Whirlpool - Two "Enhancement Kits" Later, And Still No Hot Water
Flame Guard Hot Water Heater - Complaint
DALLAS, TEXAS -- We bought a 40-gallon Whirlpool Flame Guard hot water heater in 2002. We kept having to replace the thermocouple, although we weren't aware that other owners of this heater model were doing the same thing.
Last week, I went to buy yet another thermocouple at Lowes, only to find out that Whirlpool had produced an "enhancement kit" for those who owned Flame Guard and Flame Lock models. There had even been a class-action lawsuit, which I didn't know anything about.
Lowe's gave me the enhancement kit free of charge. It replaced the entire assembly, not just the thermocouple.
The problem is, after installing it, the thermocouple still would not stay lit. I finally called a plumber, who said I needed to replace the main gas valve as the thermocouple's stupid left-hand nut had stripped the threads. But he couldn't do it.
Seems the heater is made so cheaply that he couldn't drain the water out without causing a flood, as the drain cock was plastic (not brass) and cross-threaded to boot. So I called Whirlpool.
I didn't get any help, except to be given the number of a "Whirlpool approved" plumber who wanted $175 just to walk in my door. Seems I was out of warranty so I was out of luck. This seems goofy, as the problem ALWAYS existed - I just didn't know about it until I went to Lowe's last week.
So ... I can spend another $175 for another plumber who may or may not be able to repair the heater, or buy a whole new heater. Whirlpool doesn't want to know or help. They won't even reimburse me for the plumber's invoice.