GE Electric Water Heater Review

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General Electric offers popular GE electric water heater home appliances for residential water heating in a range from 2.5 gallons point-of-use models to the large 80 gallons, in HE, GE, PE and SE series for the whole house.

Difference between all these General Electric water heaters is not only in size, but in quality of some component parts, systems for protection they are using and lengths of the warranties.

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GE point-of-use electric water heaters

There are four General Electric water heater models known as point of use, with the capacity of 2.5, 6, 10 and 20 gallons. All these electric units are using a single element of 120 V for water heating, with the power of 1440 W for the 2.5-gallon unit and 2 kW for other models.

2.5-gallon GE model is shipped with the power supply cord and the plug used only in 120 VAC applications, while other models are wired only to the junction bracket.

GE point of use water heaters are perfect for installations right at the spot where hot water is needed mainly for small jobs and if you have a limited space for installation. They are recommended for residential water heating in vacation homes, RVs or offices.

Water connection used on 6 and 20-gallon tank size models are 3/4" while on the 2.5-gallon model hot and cold water pipe connections are 1/2". Drain valve is not supplied except for the smallest 2.5-gallon model.

Relief valve on the smallest model is located on the top of the water heater, while 6, 10 and 20-gallon water heaters are using side connections.

30-gallon models

There are five GE electric water heater 30-gallon models available with three different length sizes: unit length of 30" is classified as short, 36" as medium and approximately 45" is classified as the tall unit.

All 30-gallon units are with the same energy factor of 0.93 but different first hour rating; which is from 29 gallons per hour for the short unit to 48 gal/hour for the tall unit PE30T09AAG, thanks to the self-cleaning system, heavy duty anode rod and stainless steel upper heating element.

Units are using heating elements with the power of 4500 kW and 240 V, except for the short model PE30S09KAG which uses 3800 kW.

38-gallon models

Both 38-gallon models, GE38S06AAG and PE38S09KAG are short, with the same size, weight and energy factor of 0.92. PE38S09KAG with the heating power of 3800 W provides 30 gallon per hour while GE38S06AAG model with 4500 W delivers 45 gallons per hour.

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40-gallon models

Six models of 40-gallon electric water heaters are built as medium and tall, where the tank height for medium size is approximately 46" and for tall is little over 59".

Only one model SE40M12TAH is designed with the double 5500 W heating elements, and that helps the unit to provide 22% faster recovery than 6 and 9 year warranty models. That is the reason why this GE electric water heater has the highest energy factor EF of 0.94 in the group and 56 gallon per hour first hour rating.

Other models are designed with the heating power of 4500 W, EF 0.92 and first hour delivery from 50 to 57 gallons per hour.

50-gallon models

50-gallon models can be found in tall size with tank height of 57" and two diameters: 19" and 22 1/4" and medium with the tank size of 46" and diameters of 21 3/4" and 24 1/4".

Two medium size models with the power of 4500 W are having the EF of 0.9 while the unit with the power of 5500 W has the energy factor 0.93. First hour delivery rate on all medium size 50-gallon models is the same 62 gal/h.

Tall size water heaters are having the energy factor 0.91 except for the model with the largest diameter GE50T06TAG 0.94. Heating power of 4500 W and recovery rate of 67 gal/h are the same for all tall models.

80-gallon models

Choose between two 80-gallon GE electric water heater models if you have a home with the high hot water demand. Both of them are tall in size, 59" in height and 23" and 24 1/2" in diameter. Wider unit is designed with the EF 0.92 and thanks to the 5500 W heating elements it provides 88 gallons first hour delivery. Other model has the EF of 0.86 and 4500 W heating power allows first hour delivery of 87 gal/h.


When going through our review of General Electric hot water heaters, you will find that some models are built with the standard economy class components like copper heating elements or higher quality stainless steel elements with resistor design. Some units are equipped with one while the other with two heating elements and two adjustable surface mounted thermostats.

Thermostat is factory set on 120 F, but by using the dial you can change the temperature of the hot water up to 160 F.

The BTUH rating of the relief valve must not be less than the input rating for that water heater. Input value can be found on the rating label at the front of the unit.

Some units, those with the higher energy efficiency are equipped with the thicker foam insulation and heat traps in both hot and cold water line.

Self-Cleaning System on some models are used to reduce the sediment buildup. Porcelain lining on the inner tank surface and magnesium or heavy duty anode rod for protection against corrosion.


General Electric offers for its GE electric water heater models three different warranties 6, 9 and 12 years.

Electric heaters with the 6-year limited warranty can be found in sizes from the smallest 2.5-gallon tank to the largest 80-gallon capacity for residential applications. As the warranty is related to the metal tank durability, longer warranty is followed by the higher quality of parts used.

Water heaters from this group with the lowest warranty have the standard, economy magnesium anode rod for protection against corrosion and standard copper heating elements.

Electric heaters with the 9-year limited warranty are manufactured in 30, 38, 40, 50 and 65-gallon tank sizes. 3 year longer warranty when compares to the previous group is because GE offers stainless steel upper heating element with patented resistor design instead the copper element. To protect the system from sediment buildup it uses Self-cleaning system and heavy duty anode rod to fight the corrosion.

Electric water heaters with the 12-year limited warranty are built only in sizes of 40, 50 and 80-gallons and they also offer as previous group high quality elements that protect the unit and extend the life of the tank and the most effected components.


You can buy any of these GE electric water heater models online or in the store. Home Depot for example exclusively sells General Electric water heater appliances, but they can also be found at the Sears and Lowe's.

Price range you can expect for these electric models is between $200 and $400.

(Photo credit to GE)