I've just installed a Whirlpool Water Heater with the Flame Lock safety
system. There seemed to be a problem igniting the pilot light. I could hear
the gas flowing but did not see a spark. Anyway, I thought I'd take a break
(dinner) and get back to it later. When I went back, it seems I left the
thermostat on and the gas control at Pilot. Now, the gas will not flow
through the valve. I assumed the Flame Lock system noticed the no flame
condition and shut off the gas. The Use & Care Guide does not have any
instructions regarding resetting this condition. I watched Monsters Inc for
a while, figuring time would reset it. It didn't.
Anyone know how to unlock this no flame condition?
I just purchased a 50 gal Whirlpool water heater from Lowe's just 3 weeks
ago. Thinking that perhaps I may have the same problem at some point in the
future, I sent a query, along with the URL of the forum thread you
referenced, to American Water Heater (they manufacturer the Lowe's line of
Whirlpool water heaters).
I received a *very* quick response from Mr. Ricky Kiser of their technical
assistance department. The most likely cause of the problem appears to be
the screen on the bottom of the heater. It apparently needs to be cleaned
periodically. He said that in June of 2003, there was a design change made
to a "scoop-type" burner to help address the problem. The screen still
needs to be checked from time to time for lint and dust, but the design
change will supposedly help to keep the screen clear.
Mr. Kiser also mentioned improper venting as a possible cause.
Here's a link to their Technical Assistance page:
Doug, this is probably the best source to find out how to get your water
heater back up and running.
A quick follow-up...
I just received another reply from Mr. Kiser of American Water Heater
regarding how to keep the screen clean. He stated that reaching under the
water heater and wiping the screen with a damp cloth once every couple of
months or so is all that's necessary. If you reach under the heater
(obviously while the burner is off <grin>), you'll feel the screen in a
recessed area under the burner. It is a very fine screen, so I can see how
it would get plugged up with dirt and lint from time to time.
I'm *very* impressed with American Water Heater and their quick, personal
replies to my questions. It's very refreshing in this day and age of so
many companies outsourcing their technical support to a gaggle of
phone-droids who really could care less about your problem.
Thanx for the replies. My heart sank when I saw some of the complaints. I
hope I don't run into any of these problems (once I resolve the problem). My
prior water heater ran without any trouble. I usually hope to get better
response from a new model.
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