GE Heat Pump water heater
Resources for homeowner before buying expensive water heater
This page is under construction April 9 2012
are no service manuals posted for the GE heat pump, and GE will not
connect customers to tech support, so customer cannot learn about or
repair the product without paying for service. And this means you
should not buy the product.
Heat pump water heaters are more expensive to buy than typical electric
pump water heaters require specific maintenance that must be performed
to maintain efficiency. This maintenance is in addition to typical
maintenance suggested for all electric water heaters.
All costs are energy, so Heat pumps do not make economic sense for
Heat pump water heaters save money for specific applications, including
1) Homes in warm climate or with warm incoming water temperature, 2)
Homes with 1-4 people who have low hot water consumption
habits 3) Homes that do not require very hot water over 130°F, 4) Homes
without whirlpool bath or large tub ....
... but Heat pumps only save money when 5) Heat pump unit does not
Clean air filter at least once per year
It is unknown who paid for the research
Heat pump water heater uses heat from
refrigerator/ sicence you can use
Labratory evaluation of heat pump water
heaters that appears to be comprehensive
Scientific Testing that might not be
paid-for by industry
Department of energy that might not be
paid-for by industry
appears in each product manual:
Read geo-spring limited 10 year warranty
pump has 10-year limited warranty, for original-owner
single-family residential installation ... for
defects in workmanship when
unit is installed and maintained according to product manual. Most
water heater warranties are same.
Homeowner can install product. Warranty is NOT void if homeowner
Warranty does not appear to be transferrable to another homeowner if
home is sold, or if unit is moved to another location.
Warranty covers defects in workmanship. First year is parts
correct installation. After first year, the warranty is basically free
replacement parts without labor, and you have to wait for parts to
arrive. Average service call for technician is $400.
Warranty does not guarantee that unit will work flawlessly, or that
unit will not need service and maintenance.
There is no warranty that you will save money
the 10 year warranty a good value?
10% vrs 16%
lifespan of GE heat pump is 10 years.
First year warranty is full coverage parts and labor. So 10% of
expected lifespan has full coverage.
Contrast 10 year-warranty with cheaper tank that has 6 year warranty.
Expected lifespan is 6 years.
First year warranty is still full coverage parts and labor for cheaper
6 year tank. Except 16% of expected lifespan has full coverage.
GE Heat pump product
Manuals have installation, maintnenace and troubleshooting steps, but
no repair information or parts sheet
GE heat pump Service
GE does not post current service manuals for heat pump water heaters
is 1 GE heat pump service manual brief
from 2009 when product was first introduced
GE heat pump service manual brief from 2009
Shows sensors, 2009 error codes, ohm readings, and basic part
The 2010 and 2012 product are different, and no service manual is
posted for later models
No current service
is a problem for many folks. You can't fix the GE heat
pump yourself. You have to pay for service.
It means you shouldn't buy the product.
does it mean to the customer? You can't fix it yourself.
Delay, expense, and possibly less-than-successful service.
When GE heat pump stops working, product manual has basic
troubleshooting, but manual directs customers to call GE.
GE representatives will NOT connect customers to tech support.
Only 'qualified' service technicians get information from GE
tech support. Rheem/GE refuse to post service manuals
for any water heating products. While other companies post service
manuals for customer confidance and independence.
about this for a moment: Each water heater is installed in
unique environment that affects operation of water heater. The customer
most familar with environmental and usage habits that affect heat
pump operation. Yet the customer cannot read a service manual and learn
inner working to better avoid unique problems.
can the customer exchange information with GE tech support to better
understand product specifics.
Nor can a young person read the inner workings of a heat pump water
heater and spark un-invented innovation.
The service technician that visits the home [for $400] cannot read the
service manual either, or
exchange information with other service technicians based on technical
reading. All the innovation and thinking is
done by people at GE tech support. There is no broad exchange
of repair information via the internet.
