Kenmore / Power Misersears's faulty product

1
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I purchased a townhome in 1995. The thing is that an A. O. Smith 40 gallon gas water heater was installed by the builder. It lasted a good 11 years. In January of 2006 it died. I purchased a Kenmore Power Miser 9 gas water heater. The fact is that the installation guy told me that they are all the same water heater. They just slap a 6, 9, or 12 indicating the amount of warranty years you are willing to pay for. I have a 9 year warranty, hence Power Miser 9. I basically installed it myself with the help of my uncle who is a union plumber for about 50 years. Anyway, we installed it on January something of 2006. In October 2006 I had no hot water. I called the 800 number on the side of the tank and they connected me to someone else who handles the warranties. They in turn connected me to Sears. Sears told me that they don't handle any of the warranties or the service. I was told that they hire plumbing contractors to install and do the service. They gave me the number for the nearest plumber that they use in my area. This person said I would have to purchase a permit to have the work done. In six days they sent a guy out to look at the water heater and he told me it was the thermostat. He replaced it. He also left five minutes after he installed it. Five minutes after he was gone the pilot went out. I went thru the phone numbers once again to find out that it would be another couple of days for him to get here. He shows up two days later and says I guess it was the tank. Apparently it is cracked inside and water leaks out and falls onto the pilot and puts it out. Another six days for the permit that I had to purchase for 70 dollars. He shows up and says well we didn't install it so you have to pay 140 plus tax and charges to hall the bad one away. I don't care at this point because I just want hot water. My wife and I have an 11 year-old daughter. We had been without hot water for a week and a half. I have had the new water heater installed and working. It is now May of 2007 and I don't have hot water with the Kenmore Power Miser 9. I call and go through all the same rude people working for Sears or Kenmore. Who ever it is answering the 800 number for customer service. I go through the same thing, being told they will send someone the earliest 6 days from now. My wife calls three days later and says she cannot go another day without hot water. She is told that they will call us back in a few hours. They will send someone out as soon as possible. Five hours later she calls and is told that on the order in their computer it says that someone will contact us within 24 hours. My wife explains that she was told someone would call us back shortly. They are rude and say that it is impossible for them to help us that quickly. My point is that Sears sells Kenmore products. Over my life time so far I have always trusted Sears products. The thing is that they were always good with customer service until a couple of years ago. Why am I paying for repairs on a water heater that is supposed to be covered for 9 years? It was replaced in less than a year and now it is 7 months later with the second one from Sears. The first Kenmore Power Miser 9 lasted 10 months. The second one lasted 7 months. Another shocking surprise is that I was told by the Sears or warranty people that my water heater is covered under warranty till 2008. I am pretty sure I am looking at a power miser 9 indicating a 9 year warranty. I haven't asked about that yet but am furious. How is it that American companies are automatically able to take advantage of law abiding citizens? How is it that Sears customer service is basically just a joke? I have refused to pay for another permit or service of any kind. Hopefully I will get the help I deserve. It is Sear's faulty product. They should be responsible for it. This is the second one I have been through in 17 months. When will we get justice in this country? Be careful what you are told by companies selling you products in this country. It will not only cost you your hard earned money but every ounce of patients and will eventually make you crazy with enough anger to make your head explode. It's bad enough that it happened after ten months of use but to happen again after only seven months it's unforgivable.

Responses

  • Da
    David Frank Mar 27, 2008

    Kind a harsh judgement but i could understand the client feeling. I bought exact same model for more than 5 months, installed it myself with the help of my dad and it runs without a problem at all. My suggestion is to replace her unit with the new one and have Sears install it so if anything happen then Sears will have chance to defend her product and satisfy her client at the same time

    0 Votes
  • Ne
    nemo227 Nov 20, 2017

    @David Frank It's not a harsh judgment regarding Sears. They have been getting diminishing public approval for many years. Back in 1970 virtually all of our appliances came from Sears but none since 2002 when my Power Miser 9 was installed. Fifteen years of satisfactory service for a water heater may be called good by some people but I'm not overly impressed. With the technological capabilities we have today a 20 year water heater should be the minimum expected. My forced air natural gas furnace has been running since 1970. All I do is clean & oil it myself and have the gas company check it for CO2 leaks.

