Monday, November 23, 2009

GE Hybrid Water Heater - Does the Heat Pump Design Really Save Money?

[Editor's Note - Please consider reading all of the visitor comments at  the end of this blog as well. They help provide some interesting insight, both pro and con.]


The old water heater decided to start leaking a few days ago. That was a sure sign that a more serious failure was pending, so we started shopping for a replacement. We live in an all-electric house that happens to be set in an all-electric neighborhood. There's no natural gas service in the area, and none close enough to justify the expense of having service extended to our home. Propane is an option, but the local distributors set their prices driven by visions of insane profits (in an unregulated market) and sadly are known to be less than customer focused. That left us looking for a new electric water heater.


The failing water heater was installed when the house was constructed a little more than ten years ago. In a typical minimize-construction-costs move, the contractor had installed what must have been the cheapest model available. It was a very basic, 50 gallon economy model, so it did well by lasting ten years. If the original Energy Star EnergyGuide label were updated to reflect the latest national average electricity cost of $0.1065 per kilowatt hour (re: http://www.ftc.gov/appliances), the annual expected operating cost would be about $534. Probably not the worst performer out there, but better models were certainly available.

Our first look for a replacement was at water heaters that use tankless technology. A recently popular choice for many homeowners. This certainly looked like a good idea for a home with natural gas service. However, the electric tankless model has such a high instantaneous demand for energy, that the costs to provide adequate electric service to the unit can be prohibitively expensive. Annual energy consumption data from the manufacturers also demonstrated that annual cost savings for the electric model would only be about $20. The break-even point would be much too long.

Then we learned of the newly introduced "hybrid" water heater from General Electric. Their Model GEH50DNSRSA. GE claims that this new, heat pump water heater design could save consumers $320 per year by using 62 percent less energy than an equivalently sized conventional electric model. We were intrigued.

Upon closer review, the GE Hybrid Water Heater appears to be a high-efficiency electric water heater with a head unit that pre-heats the incoming water using an air-to-water heat exchanger. The heat exchanger relies on the energy content of the ambient air, drawing heat out of the surrounding area. On the surface, this seems like a great idea; use the free heat in the house to pre-heat the water!

The basic concept is sound. Assuming that the incoming water temperature is somewhere between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit (the actual water temperature depends upon your geographic location and water source), warming the water to approximately 65 degrees using the heat from the surrounding air means that you only consume electricity to heat the water 55 degrees instead of 75 degrees (the heat-rise needed to heat the water to 120 degrees). It was fairly obvious to see how GE could claim that this new design could save you 62 percent over a standard electric water heater. In fact their EnergyGuide label boasts that the unit's annual expected operating costs are a mere $198, about 40 percent of the cost to operate a comparably sized conventional electric water heater. That's pretty amazing, and made the engineer in me think about this a little harder.

Now I'm not going to suggest that GE is lying to consumers. The hybrid water heater probably does use 62 percent less electricity than a conventional electric water heater when you compare the energy consumed by the devices alone. However, therein lies the problem. My recollection from thermodynamics class may be a bit cloudy, but I seem to recall that there is no such thing as free energy. The heat that the hybrid model derives from the ambient air is not free. If the heat exchanger used some sort of ground loop or outdoor air source I would be better convinced that there are radical energy savings, but this model is simply going to spew cool air into the room where it is located as part of the heat-exchange process. In most installations, this will require the building's HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) system to work harder, resulting in more energy consumption. My very conservative guess is that about half of the 62 percent savings will be eaten-up by the need to produce more heat to keep the living area comfortable. The actual energy consumption could really be quite worse, but we will give GE the benefit of the doubt.

With this in mind, if the hybrid water heater was going to really save money, it would have to be available for purchase at a very reasonable price. The GE web site publishes the suggested retail price of the hybrid water heater at $1,699 and notes that availability may be limited. They were right. Our calls to local General Electric appliance dealers, plumbing supply dealers and plumbing services left us with only one purchase option within a 500 mile radius of a very large metropolitan area. The sole dealer who had them available for purchase told us that the new models were selling very quickly and that we better move fast if we wanted one. Their price was $1,800, an additional $100 than the manufacturer's suggested retail price... with installation an extra $300 minimum. Ouch! We found that a comparably-sized, high-efficiency, premium model from Whirlpool, Model 188414, could be purchased for only $438; only 24 percent of the GE dealer's price for the hybrid model.

Even though the Whirpool model is labeled as high efficiency, it doesn't match the published efficiency rating of the GE hybrid. The EnergyGuide for the Whirpool water heater suggests that the unit's annual expected operating costs will be $492. The GE dealer was quick to point out that there were also tax benefits to installing the hybrid model; a 30 percent energy efficiency federal tax rebate on the unit's cost and another 30 percent on the cost of installation. Obviously, between the tax breaks and the lower operating cost, the GE water heater must be the better deal... or is it? Let's do some math.

The all-in cost of the GE Hybrid Water Heater is $2,190 (water heater, 5 percent state tax and $300 installation). After the federal tax rebate ($567 on the water heater and $90 on the installation) the total cost is $1,533.

The all-in cost of the Whirlpool conventional water heater is $760 (water heater, 5 percent state tax and $300 installation).

Using the latest national average electricity cost of $0.1065 per kilowatt hour, the annual expected operating cost of the hybrid model is $198, and $492 for the conventional model; but if you factor-in the presumed extra HVAC operating cost, the hybrid really costs about $345 per year to operate.

Using these values, it would take eight (8) years before the hybrid model begins to save the homeowner any money. EIGHT YEARS. If you have to borrow money (i.e. use a credit card) to purchase the expensive hybrid model or if my conservative estimate of the house's total energy consumption is worse, the break-even point will be even longer.

So, is General Electric being deceitful? Well, I would kindly describe it as creative marketing. By isolating the operating cost to the unit itself, the hybrid model can be truthfully touted as less expensive. However, the savvy homeowner would be wise to carefully consider the impact of the hybrid model on the home's indoor temperature, and thus, the actual operating cost. Eight years, or more, is an awfully long time to wait before any savings occur. It was too long for us; we installed the high-efficiency conventional model and are very pleased.


[Editor's Note: Thank you for the thoughtful comments regarding the possible advantage of the heat exchanger cooling an area for installations located in warmer climates. I won't disagree that this could be a benefit. However, in my location, and for that of many other installations, the cooling effect will result in more energy use. My concern remains with GE's simplistic report of "point-of-use" energy consumption versus "whole house" or "full-fuel cycle" energy consumption. It's just downright misleading.]

