AO Smith GDFE issues

by l winterton
(south weber, Utah)

I've had 2 of them. GDFE 50 gallon water heaters. First one bought and installed 1-2-2010. FAILED after 3 years almost to the day.
Replaced under warranty, but it still cost me $500 for re-install costs.

2nd one was installed 1-4-2013. I was on vacation last week in California when my father in law called telling me there was a problem. His wife was walking the dog and noticed water spewing out of the exhaust vent on the outside of my house. Father in law was notified and turned off the water ASAP. The heater had failed for the second time- same issue, inner tank had ruptured. It was leaking onto the floor but the drain was keeping up so far. Luckily he was there. If he hadn't been, my basement would have flooded disastrously.

This heater also supplied my in floor radiant heat tubes. Well, it had been snowing that week and was down in the 30's temp-wise. My father lives in my house and had no water, or heat during the next 4 days while we dealt with replacement. The original heater cost me $4500. Add the $500 for the re-install. So far, $5000.

I had a POLARIS water heater for 15 years when I built the house before the Vertex's- I am the original owner of the house. So, due to the crappy product, and from the average at best experiences the distributor and installer had had with AO SMITH, and not being at home (still on vacay in California), I told the installer to put another POLARIS back in, and I would deal with AO SMITH when I returned. I contacted AO SMITH, they asked for serial #'s and pics. I supplied them and a few other facts. The emails continued for 3 days, getting nowhere. The end was "too bad, so sad- your warranty is up by 2 extra months"... No acceptance for shoddy product or care. Another $4500 down the toilet.

Their only help was "we recommend you have a good maintenance schedule for your new water heater". Well, DUH. How about - YOU BUILD A BETTER PRODUCT! You stand behind it! 2 water heaters in 6 years and 2 months. Can you spell C R A P ???? DON'T BUY ONE. E V E R .

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May 08, 2016
AO Smith 50-gal... Triple check out of the box!
by: V.brown

Purchased a new AO Smith 50 gal gas water heater from my local supply house on a Friday afternoon. Purchase the entire installation kit we normally order. Started installation on Sat and had some issues.

First I did not notice there wasn't an anode rod installed. Second I didn't notice a plug wasn't installed in the spotruck either. Upon filling tank flooded new floor by the time water could be shut off.

After purchasing an anode rode from Home Depot since they were open and installing it. I was unable to light main burner. After verifying gas pressure and gas valve operation I figured out it had no combustion air. The water was preventing airflow from bottom of tank. End of story triple check tank out of box. Monday I will have quite the conversation with my supply house!

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