    0 Votes
  • Bh
    B. Holewinski Apr 06, 2008

    I had a Power Miser 10 that I bought in February 1999 and I installed it in March 1999.
    Here it is 2008 and I noticed a leak at the base this week. I called Sears as I had the installation date, but not the actual purchase date which they had and yes it was still in warranty.
    That same day a service man came out a verified that the tank was leaking, turned in his report and within 2 hours I had a replacement waiting for me at the Elkhart, IN Sears store.
    I picked it up the next day and installed it and my only issues was these lousy imported from China galvanized fittings that will leak if you do not crank them down till the almost break, this took be 2 different sets of fittings and untold tightening sequences to stop the dripping. So much for the junk plumbing Menards now carries...whatever happened to domestic stuff which I would gladly buy, but those stores aren't open of Saturdays.
    However, this replacement water heater even though it is a Power Miser 12; 12 year warranty, will only be warranted till the end of my original purchase warranty of 10 years.
    So, if I get another 8-9 years from this unit, I will have gotten 18 years of water heater use for the price of a single purchase with a 10 year warranty.
    In closing, I had very good contact with their warranty department until I got to a young Gal trying to schedule the serviceman's stop, she spoke very bad English, but other than that, Sears took care of my issue very promptly.
    I can say this much, if this replacement Power Miser 12 doesn't make 10 years, there will be no more Power Miser water heaters in this domicile!
    Next one will be a GE, or Whirlpool.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    matt kaiser Jun 11, 2008

    I bought a kenmore power miser 9 on 5-05-2005, 3 years later the pilot light started going out every other day, did not have an extended warranty so I called sears and after an hour of talking to 8 different people and getting transfered from dept. to dept.and getting disconnected after being put on hold numerous times I finally talked to someone who told me I was s.o.l since I did not get the extended warranty.I have been shopping at sears for the last 40 yrs. and after this I will never step into another sears store again and purchase any of their products.thanks you sears for all your help.(not)

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Lisa Jul 17, 2008

    I also have a SEARS POWER MISER 9 GAS WATERHEATER that is JUNK!!! SEARS has been out numerous times since I bought the damn thing and has replaced the burner and the thermocouple because the pilot light kept going out. Well guess what??? I'm now having the SAME problem AGAIN and SEARS will be out again on saturday. I've NEVER in my life had so much trouble with an appliance like I've had with this waterheater. It's a piece of ### and SEARS should replace it FREE and APOLOGIZE for all the inconveniences of going in to do dishes or take a shower only to discover the hot water is gone AGAIN. We have to relight our waterheater each and every day...sometimes MORE. This has been going on THIS TIME for about 3 weeks. I'm planning to save up for a new waterheater only the next one is comming from LOWE'S NOT SEARS!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Mark Karr Aug 03, 2008

    I had all the same problems with the pilot light going out all the time.The parts are not the problem, the design of the unit is.After the burners run for a period of time, it depletes the oxygen supply in the enclosed combustion compartment, causing the pilot light to starve for oxygen and go out.I eliminated the problem by removing (knocking out) the pilot light sight glass, and drilling two more small 3/8 holes directly to the right of the sight glass opening, one right above the other.The holes were drilled first but alone, did not fix problem.I then knocked out the sight glass and it works as it should.So, try removing glass first and you may not have to drill anything.Sight glass mounting bezel (hard to get out) was also removed on mine, which makes the hole slightly larger.This fix takes about 15 minutes and can be easily done.

    4 Votes
  • No
    Noli Gracilla Aug 11, 2008

    I bought my Power Miser 12 last year (9/2007) and after a month the pilot light keeps on dying. Called tech support, sent a service technician and "fixed" the problem. Last month the same problem started reoccurring, called service again and they sent a technician on 8/1/2008. He said the thermostat is broken, and needed to order the part. Now it is the 11th of Aug, the pilot light completely died and needed an emergency service. the 800 number line does not have any record of the technician ordering the part, nor even the technician being here. But they have records of them calling me to schedule an appointment to have the part installed. (huh???)I am still waiting for the technician to get here and I'll follow up this post. It looks like tis is not an isolated thing... maybe we should do something about this...

