GE smartwater water heater-


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Old 01-02-07, 07:21 PM
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Question GE smartwater water heater-

Model # GG50T06PVJ manf 9/2006
Greetings All!
Happy New Year! I happened to stumble upon this website, while searching for some answers on a newer product on the market. My story begins approx. about 3 weeks ago, when a friend called me in a panic. He stated that he had a water heater that was about as old as his house (8 years). Over the last week, he had noticed that the water heater was wet around the bottom and he had to light the pilot every other day. Until the day that he called me, he was unable to get it lit. He inquired about replacing the thermocouple. I should mention that this old one was a State water heater, who is no longer represented in this area. I explained to him, that sure we could replace the thermocouple, but if it was leaking water bad enough to put out the pilot, he might be a lot be better thinking about replacing it. My experience is that 8 years in this region is a pretty good life for a water heater. (I know, we all wish for many more, especially when we're the home owner.) So, to make a long story shorter he went out and purchased a new GE Smartwater power vent gas (low nox)50 gallon waterheater. I installed it and all was fine. Last friday I got a call from him telling me that he had been staining some wood baseboard in his basement on thursday evening, and when he got up on Friday morning he noticed there was no hot water. He inspected the waterheater and found it flashing a 21 code (i.e. "flammable vapors present") He aired out the basement, unplugged the water heater and then called me. I told him to plug it back in, making sure the rocker switch was in the off position. Wait a few minutes and turn it on. Needless to say, it would not fire up and his wife and 2 teenage daughters were due home that next evening. The poor guy was in a panic! I told him, sure I'll look at it and if all else failed, I had a couch that he could barrow until the hot water flowed again. I'm aware of and have had some classes on the various new "anti flash back" methods, that the water heater manufactures have come up with. But, I haven't encountered a water heater with a "sniffer" yet. Which leads me to my first question...... I tested the sensor with low ohms and had continuity. What material is this sensor made out of? I also pulled the door to check the glass bulb and trap door (next question very shortly) at the bottom, for the air intake. It was intact and the door was in the open position. Whew! Thank god, upon moving it to position we did not jar it too hard. I sure would like this to be resettable, in future models. For the very reason I gave a moment ago. Everything I checked electrically, tested fine. My compadre ended up calling in a plumber (this was his 4th one of the day to repair) who spent about 5 minutes, loosened up the brainbox cover screw, installed something (a $250.00 item- GE's price) to the gas valve, reassembled everything and fired that mother up. 1) speaking with others since then- there is a recall on the gas valve 2) I am under the impression that there is a "reset" under the cover somewhere, so that this may be checked out safely, before refiring. But I'll be danged if I could find it. I looked under the gas valve knob, pulled the brainbox and am still puzzled. My friend was told by 3 earlier called plumbers that this item was too new and parts were un available as of yet. One gentleman even quoted him $1500.00 to replace it with a new one. What a deal, huh? Well, any info or thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Until I find an answer the search continues. I want knowledge! Thanks for listening.
 

Last edited by AZboyinWI; 01-02-07 at 07:24 PM. Reason: the rest of the story. He ended up paying $13.00
  #2  
Old 01-03-07, 03:39 PM
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This may not be the answer you are looking for, but......
I suggest you buy an electric water heater (of a different brand) and save yourself the time, aggravation, worry and money.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 02:09 AM
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Arrow Jim O- Thank you for reading and replying- NE1 else?

I couldn't agree with you more with one exception.. the water heater replaced and the newer one installed were natural gas, so I'll stay away from the electric one you mentioned to install. Yes, I sure wished he would've purchased a convential gas water heater. Being in the Building maintenance trade myself, I know the more bells and whistles that are added on (along with age and the enviroment) the more grief and money they are to repair. As I stated (I'm sorry about the long story earlier) An acquaintance purchased this for use in their home, I was only the installer. In an attempt to help him out on a Sunday afternoon before his wife and 2 daughters were to arrive home from visiting relatives out of state, I agreed to look at it. I learned a lot in those couple of hours and am presently attempting to learn more on this website. As long as a national retailer sells these, I know I'm going to encounter more of these. And next time, I WANT to be PREPARED. This is the first model of any water heater that I have encountered that had a "sniffer". I know most of the other heaters use various forms of screening and/or ceramic to stop the ignition follow back. Please let me know if there are other manufactures that are using this "sniffer" technology, PLEASE. I don't like the idea, that there is no way to reset after a thourogh examination. Along with the idea of that glass "bulb". Boy, if that gets jarred prior to installation, it's goodbye for this new water heater and time for another new one. Then, comes the question, who picks up the cost? Anyone else have an opinion? Well, thank you for your time, I'll be back. Between this website and my HVAC site, these should keep me out of trouble. LOL
 
