Whirlpool Water Heater Model FG1F4040S3NOV – Update

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!

15 Replies to “Whirlpool Water Heater Model FG1F4040S3NOV – Update”

  1. I am a contractor that installed this water heater and need the replacement burner assembly. mo# fg1f4040s3n0v. ser# 0510129080 can you please help me!

  2. I purchased a Whirlpool water heater BFGIF5040T3NOV 10/20/08 from Lowes and have been having huge headaches ever since. It is in a rental property with a baby in it and have had the worst customer experience of my life. Whirlpool sends their calls to India and they just like to throw curve balls, like “clean the flame trap” and “get rid of the condensation” or other B.S. vs owning up to their defective product. I see from online reports that I am in good company with other owners.

    Do you know of any recourse available to us? I am replacing the unit on Monday of next week.


  3. @Linda, no sorry I don’t know any recourse. For all of the trouble and money I spent on mine I was only reimbursed a small amount (under $50) and that was as a result of a class action suit.

  4. After a couple of years of the same nonsense all these other responders state, I purchased a GE from Home Depot, installed it, (it is working beautifully) and am going to fight like H___ to get my money back out of Lowe’s, Whirlpool, or both. This whole scenario should leave Whirlpool penniless. I’m going to tell my broker to sell any stock I may own in the company. I can afford to put a sign on this Whirlpool, and drop it off at the local LOwe’s front door. Maybe I’ll, at least warn other prospective purchasers not to buy.

  5. My water heater just went out. We have no water and won’t until ?
    It’s 2 years old and the same model as the rest of you. Is there anything I can do?? It’s a Whirljunk.

  6. Wow @Starr, sorry to hear that! As far as I know the best thing you can do at this point is call the toll-free number on the water heater to deal with Whirlpool direct. I’m really surprised one of these got sold as recently as 2008… I **think** 2008 was the year the lawsuit closed/paid out after it was settled.

  7. Well, Like the rest of you my water heater went out today as well. Im a Master Plumber and looked to see what was wrong with it. Ofcourse mine doesn’t spark at all much less try to light. After further observation I came up with needing a conversion kit. Then to my surprize “WOW” this site. As a business owner myself if my company were to try and get away with this kind of service the state or government would sue me and close my business. I still cant believe that a company as huge as this would even suggest that customers fix there own unit. These units are gas and mistakes can happen such as a leak that is not detected. Whirlpool/American this is unreal. I sell alot of there produst from hotwater heaters to central a/c units. You can bet that I will give them and there rep a good cajun earfull!!!
    Knowing that I spend several hundred thousands a year buying there products i can wait to get there response on all this and if its not a good response that i want to hear I will boycott buying there products as well as everybody I know including all the other business owners that I know…I will keep you all updated on my findings from the actual sales and service reps in the field (and the US)
    Thanks and good luck to all of you…

  8. the situation with my heater is flame stays on for small amount of time then it shuts off, every time i pushed the red button for pilot and for run, but after few hours same cold water, at this point i really do not know what to do.

  9. I bought a Whirpool water heater model number UG1H5040T3NV 14 months ago and the pilot light kept shutting off. I called Whirlpool and they sent me a new valve which I installed 4 days later after I received it. It only lasted 10 days, so now Whirlpool is sending a technician to fix the problem. Yeah right! I want to know if there is another class action lawsuit for this model so I can get compensated for all my troubles.

  10. @amir: Try calling Whirlpool (there should be a toll-free number on your water heater). Or you might visit http://www.terrylove.com/ — I can’t recommend him personally as he hasn’t done any work or consulting for me, but I’m just a Whirpool customer, and he’s a plumber.

    @Raphael: Sorry, I don’t know if there are any class action suits. I only found about about the one that helped me out (a little) because I received a piece of mail inviting me to participate if I was qualified.

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