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Thread: Heat Pump Water heater

  1. #11
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    Heat Pump Water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyGuy View Post
    In that case, I'd question if anything fancy will give you a decent payback period. One person (I assume one shower a day) is far different from a family of 4 (two showers and a couple of baths.)

    If you can, you might want to pick up a monitoring system just so you can know what you are paying for hot water. Newer heaters are probably better insulated, so you wont have as many cycles to keep the water warm, but the basic recovery will be the same for all heaters. Find out what that costs and you'll have better numbers to base you decision on.

    As for me (also a only guy at home) my old refrigerator if a bigger drain on the electric meter. Hot water isn't that big a thing. It's significant, but it's not the biggest.
    Hmm, my late 90s refrigerator pulls only about 120 watts (not sure about defrost cycle). Granted, it probably runs 18 hours a day or so. Water heater is 4500 for about an hour recovery time for a tank, which I just about empty every time I take a shower (miserable 30 gal tank). Plus whatever you use in typical daily duties.

    Air source heat pumps are typically 2-3 times more efficient than straight resistance heaters, no arguing that - but the up front cost, as well as anything that may go wrong - may take longer to recover your investment or save money than previously thought.
    Last edited by jblackburn; 01-11-2017 at 12:52 AM.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblackburn View Post
    I hate my regular electric hot water heater. 4500 watt elements (pretty standard), 30 gallons...very slow to recover...about an hour for a full tank again.
    Crunching some numbers, 4.5KWH should raise 30 gal of water by 93F. I'm guessing your cold water is pretty cold.

    Fortunately, mine isn't so bad. Maybe 75F.

    I have a TED 5000. Looking for my past two days and using residential electric rates for Union MO, it's maybe 13˘ a shower. Or $50/year.

    Using your estimate, it's more like 44˘/shower or $160/year. Even at that rate, I think it's going to take awhile for any fancy system to pay itself back.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyGuy View Post
    Using your estimate, it's more like 44˘/shower or $160/year. Even at that rate, I think it's going to take awhile for any fancy system to pay itself back.
    It kind of depends on what one does in the shower and how long it takes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theonlypheonix View Post
    It kind of depends on what one does in the shower and how long it takes.
    True, but that's a good argument for adding a monitoring system so you know what your numbers are.
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    This is my setup:
    I have a 1800sq/ft Boca with 10ft ceilings upstairs with a full 3/4 finished basement downstairs also 1800sq/ft.
    Hot water is provide by a Rinnai tankless fueled by propane.
    Then we have a geothermal system off of a 65ft 4" well. The system uses about 7gal/min max. System is an open loop so we discharge water through a sock so it filters back under ground.
    The geothermal heat exchanger is sitting on top of a propane high efficiency furnace for backup heat.
    The system has run like mostly maintenance free for 8 years. House is not insulated the best and electricity is on the expensive side compared to the national average and we have sucky winters. I have seen bills for a month of electricity up to $450 with about $300 of that actually heating the house.

  6. #16
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    I think OP is only asking about hot water - as in taking showers, laundry, etc. Heating the house itself is a completely different subject. That's one where a heat pump could make a lot more sense.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyDiesel View Post
    I would stick with a basic electric model, but if it is still working just keep it. I have lived in my ranch which is 1825 sq ft for 18 years, house was built in 85. I was going to replace my propane water heater like 10 years ago, it has a small leak on the inlet water pipe, which is ugly with this blue stuff growing on it, it was doing that when I bought house in 98, I had it redone and it just came back, well the hot water heater still works fine even today.

    this evening I discovered I have no water pressure, on a well and went in my crawl space and my water pressure tank was leaking badly, so shut power off to the water pump as I am getting water under there, guess I will call a plumber to get a new pressure tank installed.

    older I get I sometimes get caught up in new tech stuff, but sometimes the basic stuff works for a very long time
    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyGuy View Post
    In that case, I'd question if anything fancy will give you a decent payback period. One person (I assume one shower a day) is far different from a family of 4 (two showers and a couple of baths.)

