Water Heater Repair Instructions
GE, Rheem, Rudd, Kenmore, A.O. Smith, State, Rinni, American




How to Repair a GE Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater  

GE® Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater with Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Capability 

Popping-Crackling-Clicking Noise Coming From Inside GE Hybrid Water Heater 

Buildup of mineral deposits on the water heaters heating elements can cause rumbling noises inside any electric, natural gas, propane or oil fueled water heater. These noises are often described as cracking, clicking, exploding and popping. Minerals, like calcium and lime naturally occur in water systems across America. The ultimate solution is to install a water softener or water treatment system that removes these minerals from the water before it enters your home and water heater. There is a temporary solution that you can perform yourself to extend the life of your GE hybrid water heater and its components; you can clean the mineral buildup off of the heating elements. 


a.       Set the heater control to its lowest setting and wait for the unit to shut off. 

b.      Unplug the water’s power cord from the wall outlet or turn off the electric breakers at the main electrical panel. You must assure that the power is disabled before continuing. 

c.       Shut off the water supply to your GE hybrid water heater. If correctly installed, there should be an individual appliance shut off valve just above or to the side of the water heater on the cold water supply line. Turn the valve’s handle clockwise until it stops. Test for hot water by opening several hot water faucets in the house. If the water does not stop, you may need to turn off the homes main water service valve or the municipal water meter supply.  

d.      Connect a hose to the bottom drain valve of your hybrid water heater. A garden hose works well for this purpose. Run the hose to an open drain or a safe area outside the dwelling. The water may still be extremely hot-Use Caution and monitor the water release. Children and pets should not be allowed near the draining water. 

e.       Open the temperature and pressure relief valve (TP&R) on the side of the water heater. Opening the valve will allow air into the tank and speed up the draining process. Another option is to disconnect the cold water supply line from the cold water inlet; this will also allow air into the tank and prevent an air lock. Wait for all the water to drain from the water tank before moving on to the next step. If the water is slow to drain, try opening and closing the drain valve several times to clear any obstruction. If no water drains from the water heater after open the TP&R valve or disconnecting the cold water supply, you will need to replace the drain valve or have the drain valve replaces by a certified professional.  

f.        Remove the two element covers from the front of your hybrid water heater tank only. Remove any protective insulation if necessary. Insure the power is shut off by testing the thermostats with a voltmeter before continuing. The meter should read “0” volts. 

g.       Loosen the screws holding the wires to the heating elements; you do not need to remove the screws. Carefully pull the wires back out of the way. Mark each wire as to its location. 

h.      Unscrew the heating elements with an element wrench. Turn the GE Hybrid water heating elements counterclockwise to remove. 

i.         Wrap the threaded ends of the elements with a small plastic bag and electrical tape to make them water tight. 

j.         Place the elements in a deep plastic pan and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Slowly pour in white distilled vinegar until the elements are immersed. Let the heating elements soak in the mixture for a couple of hours; stirring the mix from time to time.  

k.       Wearing rubber gloves remove the elements from the vinegar and wipe them clean with an old washcloth; do not use tools or utensils of any kind to scrap the element, they are easily damaged. Dispose of the vinegar mix and sediments in the toilet or outside where there is no vegetation; the vinegar will kill grass and other plants. 

l.         Rinse the elements under warm water for two minutes.  

m.    Replace the GE Hybrid water heater heating elements, reconnect the wiring to the elements, close the drain valve, close the TP&R valve and reconnect the cold water supply if necessary. Turn the water supply back on to the tank, and then open all the hot water faucets in the house to evacuate all air from the water heater while it is filling. When all the hot water faucets are flowing freely-turn off the faucets. Replace the element covers on front of the water tank. Turn the breakers back on or plug the power supply back in, and then set the thermostat temperature to your desired level. Caution- exceeding the water temperature recommended by the manufacture (120 Degrees) can cause bodily injury-especially to children and seniors. 

 Loud Noisy GE Hybrid Water Heater 

 Check the air filter. It is necessary to clean the air filter on top of the water heater                      periodically. Failure to clean the filter will cause the unit to overheat, eventually requiring expensive repair or replacement of the fan motor or compressor. 

