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brasilmom 11-05-2010 06:01 AM

Geospring hybrid water heater
Hi all,

Our water heater is asking to be replaced. The issue with the smell keep on coming back fast and furious. The last time we cleaned it up was about 20 days ago and the smell is back. The unit's date is 1998, so I guess it is doing well for its age. So, this morning my husband mentioned that we shall look into getting it replaced. He is considering the GE Geospring hybrid unit. We checked this morning and it is electric, but it claimed to be very efficient. Of course, right.

So, what do you have to say about that? Seems like the top brand is AO Smith, but we want to check our options before making a final decision. Of course we want to complete it before the end of the year to take advantage of tax credit.

Thanks for your help. Be well


Redwood 11-05-2010 08:11 AM

The Heat Pump Water Heaters are pretty good in the energy savings, pretty much a no-brainer as far as them paying for themselves in energy consumption. I'll get into that later, first I'd like to address the smell.

I'm guessing the smell is either a musty smell or, a rotten egg smell you didn't give specifics however they are the common ones. These smells are caused by water conditions with either high iron (musty) or, high sulfur (rotten eggs) resulting in growth of either a iron reducing or, sulfur reducing bacteria that causes the associated odors. There are remedies that include water treatment and anode replacement in the water heater that will cure the odor problems. Water heater replacement alone will not do it so I want you to know up front that the odor is not a reason to replace the water heater.

Now as far as the water heater...

Water heater brands: I would not blindly say that AO Smith is the best out there. AO Smith is a large company that includes other brands such as American Water Heaters, State, Reliance, GSW, John Wood, & Apollo as well. Some models are good and some models are the biggest lemons ever forced down the throat of the unsuspecting buyer as well. They make the sold at Lowe's which resulted in a class action lawsuit and they also make the Energy Smart Electric water heater as well. As for the Heat Pump water heaters they all have a 10 year warranty and it is too early yet to say which is the most reliable or, if any unit has problems.

The actual payback you receive is dictated largely upon where you live and the ambient temperatures you have. In the extreme south the units can be used in heat pump mode almost 90 - 100% of the year. Midway up the country 70 -90% of the year and in the northern states about 60%. The unit needs at least 40 degree f air to operate and lends a cooling effect to the area it is located in which must be at least 1,000 cu ft in volume.

If you are in the warmer areas of the country I would consider the Stiebel Eltron Accelera 300 Heat Pump Water Heater which relies heaviest on the heat pump to produce hot water and draws only 9.8 amps with a 1750 watt resistance element for backup for the highest savings.

Midway up in the country the AO Smith Voltex would probably be the best with its 4500 watt upper and 2000 watt lower elements as back up for the heat pump. This offers a mid range savings as far as the heat pump water heaters go.

In the northern part of the US the GE GeoSpring, and Rheem/Rudd water heaters which have 4500 watt upper and lower elements offer the best possible back up for the 40% of the year when the heat pump cannot operate. Remember if you have these units in a heated area you are making heat for the heat pump to use.

I hope this helps clear things up for you and helps your decision process.

brasilmom 11-05-2010 09:57 AM

Thank you so much for the informative reply. The smell (rotten eggs) in the hot water has been going on for a while and there is a thread that I started to get much needed help. I had the water tested by the city just recently and the iron content is not the problem, as it is low. We have been in this house for 3 years and this is a new issue that appeared in the Spring. The anode was replaced, and it was indeed completely corroded. The last cleaning we did in the unit was just 20 or so days ago and the smell is back. So, I am not sure what else to do. I cannot tell for sure which type of anode was used, but will check with my husband if he remembers. I am sure we can replace it again and see what happens. As for water treatment, can you give me some ideas/recommendations?

Back to the hybrid water heaters. We are in WI so, I guess we will check a little closer on the GE unit. Now, since our unit is over 10years old, does it have any possible effect on the water smell?

Thanks again for your help. Be well


Redwood 11-05-2010 10:49 AM

The GE GeoSpring uses an anode rod which I believe is magnesium and will react with your water which has a sulfur reducing bacteria problem. You can see here where the anode is located and what replacement would entail.

The Rheem units I believe offer electronic corrosion protection which I believe will not cause the problem with smell.

You can call Rheem at (334) 260-1500 to talk to them about your problem.

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