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Whrilpool Electric Water Heater Does Not Work Well
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

After flooding in 2016, I purchased a Whrilpool 38 gallon electric water heater to replace the unit that flooded. I wanted a Rheem, but this was the only low boy unit I could find in my area. I've only had this unit installed a year and a half and it was problematic from the beginning. There are only 2 of us in the house and if both of us took a shower at the same time, the water would go lukewarm or we'd run out of water altogether. Our previous unit was a 40 gallon Rheem and didn't have this problem.

I called the phone number on the unit and after talking to the support representative, he thought I might have a bad lower element. It was still under warranty for parts, so I decided to replace it myself. He sent me an email and told me to go to any Lowe's (where I bought it from) store and show them the email and they would give me a new element for free under the warranty.

When I went to Lowe's, I showed them the email and they put something into their computer and found no record of it and had to get a manager to help me. He said he couldn't give to me under warranty because it wasn't in their system, but he would do so anyway and just mark it in the book that they used it on a display item and since it was only a $7 part, it shouldn't be a problem. He also told me they don't even sell the Whirlpool water heaters anymore, they now sell A.O. Smith, which he suspected were probably the Whirlpool units with a different name on them.

I replaced the element and found the lower element was corroded, which didn't make sense on a unit that had only been in operation a little over a year. This didn't help with the problem much, but we still ended up with lukewarm water halfway through our showers. A plumber suggested it could be bad elements or thermostats, so I bought a "tune up kit" at Home Depot and replaced the top element and both thermostats, but the problem persisted. Even setting a higher temperature didn't help.

After a year and a half, we had enough and ordered a Rheem unit from Home Depot, had a plumber install it, and put the Whirlpool out on the curb. After our experience, we don't recommend a Whirlpool water heater and after having to jump through hoops for a $7 part, I wouldn't recommend buying a water heater from Lowe's either.

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Defective Product
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -- Bought a Whirlpool water in 2013 model N40S61-403 from Lowe's. The thermostat control valve is a Honeywell with model WV8840B1109. Pilot light went out last night and will have to be replaced. Plumber said it would be more cost effective to replace entire water heater as installing replacement control would be in excess of $300. Whirlpool's website is difficult to navigate.

Honeywell said Whirlpool needs to take care of this - not them. Apparently, there are many problems with this unit. I researched online and there are thousands of results about problems with this unit - over 500,000 results on Google. Pilot light sparks but will not stay lit. It's a defective product. Don't buy this product.

Company Response 12/05/2017:

Whirlpool water heaters are manufactured through a licensing agreement with American Water Heater Corporation. Per their legally binding agreement, they have requested that all customer concerns be directed to them. You can use this link, http://www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com or you can call (877) 817-6750 for further assistance.

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Don't Buy Whirlpool Water Heater
By -

I am writing in regard to a Whirlpool water heater (Model #FG1F4034T3NOV) that we purchased from Lowe's in May 2004. The water heater stopped working on a Saturday morning (11/1/08). We tried lighting the pilot light several times, but it would not stay on. When we called Lowe's, they gave us a 1-800 number to call, but, we were not able to reach anyone at that number until Monday morning (already two days without hot water).

I was told that there was a defect in these models and that we would need to obtain a part and either install it ourselves or have someone install it, so that our water heater would work properly again. I was told that I could pay $15 to have the part mailed to me and probably would receive it the next day.

This, to me, was unacceptable. We have a family of four who had already been without hot water for 3 days and now I was going to have to pay for a part to be shipped and wait another 2 days for hot water! The man on the phone said I could go to Lowe's and the part would be available free of charge. It was then up to me to install it or “if I didn't feel comfortable doing so” I could hire someone to install it. I went Lowe's. They didn't know what I was talking about, but vaguely remembered this happening to another customer.

They called another Lowe's store and that store said that they weren't sure, but they might have the part I was talking about. At this point, I was very frustrated. If this was a problem with these models, why wouldn't Whirlpool make the parts more available and make their retail distributors more aware that customers may be looking for this part??? I then drove 35 miles round trip to get the part.

