CALIFORNIA -- I have purchased a Whirlpool 50 gallons Gas Water Heater model # BFG1H5040T3Nov on Jan. 12, 2008 at Lowe's. The water heater only lasted for 2 and half months. Then I have problem with the pilot light won't stay lit. I called the Whirlpool 1-877-817-6750 number on March 25, 2008 (Tuesday). They gave me another phone number to call, which turned out to be Sears. The Sears technician came out on the next day Wednesday around noon time; he changed some kind of wire around the switch area.
After he left, in the same day afternoon, I found out that the problem still occurred and hasn't been fixed. So I call Sears back at around 4 p.m. to have the technician come back. They told me that the technician might give me a call back. If not then I will have to call back tomorrow to make an appointment. I asked why can't I make an appointment now. They told me that the technician hasn't close the report and the day hasn't end yet. The computer system won't allow them to make an appointment.
I called Sears again at 8 p.m. hoping to make an appointment for the next day Thursday, but they told me they can't make an appointment because the day hasn't end. So I called them back at 2 a.m. at night. I was surprised that someone actually answer the phone. I told him I want to make an appointment. He said that not until Friday.
I was so mad, because I already don't have hot water for 3 days. Now I have to wait another 2 days. I told him that I can't wait another day because I have been taking cold shower, and also it's their technician's fault for not fixing my water heater correctly in the first place. He said he can't do anything about it, the earliest time is Friday, or else I have to call the plumber on my own.
So on Thursday I called Lowe's and sees if I can return the water heater since the return policy on the back of the receipt said 90 days. I called Lowe's and asked for to speak with the return department, the store associate answer the phone named **. I told him about what happen with the water heater, he said, "Well, if you already called Whirlpool and they turned you down, then you can bring back the water heater."
So I brought back the water heater to return, but the manager named ** told me I can't return it, because I need to have the RA number from Whirlpool. I told her that I called before; the guy named ** told me that I can. Then ** the manager told me that when I called, I should have asked to speak with the manager. ** is just a cashier, and he doesn't know the policy.
So now the Lowe's Manager ** putting the BLAME on me that I should have ask for a manager, which I think that Lowe's should train their employees right, because if the store associates at the Return Department don't even know the return policy, then they should not even be there. I would NEVER shop at LOWE'S or Sears and NEVER buy any Whirlpool JUNKs!!!!!!!!
SPANAWAY, WASHINGTON -- We replaced a 40 gal gas Rheem water heater that was about 10 years old. The hot water was not entirely clear so I decided it was time for a new one. Note that this Rheem had not once ever lost its flame to include during a 3 day power outage during a bad windstorm in Nov 06. Lowes had a good selection and I chose the Whirlpool because of the 12 year warranty. Lowes said it would take 5 days for the tank to arrive but it took about a month... but that's another story.
The Whirpool water heater (SG1J5040T3NOV) was installed Mar 07 by a contractor sent by Lowes. Installation went by fine. Not 10 minutes after he left, the flame went out. OK no problem, its not rocket science to relight it so I did so. It went out 8 times that day. So many times that I left the metal shield off because I was having to relight it so often. It went out sometime during that night.
In the morning, I relit it again so we could take showers. I had to literally babysit it and relight it constantly. There was so much condensation dripping on the burner that the flame was orange instead of blue. That morning, I also noticed the collar at the base that screens out bugs, had popped off.
I am no mechanical engineer but I have a fair amount of common sense and do many things around the house and repair my own vehicles. My thoughts were that the condensation dripping down from the flue was excessive and snuffed out the flame to include the pilot flame. I see it as a design flaw fixable by having a measure in place that protects the pilot and burner. The condensation dripping is an unavoidable action that occurs as the cold water in the tank raises in temp to a point where condensation will not occur. This dripping reoccurs whenever the tank is emptied of its hot water and filled with cold.
The 2nd possibility I thought of was that the burner was not getting enough air flow. The vent pipe is supposed to have a 1/4" per foot rise as a minimum. This 50 gal tank was about 3 inches taller than the 40 gal tank it replaced. My vent pipe is now perfectly level. I called the installer and was told to contact Whirlpool for a "Work Authorization" number. The installer said since my vent pipe was only 4 ft long, the lack of the 1/4" rise per foot was not an issue. I called Whirlpool and the service rep was trying every explanation to me other than giving the authorization number. They reluctantly gave me the authorization number saying it was worth a $90 service call.
The rep also asked me to try a "smoking match test" at the top of the tank by the vent pipe. This was to ensure there was adequate flow through the vent pipe and truly rule out any problem with the vent pipe being level without a rise. I did the test and the match smoke went right into the vent pipe. Not sure if that really proves anything though.
I decided to give the tank a few days and maybe it would stabilize its performance and stay lit. Sorta like getting broke in. As Murphy's law would have it, the water heater stayed lit for the next month. Crazy. Yesterday, after one of my kids finished a leisurely shower, it started up again with the dripping condensation snuffing out the flame. No hot water for me and the wife from a 50 gal tank. The Rheem 40 gal tank never did this.
The saga will continue as I am waiting for the installer to come make an assessment. In my humble opinion, buying a Whirlpool water heater is not worth the trouble. I read the problems others have had with thermocouples burning out and I can only hope that does not start with mine.
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 going to 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 lawsuit, 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.
Whirlpool Complaint. Stay Away from the Flame Lock. Posted by: ** 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.
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.