[Editor's Note: Thank you to Keith Burkhardt, the Marketing Manager for GE’s Hybrid Water Heater for leaving some comments on my post. I found them interesting, but they do not change my mind. Just because GE relies upon the Department of Energy and Federal Trade Commission standard for publishing appliance efficiencies does not make them "right". The fact is, the Energy Star yellow labels are deceitful as they are for the appliance alone and do not take into account the full-fuel cycle impact, nor do they take into account the whole-house energy impact of the appliance. This matter is currently being debated within the energy industry as the comparison is made between appliances fueled by electricity versus natural gas (i.e. Natural gas is far more efficient when you factor-in the losses associated with generating and distributing electricity). I stand by my comments that in the instance of my installation of a water heater in the Mid-Atlantic United States, the GE Hybrid Water Heater would not provide the energy savings that are exclaimed by General Electric.]

72 comments:

  1. In the southeast through Texas you install it in the garage therby getting free cooling in the hot as heck garage.

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  2. I am also in the market for a new water heater, my premium A.O. Smith heater having failed in fewer than 6 years while happily under warranty. However, I also was intrigued by heat pump technology. The thoughtful analysis here can shifted somewhat in favor of the heat pump with different assumptions. First, the GE is not the only model available, Rheem also makes one that is a bit less pricy. Second, the question of having to heat the air from which the unit draws its heat is dependent upon the circumstances. In my case the water heater is in a basement space with a oil furnace and that room is warm. In warmer, humid climates, the unit's cooling output may be a welcome boost to the A/C system and at the least condense water to dehumidify the space it is in. These units are inherently better in the South. Finally, Air Generate makes a DIY heat pump retrofit for any conventional water heater that plugs into 110. Ken could, theoretically, mount this thing himself ($699 + tax and freight) and get a 3-5 year payback depending upon family size and consumption patterns. That's better than 1.25% CD investments.

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  3. I see your point. I think that living in Southern New Mexico would have its advantages for me though. It is hot most of the year and my water heater is located adjacent to the garage in a storage room that is always hot. So in the summer months all that hot air is just sitting there. It rarely gets below 45 degrees even in the winter months so it could suck up alot of that hot air coming into the laundry room.

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  4. [From the Author] Thank for the thoughtful comments regarding the possible advantage of the heat exchanger cooling an area for installations located in warmer climates. I won't disagree that this could be a benefit. However, in my location, and for that of many other installations, the cooling effect will result in more energy use. My concern remains with GE's simplistic report of "point-of-use" energy consumption versus "whole house" or "full-fuel cycle" energy consumption. It's just downright misleading.

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  5. I've had the GE Hybrid model installed for 3 weeks now and live in the midwest.

    1. Firstly, the installed price was $1836 including tax less a $300 tax credit makes it $1536.

    2. I'm not expecting to recoop the advertised savings and figured that I may see half of the savings.... meaning that I will recoop my investment in around 4-5 years; which means that over the lifetime of the unit (10 years) I will save $750. Fortunately, we do not have to loan the money and losing the < 1% interest from the bank is not a big deal.
    Everyones financial situation is different

    3. We have ours in the basement, live in the midwest and all electricity with heat pump. I would not expect that the GE stealing warmth from the basement air is going to make the HVAC work too much harder; the main concern was that the basement would be cooler (downside for Winter, positive for summer).

    Our thermostat is on the first floor. Heat tends to rise, so the heat loss due to the GE would be any transfer of heat from first floor to the basement. While there would be some, we find that the older HVAC unit tends to leak a lot of heat in the basement anyway and you also indirectly extract heat from the walls/ground of the basement. Biggest impact really is that the basement is cooler if this matters to you & it is noticeable, but also not as bad as I was expecting.
    Everyone's situation is going to be different - if you had your basement set up for a home theater then you probably don't want a cooler basement in winter and the HVAC would simply need to work harder as you state. For summer it would be a benefit.

    For us, this looked like a winner....... our biggest concern is that the long term reliability is unknown.

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  6. I live in Wilmington Delaware and was quoted a price of $3700. I was shocked and suspect this
    GE authorized dealer was price gouging based on
    limited availability.

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  7. Part 1 of 2 (Please also see Part 2 of 2 below)

    I’m the marketing Manager for GE’s new Hybrid Water Heater, and I thought the following information would be helpful in answering some of the questions and clarifying some of the ambiguities referenced in this posting about the GE Hybrid water heater.

    First and foremost, I wanted to address the references to “creative marketing” and “deceptive” advertising. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, requires that energy efficiency claims associated with appliances be based on the energy label value. The energy label is the yellow Energy Guide found on all major appliances. This value is based on a test procedure developed and maintained by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the national average electricity price as set by the DOE. The claims that the GE Hybrid water heater can reduce water heater operating cost up to 62%, which can save consumers up to $320 per year, are founded on these strict procedures, regulations, and independent third party testing of the product. Per the DOE procedure, a standard electric 50-gallon water heater using 4,881 kWh per year at 10.65 cents per kWh would cost $520 per year to operate. Under the same test procedure, the GE Hybrid water heater uses 1,856 kWh and costs $198 per year to operate. Subtracting the two Energy Guide label values equals $322 in energy cost savings. GE rounds this number down to $320 for our claim. In parts of the country where electricity exceeds 10.65 cents per kWh, the annual savings may be higher than $320 per year. Conversely, if the cost of electricity is less than 10.65 cents per kWh, the annual savings may be less. To find the average cost of electricity in your area, check your utility bill or the following government website. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html. As you can see, the FTC has done a good job of making energy claims very straightforward, and removing any possibility of creative marketing by manufacturers.

    Second, and less straightforward is the energy balance and thermodynamic aspects of the Hybrid water heater and its impact on the HVAC system. As mentioned above, the GE Hybrid water heater energy efficiency claims are based on a Department of Energy test procedure, which is performed at an ambient temperature of 68F. Consumers’ specific home conditions may vary from that standard and, indeed, yield different results. To help understand the impact of the Hybrid water heater on the HVAC system, first, you must determine whether or not the water heater is in a "conditioned space" which is defined as a room of the house that supplies return air to the HVAC system, or in an "unconditioned space" which is a space that does not supply return air to the HVAC system. Typically water heaters are in "unconditioned spaces" such as garages, basements, and attics that do not provide an air supply to the HVAC system. Thus, any heat removed from these unconditioned spaces by the Hybrid water heater likely would not need to be replaced by increased operation of the furnace and would not have any impact on the operation or efficiency of the HVAC system. If the Hybrid water heater is in a "conditioned space" inside the home such as in a utility room, the cooling and dehumidifying effect of the Hybrid will decrease the load on the AC system during cooling months (summer) and increase the load on the furnace during heating months (winter). If the number of cooling months equals the number of heating months, these effects will roughly offset, and the user should still experience all the energy savings benefits of the Hybrid water heater as compared to a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater. If cooling months exceed heating months, the user may experience additional energy savings beyond the energy saved by the Hybrid water heater based on the DOE standard. If heating months exceed cooling months, the opposite may occur.