    1 Votes
  • Sa
    Sam Sep 01, 2008

    I bought my Sears Water Heater on Sep 21, 2006, Sears installed it. It stopped working on on 21 Jul 2008.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
    neil Oct 25, 2008

    Ordered two Kenmore Power Miser 9 water heaters for different apartments in the building, both bought a few months apart. Both water heaters' pilot keep going out now. The first started having problems less than 4 months after it was bought. The second a little more than half a year... This product is bad. I was going to give a bad review on Sears website, but i notice that it isn't even offered right now. Searched the internet and found overwhelmingly bad reviews. I'm going to give Sears a mouthful! I can't believe they sold this trash. They used to sell quality products long, long ago.

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    fred pelton Nov 10, 2008

    Problem identical to numerous others. Purchased a Power Miser 12. After 2 years the pilot light refuses to stay lit. I sometines light it 10 times per day. I get so sick of it that I may not even go on the side of town that has the sears store.
    It is a piece of ### and I use that word because I am a Christian. I would like to hang the salesman up by the balls. I am still a christian as I did not say anything about skining the manager and burning his torseau with napalm.

    Do you want to know if I will ever buy somethinng from sears...well I am a christian

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    fred pelton Nov 13, 2008

    I fixed my Kenmore Power Miser 12. I broke out the little window so the thing could breathe and have not had to relight it again...yipppie. Hot water every morning after 2 weeks.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    Mike Nov 21, 2008

    I was able to fix the pilot light problem with the Power Miser 9 by removing the view window. Wish I knew this before I spent 40 bucks on a new pilot light assembly...

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    Jarrod Nov 24, 2008

    I took the advice of Mr. Karr, a few entries above. I see that others tried it. My Power Miser 9 has worked perfectly ever since, now I can cancel my service call and not have to pay the $65 diagnostic fee. Thanks for figuring it out!

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Matthew J Novak Nov 28, 2008

    I'm glad I read this. I've just recently been experiencing the issue with the pilot light going out and was looking for some insight before throwing the POS on the junk heap and replacing it. I've known better for years that Sears/Kenmore/Crapman is substandard quality following a lifetime warranted Crapman screwdriver blade fracturing while servicing a 480 volt buss duct, damn near killing me and certainly destroying a fine pair of undershorts. I'll remove the sight glass as recommended and hope this resolves the problem. This is likely to be the last appliance or tool purchase via Sears for me though. Fool me once, shame on you. I'll report back on my results.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Matthew J Novak Dec 02, 2008

    Day 3 with the sight glass removed. The pilot light has remained lit ever since. Mr. Karr, good observation and good advice. I think that A.O. Smith and Kenmore owe you some R&D fees as well as consulting fees. I suppose the only response that will officially come is some blah blah about exposed flame fire risk. Thank goodness for lawyers.

    Thanks for the help.

