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I haven't put one in yet, but a number of towns in my area have outlawed gas in new homes, so it's gonna happen sooner or later.
It so happens I have a vacation home which currently has a decade plus electric heater where gas is not an option due to structural and temperature concerns.
Therefor, I plan on installing one and kick the tires myself.
Anyone have experience with these units that you'd like to share?
 

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No gas in new construction?!?!

That wouldn’t fly in Michigan! My furnace went out this spring and my lazy azz didn’t get to it till after it got cold. I ran an oil filled space heater in the basement, a space heater in the living room. I would also run my big lp burner for 10-15 minutes every hour or so. it’s really going to mess with our budget plan!
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I haven't put one in yet, but a number of towns in my area have outlawed gas in new homes, so it's gonna happen sooner or later.
It so happens I have a vacation home which currently has a decade plus electric heater where gas is not an option due to structural and temperature concerns.
Therefor, I plan on installing one and kick the tires myself.
Anyone have experience with these units that you'd like to share?
I assuming you're talking about electric models with a heat pump on top as well, although this all applies to separate heat pumps as well.

They're pretty good, really depends on the area you put them in because they suck the heat from the air. We tell the customer that if they already run a dehumidifier than the heat pump will replace it and they should see a good amount of savings compared to a standard electric water heater.

If they have a relatively cool, dry basement than they will see less savings but still some. If they heat the basement air with oil or gas the numbers still swing in favor of the heat pump saving money over a standard electric even when you account for the extra heat the heating system must produce.

As for reliability, we've installed a number of them over the past 5 years and they've been pretty good. We install state.

If you're talking about standalone heat pumps than all of the benefits apply and they are usually easier to fix as they are physically larger. I have one in my basement that ran great for almost 20 years until recently. If I get a chance I might fix it, I think it's just the gas pressure sensor cut-out switch. I could over ride it...... ;)
 

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Iv'e installed a few ,Two months ago installed a 50 gal aosmith in my home , you have to have enough cubic air space , I think 700, They will also produce condensate so a drain or a pump. My model has three settings , Heatpump , Hybrid and straight electric. I have left mine on heat pump and I have not had a problem as I live alone. 50 gal is probably too small for a family.
 

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I am talking about a hybrid unit. My location is a laundry room which the manufacturer (AO Smith-State) says is a good fit. The room has at least 800 cu ft. It will capture some of the heat shed by the washer and dryer.
 

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Iv'e installed a few ,Two months ago installed a 50 gal aosmith in my home , you have to have enough cubic air space , I think 700, They will also produce condensate so a drain or a pump. My model has three settings , Heatpump , Hybrid and straight electric. I have left mine on heat pump and I have not had a problem as I live alone. 50 gal is probably too small for a family.
I am talking about a hybrid unit. My location is a laundry room which the manufacturer (AO Smith-State) says is a good fit. The room has at least 800 cu ft. It will capture some of the heat shed by the washer and dryer.
We almost always install the 80 gallon versions, only done a couple 60s. And yeah, that laundry room will be perfect. We had one guy where his dryer just vented into the basement next to the heater, which happens a lot around here, he got a nice electric bill savings.
 
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We almost always install the 80 gallon versions, only done a couple 60s. And yeah, that laundry room will be perfect. We had one guy where his dryer just vented into the basement next to the heater, which happens a lot around here, he got a nice electric bill savings.
I was thinking 50 gal, but judging by your comments, is that too small? Mostly just 2 occupants, but occasionally as many as 4 or 5.
 

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I was thinking 50 gal, but judging by your comments, is that too small? Mostly just 2 occupants, but occasionally as many as 4 or 5.
Occasionally 4 or 5? then occasionally it won't be enough. Size it like you would a straight electric heater. The heat pump doesn't add capacity, it only helps with efficiency.

Depending on the environmental conditions you may not be able to rely on the heat pump aspect. For instance, if the area becomes very cool and dry. Also, if the heat pump does fail you don't want them dead in the water.

