elements that last a lifetime.
Poor Choice for Electric Water Heaters: Whirlpool Energy Smart
These water heaters are “sub-standard” to say the least. Because of the various fire and liability issues associated with the control panel, repairs are far more complicated. If the circuit board gets wet, there is no hope for repair. Also, a replacement circuit board can cost upwards of $200 plus labor, and take more than a week to be delivered; and this might not even fix the problem. Many more repairs could possibly be needed. The biggest problem however, is that many plumbers (such as myself) refuse to attempt repairs on these units because of the safety and liability concerns. If you have this unit, and it breaks, it can be difficult fining someone to repair it for you at a cost that seems fair. In my opinion as a veteran master plumber, these are the WORST electric water heaters on the market right now.
A.O. Smith, Sears, and State Select Water Heaters
The 2010 make and model A.O. Smith FVIR gas water heater has similar problems to the Whirlpool models. They are poorly designed; taking in barely enough air to operate. For those who have their Smith water heaters installed in a laundry room, clogs and unit problems will most certainly occur in a very short period of time. This is COSTLY! Remember that State and Sears water heaters are made by A.O. Smith, so beware. In my previous years of experience I have installed many of these units, only to uninstall them less than a year later. This is why I do not repair or install them anymore. For example, 150psi air pressure couldn’t even remove the lint stuck in the lint screen less than a year later in a 2004 State Select Gas Water Heater. With my experience as a master plumber, I can make an educated guess that this FVIR design in the A.O. Smith gas water heaters will not only see a heap of problems in the future, but perhaps a product re-call and class action lawsuit as well.