Whirlpool Water Heaters Give Hundreds Cold Showers

We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because boy, do they totally suck.

That had all the set-up of a pun, but unfortunately, Consumer Affairs already pulled the only one out of this story (“Consumers Steamed About Whirlpool Heaters”). As for the heaters, what else can you say about the buggers except that they are pieces of junk with a bizarre, counter-intuitive design that causes them to break down over and over and over again?

Of course, as expensive an investment as a water heater is generally covered by an extensive warranty. The problem part appears to be a lame thermocoupler. But that thermocoupler is only covered once under warranty. Considering that the hundreds of people who are now bathing with only sporadic hot water have had to replace the thermocoupler time and time again, the expense really starts adding up on an utterly crappy product.

Consumers Steams About Whirlpool Water Heater Problems [Consumer Affairs]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Paul D says:

    Only covered ONCE under warranty?

    Sounds to me like Whirlpool knew they’d fail repeatedly and decided to take a CYOA approach with the warranty.

    Don’t buy Whirlpool.

  2. WMeredith says:

    We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because boy, they’re giving their owners the cold-houlder according to the latest Consumer Affairs report.

    We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because if you do, you are in tepid water.

    We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because that whole, “they’re so cool, they’re hot” thing only works on certain toaster-pastries, but nobody told the boys over at The Big Flush.

    We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because, girl, you’ll be a cold-one… soon.

    We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because their seems to be more than six-degrees of seperation between what the customers order and what they’re getting.

    We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because according to this new Consumer Affairs report (“Consumers Steamed About Whirlpool Heaters”) “The customer is always right, er warm, er, sometimes they’re warm…”
    Whirlpool PR lackie pulls at collar, “is it hot in here?”…
    Customer peers at shrinking genitalia, “No.”

    We hope you don’t own a Whirlpool Flame Lock Gas Water heater, because boy do they make our blood almost-lukewarm.

    You guys are lazy. ;-P

  3. Is a thermo-coupler a real part? Sounds like Star Trek to me…

    She can’t give anymore hot water captain! The thermocouplers gone and busted under the strain of yer 2 hour showers…she just can’t take anymore!

  4. AcidReign says:

    …..It’s real. It’s basically a 19th century mechanism that keeps the unit’s pilot light from continuing to emit gas after the flame goes out. If the fire goes out, the gas shuts off. Problem with the Whirlpool unit is that it’s made of cheap metal, and the gas gets shut off permanently until you replace the burnt-up part. And no gas = no hot water.

  5. yankrico says:

    This water heater is a joke , the bbb needs to get involved with this problem, it is a scam 12 year warranty means 12 years , but who pays for the labor and lost time from work I have 5 hours into already, third time in 3 years.

  6. jnhrt says:

    I was going out today to buy a Whirlpool flame lock gas water heater from Lowes but decided to go online to see if there were any problems with this water heater. Man am I glad I did. Thanks to all of you who saved me a huge headache from this product.

  7. teejay1 says:

    TO bad i didnt know of this website two years ago when i bought my whirlpool piece of junk water heater. 4 days ago my 40 gal. nat. gas h20 heater stopped working. i have been working on gas fired boilers most of my adult life so i pretty much knew that it ws probably the thermocouple that was bad. little did i know that many, many, many others have been having the same headaches most much worse that i!! i contacted the warranty service ant they quickly offered to send me a replacement burner assembly that i was assured would solve the problem?? well i had to pay 24 bucks for overnight delivery so the part wasnt exactly free!! after receiving the part i worked almost two hours putting it in. now i ma fairly handy with tools and am an engineer and this job procedure was a headache. finally i got the thing put back together and my wife was beginning to have a good attitude again after doing without hot water for 3 days. well to my dismay the damn thing still wouldnt work!!!! the pilot will light but will not stay lit, just like before. after reading all of the negative comments hear and on other websites about whirlpool water heaters i am going to just bite the bullet and go buy me a rheem or a bradford white tomorrow. my wife and kids cant do without hot water anymore!! needless to say whirlpool makes junk! and their customer service is a joke just as is their limited warranty crap!! i should have just bought a good rheem or bradfore white for 400$ instead of that lemon i bought for 300$ from lowes. i would gladly participate in any class action suit against whirlpool. i believe they knew they were producing junk and sending out defective replacement parts so that they could say”well we replaced it once and thats it”. anyway i hope to take the piece of junk out of my house tomorrow and buy something that wont break down in two years.CAVEAT EMPTOR DONT BUY WHIRLPOOL!!!