    0 Votes
  • Er
    Eric L. Jan 04, 2009

    I can see right now someone is going to get hurt and or burn down their house trying to fix their Power Miser series water heater. I have the Power Miser 9 water heater and it lasted 1 (one) year and 4months before the pilot light failed. I also had to fire up the water heater manually every time we needed hot water. I called Sears for a new thermal coupling to find out they only sell the complete burner assembly, which after shipping would be about $100.00, from that point on I was pissed. They wanted me to wait two weeks for service as well, which is not acceptable. If you are looking for the world's worst service, call Sears, there I said it.
    We all have to agree that being pissed off will not make our water any hotter or solve any problems, so everyone needs to cool off and get level headed.
    It was clear that I was on my own and Sears wasn't going to help. I had to find the real problem.
    I removed the burner assembly from the water heater to find a device that I have not seen in other gas water heaters. There was a thermal limiter sensor/switch inline with the thermal coupling circuit. The sensor is positioned under the main burner flame and mounted on a bracket with one screw. The factory thermal coupling was the same in all other aspects as the universal thermal coupling I purchased from Lowes, for eight dollars. I replaced the factory thermal coupling and inline sensor with the universal thermal coupling without an inline sensor. The entire job took 15 minutes and was easy. The water heater has functioned normally since the repair. So what was the real problem?
    The strange little sensor took center stage in the diagnostics lab. The sensor is a high temp. switch which is either open or closed depending on temperature. When the sensor is (normally) closed or in the on position a small electrical current from the thermal coupling is sent to the main gas control valve. The gas control valve allows gas flow to the pilot light as long as there is a current present from the thermal coupling. If the electrical current is interrupted or switched off, ALL gas flow will be terminated. The result is no pilot light or main flame until reset by the owner/customer. This is a safety system and is effective. The introduction of the high temperature on/off limiter switch, which is designed to interupt current from the thermal coupling to the gas valve, is an added safety feature. It prevents overheating of the combustion chamber and the bottom of the tank. Since the combustion chamber is closed, excessive temperature or heat is a manufacturer concern. The over-heat concern was addressed by placeing a high limit thermal switch inline with the thermal coupling. If an eccessive heat situation occurs the thermal limiter switch opens interupting the current flow to the gas valve from the thermal coupling shutting down the entire unit. The result mimics a defective thermal coupling. The true problem is a defective high limit switch. This part becomes weak very quickly due to its high temperature environment. When the limiter switch becomes weak it mistakes normal operating temperatures as excessive and shuts down the water heater. Removing the pilot light window allows a cool air flow over the high limiter switch and greatly reduces combustion chamber temperatures, thus the switch does not open and the water heating process remains uninterrupted. If the air inlet screen, located on the bottom of the water heater, is clean there should be more than enough air for complete and proper combustion. One might think by removing the window the burner has more air to sustain a proper flame. In reality air flow was never an issue if the screen is clean. Why would the water heater ever work if it was not getting enough air, it wouldn't. By removing the pilot light window the closed or sealed combustion chamber design has effectively been changed back to the open combustion chamber design eliminating the excessive heat threat. The only reason the water heater works now with the window removed is because the defective limiter switch can't get hot enough to open and the current to the gas valve is uninterrupted.
    Removal of the pilot light window and removal of the high limit switch are both safety hazards and should be avoided. The consumer should not have to be burdened with such safety design flaws. Purchasing a complete burner assembly to replace the defective limiter switch will only last a short time because the new limiter switch will be cooked like the old one. If the factory fails to replace the faulty limiter switch with one that can handle such extreme conditions or does not reconfigure the design these water heaters will NEVER operate as safely and dependably as they were designed. This is a true design blunder and places the consumer in danger. I found it very interesting to read that Sears can't repair their own product. This is because they are replacing a defective part with a defective part and making big money while they are doing it. Make no mistake, as a consumer you are a victim.
    Until Sears or Kenmore knocks on your front door with a redesigned burner assembly and they want to install it for free, we as consumers are being ripped off.
    Yes, I fixed my water heater for eight dollars but I am not satisfied because I had to eliminate a safety device to do it. My next correspondence will be to my states Attourney General's office, consumers division. I hope this information will be beneficial to all. Good luck and be safe.

    3 Votes
  • Jo
    Jon Jan 26, 2009

    Just recently (this past weekend) my Kenmore Power Miser 12 apparently ruptured (seam cracked at top of tank under insulation?). Sears has dutifully sent a repair tech out to confirm the tank problem. The heater is nine years old and has operated flawlessly the entire time until failing in a big way. I was unhappy to find out that the tech only confirms problems and in no way was prepared to replace the heater if deemed that need be done. I am now waiting patiently by the phone for a plumber's call (hired by Sears). After reading all of the above comments I am concerned that I will be without a water heater for some time (it has already been three days). But I will give Sears the benefit of the doubt for two reasons: 1. They treat thier Guard and Reservists fairly. 2. It remains to be seen how quickly I actually get service. By the way, this heater was installed by a Sears contractor right after our original heater (24 years old) failed during an earthquake. The heater is still under warranty, the labor is not. I'll check back later and let you all know what happens. Frankly I am surprised that the tank failed. The mfg. (A.O. Smith, I understand) should be alarmed at thier quality control.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    tim Feb 01, 2009

    I just bought a PM12. One of the top flaps on the box was pulled open but salesman said that happened when they were pulling it around. Had 3 helpers to help get it through a access hole in my crawl space. It was a few inches taller than the original. Had to dig a few inches and build a new platform to allow safe clearance above for gas vent.

    Couldn't shut of water completely with valves in house. Have leakage somewhere in house between hot and cold. Gave that up and shut down at street meter.

