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Green Building News

Bradford White Buys GeoSpring Rights and Equipment

Bradford White will begin making its own line of heat-pump water heaters after buying production equipment from GE Appliances

GE Appliances has sold production equipment for its GeoSpring water heaters to Bradford White. The equipment will be moved from Kentucky to Michigan where Bradford White will manufacture and sell them under its AeroTherm label.
Image Credit: GE Appliances

Bradford White will pick up where GE Appliances left off as it buys the production equipment GE used to make the GeoSpring heat-pump water heater and moves it to its own facilities in Michigan.

Citing low sales, GE Appliances stopped general production of the GeoSpring last month. The company has been selling the water heaters to Bradford White, which rebadged them as AeroTherm water heaters. The deal allows Bradford White to continue making and selling the appliances without interruption.

Terms were not announced.

A GE Appliances spokeswoman said the company is under contract to continue producing the water heaters for Bradford White until March in its Louisville, Kentucky, plant. After that, the manufacturing equipment will be moved to Middleville, Michigan, where Bradford White will begin making them.

According to a report at The Wholesaler, the move is expected to take a couple of months. In the interim, Bradford White will continue filling orders from its inventory.

AeroTherm water heaters, like the GeoSpring, are produced in 50-gallon and 80-gallon versions. Heat-pump water heaters are twice as efficient as conventional electric water heaters, but they also cost two or three times as much. GE Appliances launched the GeoSpring in 2012 but sales never matched company expectations. Overall, heat pump water heaters are “a very small segment” of the total market, roughly 60,000 units a year, according to GE Appliances.

Bradford White Corp. executive vice president and COO Bruce Carnevale told The Wholesaler: “With GE Appliances’ announcement that they were exiting the business for this product, we saw the opportunity to acquire the assets and continue to be able to provide our customers with best-in-class heat pump water heaters and still build them in America.”

As part of the agreement, The Wholesaler reported, Bradford White will extend its around-the-clock customer support to existing GeoSpring water heater owners.

3 Comments

  1. Alan B | | #1

    Very nice, i hate companies
    Very nice, i hate companies that kill innovative products before they took off (and usually don't advertise which contributed to the low sales in the first place)

  2. Ben Balcombe | | #2

    Is it ok to buy a GeoSpring?
    Does this announcement mean a person can safely buy a GeoSpring knowing that the warranty will be honoured going forward?

    I'm starting to think about putting a HPWH in the home we're buying in a couple of months here in southern NH (just in zone 5), and the cost differential between the GeoSpring and the Steibel units is enough that it challenges the ROI.

    Our water heater is in a currently unfinished basement that's also home to oil fired boiler. At Dana Dorset's recommendation I plan to insulate the basement, even though I have no intention of finishing the space, so this would hopefully mean that any HPWH could run year round, using the excess heat from the boiler in winter that will be kept in an insulated basement.

  3. User avater GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Response to Ben Balcombe
    Ben,
    GBA has reported that Bradford White announced its plan to "extend its around-the-clock customer support to existing GeoSpring water heater owners."

    That doesn't remove all risk. Companies come and go, and companies change their policies. Only you can decide if the current situation with GeoSpring and Bradford White feels comfortable.

    You might want to ask the retailer or distributor that you are dealing with about whether there is a written warranty.

    -- Martin Holladay

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