Heat-pump water heater: Rheem?
Looking to purchase a Rheem 50 or 80 gallon heat pump water heater. They sell for around $1,400 for the 50 gallon and $1,700 for the 80 gallon. 3.55 – 3.70 UEF
Are these units reliable?
Are they better units out there?
Is it better/more energy efficient to get the larger unit since it has more storage capacity?
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Do you have a large enough utility room, or the ability to run a fresh air duct? Is the space somewhat isolated? These units can be a little noisy.
I have no direct experience with the Rheem, so I can't comment on reliability.
Q. "Are they better units out there?"
A. Most people report that the units manufactured by Stiebel Eltron are better. Of course, they are more expensive.
Q. "Is it better/more energy efficient to get the larger unit since it has more storage capacity?"
A. Yes. For more information on this topic, see Heat-Pump Water Heaters Come of Age.
I have had the Rheem performance platinum 50 gallon hot water heater for about 6 months. I have it in a smallish utility room, so the appeal for me was the option to duct it to use outside air. Overall, I have found the Rheem to be fairly quiet, reliable, and fast on recovery after several showers.
The unit will be in an attached insulated garage.
The Stiebel units do seem to have great reviews but the unit is pricey since it is German made.
About as reliable as a window AC.
A garage can be a great location if you are in a warm climate.
Yes, it is located in a warm climate so the garage is a good spot for the heater.
Are the units that UNRELIABLE? A window AC unit doesn't scream reliability.
Is it better to just get a simple electrical resistance water heater (no gas connections)? What is the payback on a heat pump water heater? More than 5+ years?
Payback calculations depend on hot water usage. Large families that use lots of hot water have a faster payback period than small families with low usage levels. You've have to do your own math (or depend on the default assumptions shown on the yellow tags you see at the appliance store).
For more information, see Domestic Hot Water: No Perfect Solution.
Just found a 50 gallon brand new Rheem on clearance at HD. It is the 4th generation model (newest one) and they had it on clearance for $700 so I bought it as that is 1/2 off the current list price of the unit. I will report back on it once it is up and running...