Maybe this action protects livelihood of local
technicians, or protects the company from patent lawsuit, but this is
also why you should not buy the GE heat pump.
|Information below about error codes and
diagnostics is not guaranteed 100% accurate
GE Heat pump Error Codes
Might not be current
|F-10 Is check
upper element and wiring
F-9 is check lower element and wiring
F-D is check filter sensor and wiring
F-B Is check sensor wiring resistance, check expansion valve and check
F-C service code stands for "Failed Compressor"
F4 through F8 heat pump failure
F9 water system failure lower element fault
F10 water system failure upper heating element fault
SF system failure F2 means T2 tank sensor fault
SF System failure F1 means TCO tripped
GE heat pump service manual from 2009
Run Cond C fault code
|Each heat pump unit has several (6) sensors that
Each time a sensor detects performance outside typical operating
parameters, an error is registered.
When enough errors accumulate, or a specific group of errors
accumulate, an error code message is issued.
GE heat pump diagnostics menu requires access code
to access GE heat pump diagnostics:
Several selections within the diagnostics menu require an access code
Scroll to the diagnostic mode and select it.
The access code is FILTER, LOCK, and VACATION pads pressed sequentially
within 3 seconds of each other
Use arrow code to scroll through selections
2009 Heat pump: Each sensor will will show with range and ohm reading
in real time, Each component will show status
reset GE heat pump error codes
|With the heater powered up, scroll diagnostics
mode. and select
The unit will ask you for a code
Press FILTER, LOCK, and VACATION pads pressed sequentially
within 3 seconds of each other
This should bring up a screen that shows the fault codes. Scroll to the
"clear all fault codes" with the arrow keys. When thats highlighted,
repeat the code Filter, Lock,
3) GE Heat pump Installation
Hot and cold pipes mut be connected to Hot and Cold sides,
or water heater will not work as expected.
& Space requirement Clearance specifications
Do NOT choose laundry room or shop because of trace chemicals and dust
Choose dry and naturally warm location
Air flow is critical: Efficiency is reduced if incoming air flow is
Room size minimum 10' x 10' x 8'
Smaller room can be used when louvered door is added.
Minimum 7" service clearance from back wall and 7" from front wall for
work access and air space
Minimum 14" headroom for removal/cleaning air filter/ overall
clearance height needed 75"
(Redesigned heat pump 2012 requires 6" instead of 14" for air filter)
valve: Leave space so drain hose can be attached to drain
Heat pump Anode rod is sacrificial, and is located on left
side of tank see
anode. Work space must be available on left side of water
heater to access anode using socket wrench and long cheater bar
Dedicated 10 gauge wire and 30 amp breaker. USE whole house surge
protector to protect all appliances.
Use proper grounding. Use conduit if required by local code.
240Volt only: Connecting to 120V AC may damage compressor and/or other
Read spec sheet to see if your model can use 208 VAC service. Other
brands cannot be connected to 208V.
overflow tube cannot be downsized into smaller pipe, tube
must travel downward at all times, and cannot terminate closer than 6"
above drain or pool of water, maximum 30 feet length, maximum 4 elbow
joints, overflow can be directed through outside wall, end of overflow
tube cannot be threaded. TP re-located on front 2012.
TP and condensate dran cannot be combined
line attaches on back of unit or side of unit depending on
model, and is not shown in illustration.
6' condensate line supplied with unit. Must run downward into drain or
heat pump in naturally warm location is best plan
1) For example refrigerators and freezers give off warm air.
This warm air can be used by heat pump to heat water.
In return, the heat pump gives off cool air that assists efficiency of
This type installation does not work against household HVAC
2) Locating heat pump water heater in unheated-uncooled garage in
Florida will not work against HVAC unit.
pump uses ambient Florida temperature to assist heat pump
efficiency, and releases cool air to help moderate garage temperatures.
Estimated: heat pump regional map 2012
Obviously mid-Illinois is not same regional temperature as South Texas
temperatures mean less efficiency
Heat pump water heaters are most useful in hot-warm climates.
In cold climates, heat pump efficiency drops when back-up heat elements
are used to heat water
During winter, the furnace is heating the air that heat pump uses to
you are heating water using the furnace, which is not efficient, and
cancels estimated savings predicted by GE and other heat pump companies.
air temperature must be above 45°F If ambient
air temperature falls below the limit, then
electrical elements will activate to meet the hot water demand. This
reduces expected savings.
installation/ High heat: Protect unit from exposure to
very high temperatures
up to 120°F degrees are acceptable, but exposure to direct sun and high
temperatures over 109°F will shorten life of
compressor and wiring.
