A.O. Smith Corporation, based out of Milwaukee, Wisc., announced a recall of over 616,000 water heaters last Thursday, claiming that the products are fire hazards. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the recalled model’s gas burner screen rips easily, which creates excess heat and can start a fire if it’s installed directly on a wood or other flammable floor.
Issued on November 8, the recall includes the natural or propane gas-fired residential Ultra-Low NOx emission gas water heaters in the 30, 40 and 50-gallon sizes. The affected models were manufactured between April 2011 and August 2016, with the first four digits of the serial numbers between 1115 and 1631. These digits represent the year and week that the heater was produced.
Additionally, the water heaters, which were primarily sold in California, were also sold under a number of brand names, including American, A. O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftsmaster and Whirlpool.
#Recall: 616,000 @AOSmithHotWater Ultra-Low NOx water heaters, burner can create excess radiant heat, posing a fire hazard on wood or combustible floor; Six reports of fires; get free repair-CONTACT: https://t.co/jOXJVjCWr4 or 866-854-2793. Recall notice: https://t.co/gnqUYhpE7d pic.twitter.com/SBc5ANYYS2
— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) November 8, 2018
All of the product details, including the model number, serial number, and brand name, can be found on the water heater’s data plate, which is typically located near the thermostat or the gas control valve. To check if a specific heater is part of the recall, customers can enter the serial number at waterrecall.com.
So far, there have been six fires reported to the CPSC as a result of the defect, but fortunately no injuries. A.O. Smith, which is the country’s largest producer of water heaters, is urging anyone who has purchased one of the affected heaters to immediately stop using it and turn it off completely. They can then contact the company’s customer service team to find out how to receive a free repair.
Customers can also report any recalled products at saferproducts.gov or by calling the CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772.