Cut open shell of WH to investigate leak?

The Tank Cut open shell of WH to investigate leak?

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    I have a slow leak in my 3 yr old GE Gas WH that I can’t get rid of. I thought it was my drain valve, but I reseated the valve with teflon tape, then replaced the brass drain valve (with the screwdriver slot) and more teflon tape, but I’m still getting a leak of about 1 quart per day in the catch basin.

    I thought the leak is in the drain valve because I can feel a hot spot under the valve and the insulation is wet under the valve.

    Anyone ever cut open the sheet metal shell before?

    I’m thinking of doing that with some nibblers so I can investigate the leak before I junk the WH and replace it.

    Randy Schuyler

    It’s still under warranty, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to turn it in for the warranty replacement? Or are you fed up on GE?

    Randy Schuyler

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: I suppose slicing up the heater is a good way to vent frustration, but it’s easier just to look at every threaded port and see that it’s not leaking. If it isn’t leaking where it can be fixed, it must be leaking through the tank and fortunately for you, that’s under warranty. Getting a replacement might be harder if you brought in a pile of snippings 😎

    Yours, Larry

    ps, I’ve cut open a number of tanks, but not when I might have needed to return them to the store.


    I installed the WH myself & it’s 3 years old so my impressions of warrantee’s is that they rarely pay out anything worthwhile after the first year.

    But based on your suggestion I called Rheem (who made the GE WH) and they said take it back to HD for a model swap or full receipt credit if they don’t carry it anymore.

    Thanks & wish me luck dealing with the HD return department.

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