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  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
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    RIP Air Generate Water Heaters

    I'm sad to announce that I just heard Air Generate has decided to go out of business. In my professional opinion the ATI 66 was the most well designed heat pump water heater ever made. The unit featured a stainless steel tank with a lifetime warranty. The 1 ton heat pump was an R410a system with a 20 degree minimum operation temperature.

    The unit had a series of complications that led to the downfall of the company. 2 years ago the unit came with a black electrical cord that the installer was supposed to connect to a junction box. Many installers disconnected the cord and installed the existing electrical whip. Most of the time the installers didn't connect the whip well enough to the hub inside the unit and this led to problems.

    Air Generate responded to this problem by halting production for 6 months while they addressed the issue with design modification. This led to the next big mistake which was that the evaporator coils that were already made sat on the shelf for 6 months. They were never capped off and when production began again they installed contaminated coils. This led to more failures on the field.

    The the last major problem was that the start capacitors for the blowers commonly went out. I've replaced at least 2 dozen of them in the field. They were really easy to replace and only cost around 2 dollars.

    These problems were totally preventable and I'm sad this company had to go. Hopefully their mistakes will be a good learning tool for other start ups.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Colver View Post
    I'm sad to announce that I just heard Air Generate has decided to go out of business. In my professional opinion the ATI 66 was the most well designed heat pump water heater ever made. The unit featured a stainless steel tank with a lifetime warranty. The 1 ton heat pump was an R410a system with a 20 degree minimum operation temperature.

    The unit had a series of complications that led to the downfall of the company. 2 years ago the unit came with a black electrical cord that the installer was supposed to connect to a junction box. Many installers disconnected the cord and installed the existing electrical whip. Most of the time the installers didn't connect the whip well enough to the hub inside the unit and this led to problems.

    Air Generate responded to this problem by halting production for 6 months while they addressed the issue with design modification. This led to the next big mistake which was that the evaporator coils that were already made sat on the shelf for 6 months. They were never capped off and when production began again they installed contaminated coils. This led to more failures on the field.

    The the last major problem was that the start capacitors for the blowers commonly went out. I've replaced at least 2 dozen of them in the field. They were really easy to replace and only cost around 2 dollars.

    These problems were totally preventable and I'm sad this company had to go. Hopefully their mistakes will be a good learning tool for other start ups.
    Hey James,

    Thanks for this explaination. I was wondering why this all happened, as it seemed like the AirGenerate HPWH were a very well designed water heater. It's true that it seems like a bunch of unfortunate events that could have definitely been prevented.

    With that said, I'm still wondering if this could be a good purchase. With the rebates still in place, you can pick one of these up for a final cost anywhere between $50-$150. That's cheaper than a cheap electric water heater!!! With that price, the payback of this would be crazy short, so even if it only lasted for a few years, it'd still probably save you money.

    What are your thoughts? I might even consider purchasing 2 of them, so that I could have parts. Also, with your mentioning of the issues above, could those be mitigated at the time of install?

    I'm usually all about buying quality products, especially with an appliance like this, but at this price I have to at least consider the option. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks,

    JoeInVT

  3. #3
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    Jan 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeInVT View Post
    Hey James,

    Thanks for this explaination. I was wondering why this all happened, as it seemed like the AirGenerate HPWH were a very well designed water heater. It's true that it seems like a bunch of unfortunate events that could have definitely been prevented.

    With that said, I'm still wondering if this could be a good purchase. With the rebates still in place, you can pick one of these up for a final cost anywhere between $50-$150. That's cheaper than a cheap electric water heater!!! With that price, the payback of this would be crazy short, so even if it only lasted for a few years, it'd still probably save you money.

    What are your thoughts? I might even consider purchasing 2 of them, so that I could have parts. Also, with your mentioning of the issues above, could those be mitigated at the time of install?

    I'm usually all about buying quality products, especially with an appliance like this, but at this price I have to at least consider the option. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks,

    JoeInVT
    I didn't know you could buy them that cheap. Gensco is trying to sell them for around 700 right now which is a thousand less than what they cost normally I have one in my own house and I really like it. The hard part is knowing if the unit you bought has a contaminated coil, but if you wanted to install piercing valves and service the system that would take care of it.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Colver View Post
    I didn't know you could buy them that cheap. Gensco is trying to sell them for around 700 right now which is a thousand less than what they cost normally I have one in my own house and I really like it. The hard part is knowing if the unit you bought has a contaminated coil, but if you wanted to install piercing valves and service the system that would take care of it.
    Yeah, it looks like I can an ATI80 at GPConservation.com for about the same price ($700), free shipping & no tax. With my state's rebate of $550, I'd be looking at a final cost of $150 (before installation of course). With my current cost of heating water, that's a payback period of less than 3 months. If I went with the ATI66DV, I'd actually make money off from it (it costs $500, so after the rebate I'd be $50 richer )

    Going the complete opposite direction, the Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300 is $2400 at Home Depot. I can get 10% off that, which brings it down to $2160, minus the state rebate of $550, brings it down to $1610 (before tax and installation). That's a payback of just under 2 years - still really good, just no where near the 3 month mark. :-)

