The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that A. O. Smith Corp. is recalling its John Wood brand of oil-fired water heaters due to fire and burn hazards. The water heater’s combustion chamber can be misaligned and heat the exterior walls of the water heater instead of the water. Combustible material near the outside of the water heater can catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards.  

No injuries have been reported. Consumers should immediately turn off and stop using the recalled water heaters and contact A. O. Smith for a free inspection and free replacement of misaligned water heaters.

This recall involves John Wood brand 50 gal. and 70 gal. oil-fired water heaters. The 50-gal. water heaters have model number JW517 and serial numbers from 1349A021678 through 1503A016643. The 70-gal. water heaters have model number JW717 and serial numbers from 1421M001517 through 436M000040.

The water heaters are gray with “John Wood” printed in blue and white near the top.  The model number, size and serial numbers are printed on the rating plate near the top of the tank. Only oil-fired water heaters are included in this recall.

Manufactured in the United States, the oil-fired water heaters were sold by John Wood sales representatives to plumbers and consumers from January 2014 through March 2015 for about $1,500 to $2,500.

Contractors and customers should contact A. O. Smith 866/880-4661 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at and click on Recall Notices for more information.

For photos of the water heaters and rating plate, go to