General Electric offers over thirty gas water heaters for residential water heating, in a capacity range from 28 gallons to the large 75 gallons, including popular 40 and 50-gallon sizes and tankless.
The difference between different gas-fired water heaters is not only in size and weight but in the quality of the components, implemented systems for durability, recovery rate, delivery, efficiency, and warranties.
Some GE gas water heaters are factory set to use natural and some liquid propane gas. A great number of GE gas water heaters are Energy Star, with the energy factor EF of 0.67 or higher and therefore, eligible for government tax breaks and utility rebates. As you will see in this review, all the Energy Star high-efficiency models are designed in the most popular sizes of 40 and 50-gallon tank capacity.
Majority of the General Electric gas water heaters are atmospheric and must be vented outdoors for safety. Units that are high-efficient are usually with the sealed combustion and power venting – known as power vent models, which increases the safety at the same time.
GE water heaters with the power vent are designed for installation in the areas where a traditional water heater cannot be installed - thanks to its flexible horizontal venting run.
There are four GE gas water heaters in this group, with the tank sizes of 28, 29 and 30 gallons, all of them atmospheric with a limited warranty of 6 years. 30-gallon GE water heaters are factory set to use natural gas except for the 29-gallon model GP30T06AVJ which is using propane gas.
First-Hour-Delivery is around 50 GPH and recovery rate around 30 GPH.
28-gallon model GG30S06AVG, with a height of 46" is the shortest model, designed for rooms where installing a standard tall unit is difficult.
Energy efficiency for the tall models is 0.62 while for this shorter 28-gallon GG30S06AVG gas water heater 0.61.
38-gallon gas water heaters are the only offered with a limited warranty of 6 years. Two models are short with the height of 49 1/4", while the other tall models are with the height of 58".
The maximum BTU input for short models is 36,000 which allows them to have First Hour Delivery of 68 GPH and 36.4 GPH recovery rate. Gas input for the tall models is 38,000 which results in the first-hour delivery to be 72 and 73 GPH and recovery rate of 38.4 GPH. EF is 0.6 for all the models.
40-gallon GE gas water heaters are mainly atmospherically vented units except for GP40T06PVK and GG40T06PVK which are power vented. They are also factory set to use natural gas while two power vent models; GP40T06PVK and GP40T06AVR utilize propane gas.
Half of the available 40-gallon models are Energy Star qualified due to its energy factor of 0.62 or higher. High efficiency is the result of the higher BTU's and thicker foam insulation. Gas input for Energy Star models is approximately 40,000 BTU while on standard, less efficient models are around 36,000 BTU.
Most of the popular 50-gallon gas water heaters are designed with the energy efficiency of 0.58 and 0.62. The highest EF value of 0.64 is found on power vent models GG50T06PVK and GP50T06PVK. The highest First Hour Delivery rate of 91 GPH is found on the atmospheric models SG50T12TXK and GG50T06TXK while the minimum is 80 GPH.
An average recovery rate or how quickly the unit can heat cold water to the desired temperature is approximately 40 GPH. The maximum recovery rate on power vented water heater models GG50T06PVK, and GP50T06PVK is 42.4 GPH.
SG60T12YVK is a 60-gallon water heater that features a low energy factor of 0.57, but a long 12-year warranty.
GG75T06ASK is 75-gallon water heater and is the tallest unit among GE gas water heaters. Its maximum First Hour Delivery is 141 GPH and recovery rate of 75.8 GPH.
Both units are factory set to use natural gas, and since they are designed as atmospheric type, they do require 4" vent size for venting products of combustion out.
GE gas water heaters are equipped with the SmartShield Sensor System that automatically shuts the gas unit down thanks to the Flammable Vapor Resistant design, and if flammable vapors are detected.
Those models that are equipped with the low emission gas burner are producing fewer greenhouse gases making them Eco-friendly.
A vent size for 30 and 40-gallon atmospheric water heaters is 3" and for 60 and 75-gallon model is 4". Power vent units offer more flexibility during installation thanks to the 2" and 3" vent pipe with the horizontal run up to 100 ft.
The thermostat is factory set to 120 F, but you can change the temperature of the hot water up to 160 F. The temperature of the outgoing hot water is regulated by setting the temperature dial on the front of the thermostat.
The BTU rating of the relief valve must not be less than the input rating for that water heater. An input value can be found on the rating label at the front of the unit. Discharge pipe should be installed to allow complete drainage, by gravity.
Some units, those with higher energy efficiency are equipped with the thicker foam insulation and 3/4" NPT heat traps in both hot and cold water line.
The Self-Cleaning System, available on some models, is used to reduce the sediment buildup. A porcelain lining on the inner tank surface and heavy-duty anode rod are protecting the metal tank and unit’s components from corrosion. A brass drain valve is found only on water heaters with the 12-year warranty. And since the filter is not used and there is less maintenance required.
GE gas water heaters come with the three different limited warranties of 6, 9 and 12 years. All the models are equipped with the standard heavy duty anode rod and porcelain-lined tank for protection against corrosion.
Gas heaters with the 6-year limited warranty can be found in sizes from the smallest 28-gallon tank to the biggest 75-gallon capacity, used mainly in residential applications. This is the largest group, with over 20 models to choose from. As the warranty is related to the metal tank durability, you will get it longer if you buy a gas hot water heater with the better quality.
GE gas water heaters that come with the 9-year limited warranty are available only in 40 and 50-gallon tank sizes. One of the main reasons for its longer warranty is the self-cleaning system which helps in reducing the sediment buildup inside the water heater tank.
General Electric gas water heaters with the 12-year limited warranty are built only in sizes of 40, 50 and 60-gallons, and they offer a higher quality of some parts. 12-year warranty models are designed with the higher BTUs so they can provide faster recovery and more hot water.