    Got it all installed and apparently am not getting gas to the pilot. I do get a spark from the piezo-electric starter but no flame. Went through all the steps repeatedly but no pilot.

    Went to the Sears store to take another look at a new one. Thats where I figured out where the piezo electric spark can be seen. Mine is tough to access. Noticed the hot and cold fittings have little rubber fittings inside. Mine didn't have those rubber flaps. Maybe the real reason the my rupper flaps were missing is that someone popped the box open to remove them?

    Will call Sears for service because The Kenmore 1-year exclusive warranty states they will supply and replace and install if defective. More later.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    Tim2 Feb 05, 2009

    Regarding above from Tim: When I put in the call to Sears, the rep asked if I wanted to speak to a technician or have one dispatched. I stated that "if a rep knows can explain a trick to igniting the pilot, I would prefer tech assistance. Instead, Sears did have a service man dispatched the day after they were called. He complimented me on pro looking installation .

    Thanks for all the information provided by others on this forum.

    The problem I had getting the pilot to light turned out to be a very finiky thermostat adustment. The lighting instructions specify the thermostat control be turned to the pilot position and, to be clear, "all the way to the stop". This may work on some heaters but not mine. Most of my attempts were all-the-way-to-the-stop as specified. I also made a number of attempts with the pointer aligned with the pilot arrow which did not work either. The repairman demonistrated that you must find the sweet spot which may be a little before or after the pointer or all the way to the stop. He said I should have been able to hear the gas flow but, on my attemps, I never heard gas flow. Anyway, it lit and I now have hot water. I hope this posting helps someone else.

    Tim

    0 Votes
  • De
    DeeDee Mar 05, 2009

    I just called a plumber and was told that all gas hot water heaters have this same problem..it is due to a new safety feature that companies started using in 2005..when asked what type of heater to use he told me to go Tankless, which is about 2 grand to have put in your house, or go electric.. For anyone who is thinking about getting a GE or Whirpool to replace your Kenmore, know this.. All of those companies are using the same Hot water heaters, just slapping their names to it..opps, time to relight the pilot lite, makes time 6 in the last 24 hrs.. good luck with your heaters Kids...

    DeeDee

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    KenV Mar 20, 2009

    I'm glad I found this page. Our circa-2004 PM9 hasn't been staying lit lately. I am going to check the underside with a mirror for airflow before alterations begin. I see a tankless unit in our future anyway...

    Honestly, due to prior experiences with Sears I don't buy anything from them anymore. This heater came with the house...Lord knows I wouldn't have bought it, given any choice in the matter. S.R. & Co. was an American icon some time ago. It's sad, really, to see how far the name has fallen.

    0 Votes
  • Cl
    Clifton Spencer Mar 31, 2009

    I recently became an owner of a Kenmore Economizer 6 gas water heater in the last three years with my home. I have had the same problem with the pilot light going out on my model all the time. Just recently I tried lighting the pilot, and a gust of green flames came out on me giving me a new set of eyebrows and eyelashes . I decided to go electric with my new incoming water heater this weekend...I sure hope that the electric works better than the gas.

    0 Votes
  • Az
    AzRaven Jun 07, 2009

    My girlfiriend has a power miser 8. It continually shuts itself off during the warm months. Note that we live in Tucson Arizona, so warm weather is the norm.

    This is apparently a common problem related to the ceramic flashback vent. The basic problem is that the ceramic flashback filter does not let enough air in, so the flame extinguishes, then the thermocouple goes cold - resulting in the cold water.

    Fortunately, this problem can be repaired quite simply and safely. Get some course steel wool from the hardware store. Then remove the two nuts holding the access panel in place. Stuff a strand of the course steel wool between the heater housing and the insulation on the access panel. The steel wool needs to be loose - about 1/2 inch wide strip will work fine. Press the access panel firmly and reinstall the nuts. Don't tighten them too much, only engage 2 threads.

    Viola - you'll have a water heater again.

    1 Votes
  • El
    El Dorko Jul 12, 2009

    Power Miser 12 installed by Sears 2003. No problems until November 2008, when pilot won't stay lit (but will light manually and heat up enough water for a shower, as long as you plan it 20 or 30 minutes ahead).

