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The $365 per year in savings is calculated based on a Department of Energy (DOE) test procedure comparing a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater using 4,879 kilowatt-hours per year versus the GeoSpring hybrid water heater using 1,830 kilowatt-hours per year. The GE hybrid water heater saves 3,049 kilowatt-hours per year comparatively. The kWh savings is multiplied by the national average electricity rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, which equals $365 per year in savings.

The DOE test procedure mentioned above is the same test procedure used to determine the Annual Operating Cost printed on the product’s Energy Guide Label. A standard electric water heater using 4,879 kWh per year at 12 cents per kWh would cost $585 per year to operate. The GeoSpring hybrid water heater costs $220 per year to operate. Subtracting the two Energy Guide label values equals $365 in energy cost savings. In parts of the country where the cost of electricity exceeds 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, the annual savings may be higher than $365 per year. Conversely, if the cost of electricity is less than 12 cents per kWh, the annual savings may be less. For example, in August 2009, the average cost of electricity in the state of Florida was 12.26 cents per kWh. The estimated annual savings for a consumer paying 12.26 cents per kWh would be 3,049 kWh times $0.1226, which equals $374. Thus, this consumer could save up to $374 (Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html).

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Underwriters Laboratory (UL), the independent product safety organization that sets safety standards for water heaters and other products, requires that all new water heaters have a factory-set temperature setting of 125°F or below. So, to comply with UL standards, the GeoSpring is shipped from the factory at 120°F. The consumer should then determine their desired temperature setting based on personal preferences and the hot water capacity desired for personal use. As an example, by increasing the temperature setpoint from the factory setpoint of 120°F to 135°F the consumer will realize an approximate 25% increase in the effective volume of hot water available for normal household use. Therefore, if more hot water is desired, it is recommended that you increase the temperature setpoint to 135°F and see if there is enough hot water at that setpoint. Caution should always be exercised when adjusting the water heater temperature setpoint.

The Department of Energy (DOE), looking at consumer use, has found that most consumers have their water heaters set at 135°F, and therefore, the DOE requires that all energy efficiency and performance testing be conducted at 135°F. As a result of this testing requirement, the Energy Guide label and $365 per year energy savings claim advising you how much you could save using the GeoSpring compared to a standard electric tank water heater is calculated using a temperature setpoint of 135°F (the temperature most consumers set their water heaters). Therefore, the published energy savings information is already based upon a water heater temperature setpoint of 135°F. If your GeoSpring is set to a temperature lower than 135°F, there may be the potential for additional energy savings.

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The recovery time is a function of a number of different factors including the amount of hot water used, the temperature of the incoming water, the ambient air temperature, heating source, etc. The GeoSpring heat pump can recover 8 gallons per hour (at 68°F ambient air temp) while standard heating elements can recover about 22 gallons per hour. The difference is, the heat pump only draws about 550 watts of energy compared to 4,500 watts from standard heating elements. So if an average shower uses 16 gallons of hot water, the heat pump would run about 2 hours to reheat the water and use about 1.2 kilowatt hours of electricity. For the same 16 gallons of water, a standard electric water heater would take about 48 minutes at 4,500 watts of power which is about 3.2 kilowatt hours, almost three times the energy. Therefore, although the heat pump runs longer to reheat the water, it still ends up using approximately 62% less energy. Since most consumers use hot water in varying amounts followed by long periods of little or no usage, the heat pump has more than sufficient time to reheat the water and satisfy the consumer’s hot water demands. If more than the average amount of water is used, GeoSpring is uniquely designed to switch from heat pump to resistance heat and back again, to provide the same volume of hot water as a standard electric water heater. In the winter time when ambient air temperatures are likely to be lower, the heat pump will have to run longer to heat the water.

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The “$365 per year savings” and the “Saves up to 62% of the energy consumed by a standard electric water heater” claims are based on standard Department of Energy (DOE) water heater test procedures that are conducted at an ambient air temperature of 68°F. As the temperature of the air drops below 68°F, there is less heat in the air, and the heat pump must work longer to extract the necessary heat from the air to heat the water. Since the heat pump works longer, the energy efficiency is slightly reduced. To put this in perspective, at a 68°F ambient air temperature, the GeoSpring has an Energy factor of 2.4 and saves up to 62% of the energy consumed by a standard electric water heater. At 50°F, the EF reduces to 1.8, and the savings is reduced from 62% to 50%. This means that even at ambient air temperatures as low as 50°F, GeoSpring can still save up to 50% of the energy used by the second largest energy consuming appliance in your home. That’s still a very substantial amount of energy savings. If the temperature drops below 45°F, the amount of heat in the air has dropped too low for effective heat pump operation, and the GeoSpring will switch off the heat pump and operate the standard electric elements to heat the water. This occurs regardless of the operating mode that is set. When operating the standard electric elements, the unit will have the same efficiency as a standard electric water heater. Keep in mind, that the ambient air temperature being discussed is the temperature of the air surrounding the water heater, not the outside air temperature. Many water heaters are found in garages, basements, and attics, and even when the air temperature outside is below freezing, the air temperature surrounding the water heater is still usually above 45°F, and the heat pump will operate to efficiently heat the water. The opposite is also true for temperatures above 68°F. Above 68°F, there is more heat in the air, and the heat pump becomes more efficient at heating the water. This efficiency increases with ambient air temperature up to 120°F. Above 120°F, the unit again switches off the heat pump, and energizes the standard electric elements to heat the water. Air temperatures above 120°F in residential settings are very rare and this is rarely expected to occur.

