The average $335 price tag that comes with this hot water heater would be a deal if not for all the complaints that come with opening the box as well. Whirlpool was a trusted brand and then the 40 Gallon Flame Lock Natural Gas Water Heater came along. To begin with, everyone was blown away with the competitive R-value offered by this system in this price range. The First Hour Rate was also supposed to be something to brag about too. However, the thermocouple complaints are what got everyone concerned. The Flame Lock may be well-priced, and it might even be energy efficient, but the customer reviews are a little less than positive when it comes to this Whirlpool Gas Water Heater. Let’s take a look at some of the features before we dive in. Features Six year warranty One inch foam insulation Self-cleaning Energy factor: 0.59 R-Value of 9 BTU output 40,000 FHR of 81 The features might not seem so bad for the price but make sure you have all the information you need before making your final decision. Three hundred plus dollars is still a nice chunk of change you don’t want to regret dropping on something that’s supposed to provide hot water for your home for years to come. Pros While the Whirlpool Flame Lock isn’t Energy Star certified it is fairly efficient for its size and price. The Flame Lock safety system is a nice touch too, ensuring that there is a reduced risk of accidental fire caused by flammable vapors. This system meets all requirements as set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and has a sealed combustion chamber. However, these are about the only two things that the Whirlpool Flame Lock 40 Gallon Gas Water Heater has going for itself. Cons Unfortunately, the Flame Lock just doesn’t have the best reputation on the Whirlpool block. It doesn’t take a very in depth web search to find a myriad of customer reviews complaining about problems such as installation difficulty due to the pressure relief valve and poor workmanship. Many consumers have also complained of the hot water just shutting off at random, making the heater extremely unreliable and untrustworthy. One customer left a review stating, “Customer support is easy to reach and seemingly helpful but their recommendation is to clean the flame trap…cleaning the flame trap is a joke…a quick Google search will show you it is impractical to clean the flame trap and won’t solve the issue.” There are plenty more reviews just like the one above scattered across the web so going by customer reviews alone is enough to quickly turn off any potential buyers regardless of whether anyone else has taken the time to do their research or not. Recommended? No. It’s just not worth it. Sure, the price tag might be appealing but all the extra grief that comes with it isn’t. Take your money elsewhere. This water heater is completely unreliable. If you can’t expand your budget, there are other water heaters out there that are more reliable and better suited for your home than the Whirlpool 40 Gallon Flame Lock Gas Water Heater for less than $400.