Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater


Whirlpool makes so many different styles of water heaters, but one of their premier series water heaters is the Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater. This style of water heater offers the homeowner more hot water than any other standard gas fired water heater on the market. The water heater has a microprocessor based programmable controlled self-powered control board that does not require any additional electrical outlets.Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater

The Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater has 3 different settings to choose from. The first setting is the Smart Setting; this function is very close to a standard gas water heater. This setting has the water running on maximum efficiency. The Energy Smart Settings will adjust the water temperature to your desired temperature. By doing this it will save you money on the electric bill as well as the water bill. The third setting offers a Vacation Setting, this setting can keep the water from freezing and at the same time it will decrease the energy use.
Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater
The Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater has many different models. They range from a 30-gallon capacity tank up to a 75-gallon capacity tank. The Btu’s range from 30,000 to 75,100 Btu’s per hour. These water heaters can be used with Propane or Natural Gas. Some models come with High Altitude Emissions and others come with Low NOx emissions.

Some of the other standard features of these units are Push Button Pilot igniter, a Sealed Combustion Chamber, a Pilot View Port so the homeowner can see if the Pilot light is working properly. The Flame Lock Gas Water Heater replaces those standard gas water heaters. Some of these units are Self Cleaning Units. These units are energy efficient and can save you money every year by replacing your old standard water heater with the Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater. Some other features of the Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater are the Hot Water Outlet, the Draft Hood, Cold Water Inlet, The Outer Jacket that is used to protect the outside of the water heater. The other standard parts are the Piezo Igniter, the Dip Tube, Anode Rod and the Flue and Flue Baffle.

When all parts are working they provide an energy efficient water heater with maximum operation. But when one of these parts fail they could offset the entire system. It is very important that you have your water heater tested twice a year. If you take care of your water heater then the water heater will give you many, many years of great smooth running operation. The Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater range in warranty. There are water heaters that are covered by a Six Year Tank and Parts Warranty; this is designed for Mobile Home Water Heaters. The Flame Lock Gas Water Heater carries a 6-year tank and Parts Warranty for short models and on the tall models there is a 6-year tank and part warranty. Whirlpool Flame Lock Energy Smart Gas Water Heater is one of the best heaters around and when you are shopping for a water heater, Whirlpool is one of the best.


  1. I have a whirlpool fleme lock model#BFG1H4040T3NOV gas water heater .As you probanly know and I am just finding out , there is a problem with the thermacouple on these models they seem to burn out rather quickly . I have put 2 in ,in as many days . Having the good sense to go looking for help on the web and finding all the info about these critters .I gather that there is a problem associated with the combustion air screen needing cleaning on a some what more than normal basis.Tomorrow befor I put in the 3rd TC I am going to get out the air hose and give this on a good blowing out . I realy wood like to know if any one has a better fix, than cleaning every week and if so what?

  2. We had a 3 years old wirlpool 40 gallon gas heater. Last week, there was no hot water suddenly. I called the wirlpool service center,an impolite lady said I was out of warranty because I was not the original owner. She gave me a local phone number so I can order a repair service by myself. Fine, I called and got another number of technician. I called again twice and left messages, no response. I had to find another professional by myself, who replace the thermocouple for me but it did not work. So, I had to buy a new water heater since it has a similar price to replace other parts. Really bad feeling of wirlpool, nerver nerver buy any products from them again.

  3. I have a 50 gallon gas flame lock heater installed 13 Feb 2008 through Lowes. my wife has complained on occasion of no hot water but it seemed to be working. Well, it died a couple of days ago. I couldn’t get the pilot light to stay on after follow the care guide instructions. Called the Whirlpool Helpless line and talked to Hashish in India. First he told me that I was responsible for the labor to replace the thermocoupler part he was sending to the house. I balked at that and he relented by giving me an authorization number. Not sure if this part will be the answer to my prayers for hot showers.

    • Tony,
      I do hope for you that it is just the thermocouple.
      I don’t have a high degree of confidence in this product.
      Initial introduction of this product was marred buy a class action lawsuit…
      And while you have the “New & Improved” version don’t even think the problem is fixed.
      If you look at this link
      You will notice about 179 pages of customer complaints on the Whirlpool Water heaters.

