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Geospring Air Source Hot Water: Installed

Post in 'The Green Room' started by CarbonNeutral, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    I finally pulled the trigger on the Geospring to replace heating my hot water with my horribly inefficient oil boiler. As I wasn't replacing an existing electric heater, installation was a little more involved, but pretty smooth.

    I did have an issue with the system thinking it wasn't filled with water, but that seemed to sort itself out.

    Took my first shower that didn't vary widely in temperature, along with no bouts of lukewarm water.

    Unusually for me I took out the extended warranty for $80 - it takes on site maintenance through to 12 years - I figured it was worth it as these types of units have been known to have issues with motors/circuit boards..

    Pleased so far.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Cost, photos, specs? We would love details. I have come to realize that my smallish electric tank heater isn't up to the task so planned on going propane on-demand. I love to see real world installed experiences.
  3. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Obviously it will be a while before I can talk about long term experience, but I will update.

    It's a 50 gallon model - well reviewed wherever you look, and hybrid in that it has a 30A element to better meet high demand. We are a family of four - two younger kids, but frequent visitors from elsewhere. We will try to modify usage - not running the dishwasher immediately after showers for example. Lowes had it on discount for $1400 from $1600. With plumbing and electrical supplies and the extra warranty, I was back up to around $1600.

    My electric company will give me 20% of the installed cost, capped at $300. I maxed the 2009/2010 federal rebate with my wood stove, but will be able to claim $300 credit in next year's taxes (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index), bringing the installed cost to around $1000. I was spending an ungodly amount on oil for heating water, so am expecting a very quick return on investment - certainly less than two years.

    It's in my basement in New England. The winters will affect my efficiency, and the unit will switch to resistive only when the temperature down there drops below 45deg (which at the moment, it doesn't tend to, but equally I wasn't cooling the space either)

    I'm looking forward to the cooling/dehumidification in the summer. I have a lot more confidence in this unit than the types that you hook into an existing/old tank - the icing issues and lack of conventional element would not have worked well for our family.

    There's a lot more info on the GE site: http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/

    Photos to come, though my basement is much like anyone else's ;)
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I installed one a few months back and have been happy with it so far. Its hard to gauge energy savings though with some many other variables.

    Now I'm trying to figure out how to direct any waste heat in my house to the room in the basement where this thing lives.

    Seems to me it would make a lot of sense to somehow combine a water heater and a fridge as one always needs to be cold and the other always hot.
  5. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Agreed - in fact it would be good to have an entirely closed system - need to cool your house, but warm your pool and hot water - one unit....
  6. Huskyforlife

    Huskyforlife Member

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    I'm curious to know what is your electric rate delivered? Also, was your oil boiler a direct water heater or did you have an indirect storage tank? I have an oil boiler with an indirect tank and the only thing we use it for is the hot water and a backup to the stove in case we leave the house, so I looked into getting one of these heat pump water heaters. I did the calculation a while ago and the payback was a lot longer than two years, but I assumed it wouldn't be as efficient as GE says due to our cold winters and the resistive heat kicking on.
  7. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    With other charges, I average around 15c a KwH. Boiler is a direct water heater (with the tiny internal tank), and 40 years old. Honestly, even with a normal resistive heater, I'd be ahead in pretty short order - it's that bad. I also figure that electric rates tend to fluctuate less.
  8. Huskyforlife

    Huskyforlife Member

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    15c / kWH is what I pay in CT as well. Those direct water heaters are really bad. My indirect is not as bad, especially since I turned down the boiler limit to 160*. It probably burns 150-200 gal a year producing the hot water. However, with heating oil creeping toward the $3.50/gal mark, it may be time to take another look at this. Especially if it does a good job dehumidifying the basement, we run a dehumidifier in the summer, so not having to run that would offset the cost somewhat.
  9. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    I average 6-7 gallons a week, around 350 a year on just hot water (well, actually some hot water, some just because the boiler likes to keep its internal tank hot regardless). I will look to turn the aquastat down - good idea

    EDIT: Just dropped it from LO160/HI200 to LO140/HI170
  10. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    So far, I haven't needed to install the condensate pump - not a drop of moisture. That's sure going to change in the summer...
  11. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Two excellent points in this post:

    The heat geo-thing uses in the winter comes from some heat source inside the dwelling. That is you have already paid to put winter heat in your house that this unit uses to heat the water.

