Whirlpool FVIR Water Heaters

 
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:29 PM   #1
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Whirlpool FVIR Water Heaters


If you have been through this already and you wonder where to find a left hand thread thermocouple you'll appreciate the info. A class action lawsuit was filed against AO Smith and American water heater companies for premature failure of their thermocouples. The thermal fuse connected in line of the thermocouple fails for no good reason.

To get these folks with these tanks up and running (and gain new customers, get over the "You bought it elsewhere, I won't service it"), take their thermocouple, cut it a few inches below the gas valve fitting, strip the outer copper jacket from the inner core. Be careful and take your time. Expose the inner wire, don't damage the insulation between the inner and outer conductors. Wire tie the center wire to a regular thermocouple that you did the same thing to and install it. The outer jacket of the thermocouple can be electrically connected back together with a double alligator clamp jumper. Presto, pilot light stays lit. This will allow them time to get the updated burner assembly free of charge and then they pay you to come back and install it. Win/ win. Liability is certainly an issue if it starts a fire with flammable vapor present if the new parts aren't installed as soon as possible. It's a judgement call like many, just a little trick to work when necessary. 877-817-6750 for more info. Toll free to Whirlpool.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:40 PM   #2
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Re: Whirlpool FVIR Water Heaters


An additional tidbit, the new assembly they send you has an adaptor to screw in to the gas valve and convert it back to right hand threads and allow you to use a regular thermocouple in the future. The mexicans didn't machine some of them right and the center conductor of the adapter won't make electrical contact inside the gas valve. Snip off a tip of an old thermocouple and stuff it up in the gas valve as a conductive spacer.

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Old 03-07-2008, 11:29 PM   #3
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Re: Whirlpool FVIR Water Heaters


The answer to this is to stop installing that Whirlpool/American/A.O. Smith junk just because it's cheaper. When and if American sees their sales fall to a sufficient level they will re-engineer and re-tool their plant and start producing a product that works but not until lack of sales forces them to. This may or may not ever happen, I don't know but I do know that we went to Rheem several years ago and though we pay more for them we don't have call backs. As for rigging it temporarily, everybody's got to do what they have to do but we will not be risking ANY liability over an inferior product. We will gladly come out on a weekly basis if necessary and install new thermocouples at $199 apiece until the conversion kit arrives but we will not risk burning anybody's house down (I don't even know if that is possible with what you suggest but we won't be finding out) just so they can have hot water. I know everyone wants hot water but what they really need is a new heater and to get rid of that junk they bought at Blowe's and had installed by an unlicensed/unqualified "installer" (Blowe's installation services, around $200 last time I checked).
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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Re: Whirlpool FVIR Water Heaters


Agree with above...
I can get American heaters for substantially less and I refuse...I lose about 50% of water heater calls to other guys underbidding me, I still won't.
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