LeftieBiker
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:29 pm

I think that the only way to sell a $2k water heater is with a warranty that includes at least 3 years of in-home service (5 would be better) - or to at least make that a low cost extra. If the tanks really are reliable then this wouldn't cost the manufacturer a lot. We went through two resistive water heaters quickly, but it was because the first installer refused to install the expansion tank I requested, and our somewhat high water pressure, combined with the heat expansion of the water, overstressed the physical tanks. With so many mediocre or worse installers out there, you need more protection than a one year inclusive warranty on an appliance that costs that much. Even if the payback estimate is spot on, it takes three years for the things to pay for their extra cost.

Dmacarthur slipped. Yes, the units sold through big box stores may well use cheaper components. They shouldn't be allowed to do that with other brands.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
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goldbrick
Posts: 1090
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:41 pm

What gets me is why water heaters are still made out of glass lined steel. I had a Kenmore 'Survivor' electric water heater that I bought used for $100 back in the early 90's. It was still going strong when I sold the house 15 years later. It had a plastic tank and rigid foam insulation around it. Looked more or less like a regular water heater and took normal electric heating elements. Sears had a transferable lifetime warranty on them at some point but the last time I looked for them I didn't see them sold anymore. Maybe there isn't enough money to be made on them but I sure liked mine.

Oilpan4
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:05 am

I had one. It died. It was nice while it lasted. It would help air condition the house in the summer.
I would like to replace it but I'm not spending 1 or 2 grand on it.

dmacarthur
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:00 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Jul 2018
Leaf Number: 306556
Location: Vermont

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:55 am

Oilpan4 wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:05 am
I had one. It died. It was nice while it lasted. It would help air condition the house in the summer.
I would like to replace it but I'm not spending 1 or 2 grand on it.
It is true that heat pump water heaters basically steal heat from the surrounding air to warm the water, so, in northern climates a heated basement (which is underground and kept at Earth ambient temperature) works OK but in a kitchen or bathroom it is not a good solution (except in hot summer weather as Oilpan points out...). Curious why yours died Oilpan and why you did not fix it? the chip should have been warranteed...
2015 Leaf sold
2019 Leaf Plus S as of 9/30/19

Oilpan4
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:51 pm
Delivery Date: 10 May 2018
Leaf Number: 004270

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:06 am

Yeah when the heat needed to be on I turned off the heat pump and ran resistance heating or use the hot water plumbing I added to the coal furnace.
Need to add a thermostatic valve to the hot water heater cause after running the coal furnace all night that water gets freaking hot. I haven't popped the TP valve yet.
"THE ABOVE POST CONTAINS MISLEADING AND INACCURATE INFORMATION. PLEASE CONSIDER IT OPINION, NOT FACT". -someone who I offended and is unable to produce the facts in question.

Kieran973
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:51 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2019
Location: near NY, NY

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:28 pm

The reasons I think HPWHs are probably less reliable than regular electric and natural gas water heaters are 1.) I believe they’re more complex/elegant — there’s more opportunity for things to break and 2.) they’re relatively new terrain for companies like Rheem, AO Smith, etc who have been making water heaters for decades but have only been making HPWHs for what, less than 10 years?

That being said, the actual reliability stats are important. Can anyone suggest any?

And for those who have already installed: any advice you might offer? What did you pay for labor, what is your annual usage like, how happy are you with the performance of your unit? If I go through with this, I’m planning to size up (65 gallon HPWH for family of 3), to insist on a professional contractor model as opposed to a consumer model, and to try and get a better labor warranty than the one-year warranty that Leftie referred to (which seems standard on the box store consumer models).
current: Black 2019 SV Plus with all-weather package (purchased 5/20)
former: Silver 2019 SV with all-weather package (purchased 5/19; traded in 5/20 with 15,000 miles)

GerryAZ
Gold Member
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Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:13 pm

I would install one to pump heat out of my garage (into the water) most of the year and turn on the resistance elements in the coldest months if I thought the unit would be reliable enough to be cost effective. Unless I find one that uses something better than a glass-lined steel tank, the tank will likely fail before I save enough electricity to justify the cost (based upon my off-peak power costs). The payback time could be less in areas with high power cost or combined with rooftop solar.
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015; traded 8/10/2019 at 82,436 miles
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LeftieBiker
Moderator
Posts: 16107
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:14 pm

Using an expansion tank to take all excess pressure off the water heater's tank seems to work well to increase longevity of steel/glass tanks. It does have to be properly adjusted to work right.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
BAFX OBDII Dongle
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

dmacarthur
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:00 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Jul 2018
Leaf Number: 306556
Location: Vermont

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:08 pm

Oilpan4 wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:06 am
Yeah when the heat needed to be on I turned off the heat pump and ran resistance heating or use the hot water plumbing I added to the coal furnace.
Need to add a thermostatic valve to the hot water heater cause after running the coal furnace all night that water gets freaking hot. I haven't popped the TP valve yet.
We have a HW coil in the wood stove, which does occasionally pop the T/P valve so we added a copper pipe loop int he bedroom with a ball valve to allow small amounts of hot hot water to thermosiphon thru the loop- manual adjustment keeps water hot enough for all uses but not boiling..... plus, a little extra heat in the bedroom.
2015 Leaf sold
2019 Leaf Plus S as of 9/30/19

dmacarthur
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:00 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Jul 2018
Leaf Number: 306556
Location: Vermont

Re: Heat pump water heaters

Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:12 pm

Kieran973 wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 2:28 pm
The reasons I think HPWHs are probably less reliable than regular electric and natural gas water heaters are 1.) I believe they’re more complex/elegant — there’s more opportunity for things to break and 2.) they’re relatively new terrain for companies like Rheem, AO Smith, etc who have been making water heaters for decades but have only been making HPWHs for what, less than 10 years?

That being said, the actual reliability stats are important. Can anyone suggest any?

And for those who have already installed: any advice you might offer? What did you pay for labor, what is your annual usage like, how happy are you with the performance of your unit? If I go through with this, I’m planning to size up (65 gallon HPWH for family of 3), to insist on a professional contractor model as opposed to a consumer model, and to try and get a better labor warranty than the one-year warranty that Leftie referred to (which seems standard on the box store consumer models).
Sorry, I have not kept track of actual savings, in the rentals that is hard to do anyway because of different habits among the tenants, but they DO consume less electricity and have, so far, been OK for maintenance. I install them myself, some states till allow this but not much longer I imagine.....
2015 Leaf sold
2019 Leaf Plus S as of 9/30/19

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