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  8. Part 2 of 2 (Please also see Part 1 of 2 above)

    Finally, the ambient temperature of the air surrounding the water heater can affect the efficiency of the Hybrid water heater. As mentioned above, the energy claims are based on a DOE test procedure that is performed at an ambient temperature of 68F. Based on these test conditions, the energy factor (EF) of the GE Hybrid water heater in Hybrid mode is 2.35. At a 2.35 EF, the Hybrid water heater uses 62% less energy than a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater, and the savings claim associated with a 2.35 EF is $320 per year. If the ambient temperature of the space housing the Hybrid water heater were higher than 68F, the energy factor would be higher resulting in more efficiency. Conversely, if the Hybrid is operating in a space with an ambient temperature that is below 68F, the EF would be less than 2.35 and the Hybrid would operate less efficiently. The following information is not substantiated by a third party testing agency and is based on GE’s internal testing. This information is being provided to help put this ambient temperature effect in perspective, and is not intended as an energy efficiency claim. At an ambient temperature of 85F, the EF for the Hybrid water heater in Hybrid mode would increase to approximately 2.6, which, when compared to a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater would use 65% less energy. The savings claim for a 2.6 EF would be $340 per year. At an ambient temperature of 50F the EF would be reduced to approximately 1.8, and the Hybrid would use about 50% less energy than a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater. The savings claim for a 1.8 EF would be $260 per year. These values are not exact. They are approximate values that are provided to show the approximate effect that the ambient temperature will have on Hybrid water heater performance. As a standard, all Hybrid claims are based on the DOE test procedure, which is conducted at 68F ambient temperature.
    As you can see the energy efficiency claims are very straightforward since they are based on FTC regulations and DOE test procedures. However, anticipating how the unit will operate in each individual consumer application is much more complicated. The intent of this posting is simply to provide some amplifying information from GE’s perspective, which will help consumer’s make the right purchase decision for their specific situation. At GE we are very excited about this product and its ability to save over 50% of the energy consumed by a standard electric water heater.

    For more details on the GE Hybrid water heater, please visit www.geappliances.com

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  9. Ken - Your questions on "full fuel-cycle" costs are very appropriate. I have yet to see any significant studies that show the overall effect of this heat-pump appliance. I've asked that question of the pros at Building Science Corporation, but don't know if they'll ever tackle it . . .

    The GE site says specifically that warm climate installations could see an even greater savings than the official estimate (i.e. reduced A/C costs).

    They also state for mixed climates (those with equal amounts of cooling and heating) it is a sum-zero question. Yes, you will spend more in the winter for heating conditioned air, but this additional cost is offset by the savings realized during the cooling season.

    No comments on cold-climate installations. The better answer here is a condensing-gas water heater, like the A.O. Smith Vertex (has a 95% efficiency rating).

    Final thought:

    We all have a comparable appliance in our house: the refrigerator! In fact, many people have two refrigerators and a chest freezer - or three of these appliances. They work in reverse though, heating the room - instead of cooling it like the GE Hybrid water heater. It's not often that I hear people complaining about how much more they have to cool their houses because of their refrigerators ;)

    Carry on!

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  10. As the former owner of the world's largest water heater company (State Industries), I would like to comment on GE's Heat Pump water heater technology. As you know electric storage water heaters are very efficient (about 96%). GE's heat pump water heater WILL Lower operating costs in most cases by using the "free" energy in the atmosphere. The "payback" period in very cold climates will be longer, but the technology does work and this has been proven by DOE testing.

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  11. I'm considering the GE Hybrid for a new construction project in Atlantic Canada. I understand how a heat pump works and realized from the beginning that heat drawn from the air during the winter months would need to be replaced by the heating system. However, since much of the heat for the house will be supplied by passive solar and a wood stove, the hybrid still makes a lot of sense. I'm also looking at solar preheat systems which advertise savings up to 70% but they cost 3 times as much as the hybrid and are harder to cost justify unless you think another major spike in energy prices is in our near future. I also like the idea that the hybrid will help cool and dehumidify the house during the summer months. There are only a few days each year when it gets hot enough to justify air conditioning in this climate and I'm not planning to install one - but, if the water heater can help cool the house a bit, that's a bonus! Another option to consider, especially if your family members enjoy showers, is a waste water heat recovery coil. It only really works for showers where you are supplying and draining hot water simultaneously but they aren't expensive and families that take a lot of showers should recover the cost quickly.

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  12. in new york city i roughly estimate that i can heat a building with an air source heat pump at a COP of 2.7. need to do more analysis on that, and it depends a lot on brand.

    if i use that as an assumption, in combination with the GE energy factor of 2.35 i get an effective winter energy factor of 1.57.

    in the cost analysis you should use an EF of 0.90 for electric resistance to account for tank losses, as per DOE standard.

    in non-heating period i get an EF of 2.35. if i take winter as half the year (conservative for new york city) i get an annual average EF of 1.96.

    i haven't done the cost analysis yet but i expect something faster than 8 years based on this number.

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  13. Well, I bought one. I needed to replace my 25 year old electric unit before she springs a leak. I have to admit 25 years, two heater elements and one thermostat is pretty good ROI.

    So for safety sake I need to replace the old one anyway. Secondly I wanted to get the water heater out of the house as I have raised floor system.

    Should finish the install tonight.

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  14. I finally got one of these for $1416 out the door at one of the big box hardware stores using a price match sale and then there 10% price match difference guarantee. Installed this past week in about 2 hours using screw connectors. Was worried about the cooling difference in the utility room, but that is nothing as it ran for about one hour and cut off. It was just fine for hot water set at 120. The unit is preset at Hybrid Mode, but I changed it to the most energy efficient mode eHeat Mode. In this setting time required to heat the water is longer but should be adequate for normal demand households. Wife ran 3 loads of laundry with front load washer and the water heater did not cut on until she took a shower 6 hours later. This water heater is only cutting on once a day for us and runs about one hour. We are only a two house hold family except when the grandson comes to visit. I think this thing is great.

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  15. I had the unit installed in late December 2009. I did pay $2,300. Total. Knowing that it will not pay for itself. But being in Central Florida, my electric bill has gone down by app. $80/month. My garage is much cooler, since it removes the humidity and heat from the garage area.

    I would recommaned it to anybody.

