A.O. Smith recalling 616,000 water heaters for fire hazard

Units primarily sold in California

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:56 am

Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith Corp. is recalling around 616,000 water heaters because the unit’s gas burner screen can develop tears, creating a fire hazard.

The recall covers 30, 40 and 50 gallon natural or propane gas-fired Ultra-Low NOx water heaters manufactured from April 8, 2011 to Aug. 1, 2016 under the A.O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftsmaster and Whirlpool brand names. The units were made in the U.S. and Mexico to comply with emissions requirements in certain air quality districts in California and most were sold in that state.

Units included in the recall have a serial number starting with between 1115 and 1631. The serial number, brand name and model number can be found on the data plate near the gas control valve.

A tear in the gas burner screen can cause the water heater’s burner to create excess radiant heat, posing a fire hazard if the unit is installed directly on a wood floor or other combustible material.

A.O. Smith has received six reports of fires caused by the issue with no injuries reported.

Consumers with units included in the recall should immediately turn off the water heater and contract A.O. Smith to determine if a free repair is needed.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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