      This isn’t even the whole picture!
      The Whirlpool Flame Guard & Flame Lock water heaters are made by American Water Heaters, a subsidiary of A.O. Smith. Whirlpool is not the only brand name they make with this design.
      There are a bunch of other brand names made by this company and the design is the same on all the brands. This makes avoiding the defective ones difficult indeed even for the educated consumer.

      IMHO the problem is a poor design of the air inlet. The problems started a few years back when FVIR (Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant) designs were introduced. FVIR is a safety design. Lets say you had a water heater in a garage and you spilled gasoline while filling the lawnmower. If the gasoline vapors reached the combustion chamber of the water heater the pilot light or burner if it was on could ignite the vapors and the flame could travel back to the puddle and cause a fire. So this is a good safety idea. However, it involves sealing the combustion chamber of the water heater and placing some sort of flame arresting device across the air inlet that allows air to enter and the flame cannot exit. When a higher than normal flame is detected the water heater will shut down.

      The problem is that these devices can be somewhat restrictive in terms of air flow and more so when they get clogged with things like dryer lint and dust. American Water Heaters has placed the air inlet on the bottom of the water heater and the opening is relatively small. Further more think about where water heaters are usually placed and how many of them are in areas where there is a dusty environment, laundry areas, closets, basements, & garages are all typical locations. A small opening and placing it on the bottom has made this a dust magnet. Once the air inlet is clogged the flame starved for oxygen gets yellow and goes higher tripping the unit into shutting down.

      I’m afraid that it will not be as simple as replacing the thermocouple that Hashish is sending you. cleaning the air inlet is another part of the equation and so is keeping it clean. Other parts have also been problematic like the gas valve. The skinny is as long as you have this water heater it will be a roll of the dice as to whether or not you have hot water. As a Plumbing Pro I don’t like working on these units as they are a callback waiting to happen, and I prefer not to become involved with products that have a design flaw that may have a customer complain about “my repair” not being a good one. If you plug in other brand names other than the American Water Heaters brands you will see that no other company has as high a number of complaints. They do indeed have a problem and I also wonder how much of a liability they have set themselves up for when they send parts to customers like thermocouples, gas valves and burner assemblies expecting to have the customer install these parts themselves. Personally I’d expect this level of repair to be done by a Plumbing Pro. Gas repairs are not to be taken lightly. Nasty things can happen like explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning without any warning.

      If you seek to replace this water heater I would recommend Bradford White water heaters. IMHO they have probably the best FVIR design on the market today.
      Here is a link where you can find a Plumbing Pro that installs Bradford White water heaters.
      Bradford White water heaters are only sold to licensed plumbers.

  4. can anyone possibly provide an actual pdf or exact copy of warranty info? I ask because i bought my home last Nov and now thrice in the last four days have i had to relight my water heater because the pilot went out and sadly my previous homeowners didnt have/didnt leave the documentation for the water heater. Whirlpool says that since I’m the 2nd user the warranty is void (so I’m screwed out of 6 yrs of a 9yr warranty?!) and to just clean the screen and all issues were fixed with the change from the FG to BFG. Since I’m in PA I’m wondering if their consumer protection laws can go against this warranty and “fix” it. If anyone has the exact wording/a copy would be great so I know where I stand with the fixing/replacement.

  5. I have a whirlpool POC gas water heater. The pilot will not stay lit. I do not believe the problem is the thermo-couple, burner/pilot assembly or the gas valve. 411Plumb likely has identified that root cause of the problem, POOR DESIGN. Whirlpool has sent technicians out to “repair” my POC twice at no cost to me. Telephone Customer Service reps have wanted me to troubleshoot and make repairs myself. I have flatly refused. In the future, don’t waste money on Whirlpool.

  6. Do not buy whirpool water heaters. For 20 years I never had problems with whirlpool products until these darn water heaters with the flamelock saftey system. After buying four of these in the last decade I am now very proficient in repairing whirlpool water heaters, whirlpool provides me with *free* spare parts, and I have a new monthly chore of cleaning the grill at the bottom of the water heaters. I vaguely recall the days when my water heater would just work without my attention. Even so my newest unit just failed after 3 years. I am going to go enjoy my cold shower to ensure that my blood boils when I see the whirlpool logo in the appliance store.

  7. Definitely not a Fortune 500 standard of business like they claim! It’s almost Christmas and no hot water!!!!!! Louis and Emory Upton would be livid at the apathy in admitting failure and lack of ingenuity in a better design!

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