Report: #1415493

Complaint Review: A O Smith Water Heaters

  • Submitted: Wed, December 06, 2017
  • Updated: Wed, December 06, 2017
  • Reported By: Joseph — Pioneer California United States
  • A O Smith Water Heaters
    11270 West Park Place, Suite 170
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    United States

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On the advise of a bad plumber (did not realize there are check valves in smaller propane tanks) . . . I got rid of a good 15 year old water heater. Since plumber recommended AO Smith, I spent $500 to buy one. Have noticed that the pilot goes out occasionally. I figured maybe it was an odd wind or something (the heater is in a shower shed). But about a week ago, it refused to relight. I could hear the pilot light come on, but (after holding the control knob down for a full minute) as soon as I released the knob . . . the pilot died.

Figured it was the thermocouple. Removed the old one. Lowes said they probably had a replacement since most water heater use one of two or three. Nope. None of the standard ones matched the A O Smith thermocouple. Ordered one from A O Smith. They said no. Can't sell you just an $8 thermocouple. You must buy a $45 new "pilot assembly". OK, so I ordered that. [continued below]....

..... A week (with no hot water) later it arrived.

This is my most severe gripe! The new pilot assembly hooks into the burner easily. The tube and wires go thru the opening in the burner mounting plate (which screws to the outside of the heater bottom) OK. But trying to get the two screws to mount the entire assembly (including burner) in to the holes is almost impossible for one person. I spent over an hour on my belly attempting to get those screws to start. Never could. Finally have called a professional plumber just to get those idiot screws to align.

The maker could very easily have put guides on the heater so that the plate would simply slide down snugly into place. Then only a single screw would have been required. And it would be already aligned with its hole. Any phone or other device uses a similar mechanism. After having read another rip-off report about A O Smith water heater's pilot light going out several times a day . . . I wonder if my own pointless repair investment will have to be repeated several times a year. Stay away from A O Smith water heaters.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/06/2017 08:30 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

After all trouble above . . . does the same thing. No hot water.

AUTHOR: Joseph - (United States)

Waited a week for the replacement "pilot assembly". Had to pay a profesional plumber $190 to install it.  Got one shower out of this fine AO Smith water heater.  Went out for a shower today. No hot water.  Pilot out.  Tried to relight it.  No go. The exact same problem as before.  Pilot stays lit only so long as you press down the control knob.  Do not buy A O Smith anything!

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#2 Author of original report

Response to A O Smith

AUTHOR: Joseph - (United States)

You asked when the unit was purchased.  It was bought from Lowes in Jackson, CA on 11/10/15.  The model # is GCR40.  The serial # is 401-01P040S83.  So it was a few days beyond the end of the two year warranty period.  When I wrote the rip-off report I figured it would cost me maybe $80 to have a guy screw in the two "burner assembly mounting plate" screws.  Nope.  He charged $190.  As I said in the report, it would have cost you no trouble at all to put shallow "funnel" indentions around the screw holes so that those mounting screws could slide easily into position.  Nope.  You prefer to rip off those who purchase your heaters.

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#3 UPDATE Employee ..inside information

Further information would be needed for assistance

AUTHOR: A.O. - (United States)

We do apologize for any issues experienced.  In order to better assist you, we would like to be able to review the case file in which you are referring.  Can you please provide the serial number of the unit in question?  Was there a reason a warranty claim wasn't filed on the 2 year old unit referred to?


For more immediate assistance please feel free to contact our Consumer Relations Division at 877-509-6877. 

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