When I opened it up, I realized there was no way I could install this part myself… why would they even suggest that the customer install this on their own? I called a plumber that would be able to come before closing time that day (trying to avoid after-hours charges and trying to get hot water before yet another day went by!).

The plumber was quite familiar with this model and this problem with the thermocouple (which tells me this is probably a widespread problem with this model). The plumber charged me $221 to install the part and make sure the water heater was operating properly. I was relieved to have hot water, but angry that we had to pay money for this problem that was not our responsibility!

I don't understand how you as a reputable company (not reputable in my eyes anymore) can not take responsibility for a defect in one of your products. Why should the consumer have to pay the price of fixing a defect in a product that we bought just 4 years ago and is still under warranty? We felt confident that we were buying a quality product and that Whirlpool would stand behind their products, but now I feel very differently. I will not buy Whirlpool products anymore.

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Gas Water Heater
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

I bought a Whirlpool Water Heater dated November 2004. Of course it is out of warranty, but I need to share my horrible experience and tell why I will never again purchase a Whirlpool product. The thermocouple on my Flame Guard Water Heater (WH), needed to be replaced. This t-couple made by Whirlpool is LEFT hand threaded. I guess I should have known that, and after trying to remove it for a long time I then noticed that that there was a very small tag on the thermocouple (T-couple),that says that it is.

Ok, my bad. So I go to Lowe's where I bought it for a replacement. The guy at Lowes says that I can only get that t-couple from Whirlpool. He said that since Lowes had so many problems with Whirlpool WH's that they stocked conversion kits themselves. He would need a special number from Whirlpool. Mind you, Lowes was willing to GIVE me the conversion kit for FREE!

So I go back home and call Whirlpool. Tech support said they no longer make the t-couple and that I would need a conversion kit. I told him that I needed a number for the kit for my guy at Lowes. Tech guy at Whirlpool didn't know what I was talking about, but he gave me the part # for the conversion kit. - Q: Why would Whirlpool make a 'back threaded' that was available only from them, and then stop making it long before any of the WH's would become outdated?

So I go back to Lowes and the guy said that was not the number he needed. So he calls Whirlpool himself and gets the number. This conversion kit was the only one that the guy at Lowes did not have in stock. So I go back home can call Lowes again. The conversion kit costed my about $44 including shipping. (Over night would have been about $80). And of course this would be on a Friday so I had to wait over the weekend during the coldest days of the winter.

When the kit arrived it was only then that I found out that while I was tightening the old t-couple trying to remove it, I STRIPPED THE VALVE on the WH. This means that now the entire valve had to be changed. That part costs $190 alone! So to make a long story short, a job that what should have cost me about $8 for a t-couple ended up costing me $230 in parts, and more in labor.

In case you are wondering why I did it, this was still cheaper than the cost of a 50 gallon tank and installation by a plumber. Whirlpool just lost a customer because the bean counters don't care about people. The conversion kit should have been made available for free to any one who owns the tank warranty or not because Whirlpool knows they screwed up. NEVER AGAIN Whirlpool!

Company Response 12/05/2017:

Whirlpool water heaters are manufactured through a licensing agreement with American Water Heater Corporation. Per their legally binding agreement, they have requested that all customer concerns be directed to them. You can use this link, http://www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com or you can call (877) 817-6750 for further assistance.

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Whirlpool Hot Water Heater... Lousy E-Smart II system... Nothing Smart About It, or Their RUDE Customer Service!!
By -

Purchased on 09-19-2011, had it installed 09-23-11, woke up next morning 09-24-11. Had no hot water, check heater had a code of E02, read manual, followed directions. Everything was working till next morning 09-25-11, yep... you got it "no hot water". Checked hot water heater, same code. Called Whirlpool Customer Service... TO SAY I RECEIVED HORRIBLE SERVICE IT PUTTING IT LIGHTLY!!!

