So if the pilot lights but it won't stay lit, the problem is with the thermocouple. It's the copper tube that goes from the gas valve down by the burner. If the pilot isn't lighting at all lemme know and I can help you dive further into it. You can pick up a universal thermocouple at lowes or home depot for about 20 bucks. It's pretty easy to put in (just screws into the gas valve and most of the time that is all you have to remove.) SOME models you have to remove that whole burner assembly to access it. Either way it's just a simple hand tools thing. If you need more help, post a picture of your model and I can try to be more descriptive. Thanks!
The pilot light is on, but the burner will not come on. I thought this might be a issue with the thermostat.
The water heater was installed new in 2012 and it is a 6 year, like you said. Being just over a year old, would it still be under warranty?
The thermostat is usually 1 year flat, but yes that is your problem. I wouldn't buy a new tank on a 1 yr old water heater. I would call Ge
GE Water Products 1-800-952-5039 Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET Saturday-Sunday: Closed
And I would definitely push for them to send you the part for free (TELL THEM YOU PAID A PLUMBER TO COME OUT AND HE'S TELLING YOU 250.00 FOR THE PART AND YOUR NOT HAPPY WITH THIS ONLY 1 YEAR INTO IT) .... If they can't send it to you for free (they might) they can at least discount it to you (50% off dealer cost isn't out of the ordinary) The key though is telling them you have already paid a plumber and your gonna be out the labor to install it and your pissed it will be almost the same price as a new water heater to just fix this one one year into it. Thanks!