    Sears tech comes out, says it's the thermocouple, orders a part, and has to come back a week later to install it. Turns out to be the entire burner assembly. Problem fixed for $150 labor charge.

    May 2009, pilot starts going out again Same Sears tech comes out again. Same routine except this time he orders and replaces the burner assembly and the controller. Afterwards the problem persists, but we're out a second $150 labor charge.

    Now Sears sends a new tech, who looks at a flow chart and says it must be the venting (he claims it's supposed to have a 4" pipe with at least a 15" vertical rise before it turns to the wall), and even though Sears installed the heater and did the venting, they don't cover that. So I re-vent the thing myself. I'm out about $30 in venting parts. Problem persists.

    New Sears tech comes out and thinks the vent pipe outside the building must be obstructed. Makes no sense since the two units above me vent into the same giant pipe, and nobody else's water heaters are failing. But I open the cleaning trap and stick a rod about 12 feet up into the pipe just to make sure. No cost, he says call us again if that doesn't fix the problem. It didn't fix the problem and the pilot was out again 10 minutes after he left.

    Today, I will break out the pilot window. If that doesn't fix the problem, I'll demand that sears replace the heater.

    1 Votes
  • Mi
    michigan basement Jul 12, 2009

    After reading different remedies from this page for the Power Mizer hot water tanks I decided to try and use my air compressor to blow out the combustion chamber and the honeycomb for air intake located under the tank. I removed the plastic screen at the bottom of the tank and cleaned it. Then I used compressed air thru a skinny trigger air gun with a curved tip to spray up thru the honeycomb. This solved my problem with the air starved combustion chamber. The honeycomb has very small holes. It is no wonder there are so many problems with the pilot not staying lit or in my case running on main flame for one minute then shutting off the gas along with the pilot as well. I hope this helps. I didn't have to spend a dime.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    michigan basement Jul 12, 2009

    The ceramic honeycomb I was referring to is located just below the pilot assembly and is difficlut to see without a flashlight and a mirror. Good luck.

    1 Votes
  • Ih
    I hate SEars Jul 21, 2009

    Sears sucks!!! I was on the phone with Tenessee and Iowa for 2 hours trying to set up a tech call (I'm in California). I got transferred, put on hold, hung up on, and given to non-water heater departments. THERE IS NO CUSTOMER SERVICES AND THE KENMORE POWER MISER WATER HEATER IS A PIECE OF CRAP. Never again will I buy anything from Sears. They don't stand behind their products and give you the run around. It's disgusting how they can get away with not honoring their warranties.

    1 Votes
  • Mi
    Mikeed Jul 27, 2009

    Hello all. About a year ago in 2008 I purchased a miser 9, after the unit I had in my home for years gave up. I installed a kenmore in my mothers house and asked her if she had problems with it. She said no. So I bought one and installed it. I had my buddy who is a plumber by trade help with the install. It worked flawlessly. Then when the California summer started heating up, the pilot began to go out . I went to sears repair center and ordered a new thermo coupler . Didnt have a problem for the rest of the year and through the winter. Well here we are in summer again and yes you guessed it .. its out again so. I think I to will remove the window or at least clean the screen at the bottom of the unit. I too will be going tankless soon.

    0 Votes
  • Un
    UnimogU65 Jul 30, 2009

    Another POS Kenmore water heater. After the tank in the last one cracked after about four years and two tech's replaced the pilot twice they gave me credit on a new one. The new PM9 is the Low NOx burner and right at a year and three months the pilot went out. (Only 1yr warr on all but the tank). Called Sears Service and they said it would be five days before they could come out. I did the troubleshooting in the service manual and the TC was good (+12mV) and if I keep the pilot TC hot with a propane torch thru the window hole the burner would light and the pilot would stay on. Without the torch, as soon as the heat from the burner dissipated the pilot would go out.
    I ended up removing the pilot assembley and reconfiguring it so the TC was closer to the flame and level with the flame and so far no problems. Somehow Kenmore thinks the small pilot flame will burn downhill and keep the TC up to temp to keep the main gas valve from shutting down. I don't recommend repeating what I did but I'll be dam*ed if I'm going to line the pockets of Sears Service again. What a POS! No more Kenmore for me!

