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Ultra-Low NOx water heaters being recalled by A.O. Smith due to fire hazard

Water HeaterA.O. Smith is recalling about 616,000 Ultra-Low NOx water heaters.

The water heater’s gas burner screen develops tears. The water heater’s burner can then create excess radiant heat, posing a fire hazard if the water heater is installed directly on a wood or other combustible flooring.

A.O. Smith has received six reports of fires occurring from a water heater installed directly on a combustible surface.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall includes 30-, 40-, and 50-gallon natural or propane gas-fired Ultra-Low NOx emission gas water heaters. They’re designed to comply with regulations in certain air quality districts in California, and were sold primarily in California. They were sold under the American, A. O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftsmaster, and Whirlpool brand names and were manufactured from April 8, 2011 through August 1, 2016.

Only water heaters with the first four-digit serial numbers between 1115 and 1631, where the first four digits represent the year and week of production, are included in the recall. The brand name, model number, and serial number can be found on the data plate on the product located next to the gas control valve/thermostat. The brand name is printed near the top of the water heater. Consumers can look up their water heater’s serial number to see if it’s affected by this recall at www.waterheaterrecall.com.

The water heaters were sold at independent contractors, plumbers, plumbing supply vendors, and various home improvement and hardware stores mostly in California from April 2011 through December 2016. The cost was between $500 and $1,000.

Consumers should immediately turn off and stop using the recalled water heaters and contact A.O. Smith to determine if a free repair is necessary, the company and U.S. Consumer Product Commission advise.

For more information, consumers should go to www.waterheaterrecall.com, input their model and serial number, and complete the form to determine if their water heater is included in this recall. Consumers with Whirlpool, U.S. Craftmaster, or American Water Heater brand water heaters can call 866-854-2793 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Consumers with Reliance, State, A.O. Smith, and Kenmore brand water heaters can call 866-880-4661 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Copyright 2018, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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