50 Gallion Gas GE Water Heater

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2007 at 1:03pm CDT by 8726be6b

Company: 50 Gallion Gas GE Water Heater

Category: Other

GE Hot Water Heater Goes out

Three weeks ago we bought a 50 gallion GE gas hot water heater at Home Depot, manufactured by Rheem, and installed it in our attic. Our water heater is located behind the air conditioning units, and was very difficult to replace. But since the last unit had lasted 14 years I was hoping this one would do as well.

On Monday we woke to no hot water and upon inspection found that the heater had gone out. I relit the unit and after the same thing happened again I called the GE Tech Support hotline. I was told that the problem was probably that because of the attic installation the pilot light probably needed larger orfices and that they would send someone out to repair the unit.

The local representative showed up and decided to replace the pilot light assembly. I mentioned the orfice discussion I had had with tech support and he did not seem very interested. Needless to say the next day and the unit went out again. When I called back, GE only offered to supply the orfice parts (3 days) and said I would be responsible for the labor as this is not considered a manufacturer's defect. Obviously I had used up my one visit per customer or something.

GE says that if you locate a water heater in the attic, it is considered an extreme location because of heat and the possibility of poor air circulation. No tests, no inspection, they just refuse to honor their warranty. Since we have plenty of soffit vents and ridge vents I dought this is the issue, but I will be stuck having to install these parts.

Nowhere in their literature, or on the unit does GE mention that the unit could have problems when installed in an attic. Since the majority of waters in Houston are located in attics it seems that either GE, or Home Depot should have let me know I might have trouble with this unit.

Needless to say, I wish I had done my homework and bought another brand of water heater. This site and others are full of complaints about poor service and unresolved issues on GE hot water heaters. Needless to say, I will not be buying another GE water heater, or other GE products for that matter. I suggest you do yourself a favor and purchase another brand from a respected supplier.


2 Comments

5d4adb9d, 2008-10-01, 06:26PM CDT

I think you meant to say you bought the GE 50 Gallon Smart Series and replaced it with a Rheem.

I bought that 50 Gal GE Smart Series just 4 years ago and the thermal couple went bad. I pulled the unit out and did a test. The igniter was fine and the gas was flowing. So, I went hunting for parts.

First stop was to call the G.E., (don't) Customer Care Line. The customer service person at GE was very useless told me I couldn't get the part anywhere and would need to call a repair man. Right, I thought. She is really engaged in my satisfaction. I simply wanted the

one part, so at this point I started Googling and found an appliance parts place in my area and ran down there to get the $10 thermal couple.

Once installed, the pilot would finally light, but the burner would not stay lit for more that a few seconds. I played with it for a while, than proceed to take the entire valve assembly off and call the parts store back to see if they had them in stock. The guy on the phone understood, but warned be that that waterheater is junk and that I would be better off considering a new one. The $ compared something like $228 for the valve vs. ~$500 for a new one. Well, went shopping on the internet and found many complaints about my waterheater, particularly those manufactured in 2005 (not 2004 as mine was) that were recalled for safety reasons. The valves we Robertshaw R110 Series that had been exploding. Well, knowing how recalls work in the auto industry (I had a 1998 Ford Windstar with the same Tauras trans mission that was recalled, but Ford basically flipped me off and said not in scope for the recall--even though exact same equipment), I decided I would be safer to dump the G.E. and go with a comparable Rheem as advised by the experts. I don't advise anyone buy G.E. if you have other choices. My G.E. came from Home Depot. It is sitting in the garage waiting for the junker to come by next Tuesday.

42866bed, 2009-07-03, 05:22PM CDT

I have the same issue. I live in Houston, TX and GE and Home Depot have denied my warranty claim even thou is the first one full warranty year. I bought it nov/2008 and today is July/2009

How I see this is bad sales practice. They know these water heater won't work in attic because the new energy efficiency design but they don't want to fix it not warn buyers it does not work in a attic. Home Depot even installed in the attic and charged me more because it required more labor.

At this moment I decided to make this my own personal crusade. I am un employed at the moment and I have a lot of free time in my hands and I don't have money to buy a new water heater. I am reaching to federal goverment, newspapers, TV Stations and BBB to help me stop this deceiving sales practice.

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