    If you can, you might want to pick up a monitoring system just so you can know what you are paying for hot water. Newer heaters are probably better insulated, so you wont have as many cycles to keep the water warm, but the basic recovery will be the same for all heaters. Find out what that costs and you'll have better numbers to base you decision on.

    As for me (also a only guy at home) my old refrigerator if a bigger drain on the electric meter. Hot water isn't that big a thing. It's significant, but it's not the biggest.
    Definitely good points. Yes me being one guy I am not sure what actual payback will be. The other thing is mine is currently on a timer so I only heats 2 times per day. I looked and my current unit when new would have been an EF of .84, so a new high efficiency would be .95, so over 10% higher. I think I need to keep researching. I don't want to be disappointed, but do want to save money and do my part for the environment. This are all really good points to consider guys.

    Even when I do add people to my house it will be 1 person.
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  8. #18
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    Concerned about my high gas bill, purchased a Bosch on-demand electric whole house water heater, their claim is that with a tank, wasting a lot of energy just keeping that water hot. Had a Richmond that was about ten years old with a 12 year warranty. started leaking, had the receipt, so got the latest model for free. Argued about taking my old hot water heater, didn't even want to see it or pay the recycling charge, but found a guy that takes this free, even picked it up.

    One delay in installing that Bosch, the price of that 10AWG wire skyrocketed a couple hundred buck. Since some contractor broke a main and drained every drop of water in our home, couldn't even make a cup of coffee. Installing a check valve and an expansion valve cost me an extra 60 bucks and this was my key reason for installing it. Not code in this town.

    With this new Richmond, same 12 year warranty, and my receipt shows it as a purchase, my summer gas bill with a family of just three now, well four with a dog, also needs a bath, my summer gas usage dropped to 5-7 bucks per month, this is not including the connection charge, meter reading charge, or donations to the poor that can't pay their gas bill, have to pay this anyway.

    It occurred to me, the reason why my old tank was cycling so much, was also heating the city water, this one barely cycles, so that brand ne Bosch is still sitting in the box.

    Since I was given cash for my old hot water heater, looked at these new high efficiency ones, but was told by the dealer, are city code does not permit these to be installed in the basement. What? It is okay to install an HE furnace! Don't ask me, it the law. Would be a major job if I could, would have to run PVC, for 350 more, tank only carried a six year warranty, electronics, more crap from China was only warrantied for one year, and replacement parts were outrageous. Read on the net, many were having problems with these things. Electronic ignition and that vent motor, and if we did have a power failure, no hot water. So stuck with the conventional.

    Regarding back flow, city hired a bunch of people to look over your home. Only found two problems,my two laundry tubs with hose fittings on them. Their scenario if that tub was filled with dirty water and a hose was sitting in their, would pollute the city water. Said I don't need this, already have a whole house check valve, not a cheap plastic job, best brass made and showed him my expansion tank and the reason why I installed it. Never heard about this, neither did the mayor, city counsel, or the building inspector, that led to quite a discussion. But he dropped off two hose type check valves anyway, can only put them on, can't remove them Sitting in my junk box.

    Not only the cost of energy, but the cost of the equipment. Was thinking about installing a heat pump in my home coupled to my furance for those many above freezing days. Calculated payback time was 22 year based on current rates and provided the system would even last this long. A lot of this crap like compressors, evaporators, and condensers are Made in China, even with top name brand stuff. Neighbor just paid 8,000 bucks for a system that was only seven years old. Not only him, but in that subdivision one of my kids, lives in.

    Not saving any money with crap made in China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1988gmc355 View Post
    The other thing is mine is currently on a timer so I only heats 2 times per day. I looked and my current unit when new would have been an EF of .84, so a new high efficiency would be .95, so over 10% higher.
    Timers - another issue I have. It seems counter-intuitive, but it actually takes zero power to keep something hot. What takes power is to replace the heat lost though the insulation. (Much like how it takes zero power to maintain highway speed - what takes power is dealing with aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance.) So, the better the insulation, the less power lost. I went on a two week vacation and left my water heater on. When I came back, I pulled the data on my water heater from my energy monitoring system. I found out that it was pulling the same KWh as a 7-watt night light. (Just in 4500 watt gulps.) Guess how much power it takes to run a timer? 7 watts.

