Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to this investigation. At this point, attorneys working with ClassAction.org no longer need to speak to people who had issues with their water heaters. For our up-to-date list of investigations, please visit this page. The information below is for reference only and was posted when the investigation began.
At A Glance
This Alert Affects:
People who had water leak out of their hot water heaters.
What's Going On?
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org have reason to believe the Honeywell thermostat that comes standard on certain brands of water heaters is defective and can cause water leakage. They are trying to determine whether a class action lawsuit can be filed over the issue.
Which Brands Are Under Investigation?
Bradford White, Proline, Whirlpool, American Water Heater, US Craftsman and Rheem, among others.
How a Class Action Lawsuit Can Help
If a class action lawsuit is filed and is successful, homeowners may be able to get back the money they spent fixing or replacing their water heaters and repairing other property that was damaged from the leaking water.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to hear from homeowners who had their hot water heaters leak.
They have reason to suspect the Honeywell thermostat that comes standard on several brands of water heaters is defective and can cause water leakage. In light of this information, the attorneys need to speak with people who had this problem to help determine whether a class action lawsuit can be started.
If filed and successful, a class action lawsuit could provide compensation to people who had to go out of their own pockets for repairs to their hot water heaters and surrounding property.
What Could Be Causing Water to Leak from the Hot Water Heaters?
The root of the problem may be the Honeywell thermostat that comes standard on these water heaters. Attorneys working with ClassAction.org have reason to believe the plastic temperature sensor, which is inserted into the water heater and gauges how warm the water is, contains a defect that allows a pin-sized hole to form. This can result in serious water leaks – a problem that seems to develop unexpectedly and won’t stop until the water is shut off and the water is drained.
Thermostat Leaks, Flooding Among Consumers’ Complaints
A number of consumers have taken to the Internet to express their complaints about certain brands of water heaters and their accompanying Honeywell thermostats [sic throughout]:
“I would not buy any Honeywell electronic water heater thermostat. Has failed two times. I have to pay for a new one to be mailed and for repair. A bad product from all the reviews… Servicemen have said it is a crap product and fails all the time.” — Hal of Erlanger, Kentucky, ConsumerAffairs.com
“This Whirlpool Water heater was purchased through Lowe's on March 29, 2011. This past weekend, water started leaking out of the thermostat/natural gas control located on the side of the tank. I called a plumber to take a look. He stated that a new thermostat/natural gas control was needed. Although the tank has a 12 year warranty, this item does not.” — Mark of Cleveland, Ohio, ConsumerAffairs.com
“I created an account simply to post another warning to consumers considering Sears or this Kenmore Water Heater. I purchased an electric Power Miser 9 Water Heater and had it professionally installed in 2012…When the repair guy arrives a week later, he spends about 5 minutes looking at it and says ‘Yeah, it's the thermostat. Parts are covered under warranty, but labor isn't. It's going to cost $200-$300 to replace…" — Gary of Reston, Virginia, ConsumerAffairs.com
“I find it ridiculous that after only 2 years of use, this valve would go bad. Even MORE ridiculous is the idea that many people are facing the same problem at the 2 yr mark…Almost appears as though they are designed to fail at 24 months. Be careful of Kenmore and even more careful of these Honeywell Gas Valves/Thermostats.” — >Greg of Chicago, Illinois, ConsumerAffairs.com
“Had 2 - 40 gals [Bradford White] twin water heaters in attic on 2 story house. Both eventually started leaking from the thermostats. Took both of the thermostats out of tanks and found that the plastic covering both probes had split and it is where the water came back thru the thermostat housing and leaked thru my ceiling down to the first floor. Obviously a defective water heater assembly and thermostat from Honeywell.” — Mark of Magnolia, Texas, ConsumerAffairs.com
“We have had the control valve/thermostat fail, twice…the using of ‘American’ in their name is misleading and manipulative. I hope to spare other customers the utter pain and frustrating at dealing with this so-called company.” — Felicia of Malibu, California, ConsumerAffairs.com
What Water Heater Brands Are Under Investigation?
Attorneys are looking into the following brands as they suspect the companies frequently use the Honeywell thermostats:
American Water Heater
How Can I Tell If I Have This Thermostat on My Hot Water Heater?
Here are some pictures of what it looks like:
The thermostat sensor tip is part of a control valve and comes pre-installed on the water heater. The thermostat is located on the front-lower side of the water heater. The Honeywell name should be clearly visible.
How ClassAction.org Can Help
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are now speaking with homeowners who’ve had problems with these water heaters to learn more about the leaking issue. If they find that a defect is behind the problem, they may be able to get a class action lawsuit started.