Waterheatertimer.org
is a self-help site
Compare 16 electric & 2 gas water heater timers Figure volts-amps-watts for your water heater How to troubleshoot electric water heater Do-it-yourself Review marathon water heaterReview marathon water heater
Water heater reviews
Search options:
Use Ctrl+F 'find' feature on browser to search individual pages
Go to site map
E-mail question: info@waterheatertimer.org
My response might end up in spam box, so check e-mail folders
Use Ctrl+F find feature on following links:
Search images
Search pdf files
2012

Review GE Heat Pump water heater

Resources for homeowner before buying expensive water heater
This page is under construction April 9 2012
Review GE heat pump water heater Review summary

There 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 water heater.
Heat 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 every installation.
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 130F, 4) Homes without whirlpool bath or large tub ....
... but Heat pumps only save money when 5) Heat pump unit does not require repairs.
Repair GE heat pump water heater
Clean air filter at least once per year

Research

It is unknown who paid for the research
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

Warranty

Warranty appears in each product manual:
Read geo-spring limited 10 year warranty
Heat 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 installs unit.
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 and labor, assuming 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

Warranty

Is the 10 year warranty a good value?
Not necessarily
10% vrs 16%
Expected 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

Manuals have installation, maintnenace and troubleshooting steps, but no repair information or parts sheet
Product manuals by date
GE Heat pump Produuct manual 10-2009
GE Heat pump Produuct manual 5-2011
GE Heat pump Produuct manual 2-2012

GE heat pump specification manuals

Spec sheets by date
GE heat pump features 2009
Spec sheet 2009
Specification sheet 3-2010
Specification sheet 2-2012

GE heat pump Service manual?

GE does not post current service manuals for heat pump water heaters
There 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 replacement.
The 2010 and 2012 product are different, and no service manual is posted for later models

No current service manual

This 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.
What 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.
Think about this for a moment: Each water heater is installed in unique environment that affects operation of water heater. The customer is 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.
Nor 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.


Service manual, Troubleshoot, error codes from different companies

GE heat pump service manual brief from 2009
Sanyo Heat Pump service manual
State Heat pump troubleshhoting guide
Bosch heat pump error codes
HTP heat pump troubleshoot and error codes
Information below about error codes and diagnostics is not guaranteed 100% accurate

GE Heat pump Error Codes

From various sources
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 charge pressure
F-C service code stands for "Failed Compressor"
F3 Compressor failure
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 track performance.
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.

Access to GE heat pump diagnostics menu requires access code

How 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

How to reset GE heat pump error codes

With the heater powered up, scroll diagnostics mode. and select it.
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, Vacation


1) GE Heat pump resources:

http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Hybrid-Water-Heater-information-guide.pdf

Where are the side by side tests?




3) GE Heat pump Installation

GE heat pump installation 3/4" Hot and cold pipes mut be connected to Hot and Cold sides, or water heater will not work as expected.

Location & Space requirement   Clearance specifications
Do NOT choose laundry room or shop because of trace chemicals and dust in air.
Choose dry and naturally warm location
Air flow is critical: Efficiency is reduced if incoming air flow is restricted.
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)

Drain valve: Leave space so drain hose can be attached to drain valve
GE 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

Wiring:
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 electrical components.
Read spec sheet to see if your model can use 208 VAC service. Other brands cannot be connected to 208V.

TP 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
Condensate 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 bucket.

Heat pump water heater Heat pump water heater integrated with refrigerator

Real science at work that you can apply.
Heat from refrigerator re-used in water heater
Modest home has 88 cent energy bill
Water heater uses refrigerator heat
Low-energy home uses heat pump integrated with heat from kitchen refrigerator pg9
Locating 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 refrigeration unit.
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.
Heat pump uses ambient Florida temperature to assist heat pump efficiency, and releases cool air to help moderate garage temperatures.
Heat pump water heater zone chart
Estimated: heat pump regional map 2012
Obviously mid-Illinois is not same regional temperature as South Texas
Larger image
Cold 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 heat water.
So you are heating water using the furnace, which is not efficient, and cancels estimated savings predicted by GE and other heat pump companies.

Ambient air temperature must be above 45F  If ambient air temperature falls below the limit, then electrical elements will activate to meet the hot water demand. This reduces expected savings.

