A hot water heater that's part of the A.O. Smith recall.
Photo: CPSC

A.O. Smith has recalled about 616,000 residential water heaters. The heaters, manufactured by A.O. Smith and sold primarily in California, have a gas burner screen that develops tears, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The water heater’s burner can then create excess radiant heat, posing a fire hazard if the water heater is installed directly on a wood or other combustible floor.

The water heaters were sold under the following brand names: American, A.O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftmaster, and Whirlpool.

No reports of injuries have been reported to the CPSC, but A.O. Smith has received six reports of fires.

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The CPSC recall notice provides details on identifying the water heaters. In brief, they are 30-, 40-, and 50-gallon gas or propane-fired water heaters under the brand names above. Only water heaters with the first four digits of the serial number between 1115 and 1631, where the first four digits represent the year and week of production, are included in the recall. The brand name, model number, and serial number can be found on the data plate on the product located next to the gas control valve or thermostat. 

Consumers can inspect the data plate. If you believe you have an impacted model, you should immediately turn off the water heater and contact A.O. Smith to see whether a free repair is needed.

Recall Details

The recall: About 616,000 A.O. Smith water heaters sold under the following brand names: American, A.O. Smith, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftmaster, and Whirlpool.

The risk: The gas burner screen develops tears. The water heater’s burner can then create excess radiant heat, posing a fire hazard if the water heater is installed directly on a wood or other combustible floor.

Incidents/injuries: No injuries reported. A.O. Smith has received six reports of fires.

Where and when sold: Independent contractors, plumbers, plumbing supply vendors, and at various home improvement and hardware stores primarily in California from April 2011 through December 2016 for $500 to $1,000.

The remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the water heater, turn off the power, and contact A.O. Smith to see whether a repair is needed.

Contact the manufacturer: Go to waterheaterrecall.com to see whether you have an impacted model. Consumers with Whirlpool, U.S. Craftmaster, or American Water Heater brand water heaters can call toll-free 866-854-2793. Consumers with Reliance, State, A.O. Smith, and Kenmore brand water heaters can call toll-free 866-880-4661.

Report a defective product: Call the CPSC hotline at 800-638-2772 or go to saferproducts.gov.