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Old 01-05-07, 07:01 AM
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Even the "conventional" gas water heaters of several brands suffer from various issues which can be costly and inconvenient to repair. A little Google search will confirm this. The glass bulb is also found in the conventional units of your brand. So use caution with your selection. This is why I suggested the electric. Sure, it may cost a little more to operate, but electricity is cheaper than expensive repairs.
 
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Old 01-06-07, 04:46 PM
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Red face Jim- Now I understand....

Jim, thank you for your 2nd post. Now I understand why you recommended repalcing with an electric w/h. When you first posted, I thought, that's odd why would I install an electric water heater, in place of the gas one? I'm sorry, I misread your intent and shrugged it off as a crackpot post. But now I completely understand and would have to agree. If I had to do it over again, I would recommend to the HO to change to an electric one. If he had room in his panel, it would be a piece of cake to run service, plug the exhaust vent and cap off the gasline. I had my weekly conversation with my brother in Arizona today and he gave me a great suggestion. Why hadn't I attempted to contact the service person who did the repair and see if he would answer my question. Our mutual thought was that this gentleman sounded honest. After making the repair, he told the HO that the HO should call up GE service and complain about the manufacturing decision to forego a resettable control. I have to admit this next week, I'm going to attempt to make contact with the service personnel. I know my local wholesaler has a kit ($250.00) to make the repairs. So I might as well inquire with them also and see what's in the kit. Any knowledge about if GE is just getting into the water heater market? I know when I went to their website and clicked onto the "smartwater" link, I came up with a blank page. I also traveled to the Rheem (actual manf) website and looked up the power vents. There was no mention of the "sniffer" ,the control module and/or the gas valve on their diagrams. So, I am under the impression that this is exculsively GE. Am I correct with that assumption? I have learned something here today with Jim's latest post. I was not aware that a lot of the manufacturers were going with this "glass bulb/trap door" idea. I know as with myself and future installs, that 1) I might just attempt to talk the HO into changing to an electric water heater and 2)if it's going to be a gas, I'm going to very gentle with the transportation and set up of the new one. Thanks again Jim, for the update for my knowledge. I'll be back within a day or so to check this thread and look at the other postings. In advance, thank you to any future posters for any information or thoughts that you may have on this subject.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 08:19 AM
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First, remind your friend that the FVIR feature of his new WH probably saved his house and maybe his LIFE!

Now, as I understand the literature from Rheem ( GE Smartwater ) any WH which has undergone an FVIR "event" is toast and is not allowed to be repaired. They may or may not cover it under warranty. I would call them.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 12:50 PM
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I read this mainly out of curiosity, but..


Please define 'jarred', as you have no idea how these units are treated before you get them, I can assure you they aren't handled with kid gloves!
 
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Old 01-10-07, 03:48 AM
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Question 594tough, Pendragon,- Any installers?

594tough- You are absolutly correct and yes this item did save his house and possibly his life. I mentioned that to him as a "look on the bright side..." and yes he is aware of it. As I stated in one of my earlier post, there is a $250.00 kit to repair these GE's when the FV (flammable vapor) trips. I don't believe that is the case when the glass "bulb" is shot. You tell me, this is the first GE that I've dealt with. Also in my earlier post I stated that the repair person stated that this was the fourth one of these that he had repaired that day. I know not if that was a brag or an actual fact. In attempting to contact him, I've been told that he would be able to contact me after returning from vacation next week. The last couple of days at work have been somewhat hectic, so, I haven't contacted my wholesaler yet, but plan on doing so in the very near future.