They had my husband take the unit apart, go get a volt meter and test the elements and plugs... Might I add this is a BRAND NEW HEATER, he checked what the c/s advised, then he was asked if he had a thermostat tester. OK at this point he said, "NO, you need to send a technician out here or give me an RA# to return it." Keep this in mind LOWES will not take it back without an RA# from Whirlpool. So we are stuck!! Waiting on Technician to come out some time next week, to work on our brand new E-Smart Hot Water Heater purchased from Lowes. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM WHIRLPOOL BRAND!!!

UPDATE: 09/25/11 contacted Whirlpool c/s, was given an authorization # to provide to their recommended repair Tech., set-up an appointment for him to come out between 8am-noon today 09/26/11. My husband took a half a day off work to get this resolved. Tech called around 11:30 stating he is stuck on a job and will be there around 1pm, he also stated he has not worked on this model. It is now 1:24 and he is not here. Also, I posted the exact post from here on Lowe's website. Got an e-mail stating they - Lowe's rejected my post. So I gather negative reviews are not allowed to be posted on their site. I guess that is why Lowe's has great reviews on their product.

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Hot Water Tank Pilot Goes Out
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE -- I am a small apt building owner. In as such, I upgrade and take care of each unit. New appliances as well as the structure upgrades. One tenant brought forward that the hot water does not seem to last very long. I also have an energy efficient washer that uses the same hot water. (I pay the hot water-gas service and water folks) And since the tank was going on 8-9 years old, I decided to replace with a larger unit. I purchased the item from Lowes, but it took me about 2 months to install due to time factors.

After installing within the first month the pilot light went out about once a week. Could not figure it out. Called my plumber and he did some adjustments and worked OK. This last week Friday evening at 9 pm, a call from the tenant, the hot water is out. Since installing, I've moved from the area and now live 2 hours away. Saturday morning off to the building. Hot water tank lights but yellow flame. Out with the install guide, viewing various trouble shooting. Yellow flame, seems like not enough air or otherwise. Call to the plumber. Team tag to read online reviews. Call to Whirlpool 800 number and this is where I've now made the decision to NEVER purchase another Whirlpool product.

The representative was so demeaning, unhelpful, and just a big bully. Treated me as an idiot. She called the installation and guide instructions as the "manual". I tried multiple times to ensure that what I was looking at was her version of "manual". I am very detailed oriented and wanted assistance with step by step, and I wanted help not attitude. I asked her at least 5 times to slow down so that I could view what she was saying. Absolute futile conversation if you could call it that. The kicker was that she told me that the unit needs servicing every 3 months to operate correctly.

Now, with 4 other water tanks in line and in service for over 8 years without one issue.... do you think I want this kind of hot water tank that needs servicing every 3 months? After the horrid customer non service, I spoke with the plumber and the unit is being replaced today with a Bradford White. The Whirlpool model is less than one year old. So beware of Whirlpool, the way to teach a company like this is to STOP buying their appliances. As a consumer, is it too much to ask for a bit of empathy and respect on the phone? Be forewarned.

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Water Heater...2 in 2 years
By -

I purchased a water heater in late December 2008 (day after Christmas), from Lowe's. Being winter and cold in NE OH, needed replaced as soon as possible. Well, purchased the water heater, paid Lowe's $250 installation charges. Now, I find water all around heater.

According to Whirpool, sounds like liner may have developed a hole (after two years?). OK, so now what. The kind gentlemen I spoke with said he would give me a Return Authorization code which he did. All I have to do is disconnect it, drain it, get it back to Lowe's and they would replace. That's all well and good, but I'm a 5" tall, single, 50 year old female. How do you expect me to do that? OK, will figure it out, but that is not the issue.

The issue is that I now must spend ANOTHER $250 to have the new one installed! Are you serious? They do not reimburse installation even if it's under warranty or... or any reason. Let's see, Dec 2008 installed properly by plumber, product failure in 3/2011 (9 year warranty), will send new one, but you have to have it installed, pick it up at store, take aback old, pay, pay, pay... Whirpool should cover all costs.

