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Customer reviews for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

The GE 40-Gal. 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater features a powerful, efficient low-NOx burner that reduces your energy emissions. A tall 40-gal. tank provides ample hot water for your household. The convenient Piezo ignition system eliminates the need for matches, while an automatic shutoff function enhances your safety.
Overall rating:
3.543 / 5
3.5
 / 
5
(46 reviews) 45
Open Ratings Snapshot
65%of customersrecommend this product28 of 43reviews
Rating Breakdown 46 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0
5
(21)
4
(9)
3
(1)
2
(4)
1
(11)
Ease of installation 
4.1 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5
Quality 
3.2 out of 5.0
3.2 out of 5
Value 
3.3 out of 5.0
3.3 out of 5
65%of customersrecommend this product28 of 43reviews
Customer questions and answers:
27 Questions | 69 Answers
Customer reviews for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
Review 1 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Age Range:25 to 34
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Good water heater.

PostedJanuary 1, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ordered online and picked up in store 45 mins later. Water heater was easy to install, heated the water super fast, and even on the lowest setting maintains a far hotter temperature than the old one at the highest setting. Only drawback is it is noticeably wider than the old one (same capacity, 40 gallons but likely much better insulated, which I guess isn't really a drawback, just something to take into account if squeezing it into a tight space).
Pros: Easy to Install, No Leaks
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
+33points
33out of 33found this review helpful.
Review 2 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

So Far So Good But Time Will Tell

PostedFebruary 5, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
I researched natural gas hot water tanks and it is hard to beat the GE warranty on this unit. Rheem makes the GE brand heater and it is manufactured in Mexico. Although Rheem has had quality issues I believe that GE has been looking to improve the quality of the item. With that said, the unit had a minor dent on the bottom but the box was perfect as other reviewers had stated. Home Depot was kind enough to offer me a discount on the unit. It fired up without issue and heated the water fast. I am happy so far but only time will tell about the general quality and whether or not GE will stand by any warranty items over the next 12 years.
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
Images for this Review
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
+27points
32out of 37found this review helpful.
Review 3 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Boise, ID

Good when it works

PostedFebruary 13, 2011
Overall rating 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
Placed in service 10 months ago. Works very well MOST of the time. Once the burner totally failed and on several other occasions it has failed to deliver sufficient hot water for some unknown reason. Trying to deal with their technical support staff has rapidly turned into an exercise in frustration. Their answer seems to be you have used to much water even though I can tell them how much water has been use, that the temperature is too low turn it up even if it is reading 135 on a thermometer or, the water heater is working fine the problem is somewhere else. At this point I can not recommend this product.
+38points
38out of 38found this review helpful.
Review 4 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Leaking after 6 years

PostedNovember 4, 2012
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I bought this model in 2006 and expected it to last at least 12 years. It's now leaking and the warranty only covers parts - not labor or shipping. It's not worth it to pay for a GE repairman to do a repair on a 6 yr old water heater that's proven to be unreliable.
I can't see where it's leaking due to the insulation and metal jacket. I do know the inlet and outlet are dry. Also, I can reach under the insulation enough to know it's not leaking near the drain valve. I'm assuming it's a bad weld but won't know for sure until I get it out and pull the covers off.
Cons: Leaks
+39points
42out of 45found this review helpful.
Review 5 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Euclid, Ohio
Age Range:65 or over
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Not a good purchase but the manufacturer does stand behind their product.

PostedJanuary 12, 2014
Overall rating 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
This water heater has a 12 year warranty but mine only lasted 10 years and started leaking from the bottom of the tank. I've been in my home for 37years and I've had 2 other water heaters, not GE's, and they lasted 13 years and 14 years and they were only warranted for 6 years each. It's only good feature is it is easy to light.
Pros: Easy to Install
Cons: Leaks
+5points
5out of 5found this review helpful.
Response from By GE AnswersJanuary 14, 2014By GE AnswersJanuary 14, 2014
Hi-this is Sue from GE. We never like to hear that we are not meeting your expectations and appreciate the fact that you took the time to respond with your concerns. We are sorry to hear of the leak. We encourage you to contact our water heater experts at 1-800-431-1549 (Monday-Saturday 8AM to 8PM EST, Sunday 9AM to 4:30PM EST). We hope this is helpful and certainly hope to have a future opportunity to restore your faith in our products.GE_Appliances
Review 6 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Providence RI
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