[color=red] Pendragon, yes that "jarring" is and was a concern of mine and that is why I made mention of the glass "bulb" on this board.

Any installers- Do you check these upon site delivery? Or at the wholesalers? Anyone had or heard of a bad one yet? Knowing and believing most wholesaler s care about their customers, anyone have any word that if one of these bulbs "fail" previous to install, how it's going to be handled? Well, I've put in my 5 cents worth tonight, so will check a couple more areas on this site. In advance, thank you again for any thoughts or info that you are willing to post.
 
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Old 01-10-07, 07:25 AM
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I must have missed something here. Was there really an FVIR event, or was this just a false shutdown (a frequent complaint)? If there was a flammable vapor, what was it? There should be no complaints from anyone (including myself) if the unit worked as intended to protect life and property.
 
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Old 01-10-07, 09:39 AM
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....telling me that he had been staining some wood baseboard in his basement on thursday evening, and when he got up on Friday morning he noticed there was no hot water. He inspected the waterheater and found it flashing a 21 code (i.e. "flammable vapors present")
 
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Old 01-10-07, 11:53 AM
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Got it. Thanks for setting me straight. There must have been a lot of vapors present. It would appear this was a legitimate shut-down and not the false shut-down that many people complain about.
 
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Old 01-11-07, 06:33 PM
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Rheem is the mfg. of G.E
My understanding is when the glass vial is broken, you replace the entire heater. Unless they have come up with something new.

They are called Rheem Guardian System when their own name is on the heater
 
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Old 01-18-07, 09:54 PM
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Wink Back again, to see any new posts

At this time, I am unable to say just how saturated the indoor air was the evening that he was finishing the baseboards. I am going with his words of the next day which were "I walked into the house and noticed the smell of the varnish and then found out that there was no hot water. He did put 2 and 2 together after looking at the water heater and seeing the code. Yes, we are all in agreement, that he is very lucky to still have his house. These new designs all came about, (through the insurance industry and the possible liability issues to the manufacturers) because of the history of the common person not realizing (I'll give the benefit of doubt, here) that the fumes are much more dangerous, than the liquid is. You know, the old "no-see, no thought" And hey after getting sweaty, dirty and tired mowing the lawn, I'll put the mower and gas can away here where they will be out of the way and out of the weather. Sometimes it just happens to be in the same area as the gas water heater. No thought of BOOM! OK, I've rambled on enough about that. Presently I'm of the same mind as the manufacurers, what do you do? Yes, stop the flash back. I just don't like the present ideas so far, but I am unable to come up with something better as of yet. Hey! If I do, I think I'm on my way to my second million $$ idea. I've given up on the first. Ha-ha just had to add a little laughter there. Sorry. Yes, after seeing the glass bulb set up, I am under the impression that replacement is due. But dang, there ought to be a way to make it resettable after an inspection by a qualified service person. And I guess that is the point that we are at with the "sniffer" that I spoke of earlier. That does have some form of being able to be reset. I just don't know the "trick" as of yet. So, the search for knowledge continues.... Thanks again for all the posts and at present I am recommending (as an earlier poster posted) Go electric! Take care all and I'll return again in a few days.
 
  #14  
Old 01-19-07, 12:18 PM
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AZ,

Sure would be nice if you could break things up instead of one long paragraph.

My aging eyes tend to get lost. :-)

Thanks, very interesting.
 
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Old 02-02-08, 11:26 PM
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Rheem Power-Vent Gas Water Heaters

GE also re-manufactures the Rheem Power-Vent Gas Water Heater. This unit is identical to the GE. The code that the gas controller/thermostat from Robertshwa will flash is 2 and 1. After 20 sec. the blower motor will stop and the unit is in "Lock Down" Mode.
Issuing a system status of "flammable vapors present"., on the flashing green light. This is very common and many times the sensor needs to be replaced.
This sensor's PN: SP13447-B (AP) or (SP) - One is the sensor with the plastic housing and the other is just the sensor. Both GE and Rheem will charge $193.00 to purchase this sensor. Local contractors list this part between $231-$304.00, (no one has them), and if they do they will charge up to $1500 for the part and install. (STUPID!)

Before searching for the part you should first try and reset the Robertshwa controller/thermostat. This is an easy procedure.