    I'll probably ask around to see if someone would feel comfortable servicing the ATI. If so, then for the price I'm going to just go for it. Even if it doesn't pan out, I won't really be loosing any money, and the plumbing should be pretty much all set for the replacement I'll have to get.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2015
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    I have a quick question about the AirGenerate. I have one on emergency heat for now, it makes sense that I could not get help after the unit stopped functioning in February. I have heard about the capacitor issue, but I have a burnt and 'bubbled' wire on what is termed the "protector" or TOC (the top one). The central trip or reset button (red) did not trip, but I have a feeling that this part is not functioning correctly (it is where the burnt wire is secured). Do you know what is the correct name or identification for this part? I would assume if it had tripped, I could reset it and would have continuity to all four terminals, but with no ability to reset and no continuity either plus a burnt wire leads me to believe this part failed. Maybe this is all tied to the capacitor (which I assume is up next to the control board). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Joel

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarcast View Post
    I have a quick question about the AirGenerate. I have one on emergency heat for now, it makes sense that I could not get help after the unit stopped functioning in February. I have heard about the capacitor issue, but I have a burnt and 'bubbled' wire on what is termed the "protector" or TOC (the top one). The central trip or reset button (red) did not trip, but I have a feeling that this part is not functioning correctly (it is where the burnt wire is secured). Do you know what is the correct name or identification for this part? I would assume if it had tripped, I could reset it and would have continuity to all four terminals, but with no ability to reset and no continuity either plus a burnt wire leads me to believe this part failed. Maybe this is all tied to the capacitor (which I assume is up next to the control board). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Joel
    Hey Guitarcast - Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to answer your question. I don't have any direct experience with this unit as I'm still in the 'investigating' phase of my purchase, so I'm going to have to defer to James on this.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2015
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    Thanks, I think I also used the wrong lettering for the TCO in my original post. We did like the unit when it was working. It would be nice to get it back up and running.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeInVT View Post
    Hey Guitarcast - Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to answer your question. I don't have any direct experience with this unit as I'm still in the 'investigating' phase of my purchase, so I'm going to have to defer to James on this.
    Feel free to give me a call and I can talk you through it. I do service these units still and I can get most parts I need because they do cross over. With regards to the wiring this is the first I've ever heard of there being burned wire inside the unit. There usually is 5 wires leading from the blower motor to the black box that contains the control board and capacitor. Are the damaged wires for the blower motor?

  9. #9
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    Apr 2015
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    Thanks James. I didn't see this until today. I actually have my unit back up and working with a temporary high limit cutoff (the one in the top electrical cutout behind the green cover panel or just below the control display unit), but I am trying to find the surface mount high limit cutoff (66TM, my temporary is the dual spade DPST 66T with a 170F disc). Our HVAC service person was out to look at our outdoor heat pump and took a look at the unit. He thought the wire may have heated to the point of burning and shutting down the cutoff due to a loose wire. He felt the wire may have created higher resistance and led to the burnout (about an inch above the lug).

    My guy is working on trying to find a replacement, but if you have access to the parts that would be a good option. Do you happen to have a parts list for the unit? I know that anode eventually needs to be replace, but I am not sure which part to look for in the future. I figure the anode may last longer here in Eugene than other places in the country where there are more salts and minerals in the water. I may be in touch soon.
    Last edited by Guitarcast; 05-06-2015 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Cutoff addition

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Colver View Post
    I'm sad to announce that I just heard Air Generate has decided to go out of business. In my professional opinion the ATI 66 was the most well designed heat pump water heater ever made. The unit featured a stainless steel tank with a lifetime warranty. The 1 ton heat pump was an R410a system with a 20 degree minimum operation temperature.

    The unit had a series of complications that led to the downfall of the company. 2 years ago the unit came with a black electrical cord that the installer was supposed to connect to a junction box. Many installers disconnected the cord and installed the existing electrical whip. Most of the time the installers didn't connect the whip well enough to the hub inside the unit and this led to problems.

    Air Generate responded to this problem by halting production for 6 months while they addressed the issue with design modification. This led to the next big mistake which was that the evaporator coils that were already made sat on the shelf for 6 months. They were never capped off and when production began again they installed contaminated coils. This led to more failures on the field.

    The the last major problem was that the start capacitors for the blowers commonly went out. I've replaced at least 2 dozen of them in the field. They were really easy to replace and only cost around 2 dollars.

    These problems were totally preventable and I'm sad this company had to go. Hopefully their mistakes will be a good learning tool for other start ups.
    Just saw this post as I am trying to address an issue with the blower fan not always starting. I assumed it was the startup capacitor and after reading this post, I'm convinced that is the issue. I'd like to order a replacement capacitor before installing. Do you have the capacitor part number and a supplier?
    Thanks in advance.

  11. #11
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    Run cap!

  12. Likes Mike19 liked this post.
  13. #12
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    No DIY, time to call a pro, lol

  14. #13
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    I'm referring to James Colver's post
    "The the last major problem was that the start capacitors for the blowers commonly went out. I've replaced at least 2 dozen of them in the field. They were really easy to replace and only cost around 2 dollars."
    I have an air tap ATI 80 with a blower fan that does not always start. I can reaching in and spin the fan by hand and it starts up. Sounds like the start cap as James described.

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