More cost efficient would be to work in tandem with Lowe's give them Return Authorization Code, have them (installation team) deliver it to the house, remove the old, replace the new. Whirpool picking up all charges. Instead, I have to have tank removed, drive it to Lowe's, show them authorization code, get replacement, have it driven back to house so it can be installed. UGH!!! Don't feel I should have to pay the installation charge. The installation was done proper in the first place. Just want my installation charges reimbursed also. That would make it all right.

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Anode Rod/Sulfur Odor
By -

On 9-5-2010, my old hot water tank started to leak. My husband sent me to purchase a new one. Thought I was getting the best 12 yr warranty, 50 gal electric tank model # EE3J50RD045V Serial # 1033T428288. My husband and I got it installed. He read about the anode rod after it was installed. By Nov, the water was starting to smell, we also have a water softener on our well. By the middle of Dec, it was really smelling of sulfur. Called Lowes' and they told me that I would have to get a special rod for country water. Ordered the part from the Whirlpool Co. That was another 68 dollars.

After New Year's we installed the new rod. The instructions said to drain out 5 gal water, after shutting off the elec. and taking the other rod out what a job it was covered by 2 in of foam and under the metal covering, which my husband had to cut it back to get to it. Then everything was crooked and we had to drain all the water out and disconnect the plumbing and electric. Then had to tip it sideways to get a breaker bar on it to get it broke loose. This rod was about 4 ft long and we only had about 2 ft of overhead space. Got it all back together, by the end of Jan. the water started to smell.

Boy what a joke! Can't afford to replace this every 2 months when its supposed to last for 2-3 yrs, now we have filters added for odor removal. Boy I wish someone had posted a complaint before I bought this brand. The only complaint I found was about the gas hot water heaters. I hope this helps somebody, none of the labor or the rod was under warranty.

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Do Not Buy This Product, Do Not Shop At Lowe's
By -

DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS -- I bought this water heater because it met my installation criteria of an 18-inch diameter. After two days with no hot water, I installed this unit and when I went to fire it up, I had no success! I reviewed my installation and determined that I had brought home a non-functioning unit. I called Whirlpool and they told me that they would overnight me a new gas valve. I told them that this was unacceptable as I am without hot water.

I checked out Lowe's website to see their return policy. It stated that major household appliances could be returned within 7 days of purchase if they had a manufacturing defect. I uninstalled the unit, took it back to Lowe's and was told I couldn't return it because it had been installed! (I don't know how you're supposed to determine it's faulty without installing it!)

I insisted that they exchange the unit for a non-defective one and they eventually agreed. Took the exchanged unit home, installed it and guess what...another bad gas valve! I was outraged, I called Whirlpool again and right off the bat they offered to send me a replacement gas valve!

I reminded them that I had been without hot water for 3 days now and waiting another 2 days for a replacement part was NOT an option! They then gave me an authorization number and the phone number for Sears appliance repair. A repair man showed up the next day and exchanged the gas valve and I once again had hot water! If I had wanted to repair a water heater, I could have fixed my old one!!! Bottom line is that both Lowe's and Whirlpool KNOW they are selling consumers a faulty product! They SHOULD HAVE recalled these units but that would have cost Whirlpool and Lowe's time and money.

They chose to instead waste the time and money of the consumer. I was going to buy a new washer and dryer from Lowe's but this experience changed my mind! I drive a tractor trailer for a living and I make deliveries to Lowe's stores all over the Midwest. I have lost count of how many returned defective water heaters I have seen on their loading docks! And they are all being returned for the same reason...BAD GAS VALVE!!

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Costly Repairs after 1.9 years of service
By -

Dear Sir or Madam: On June 15th, 2002, I purchased your Whirlpool Gas Water Heater with Flame Lock Safety System (model number FG1H4040T, product number 0730138, serial number 0215119499) at Lowe's. The exact store location is 5125 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49002. Their phone number is (269)345-2110. Cost of the unit was $268.00, and there was a rebate at that time, although I do not recall the exact amount of the rebate. I installed the water heater per instruction and it has worked perfectly until last Thursday, March 4th, 2003.

