GE Smartwater Heater Not Producing Hot Water

The Tank GE Smartwater Heater Not Producing Hot Water

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    Have a power vent GE smartwater hot water heater.

    Model GP50T06PVK00 (its propane) manufactured in november 2007

    So a couple weeks ago my wife says no hot water in her shower. I went down and reset the water heater and it took off again. Well this kept happening where I would have to reset it and then it would stop sometime during the day.

    Called GE customer service …they said it looked like it needed a new thermostat controller assembly. They sent free of charge. Got it installed yesterday and the same problem. So if I reset it (shut if off a couple minutes and back on) it takes off…but then stops after it runs for awhile.

    Today after looking closer I am getting a series of lights (I previously thought they were the the temp I had set cause I set the same temp on the lights). The lights are the far left and then A and B lights. This time I know I set the temp different so I know it’s giving me an error code.

    The “manual” says its in system lockout with 5 potential reasons.

    On the acutal heater the code says “ignition failure”.

    At this point I don’t know what to do or where to go next with it. I have checked the outside vent and there is no blockage that I can see as far as it bends down.

    The heater had been working fine the last 3 years and then all the sudden….blam. So I don’t think it’s a polarity issue or low gas pressure or some of the other possibilities the manual points at. Nothing really external or internal in the house has changed (we haven’t had any work done..ect)

    Can anyone help me out here. We do not have the $$$ to spend on a plumber or buy a new hot water heater now. Please help if you can.

    Thanks. James

    (posted a couple pics if it helps)

    Attached files


    Sorry trying to get pics uploaded.

    Attached files


    Last one…I don’t know why they won’t stay upright. Sorry

    Attached files



    Okay I have watched this whole cycle now.

    Turn blower switch ON from off position…..all functions as normal…blower spins up hot surface ignitor glows red hot…gas and the burner kicks on full bore. Looks all good. Takes 53 minutes to heat 50 gallon tank cold up to 130F. Gas shuts off…blower runs a couple more minutes and off. No error lights and hot water.

    Now when I go and turn on the hot water and put a demand on it….after a few minutes……hear the relay close…blower kicks on…….igniter gets red hot again…gas and the burner lights up full again. BUT….this happens for about 5 seconds and then something shuts it down both burner and igniter. Blower runs another couple minutes and then shuts off. It tires to relight two more times with this same result. After the 3rd time it shouts off and shows the error codes.

    Any ideas???

    Igniter is working……it’s getting gas…..I lost at this point.

    Anyone????? Help???


    Hello James:

    The manual that GE’s (Rheem’s) website offers for the your model number shows a different gas valve than your pictures. The manual has a later date, so I assume they switched suppliers over time.

    The manual for your gas control in your picture can be downloaded at:

    What did the “thermostat controller assembly” they sent you look like? Do you still have the old part you replaced? Could you post a picture of it?

    The most common cause for the 3 light (Vac-A-B) error code for the Intelli-Vent is a dirty flame sensor.



    It sounds like it is going into ignition lockout due to flame sense failure. If the unit has as a flame sensor rod next to the glow coil try removing it and check the connection. Also take a piece of sand paper and sand off the rod (not the glow coil). If it doesn’t have the flame rod then ignition will be approved on amp draw by the glow coil. Then they should recommend replacement of this. Then your vacuum switch could always be dropping out.

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