"12 Year" Failed at 7 years

PostedDecember 4, 2013
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
Like most reviews state: this water heater fails before warranty is up. (and then the trying experience of getting a new one begins!) The tank failed. It emptied its rusty contents on our floor.
Cons: Leaks
+9points
10out of 11found this review helpful.
See Vendor Response
Response from By GE AnswersDecember 9, 2013By GE AnswersDecember 9, 2013
Hi-this is Sue from GE. We are sorry to hear the tank failed and apologize for any inconvenience caused to you. We can certainly understand your concern. We encourage you to take advantage of your warranty and contact our experts at the GE Water Heater Line for assistance. They can be reached at 1-800-431-1549 (Monday-Saturday 8AM to 8PM EST, Sunday 9AM to 4:30PM EST). Thanks for reaching out to us.GE_Appliances
Review 7 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Saratoga Springs, NY, USA
Age Range:35 to 44

Very good, better than the others, BUT a few concerns!

PostedAugust 19, 2012
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
I purchased this on Aug 16 in Saratoga and installed it on the 17th over the course of a long night (starting at 9:30 PM)
We are glad to have gone with the 40 12 year and amazed at how fast the water was hot once we got it installed.
I have two big issues with GE right now though on this one as they are obviously very concerned with 'the big picture' and making a quality product (good brass, better corrosion resistant in and outs for copper) but once we had it filled the water was pouring out of the vent and we thought we were in big trouble.
After a frantic look for bad plumbing, we found the drain valve was barely in and needed several turns to actually be water tight. As you can't see where this drain threads I am afraid some folks might now be able to ID where the leak was coming from if this happened to them.
My second issue was the starter. We couldn't get the pilot to light and even started to get concerned that it might not work at all. We removed the plate over the pilot area and found that one of the wires was naked and arc'ing right to the tank itself. We slid the sleve back on and threw some tape on it and everything was fine.
I would recommend this unit over the others on this page +/- $100 in either direction, but I'm a little disappointed in GE for building such a quality unit with tight tolerances but at the same time let little things like this make it out the door past inspection. It was a small hassle but for DIY'ers it might be a little much to figure out.
Cons: troublshooting install
+55points
55out of 55found this review helpful.
Review 8 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Rochester, NY
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Leaky After 6 Years

PostedOctober 14, 2013
Overall rating 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Ease of installation 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I bought this 12 year GE water heater in March 07. In September 2013 I noticed that water was coming out of the top of the unit around the hot and cold inlets, the anode rod, and the plastic insulation plugs. Water had run down inside as well, and the entire interior was heavily rusted. I suspect it had been leaking very slowly internally for some time. This GE labeled heater is made by Rheem. After several calls to the service line, and a discussion with the warranty department, they conceded that the heater was leaky and it wasn't a condensation problem. They were very helpful and told me I could take the unit back to Home Depot for an exchange for a new heater. The exchange process was easy, except for the fact that I had to remove the old heater, lug it back to the store, an then reinstall the new one. It did not cost me anything (other than some gas and my time). I am giving a 3 rating because of the good warranty and replacement policy. However, if I had paid to have it installed, it would have still cost $$ for the new installation which the warranty does not cover after 2 years. If you pay to get one of these installed, I would highly recommend the extended service plan from HD, which also covers installation costs. Besides the leak problem, the heater ran flawlessly for 6 1/2 years.
Pros: Easy to Install, Good Instructions
Cons: Leaks
+9points
10out of 11found this review helpful.
Review 9 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Michigan, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Lousy Product

PostedOctober 14, 2012
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
Just installed this water heater yesterday. Less than 24 hours later, the drain valve at the bottom of the tank starts to leak. Tecnnical support wasn't much help. They will ship a new valve out to arrive in 2 days. So 2 days from now, I need to drain my new water heater, remove a defective valve & install a hopefully good valve. I paid a premium for a 12 year warranty & the product fails within 24 hours.
Cons: Leaks
+31points
34out of 37found this review helpful.
Review 10 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Old Bridge, New Jersey
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Nothing but problems.