    Note that unless the water cools significantly, a timer doesn't save energy - it just defers it. For example, suppose your heater cycles at a 5* drop. Suppose you turn it off and the water falls 10*. When you turn it back on, you consume the same amount of energy as two 5* drops. The only way you save energy is if the water cools enough that the amount of heat you lose decreases. (You have zero loss once it reaches room temperature.) So it probably makes sense to turn off the heater on a weekend home. I don't think it makes sense to turn off a heater on a daily use. While you don't save energy, you can save money by turning on the heater at "cheap rates" (or at least blocking it from consuming power at "peak rates"). The only other way a heater will save you money is physiological ("oops, can't take a shower now, the heater is off.)

    Bottom line, you're far better off adding insulation to a heater (especially the pipes), then adding a timer. That's probably where the "high efficiency" for the new heater is coming from. Converting electricity to heat is super easy and very efficient. A lot like converting mechanical energy into heat (like car brakes). I can't see how the heating elements themselves can be more efficient.
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    '67 Chevy II, 250 ci/auto

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyGuy View Post
    Crunching some numbers, 4.5KWH should raise 30 gal of water by 93F. I'm guessing your cold water is pretty cold.

    Fortunately, mine isn't so bad. Maybe 75F.

    I have a TED 5000. Looking for my past two days and using residential electric rates for Union MO, it's maybe 13˘ a shower. Or $50/year.

    Using your estimate, it's more like 44˘/shower or $160/year. Even at that rate, I think it's going to take awhile for any fancy system to pay itself back.
    So that is a good estimate as my amerenue website shows my estimated usage for the water heater is about $160 to $175 for the year.

    You are right, it would take a long time for payback and any repair above and beyond an element would pretty much cut my savings. Although the heat pump units act as a dehumidifier in the summer so that would save money since I run one, but it doesn't run much in summer. I bet the jump in EF factor from .84 or so to .95 would be a nice savings and I could keep my timer too, since it is set to kick on the unit 2 times per day.

    I really on use about ~20 gallons a day or less and one load of wash is 24 gallons with rinse.


    I think that the heat pump unit doesn't make sense unless you have atleast 2 to 3 people full time in the house.



    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyGuy View Post
    Timers - another issue I have. It seems counter-intuitive, but it actually takes zero power to keep something hot. What takes power is to replace the heat lost though the insulation. (Much like how it takes zero power to maintain highway speed - what takes power is dealing with aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance.) So, the better the insulation, the less power lost. I went on a two week vacation and left my water heater on. When I came back, I pulled the data on my water heater from my energy monitoring system. I found out that it was pulling the same KWh as a 7-watt night light. (Just in 4500 watt gulps.) Guess how much power it takes to run a timer? 7 watts.

    Note that unless the water cools significantly, a timer doesn't save energy - it just defers it. For example, suppose your heater cycles at a 5* drop. Suppose you turn it off and the water falls 10*. When you turn it back on, you consume the same amount of energy as two 5* drops. The only way you save energy is if the water cools enough that the amount of heat you lose decreases. (You have zero loss once it reaches room temperature.) So it probably makes sense to turn off the heater on a weekend home. I don't think it makes sense to turn off a heater on a daily use. While you don't save energy, you can save money by turning on the heater at "cheap rates" (or at least blocking it from consuming power at "peak rates"). The only other way a heater will save you money is physiological ("oops, can't take a shower now, the heater is off.)

    Bottom line, you're far better off adding insulation to a heater (especially the pipes), then adding a timer. That's probably where the "high efficiency" for the new heater is coming from. Converting electricity to heat is super easy and very efficient. A lot like converting mechanical energy into heat (like car brakes). I can't see how the heating elements themselves can be more efficient.
    That is very interesting, well the timer is wired in so why bother to take it out, it also is the reason this unit has lasted 24 yrs.

    Same as my AC in the house is 30 yrs old, but AC only so it runs half the year.

    I heat with a wood stove and electric water boiler.


    I have every pipe in the house insulated really well and a blanket on the water heater too.


    Great discussion guys!
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