    0 Votes
  • My
    myers59 Aug 01, 2009

    I removed my glass window and the pilot light has stayed lit for 3 days.

    Thanks for the advice!

    0 Votes
  • Az
    AzRaven Aug 01, 2009

    Please be Safe! The flame arrestor is important because it prevents flash backs. An opening the size of the window can permit a flashback. If you are going to remove either the window or the ceramic fliter, then PLEASE cover the opening with fine wire mesh or coarse steel wool. Flames will not penetrate these materials.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Rich Freeman Sep 12, 2009

    I bought the Sears PM12 during March of 2005. It worked flawlessly until about three weeks ago after I connected a small but powerful fan to the air output venting pipe that exhausts in my sons upstairs bedroom. I turned off the vent line from the main trunk in the basement and connected the now free vent line to the fan using a reducer which fit the ten inch fan output face and reduced the other end to fit the six inch input for the line going to my son's room. I did this to pump the cold basement air on a more constant basis to his room which was not being cooled enough from the regular air conditioner. In order to cool the top floor, we would have to freeze on the main floor. I found that the basement was 8 degrees cooler than the main floor and the main floor was a constant 5 to 8 degrees cooler than the bedrooms upstairs.

    What all this has to do with the PM12: The pilot light would go out on the PM12 ever 2 to 4 days and always during a time when the basement fan was operating. Even though the fan intake was at least 20 feet from the water heater, I eventually deduced that the fan created periodic periods of oxygen starvation for the water heater. I came to this conclusion because the pilot never went out when I had the fan off.

    My basement has no apparent air leaks due to my excellent job of insulation and a tight floor sweep on the basement door. I resolved the issue by removing the basement door floor sweep. Now I have a 1/4 inch gap between the door and floor. When the fan is on and the basement door is closed, I can feel the large/rapid flow of air being pulled down the basement stairs through the gap. Since removing the floor sweep, allowing more air volume to the basement, the pilot has not gone out.

    I agree with the other writers that the real issue with keeping the pilot lit on the sears PM models is maintaining enough air availability to the pilot.

    Richard Freeman

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Ron Anders Sep 23, 2009

    Thanks for the tip on the power miser 9 I've had the same problem with pilot light going out I replaced pilot assembly about a year ago its started going out again I've pulled the glass and we'll see how that goes. I would have to agree its a piece of junk and would not recommend it to anyone .

    0 Votes
  • Re
    RevathiMudu Oct 21, 2009

    Hi,
    Did anybody get a replacement water heater from Sears?

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    MamaJean33 Nov 07, 2009

    Hot Water Heater Kenmore Power Miser 9 installed in July 2005. Had to have the thermocouple and gas value replaced in 2009. The hot water heater is not so great, but Sears repairmen response time, at least for us, was very good. Since it still had 5 more years on the warranty, we got the parts for free, but there is a $70 service call fee, and after the first year the customer has to pay for labor. It took the guy 20 minutes, and our bill was a total of $137. Wouldn't buy another one of these hot water heaters, but will wait until it absolutely becomes a big deal to buy a new, hopefully better one. Definitely disappointed in this product.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
    raeben Nov 09, 2009

    Replaced my thermocouple in April of 2009 after a tedious battle with Sears, they insisting that although the Part is covered, we must pay $75 for a serviceman to install it. Finallly after I say, send me the part I'll pay your ridiculous $75 fee and INSTALL IT MYSELF, they supplied the part and reduced the part price to $35. OK fine.

    No, 6 months later, pilot keeps going out. I learn above that this is due to a faulty inline thermostat, and one can either "break the glass" which reduces the temperature in the chamber, or replace the inline thermostat with a more standard one.

    Seems to me the "open flame" creeping out of a 1x2 inch opening is less hazardous than me replacing the entire burner assembly and inline thermostat. There is another housing over the the hole where the glass window is, and another housing over that. I supposed flames could reach out side of that -- 6 inches or so from the actual burner itself .. but how likely is this? Really? So unless someone is piling, stuffing leaves, paper or other combustibles around the hot water heater, something I would tend to watch out for *anyway*, I think I may have to take my chances with the results of breaking the glass.

    Which is worse -- breaking the glass or replacing the burner and inline thermostat?