PostedMarch 7, 2014
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I purchased the GE Smartwater 40 gallon water heater from Home Depot. The water heater is leaking from both the hot and cold seal on top of the unit. The GE Hotline was rude and not honoring the 12 year warranty. I have had nothing put problems with this GE water heater. Each time I was didn’t have Hot water for at least 5 days. I’m not going to waste anymore time or money on GE products. I purchased an AO Smith and couldn’t be happier.
Cons: Leaks
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 11 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Charlotte, NC

Significant improvement

PostedOctober 9, 2010
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
My prior w/h was a State Select 40 Gal. natural gas. It began to leak out of warranty. Selected this GE 40 gal made by Rheem to replace it. Selection based on dimension (needed to be 21" or less in width) and 12 year warranty. The longer warranty seems to indicate a better quality. Two of us replaced my old unit in about 6 hours. Instructions for venting not real clear but 1-800 tech support was quick and easy.
This w/h is real nice. Heated 40 gal. to operating temp in 35 minutes or so. It delivers hot water to faucets twice as fast as any prior unit, which is real nice. Plus, the pilot ignition is a piezo electric button.
This is an Energy Star rated unit. So, I save some $$ in operating costs and qualified for a rebate on my purchase price from the local natural gas company as well.
If you self install, and vent through an outer wall like I do, make sure your pipe angle is "less" than 45 degrees (no right angle venting). This was not clear in manual.
So, for value, Energy Start rebate availability, performance, warranty term and ease of installation and use, this rates 5 stars from me.
+20points
20out of 20found this review helpful.
Review 12 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Littleton, Colorado
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Great Water Heater

PostedFebruary 7, 2012
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Value 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
In my research, I found this would be the best water heater for the money. I was replacing a 40 gallon water heater. Consumer Reports and others strongly encouraged getting the best water heaters with the longest warranty (12 years). This GE was highly rated. It has met or exceeded every expectation. Home Depot was great, being able to order it online, and quickly be able to swing by and pick it up. It was easy to install. We had hot water in no time. It continues to work well for us. We highly recommend it.
+33points
38out of 43found this review helpful.
Review 13 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from high desert, californina

GE energy star water heater

PostedMarch 28, 2010
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
i checked our this water heater online last sunday night, the price seemed reasonable, so we decided on it. we went to home depot on monday morning, and found the price to be $30 less than the price listed online, so that made us very happy. installation was easy, the water heater is VERY quiet, and the temperature is right on according to what the manual says it should be for the position at which it is set. we just hope it lasts as long as our last water heater....the date on it was 1989!!! hopefully we will be saving some money over the years, since it is an energy star product. i highly recommend this water heater . thank you very much
+12points
14out of 16found this review helpful.
Review 14 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Marietta, GA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Unhappy with GE Water Heater!

PostedFebruary 25, 2012
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
Frustrated customer here. We own a 4 year old GE Water heater, with extended warranty from Home Depot, that is on its 2nd pilot light assembly in 7 weeks. 1st time - 6 days without hot water. This time 5 days. Contractor called GE Parts yesterday and asked that they overnight parts to us. Didn't happen so now it's Tuesday before its delivered. We will soon do a kitchen remodel and we will NOT buy GE appliances. Unsatisfied with customer service and all parts MUST come from GE, not local supply house!
+28points
34out of 40found this review helpful.
Review 15 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Sparks, MD 21152, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

got exactly 10 yrs out of it

PostedJanuary 16, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
Quality 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Value 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
Just replaced tank with same model, but only got 10 years out of old one instead of 12. System is on city water and have not had issues with water quality (pH, minerals, turbidity etc.). Piping is well grounded. The old tank replaced older 6 yr Rheem of which lasted 11 yrs.
New one is slightly taller and TPR valve is on side instead of top. (likely better design, given that top TPR valve acts as a little radiator). New one has better flame safety system. Of note, anode rod was never replaced on old unit-hence likely cause of premature failure. IMO, anode rod access should be in front of unit and not to the rear. This would facilitate easier replacement given unit is in corner and access to rod is somewhat difficult.
Otherwise unit was reliable and performed well under moderate use.
Pros: Reliable, Good Instructions
+6points
6out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 16 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from NM

Water Heater is ok, customer service is the WORST!

