Reliance Heat Pumps (Hybrids)
Review and Buying Tips


Reliance heat pumps

Reliance heat pumps (hybrids) offer a desirable solution for homeowners who prefer electric heating and want to get better savings than the standard electric units.

The heat pumps are Energy Star compliant that work with the high recovery rates, providing a sufficient amount of hot water for family sizes of up to five members. The heat pumps are called "hybrids" because they use two technologies to heat water. When there is a high demand for hot water, the unit switches from the heat pump mode to hybrid mode automatically, engaging the electric heating elements to boost efficiency.

Model selection

The Reliance manufacturer produces three sizes of heat pumps; smaller 50-gallon (model 10 50 DHPHT NE), mid-size of 66 gallons (10 66 DHPHT NE), and larger, 80-gallon (model 10 80 DHPHT NE). Due to its high energy efficiency, all three models are eligible for tax credits and utility rebates. This review will show what the common features are, including the pros and cons of all three models.

Features and benefits

Great savings

Reliance hybrids are very efficient HVAC devices as they can employ the heat pump technology and electric heating elements simultaneously to boost efficiency and performance. Such a combination brings great savings to users, and according to the manufacturer, annual energy costs are in a range from a little over $100 to approximately $170 (the year 2020), estimated savings are around $300, and the payback period is approximately three years.

Control panel for convenience

Reliance heat pumps utilize a simple control panel with multiple settings and operating modes to maximize energy savings. This is the command center where you can set and control the temperature and operating modes, or check out the status. The large LCD display shows the temperature and error codes (E10, E20...) while the present operating mode can be identified with the illuminated LED diodes.

Two-level protection

Heat pumps are equipped with a heavy-duty anode rod and glass-lined tanks providing great protection against corrosion. The anode rods still have to be checked regularly and replaced if consumed, because they deteriorate over time (they are consumed).

The two-level protection guarantees the long life of the metal tanks, which are constantly affected by the surrounding aggressive water effect and temperature change.

Temperature setting

The temperature can be selected and changed using the up and down buttons found on the control panel. You can select the temperature in the range from 95 F to 140 F, see it on display and change it from Fahrenheit (F) to Celsius (C). The heaters are factory set on 120 F.

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Operating modes

There are four operating modes you can select at any time. The default mode is the hybrid mode. The operating modes can help you save, produce more hot water, or protect from freezing and unwanted energy loss:

  • The efficient mode is the mode when the water heater uses the heat pump only, resulting in excellent savings.
  • In the hybrid mode, the unit uses both technologies, which are very useful when the greater recovery is needed, such as in the case of long hot water draws. This mode is the default mode recommended by the manufacturer as it brings the best efficiency and water delivery.
  • The conventional mode or electric mode is when the heating elements are fully engaged while the heat pump is off. This mode is used when the surrounding air temperature is low so as the efficiency of the heat pump, and there is no heat to extract.
  • In the vacation mode, when the user is absent, the heat pump water heater is protected from freezing,  and the unit is not producing hot water. Users can program this mode up to 99 days, and the water heater will keep the temperature of stored water at 60 F.

Warranty

Reliance heat pumps are covered with the 6 and 10-year warranty on the tank and its parts.

Differences and unique features

The main difference between Reliance heat pumps is the tank size or capacity and the first-hour rating. The 80-gallon water heater is recommended for homes with up to 5 family members, while the 50-gal unit with the first hour delivery of 66 gallons, is for homes with up to 4 family members or homes with 4 bathrooms.

The uniform energy factor (UEF) is the same on all models - 3.45 when operating in the efficient mode (highest energy savings).

The size of the Reliance hybrids varies from 22 to approximately 26.5" in diameter, and from 61 to 69" in height.

The models have the same recovery rate of 21 gallons (which is the same as found on the standard electric type), the same uniform energy factor, the same wattage of the heating elements, while the first-hour rating is in the range from 66 to 86 gallons.

Conclusion

Reliance heat pumps or hybrids or a great option for many, but for each region/household, special consideration must be made such as the climate, area, available room space, and others.

It is worth repeating that the hybrids can save you a substantial amount of money (over 60%, according to some experts) because they don't generate heat but move from one place to another.

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