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GE SmartWater - Water Heaters / I have lost confidence GE your products!

1 Waterville, ME, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

This is the email I sent to GE:

"I have lost confidence in your product. I am now on my 3rd hot water heater and 5th Watt's relief valve.

The 1st tank leaked around the plastic at the base of hot water side. The 2nd leaked around both sides and out of one of the dimple holes around the relief valve. The 3rd is leaking around the plastic at the hot water side.

ALL of the tanks are leaking (slowly) from the relief valve.

I have an hour and a quarter trip each time I have to bring one back to Home Depot in Waterville Maine. I am now preparing to make my 4th trip, for a total of 5 hours of drive time !

Couple with the time spent draining the tank each time and lugging out of my basement and onto my truck and you will understand my frustration.

The manufacturing date on this tank is 10/2007, which disproves this as being a leftover from a year ago.

It is late Sunday night and I am writing this after visiting my basement and finding yet another inferior product dripping onto my basement floor.

I am so frustrated that I am thinking of:

1. Writing to the BBB to complain about your inferior products.

2. Making a youtube video where I videotape the actual leaking and discouraging homeowners from your Smart Water brand.

3. Getting my money back from Home Depot and going to Lowe's to buy another brand.

4. Contacting Consumer Reports and urgin them to sample five of your Smart Water brand water heaters after I email them a copy of this ordeal.

5. Creating a website dedicated to helping others having the same issue to understand what a mistake it was to choose GE.

What would restore my confidence?

Answer: Having someone from GE drive a new water heater to my home and replacing my heater AND then watching for two hours for the leaks while I run the hot water in the shower and sinks.

With the 1st leaking hot water heater, I had a leaking relief valve and called customer service. It took one call for GE to send a relief valve, (which leaked) and a 2nd hour and fifteen minute call explaining that the water was coming from below the red plastic on the hot water side. Their suggestion, find a new plumber. I responded with the fact that the plumber plumbed my entire house including installing a new furnace and new baseboard heaters AND is more than capable of screwing in a pipe to the top of the water heater. AFTER three minutes on hold, the service rep, (I think his number is #289) said to bring the tank back to the store.


1. 6 hours drive time total

2. 6 hours drain/install/fill time total

3. $265 for the tank

4. 2 hours customer service phone time"

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  • Ga
      23rd of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Probably will rethink my decision to opt for the GE brand. This is not the first negative I've read on these today, and since my water heater "tanked" last evening leaving a wading pool in an otherwise "usably finished" full basement, I'll just take my lumps one at a time.

    Plumber recommended State Industries brand anyway.

  • Tk
      16th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    GE products are bad and their customer service is worse. I have a GE power vent water heater., Failed within 8 months of installation. Customer support is really bad, they asked me to have my gas pressure but could not answer why the unit worked when it is powered on.
    Really bad customer support, promised to have a technician the next day - but the technician never called, upon investigating the the technician cannot show up till the next week.

    Customer support is a joke, they have no clue what and how they are troubleshooting. I was told that supervisors are not available for escalations and its OK if there is no hot water in the house. Home Depot is not useful either since the product is less than one year old I have to go to GE. GE buys the product from Rheem who do not care and the support does not really want to hear you out.

    Never buy GE or Rheem products. Go to Sears or Lowes but never to Home Depot and GE.

  • Jo
      13th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    Never believe the internet. 90 percent of comments are complaints because people always do the negative not the positive. I have a GE smartwater and it looks fine and works fine. I hear the same about the american and the bradford white but those i have also heard are reliable brands. Just saying the best research is to have multiple plumbers come and get their opinion.

  • Co
      9th of Sep, 2013
    0 Votes

    I purchased two GE Water Heaters from Home Depot (my house needs two because of a remodel). They have a 12 year warranty from Rheem, but only the first year is Full Service. The remaining years are parts-only.
    Last Sunday morning I woke up to cold water from one of the heaters. I tried a relight, but it didn't stay lit. I called GE's tech support line and the young lady talked me through checking the piezoelectric starter (which was fine) then a full relight sequence. This time it appeared to start running normally. I waited a couple of hours then tried to shower - the water was cold and when I checked the unit it had gone out again. I called GE back, but they close early on Sunday.
    Monday morning I called GE again. They told me I had to check the "environmental conditions" next - that is, have a plumber come out and check the venting, check the air circulation, and check the gas pressure. The venting I can see - it was as it had been. The air circulation hadn't changed and wasn't blocked, and I told her so. She told me that I would have to have a plumber check the gas pressure and get the number, and he would have to open it up to check the internal venting before they would do anything more.
    They are worthless. It's basically a case of - if it breaks, call a plumber. If a part has failed, you MIGHT get the part shipped to you, but don't count on it.
    Their 12 year warranty is essentially a 1 year warranty. Don't be fooled. Aside from a unit that starts leaking badly, I can't imagine a case where it would be worth the paper it's printed on.
    The answer may be to buy an extended warranty from Home Depot or whomever your dealer it - and factor that into the cost of the unit. Clearly GE could care less.

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