Whirlpool FVIR Water Heaters

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-07-2008, 08:29 PM   #1
Pro serviceman
Sewerologist's Avatar
Trade: Plumbing service/repair
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 25

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.
Sewerologist is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!


Old 03-07-2008, 08:40 PM   #2
Pro serviceman
Sewerologist's Avatar
Trade: Plumbing service/repair
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 25

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.

Sewerologist is offline  
Old 03-07-2008, 11:29 PM   #3
smellslike$tome's Avatar
Trade: plumbing
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 533

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 $200 last time I checked).
Looking For A Birmingham Plumber The Best Plumbing in Alabama
smellslike$tome is offline  
Old 03-07-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
Grumpyplumber's Avatar
Trade: Plumber
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,171

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.
Grumpyplumber is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best and Worst Water Heaters Richard Electrical 23 10-10-2009 10:35 AM
Rheem FVIR power vent water heaters Sewerologist Plumbing 11 02-19-2009 12:24 PM
gas dryer next to 3 gas water heaters fast pasquale Plumbing 9 05-26-2007 10:28 AM
Water heaters and model codes mdshunk Plumbing 9 01-16-2007 12:26 PM
water pressure with on demand heaters Vermonster Plumbing 2 11-11-2006 06:14 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?