    Also remember, if everybody replacced their A/C and Heat Water heater with newer model, the energy consumption can be cut by 20% min.

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  16. In the south were these units could be cost effective there is VERY hard water... scale. These units will quickly develop scale on their heat exchangers and the savings will quickly drop. Secondly most water heaters in the south last only 10 years... so the homeowner will have to fork out 1,600 (after rebates) every 10 years. Thirdly the reported savings on these units are for only when the heat pump is supplying all the hot water. GAMA's ratings are bogus in that they have hot water draws spread out over the day. In reality homeowners use their hot water in two large doses... mainly in the morning and some in the evening. Also since these tanks are only 50 gallons most homeowners will switch the setting to a less efficient rate so they have enough hot water. The water heater companies did the same kind of lies when the tankless water heaters came out a few years ago. They claimed up to 60% savings and they last forever and take less space. Bogus. Consumer Reports and eventually Rheem now says 25%... again with scale buildup the savings go to zero. The heat exchanger warranty does not cover scale... they blast heat small pipes and are a scaling nightmare.
    By the way GE I love your commercial that shows monkeys using the heat pump in the SNOW! Now that is deceptive advertising. I guess when the monkey walks over to adjust the heat pump he is turning if off...

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  17. I am considering the Ge unit. I intend to install an indoor lint trap system and use the hot humid air from the electric dryer to be the input to the heat pump water heater. The electric dryer vents to the outside and that heat is lost.

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  18. At this time there is only one model 80 gal available in the US.
    You can see a list of all available ENERGY STAR Qualified Heat Pump Water Heaters at the US Energy website.

    We are in Virginia, but have had the coldest winter in over 30 years. Noise from the fan is not objectionable.
    Unit cut on last night when wife was doing some things and shower. At 4PM today it has not been on at all today.

    We installed a new high energy heat-pump for the house so it is going to be hard to tell in winter what we are saving on the new GE water heater, but in spring and fall when we don’t use the heat and central air we should see a difference on the electric bill.

    I would think it would not matter where you are located in the US if the unit is installed in a heated area like we did you would see the same savings in electricity. If you are going to install in a basement or other area that is not heated to 69 deg like our home it will cost more to operate in the winter. We are also on a 475 ft deep well and the water is cold coming out the ground.

    I installed the unit in a round plastic drain pan from the big box hardware store to catch and drainage instead of letting it ruin the floor if it leaks. Then I placed 4 tiles about 4×10x2 inches to set the tank on using a hand cart this way it can be moved in and out of the pain with out damaging the drain pan if needed for repair.

    No condensation from the drain as of yet, but it may in the summer.

    Another nice feature is that it can be set on vacation mode for any number of days you like. It drops down to 50 deg and returns the unit to normal temperature the day before you return.

    So far don’t see any problems. Hopping it will save $30-35 per month with this GE water heater.

    One other thing, check your state to see if they offer any energy rebates. Virginia has a 20% rebate program as I did not qualify for the Fed’s 30% tax credit because I had use it on the new heat pump. But got the Virginia 20% rebate on both the heat pump and the new GE water heater. Our cost works out to $989 with the 20% energy rebate and refund on my old water heater the store gave me.

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  19. One issue not tackled in this string is the cost of service. I just removed my 6 year old tank and the only repair was a T&P valve (under $20). I replaced my electric with a gas unit and used a direct vent model with standing pilot and thermocouple safety (no electronic boards or electricity at all for that matter). One of my considerations was the reliability and cost to repair. I can fix my own but luck always falls the other way and things tend to break when I am away. I also like the idea that if we have an ice storm or blackout, I still have a warm shower.

    If anyone has had a service tech come out they will tell you that very rarely is he tab under $400. This unit has many of the features that your home A/C would have now days and is subject to failure. Nice digital displays = $400+ repair somewhere in the life of this unit. One or two failures and you are looking at negative ROI.

    Secondly, everyone always looks to the furnace/boiler/water heater/etc. as the energy bill saviour. Most often replacing these with more efficient units ends up wasting energy more efficiently! People need to look at end use. Niagara makes a wonderful 1.25 USGPM showerhead (typical is 2.5 to 4.5). Install a drain water heat recovery coil. Purchase an energy efficient washer. Insulate your header ends, attic, anywhere else easy to access. Install a programmable thermostat. Fix air leaks. You get the picture I think.

    Having said all that, I would purchase if I lived in Florida or California if I could use it to cool my garage.

    One point that still bothers me about the testing procedure. Does the DOE standard look for the air temperature to be maintained at 68F about the tank? In reality many of these may cool a very tight area down much below that. Especially the closet location. This is going to bring down the COP considerably.

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  20. I would like to more about the scale buildup issue, as I live in TX, and our water is pretty hard. Does the GE unit, operating only in heat pump mode, get less scale buildup, since it maybe heats more slowly/gently than occurs with a heating element? What is the best way to prevent scale accumulation in the unit or clean out the scale as it builds up? I would prefer not to use a water softener with salt if possible.

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  21. Hi Ken,

    We live in a mixed heating and cooling climate (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and our electric water heater is located inside a finished basement. Our home is heated by a high efficiency heat pump with a seasonal COP of 2.7, so we obtain, on average, 2.7 kWh of heat from every kWh of electricity consumed. Thus, the heat that would be "sacrificed" to a heat pump water heater is 60 per cent less costly than electric resistance -- consequently, even during the coldest months of the year, a HPWH would save us a significant amount of money on our water heating costs.

    In addition, in our damp maritime climate, we run our basement dehumidifier virtually non-stop from May through October. Although an Energy Star model, it remains the second largest consumer of electricity in our home. One of the secondary benefits of a HPWH is dehumidification, so to the extent that this water heater offsets the use of dehumidifier, we obtain two services for the price of one.

    For us, a HPWH would provide "free" hot water six months of the year (using this device in lieu of our dehumidifier) and it would cut our water heating cost by more than half for the remainder.

    Cheers,
    Paul Eldridge

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    Replies
    1. I have to agree with you Paul,we live in the Catskill Mtns. and heat our 1300sqft house from September thru May with about 4 cords of wood and 75 gallons of oil, (4.15/gallon). Our basement is unfinished and we Dry-Locked the interior foundation and waterproofed the exterior of the foundation and improved the exterior storm water drainage. Our basement temp is 68F in August and 55F in January at 50% humidity. Our 75pint/day Energy star dehumidifier runs non-stop May to October. Natural gas is unavailable and propane is very expensive. I was hoping that the dehumidifying effects of the hot water heater would decrease the cost to run the dehumidifier but after reading some of the comments here I wonder if the hybrid water heater runs so little I am splitting hairs here. I also am concerned about the electronics on the hybrid heater, my electric from NYSEG is dirty with frequent fluctuations and outages. I have had to install UPC-AVR and line-R conditioners/ power supplies on all my TVs and electronics and a whole house surge arrester. What happens when a brown out or surge takes out a board on the hybrid? I do believe there is significant saving for my wife and I as long as the electronics hold up. When we rebuilt the house we used low water/ energy efficient appliances and shower heads and already reduced our electric by 50%. I need to check the warranty.

