Rheem Heat Pumps Review

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Review of Rheem heat pumps for home water heating, with the most important features for easy purchase. See what makes these electric water heaters super efficient and how they bring savings and great benefits to your home.


Rheem water heater heat pumps are also known as hybrid that utilize heat pump technology and electric heating elements for fast recovery and efficient work. And this is the design that in 2014 won the AHR Innovation Award in the plumbing category for the most inventive and original product.

Models and Features

Models review

rheem heat pumpRheem heat pumps are coming from the Professional Prestige series, a series comprised of three models, utilizing tank capacities of 50, 65 and 80 gallons, premium features and professional grade quality. What makes these electric models unique is the ultra high energy efficiency and recovery rate, resulting in Energy Star compliance and eligible for government grants.


Model PROPH50 is the 50-gallon water heater that comes with the First Hour Rating (FHR) of 70 gallons, model PROPH65 is the 65-gallon heater that is designed to provide FHR of 78 gallons and PROPH80 is the 80-gal unit that comes with the FHR of 90 gallons, all with the common 29-gal recovery rate, making them ideal for high demanding homes / families.

Thanks to the heat pump technology and thick 2" foam insulation, all hybrid models have an ultra high energy efficiency of 3.5, saving you several hundred bucks annually, when compare to the standard electric type.

The warranty is decent, 10 years, mainly because of the quality elements such as the premium resistored anode rod, used against corrosion and stainless steel resistor heating elements with the dry-fire protection.

Features

What is great about Rheem hybrid is the heat pump technology allowing usage of the surrounding air for water heating, which increases the efficiency several times, when comparing to the conventional electric water heaters. The heater's solid body, state of the art design and superb functions are what makes them a favorable water heating appliance. And with the noise level of only 49 dBA it is considered one of the quitest in its class, according to Rheem manufacturer.

With an addition of the compressor, evaporator and fan, the heat pumps are more complex and advanced than the conventional electric units, but still have an easy access to side connections, standard 3/4" water connections, allowing easy installation in the same manner as the electric type.

What makes this hybrid unit great is the availability of the advanced electronics that includes the large LCD display, programming and troubleshooting with the error code display.

The EcoNet feature allows the user to take advantage of the WiFi capability to remotely control and monitor the unit; set and adjust the temperature, set and change the operating mode, have an access to service... Working with the water sensor, it can also send an alert if there is a water leak from the unit.


Specs

Models/DataPROPH50PROPH65PROPH80
Capacity (Gal)506580
Energy Factor3.53.53.5
First Hour Rating GPH707890
Recovery GPH
90 F rise
292929
Sound Level dBa494949
Dimensions - inch61 x 22-1/464 x 24-1/474 x 24-1/4

Modes

There are several heating modes that you can choose from:

  • Energy Saver mode - this is a factory set mode and since the compressor is fully utilized it provides great energy efficiency, low power consumption and high recovery.

  • Heat pump mode does not use heating elements, only the heat pump, resulting in low recovery and energy consumption.
  • High Demand mode - the water heater uses both heat pump and backup electric heating elements for fast water heating, and it is used for high demand periods. In this mode with the maximized performance, the heat pump gets the highest recovery rate as both heat pump and electric heating elements operate simultaneously.

  • Electric Heat Only mode - a mode when the water heater uses the heating element only, while the heat pump is turned OFF. This is a temporary mode, utilized on a short term basis, due to the maximum power consumption.

  • Vacation mode allows the heat pump operation to maintain water temperature around 90 F. It can be programmed to operate between 2-28 days, or placed on hold indefinitely.
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How Rheem heat pumps work

Rheem heat pumps work basically as the AC in reverse. Since they are air-source heat pumps, they extract the heat from the surrounding warm air (thanks to the eco-friendly refrigerant), increase the heat by using the compressor, transfer the heat to the water while the cooler (dehumidified) air is exhausted by the fan, located at the top of the unit.

This is why heat pumps should be installed in the rooms such as attics, basements or technical rooms with the furnace, for example, so it can use warmer air for more efficient work. On the other side, water heater heat pump is not recommended in colder areas where the average temperature is below 40 F.

See the reviews and prices on Amazon.com.

Summary

The greatest benefits of using Rheem heat pumps are the ultra high efficiency, lower electric bills, fast hot water delivery and almost the same footprint as the standard 50-gallon electric water heater. According to Rheem website, payback period for the hybrid heat pump is less than three years. 


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Picture is courtesy of Rheem company

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