How to Clean or Replace the Air Filter on Your GE Hybrid Water Heater 

Your hybrid water heater’s air filter is designed to be removed and replaced without tools of any kind. You will need to access the top of the water heater. A step ladder may be necessary. Use Caution and common sense when climbing and standing on your step ladder. Always follow the ladder manufactures instructions.  

a.       The GE Hybrid water heater air filter is located on the top of the unit behind the water and electrical connections. There is no need to shut the water heater power off or drain the water heater when changing or cleaning the condensing unit’s air filter. The air filter is a long plastic bar running parallel to the other connections. 

b.      Lift the air filter straight up and out of the GE Hybrid unit with both hands. Try and keep the bar as level as possible when lifting to prevent damaging the filter. 

c.       Remove the filter to the outside of the home. Wipe the filter gently with a damp cloth into a refuse container. Do not use cleaning chemicals on the filter or cloth, they could eventually damage or even ruin the filter material.  

d.      Run the air filter under a gentle shower of water to finish cleaning; do not scrub the filter with metal or plastic brushes, the filter media can be easily damaged. 

e.       Reinstall the filer after it is dry. Replacing the filter when wet will eventually cause damage to the condensing unit. Caution-Do not force the filter back into position, it should glide in the top of the water heater with little effort when aligned properly.  

f.        You must reinstall the air filter as soon as possible or soon as the filter is dry. Running a GE Hybrid water heater without an air filter will shorten the life of the equipment and severely lessen any energy savings the unit is intended to provide. 

Water Dripping or Running from the TP&R Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve or your GE Hybrid Electric Water Heater 

The relief valve on the side of your water heater is a safety device. The valve is manufactured to release excessive water pressure from the tank when it exceeds the manufacture’s recommended working pressure rating. Some common reasons for high water pressure inside the water heater include; the water system being closed or shut off from the municipal water supply-this causes natural water expansion from heating to seek escape, extremely high city water pressure, a broken pressure regulator on a water pump supplying the tank and broken and a malfunctioning temperature thermostat control within the water heater itself. Your GE Hybrid water heater’s relief valve can also malfunction due to metal fatigue and mineral buildup. When the TP&R valve has been found leaking, the best thing to do first is find out why. Once you have determined the cause of the leak, and made the necessary repairs, always replace the valve. Leaving the old T&P valve in the heater is asking for trouble later on down the road.  

How to Replace the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve on Your GE Hybrid Water Heater 

a.       Shut off the water and power supply to the water heater. 

b.      Drain the tank with a garden hose. 

c.       Cut or disconnect the relief valve’s drain tube. 

d.      Unscrew the drain tube from the T&P relief valve. 

e.       Unscrew the relief valve counterclockwise from the Hybrid water heater tank. 

f.        Wrap the threads of your new safety valve clockwise several times with white or pink pipe thread tape. 

g.       Screw the valve into the tank clockwise by hand, and then secure the valve facing down; a pipe wrench may be necessary to remove and replace the valve. Caution-you can over tighten the relief valve; however, this is not a common problem. 

h.      Reinstall the drain tube into the valve. Wrap the threads of the drain tube with pipe thread tape to ensure a good seal.  

i.         Install a coupling to join the cut drain tube back together. Use like material to reconnect the drain tube; copper to copper pipe or CPVC to CPVC pipe. 

j.         Open all the hot water valves in the house, and then turn the water supply back on and wait for the tank to fill until water is running from all your faucets. 

k.       Turn your faucets off and reconnect the power to the unit. It may take up to three hours for your GE Hybrid water heater to regain its full temperature.  

GE Hybrid Water Heater Leaking 

Water leaking from any water heater is a bad thing. Don’t panic, it may be a simple fix. Your Hybrid water heater works like a water heater and an Air Conditioner. The Air Conditioner portion of your water heater uses a condensing coil to help control the water temperature. Condensing coils create a large amount of moisture depending on the humidity of the air around them. As the water flows down the coil, it picks up dust and dirt from the air as well. The dirt can eventually clog the condensate drain hose. The water has no place else to go but out of the over flow tube and into the water heater’s drain pan. If both the main tube and relief drain tube become clogged, water can spill out over the side of the water heater tank. 

How to Unclog the Drain Tube on Your GE Hybrid Water Heater 

a.       Shut off the electric power to the water heater to prevent possible shock. 

b.      Disconnect the main drain hose from the water heater by removing the clamp holding it in place. You may need a pliers or a screwdriver depending on who installed your water heater. 

c.       Take the disconnected main condensate drain hose outside to a vacant area. Caution-make sure there are no people, animals or structures within 25 to 30 feet. 

d.      Carefully swing the tube over your head in a circular motion for ten seconds to clear as much of the clog as possible. 

e.       Run water through the cleared hose from an outside water faucet; do not use an indoor faucet as the bacteria in the hose could contaminate the drinking water supply. 

f.        Reconnect the main hose to your GE water heater. If the overflow section of the condensation tube is clogged, carefully run a straighten coat hanger wire through the tube to clear any debris. 

g.       Turn the power back on to the water heater after all the spilled and excess water is dried.  

Remember to follow all safety guidelines applicable to your particular water heater, whether electric, hybrid gas nor oil fired.  

For warranty information on your GE Hybrid water heater, contact GE at; 

GE Answer Center® 


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