Once You Go Lumberjack

Replace a working water heater?

Discussion in 'The DIY Room' started by brenndatomu, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Been thinking that when my 50 gallon electric water heater goes bad, I would replace it with a heat pump water heater (HPWH). No idea how old mine is, but it was not new when I moved here 21 years ago (no idea how old it is really) and it is working fine, no known issues. I've only ever replaced 1 element, drained/cleaned it out twice, once just because, and once because of the element replacement. It does tend to get lime build-up in it...hard water here obviously.
    Water heater is in the unfinished part of the basement (what was once the basement garage) and the floor drains to daylight (no sump pump) so if mine did blow up, it is not a huge catastrophe. Basement stays mid to high 60s in the summer, 70 or so in the winter (wood furnace in basement) so it should be a good space for a HPWH.
    But now I see Menards has the Richmond 10E50-HP4D on sale, plus rebate, cheapest price of the year, (I've been watching them for a while) about a $235 savings off normal price, this is kinda tempting me here...and I'm usually one to milk stuff for all its worth too...but I'm thinking between the electric savings of the water heater, and also not needing to run the dehumidifier (electric hog) in the basement much, or at all maybe, (HPWH dehumidifies) it might be worth doing?
    HVAC guy I know says this is a decent model...I guess some of the early HPWH had issues.
    Advice, thoughts, perspectives, comments?
    https://www.menards.com/main/plumbi...71-c-8688.htm?tid=-5888820524521747500&ipos=4
     
  2. DNH

    DNH

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    If you use a lot of hot water or have high electric rates it will more than pay for itself in 3-4 years.

    I have a 40 gallon tank GE hybrid that has been discontinued due to poor sales number. I would replace it with another heat pump if it needed replaced in a heartbeat!
    Mine will keep up with family of 6 until you are doing laundry, dishes and back to back showers, it has a high demand mode (electric element and heat pump) that I’ve never used. Give it 15 minutes and you have enough hot water for showers.

    It will noticeably cool the room it’s in.
     
  3. Fanatical1

    Fanatical1

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    I would do it in a minute.... I have a Geospring for 4 or 5 years with no issues. I saw the menards one and it looks good to me, I suspect it's made by Rheem, but not 100% sure. 10 year warranty if I recall. Your on borrowed time with yours. Waiting is costing you money, like waiting for your incondesent bulbs to go bad before changing to LED...

    Couple things to consider...

    - it sounds like you have a good spot to use it, unlike some situations. Large space, warm area, access for a condensate line and a place where the noise isn't an issue.
    - It makes about as much noise as a dehumidifier and cools and dehumidifies the space its in.
    - You need a condensate drain
    - I would use a galvanized pan underneath it with a PVC drain just in case it leaks someday, just my 2 cents.
    - Many box stores offer extended warranties for their conventional hot water tanks that is really cheap, and haven't yet adjusted the price for a complex heat pump water heater. If Menards offers it for the same cheap price as a conventional water heater consider buying it.
    - power companys offer huge rebates for these, at least $300.00. Check your power company's current rebates.
    - it uses half the juice of a conventional electric hot water tank using the heat pump, saving hundreds per year. EPA says the yearly savings for a family of 4 to be almost 3000 kW hours. Check the energy star yellow tag for yearly savings.
    - Menards started their 11% off everything sale yesterday, but I think you know this.
    - not needing to run your dehumidifier as much makes this a no brainier in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  4. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Boy I hope not! Mine is noisy! :rofl: :lol:
    Their specs say it is 49 db...supposed to be the quietest model.
    Yes, made by Rheem.
    Reading the reviews scares me a little...too many 1's...I'm sure some of those are DIY self induced, but still.
    Thanks for the input...guess I have til Saturday to decide...
     
  5. Chaz

    Chaz

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    Given all the good advice, coupled with the fact you've been eyeing them for a while, if the price is right then you've nothing to lose.

    Besides, when that current heater goes, it'll likely be at the most inopportune time.
    :hair:

    Heck, if it dehumidifies and cools, maybe I should put one in the bedroom.
    :rofl: :lol:
     
  6. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Well, we decided to go for it. Not going to install it right away because there are better things to do right now than to replace a working water heater...the days are getting shorter already ya know.
    Doing it this way will burn a little warranty, but oh well, it has 2 years full, 10 years parts, and now, for $70 extra, 12 years full...which includes 1 free replacement if it can't be fixed. I don't buy extended warranty's normally, but this one seemed like a no brainer.
     
