GE Heat Pump Water Heater
GeoSpring Hybrid Review

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GE heat pump water heater, called GeoSpring is the hybrid heating unit from General Electric that utilize heat pump technology for residential hot water heating. The review includes its advantages, benefits, where can you buy it and some installation requirements.


Why GeoSpring

GE manufacturer offers only one hybrid model, GEH50DEEDSC that comes with the popular tank size of 50 gallons, recommended for new homes or as a great replacement for the standard tank-type electric water heater with the 50 gal capacity, but with the greater first hour delivery (65 gallons) and significant reduction in energy usage (62%).

GeoSpring is the Energy Star qualified product that provides high energy factor (EF) of 2.35, which is more than twice the efficiency of the standard 50-gallon units (an average EF is 0.9).

This unit is a great alternative to the gas water heaters as it can be seen from its efficiency and all the advantages and benefits it has to offer; including the government grants and utility rebates.

Features

ge heat pump geospring hybrid

GE GeoSpring is the hybrid water heater that utilize the heat pump technology and standard heating elements as the backup heating. GeoSpring is actually the electric water heater with the addition of the compressor, evaporator, condenser and fan, all integrated into one system, installed on the top of the unit.

Filter

The unit is equipped also with the filter, so when the heat pump runs, it draws the surrounding air through the air filter, keeping the dirt and dust away from the evaporator. Maintenance is recommended as the clean air filter improves the energy efficiency of the water heater. When the filter is dirty and requires cleaning, the red light on the control panel is illuminated.

Control panel

GE heat pump uses an electronic back-lit LCD display, located close to the top of the unit at the eye-level, so you can conveniently change the mode or temperature, by pressing the arrow up or down and following the instructions on the display.

LCD display is part of the integrated electronic system that also helps with the diagnostics and easy troubleshooting. The Energy Menu is very helpful and user friendly, which allows you to convert degrees F to degrees C and check out the FAQs to find the answers about the cold air, noise, modes and other useful info.

There are also five LED diodes on the control panel that shows which operating mode is activated. To alternate between the modes, the mode selector is used.

The control panel has also the communication module port (ACM) and power saver override that is used with the module. It is used to respond to utility signal, if the utility company uses the ACM technology, or to join a home network. The ACM module recognizes when there is a change in the energy cost rate and automatically adjusts its mode to use less energy.

Connections

All the water connections on this heat pump use the standard size of 3/4" and recommended water pressure is 20-125 PSI.

Temperature and pressure safety valve, 3" condensate overflow tube and 6" condensate tube are included. From the relief valve, you should run the discharge line and together with the main drain tube it has to be directed to the suitable open drain.

Protection

There are several elements that protect the heat pump and the user. The sacrificial anode rod protects the metal tank from corrosion, the temperature-limiting control or TCO shuts the unit down if the water temperature exceeds the safe zone, temperature and pressure relief valve...

Warranty

General Electric provides 10-year limited warranty on this GEH50DEEDSC heat pump model, and one year on the replacement parts and labor.

emergency plumber

How it works

General Electric heat pump works by using the evaporator to extract heat from the surrounding air and compressor to increase the temperature. The air is moved through the heat pump by two fans located at the back of the water heater near the top. Condenser coils which wrap the tank all its length transfers the captured heat into the tank and heats the water.

GE heat pump also uses the upper and lower 4.5 kW heating elements and can work as the electric water heater. Keep in mind that only one heat source will be in used at the time, providing greater energy efficiency while producing hot water.

This is how the heat pump will heat the same amount of hot water as conventional tank type electric water heaters, but the energy used is much lower, which helps in lowering water heating expenses up to 62%.

Modes

GeoSpring uses multiple settings or modes so you can, based on your water heating needs and temperature, maximize your savings by using less energy, use heat pump only, backup heater or both.

  • Heat Pump mode allows you to run the heat pump only, which makes this mode the most efficient with maximum savings. It is recommended mode for families looking for the maximum savings but not recommended where the high demand for hot water is needed such as large houses. When the backup heater is not used, it takes longer to heat water.

  • Hybrid mode is the default mode, used if faster hot water recovery is needed. First, heat pump will operate and if more hot water is needed than the backup electric heating elements will activate as well. After high demand is met, the system goes back to use the heat pump only. This will provide hot water faster, longer and with less energy used. It performs as the conventional electric water heater but with the great energy savings.

  • High demand mode is similar to the Hybrid mode and is used if there is a sudden need for more hot water than usual. The heat pump system will react promptly by turning on the heating elements and provide hot water faster and for a long time. It will also take more energy to heat this hot water.

  • GE heat pump in Electric or Standard mode works exactly as the electric water heater with the fan off. This is especially helpful if the surrounding temperatures are low, when the heat pump decreases its performance and efficiency. Water will increase the temperature faster but the energy consumed will be the highest.

  • Vacation mode allows you to program the system if you are on a vacation, for example, or absent more than 3 and less than 90 days. Set the system to drop the hot water temperature to 50 F which will also prevent water from freezing.


Advantages

GE heat pump has the energy factor 2.35 which is higher than the Rheem heat pump, designed with the EF 2.0.

When it compares to the standard electric heater, GeoSpring hybrid water heater produces the same amount of hot water, but it uses less than half the energy. Per GE study, you will save around 2500 kWh yearly, which gives you the annual savings of approximately $250 (based on 10 cents per kWh).

GE heat pump is the only model from electric water heaters that is recognized as the Energy Star, making it eligible for government grants and utility rebates.

It is good on environment as it applies the "green" technology for reducing greenhouse gases.

It is easy to replace and it occupies almost the same space as the conventional electric 50-gallon water heater tank.

Installing

GeoSpring is the free standing unit that requires clean and dry area with at least 700 cubic feet room. The unit requires 240 V and 30 Amps electrical power to operate. The electric supply line should be dedicated and installed per electric codes.

As the heat pump uses the surrounding air for water heating, recommendation is to provide at least 7" clearance above the unit. The best is to install the unit so the air filter, front panel and cover can be removed easily for servicing and maintenance.

If you are looking for the reviews online, you will notice that the major concern or complain about this heat pump is the noise. This is why it is unsuitable for installation in the spaces close to the living area or bedrooms.


Cost

GE heat pump cost more than the standard electric water heaters. With the tax incentives, ENERGY STAR rebates and cost savings, the heat pump will typically pay for itself in approximately 3-4 years.

You can buy the heat pump at the Lowe's or at Sears' store for $1,699 (in 2013). Use the GE website here for more info.



(Photo credit to GE)

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