  8. jluthe01 says:

    To save future readers a little bit of grief – here are some things I discovered along my repair:

    1. The piece that needs to be replaced if the burner does not stay lit – is the thermocouple.

    2. Lowe’s no longer carries the correct thermocouple for the “natural gas” line of Flame Lock hot water heaters.

    3. You’ll need to call Whirlpool directly (India call center, be ready for it) at (877)817-6750 to report the issue.

    4. The Whirlpool India call center will issue you a replacement assembly for no charge via standard mail delivery. Apparently there is a recall on the current thermocouple, etc assembly. No shit? Really? A recall?

    5. Go to Lowe’s and pick up the liquid propane (LP) thermocouple which is “pre-bent”. The back of this part (Item #61809) will say it doesn’t fit on the natural gas models – don’t worry, you’ll make it fit.

    6. There is a set of thermocouple replacement instructions on Whirlpool’s website – cut and paste it from here: [www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com]

    7. On the back page of those instructions is a thermocouple bending template. You’ll need to bend the LP thermocouple to match the natural gas diagram. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK THE THERMOCOUPLE BY BENDING IT QUICKLY OR AT A SHARP ANGLE.

    8. Presto – if you removed the thermocouple assembly yourself, putting it back together with your “newly configured” thermocouple should be a walk in the park.

    9. Write me with any questions – I figured all this out the hard way. Two trips to Lowe’s and one trip to Home Depot.

    10. jluthe01@aol.com

    Good luck with the repair!


  9. kycole2005 says:

    I also became a consumer who is burned with this product – I’ve only had this product 90 days and already its broken and the pilot light won’t stay lit and the initor won’t inite as its suppose to. Frustrated and no hot water and I am having to check into a hotel to take a bath. :(

  10. FedericoAmphidamas says:

    I had to give my credit card info including the code info on the back
    of the card to pay to have the part overnighted guess they must have
    sold my card info cause we have had several charges from around the
    world for thousands of dollars since then. I also had a defective
    replacement part sent but was able to repair it myself seams the
    thermocouple was installed wrong on the new replacement made in Mexico.

  11. ComputerGhod says:

    I have just repaired a friend’s Flame-Lock heater with a burner manifold replacement kit. This kit is available from Lowe’s at the customer service desk. Have your heater’s model and serial numbers with you, and I believe the kit is free (I didn’t pick it up myself). It has very detailed instructions on installing it, and anyone who has a basic knowledge of using tools (screwdriver and wrenches) can do it. I’m an engineer (for Whirlpool, but in refrigeration) and it took me about 1 1/2 hours to do, but I did take extra time to clean out the combustion chamber. I recommend doing this before putting in the new manifold. Use a small brush and/or a vacuum to clean the Flame-Lock screen and the entire bottom of the combustion chamber.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I too have been burned from whirlpool. I am on my 2nd break down in six months. Whirlpool says they do not know of any problem and there is nothing wrong with their heaters. I would like to sue them for dishonesty. Boy do I wish there was a class action suit. I would join in a heartbeat.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I too have one of these pieces of junk! This it the 2nd one, I finally got it replaced this year and within 6 months it was doing the same. FINALLY, after making many reports and threating Lowe’s and Whirlpool, it seems to be fixed for a while. My understanding is that there were many “gas valves” installed and they were bad, and now they should be fine, well, I wiil not hold my breath on that! I hate Lowe’s and Whirlpool, the product it made by someone else and Whirlpool puts their name on it. Stupid, stupid Whirlpool. NEVER buy another one, when this one goes out, I am done with that Company!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have had so much trouble with this piece of junk. My Lowe’s where I purchased it doesn’t carry the propane Thermo coupler

    I called Whirlpool customer service call went to India. I had nothing but problems with customer service. They finally sent me the whole unit with thermo coupler for free but I paid $15.00 for shipping. The new Thermo coupler lasted 7 weeks it went last night back to cold showers. I will never buy another Whirlpool product. This water heater is only two years old it will be thrown away Monday morning.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I too started having trouble with my 6 month old heater from whirlpool. Ran out of hot water. Tank temperature was tap water temperature. Relighted heater no poblem. Next morning no hot water. This time the pilot was out and the water temperature was warm. The pilot would not relight with warm water, it acted like a bad thermocouple. I ran all the warm water out until cold water started coming out of faucet. went back and tried relighting the pilot and it remained lit. Appears problem in gas vavle’s thermostat. It also drips water on burner while reheating cold tank. I should have bought a more reputable brand.