GE Water heater

odln018January 9, 2007

I'm getting ready to retire my 16 year old WH and am looking at a GE Smartwater 12-year "BEST".

I wanted to see if anyone had any opinions on this model.

Also, the current WH is a 50 gallon, and I've got a wife, a 19th month old girl, and another girl on the way. Should I increase the capacity? If so, to what? Finally, what are the thoughts on putting a timer on your WH, worth it or not?

Thanks for any assistance!

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What is wrong with your 16-yr-old WH? How long of service have your neighbors gotten out of theirs? Does yours have a drip pan under it?

50 gals should be fine, but more important is the "first hour" rating on the big yellow sticker, i.e. how many gallons can it provide in the hour starting with full tank at max. temp.? And/or look at the WATTAGE. Also, how much LAUNDRY you'll be doing, at what times of day, and whether your WM is top-loading (water HOG) or front-loading (water-saver) is a big factor.

I'm assuming the WH is electric? Regardless, a timer is USELESS, or worse than useless, because the insulation on modern WHs is outstanding, and it sounds like you'll be using a LOT of HW, EVERY DAY, so you'll have almost ZERO "idle heating" going on anyway. Forget the timer. Was a salesman trying to pitch this to you?

0) Put your new WH in a DRIP PAN. This $14 device will save huge $$$ in prevented water damage when your new WH finally reaches its end of life, or has a leaky connector along the way.

1) Don't pay extra for the so-called "12-year" model, since it's probably the same as the 6/9 year models, but with a bigger anti-corrosion anode. After all, is your CURRENT WH a "16-year" model?

Before you put the current WH out for bulk pickup, remove the anode and see how much is left. If you never replaced it, you must have very benign water to get 16 years out of it, eh? Why get hosed for extra $$$ ?? Just get the 6-year model, and put a new $18 anode in every 10 years, plus flush the tank once per year... it'll last decades.

PS: Best to avoid all things GE... see if you can find A.O. Smith in your area.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 2:17AM
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Just FYI - I'm pretty sure the GE Smartwater heaters are actually made by Rheem.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 10:40AM
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Thanks for all the great information. It's interesting how you mention A.O. Smith, as that is what my current model is. It is electric.

I do flush the WH, and this last time, I started seeing quite a bit of rust particles while draining. When I tried to pop the anode, the corrosion was so thick, I couldn't break it loose. I was afraid to try anything more drastic for fear I would snap it off. It current does NOT have a drip pan

My home is one of the oldest on the street, so I'm pretty confident that their WH's are newer then mine.

I'd be interested in seeing a list of WHs that are preferred..

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 12:17PM
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