July 2, 2003
Release # 03-156
Company Phone Number: (800) 263-3502
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces the following recall in voluntary cooperation with the firm below. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of product: S.I.T. Gas Temperature Controls on GSW Water Heaters

Units: 13,000 in USA

Manufacturer: GSW Industries Inc., of Fergus, Ontario, Canada

Distributor: S.I.T. Manufacturing N.A.S.A. de C.V., of Mexico; GSW Industries, Inc., of Canada.

Hazard: A potential burn hazard from ignition flashback or an increase in tank water temperature.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported in the U.S. In Canada, where 140,000 units were sold, there were 45 incidents reported, including 15 reports of minor burns.

Description: This recall involves GSW water heaters with S.I.T. model 650 AC4 gas/temperature controls. The temperature control knobs on GSW propane water heaters are red and the control knobs on GSW natural gas water heaters are blue. The controls can be found on GSW Water Heaters with serial numbers ranging from 0202694162 to 0304507825.

Sold at: Regional appliance distributors from February 2002 through April 2003 for between $150 and $550.

Manufactured in: The gas temperature controls were manufactured in Mexico. The water heaters were manufactured in Canada.

Remedy: When installing a GSW water heater with a SIT AC4 gas control valve in the identified group, or re-lighting the pilot light, the following instructions must be complied with:

1 - Make sure that the water heater contains cool water prior to lighting the pilot by opening a hot water faucet near your water heater and allowing the water to run for five minutes. Close the faucet.

2 - Turn the gas/temperature control knob clockwise to the maximum (VERY HOT) setting, and then slowly turn the knob back counterclockwise to the PILOT position, indicated by the yellow button. Listen for the main valve to close- this would be a popping or snapping sound. This sound is different from the clicking sound that the knob makes as you turn it.

3 - If you hear the popping sound then the valve is working properly. You should then read and follow the "Installation and Operating Instructions". If you do not hear the popping sound then do not attempt to light the pilot and replace the valve.

4 - If the unit has been stored or is being installed in a cold environment and the main valve does not close before the knob is turned back to the PILOT position, the gas control valve must be warmed up to a temperature above 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C. Once warmed up, repeat the procedure above. If the gas control valve does not close (popping sound), replace the valve. If the water is too hot or if the temperature and pressure valve opens, turn down the temperature using the temperature control. If the water remains too hot or the temperature and pressure relief valve continues to open, then replace the valve.

Consumer Contact: Call GSW toll-free at (800) 263-3502 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at - Consumers can also contact S.I.T. Controls USA Inc. at (704) 369-2810 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

Media Contact: Steve Ilott for GSW at (519) 787-5505 or Jim Kupsh for S.I.T. at (704) 369-2807.

Picture of Recalled Gas Temperature Control

Picture of Recalled Gas Temperature Control