Hybrid heat pump water heater

device-detection

#1

Just curious if anyone has had a heat pump from a water heater detected? I searched threads, but it looked like most were in regards to regular electric water heaters.

Unfortunately I had my water heater go out a few weeks ago. I decided to install a hybrid heat pump, and it really seems to be doing a great job. From the app it looks like it uses between 2-4kwh a day which should be significant savings in the long run over the gas water heater I had. I’m running it in heat pump only, unless we have guests over, so it will likely be a long time before sense detects main heating elements.


#2

It’s funny you mention this. I just had a Rheem 65 gallon hybrid water heater installed a week ago. I am also using heat pump only mode and am hoping it’s detected soon.


#3

I have the 50 gallon Richmond. I believe it is the same as reheem, just rebranded. How do you like yours so far?

It’s pretty obvious when it’s on, but that’s to a human eye…


#4

I love my new water heater. We went from using ~13kwh of power a day with our old heater down to ~4.5 now. It’s not hugely obvious when the water heater is on to us. It’s the same noise level as a refrigerator so we don’t hear it inside and the power draw is 400-450watts, staggeringly less than the 4.5kw draw from our old water heater. I’ll post updates to this thread once it’s identified, I’m looking forward to Sense seeing it so I can compare long term power draw to the water heater it replaced.


#5

I’ve been kinda nervous considering I switched from gas to electric. Gas is generally cheaper than electric, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The install day it used 7kwh because it was heating from empty. However once up to temp, the heat pump does seem to make up the difference though using much less to stay at temp.

Looking forward to hearing your results. It would be nice to compare old to new like you can. Unfortunately there is no “Sense” for gas appliances.


#6

My GE Geospring heat pump water heater was detected, but it was detected with an artificially low wattage. I think it reported around 200W in use when the number was more like 300-400W. I had to replace my Sense monitor since then, and I don’t use the heat pump water heater in the winter, so we’ll see how the next detection round goes when the weather warms back up.


#7

One of the very few things Sense has detected in my home is my heat pump (house, not water heater), but it took almost a year to do so. As they say, “patience”


#8

We are thinking about getting a Rheem heat pump water heater installed and would love to have Sense be able to detect it as this would make comparing the savings straightforward! Our current traditional electrical resistance storage water heater is 1/3 of our electrical usage.

For those of you who installed a heat pump water heater, what do you think of the different brands? I’m leaning towards Rheem because it’s the only one where reviewers have commented on it being quiet enough to install indoors in a utility closet. Thanks!


#9

So those of you that installed a heatpump hot water heater, what size and brand and what was the cost of the unit. I have always had natural gas, but now that I am in Florida the house has a 55 gallon electric hot water heater. I know a heat pump unit will use less electricity, but I wonder how much less. Most of the time it is just me and my wife, so while I would love to save power, I am not sure the return would justify the price, especially since the current hot water heater is only about two years old. If the payback on electric savings is over five years I don’t think the return is worth it. Now if the unit were to die that is a different story. Am I correct in this thinking or not?


#10

Mine died, so it was an easy choice. Not sure I would go replace one that still works.

I paid $1100 for 50gal Richmond, same as Reheem after rebates. Be sure to see if your utility company offers a rebate. Some people have gotten them for $500 after rebates. The savings for me based on the energy guides was ~$200/year. I installed it myself so the payback is a little over 5 years.

That said, I seem to be using less energy that the energy guide estimated so far by leaving it in heat pump only mode.

Here is my limited data set so far. The two really high days were install day and when I had family over - had it in demand mode.


#11

There is an EPA sticker on water heaters and the amount you save on a hybrid may be more or less than the sticker depending on your rate of electricity. The higher your rate per kWhr the faster the payback. In California at rates around $0.25 per kWhr my payback was three years.


#12

My Rheem hybrid water heater was detected within a few months of installing sense. It’s very reliable on the heat pump detection but spotty for the electric elements since they don’t run often.


#13

We have the Rheem 65-gallon, installed almost 1 year ago. Sense has still not detected it, but frequently confuses its’ heat pump with our kitchen disposer.

It has been mentioned that Sense has a hard time detecting variable-speed motors, of which this unit has one. Our variable-speed air handler is the same way, and is not detected, we only see the compressor side.

@32259fl: We are in Florida as well. It’s amazing how efficient this thing is, it’s probably the most easy ROI improvement we’ve done. However, in cold months, if you leave it on heat-pump-only mode, it does take much longer to re-heat from an exhausted tank. Correspondingly, the energy usage goes up when compared to warmer months. Still, strikingly better than our old electric WH.

My only disappointment with the Rheem: Whenever I go to settings other than “heat pump only”, it seems to be very dumb about its’ decision to revert to resistance heat. “Energy saver” mode is supposed to blend mostly heat pump and some resistance heat, but seems to always start up the resistance heat right after someone gets out of the shower, run it really high for like 40 minutes, and then sit idle the rest of the day. Even trying to manually switch it to heat pump only, it’ll still run resistance heat until it’s up to temp, and then switch over. Also, I wish it would show the tank temperature on the app. It only shows it on the front panel interface.

I’d 100% still buy it again, it does what it’s supposed to do - save a LOT of energy.


#14

Thanks. In looking at what Sense says about my Rheem 55 gallon electric hot water heater it looks like it does not make any sense to replace it with a heat pump. When it ultimately dies that may be another story. Since it is only me and my wife, we just don’t use that much hot water. Sense is showing that our annual hot water cost for electricity with the current unit is about $160 a year. If I paid $1,500 for a heat pump including tax, delivery and install (probably low) and it did not use any electricity at all, we would still be talking about a 9-10 year payback.


#15

I, too, have a Rheem 50-gal hybrid.
Sense detected the heat pump component after almost a year. It was 100% accurate. I.e., when the compressor run… sense knew.

Another bit to save energy:
Get an Intermatic timer, the one rated for 10,000 watts.
I have my water heater (heat pump only mode) run between 11pm and 7am and set to 140f. By the time the timer commands a shutdown, the tank has had a chance to recoup from both morning showers.

The water stays scolding hot way past 7pm when we both get back home.

Just 2 people at home.
Edit: I’m in Cali. My peak rates are over 40 cents, dropping to 11c at night.


#16

My Geospring has yet to be detected. Were you mainly running in Hybrid mode? I’m thinking of switching to heat pump only and seeing if that works a bit better. It’s one of the last big loads remaining in my apartment.

Look at me…complaining about device detection :grin:


#17

My Geospring is in heat pump only mode in almost all circumstances. I enable the high demand mode on the rare occasion that I have guests over taking lots of showers in a row.

It did take a good few months for Sense to ID the unit, with it running two cycles per day in general.


#18

I’ve had one of the early GE Hybrid Water Heaters installed for many years now. Sense was able to detect both my Hybrid mode (used during the summer) and the Standard mode. The temperature in the basement falls about 10°F during the winter. It’s something I’m experimenting with. The standard more uses 4-5X the amount of energy!


#19

Might I ask why you’re not operating in Hybrid year round? My basement is about 45F and seems to have no issue running on heat pump, rarely drawing more than 600W (at least that’s what I suspect from looking purely at Power Meter when it’s running). I just have two people using it though, so we rarely run out of hot water.


#20

That’s interesting to know, Ryan. I may have to give it a try. I had to have this unit repaired a couple of times within the first couple of years. All covered by warranty but thought I was working it too hard for the environment it was in. You don’t usually see heat pumps in the Midwest.

Thank you for your reply.