Recall: G.L. Electric Flasheat Water Heaters warning

April 24, 1978  
Release # 78-024
Shock Hazard Tied To Water Heaters

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Apr. 21) -- The staff of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today warned consumers that certain portable, immersible electric water heaters manufactured by G.L. Electric Flasheat Co., Harper Woods, Mich., may cause serious electric shock during use. An identically designed electric water heater made by another company was reportedly involved in the electrocution of a teenage girl last year.

The heaters are sold, among other things, to heat water in the bathroom and kitchen. They are plugged into a standard electrical outlet and consist of an exposed resistive heating element contained either inside a cylindrical perforated metal case or within two round, flat porcelain shells open around the edge. Both types allow water to flow inside the casings and directly into contact with the heating element, thus presenting a dangerous shock hazard if the heaters are on.

Consumers are warned that they may be electrocuted should they touch the water container or the water itself while the heater is on.

The heaters in question include the "Fast Heat," model 401. Models 501 and 101 have the perforated metal case and model 401,the two porcelain shells. The heaters are sold nationally, primarily in hardware stores and tack shops.

On March 24,1978, the Commission authorized its staff to bring an administrative proceeding against G.L. Electric Flasheat Co.. to remove these products from the marketplace.

Anyone aware of shocks or electrocutions from one of these immersible electric water heaters should report the incident by calling CPSC's toll-free Hotline at 800/638-2772.