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Customer reviews for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

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

The GE 50-Gallon 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater saves you the effort of replacing and cleaning filters thanks to its combustion air intake. The low-NOx burner reduces your emissions, and the Piezo ignition system eliminates the need for lighting matches. The air/fuel shut-off device of the SmartShield sensor system protects against the ignition of flammable vapors. This low-maintenance heater has a self-cleaning function that enhances its performance life.
Overall rating:
3.344 / 5
3.3
 / 
5
(96 reviews) 95
Open Ratings Snapshot
60%of customersrecommend this product55 of 92reviews
Rating Breakdown 96 reviews
3.3 out of 5.0
5
(43)
4
(13)
3
(3)
2
(8)
1
(29)
Ease of installation 
3.8 out of 5.0
3.8 out of 5
Quality 
2.4 out of 5.0
2.4 out of 5
Value 
2.7 out of 5.0
2.7 out of 5
60%of customersrecommend this product55 of 92reviews
Customer questions and answers:
31 Questions | 55 Answers
Customer reviews for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
Review 1 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Copperas Cove, TX, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Nice looking Water Heater

PostedSeptember 2, 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 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
The SG50T12AVG was very easy to install, its a little heavy so your going to need 2 people to lift it into place. After installation went right by the instructions. When I got to lighting the Pilot, The ignition system is a Piezo and is preferred over the type that has to be lit using matches. Working similarly to a gas grill, the user just pushes a button and this sends a spark to the pilot. Well this did not spark. I called Home Depot and the sales associate was great he told me to come to the store and he would exchange the Piezo. I did and the water heater is working great. Lets hope that this system lasts a long time. The previous system that I had was a Rheem 40 gallon that was in the house when it was built, it lasted 17 years and was still working just fine when I replaced it. This system is built by Rheem so that is why I choose this product.
Pros: Easy to Install, Good Instructions, No Leaks
Cons: piezo had to be replaced
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User submitted photo
+7points
7out of 7found this review helpful.
Review 2 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Massachusetts

Not reliable

PostedFebruary 23, 2013
Overall rating 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
I've installed six of these. Three had to be replaced in six or seven years. Also had t&p valve leak, and had to replace a gas control. Most other water heaters I've dealt with were trouble free until they sprung leaks after the warranty ran out. At least I got three free replacements for the leaky GE's . However, their new warranty doesn't extend with the replacement water heaters. The warranty end date is 12 years from the first install, even if you went through the trouble of replacing the first with a brand new heater under warranty, unless you upgrade to a different model.
+51points
51out of 51found this review helpful.
Review 3 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from CHANDLER, AZ
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Tank Failure in Year 9

PostedDecember 16, 2013
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 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Value 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
This 12 year Warrantied heater Model SG50T12AVG00 lasted 9.5 years with great function, nice fast hot water, and then it catastrophically failed,dumping all of its water in an hour or so. The limited warranty is just that, "limited" and looks like it will only cover a prorated replacement of the unit, and that's it. I'm opting to replace this water heater with a better reviewed 12 year Kenmore, with an added 12 year service plan that actually covers everything, i.e.service fees, install of replacement, etc. Based on many of the more recent reviews, GE seems to be having more tank failures and unhappy customers after failures like that of my tank. I'm not giving GE or HD my money to replace with same troubled unit.
Pros: heated well
Cons: Leaks, failed prior to warranty period ending, catastrophic tank failure
+6points
6out of 6found this review helpful.
Review 4 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from topeka ks
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

failed in less than 2 years

PostedSeptember 2, 2013
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
Manufacture date May 2011. Installed 12/2011, Bottom of tank started leaking Sept. 2013. This is a 12 year warranty tank. Terrible product. Looking at other reviews it appears others have had the same issue. Carpet in basement is soaked and now a day off work to install a new tank. Going to drag this one back to home depot and hope to get a new one, wish it could be a different brand. Run from this h2o heater.
+15points
15out of 15found this review helpful.
Review 5 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Niskayuna, NY
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Female
Home Improvement Profile:Professional

I'm on my 3rd

PostedSeptember 13, 2013
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 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.
I have owned two of these in the past 5 years. Same situation with leaks as described by other customers. The first one lasted 3 years before it leaked. The 2nd 2 years. I'm having a 3rd replaced now and hesitate to do so. GE would not pay for the labor without a significant argument from me but then agreed to pay $250. If it weren't for the warranty, I would not purchase another.
Pros: Easy to Install, Good Instructions
Cons: Leaks, does not last more than 2-3 years without leaking
+10points
10out of 10found this review helpful.
Review 6 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