    0 Votes
  • Az
    AzRaven Nov 10, 2009

    The requirements to have flame arrestors on gas appliances are written in blood - other peoples blood.

    Please, make your own choices, but don't presume to endanger other people as the result of your need to deceive yourself.

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    Grandma D Nov 24, 2009

    We had insurance that "covered" replacement of original water heater when it went out within 6 months of house purchase. Home Warranty Plumbing sent a terrible technician to do the work. They put galvanized nipples to connect with our copper system. Hot water slowed and finally stopped when theses nipples completely occluded. Spent ~$300 to figure out the problem and get the Kenmore Economizer 6 repiped and vented properly. This week the water stopped again and the heater was stone cold. Argh!!! Thanksgiving week and other pressures made worse by the Sears telephone run around. The technician could not fix the problem but ordered a part we may or may not get before Thanksgiving is long past without a hot shower. I have boiled my pot of water to wash my hair like I was camping.
    Sears has very poor customer service and they should have just replaced the heater for all the trouble this has caused everyone living here. Now I read that we can just break out the window so will try that tomorrow. No one can help but Sears sure likes to pass you around to every department. The "water heater hot line" does not deal with water heaters. The parts come from out of state somewhere. Maybe Indian tech support can help me.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Rick2009 Dec 02, 2009

    Great, I just noticed my Kenmore / Power Miser 12 is leaking. I installed it in August 2008. Less than 16 months after I purchased it. After checking all the bad reviews, I know I am in for a world of problems with this unit and a lot of headaches from Sears. Not thrilled I have to pay someone else to install it, when I can do it myself. Not looking forward it this at all!

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    Par2005 Dec 18, 2009

    I have had problems with the pilot light going off frequently with Kenmore Pwer Miser 9. It is a replacement for under warranty product and only 18 months old. The warranty has since expired. I called Sears Home Central and asked how and where can I buy the thermocouple. 4 different ladies answered at 4 different times and no one knew what a thermocouple is. I was also told it does not show up on their computers and maybe I am not saying it right even though I had spelled it for them. They did not have access to any technician and wanted me to schedule a service call with Sears ( smell a racket?).
    Finally, I called their Burnaby, BC office and spoke to a lady Irene, who tried to answer me or brush me away without even listening to what I had to say. When I went down there, I ran into 3 different customers who had similar bad attitude and bad service experience. One customer spoke to me an asked me to go direct to some plumbing company and get it done. I have contacted a couple of them and they have informed me that for a Kenmore part I have to deal with Sears. I am back to square one. The lesson that I have learnt is that I should never ever buy anything from Sears again and no Kenmore product either.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    **Dave** Jan 09, 2010

    I have a Kenmore Power Miser 9, 40 gallon natural gas water heater that was installed in 2004. In the winter of 2008 into 2009 we were having issues with the pilot not staying lit. I replaced the thermocouple and cleaned the black screen on the bottom and this seemed to cure the problem for a while. It actually lasted for the whole summer and fall without issues. This winter 2009 into 2010, guess what, the problem resurfaced. I cleaned the black filter agian, unfortunately this time the problem did not go away. My wife and I were lighting the pilot approx. 20 times a day( annoying). I ordered a replacement Thermostat (cost $91.00 plus shipping) and had planned on replacing it. Decided to do a little more research while waiting for the part, glad I did. As previously mentioned in another posting here on this web site, I believe I have found and solved the problem. There is a ceramic screen on the bottom of the water heater under the burner compartment. You can see it with a mirror and flashlight through the opening where the black plastic screen is. If this becomes clogged with dust( which mine was) there will be insufficient air allowed in to maintain the pilot being lit. I noticed that the pilot flame and also the burner flame was very blue with little orange or yellow color in it.This is an indication of not enough air being supplied to the burner of pilot. After I cleaned the ceramic screen I noticed a difference in the color of both the burner and the pilot( more yellow and orange). The water heater is also runnig normally now( what a relief) now I can return the part I had ordered and get my money back. To try and avoid cleaning this ceramic screen in the future I have cut a piece of airconditioner filter and taped over the black screen on the outside. I think it will prove easier to replace this filter from time to time than cleaning the ceramic filter. Hope this helps those who are suffering from the same plague of this poor design. Good luck!

    0 Votes

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