GE Smartwater - Extremely weak outflow


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Old 04-11-08, 12:58 PM
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GE Smartwater - Extremely weak outflow

I have a GE Smartwater 40 gallon water heater that was installed in 2004. A few days ago, the hot water outflow became very weak and in just one day, hot water throughout the house is down to a trickle. I called a plumber to diagnose the problem and he came to the conclusion that the water heater is the problem and needs to be replaced.

I contacted Rheem (GE) about warranty and they told me that it is still covered BUT do not believe that the water heater is the problem and will not replace it because of this. I explained to GE the trouble shooting steps that the plumber made to come to this conclusion.

The plumber tested the inflow of cold water into the water heater tank and said this was normal. Next, he removed the outflow pipe to check the pressure on the hot outflow nipple on the water heater and water was coming out very slowly. He replaced the outflow nipple with a brass free flowing nipple with no restrictions and the outflow of hot water was still slow. Even after explaining this to GE Rheem, they still do not believe that there is a problem with the water heater.

In addition, I've already flushed out the water heater completely to see if maybe sediment may be causing some sort of blockage.

After speaking with 8 different GE Rheem Technicians and 1 manager, they all tell me the same thing that the water heater is not issue. They said the water heater is basically an empty tank with and inlet and outlet nipple. I was told that if there is flow going into the tank, there should be flow coming out. The only thing that would prevent outflow is blockage at either the inlet our outlet nipple. After the plumber checked the inlet/ outlet nipples, he determined this was not the problem and that there is something happening inside the water heater that is causing this. But of course, GE Rheem will not accept this explanation no matter who tells them.

Does anyone else have any other suggestions on what the problem might be or who I should believe?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by boardcrap; 04-11-08 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 04-12-08, 08:59 AM
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GE Smartwater - Extremely weak outflow

Did the plumber pull out the dip tube to check for a clog? That's what happened in mine. Pulled the Dip tube, saw it was plugged with minerals. Ran a dowel rod down it, replaced it and have been problem free ever since.
 
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Old 04-12-08, 09:23 AM
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Wink

In addition, I've already flushed out the water heater completely to see if maybe sediment may be causing some sort of blockage.
Dont see where you said if the flow from the drain was good or not????? If slow Id go with check the dip tube also.
 
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Old 04-12-08, 03:08 PM
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I had another plumber come by and he noticed that the ball valve on the inlet nipple was stuck. He unjammed it which fixed the problem. Hot water flow is back in service.
 
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Old 04-12-08, 07:16 PM
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"I had another plumber come by and he noticed that the ball valve on the inlet nipple was stuck. He unjammed it which fixed the problem. Hot water flow is back in service."

The first plumber who came over either did not notice the jammed cold water inlet or was being dishonest and wanted me to buy a new water heater from him. How likely is it that he just missed diagnosed the problem?

I'm rather upset because I had to spend half a day arguing with GE support and the entire time, they tell me that there was not anything wrong with the water heater. Secondly, I paid this plumber $150 to give me incorrect information about needing a new water heater.
 
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Old 04-12-08, 07:27 PM
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I don't see where you have a beef with GE. There is almost nothing which can go wrong with a water heater per se, to cause low or not flow. That will virtuall always be related to the installation....the nipples, and the shut-off valve.

Someone mentioned a clogged dip tub. That would do it, but also would be very rare. AND, it is not an issue which would be covered by warranty. A manufacturer cannot warrant debris in your water system.
 
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Old 04-12-08, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 594tough View Post
I don't see where you have a beef with GE. There is almost nothing which can go wrong with a water heater per se, to cause low or not flow. That will virtuall always be related to the installation....the nipples, and the shut-off valve.

Someone mentioned a clogged dip tub. That would do it, but also would be very rare. AND, it is not an issue which would be covered by warranty. A manufacturer cannot warrant debris in your water system.
I totally agree with you, there was nothing wrong with the water heater other than a jammed inlet nipple. My beef is with the first plumber that I hired who told me the water heater was broken and needed to be replaced.
 
 

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