On the positive side, having it be as large as possible will help the heat pump do most of the work when it's set to maximum efficiency mode. The energy cost savings will more than make up for the higher upfront cost.
 

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Not convinced on these unless you have no natural gas or propane available. Your looking at an approximate savings of $300.00 to $350.00 a year for a family of 4 (over a plain electric WH). Maybe $3,000.00 to $3,500.00 over the life of it.

This doesn't include the initial price difference between a standard gas. So near $900.00 more off the bat.

High demand your still going to use the electric elements and the electric cost is greater than gas.

I've worked with ground based heat pumps that supplement electric water heaters. Pretty simple if you already have a geo-furnace, to me that makes sense.

Colder climates further reduce efficiency.

If your all electric, it makes sense.
 

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...........If your all electric, it makes sense.
Most of our customers have oil for heat and not gas. They'll have a boiler or furnace and an electric water heater.

We try to sell them a gas or oil option but often these are just simpler in their minds. It's not the best solution, just a better solution than only elements. And like I said, a lot of them run dehumidifiers so the savings is much better than you would otherwise see.
 
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Occasionally 4 or 5? then occasionally it won't be enough. Size it like you would a straight electric heater. The heat pump doesn't add capacity, it only helps with efficiency.
My question was directed to the recovery relative to a standard electric tank, not the size. The house has always had a 50 gal and even with the increased demand I haven't heard any complaints about no HW. Since it's a vacation home, I'm not as concerned as if it were a 365 situation.


Not convinced on these unless you have no natural gas or propane available. Your looking at an approximate savings of $300.00 to $350.00 a year for a family of 4 (over a plain electric WH). Maybe $3,000.00 to $3,500.00 over the life of it.
The laundry room is in the middle of the house with a story above. I don't fancy the idea of stripping a bunch of walls and ceilings to daylight a flue. And, a crawlspace tankless gas unit would also entail a lot of heavy lifting.
 

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My question was directed to the recovery relative to a standard electric tank, not the size. .............
They do not recover as fast when used in heat pump mode because the heat pump replaces one of the elements in the circuit.

They do have an option to set them to only elements so if your customer had lots of guests coming they could do that.
 

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so now are we plumbers and ac guys? how do i service something with freon? maybe i am ignorant? i thought heat pumps were for heating guys. how do i dispose of the old one? i have nothing to reclaim it.
In some states a plumbing license allows you to do both normal plumbing and hvac work. If you take one out you must have the refrigarant recoved in the same fashion as any other appliance like a fridge or window air conditioner.

In our town the dump has a reclaim pile and when the pile gets big bubba grabs a shotgun.....out of his passenger seat to make room for jim so they can haul the appliances to a recovery center.
 
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i dont have an hvac license. how can i legally install one
The same way you install a regular electric. The heat pump is a self contained unit on top of the heater. It takes heat from the air around the heater so it does not need lines run outside.

Just make sure you have an electrician hook up the 220v like always ;)
 
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We have installed a few of them, none have leaked yet and
I dont plan on working on the heat pump if it goes out... I have seen a large number of them
in the trash heaps at many supply houses, maybe under warranty and many not ...
you might want to check into the warranty issues ,,, I know that they will replace the unit
if the unit leaks, but if the heat pump goes out will they just give you a new unit??

I question the pay back and how many years it will take
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have another question relating to electric water heaters in general..
Can the shut off be set up so the unit can be operated remotely, by a phone app or other means? Since this is a vacation home, it is often vacant and a remote would come in handy.
 

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I have another question relating to electric water heaters in general..
Can the shut off be set up so the unit can be operated remotely, by a phone app or other means? Since this is a vacation home, it is often vacant and a remote would come in handy.
We install honeywell redlink systems so people can use the phone app to control their heating systems. I see no reason you couldn't set the water heater up to be seen as a heat zone in the app and just switch the 220v with a relay followed by a contactor.

Not sure how you would set it up to change between the different efficiency mode settings though.
 
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