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  22. Geothermal Heat Pumps are the future centralize system for all your heating and cooling needs !

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  23. A few additional facts I derived from the DOE (Department of Energy) Appendix E to Subpart B of Part 430—Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Water Heaters.

    The high energy efficiency rating of this GE heat pump water heater is derived using the above mentioned testing criteria.

    Having recommended this GE to a friend we were both disappointed in its real world savings.

    What I discovered is the test used to evaluate efficiency is heavily biased in favor of low demands for hot water in any given hour. The test criteria calls for an initial hot water temperature of 135 F (the factory default on the GE is 120 F). Average hot water consumption is stated to be 64 gallons a day but is only measured at 10 gallons per hour (times 6) and allows a 25 degree F drop.

    In other words the GE, if set at 135 degrees F and no more than ten gallons an hour are drawn will meet its energy star rating. However if more hot water is drawn in an hour it is almost certain the energy rating would be much worse since the GE will then turn on its traditional heating elements negating most of its energy savings. GE, in my view, has gamed the energy ratings which are poorly

    If recommended to my friend that he change the setting on the GE from hybrid (which allows the traditional heating elements to turn on) to the eheat mode which forces the unit to use only the heat pump. If he experiences loss of hot water - I instructed him to increase the water temperature.

    This unit really saves energy in low draw per hour hot water usage.

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  24. If there is savings >> where are the customer testimonials?

    GE knows what address those hybrids are registered to > invite the folks to show their lower electric bill.

    GE promises $326 savings per year, which is $26 a month.

    If hybrid households suddenly noticed a $26 drop in their electric bill, the internet would erupt with optimism and articles and smiles all-around.

    Our country is ripe for good energy news.

    GE, prove your claim with thousands of customer electric bills showing before and after.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I bought one of these GE water heaters last week and have heated the water so far only in E-mode, which is by drawing in the outside air and not using the heating elements. So far it works quite well. Hopefully here in Arizona, I can keep it in that mode all year long.

    I have it in my laundry room which is outside the house, but attached to it. Here in Arizona, it gets pretty hot and this room is not cooled, so what cool air that comes from the heater is a plus for me.

    I also have hard water and I'm sure it will effect the tank like any others will. I don't see it effecting the heating coils though, as their advertisement says the coils are wrapped around the outside of the tank, not the inside. I take that to mean in-between the tank and outside walls. Watch their video. They also say this. (. Condenser coils wrap the tank all the way to the bottom to transfer this heat into the tank and heat the water.)

    http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/electric-water-heater-features.htm

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  26. I had the GE Hybrid Hot Water Heater installed this past December in the Portland, OR area. Upon reading the usage chart on my latest electric bill, it was obvious that my daily kilowatt hour usage had dropped a full 13 Kwh/day over last year. And the heater was not installed during the entire billing cycle. (Additionally my gas bill for the furnace is well within its 5 year average for the season.)

    This water heater may not be suitable in all applications for 2 reasons. One is where the cooling would impact the HVAC system. And two, in situations where the noise from the heat pump would have a negative impact.

    In my particular situation the water heater is in an unheated furnace/utility/laundry basement room. The room is 3 -5 degress cooler than previously with the heat pump running, but there is no noticeable difference anywhere else in the house. Regardless, at this point the performance is near GE's claims, but it'll take a few more electric bills to verify.

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  27. I could go into a long story that still continues to develop about how the GE Hybrid water heater does not work for me in central Florida. The problem is that it will not produce hot water in a reasonable amount of time if the temperature drops under 70 degrees.
    My advice is to stay away from all hybrid water heaters for the next 10 years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you don't know how to oPerate it or using it beyond its capacity

      Delete
  28. We purchased an 80 gallon State Premier hybrid for $3000, keeping in mind the tax perks. When tax time rolled around we realized, we couldn't take part in the benefit as it was only a credit if you owe, lack of research on our part, but... The 80 gallon tank replaced our 50 gallon from the mid-1990's and we run it on the hybrid only mode with a family of four. Our utility bills have dropped an average of $100 a month since it was installed 8 months ago. (FYI we are in southern PA)

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  29. The informations that you have shared are very helpful. I'm very glad that I had run into this article.

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  30. I regret purchasing the GE hybrid hot water heater due to the fan noise. I have had it since August 2010 and the amount of fan noise this hot water heater makes is outrageous. I live by myself, use little hot water (use cold for the washing machine and take short showers with a low flow shower head), yet the fan still goes full blast for several hours a day. I have the water heater set a relatively low temperature, at 117 degrees, and live in the DC area where the temperatures are mild in the winter and hot in the summer. Have done all the things suggested in the manual, like clean the air filter. The fan noise is a complete nuisance.

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  31. I think I am convinced to purchase this hybrid because I live in Florida, no basement so my water heater is in the garage that is generally too hot putting an A/C load on the living space. Since the noise should not be a problem with the bedrooms on the opposite end of the house, it is not a consideration. Cooling the garage is a great perk and if it is too cold, it would be easily fixed by one cycle of the electric door opener.

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  32. I have had the Hybrid Water Heater for just over 1 year. It has been great, and our utility bill shows significant savings. BUT.....We have had a fault that has not been able to be diagnosed or repaired, even with a service call. The "check filter" alarm goes off every 2 days or so, even though the filter is brand new clean. The GE repair guy verified that the system is drawing air correctly and functioning as it is supposed too, but the annoying beeper wakes me in the middle of the night, and I have to reset it. The service tech had no clue how to diagnose or fix this problem. It will be interesting to see if the GE company is following this blog and offers to come to my rescue. I'll keep you all posted, and I hope that GE is the kind of company that will step up and will contact me with help.

    Brian

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  33. we have had the ge hybrid water heater (50 gal) for over a year now. This water heater does a portion of our home and have a gas for the other. the fan noise is loud, but you get used to it if it is within earshot. we are in the hvac industry and the effect on your system is not significant enough to recalculate your loads.
    we also have had the filter alarm started going off recently and yes, that is annoying, every 2 days. if you "reset" it during the day, it will stop going off at the same time (i.e. in the middle of the night). I cannot figure out how to get it to turn off either.