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eHeat™ Mode (most energy efficient mode)
The heat pump removes heat from the surrounding air, heats the water and moves cooler air back into the room. Time required to heat water is longer in this mode, but should be adequate for normal demand households.

Hybrid Mode (default mode)
Combines the energy efficiency of eHeat with the recovery speed and power of standard electric. The control automatically uses efficient eHeat unless the majority of hot water is consumed.

High Demand Mode
This mode is only necessary if a household has higher than average water usage or the unit is undersized for the household water demands. In this mode, the unit will use the electric heating elements only when the water demand is higher than normal. When using the heating elements, the water temperature will recover at a faster rate than eHeat or Hybrid modes, but it will take more energy to heat it. Unlike Standard Electric Mode, High Demand mode will only use the heating elements when needed.

Standard Electric Mode
Uses only the upper and lower heating resistance elements to heat the water. Time required to heat the water is faster than all other modes but it is the LEAST energy-efficient mode.

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The GeoSpring water heater should be installed in a clean, dry area as near as practical to the area of greatest hot water demand to prevent long un-insulated hot water lines from wasting energy and water. Because the units draws in air from the room to heat water, the room must be at least 10′ x 10′ x 7′ (700 cubic feet) or larger. If the room is smaller than 700 cubic feet, the room must have a louvered door or a door which has vents installed near the top and bottom of the door. Each of these vents should have an area of 240 square inches.

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The GE hybrid water heater energy efficiency claims are based on the Department of Energy test procedure which is performed at an ambient room temperature of 68°F. Consumers’ specific home conditions may vary from that standard and, indeed, yield different results. To help understand the impact of the Hybrid water heater on the HVAC system, first, you must determine whether or not the water heater is in a "conditioned space" which is defined as a room of the house that supplies return air to the HVAC system, or in an "unconditioned space" which is a space that does not supply return air to the HVAC system.

Typically water heaters are in "unconditioned spaces" such as garages, basements, and attics that do not provide an air supply to the HVAC system. Thus, any heat removed from these unconditioned spaces by the hybrid water heater likely would not need to be replaced by increased operation of the furnace and would not have any impact on the operation or efficiency of the HVAC system. If our heat pump water heater is in a "conditioned space" inside the home such as in a utility room, the cooling and dehumidifying effect of the hybrid will decrease the load on the AC system during cooling months (summer) and increase the load on the furnace during heating months (winter). If the number of cooling months equals the number of heating months, these effects will roughly offset, and the user should still experience all the energy savings benefits of the hybrid water heater as compared to a standard 50-gallon electric tank water heater. If cooling months exceed heating months, the user may experience additional energy savings beyond the GeoSpring water heater based on the DOE standard.

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This feature is used when the homeowner is away from home for an extended period and hot water is not needed. In this mode, the temperature will drop the water temperature down to 50°F and will use the most efficient heating mode to conserve energy while the heater is sitting idle. The unit will automatically resume heating one day before the programmed return, so that hot water will be available.

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The hybrid heat pump electric water heater will not work without electrical power. When power is restored after an outage the water heater will go through the dry fire process then automatically revert back to the original user setting.

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Heating elements are designed to function in water. If not immersed in water, the intense heat they generate will cause the elements to burn out (dry fire). The GeoSpring hybrid electric water heater watches the tank temperature rise. If the heat rise is faster than it would be with water in the tank, the system will shut down and prompt the user to add water to prevent dry fire.

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Approximately eight (8) minutes. The fans will run and the dry fire routine will begin and accurately measure the room air and tank temperatures. (If unit was in standard electric mode prior to power outage, fans do not need to run at power restoration)

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In order to protect the heat pump system and for highest efficiency the GeoSpring heat pump will operate between 45°F - 120°F. Anything below or above this temperature range will cause the water heater to automatically operate in standard electric mode to continue to provide hot water.

