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Old 05-31-2013, 11:49 AM   #1
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water heater goes out every week or so


Guys,

I have a GE 30 Gallon gas water heater, model GG30T06AVG00. It's from 2004. I just moved into the house with it, the pilot was lit about a month ago, and we checked it a week ago and it had gone out. We lit it again, it stays lit ok, and flames up when you turn up the dial. It stayed on for about a week, and went out again this morning. Again, it lit up just fine, but obviously I don't want to keep going on like this! (cold shower this morning!)

The water heater is located on an exterior wall (Southern California), in a built in housing, and doesn't face the wind. It seems to be well vented through the roof, and there's plenty of breathing space around it. There's another water heater on the other side of the house housed the same way, and that has stayed lit throughout the last month+ without any issues. One thing I've immediately noticed is the prior owner (or someone) had broken the sight glass on the problem heater. My last house water heater didn't have sight glass, so i'm not sure how critical a componant that might be.

Any advice on troubleshooting would be greatly appreciated!!

thanks,
Matt

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Old 05-31-2013, 03:47 PM   #2
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water heater goes out every week or so


Replace the thermocouple. Make sure when it is the flue is sucking out and not back feeding. Use smoke to test that...

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Old 05-31-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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water heater goes out every week or so


thanks! How do i go about finding the appropriate replacement part? I tried GE's website for parts, but it doesn't give me any hits for the model number of my water heater, and I've double checked it's correct.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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water heater goes out every week or so


Any thermo couple of the same length should work. Its the copper wire thingy that runs into the tank and has a fat end that sits in the gas flame.

I also would like to point out that your tank is 9 years old and is due for replacement...

Last edited by Ghostmaker; 05-31-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:46 PM   #5
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water heater goes out every week or so


The document you want is
http://products.geappliances.com/Mar...Name=AP13204-4

According to it, your Hot Water Heater was manufactured by Rheem, under GE license.

On page 25 is a parts diagram and the 800 number for Rheem, as well as the specific nameplate info that they will ask you for.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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water heater goes out every week or so


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Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
thanks! How do i go about finding the appropriate replacement part?
Find a local parts source.
Buy a spare.

The good ones:
http://www.baso.com/Section/Products...bcd7e2063a0d67
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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water heater goes out every week or so


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post
Any thermo couple of the same length should work. Its the copper wire thingy that runs into the tank and has a fat end that sits in the gas flame.

I also would like to point out that your tank is 9 years old and is due for replacement...

is 9yrs a reasonable life-span then, should i forgo trying to fix and spend the cash on a new water heater?
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:43 PM   #8
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water heater goes out every week or so


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Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
is 9yrs a reasonable life-span then...
20 years is reasonable absent bad water or abuse.
It doesn't happen as often as it used to but it should still be expected.
So yeah, a $5 part and 20 minutes of work is absolutely warranted.

That said...
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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water heater goes out every week or so


The water heater will work equally well with a broken sight glass except that a gust of air from outside from just the right direction may put out the pilot light.

You might want to take out the burner unit, clean it, and reinstall it. If some of the little channels are clogged, abnormal air gusts may occur (with or without the sight glass) at the moment of kick on or at the moment of kick off that could put out the pilot light.

For water heaters with a sight glass, usually the hatch cover and the burner come off in one piece.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:25 AM   #10
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water heater goes out every week or so


13 years is the national average. I'd repalce the part because it's cheap and easy.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:53 PM   #11
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water heater goes out every week or so


Guys - so I bought and replaced the thermocouple. Sadly, the problem persists just as it did. It'll stay lit for a few days, then just randomly it goes out.

I see earlier someone mentioned that there may be a backdraft down the vent blowing out the pilot. My heater is stricktly speaking outside the house, but there is a built in cupboard so it actually sits inside the cupboard, the doors are flush with the outside wall of the house. The vent runs up through the attic into the roof. There is a 2nd water heater in the mirror opposite position on the other side of the house that does not have this problem. How do i check/prevent possible backdraft gusts that might be blowing out the pilot?

thanks,
Matt
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:58 PM   #12
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water heater goes out every week or so


Did you take out the burner unit and clean it throughly to include igniter, burner, pilot, orifices, etc., as AllanJ reccommended?

You can easily check your vent by using a candle and do a smoke test as Ghost has reccommended. Wave it around your hwh vent and watch carefully how the smoke reacts. Does it go up with lots of suction or is it sluggish staying at bottom not going up fast? Check and clean vent if needed.

Also hwh heaters have filters as well. They vary, some are on the bottom, some are on sides. Clean and inspect those as well. If filters are clogged, this will sufficate your pilot as well. When you have the burner out is when to clean those. A shop vac with a mini suction adapter works well. If filter is located on bottom make sure you use vac underneath to pull out debris not on top of filter. It also helps if you hook the vac up the other way and blow on top of filter so debris falls to the bottom to be vacumm up.

If still no luck, it may be time to check the gas control valve. You may want to consult a certified pro at this point or start thinking of getting a new hwh. For a new gas control valve you can figure 150 -200 dollars plus service call if you have a pro do it. Can end up being a 400 dollar job. You can buy a new 40 gal hwh for 499 at sears, HD, or Lowes. I wouldn't invest too much into fixing it. Your at about the 10 year mark which isn't bad for not doing any maintenance on it. They should be flushed out every year, anode rod replaced at the 3 or 4 year mark etc. Kind of late now for your current hwh, but going forward, you can keep them going longer with proper annual maintenance and inspection service as reccommended by manufacturer.

Last edited by jmon; 06-18-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:15 AM   #13
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water heater goes out every week or so


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
is 9yrs a reasonable life-span then, should i forgo trying to fix and spend the cash on a new water heater?
There are many factors that can affect the life span of a hwh. Some people will get 20 years others 6 years. Depends upon water hardness, use, annual maintenance, replacing anode rod, etc. IMO, with proper maintenance reccommended by the manufacturer you should get at least 12 years or so of good service out of it. Thankfully, hwh are not that expensive to replace.

Last edited by jmon; 06-18-2013 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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water heater goes out every week or so


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Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post

I also would like to point out that your tank is 9 years old and is due for replacement...

My State 40 gallon gas water heater that was in my house when I bought it 15 years ago was installed in 1978, it just started a small leak near the drain valve 2 years ago, that means the tank, the whole unit was 33 years old, I never did a thing to it because the drain was plugged with lime so I never was able to drain it even. It never needed service or parts in the 13 years I had it before I replaced it, where did you come up with the 9 year figure for a water heater being due to be replaced?

Last edited by RWolff; 06-18-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #15
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water heater goes out every week or so


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Originally Posted by RWolff View Post
My State 40 gallon gas water heater that was in my house when I bought it 15 years ago was installed in 1978, it just started a small leak near the drain valve 2 years ago, that means the tank, the whole unit was 33 years old, I never did a thing to it because the drain was plugged with lime so I never was able to drain it even. It never needed service or parts in the 13 years I had it before I replaced it, where did you come up with the 9 year figure for a water heater being due to be replaced?
Then you got very lucky. That luck will not happen with your new tank.

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