My wife noticed during that day that the hot water coming out of the faucets was luke warm. I checked the water heater and found that the pilot light was out and the burner was not operating. I attempted to reset the pilot and restart the water heater. I followed the instruction per the operation manual for re-lighting the water heater. I held the reset button down and depressed the igniter button until the pilot relit. After holding the reset button down for 1 minute, I released the button, which caused the pilot to go out. I attempted this several times.

After several unsuccessful attempts to restart the water heater, I contacted the gas company to check the lines. They did, and everything was in working order. I then called a local heating and cooling company to come out and service the unit. The company was not an authorized Whirlpool repair facility, but because they were local and might be able to locate the problem easily in addition to not knowing it needed parts for the repair, we requested that they take a look. After they inspected the gas lines and found one small leak in a shutoff valve (Which they replaced), they were also unsuccessful in being able to relight the water heater.

They believed that the Flame lock Thermocouple was bad and suggested that it be replaced. Since Whirlpool uses reversed thread thermocouples, they did not have a suitable replacement part. My wife contacted your customer service department and they provided her with an authorization number ** for a replacement thermocouple at no charge to us. I was able to pick one up at Lowe's. The thermocouple was replaced, but the pilot light would continue to go out when the reset button was released after being relit. This repair occurred Friday evening.

On Saturday, March 6th, we made several calls to Lowe's and your customer service department in an attempt to locate a Whirlpool authorized service provider. Because of the weekend, it was difficult to find a service company open; however we were able to locate Northside Heating and Cooling in Muskegon, Michigan. They were an hour and a half away. Knowing that the service call would be more expensive for that reason, as well as being a weekend, we still were happy to have them come repair the unit. ** from Northside came out to repair the water heater.

Per his description of the work, the water heater was not sensing flame. He replaced the gas valve and installed a second thermocouple. He checked the gas lines, draft, plus the unit and found them to be good working order. He was able to restart the water heater. Although the parts were covered under warranty, labor for the repair was $393.75. I find that amount outrageous and far more than what I paid for the water heater itself. To add insult to injury, 30 minutes after he left, the unit failed again, and I could not get it relit. With the same symptoms as before, I contacted ** again, and was told that he did everything he could do to repair the unit.

He suggested I contact Whirlpool. I did, and I spoke to a customer service rep that stated to me that he obviously did not fix the unit and to have him come back and do so. When I mentioned that this unit had a 9 year warranty, I was told that the warranty covered the tank only. Obviously, the tank is not the issue. I contacted ** again, and after some trepidation on his part, he agreed to come back Monday to look at the unit again.

This means that either my wife or I will miss a second day of work waiting to have the water heater repaired... hopefully repaired. We also contacted the Lowe's store where we purchased the water heater to inquire what recourse we have with this faulty unit. They took our information, and were going to inquire to Whirlpool for resolution.

So here's where I'm at. I will wait until Monday and see if Northside can get the water heater functioning again. If they can not, then I am forced to replace this unit. After 4 days of cold water, and a water heater that is only 1.9 years old, I am extremely displeased with the level of reliability and service I have received from Whirlpool. I appreciate not having to pay for parts, but the lack of assistance and outright poor attitude from Whirlpool has given me a bad taste. If I have to replace the water heater, I promise you it won't be a Whirlpool.

The name Whirlpool will never again grace this household. In addition, I will find every internet based consumer advocacy group I can find and post this letter. I would not wish this level of frustration upon my worst enemy. I hope no one has to go through such a finger pointing exercise. I do not expect much of a response from Whirlpool, if their customer service is a reflection of the company's attitude. But I'm writing this letter in as much for the therapeutic effect as for any kind of resolution it might bring.

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Whirlpool Water Heaters Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.0 out of 5, based on 12 ratings and
62 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Whirlpool
2000 North M63
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
616-923-5000 (ph)
616-923-5038 (fax)
www.whirlpool.com
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