Las Vegas, Nevada

Purchased a Whirlpool gas water heater at Lowes a few years ago, it is in good shape but quit working suddenly Sunday. I called a repair man and had him come out after I purchased a new heater,which still is in my car, just in case the old one could not be repaired.

Repair man after a brief check, said that the thermocouple was broken, so he went to Lowes and purchased one to install. After completely replacing the part( which only cost a few $$)he discovered that the mounting on the heater had a left hand thread and the industry standard new thermocouple had a right hand thread. He said he would go to a plumbing supply store today. He called me this morning and said that the supply stores said neither Whirlpool nor anyone else made a left thread thermocouple, so it looked like we would have to replace the entire heater.

I then called Whirlpool and was informed that they only made the left thread mounting water heaters for a time, and as of a couple of years ago,now made only the industry standard right hand threads. They said that there was a conversion kit available through them that would get around the problem and that they would overnight one to me for $30 + cost of the kit. I bitched so much about the fact that they had inconvenienced me by not having the kit available at Lowes, or for that matter even making Lowes aware of the problem,that they waived the cost of the kit and shipping. Almost causing me to spend $525 + on a new heater instead of a cheap part, had I not followed through with them, and having to pay for two service calls was just wrong.

How could Lowes not be aware of the problem? There must be 1000's or tens of 1000's left hand thread Whirlpool water heaters out there sold at Lowes. I was told that it is not unusual for a thermocouple to break. I do not think many consumers would take the effort to "find" the conversion kit and would just buy a new water heater. So is this a scam by Whirlpool / Lowes to sell new heaters rather that standing behind in support of their products?

I talked to customer service at Lowes after discovering the above and they of course pleaded ignorance of the problem; but said they would make their stores aware that a conversion kit could be obtained---I feel that they should stock the conversion kits, in order to service the product they sold!!

Monetary Loss: $200.

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yes having the same problem right now, and yes what a SCAM never lowes never whirlpool never again


My problem with Whirlpool water heaters is the thermostat control box.


Glad I read this, did same, used dremel to cut slot in old LH fitting and used $8 universal thermocouple RH. Didnt even cut new fitting off, just let it slide down, slipped old LH fitting on and threaded into gas valve no problem.

I would have bought a new gas valve before a new heater if using old LH fitting didnt work.

Why buy new one if tank and flu are in good condition. Thank You for sharing.


Just dealing with the same problem. Very annoying. No more Whirlpool products for me.


Same EXACT thing happened to me. Whirlpool did offer to sell me a left-handed (reverse) threaded thermocouple for $90 (when the generic ones are 1/10th of that price or less).

They said it came with a warranty. Well whoop-te-do-ma-loo!

I ended up going to Menards and spent $700 on a new water heater. What a scam!!!


also this is part if the reason lowes no longer sells the whirlpool water heaters because there were alot of issues they now carry the number one brand of water heater in the world A.O. Smith

@Anonymous 1

You know they are made by the same company right? American Water Heaters.


We have had the same issue, tried to purchase a kit and have gotten nothing but a run around from everyone we have talked to! Lowes is a joke!!


really not that difficult you literally just order it on lowes .com takes 3 days to come in.


You could get helicoil kit drill, tap & install the helicoil, which makes it standard right hand threads. No more problems...


Purchased the universal thermocouple and then figured out the problem between the right and hand/left hand nut problem. Thanks for the idea on this post.

Split the left hand nut with my dremel tool and slipped in onto the "Universal" thermocouple with the right hand nut slipped down and out of the way and tada!!!

Your idea worked!



cry me a river


I just ran into this problem two days ago. I was furious to find that it had a left hand thread, and that none were available anywhere.

I read a thread regarding cutting the original lh fitting lenghth wise, and simply slip it around the copper of a standard coupler. It worked! I just pulled the fitting on the new piece down, slipped the 'split nut' over it, and threaded it in! Now I'll be able to used a standard coupler at any time, should the need arise.

I'll never buy another Whirlpool product though.. Total BS.


I am experiencing the same problem right now 1-18-2016. Lowes does not carry the conversion kit.

Of course it's a holiday weekend and had to purchase from whirlpool and pay 30.00 to have it overnighted.

This is a rip-off. I will not recommend whirlpool products to anyone.


i bough one when they came out termolecouple went out next day took heater out be cause i could not get new part returned to lower. got refund went to colburns 100 dollars cheaper no more problems. but now i have a friend with one out .


I needed hot water for a sick family member and after wasting time trying to install the standard right hand replacement thermocouple I had to go back to the store and buy a new water heater. I didn't have time to wait through the weekend to order special parts. It's not Lowes fault it's the water heater manufacturer that designed it this way that's guilty for this one.


We have a whirlpool #FG1F3030S3NOV water heater sold by Lowes. The thermocouple is defective.

Only 6 years old and uses a left hand threaded thermocouple. Parts are discontinued. We called and found out that we need a $50.00 conversion kit. Lowes parts dept.


Eager to sell with no help on fixes.


I had the same exact issue ... absolutely ridiculous.

I knew it was the thermocouple, went to home depot and bought the universal one. I took it all apart, cleaned it well, put it all back together and all that was left to reconnect was the new thermocouple ... and FAIL. After identifying it as having left handed thread, I drove to a lowes where I bought the Whirlpool hot water.

They only have right hand thread. They did inform me about a conversion kit that could be ordered; but at best would be 5 to 7 days.

Unbelievable. How could they not stock what I would think is such a common replacement part for units they sold?

Its such a small package to give some shelf space seems like common sense. Very annoyed.


I bought and had my plumber friend install a Whirlpool 50 Gal. gas heater last month, (nov.

2014), from the very first there have been issues. Low pressure, water temperature fluctuating, water too hot, etc....

Had a plumber inspect it today and he diagnosed the "dip tube" must be broken and therefore it is mixing with the cold water causing the water to fluctuate. When I mentioned the pressure issue, he told me that was not the problem. Afterwards, I called the Whirlpool representative and they are sending a service company to inspect.

Can anyone else who reads this offer any advice? ...similar issues?.....


As of today 12-7-14, the Sherman Lowes claims to not knowing anything about solutions for this problems, was no help to me.