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




Instructions for Servicing a Home Depot GE/Rheem Gas Water Heater 

Cleaning the Inside of the Water Heater Tank 

1.      Turn off the main gas control valve. Rotate the temperature dial on the front of the GE water heater-gas control-valve counterclockwise to its lowest setting, in most cases, vacation. Turn the gas control knob on top of the thermostat control valve to the left-until it is in its off position. 

2.      Connect a heavy garden hose to the water’s drain valve towards the bottom of the unit. By hand, tighten the female hose end to the drain valve, and then secure it with slip joint-or Channellocks pliers. Uncoil the drain hose to a safe location-an area drain, floor drain or driveway. Caution, do not run hose into a garden or lawn, or where children are present.  The water draining for the water heater will still be extremely hot and can cause severe burns.  

3.      Open the drain valve to purge sediment and mineral buildup from the water heater tank. Turn the drain valve handle or screw stop counterclockwise until fully open, or the handle stops. Observe that water is flowing freely from the open end of the drain hose. Allow the water to run until the water turns temperate or cold.  Turn off the waterheater drain valve and disconnect the garden hose. If no water flows from the hose while the drain valve is open, refer to the “No water flow section” below.  

Inspecting, Replacing and Installing a GE Hot Water Heater’s Anode Rod 

1.      Turn the water heater’s thermostat control knob to its lowest setting. Turn the on off knob to pilot. You do not need to turn the gas valve off if you not draining the tank. 

2.      Shut off the main cold water supply valve feeding the GE water heater. Open the hot water faucet in the bathtub to relive remaining water pressure.  

3.      Locate the hex shape top of the metal anode rod on top of the water heater. Use a large socket wrench to unscrew the anode rod from the tank. If the rods pitted, disintegrated or damaged in any way, or you can see the anode rod wire, replace the anode rod. Do not reinstall a damaged anode rod; you will shorten the life of the water heater considerably.  

4.      Wrap the threads of the anode rod five to six times in a clockwise direction with PTFE tape, or generously coat the threads with Teflon paste. These will seal the threads in the tank and prevent leaking.  

5.      Screw the anode rod into the tank by hand, and then secure it with your socket wrench. 

6.      Open the water-heater supply valve and allow the water to run from the tub faucet until it flows freely. This will remove any air from the water heater. Turn off all open faucets and inspect the anode rod connection to the tank for leaks. If you do see a leak, repeat the previous steps and wrap the threads of the anode rod using more thread tape than before- eight to ten turns. 

7.      Turn the gas valve back on and set the thermostat dial to the manufactures recommended setting.