Whirlpool - Stay Away from the FLAME LOCK Water Heater-same problem as others mentioned
Flamelock Water heater - Complaint
LAKEWOOD, CA, CALIFORNIA -- I agree with PJ46350 (see below). No hot water for 2 days. Water heater is 2 years old. Holiday weekend-of course. Gas Company unable to ignite flame, because of the sealed firebox..the plumber could not find left threaded part anywhere...I told him check Lowes, as that is where the "Flame Lock" water tank was originally purchased. Plumber quickly found it on asile #13. Here is the part number you'll need Part #6910495, SKU #198750, 1 year warranty (you're gonna need it). I don't like a company that monopolizes like that. What if Lowes goes out of business..what do we do then?
Anyway..as instructed by the Whirlpool manual I called them...beware they are not open on weekends or holidays. If they are..their number is not posted anywhere that I can find it. The plumber is installing the part, at this writing. It's taking him an hour to dis-assemble the area just to replace the $15.00 part. I'll be writing him a big check for the repair, and sending the $202.00 receipt to Whirlpool, in hope for a refund (the price paid for the water heater was $565.77(price includes installation)...as I hope the water heater is still under warranty...the language on the warranty has so many loop holes...I really don't know if it is covered. If they do not refund the repair..I will never buy Whirlpool again. I'm concerned because Whirlpool has a 1.5 star out of a possible 5. That's nothing to be proud of. Had I had read all the other reviews, I would have had NEVER purchased this tank. I can't believe there hasn't been a class action law suit, or a recall on this item.
In addition, I just sent an email to Lowes, American Water Heater and Whirlpool. I'll be sure to follow up with this post and let you know what kind of response I receive.
Thank you for your time.
Stay Away from the Flame Lock
Posted By: pj46350 on 8/16/2005
I have replaced 20 to 30 thermocouples on various furnaces and water heaters. This is the strangest system I have seen. I put a 40 gallon Whirlpool flame lock water heater in a rental unit and had no problems for about a year.
Then the pilot would not stay lit. At this point I discovered the flamelock thermocouple (with left hand threads) had to be purchased special at Lowes. LOwes said that all I had to do was call whirlpool and get a RGA number and it would be free. I tried for 40 minutes but the number was busy so being a rental unit, just purchased it. It was over $15.00. Well the thermo couple has gone bad two more times since then. The last one lasting only a day. YES... it was installed precisely to their specs. The unit is just plain junk.
I'm thinking of changing the unitrol RobertShaw control gas valve to one that accepts right hand threaded thermocouples and tearing a hole in their silly vented bottom so that it is sure to get enough air. I have had trouble with other Whirlpool products so I should have known. I think I read somewhere on the Whirlpool site, you need to disassemble it and clean it every few months.....what nonsense.