I'm posting this as a helpful warning to others. These water heaters are not worth the resources used in making them and will fail early, VERY early. American Water Heaters (aka U.S. Craftmaster, etc.) produces water heaters for Whirlpool which are then sold through Lowes. I guess if you really want to conserve on hot water this might be the brand to buy...since you won't have any hot water eventually. Ever since the FVIR regs took effect several years ago these new "Flamelock" systems from American Water Heaters have had problems. What happens is that typically in about 1-2 years the pilot becomes unreliable and the owner finds him/herself manually lighting it each time the hot water runs out. This doesn't last long, since soon the pilot won't light either. Then the fun begins...as the owner either has to hire a plumber, or do it him/herself while trying to get warranty parts sent. With luck a simple thermocouple replacement will get it going...for awhile. Of course it isn't that "simple" because one has to disconnect the gas line, pilot line, igniter, a safety switch, plus the thermocouple. Then one must remove the burner assembly, install the new part (Unitrol Robert Shaw valve), reassemble, leak check, and cross fingers hoping the pilot will work. If it doesn't work (about 50% of the time) then one must replace the whole gas control valve/thermostat. That means draining the tank, pulling things loose again, installing the new parts, leak checking again, and again crossing the fingers. Sometimes this doesn't work either. One might then be tempted to make modfications to the burner assembly and partcularly the flame arrestor (there is some indication that the flame arrestor is ruining the draft...all the old units I had without flame arrestors worked flawlessly for decades...if I had one of those old burners handy I would Jerry rig it in place and cut ventilation ports like my old heaters had.) Or one might succeed in RMA'ing the whole unit under warranty. At any rate the plumbing costs will eat them alive. Some have actually gotten full store credit from Lowes. Many eventually purchase a new water heater from another manufacturer. In my case the burner stopped firing sometime overnight on Friday. I succeeded in relighting the pilot twice on Saturday. Sunday the pilot failed and would not work with any amount of persuasion. The local Lowes to their credit had the thermocouple and gas control valve/thermostat, and the appliance manager told me I could take both (the last ones) figure out which one(s) I needed, then bring back the old parts for credit. Turns out I needed both as the thermocouple didn't do the trick. He owns one of these as well so it was a pretty easy conversation. I've got it running again and the pilot is staying lit. For the record, I didn't buy this 16 month old water heater, it was selected by the previous homeowner. When I researched it later I realized we were in for exactly this sort of trouble, but I kept my fingers crossed hoping that routine maintenance and our reduced water heating demand would prolong its life. If you want to learn more, check out this thread over at Terry Love's about the update kit (with a pilot reset), the class action lawsuit (Whirlpool settled), and the many theories about what is wrong and how it might be fixed. Whirlpool Flame Lock water heaters, reviews, troubleshooting, repair and support. - Terry Love's Plumbing & Remodel DIY forum As to what to buy in place of this? So far the water heaters made by Rheem/Bradford White (including GE's at Home Depot) have gotten high marks. The thing that concerns me is that when I was buying a new gas fitting today I noticed the GE's use a Unitrol thermostat/gas valve that looked just like the Unitrol I had in my hand...except for a different colored knob. I'm feeling a lot better about not going to gas with the dryer. Right now it appears that buying the cheapest, shortest warranty tanks might be the best bet until the FVIR market becomes reliable. Better to spend half as much on something you expect a short life on, then replace it when the products mature rather than spend twice as much expecting a 15 year life and only getting a small fraction of that.