Whirlpool Water Heater Conversion Kit

I was having problems with my water heater pilot light not staying lit. The thermocoupler had gone out yet again. Lowes said they had stopped making the left threaded thermocoupler for this unit and Whirlpool had supplied a converion kit to correct the reoccuring problem. I thought this would be the answer to my problems,so I would not have to replace the thermocoupler once a year. I got the kit home shut off the gas and took out the old assembly. You would think I could just put the new assembly, but no I have to take the burner,ignitor and the orifice off the old assembly. The orifice would not come off. I tried and tried and it eventually stripped and now it is useless and so is the conversion kit without the orifice. Now on top of not having hot water,my gas is off and I have no heat. I may could turn the gas on with the water heater off, but working with gas makes me nervous. If it gets too cold I may try that.
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I was having problems with my water heater pilot light not staying lit. The thermocoupler had gone out yet again. Lowes said they had stopped making the left threaded thermocoupler for this unit and Whirlpool had supplied a converion kit to correct the reoccuring problem. I thought this would be the answer to my problems,so I would not have to replace the thermocoupler once a year. I got the kit home shut off the gas and took out the old assembly. You would think I could just put the new assembly, but no I have to take the burner,ignitor and the orifice off the old assembly. The orifice would not come off. I tried and tried and it eventually stripped and now it is useless and so is the conversion kit without the orifice. Now on top of not having hot water,my gas is off and I have no heat. I may could turn the gas on with the water heater off, but working with gas makes me nervous. If it gets too cold I may try that.
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There is a reason each appliance has a valve to shut it off. If it works, there is no reason to shut the main.
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I got the orifice in from Whirlpool. Put that on and continued to follow the directions. The directions where not very good and I got confused on what the thermocoupler adaptor actually was and I stripped out the thermostat trying to screw it in. Now I need a thermostat. I called Whirlpool and they are charging me $120 to send me the part. I tried to reason with them saying they sold defective water heaters and now they expect ordinary home owners who are not too handy to install the conversion kit themselves. They would not pay for a plumber, so at least they could do help the guy trying to install the conversion kit with no experience working with water heaters. Did not work,so now my only recourse it to not buy whirlpool products, and hopefully install the thermostat correctly when it gets here.
If you have not heard about the problems with Whirlpool water heaters, they have there own website and technical support phone line just to support this model number which is below:
http://www.flamelocksupport.com /
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On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 19:29:54 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

But with your thinking........... If you had a new heart valve put in your body 1 yr ago and found out it was defective and you could get your hands on a new one, would you try to install it yourself having no training in the medical field? What makes plumbing any different? Bubba
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Really poor analogy there Bubba. In the case of the defective heart valve, the guy would get not only the free help or installation Aaron expects for his water heater problem, but a whole lot more. He'd get a new heart valve installed for free, plus a huge settlement from the manufacturer for putting the patient through the ordeal.
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For the record I would not try to install my own heart valve. I am having trouble geting my water heater to work, but I don't think anyone is going to die from it. No doctor would supply directions for a patient to perform their own heart surgery, but Whirlpool is supplying directions for home oweners to install the conversion kits. I tried and failed, so now I am calling in the professional.
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On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 18:11:34 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

"Man's got to know his limitations" Bubba
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Update:
I got the thermostat from Whirlpool. I installed it and finished the project. Everything looked just like the picture and I read the directions several times making sure I did not miss anything. At this point I was very confident and feeling a little proud of myself. I light the pilot and I see the light through the window. Then I let go of the red button and the pilot light goes out. I now have replaced every gas part on this water heater and I still have the same problem. I give up. I called my home owners warrenty company that was bought by the previous owner of the house when I purchased it. I regret not calling them first. I called Whirlpool first thinking they would stick by their product. I slipped up on one phone call and mentioned I was the second home owner and after that they told me the warrenty was void and they did not want to work with me after that.
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On Feb 19, 9:06pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Are you holding down the valve button long enough? They can take a min or more before you can release it. And a min seems like 5 when you're kneeling in some tough spot.
I now have replaced

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A plumber came out today and fixed it. He took out the assembly undid some things and redid them. He did not see anything wrong with my work. He did find a piece of lint in the bottom of the water heater, and he seems to think that caused my problem. He said if even a small piece of lint gets in there it will cause the entire water heater to stop working. When I was working on the water heater I took a vacuum and cleaned out the compartment. He said I need to get a small mirror to check everywhere in the compartment to make sure I get every single peice of lint. I really do not get how a small piece of lint would keep my pilot from staying lit. He did fix the water heater, so I will be very happy to have my first hot shower in 10 days.
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