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- As a plumber, I have purchased and installed several of the Whirlpool Energy Smart Water Heaters. I can tell you for certain that I have purchase my last one! After having a Whirpool Energy Smart water heater installed for two weeks, one of my customer's electric bill went from $65 to $183. I went back to the house expecting to find a bad element. The element checked out. The water heater was also drawing the proper amount of current.
I called customer service and they walked me through everything that I had already checked again. They assured me then that the problem was not the water heater. Wanting to make absolutely sure and having background in electric work, I stuck around to figure out exactly what the problem was. After a while, we could hear the water heater clicking off and on every minute or so.
I called Whirlpool back to inform them that apparently the electronic "Energy Smart" control box was bad (funny they didn't have me check that to begin with, as I later found that they have had other problems with the electronics). They acknowledged from what I told them that the control box was bad. I asked who in the greater Cincinnati area would stock one and was told "no one, it will have to be shipped from the factory". Being a holiday weekend I could not believe what I was hearing.
I asked, "You mean that I have to leave my customer without hot water for three days?" She (**, a customer service SUPERVISOR) rudely repeated what she said without even the slightest sign of sympathy for the elderly couple who would be without hot water for three days. When I asked what the procedure was to make a formal complaint about this was, she snapped back, "Have the homeowner call me" and abruptly hung up the phone! Is that anyway to treat someone who has purchases approximately 25 of your water heaters per year?
I had to go buy another complete water heater just to get the part until the new one arrived. I have just submitted a claim to get paid the $80 that Whirpool pays for their service work (no wonder no one is willing to do it). Considering the way they do business, I will be amazed if I ever get paid. Lowes is just as much to blame. I mean what would it take for at least one store in the greater Cinci area (or every major city) to stock a full selection of parts for such an important appliance as a water heater THAT THEY SELL.
Another example of the absence of customer service in the plight of huge corporations to get a few cents richer. I would not buy another Whirlpool appliance if they were half the price of any other brand!! That is the honest truth!
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Let me add my voice to the throngs of thousands who've had thermocouple problems with this wretched, wretched beast. I do believe I have new info that I haven't seen on the internet yet, though. I, too, have had a thermocouple go out after 3 years of service (pretty good compared to others) and have just spent the last 2 days trying to locate a replacement thermocouple. All other (thousands) of complaints I've read said that they could get them at Lowe's and only Lowe's.
However, I have found out that Lowe's no longer carries the natural gas thermocouple, just the LP gas one. And nobody -- of all the appliance parts places I could find both local and on the Internet -- can get this part. They can't even pull this water heater up on their system. They can't order the part if you give them the part number. I even spent much time on the phone with Whirlpool who told me my model number was wrong and wasn't registering.
So I double checked and double checked and yep, I had the right number off the data plate. So I called back and got another operator and she said, "oh, yeah, we don't handle water heaters on this line, you have to dial 877-817-6750." And I did. The first menu item is about the class action lawsuit. No time for that, I waited for the selection that would let me talk with someone about ordering a thermocouple. No dice.
The system just kept hanging up on me. I finally took the advice of one of the exasperated fellow sufferers I found on the Internet who said just throw it out and buy a new water heater. It is less trouble in the long run. So I did. Now I have spent $600 in 3 years, unlike the one I replaced 3 years ago that lasted 16 years before finally leaking.
And it never needed a thermocouple in all that time. And I got off cheaply, I realize, because I do all my own work and I didn't have to pay someone (Lowe's charges $300) for an installation. I double and triple the advice of others when I say REPLACE THE WHOLE WATER HEATER rather than deal with Whirlpool, their horrible hotline, and their horrible product.
MISSISSIPPI -- I am writing about a water heater that we purchased on Oct. 1, 2005 for our rental house in Pascagoula, MS after Hurricane Katrina. The house had sustained damage from 2 feet of water that was a result of the storm surge. My husband went to Lowes and purchased a 40 gallon gas water heater to replace the one that had been ruined by the storm. His mistake was that he went to Lowes and bought a Whirlpool (nightmare) water heater. Since the purchase and installation we discovered the error of our purchase.
The water heater lasted about 20 months (that's 1 year, 8 months) and then the problem started. In June 2007 the burner went out and would not light so of course we went to Lowes to see about repair or replacement. Lowes told us that since we did not purchase the extended service plan we would have to go back to Whirlpool Product Service. That's when we went to the internet to get info on Whirlpool Product Service and found the Consumer Affairs.com article on these water heaters.
The article was right! We called Whirlpool Product Service and they gave us the name of a plumber who would replace the thermocouple. Then we could have the plumber call Whirlpool Product Service and tell them the part was bad and they would send him the part. All we had to pay was shipping and installation or we could purchase the part locally have the plumber install it and send in the receipt for the part. We opted to have a plumber buy the part and repair the water heater.
Before we could send in the receipt we received the Class Action Lawsuit letter telling us what our rights were. The letter offered a free replacement of the thermocouple assembly (a $15.00 value). Since we had already spent $149.77 to have the water heater repaired we did not see any positive outcome here. We were right, in October 2007 the water heater thermocouple went out again. This time we just replaced the water heater with a RHEEM water heater at a cost of $600.00. Copies of invoices attached.
The reason we are sending this letter is to let you know that your product stinks and that we will never purchase another Whirlpool Product or any appliance at Lowes. We also plan to give this letter as wide a distribution as we can determine is applicable.
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.
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.
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!!