Whirlpool Water Heater Model FG1F4040S3NOV – Update

Posted by George

Here is my previous post about my Whilrpool FG1F4040S3NOV Water Heater which I originally posted because I could no longer find thermocouples to for my Whirlpool water heater. I thought other people would like to know, so I posted details so hopefully some other people could benefit from my situation. Here are a couple of of interesting comments posted in response to that thread:

George posted July 29th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

I’m glad to hear this post was helpful! We spent a lot of time and money on this Water Heater since we bought it and I was rather upset to find out they no longer sold the thermocouple any more. We got the Flame Lock Enhancement Kit and now ours is fixed, though we had to pay about $90 to have it installed.

George posted August 5th, 2008 at 10:47 pm


You may have to have a professional install the kit – I paid someone to install mine and its working good ever since.

I bought mine because of price and (like you) I trusted the purchase because of the name. I’ve learned when I buy low price (like I did with my Walmart ILO model IWT3206 32 inch SDTV also in this blog) that you need to trust the name, and I thought it was a darned shame that Whirlpool evidently had to be sued into taking action.

George posted August 5th, 2008 at 10:50 pm


Good luck! I know what you mean about cold showers, I went about 5 days altogether with cold showers before my kit was delivered, professionally installed/fixed this last time. Unfortunately it wasn’t covered by ServiceCare so I paid about $100 for it – but its worth it to know I don’t have to worry about “popping” thermocouples.

Mike posted April 12th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I purchased my flamelock water heater about 4 years ago (12 yr warrantee). Last year the thermocouple went out with the same saga as all the stories above. I finally located and installed an upgrade kit 65 miles away and installed it myself. I only wasted gas and a day of work. Now one year later, the thermocouple is dead again – I think. Is it possible there is a shutoff switch that protects the thermocoupel? I thought that was what the new kit was all about. If so, how do I reactivate the thermocouple?


So on or around July 29, 2008 I had my flame lock enhancement kit installed. Today… cold water again! I tried to light it following the instructions on the (Whirlpool FG1F4040S3NOV) Water Heater and the pilot wouldn’t stay lit. So I was late for work and all I knew was that there was no hot water and we had to call someone to look at the water heater to diagnose and fix.

My wife had called Mueller’s Plumbing Service and the guy was working on it for us when I got home after work. I left after the work was done, went to the bank, then to the Bi-Lo for some groceries and I got a call when I was parking – “Come home,” said my wife.

I got home and the pilot was off again! I tried lighting the pilot again and ended up calling Mueller’s Plumbing again and I’m waiting for them to send their guy back out. Whirlpool is NOT my favorite company right now.

I called Whirlpool while waiting for the plumber and was told it was the gas valve (the box says Flame Guard Gas Thermostat). Later the plumber came back and told me that I did need that and to order it and they’d install it. Of course now Whirlpool was closed, so I had to order it tomorrow.


I called Whirlpool from work today and they are shipping the gas valve, which should arrive tomorrow.


The part arrived today and we called Mueller’s Plumbing Service and they sent a guy out and later he was joined by another plumber dude. They ended up rigging it to work because something on the flame lock replacement kit A was defective.

The owner of Mueller’s Plumbing later came out to explain the work they did, why it was safe (which I’d already read online somewhere), and that the best thing for the long run would be to consider getting a new flame lock replacement kit A.

Calling Whirlpool again (about 9pm EST) and they said the soonest they can get a flame lock replacement kit A shipped out to me would be Monday – thankfully we already have hot water!


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Posted in Technology by George | 15 Comments

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