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  34. I am a Certified Energy Manager, before I bought my hp water heater I performed extensive measurement and verification. Bottom line, I was using $50 a month in oil and electric (circ pump and boiler motor) my electric bill has not increased since my DIY install. I use the full E- mode -
    This mode, family of 4 (2 tween girls) makes all of my hot water for the same energy as the circ pump and boiler, I am saving electric on my basement dehumidification too. I live in N. NJ.

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  35. Wow. Interesting thread!! I teach HVAC at a Community College (15 years) and have operated a HVAC company for 23 years. Here is my expert 2 cents worth. Following the logic of many folks on here heat pumps are a farce, period. This simply is not true. It all boils down to your climate. I live in the mid-Atlantic. I would recommend a heat pump for climates as far north as D.C.. Any location north of there is questionable unless it is geo-thermal.
    It takes far less energy to use the refrigeration cycle to move heat that is already in the air into a conditioned space compared to pushing electrons through a conductor (heating element)so quickly that the friction causes the element to put off heat.
    This heat pump water heater works the same way! You are able to get up to 2.5 times the heat per watt of electric consumption as you would using heating elements. That is where your savings are... If you live in a warmer climate this unit will serve you well. If you live in a colder climate, I would recommend a CONDENSING gas fired water heater. These are 95% efficient compared to 80% for a traditional gas water heater. That means only 5% of the heat the burning the gas produces is lost out the chimney verses 20%. If you do not live in an area where Natural gas is available, forget gas. There are 3 reasons I would not consider propane. 1. The prices are not regulated thus you are totally at the mercy of whatever the gas company wants to charge that day (seriously).2. Natural gas burns MUCH cleaner than propane. Put 2 furnaces side by side, on burning natural and the other burning propane, run them for 3 years. The one that is burning natural gas will hardly look like it has ever ran. The propane heater burners and heat exchangers will be filthy. This will require more frequent service and a much shorter lifespan. 3. Safety. Natural gas is lighter than air. If a leak occurs it will rise up and dissapate if there is an opening. Propane is heavier than air and will settle and collect in the lowest place. A spark and you have an explosion.

    Bottom line? In northern climates buy a condensing natural gas fired water heater (electric elements if natural gas is not available). In southern climates this heater will save you a substantial amount of money.

    Bill

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  36. Hi I am a service tech for a company that sells these water heaters. There is a high failure rate with the evaporator coil leaking freon. You will get an error code F-C. Ge provides the parts under warranty but it is a very extensive and expensive repair($400.00-$500.00). We have been replaceing these evaporator coils on 1-2 year old water heaters.

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  37. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have operated this unit for 3-4 months now. Works pretty good and the savings are measurable (I estimate $25-30 a month, so far) which for me represents a payback of only a little over 2 years (i bought it at huge discount, hence early payback). But, lately, from the on-board diagnostics, I see an accumulated count of "4" faults in Run Mode B. Seems to be associated with early cut out, too, of compressor. Mode B checks for compressor outlet temp. which I see is within spec. as I observe unit operation. Anybody have a similar experience? Please contact me at kgainer (at) columbus.rr.com.

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  39. I have been an owner of the GE Hybrid water heater for 16 months and I can say that I am not impressed. During the colder months, we are seeing the same amount of kilowatt use (if not more) as we did with a 10 year old water heater (high demand mode) and we live in North Florida. When the weather was consistently above 70 degrees, we ran the water heater on Efficiency Mode and saw a savings of $5-10 per month. I wish I could return the model and start over.

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  40. I am a repair technician and I have also been running into the problem with leaking evap coils on units 1 to 2 years old. I think when you add the initial cost of buying and installing one of these units and factor in the Maintenance Agreements you will have to carry on them (or better carry on them) and if you are in the northern half of the U.S. add in the fact that its like turning on a small A.C. unit while your trying to heat your house. I just don’t see the payoff ever. Appliances are getting more and more complicated and supposedly more efficient, but less and less reliable. Oh well, I need the job security.

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  41. Reading the comments above I have to say why are most concerned with the cooling and dehumidifying abilities it has in the room when the focus should be on it's ability to function as a water heater. We live in a cold climate and had another brand of hybrid water heater and was very disatified with it. Had to keep the showers very short or run out of hot water. Took too long between showers to heat up even in the electric mode. What's the use energy savings if a hybrid water heater can't provide sufficient hot water when needed for our small family.

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  42. I have no doubt these save money with the cost of heating water. However, I read a LOT of reviews of people who had PROBLEMS with these hybrid water heaters - more moving parts the more likely it's going to break. As a person whose conventional water heater has broken, I thought about buying one of these neat hybrids - but I also thought if the unit breaks down it could take a LOT of red tape and hassle to get it fixed, and I wondered how long it would take to get it fixed. As a person with NO running hot water now - you don't have the luxury of waiting. At least with a conventional electric water heater, the most common cause is either the thermostat or heating element - both are easy to fix. Either that the unit is just plain old. Look my last water heater lasted 15 years. I also read complaints that these hybrid water heaters take *A LONG TIME* to heat up water. mmmmmmm so, folks, as I enjoy showers with running hot water and not just cold, I'll stick with a conventional electric plain-jane water heater.

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  43. I've had one installed for 2 1/2 years. I live in the area NOT recommended for Heat Pumps, Northern PA. It has given me great return on my energy savings. It is noisey. It has failed twice, the evaporator unit was replaced under warranty both times. It is in the process of failing for the third time, now.
    I'm between a rock and a hard place. I WAS saving money till this next repair.

    ReplyDelete
  44. We are considering purchasing the GE unit. Sears has a clearance sale of these units in our area. The unit looked attractive, considering the rebate from the local utility company and the energy savings (granted, not as huge as advertised, but it will be more efficient than a standard storage water heater). But, after reading these reviews and notes about service calls, I am wondering if things have changed lately?

    Have the units improved in reliability, now that they have been out there for three years? Are parts easy to find when there is a problem?

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  45. Just for the record, I would not buy anything from Sears heating and cooling. We purchased the heat pump for our house from them. The sub-contracted installers did almost everything wrong.

    We learned this when the unit failed, and it was going to be almost a month to get it serviced. We didn't want to wait, and called another company. When we confronted Sears with all of the things wrong with the installation, they said it would be 3 weeks to have someone come out to look at it, and then 3 more weeks until someone could come out to fix it. We could not schedule the second until the first was done, even though a professional tech had given me a list of everything which was incorrect, and the person on the phone agreed that those things were wrong.

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  46. why would anyone put a heat pump water heater in an area that is controlled by HVAC? They should obviously be installed in an area unconditioned living space...

