Massive Hot Water Heater Recall Due to Fire Risk Puts A. O. Smith on Hot Seat With U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling more than 616,000 water heaters made by A. O. Smith due to a fire hazard risk when the units are installed on a combustible surface. The recall includes both natural or propane gas-fired water heaters made by the 144-year-old Milwaukee-based manufacturer, the nation’s largest manufacturer of water heaters. The company also makes boilers and water purification equipment.
One type of water heater affected by the recall is the residential Ultra-Low NOX Water heater in 30-, 40-, and 50-gallon sizes, manufactured between April 2011 and August 2016 and sold to independent contractors, plumbers, and plumbing supply and hardware vendors, among others. Water heaters affected by this recall were sold under the brand names America, A. O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftmaster, and Whirlpool. These models make up the majority of the recall, which includes water heaters with the first four digit serial numbers between 1115 and 1631. (The first four digits represent the year and week of production.)
A. O. Smith reports that it has received six reports of fires occurring because the Ultra-Low NOX Water heaters were installed on combustible surfaces. No injuries have been reported.
The other type of water heater on the recall list is the 30-gallon Model G6-UT3030NV, which was sold under the A. O. Smith brand name at California locations of Lowe’s Home Improvement stores between February 1 and April 9, 2018. Only about 190 of these models are under recall, and no incidents or injuries have been reported associated with these water heaters, which also pose a fire risk.
Consumers who believe they have a water heater included in the recall can check the serial number on the website WaterHeaterRecall.com. If in use, the water heaters included in the recall should be turned off immediately. Consumers should contact A. O. Smith at 866-880-4661 to see if their unit qualifies for a free repair.