that anyone I run into at Lowe's or anywhere else is even looking at a Whirlpool product will get an earful from me. This is the type of customer service that consumers don't have to put up with anymore. There are many resources on the Internet to get the word out and I intend to spend a great deal of my time doing just that. NEVER BUY WHIRLPOOL PRODUCTS! Very solid advice here.
I purchased a Whirlpool Energy Smart Water Heater, Model EE2H40RD54V, with the "computer, smart box" on top of the tank in 2006. Since then the smart box has quit four times and Whirlpool has promptly replaced the smart box "computer" board three times. The last time occurred yesterday, this makes it now 4 times in 5 years, and should I say that the design has some flaws? It is a shame since the "computer" does save energy but it has no reliability at all.
The heater has 9 years warranty and after that I plan to buy another, but not a Whirlpool. The first water heater, a Jackson, was in the house when I bought in new in 1976 and lasted until 2006 when I change it because the darned thing was 30 years old! It never gave me a problem and I wish I still had it. I hate to think what would have this unit cost if I had to call a plumber every time the "smart box" failed.