Compressor will generally be too hot to keep hand on surface, but very
hot temperatures will damage any electrical device.
Use earthquake straps to protect property from
|Drain valve is only 2-1/2" from bottom of heater.
Can be difficult to attach hose
|Water heater must be installed in Vertical position
|Add expansion tank to extend service life of water
heater and plumbing fixures
Add pressure reducing valve if water pressure exceeds 80 psi
|flooring and weight
200 lbs + 5.4 lbs x 50 gallons = total weight 470 lbs = about same as 3
|Most electrical appliances, even when new, make some
sound when in operation. If the hissing or singing sound
level increases excessively, the electric heating element
may require cleaning. Remove element and clean with white vinegar.
not duct air from a garage or other
where potentially harmful fumesfrom solvents, chemicals or exhaustfrom
automobiles are present into anyother space in the building
structure.Gas and carbon monoxide detectorsare available.
|Temperature setting range 100 to 140 degrees F
Factory default 120 to 135 depending on model
Operating Sound Level 58 DBA Average
|Standby power consumption 2 watts.
|The site location must be free from any corrosive
elements in the atmosphere such as sulfur, fluorine, and chlorine.
These elements are found in aerosol sprays, detergents, bleaches,
cleaning solvents, air fresheners, paint, and varnish removers,
refrigerants, and many other commercial and household products.
addition excessive dust and lint may affect the operation of the unit
and require more frequent cleaning (See maintenance
section in product manual and maintenance section below.
4) GE Heat pump Maintenance
Do not locate Heat pump water heater in dusty location: for example
laundry room or shop.
Condenser fan pulls cubic feet of air from surrounding room.
Room temperature air enters front of unit, and cold air exits back of
Dust and particulate is trapped by filter and protects evaporator from
air filter at least once per year.
Unit has error code to remind that filter needs cleaning
If filter is dirty, the efficiency of unit will drop.
If filter becomes clogged, the unit will automatically switch heat
elements ON to compensate for loss of heat pump efficiency.
Do not run heat pump without filter, or the evaporator coil will clog
with debris and efficiency will drop
to clean Heat pump air filter:
Leave power ON.
Switch unit to vacation mode so unit will not operate while filter is
Lift filter evenly with both hands. Wash filter outdoors gently using
water and soft rag.
Do not use brushes or scraper.
2012 Condensate lines located on right side of tank
2009-2011 condensate lines on back of unit. Remove back cover to access
Blue color added for illustrative purpose
Condensate lines need to be kept clean to prevent
damage to home
Air filter sits directly in front of Evaporator.
Warm moist air passing through evaporator coils can cause water to
condensate on the coils and drip down into condensate tray. Water
empties out of tray into primary condensate drain line
and flows to bottom
of water heater.
primary drain is clogged, water will flow out secondary
If both primary and secondary are clogged, water will drip down side of
brands of heat pump have different diameter condensate line. GE has a
smaller line. Other brands use ¾” condensate line.
Condensate line should drop down side
of tank and terminate 3-6” above a floor drain.
use a bucket and then dump bucket periodically. Don’t let water in
higher than drain line. Other people use a pump to evacuate condensate
water into household drain.
and clean condensate drain lines periodically
to clean condensate line:
1) Remove condensate line, take outdoors, use wire to make sure ends
open, swing line around over head to clean tubing, and then rinse.
Water inside tube is not clean and contains bacteria.
2) Use turkey baster to squirt clorox or hydrogen peroxide into primary
or secondary drain
openings to help remove algae or debris
See another image
All water heaters need periodic maintenance.
Ordinary electric water heater needs less maintenance than heat pump.
Evaporator may not be easy to access because of compressor, fan blade
Maintaining full output of the water heater might require
occasional professional cleaning of
Undo screws and remove water heater cover.
Remove air filter as needed.
Carefully clean evaporator fins.
Only use water and a soft brush. Tape
a soft-bristle toothbrush to a stick.
Never use acidic or alkaline cleaning agents
If evaporator has not been wet, then use compressed air to blow out
Drip pan saves damage from water leaks
GE Heat pump water heater in drip pan to prevent water
damage from condensate or leak.
Prevent leaking tank by checking and replacing anode rod
Make sure hose can still attach to water heater drain valve.
