February 15, 1996
Release # 96-070
|CPSC: Kate Primo
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1187
CPSC, White-Rodgers Announce Gas Water Heater
Temperature Control Recall
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), White-Rodgers, a division of Emerson Electric
Co., St. Louis, Mo., is replacing certain White-Rodgers Model 37 and 37C natural gas water
heater temperature controls manufactured between March 1994 and October 1994. Soot can
build up on the water heater burner, presenting a fire hazard. Approximately 1.6 million
valves were manufactured during this period.
White-Rodgers has received 32 reports of such sooting. Twenty-three of these reports
alleged charring or fire, but there have been no injuries.
The temperature controls resemble a small metal box located above the access panel door of
the natural gas water heater. A white label located on the right side of the box contains
the model number, which begins with the number "37." Retail distributors and
independent servicers have installed the controls since April 1994.
Consumers should check their water heaters for signs of malfunction. Signs that the heater
should be inspected include: discoloration or black soot on the lower outside surface on
the front, sides or back of water heater; a pilot flame that keeps extinguishing; or an
unusual burning odor around the water heater.
Consumers who own water heaters with these signs should use a mirror to identify the date
code located in the upper left corner on the back of the metal box. Consumers who own
controls with dates code 9412 to 9440 (12th week of 1994 to 40th week of 1994) should call
White-Rodgers at (800) 426-3503 to arrange for a qualified service technician to inspect
and, if necessary, replace the control free of charge.
Warning!: DO NOT attempt to replace the gas water heater temperature control or service
the water heater if you are not specifically trained to do this. Natural gas may leak from
the control, and if ignited, could catch fire. CPSC and White Rodgers remind consumers to
always keep the area immediately surrounding gas water heaters free of combustible
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000
types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product
or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call
CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a
press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax
machine and enter the release number. Consumers can report product hazards to email@example.com.