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous (June 9, 2012) - While that is the ideal situation, it is not possible for all installations. Not every home features an adequate "unconditioned" space for the water heater location, and it may not be a good solution for some areas in northern (i.e. colder) climates where placing any type of water heater in a location with frigid ambient temperatures is a wasted energy issue.

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  48. Just my thoughts on the thermodynamics and hybrid water heaters:

    This unit does not create "free energy". What it does is pump heat from the surrounding area into the water to be heated.
    This process can be 2.4x more efficient than a standard resistive heater. This means that for the same kilowatt-hours of electric that is used in a resistive heater, you will get about 2.5x more hot water. Or, more simply, a hot shower will cost 2.5x less.
    This is all due to the efficiency of heat pumps. A heat pump used to heat a house can be as much as 4x more efficient than a house that uses resistive heating elements.
    It's also very true that the farther north that you are the less efficient these will be. This also applies to heat pumps used to heat and cool houses. There are far fewer heat pumps in Canada than in Florida or Texas.

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  49. Anonymous (07/02/2012) - And as part of the process, there is a potentially negative residual effect from the temperature of the air produced by the heat pump. I don't believe that anyone debates the effectiveness of the heat pump itself, but using self-contained heat pump water heater within the living area (i.e. not like the indoor / outdoor, two-piece unit used for conventional space heating), can adversely impact the heating and cooling requirements of that space.

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  50. Glad I found this article and all the helpful comments. I'm in the middle of my "trade study" to replace my current aging electric water heater. I am looking to go solar thermal with electric backup using one of the Rheem 80 or 120 gal tanks with the secondary loop wrapped around the main tank. I'm constantly weighing costs of solar piping, glycol and external panels... most of which will be DIY to make the ROI practical.

    So planning proceeds, but then I saw Lowes selling the GE HP Water Heater for about $1000. My ROI thinking was piqued.

    This is so much more a plug and play solution, but I still have questions about the energy used. The unit in best mode uses 800 Watts instead of 4500 watts. That's fine, but for how long. No one seems to have measured this.

    The comments above point towards complexity as potentially reducing ROI. I didn't think of that.

    The original article described the heatpump as heating the water as it comes into the tank. Am I to understand the heatpump will not heat the water actually in the tank... maintain mode?

    I am finding everyway possible to justify thermal solar. The heat-pump water heater is certainly a much simpler solution and is a welcome alternative.

    Thanks for pointing out some of the finer point of the heat-pump water heater.

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  51. I have found everyone's information very useful. I live in Hawaii and the air is almost always very humid so I am sure it would benefit the area that I live; however, I am much concern over the reliability of the GE Hybrid. I am actively looking into adding a Photovoltaic system to my roof but, would like to reduce the cost of that system by installing a more energy efficient water heater, but, don't want it giving me more problems. If GE would offer a better warranty on the system, then I would definitely consider it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. install a solar hot water heater before PV panels.

      Delete
  52. I also have had my GE hybrid for 2 years 4 months. I have just had the 2nd failure of the evaporator. The 1st was replaced under warranty, can't wait to see what the llabor will be for this repair. I am an auto repair tech. Why is GE having an issue with eveporator leaks. The unit operates under ideal conditions, no severe weather or vibration such as an automobilt sees. I am very disappointed. If it fails again next year I will be replacinfg it with a conventional unit.

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  53. I have three issues with this unit.

    1. I recently built a new home and I tried to use products that were energy efficient, so I purchased a GE Hybrid water heater as an efficient means of heating our water. Almost from the start the unit has been plagued by problems. It's been leaking oil for months and I contacted GE to let them know and no response. Now the unit has an error code. The technician has so far replaced the main board and two sensors. That didn't work so now they are going to replace the evaporator coil and thermal expansion valve. These guy's are trying their best, but they have no clue as to the problem that is happening. I spoke to a GE rep to see if they could do something and their response was NO. The unit has to be declared un-repairable first.

    I spent $1700 on a unit that hasn't given me any efficiencies thus far.

    2. This unit is it is not meant for colder climates. This unit is installed in a house heated by a heat pump and in order for the unit to generate heat it has to take the heat generated by my heat pump and use that to heat the water resulting in zero savings.

    3. 50 gallons is not big enough for a family of four. I have to install a 40 gallon along side of this unit to meet the demands of our family.

    Overall I am very dissatisfied with the GE Hybrid water heater and GE in general for marketing a such a product for Canada. I would almost go so far as saying it's false advertising.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I live in the anthracite coal region of PA and I'm in the process of shopping for a water heater to replace my leaking coal stoker heating unit. The GE hybrid unit is now out of contention and unless I can find some very reassuring reviews for other models in regards to reliability, hybrids in general are out. As the previous auto mechanic poster asks, why are these units leaking? I would have thought they'd be nearly bullet proof in this day and age.
      As far as the origional poster's comments picking apart GE's labeling practices, I don't understand what your beef is. It is the consumers job to find out what the test data is really saying and figure out how to apply it to their real world situation. It is very unfortunate that GE does not provide this real world and circumstantial info to make our choices easier but does DOE test the products in the same manner? It looks like apples to apples to me. It is a complicated piece of new versus old tech but again it comes down to the consumer doing their research and home work or simply trusting a dealer/installer. That's why I'm here and, minus my head scratching about the GE lies of omission and ideal scenario performance claims - which is what nearly all major manufacturers of all products do - I'd say thank you for a very infomative forum and mission accomplished.

      Delete
  54. I bought one at Loew's for about $1,100 on sale and with a military discount. My handyman installed it for $275 because he had to run additional pipe and electric to allow access to the filter. (A regular water heater install would be about $100.) It's installed outside in Hawaii -- lots of free heat. Here's a tip: every month or two, hook up a garden hose to the drain valve and bottom blow the tank. Take out a gallon or two. You'll be amazed at the calcium and minerals that spray out. Do this religiously and you'll extend the life of any water heater. The GE has a high quality brass drain valve making this routine a snap.

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  55. I own the GE GeoSpring Hybrid (GEH50DNSRSA)on sale for $900 @ LOWES. When it works it is magnificent but it is not reliable after about a year or so and then you have a riggamaroll with GE to get it fixed. The powerboard went out...it's always the interface hardware that is weak.

    After install our electric bill drop 45% immediately every month for a year. We ran on the highest efficiency e-Heat mode. My wife and I have plenty of capacity @ 50 gal. since the kids moved out. We launder with cold water, always have. We have ground-source (geothermal) heating and cooling in our all electric house and we use CFE bulbs almost exclusively and our electric bill here in rural Missouri averaged out to $60/mnth.

