New GE water heater with slow anode leak

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Breazeway, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Breazeway

    Breazeway New Member

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    Mar 13, 2006
    I just installed a new GE gas water heater and thought all was well. A few hours later I checked and found a small drip type leak coming from the top of the anode rod. Having never messed with this device, I am wondering if I should take the water heater back and go through all that trouble or if I can simply tighten the hex nut (if I can find a large enough socket).
     
  2. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

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    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
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    Shut the water off, drain down the tank a few gallons, then find the correct socket to remove the anode rod. Then, use teflon tape and wrap the threads on the anode rod along with teflon thread sealant and reinstall. Turn water back on to see if it still leaks.

    You can actually have tech service come out and inspect this @ no charge to you. They cover this under the warranty. It might be a defective tank. If so, they will replace the water heater @ no charge to you.
     
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Since this could be a defect necessitating a new tank, why not take advantage of the ON_SITE GE warranty as suggested by Rugged.
     
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    anode

    If you do remove the anode, use a pipe dope when you replace it, not tape, since you want to maintain a metal to metal contact so the anode can work.
     
  6. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    warranty on GE units

    dont think that this is under warranty for FREE....

    I know of a few people who were not happy
    paying a $80 service call on a 5 weeek old new water heater


    If you can get a service tech for GE to come out
    you will most likely pay for it....

    Ask if their are any costs incurred before the guy shows up

    If you installed it yourself ,
    most likely you will have to reapir it yourself too



    or argue with someone over the service call....
     
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    GE has a one year Parts and Labor warranty. Call the 800 number and theyh will send a factory service guy and there is no charge.
     
  8. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    Jimbo -wait and see

    just be sure that the problem is within their water
    heater and not something to do with your plumbing installation
    or will surely be charged... once the service tech finally arrives
    and looks it over.

    I suggest the guy does not fool with that leaking rod either,
    or they might void use that for an excuse to void the waranty..



    Perhaps it is simply a defective leaking water heater--it happens all the time

    Now--If this fellow installed it himself,

    he will most likely be given another new water heater in excahnge for the
    bad one --- but he will have to take the bad one back to the place of purchase
    for an exchange and then he will get to install it all over again....

    now if some hardware store installed it for him ,
    he might get it done for free.... sometime in the next 5-10 days
    after the service tech looks it over...

    it seems fair either way it goes down......




    take this complaint for whatever you think it is worth..about GE..


    http://www.complaints.com/september2003/complaintoftheday.september23.29.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2006
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    San Diego, CA
    MP Mark.............I believe you are correct about the issue of install if the heater needs to be completely changed out. The service guy will call GE and they will tell the owner to take it back to HD for an exchange. Only if an HD contractor installed it would that labor be covered.


    So, even if the anode rod just needs some dope, the service company may call it a cracked boss and wash their hands of the whole thing!
     
  10. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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  11. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

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    Repairing and remodeling homes
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Brand New, And Anoid Leak?

    WHY WOULD ANYONE THINK THEY'D HAVE TO PAY A DIME TO HAVE THIS REPAIR DONE ? it's a freebe daa :rolleyes:
     
  12. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    again --wait and see

    I have been down this road before...

    if you want to see pics of a Richmond water heater
    three weeks old that the customer paid 80 bucks to have
    looked at --go to my web page..way down on the products page

    Richmond and GE come from the same factory.....

    For a very short time around 91 I did the service contract for
    Richmond water heaters in this area and got out of it quick...

    too many half assed installs
    by the hoeowner that they did not want to pay for
    me to make right..

    too much paper work and hunting down parts

    and too little money from Richmond to
    diagose and do the warranty work...
    (this included power vent units too)

    too many mobile homes..ect ect...

    fighting the customer over the fact they turned on the power to the
    water heater while it was empty was the last straw..

    what do you do...??

    Just hope that they have someone in his area willing to
    take those lumps in the first place....

    Lowes has that problem in lots of large metro areas

    ( I worked for lowes once too)

    http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=8776&wrapper
     
  13. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    San Diego, CA
    The homeowner posted on Monday, It is now Thursday. I hope by this time he has at least called GE, or taken some other action to resolve this! I hope he posts back to let us know if any of our pontificating helped him out at all!
     
  14. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    sorry about the pontificating

    sorry about all this pontificating.....

    I do have issues with all the hardware stores-- and
    the products they sell and the promises they make..

    waiting to see how long it takes to get it resolved.
     
  15. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

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    Repairing and remodeling homes
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    Marin Co. Ca.
    i'm guessing all the box stores are selling many W.H . rs

    to home owners. I can't believe someone that bought from h.depot would receive an $ 80 bill to seal a factory,leaking anoid .

    just where does an installation snafo cause a leak on an anoid?
     
  16. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    $80 bucks

    that was for a Richmond gas water heater a few years ago
    that was 3 weeks old..

    the hardware stores sell tons of them, to handy guys for the bottom
    dollar, and its ok..

    but on average

    once its out there door , its basically your problem... period.


    go to my web page and look at the products page if you
    want to see a few I posted

    enough pontiificateing for now.
     
  17. Jughead

    Jughead New Member

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    Jun 26, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
     
  18. Jughead

    Jughead New Member

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    Jun 26, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hi mates, I realize it's an old thread but just had the same issue on a brand new Rheem NG 40 gal install.
    I didn't notice it until after their tech support closing time at 5pm in Alabama, but will call in the morning.

    I'm a 30yr carpenter with enough plumbing expertise for my own home and then some when a plumber isn't on hand when needed, but I don't pretend to be adept at the finer mysteries of plumbing.

    The switch-out went well though I opted to replace some copper above first in a tight spot due to 2 slow drip spots. I sweated all that back in with no leaks, but after getting the WH connected and fired up noticed after awhile water on top from the anode 1 -1/16 nut cup (checked size online). I don't have a 1 -1/16 socket onhand or I may have checked tightness.

    Not so much a question here but more a heads up.
    One question I might have is: how flexible are magnesium anodes, which are standard with Rheem, in pulling out in an old 1872 low ceilinged basement (since I'd like to check it regularly)? The new WH is a short at 50", with 30" above that to underside of floor.
    All went well except for the anode nut leaking.
    And yes I'll be talking to Rheem in the morning and report back.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Sorry to hear that. I would tend to think that if you unscrewed the anode, applied good teflon tape ( and maybe pipe dope too), and tighten again, the leak should go away. But yes, talk to the support people.

    I have thought they used too much torque on those. After replacing my anode, using an impact wrench to get the old anode out, I just tightened the new one to what I would guess is 15 ft-lb. I watched. No leak. I wanted the anode to be easy to remove later.
    Standard anodes are 1-1/16 inch hex head.
     
  20. Jughead

    Jughead New Member

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    Jun 26, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks Reach, I'll get back on Rheem's take
    One thing with plumbing I do know is - never over-torque.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  21. Jughead

    Jughead New Member

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    Jun 26, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Strange happenings here after cutting back the 3/4 supply valve to almost nothing last night and it's no longer leaking, while hot pressure is still fine.
    Spoke with Rheem today and documented the anode leak. She assumed I called because I couldn't light it, which was actually pretty easy.
    I wouldn't want them coming around not knowing their experience surpasses mine in the dark practices of the plumbing underworld :}
     
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