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Thread: GE Water Heater Leaking

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member BillM's Avatar
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    Default GE Water Heater Leaking

    Good afternoon all,
    I have a GE Water Heater.....hot water hose was spirting water from around where the stainless steel mesh is attached to the nut of the water supply.....I thought it was just wearing out, and that I was fortunate to have noticed it before a big problem. I cut the power, and replace the water supply hose with a new one....

    I turned the water supply back on, and the circut breaker to restore power.....the water supply leak is fixed, but I have a very slight stream of water coming out of the upper heater element location, from under the cover......I removed cover, and fiberglass insulation is very wet, and looks like a lot of moisture/condensation inside......As I had cut the power again before I removed this, I just reattached the cover to watch for the leak.....Leak has 'stopped', but when I put power back up, leak started up again......??? is the water heater going, or any ideas why this would be happening? Could it just be a build up of water from the previous water supply leak, or should I start draining the tank, and head to HD for a replacement?

    Thanks in advance...

    -Bill

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Hard to tell if insulation is wet.
    Generally, if a tank is 10 years and over, we like to replace them.

    We go out to a home, and there's water. We fix the first source we find, and yet there is still water leaking. At his point the time spent is nearly what a replacement would have taken us. And we may be only getting months more use at best with the repair.
    Many condo associations require homeowners to replace at ten years, it's much cheaper then paying the $1,000 deductibles on the repairs after the fact.

    Or, you can pull the covers off, put a fan on it and see if it dries up. That would be easy.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member BillM's Avatar
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    Thanks Terry.....I'll do that....only thing is: this was dry as a bone until this morning.....seems strange to me that two leaks can start at once.....Is there some anatomy to a water heater that would cause a build up of water, or a seal broken? Either way, I'll take your advise to watch it, and if its leaking, go ahead and replace.....(8 y.o. unit).

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Make sure you didn't use any Teflon Tape on the flex connector. Those will have seals on the ends and wrapping tape around the connections can interfere with the seal.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Do you have an expansion tank? If you do, it could be shot and need replacement. If you don't, you might need one. Pick up a pressure gauge at one of the big box stores or a hardware or plumbing supply house (about $10). Choose one that has a tattle tale second hand to show peak pressure. Hook it up somewhere (you can use the drain valve of the WH, or an outside hose bib, or a washing machine supply, or buy adapters and put it anywhere) and let it sit for about 24-hours. If the peak pressure gets above 80# by much, you should have a PRV, or if you have one, it is shot or misadjusted.

    A WH is tested at the factory for about 300# of pressure, and the safety T&P valve usually trips at 150#, giving it a 100% safety factor. But, if things are degraded, it could leak at lower pressures, and then, it's generally time to replace.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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