Need new water heater. Anyone know about Heat Pump Electric Water Heaters?

The electric water heater in the house I bought a year ago is 38 years old. It still works but barely and I had a maintenance check and the lower heating element is corroded and seized up beyond removing, so I’m going to replace it for a new heater. There’s no natural gas utilities in my region so it’s either propane or electric. I don’t want the extra up front cost to switch to propane. With electric I recently learned about Heat Pump water heaters and they’re supposed to be very efficient. Anyone have experience with them?

BTW, I looked into tankless water heaters but with it having to be electric it wouldn’t be cost efficient or fast enough to keep up with on demand.

TTT for day crowd.

I’m no expert but when we redid/added-on to our house a couple years ago I told our plumber I wanted the best tankless water heater. I went to school with him so I trust him.
Anyway, we’ve got 2 that are Navien brand. Was told they were the biggest they carried. We have two because of the way we redid things. Ours are propane but they keep up quite well. No complaints so far🤞 I know that doesnt help you but I’m sure they have something to fit your need.

Was just looking into this a bit myself OP, I’m also out in the country with no nat. gas option. I hate the volatility of propane prices so I think long term a heat pump electric hot water heater is the way to go. If you’re not staying in your house forever, a standard electric water heater may be smarter since the upfront cost is drastically lower and they’re simple.

One thing to keep in mind with all this high efficiency shit, sometimes the lifespan is less than the ROI. Depends on energy costs in your area, also. Caveat emptor.

I have had nothing but problems with Navien, I call their tech support line frequently. They are pretty though. Best of luck.

I have this motherfvcker and works like a charm

“I call their tech support line FREQUENTLY”. Sounds like it works wonderfully…

I wouldn’t use that guy again. If your T&P valve discharges you are going to fill the heat exchanger with water. That condensate drain needs to be separate from the T&P and not plumbed together.

Guess I spoke too soon. Thanks for the heads up.

1 Like

The tech who did the maintenance check on my hvac and water heater told me to think about the propane powered Navien tankless. That got me to thinking that if I was going to switch to propane for my water heater then maybe I should also have them install a propane powered whole house back up generator, and even maybe switch out the old oil based furnace for propane as well. Then I read that tankless water heaters need a lot more maintenance and don’t really save you much money. They’re really for the ability to not run out of hot water if you have a bunch of people waiting to use the shower one after the other, or for you to take as long a shower as you want. And right now when prices are high for everything, I don’t think I want to spend the up front money to switch my heating to propane and getting the generator as yet.

The other thing too is that the house has a coal burning boiler which is used to heat during the cold months when temps consistently stay 0-40 F. That boiler also functions as the water heater during that time since it functions by heating its own water tank and running the hot water through pipes that run to the radiators throughout the house. So my dedicated water heater is only used from mid spring to mid fall, and the oil burning furnace is only used during the few weeks when temps are in the 45-60 F range. I think part of the reason why the current water heater has lasted ever since the house was built 38 years ago is because the bulk of the work has been done by the coal boiler through all those years.

The maintenance if it is installed correctly with isolation valves is yearly and quite simple. There’s a kit you can buy with a bucket, solution and pump. You hook it up let it run for a bit and it’s done. It’s a easy process and you basically pump vinegar thru it and break up any crap that’s built up in it.

The saving part…. I don’t know if you save anything in the long run but they sure make me a lot of money’s.

Navien are excellent heaters, but their tech support blows. I have customers (plumbers) that have been on hold 2 hours often. Due to this, we switched to Vesta brand tankless.

Vesta is made by the engineers who built Naviens. They were treated like shit by Navien and said fuck it and left Navien to improve on their design. It is damn near identical with some improvements and cheaper.

Also, if you need help, their tech support rocks.

1 Like

As for heat pumps, costs to savings is not really an advantage, but they will make a noticeable difference in cooling a garage. Also, if not in stock, expect and 8-10 week lead time.

I’d stay with a new electric tank. Best bang for your buck really. Add a wrap around it, insulate your pipes and depending on the size of your family maybe consider putting a timer on it. If it’s only you and the wife why heat the tank all day.

1 Like