Attic installation/ High heat: Protect unit from exposure to very high temperatures
Temperatures up to 120F degrees are acceptable, but exposure to direct sun and high temperatures over 109F 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.

Also consider earthquakes
Use earthquake straps to protect property from damage

Larger image
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 people

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.
Do not duct air from a garage or other
space 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.
In 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


How-to-clean-GE-heat-pump-air-filter.pdf

Air Filter

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 unit.
Dust and particulate is trapped by filter and protects evaporator from getting clogged.

Clean 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

How to clean Heat pump air filter:
Leave power ON.
Switch unit to vacation mode so unit will not operate while filter is out.
Lift filter evenly with both hands. Wash filter outdoors gently using water and soft rag.
Do not use brushes or scraper.
GE heat pump condensate drain
2012 Condensate lines located on right side of tank
2009-2011 condensate lines on back of unit. Remove back cover to access tray.
Blue color added for illustrative purpose

Condensate lines need to be kept clean to prevent damage to home

How it works:
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.

If primary drain is clogged, water will flow out secondary

If both primary and secondary are clogged, water will drip down side of water heater.
Different brands of heat pump have different diameter condensate line. GE has a smaller line. Other brands use ” condensate line.

Condensate line should drop down side of tank and terminate 3-6” above a floor drain.
Some people use a bucket and then dump bucket periodically. Don’t let water in bucket get higher than drain line. Other people use a pump to evacuate condensate water into household drain.

Check and clean condensate drain lines periodically
Clean heat pump condensate line How to clean condensate line:

1) Remove condensate line, take outdoors, use wire to make sure ends are 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
Clean heat pump evaporator
See another image
Clean evaporator fins
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 and housing.

Maintaining full output of the water heater might require occasional professional cleaning of
evaporator.

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 dust.
Drip pan
Drip pan saves damage from water leaks
Install 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
GE heat pump anode rod location
2012 parts: color added for illustration
State hybrid has non-sacrificial powered anode rod
Larger image
Large Image from 2009

Anode rod

GE heat pump has sacrificial anode rod
GE heat pump anode rod is located on top of tank
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 evaporator.

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.
Anode rods
Ge Heat pump anode rod
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 home.

3) GE Heat pump error codes, manuals, troubleshoot, parts

GE Heat pump product manuals

Manuals have installation, maintnenace and troubleshooting steps, but no repair information or parts sheet
Product manuals by date
GE Heat pump Produuct manual 10-2009
GE Heat pump Produuct manual 5-2011
GE Heat pump Produuct manual 2-2012

GE heat pump specification manuals

Spec sheets by date
GE heat pump features 2009
Spec sheet 2009
Specification sheet 3-2010
Specification sheet 2-2012

GE heat pump Service manual?

GE does not post current service manuals for heat pump water heaters
There 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 replacement.
The 2010 and 2012 product are different, and no service manual is posted for later models

No current service manual

Average 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.
It means you shouldn't buy the product.
What does it mean to the customer? You cannot fix it yourself. Delay, expense, and possibly less-than-successful service.
When GE heat pump stops working, product manual has basic troubleshooting, but manual says 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 heater. This is bad for customer confidance and independence.
Think 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. 
Nor can customers exchange information with GE tech support to better understand product specifics.
Nor can a young person read the inner workings of a heat pump and spark un-invented innovation.
Service 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 people 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.

Service manual, Troubleshoot, error codes from different companies

GE heat pump service manual brief from 2009
Sanyo Heat Pump service manual
State Heat pump troubleshhoting guide
Bosch heat pump error codes
HTP heat pump troubleshoot and error codes
T2 temperature sensor
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


Larger image
Photos of repair Parts:
Source:   Parts at Sears
Condenser and fan
Top cover and control
Body parts
Condensate drain
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

811 wire tie
737 grommet
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
372 Wahser
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 compressor
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
Off peak water heater ideas
Install electric meter on water heater
9 ways to save with water heater
How to maintain water heater
Two water heaters
How to replace circuit breaker
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters  from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

Resources:
How to install gas water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater

E-mail: geno03245w@gmail.com
My response might end up in spam folder, check email folders
Site map
Follow newest idea on twitter
Privacy policy