Hot water is one of those things we take for granted. Hot water heaters don’t last forever. Need replacing from time to time. We use it for so many things, showers, washing clothes, dishes. Things we do everyday. And with me, my husband and my youngest 3 home all summer, hot water is part of our daily life.
About 5 years back we replaced our water heater, bought a new Whirlpool water heater from Lowe’s, but it may have been Home Depot. The heater came with a 6 year warranty. Little did we realize how little that warranty meant.
Woke up one morning, everyone getting up for the start of a new day, scrambling for the showers, and NO HOT WATER! UGH!!!!!!!!!
Frosty morning — cold showers all around, our whirlpool water heater is still under warranty. Let me find their number so they can get someone right out to fix it. 🙁 We discovered that the warranty only covered parts, that they believed we needed a new gas valve. They would send us one right out, would take a week or so. Meanwhile we made do with no hot water or relighting the pilot light on a regular basis. Soon it won’t stay lite at all. Finally the part comes in, my husband spends hours replacing the part while the family looks forward to hot water. Pilot light on and we have hot water! Yeah! Next morning we get up and no hot water. 🙁 Turns out the problem was a faulty thermocoupler, we replace it, Voila! Hot water!
Couple years later, same story, wake up, no hot water. Call whirlpool. Yes, they can ship us another thermocoupler, but if we want the part to arrive quickly, we must pay an extra $20+ shipping. Not wanting to go two weeks without hot water, and knowing that the part is less than $10 we head to Lowe’s for a replacement. Bad news. It is a left-hand thread thermacoupler. No one carries them anymore. Have to get one from the company. Determined to get me back in hot water, my husband checks many places in town and finds me one. Replaces it and we are back in hot water. A good thing in this case.
Summer now, thank goodness. Still, we all look forward to warm showers. No hot water again! Ok, the pilot light is out again. Relight it and warm water for a short time. Call whirlpool again. Not it isn’t the thermocoupler we are told, it is the gas valve. We will ship a new part, it will be there Monday. (Reasonable shipping, I’d called on a Friday). Problem is it is doing the same thing it has done the past 2 times, each time it was the thermocoupler and there are no left-hand threaded ones available locally. I call back. We think it is the thermocoupler. We were told they believe it is the gas valve and have already shipped me one. Ok I said, but if it is the thermocoupler we will need a new one, can’t buy one locally, don’t want to wait for 2nd part to ship. No worry I was told, there’d be some kind of adaptor and we could go to Lowes and pick up a new right handed one locally. I call to double check on the adaptor for my husband and can’t get through to Whirlpool’s customer service.
Monday comes, and I’m looking forward to hot water on demand. Part comes in as promised. No promised adapter. If we replace the part and it is the thermocoupler as we believe, then it will be no hot water again. May not even be able to relight the pilot for short-term warm water. Who knows what it will take to get a new thermocoupler. My husband wants either an adaptor in hand or a new thermocoupler before doing the repair job.
Calling Whirlpool again, they should know me by now. Open to suggestions.
Easier to just buy another water heater? Yes, but if we do it will be the last thing we buy from Whirlpool. My Whirlpool washer has done a great job, over a dozen years washing clothes for all 7 kids. Still working. But my water water has had major issues, a design flaw of some sort in my opinion. Tired of waking up to no hot water. Send suggestions my way and I’ll keep you posted on how all this works out with Whirlpool customer service.
Whirlpool says Lowes now stocks the conversion kits, to pick one up and they’ll pay me back. Lowe’s says they have it. No wait on either customer service line. May have hot water yet.