PostedJuly 2, 2013
Overall rating 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Quality 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Value 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I bought this WH about 6 months ago and had it installed by our local gas company when I switched from propane to NG. It worked like is was suppose to, making cold water hot. We are on a well and have extremely hard water so I thought I would drain a few gallons of water to remove any sediment. Big mistake. The pilot light would not restart (I'm shocked we still have to manually light these. We can put a remote controlled robot on Mars...). I called the 800 number. Apparently HD sells GE hot water heaters manufacturered or at least supported by Rheem. I should have know at this point it would not go well, but I pressed on. The first guy I spoke with did almost no trouble shooting and said he would overnight a new pilot sparker. Next day, nothing. The day after that, nothing. I called to check on it, got the run around, but was told it would be there the next day. Nothing. Remember, I have no hot water. I call to find out what is going on, but the CS folks who troubleshoot and send parts can't see if parts are in stock or if they have been shipped. I could go on and on, but I won't bore you with any more details. I finally fixed the water heater myself without any help from Rheem. It's a shame that so few companies value customer service.
Pros: available at your local hd
Cons: customer service, technical support
+5points
5out of 5found this review helpful.
Review 17 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

Easy to light, heats quickly

PostedSeptember 17, 2010
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
My 50 gallon, 10 year old heater sprang a leak on top, so I replaced it with this unit. I originally bought the 50 gallon model, but it was too wide (23") and the heater space is only 24" wide, so I had to move down to this one as it's also 21" wide. There is a generous blanket of insulation about 2" thick inside the outer shell on this unit, MUCH more than my old builder-grade unit.
The piezo-electric lighter is great! No more searching for lighter sticks or foot-long matches, and no accidentally blowing out the pilot when using the leaf-blower in the garage! The combustion chamber is behind a sealed window, so you can see the arc from the lighter button and the pilot once it's lit.
This unit is very quiet, even when filling from empty - further evidence of the generous insulation. My old unit sounded like a coffee can.
I hooked this unit up and was taking a hot shower in about 40 minutes, and the water temp did not drop during a 15-minute shower.
I set the temp to the "recommended" temp indicated by the arrow, and it's as hot as our old unit was at nearly MAX. I'm sure this unit will use far less energy and it seems to recover really quickly.
So far I'm really impressed. Aside from having to heave this thing up onto the box (code requires gas units not be on the floor), installation was real easy - no special tools required, just a big crescent wrench and some elbow grease!
I would have rather had a tankless, but at 2x the cost and with requiring a 3/4" gas line (standard gas heaters only have a 1/2" line, as I have in my house), it would wind up costing me about $2k to go that route, and it would require calling in a pro... No time for that when your existing unit is dripping water out the top and your wife wants to do dishes and laundry!
+20points
22out of 24found this review helpful.
Review 18 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from pflugerville, tx

ge w/h

PostedApril 20, 2011
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
my new ge w/h has reduced my gas bill by at least 25%.
i am now able to take a shower, wash dishes and wash clothes at the same time with no loss of hot water.
+16points
18out of 20found this review helpful.
Review 19 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Metro Chicago

Great Product - Excellent Warranty

PostedNovember 20, 2010
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
GE replaced my 9 year old water heater with the 12 year limited warranty - no hassle, no cost - with the newer model, SG40T12AVG. The 9 year old model served well but started a slow leak. The new model installed easily and works like a charm. We are a family of 6 and both models meet or met our hot water demands.
+12points
13out of 14found this review helpful.
Review 20 for 40 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from central jersey

i would have gotten one with higher ef / eff

PostedMarch 30, 2010
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
when your old one needs replacing, i wish i checked federal guild lines for tax deductions. I thought that the energy star label would have given me one, but it doesn't.
Federal guideline now requires EF - .82 or Thermal Eff - 90%,, this is EF - .62 and 76% which may have been allowed for previous years, not 2009.
Otherwise, I was worried as i read other site reviews that this model reliability was not stellar, but it has been working good for the past year for me. It would have been nice to had that tax deduction on my return i just filed.
+14points
21out of 28found this review helpful.
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