Pilot keeps going out

PostedJuly 23, 2012
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 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.
I thought I would save some money and get this unit and have a plumber install it. Well, the pilot keeps going out randomly. It will relight easily enough, but it might last a day or a week, or a month. Frustrating and I see this is a common problem. I wish I would have bought a water heater through the plumber, and gotten a parts and labor warranty from him. Now I have to deal with GE directly to try and get this fixed.
Cons: pilot goes out frequently
+37points
40out of 43found this review helpful.
Review 7 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Trussville AL
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Three Installed, No Problems

PostedDecember 3, 2011
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
Just completed putting in three of these heaters, one for me 2 years ago, one for a friend's dad a month ago and one just today helping a neighbor. Installation was very easy, no leaks as discribed by others at inlet/outlet nipples and no ignition failures. This heater uses conventional parts, valve, thermocouple (pilot sensor) and a snap spark pilot lighter. I used Shark flexible connectors that were a breeze. Very pleased with heater and the quality of it. I reccomended it to those that bought it based upon my personal experience and other reviews. Not sure why some other folks had problems. Could have been pilot error. Very quiet operation also.
+15points
17out of 19found this review helpful.
Review 8 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Clackamas County, Oregon

THE BEST.

PostedFebruary 24, 2011
Overall rating 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 out of 5
I was not able to use a tankless water heater in my home application due to not having a 50 degree F ambient temperature year 'round; however....this water heater uses LESS gas than my old 40 gallon one...and heats more water faster (less recovery time); and it's very, very quiet. I had to place my ear to the unit to hear if it was operating!
Installation was easy, but it helps to have a friend with you. All connections in their "traditional" places. I had hot water within
45 minutes of installation. I'm glad I spent the "extra" money for this one instead of going with the "cheapest"....you get what you pay for absolutely holds true here. If you get this water heater you will be a happy camper!
+21points
24out of 27found this review helpful.
Review 9 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Mokena, IL, USA

RUN AWAY

PostedJanuary 26, 2012
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 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.
Heater stopped working at 1 year and 10 weeks. Home Depot doesn't have technician to fix and GE's going to charge me to come and fix - taking back to depot and never buying GE again- so much for a 12yr warranty. See previous review where customer was charged $500 to fix this unit after only 3 years - USELESS WARRANTY
+17points
18out of 19found this review helpful.
Review 10 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

Good as long as your handy

PostedFebruary 24, 2013
Overall rating 
4.0 out of 5.0
4 out of 5
I bought one of these 9 years ago and it finally started leaking. I had the 12 year standard warranty so Home Depot warranty was good and I got a new one which has the same exact dimensions as my old one so swapping them out was easy as I did all the install and replacement myself. As long as you don't have to hire someone then it's probably worth it as the installation work costs much more than the heater and of course if you don't mind the hassle of switching it out, hauling it upstairs from a basement and bringing it back to Home Depot. Lowes equivalent reviews were not much better so if you have it professionally installed you might as well call a plumber and use their brand. I agree it may never make the 12 years but if you want to save a boat load of money by doing it yourself and have the warranty as a backup,
then it's probably the best option. I commend GE/Home Depot to honor their warranty as if not I would not buy this again. Also I have a water softener which I think helped me to my 9 years.
+10points
11out of 12found this review helpful.
Review 11 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Denton, TX, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

GE 50 Gallon, 12 Yr, 40K Btu, Gas Hot Water Heater

PostedMarch 16, 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
This hot water heater was very easy to install. From start to finish took 1 hour (including tear out). The burner is quite and is so much more energy efficient than the 12 year old AOS unit we replaced. Very pleased.
+16points
17out of 18found this review helpful.
Review 12 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from chicago il
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

big mistake purchase

PostedDecember 19, 2013
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.
Bought 2 of these 9 years ago, 12 year warranty, one is leaking. Getting limited warranty replacement is a nightmare. GE directs you to home depot, home depot directs you to GE.
Cons: Leaks
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 13 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

Pilot Goes Out Daily

PostedAugust 6, 2012
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.
I was hoping other reports were just a fluke and I would not have the same problem from this top dollar GE unit from Home Depot. The outside box has no warning of this common problem with the new design of the pilot light.
GE told me to get a gas pressure check for low pressure.
Gas pressure test was 10" w.c.; the max is 10.5" for unit.
Rheem Manufacuring Company should be ashamed of this defective product.
Pros: none
Cons: pilot goes out daily, no disclosure of defect
+16points
19out of 22found this review helpful.
Review 14 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Greenwood, Indiana
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Water heater was defective, GE poor quality control and customer service.

