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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    9

    hybrid hot water heater

    I'm thinking about installing a hybrid electric hot water heater in my house. I was wondering if anybody out there has any thoughts or experience with these heaters. thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    So you already have hot water and are going to re heat it? Lol jk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    9
    no, just looking to make my house as energy effiecient as possible

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,048
    Yes they will definately save you some $. As long as it doesn't break and you spend all your savings on repairs.

    Where is the heater located. An added bonus is the cooling and slight dehumidification of the area it is located.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Quote Originally Posted by frodea View Post
    no, just looking to make my house as energy effiecient as possible
    I meant it as a joke "Hot water heater" implies you are heating water that's already hot. Guess it was a stupid joke lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    9
    I guess I should have called it a domestic water heater, lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    9
    The water heater will be installed in a 900 sq/ft basement. I do like the idea of the dehumidification that I should gain also. I am just trying to get a handle on how reliable they are as a whole. I was in trade school when heat pumps had just mainstreamed in the market and how unreliable they were then. Sometimes these manufactuers forget lessons they learned in the past. Maybe I'm looking into this too deep since these arn't true heat pumps in the sence that they only heat the water and don't cool it. So there is no reversing valve i'm assuming.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,189
    That would be one ccccold basement!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,441
    If you buy a GE, make sure you get the new American made model, not the old Chinese one

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,048
    Last time I checked they have 10yr parts only 10yr sealed sys labor+parts

    There is no RV you are correct. I have worked on several of the old design GE units that had issues with their tube and fin evap coil leaking. Other than that the control boards seem pretty reliable

    . They also I believe shut off heat pump portion when inlet air gets below 50. So like loonie hinted towards if your basement is cold the majority of the year than it may run off elements more than you desire.

    However I'm sure you could find a way to warm the inlet sensor to keep it running.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,441
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post

    . They also I believe shut off heat pump portion when inlet air gets below 50. So like loonie hinted towards if your basement is cold the majority of the year than it may run off elements more than you desire.

    However I'm sure you could find a way to warm the inlet sensor to keep it running.
    Without a reversing valve the evap would probably freeze up below 50

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,048
    Yes it certainly could. But If it was me Id push the limits! Lol

  13. #13

    My personal experience

    I have one that has been installed in my around 800 sq ft unfinished basement for the past two years. It is the GE, but I have no idea as to whether or not it is made in the US. The basement is cinder block walls and concrete floor with a few block vents around. I used to use a stand alone dehumidifier to knock out the musty smell, but since installing this water heater there has been no need. I have it in a water catch pan in case it ever leaks and the same 3/4" PVC line that connects to that also catches the condensate that drains from the heat pump unit on the top. I let it run into a floor drain but it can just as easily be expelled via a condensate pump.

    I chose the GE over the Ruud because the GE uses 134A refrigerant and the Ruud uses 410-A. Talk about some major pressure differences. Also the GE was a bit shorter and with my fairly low ceiling, it was going to be close with the Ruud.

    There are several operational modes. Hybrid only, which will never energize the element backup. E-Home, which tries to heat mostly with the heat pump but will use the elements when demand gets higher. High demand, will more liberally use the element backup. And stop cold air (electric element only mode). I generally use E-Home during the summer months and high demand during the winter, and yes it stays fairly cold down there in the winter, but it is tolerable with heavy clothing.

    Installation was just a bit more difficult than a standard water heater, but be aware that this thing is heavy. I man handled it down the stairs and into place but I am a fairly big guy. Expect to need the assistance of another able bodied person to set this unit. Also, it needs to be transported like a refrigerator, you know, upright, so be sure to strap it good or you'll almost give yourself an ulcer like I did bringing it home going 5 mph around every curve.

    Finally, the energy savings. Yes, we have lower electricity usage as a result of using this unit in place of the standard electric unit. But it is not shockingly better. I have not actually tried to measure the accurate savings, which would be a bit difficult as my family grew by one right before installation, but if I had it to do over again I would not drop over $1500 on the unit. If the price is below $1000, I would do it.

    Neat little trick that helps add a little energy recovery to the heater; if your clothes dryer is in the same space, install a method of dumping the discharge (only if it is electric) in the basement after it has ran for about 10-15 minutes (to allow for the large amount of dampness to be discharged outside first). This requires manual intervention, so it is annoying to try and implement. Anyone with ideas on how to make this automated, please chime in!


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