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Hubble heat-pump water heater vs other heat-pump water heaters — Questions

I recently came across the web site for Hubble Water Heaters of New England. They offer a Hubble PBX heat pump water heater model that comes in 50 gallon, 80 gallon and 120 gallon variations. The main feature of this water heater is that it offers a cement (concrete) tank, as opposed to the more common glass tank models. You may have to Google the web site. We are a family of four (two teenagers) in Tennessee in an all electric house. Garage located 50 gallon electric water heater that rarely drops below 48F in the winter.


1) Does anyone know anything about this company and this particular water heater?

2) Could this be the best available heat pump water heater? If not, what are the drawbacks?

3) What is the payback period of this type water heater over standard 50 electric gallon water heaters?
in the South?

4) What is the payback period of a solar water heater in the South (excluding Arizona, Florida and

5) I am also considering an A O Smith Voltex 80 gallon Heat Pump water heater. Is there a better
choice than these two mentioned and why?

Asked by Ken Reid
Posted Feb 10, 2013 9:29 AM ET
Edited Feb 11, 2013 10:08 AM ET


2 Answers

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Hi Ken,
I don't have any information on items #1-4, but I can help with #5. I'm attaching 4 months of data logging from an 80 gallon Voltex unit we installed on one of our home performance projects, from which you can line up expected usage and temperatures with daily Energy Factors. Overall, the unit offers what I would consider to be exceptional performance, and the family of four with a large soaker tub, has been very happy with it.

Heat Pump Water heater 4 months.png 4 months tabular data.png
Answered by Mike MacFarland
Posted Feb 10, 2013 10:08 PM ET
Edited Feb 10, 2013 10:13 PM ET.


Q. "What is the payback period of this type water heater over standard 50 electric gallon water heaters? in the South?"

A. There is an answer to your question in the GBA article, Heat-Pump Water Heaters Come of Age -- at least for users in Connecticut. (The payback period for people who live in the South should be even shorter than for those who live in Connecticut.)

According to researchers from Steven Winters Associates, "A family using 35 gallons of hot water per day can expect annual energy savings of 1,750 kWh. If electricity costs 12.6 cents/kWh, the annual saving is $221, and the payback period is 6.6 years (based on a relatively low incremental cost of $1,458 to install the heat-pump water heater). Families that use more than 35 gallons of hot water per day can expect a shorter payback period."

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Feb 11, 2013 8:00 AM ET

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