PostedFebruary 17, 2014
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
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.
The unit I bought had a defect piezo and would not light the pilot light. I called GE tech support and they walked me thought the same lighting instruction in the manual with no satisfaction. They assured me that they would have a local service tech dispatched to my house to repair the defective WH. To verify the service time, I ask for the phone number and dispatch number of the local company that would be helping me. After I got the service manager on the phone, he indicated that it would be 2 days before a tech would call to schedule a time, and then I would need to wait longer to actual get it repaired since their tech don't stock parts for units purchased from "big box stores". He then proceeded to explain how I should have called a real plumbing company like his to get my HW fixed. Bottom line I when back to HD and purchased another water heater, and verified the second unit's igniter was actually sparking, I then proceeded to remove the first unit and install the second. (The second unit is working fine) HD did take back the defective unit. Shame on GE for poor quality control and service.
Pros: home depot took the unit back without a hassle
Cons: unit was defect out of the box, ge tech support was poor
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 15 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED

Be forwarned!

PostedOctober 1, 2011
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
I purchased this water heater and put it in yesterday. While never easy I got it put in and no leaks. A half an hour later when I looked at it the nipples, that were factory installed, had started seeping water up from them. Called help line and they suggested I tighten them... no luck. Finally I removed them (very hard bc no clearance). and added plumbers tap (none put on in factory). Works now. VERY DISAPPOINTED i needed to fix a factory assembly error. Hope this is the only problem I have with it!!
+14points
16out of 18found this review helpful.
Review 16 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Erie, PA, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

Good Water Heater

PostedFebruary 19, 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
We've been using this 50 gal. water heater since Jan. 2011 and its been working perfectly. Two things I did when installing it where to replace the plastic bib drain faucet with a metal ball valve and to loosen the anode to make sure the connection could be loosened up easier during maintenance in the future. I re-taped the threads with thread tape and tightened it back up. The ball valve makes it easier to drain the tank semi-annually to clear out sediment.
+14points
16out of 18found this review helpful.
Review 17 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Oregon, USA
Age Range:45 to 54
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:Other

Excellent Product, Great Warranty, Very Quite

PostedMarch 16, 2013
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
I bought this water heater 6 months ago to replace the 16 year old original one that came with the house. The installation was simple. I only had to disconnect the water, gas and vent connections, then swap out the water heater and reconnect. In all it took less than 60 minutes. Two things I noticed right away, how quiet it was and how easy it was to light the pilot with the piezo electric igniter. I’ve never had to re-light the pilot since.
Over the past few months family members commented how the hot water temperature is consistent even during long showers. And I noticed that our gas usage is less with the new unit.
With the ease of installation, overall performance and 2 year free labor,12 year full replacement warranty I would recommend this product.
Pros: Reliable, Easy to Install, quite, good insulation
Cons: none
+9points
14out of 19found this review helpful.
Review 18 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Warren, Mi
Age Range:35 to 44
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

LEAKING and water damage on floor after 19 months service. Manufactered 1/12, bought 4/12 and installed

PostedNovember 4, 2013
Overall rating 
1.0 out of 5.0
1 out of 5
Ease of installation 
5.0 out of 5.0
5 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.
Installation was pretty straight forward, would be easier if the nipples on the tank were about 2" longer.
Worked flawless until kids told me the play area floor was wet. I checked all MY work and it was dry. Called Home Depot warranty phone number, waited 2 days for a call back saying to "call the number on the water heater".
Called the GE number several times and hung up after my "current wait time is 25 minutes". Finally made time to call and be on hold, the guy told me to clean up the nipples going in the tank. I asked if that would void the warranty, he said "It shouldn't". I managed to lift the blue plastic collar and the spring retainer clip to see the threads on the nipple that go in the tank ... DRY!!! Must be either bad casting for tank or bad weld job of the inlet fitting
I then asked to get transferred to the CLAIMS DEPARTMENT and the lady IMMEDIATELY told me to remove the heater from service and get a new one from the store. So off I go to get heater #2.
Pros: Easy to Install, Good Instructions, never ran out of hot water once installed
Cons: Leaks, pipe nipples need to be about 2" longer
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 19 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Denver, CO, USA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male

Be Careful

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.
I installed this Dec 2008 and the tank is already shot, leaks from the top. This is the 2nd GE water heater I've had to replace in 6 years. Each time I returned to HD no problems exchanging under warranty but just a huge pain having to return and install again.
Cons: doesn't last very long
+12points
15out of 18found this review helpful.
Review 20 for 50 gal. Tall 12 Year 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Water Heater - DISCONTINUED
from Chula Vista, CA, USA
Age Range:55 to 64
,
Gender:Male
Home Improvement Profile:DIYer

lacks GE quality

PostedJanuary 16, 2012
Overall rating 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Ease of installation 
3.0 out of 5.0
3 out of 5
Quality 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
Value 
2.0 out of 5.0
2 out of 5
No, I do not recommend this product.
First one of this model lasted 9 years of the 12 year warranty, replaced with current same model and the bottom leaks after only 3 out of 12 years, GE will replace at prorate, stuck with $159 for permit and $355 for install. end result paying $700.00 for another of same. I trust GE products but the quality for this unit is lacking. Stuck with buying due to warranty credit. Model SG50T12AVHOO
+9points
10out of 11found this review helpful.
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