    The technology is great but they need to get it right. Can you imagine if every home had one and they ran flawlessly.

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  56. Thanks for the info and science behind the hybrid. I've done a bit of research on water heaters as well. The GE Hybrid appears to be a good option for us given where we are locating it and how we will be using it. I purchased it from Sears 11/2012 for $999. In addition, I rec'd a 10% cash-back bonus from my credit card company (Sears promo w/ Discover was 10% cash-back at the time). Therefore, it cost me $900 plus tax. I posted some info on my energy blog as well for those interested:
    http://oilobit.com/newsroom/2012/choosing-the-best-energy-efficient-water-heater/

    Again, thanks for the great content on the water heater.

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  57. Does anyone know if GE is extending the original warranty period because of the many premature Code F-C "Heatpump Failures"? The high failure rate is unacceptable. Maybe some kind of class-action?

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  58. Maybe they are extending the warrenty period... I just called GE to report my GE GeoSpring water heater failure code: F-C. Like others have reported, I am to receive (3) parts by FedEx and my service appontment is in 3 weeks but here is the kicker... the repair will be completed "free of charge" (parts and labor)! My water heater is about 2.5 years old so it is well past the (1) year warranty period where the labor is included. NICE!

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  59. I was truely considering purchasing one of GE's Hybrid units unitl thoroughly reading all of these postings. 70% of you reported negative experience and repeated failure/problems. What I find most disturbing is that a rep from GE wrote in on this blog way back at the begining, but no one has ever commented since. Makes you wonder why. Sorry for both my wallet and the environment... going to stick with my fossil fuel option.

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  60. Very interesting reading all of the comments on these water heaters. I'll admit I'm a little skeptical of the benefit of this in my particular location (DC), but it should help with the humidity in the summer months. (Though the carrier infinity definitely solved that problem.)

    Anyways I stumbled across one for sale for $350 + tax. (Thanks Lowes fire sale!) At that price point it's cheaper than a standard 50 gallon water heater - so even if the compressor eats itself I believe that I'll still be ahead. (Now if it was only warmer in the DC metro...) Goodbye 21 year old heater with the broken dip tube...

    ReplyDelete
  61. I have had my GE Geospring for 2 years now and have not had any problems. The temperature control of the water is excellent, and if you require fast recovery (if you have guests and need more hot water than usual) the different modes allow it to switch to electric resistance heat seamlessly and automatically if it thinks the heat pump won't keep up. I can see a $20 - $25 savings each month.

    The fan in the heat pump has about 3 speeds. In summer when it is hot it runs slowly and doesn't make much noise. But in winter it can be noisy. Mine is installed in the garage in AZ. It doesn't really provide noticeable cooling -- It is basically like a 700W small air conditioner when it is running, which doesn't make much of a difference in a hot garage.

    I suppose it is like all things; It's great if you got one that works, and sucks if you got a lemon. I happen to think it is great. The payoff is much faster than even solar hot water. Most of the solar hot water systems end up using a ton of electric resistance heat in the morning when everyone showers and the sun isn't up yet.

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  62. Our GE Hybrid just went Heat Pump Failure HPF F-C code, after 20 months. I hope GE can get this sorted out and cover these failures under warranty as we are very pleased with the unit otherwise.

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  63. Following up to my Jan 2 2013 post...
    GE just repaired my GeoSpring water heater Heat Pump Failure code F-C for free. My water heater is about 2.5 years old which is past the warranty period where labor is included. A big THANK YOU to GE for excellent customer service and for standing by your product. I just hope the repair lasts so that I can continue to reap the full energy savings this unit delivers.

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  64. One consideration is that at least in my location (Sacramento Valley, CA) the cost to operate this water heater is approximately two solar panels. One time cost, no more expense for water heating. It actually works out much cheaper than using thermal water, plus now worries about freeze prevention - go figure.

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  65. After careful consideration, I opted for a Nyle heat pump add on, which is mated to our SuperStor Ultra indirect water heater (http://i362.photobucket.com/albums/oo69/HereinHalifax/Img_1914.jpg). It operates at 115-volts and draws anywhere from 400 to 700-watts depending upon tank temperature, and is controlled by a mechanical timer that restricts its run time to off-peak hours. The timer is plugged into a power monitor that allows me to track its energy usage on a daily basis.

    From November 1st through February 28th, our Nyle consumed a total of 224.1 kWh or an average of 1.87 kWh/day (two person household and we both shower daily). As previously mentioned, the heat that is sacrificed for hot water production is supplied by a high efficiency heat pump with a seasonal COP of 2.7, so the final number is probably closer to 2.7 kWh/day. However, as also noted, it will supply us with "free" hot water for the six or seven months that we would normally operate our dehumidifier.

    We currently pay 14.3-cents per kWh, and after taking into consideration the additional space heating demand and subtracting from that our dehumidifier related savings, I estimate our DHW costs to be in the range of $75.00/year. Prior to this, we consumed about 500 litres a year of fuel oil for DHW purposes, which at $1.159 a litre works out to be $579.50. Thus, our simple payback is about two years.

    There's no doubt in my mind that we made the right call.

    Cheers,
    Paul Eldridge

    ReplyDelete
  66. whts the basic principle bhhind it.... means how stuff wokr of this system....
    please replay me...
    -thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a link to the General Electric website with their explanation of how the technology works.
      http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/water-heater-features.htm

      Delete
  67. I have now owned the original GE Geo Spring. As an HVAC commercial technician / supervisor here is my take:

    I developed an evaporator leak in the GE Geo Spring at 14 month mark, technically outside of the free 12 month warranty.

    GE was nice to me however and 2 GE appliance repairmen replaced the leaking evaporator without charge and restored the unit to service. Thank You GE.

    The question is not whether these are efficient, they are. When you go from drawing 19 amperes of current at 240 volts to just 2 amperes, trust me, it works. The amprobe does not lie !

    The big issue is the overall build quality of each and every brand.

    I paid around $900.00 for mine new. I also use mine as part of a geothermal system. My Carrier geothermal heat pump de superheats or preheats water going into an electrically disconnected water tank # 1 which stores heated water, then in turn, supplies the GE Geospring, tank # 2.

    As long as the household heat pump is running, my entering water on the Geo Spring is from 80 - 95 degrees F instead of 55 F winter, - 70 F summer.

    So, forget the yellow energy sticker on the tank that says usage can be down to $150.00 per year from $350.00.

    Apart from breakdowns, it now heats water for VERY little. It's not trying to heat 55 F water) For single tank users follow instructions and don't bury the unit in a basement 55F closet.

    Install it right, use it in the right way, and you'll get the benefit.

    ReplyDelete