Whirlpool branded hot water tank issues
Whirlpool 40 gal. gas hot water tank - Complaint
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN -- In August 2008 we purchased a gas, a 40 gal. hot water heater from Lowes that was branded as "Whirpool". We have had great success with Whirlpool appliances in the past, so we though this was a no brainer.
This past week, the tank started to fail. Each morning we woke up to no hot water and found the tank not functioning. Each day we called Whirlpool and had them walk us through relighting the pilot light. The tank would heat up normally. When we got home from work, the tank would still be functioning. Then, the next morning we were back in the basement, on the phone with Whirlpool trying to get the tank relit. Why did we call Whirlpool instead of just relighting it our selves? We called and had them walk us through it so there would be a record of the problem, the frequency, etc.
Yesterday, the operator had me light the tank then shut it off and so we could pull wires and test the firing. With the phone to my ear, she had me pull the white and black wires to the thermocoupler, hold the wires together, then with the other hand expected me to push the RED button down, hold it and then concurrently click the spark switch rapidly. After a minute, the tank failed to relight relight. She then had me plug everything back together, and try the relight process again. Nothing. And again we tried, and nothing.
I just got fed up, and said to the operator on the phone - who, I have to say was super nice as are all the people at Whirlpool who we've spoken to - and said that this wasn't acceptable, and that this was apparently a larger problem than just a pilot light going out. She said that the tank was covered for parts, but not service. I said that when you buy a Whirlpool, you expect something better than that solution considering the unit was not even two years old.
The operator immediately said that Whirlpool would cover the repair - meaning parts and service costs. They gave me the name of a local heating contractor and I scheduled the relpacemet for the defective part which happened today. The repair man said that they could NOT guarantee the part, and that there were problems with the replacement parts as well.
I looked up "Whirlpool gas hot water tanks" sold through Lowe's and I discovered that not only were tanks NOT made by Whirlpool, but were "branded as Whirlpool. I also found that many, many people have ongoing issues with parts failing. Most of the complaints have stated that the parts failed shortly after installation - our failed after approximatly 20 months. But in all fairness, when the unit operates properly, it performs in a flawless manner.
So we are going to watch this appliance very, very carefully. If it fails again in an unreasonable amount of time, we will replace the tank with high efficient on demand system from a reputable plumber, and we won't be quite so certain of future appliance purchases from Whirlpool.
I am really disappointed in this product. If the product is as problem riddled as I have found, and those complaints are accurate, then Whirlpool needs to make it right to everyone who bought one of these units. As I said, when you buy Whirlpool, you expect peace of mind. I'll no wonder every morning IF we have HOT water, or IF we'll have to go through this again.