RESET Procedure:

1. Turn OFF ... the blower switch (on the at the top of the tank.)
2. On the Robertshwa controller/thermostat align the arrow on the thermostat's knob to the fixed arrow on the thermostat housing.
3. Turn back ON ... the blower switch
4. Get down to the Robertshwa controller/thermostat and count to 5.
5. After 5 seconds...Begin to rotate the thermostat knob from the 3 o'clock position to the 9 o'clock position passing both arrows at least 6 times.(fairly quickly - gently but not slowly)
6. Watch the flashing of the green light on the thermostat. Stop the arrow o the knob at the 3 o'clock position once you see the green light begin FLASHING quickly.

The thermostat will be reset.

This will most likely not work, and if it doesn't you need to replace the sensor.

Buying a used tank with this part attached my be the cheapest way.
 
  #16  
Old 02-02-08, 11:49 PM
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Rheem Power-Vent Gas Water Heaters

GE also re-manufactures the Rheem Power-Vent Gas Water Heater. This unit is identical to the GE. The code that the gas controller/thermostat from Robertshwa will flash is 2 and 1. After 20 sec. the blower motor will stop and the unit is in "Lock Down" Mode.
Issuing a system status of "flammable vapors present"., on the flashing green light. This is very common and many times the sensor needs to be replaced.
This sensor's PN: SP13447-B (AP) or (SP) - One is the sensor with the plastic housing and the other is just the sensor. Both GE and Rheem will charge $193.00 to purchase this sensor. Local contractors list this part between $231-$304.00, (no one has them), and if they do they will charge up to $1500 for the part and install. (STUPID!)

Before searching for the part you should first try and reset the Robertshwa controller/thermostat. This is an easy procedure.

RESET Procedure:

1. Turn OFF ... the blower switch (on the at the top of the tank.)
2. On the Robertshwa controller/thermostat align the arrow on the thermostat's knob to the fixed arrow on the thermostat housing.
3. Turn back ON ... the blower switch
4. Get down to the Robertshwa controller/thermostat and count to 5.
5. After 5 seconds...Begin to rotate the thermostat knob from the 3 o'clock position to the 9 o'clock position passing both arrows at least 6 times.(fairly quickly - gently but not slowly)
6. Watch the flashing of the green light on the thermostat. Stop the arrow o the knob at the 3 o'clock position once you see the green light begin FLASHING quickly.

The thermostat will be reset.

This will most likely not work, and if it doesn't you need to replace the sensor.

Buying a used tank with this part attached my be the cheapest way.
or buy it from Rheem direct
http://waterheating.rheem.com/conten..._catalog.shtml

The thermostat's part number is (LP) SP12557
The kit's Part Number: FV Sensor / FV Wiper Replacement Kit SP13447B
 

Last edited by 37916; 02-02-08 at 11:57 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 01-17-09, 02:48 PM
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Thank you

Thanks for the reset procedure! Beer 4U2 MY GE has been doing the false HV error code forever and I have to keep resetting it. I accidentally pulled the wires out for the sensor when I tried to replace the thermocouple (GE's fix action for the error). I put the connection back together, but I got a 3-2 error (wiring issue). I called GE again today (1 1/2 hours on hold) for them to tell me I need to replace the sensor & board. 2 business day shipping. It's been out since Thursday...wont see the part till Tuesday if they are open Monday (holiday). I used the reset procedure on this thread and it worked!!!!! Now my family of 4 can be clean! Thanks guys! I was at my wit's end with this.
 
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Old 03-15-09, 07:16 AM
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wow, that reset procedure worked. I was at wits end and wanted to avoid calling for service. We had plumbing work done in our basement and the water heater shut it self off and was flashing the 2-1 code.
thanks a million bud, wish I could buy you a beer.Beer 4U2
 
  #19  
Old 02-25-10, 12:08 PM
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Post GE Smartwater gas..

okay.. ive looked through forums, called home depot, googled, and looked in the manual.. all i need is a replacement part. The thermostat dial was taken off by the last owners because the teen would turn it up all the time.. unfortunately it is lost...

anyone help me with a part number and where to find it??

HELP!!!
 
 

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