Drain valve located on front or water heater 2012
See drip pan installation
Leaking water heater
2012 parts: color added for illustration
State hybrid has non-sacrificial powered anode rod
Large Image from 2009
heat pump anode rod is located on top of tank
GE heat pump has sacrificial anode rod
Anode should be inspected within 12 months of installation.
Remove front hood to access anode rod
Should be able to remove anode rod without moving compressor or
Remove and inspect anode rod each 1-3 years
Be careful not to damage evaporator coil or air filter housing; set
piece of masonite in place if needed. Cut new rod 42"
Replace with standard 1-1/6" hex head magnesium rod
Anode rod keeps tank from rusting.
Once anode depletes, the steel tank will rust.
GE has sacrificial anode rod that needs to be inspected and replaced
each 1-3 years.
Water softener will cause anode rod to deplete sooner.
State heat pump has powered anode rod that will not deplete and will
not cause odor.
||2009 image showing air intake on front of unit.
Air intake duct line can be run to outside wall.
Do not put air intake duct line inside garage where CO fumes can enter
3) GE Heat pump error codes, manuals, troubleshoot,
Heat pump product manuals
have installation, maintnenace and troubleshooting steps, but no repair
information or parts sheet
heat pump Service manual?
does not post current service manuals for heat pump water heaters
is 1 GE heat pump service manual brief from
2009 when product was first introduced
heat pump service manual brief from
sensors, 2009 error codes, ohm readings, and basic part replacement.
2010 and 2012 product are different, and no service manual is posted
for later models
current service manual
service call to repair GE heat pump is $400
This is a problem for many folks. You
can't fix the GE heat pump yourself. You have to pay for service.
means you shouldn't buy the product.
does it mean to the customer? You
cannot fix it yourself. Delay, expense, and possibly
GE heat pump stops working, product manual has basic troubleshooting,
but manual says to call GE.
representatives will NOT connect customers to tech support.
Only 'qualified' service technicians get information from GE tech
support. Rheem/GE refuse to post service manuals for any water heater.
This is bad for customer confidance and independence.
about this for a moment: Customers
are most familar with environmental and usage habits that affect heat
pump operation. Yet customers cannot read a service manual to better
avoid unique problems.
can customers exchange information with GE tech support to better
understand product specifics.
can a young person read the inner workings of a heat pump and spark
technician that visits home [for $400] cannot read the service manual
either, or exchange information with other service technicians based on
technical reading. All innovation and thinking is done by
at GE tech support. There is no exchange of repair information via the
internet. Maybe this action protects livelihood of local technicians,
or protects GE from patent lawsuit, but this is also why you should not
buy the GE heat pump.
Temperature range detects freezing temperatures and overheating event
GE heat pump has 2 reset buttons
Reset button or TCO or Thermal cut off trips in event of overheating.
Both thermal cutouts require manual reset
Over heating can be caused by failed TCO, cracked element shorted to
ground, bad T2 tank-temperature-sensor located just above TCO reset
buttons, loose wire near the TCO, or any high heat event.
Read more about sensors page-30 in 2009 pdf
GE elements are replaceable using
generic elements fro hardware
The control will record a heating element fault if the current is less
than 10 amps when the element relay on the board is energized.
How to test water heater elements
Photos of repair Parts:
Source: Parts at Sears
Condenser and fan
Top cover and control
Anode rod location
Heat pump sensors 2009
Parts at Sears
Fan pulls air through filter and then through evaporator coil, and then
cool air exits back of unit
736 clip compressor mount
390 Comp process tube 5/16
389 Tube discharge formed
388 Filter dryer asm
385 Accumulator asm
380 Evaporator kit
374 Fan blade asm
373 Nut: fan blade to motor
371 Spring washer
370 Fan blade
367 8-32 screw
362 Seal foam evaporator
361 Seal foam barrier
360 Fan shroud asm
354 Fan motor asm
351 Flange fan
350 Motor fan
348 Wire grd
341 Drier & eev valve asm
340 Eev coil
333 Mastic thermal sensor
327 Relay start compressor
326 Overload, compressor
325 Compressor kit
315 10-32 screw
313 Condensate drain
312 Cap mounting bracket
310 Bkt capacitor mounting
311 clip capicitor mount
306 Cover electric comp
305 Capicitor start
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