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Heat pump - 550W
Upper Heating Element - 4,500W
Lower Heating Element - 4,500W

Note: Only one heating source in use at a time

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Operating a GeoSpring hybrid electric heat pump water heater instead of a standard 50-gallon electric model could help a US household avoid up to 62% of CO2 emissions on the US grid from water heating.

If 25% of US households purchasing a new electric water heater in a given year were to choose GE’s hybrid electric heat pump water heater over a standard 50-gallon electric water heater more than 4 billion pounds of CO2 emissions on the US grid could be avoided annually, equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 360,000 cars on US roads.

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The GeoSpring water heater should be installed in a clean, dry area as near as practical to the area of greatest hot water demand to prevent long un-insulated hot water lines from wasting energy and water. It is designed to go into any common indoor installation area including basements, attics, closets, and utility rooms. If the room is smaller than 700 cubic feet, the room should have a louvered door or a door which has vents installed near the top and bottom of the door. Each of these vents should have an area of 240 square inches.

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The first item item to consider is installation. Like most electric water heaters, the GeoSpring Hybrid water heater requires 240V, 30amp electrical power to operate. Most natural gas or LP water heaters do not require electricity. To replace a natural gas or LP water heater with a GeoSpring Hybrid water heater the current natural gas or LP supply line would need to be capped by a licensed plumber and the water heater would need to be supplied with a dedicated 240V/30A electric supply line by a qualified electrician. The electric supply line must be installed per local and national electric codes. Please refer to the water heater’s Installation Instructions for further information.

The second item to consider is performance. Natural gas/LP water heaters, by nature of their fuel type, are capable of heating water more quickly than electric water heaters (standard electric or heat pump), and therefore, have quicker recovery rates. The water heater industry typically measures the recovery rate of a water heater by its First Hour Delivery (FHD) of hot water. If switching from a 50 gal gas to a 50 gal electric (standard or heat pump), it is likely the user will experience a decline in the amount of hot water available on initial draw (taking a long shower or filling a garden tub) and the recovery rate will likely be longer as well. For example, a 50 gal gas water heater has a First Hour Delivery Rate (FHD) of 80-90 gallons. A 50 gal electric water heater (standard or heat pump) has a FHD of 58-65 gallons. That 20-25 gallons could be significant depending on the consumer’s usage pattern. A better exchange would be to replace a 40 gallon gas with a 50 gallon GeoSpring water heater. A 40 gallon gas water heater has a FHD of 68-73 gallons. Even with a 40 gallon gas water heater, the consumer may still experience a slight performance decline if they switch to a 50-gallon electric water heater (standard electric or heat pump). This performance difference only applies to fuel switching and does not apply to replacing a standard electric water heater with a GeoSpring Hybrid water heater. The GeoSpring Hybrid water heater has a FHD of 65 gallons. Standard 50 gallon electric water heaters typically have FHDs of 58-65 gallons. Therefore, any consumer replacing a standard 50 gallon electric water heater with a GeoSpring Hybrid should experience the same performance as their current electric tank water heater. In new applications, or in cases where the need for hot water capacity increases (e.g., addition of a garden/jetted tub or high flow shower), a water heater with higher capacity than 50 gallons may be needed. A water heater Sizing Guide should be followed to ensure a water heater of sufficient capacity for the consumer’s household size and use is installed.

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Moisture or condensation can be a by-product of the GeoSpring hybrid water heater depending on humidity and the run time of the heat pump. Condensate amount will vary according to these conditions. There are two drains located on the back of the heater. The primary drain is intended to carry all condensate away. It is the larger of the two and can be easily plumbed using 1/1 inch PVC piping. If it is clogged or kinked, the condensate will exit the secondary drain and onto the floor. This is intended as a notification to the user that the primary drain is clogged. The PVC hose should be removed and cleared of debris and reattached.

Since the heater produces condensate, a drain must be available in close proximity to the unit. The drain must be no higher than 36" above the floor (laundry drain is acceptable). If no drain is available, then a common condensate pump with capacity no less than 1 gallon/day must be purchased from a local builder or supply store and installed. See installation instructions for more detailed guidance.

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See local building and plumbing code.

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A drain pan is not required but is recommended for installation in a finished room where you would want your flooring protected in the event of a leak.

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Yes. It is recommend that a professional plumber perform this service. Replacement elements are available at all plumbing wholesalers, and major homebuilder stores.

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Yes.

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Not unless specified by local building and plumbing codes.

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No. The electronic control panel will allow you to select between four (4) operating modes with a full description of which mode is the most energy efficient. See the Use and Care Manual for details on each mode.

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