    Right now the fridge puts heat into the house warming inside air. But if you heat with wood, you don't need extra heat and the fridge has to work against 70 - 80 F temperatures. If the fridge was rejecting heat to incoming 50 F water, hot water energy might be less and the fridge would be more efficient.

    Vending machines in Japan are double barrel. One side vends cold beer and the other vends hot sake. Most are outside along the sidewalk year round. I think they also have soda and hot tea, but can't confirm that from personal experience.
  12. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    True if the heater is in a heated space. Mine is in the basement - most heat generated down there is wasted through the uninsulated walls, and conversely, I also draw heat into the basement from the soil around the house if it gets that cold down there.

    If the heater was on a living floor, you'd be better off turning it to resistive heat during heating months (though the only real waste would be the noise it produces, everything else would end up back as heat).
  13. Huskyforlife

    Huskyforlife Member

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    After thinking it over for a few weeks I ordered a Geospring from Lowes yesterday. I went back and measuring my heating oil consumption for hot water and just keeping the boiler warm and it was about 25 gal/month. With heating oil at $3.70/gal and climbing that's about $100. I figure the Geospring will cost about $25/month to run. I probably wouldn't have made the switch when oil was around two bucks a gallon, but at double that it makes sense to do.

    We are going to do a couple other things to reduce our hot water consumption as well - washing clothes in cold water, and installing heat trap loops when I plumb the new water heater (my current tank doesn't have them).

    I'm hoping it will do a decent job of dehumidifying the basement as well this summer as well. We had to run a dehumidifier last year for a couple months because of the humidity levels down there. Not having to do that would be a pretty good cost savings.
  14. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Instead of bothering with the loops, you can buy the heat traps that screw directly onto the tank - they have little rubber flaps to stop convection - about $8 for a pair of them - they are over with the hot water tank/dryer accessories usually. If you don't put some form of heat trap it invalidates the warranty according to the Lowes guy...

    If you're going to need a condensate pump, you can hold off until the summer - my basement air is so dry there hasn't been a drop of water through the drain hose yet.
  15. Huskyforlife

    Huskyforlife Member

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    I'll have to look those up. I heard negative things about the check valve ones (they're loud and they can stick open) but nothing about those.

    Fortunately I don't need a condensate pump. I have a drain right next to where I'm going to place the unit.

    Did your electric bill go up significantly with the new water heater?
  16. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Don't know yet - our bills have been getting progressively worse (ever since my wife quit her job, and I went back to work - strange coincidence...)
  17. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    I found that very true with my little Kill A Watt meter. Our old dehumidifier is an energy hog.
  18. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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  19. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    The reason I went with the GE over some of the more 'home grown' options comes down to avoiding freezing of the coils (some suffered from this), the inclusion of a standard coil for high usage times, and a feeling that some of these setups were not A1 for safety.
  20. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    This is a common problem with the Airtap. I have a couple Geysers with no defrost issues.
  21. Huskyforlife

    Huskyforlife Member

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  22. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    All true, but when a GE tank springs a leak, can you swap over the heat pump to a new tank?

    I don't know, just something to ponder.
  23. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Agreed - and one of the reasons I bought the extended warranty for mine - I should be guaranteed 11 years use out of it with labor and parts paid for
  24. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Can the heat pump run in series with a boiler? I'm asking because I'd like to have the heat pump running in the Summer but fear the unit would not keep up with peak HW demand. If the unit could be run in series I could mount it remotely to an area more central to my basement.
  25. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Financially, this thing would work for me if I could run it in the heat pump only mode most of the time. The online information I could find and the guy at the store could not tell me the actual output of the heat pump in KW or Btu/hr. Does anyone know this information? Or has anyone recorded the ambient temperature, voltage, and current draw when in the heat pump only mode? Thanks in advance, Jim

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