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  7. ironpony

    ironpony

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    I have seen and talked to people and have received very mixed reviews of these. Will be interested to hear your results.
    We are down to two people for many years here and do not use enough of anything. So in our case even if I could save half of everything we "use" it would be insignificant.
     
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  8. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    When it was just two of us here I guesstimated maybe $20/month for hot water...now with 2 kids I think the water heater runs much more...plus coupled with possibly not needing to use the dehumidifier at all anymore, might be worth doing...either way, gonna find out now! Will report back here once I have it in...
     
  9. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Another benefit I hadn't thought of before, is being able to run the water heater on genny power...power doesn't usually go out much, or for very long, but if it does I'm sure my genny can easily run this in heat pump mode...it almost had to be on by itself to be able to run it before (5k watt constant/6250 surge genny) unless I took the time to unhook the second coil in the water heater.
    4500 watts between the two coils almost guarantees low voltage if anything else is running....
     
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  10. TurboDiesel

    TurboDiesel

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    Ive been thinking about these occasionally. I have a tankless that works well but i like the idea of putting the HPWH in the stove room where it routinely gets to 85+ degrees. I was thinking i could even preheat my water with it
     
  11. Fanatical1

    Fanatical1

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    Awesome... What a deal on the extended warranty...

    Mine uses 550 watts when running in heat pump mode, easy to use with a generator.

    What was your power company rebate?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  12. Semipro

    Semipro

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    I have one of the early Geospring HPWHs that had so many problems and I'd do it again in a second. Its has paid for itself at least once over.
    My only hesitation in recommending you go forward is the potential for noise issues. Mine is louder than I would like but I hear the newer models are quieter.
     
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  13. Horkn

    Horkn

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    I think you made the right choice.

    I did the same with the water softener. My current one works, but the tank leaks in regen. At some point our old equipment would fail. Replacing them before that happens will save us some headaches. My softener will be here the 23rd, supposedly.

    Our water heater failed a couple years ago when the bottom rotted out. We were without hot water for a day or 2. Cold showers suck.
     
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  14. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    $0...we have a local municipally owned power company...:(
    Its all good though...we have decent rates, reliable service, and quick response time for trouble calls. :yes:
     
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  15. Farmchuck

    Farmchuck

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    I was having trouble getting hot water out of ours a few months back thought I’d drain it & check things out. Drain plugged solid with white pasty goo, wound up taking the bottom element out to drain it which was also encased in the same goo. After a lot of cleaning with vinegar/ CLR/ diluted muriatic acid I was able to get it clean. I’m considering a water softener now as someone told me that would eliminate the problem. A local plumber told me it was calcium in the bottom of the tank due to hard water. He claims he routinely charges water heaters in our due to hard water. Anyone else have this issue or remedy it with a water softener? Thanks.:)
     
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  16. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Sounds like good info to me...had the same goo in mine...dunno if I've checked it since installing the water softener...
     
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  17. Farmchuck

    Farmchuck

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    Maybe now that you have the water softener you won’t have a build up. It would be interesting to find out.
     
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  18. TurboDiesel

    TurboDiesel

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    A water softener should slow the buildup of calcium significantly but probably not eliminate it completely.
     
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  19. Semipro

    Semipro

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    A resistance-electric WH acts as a softener since the high heat at the elements actually removes minerals from solution. The minerals accumulate on the element and eventually break off to accumulate in the tank bottom. The pieces that I find in our tank are actually shaped with the curvature of the element. The minerals will build up so deep that they contact the lower heating element and then it fails.
    Removing mineral (softening) will definitely help. I hate soft water so we do some other things to address the issue.
    I have installed low energy density heating elements that reduce the temperature gradient that results in mineral accumulation. These are the elements that are doubled back on themselves so the element is roughly twice as long. You can also install lower wattage elements but then heating (recovery) time increases.
    [​IMG]
    I also remove the lower heating element and water drain valve and clean what does accumulate out about once every 2 years.
    By doing this and replacing the sacrificial anode if needed, I've been able to get more than 30 years out of this WH. This WH is in a difficult to reach place in our attic.

    On a related note, our 2nd water heater, a GeoSpring HPWH in our basement, heats water through refrigerant coils that surround the tank and at a much lower rate. Because there is not a big temp difference between the tank sides and the water like there is between a resistance element in our other WH, we get very little mineral buildup in the GeoSpring - another advantage.
     
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  20. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    True...and I adjusted our softener to "soften less" too...I can't stand that super soft water some places have...plus it made our well water tasteless...and it is normally very good...almost "sweet". Adjusted the softener to a happy medium...:yes:
     
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