Whirlpool Electric Water Heaters Review and Buying Tips

Standard and High-Efficiency Whirlpool electric water heaters for residential use. See the differences between Energy Smart and Hybrid categories and check out its main features.

There are two types of Whirlpool electric water heaters; standard Energy Smart and Hybrid; where the first type uses the electric heating elements for heating water, while the hybrid combines two technologies; conventional electric and heat pump, which makes it more efficient and Energy Star compliant.

Energy Smart

Whirlpool electric water heater

Water heaters from this group utilize the 6th Sense technology, Energy Smart Control, and a new reliable and accurate electronic thermostat for easy control, better comfort, and more savings.

The water temperature can be adjusted on the Energy Smart Module from 80 F to 150 F by using the up and down arrows.

The touch screen electronic user interface also allows the hassle-free setup of the operating modes.

If there is a problem with water heating, the error codes with the Alert Icon flashing will show up on the LCD screen or Element Functioning Icon, which is displayed when both heating elements are working correctly.

There are several heating modes available on the control module:

  • Normal or Standard mode.
  • Energy Smart mode is the energy-saving mode as it automatically adjusts the temperature to the water draw usage pattern of the consumer.
  • Vacation mode - mainly used when you are away and during the cold winter temperatures, so it automatically turns the unit on to approximately 60 F to protect the unit from freezing.
  • Smart Grid mode is part of the smart technology which enables the water heater to communicate with the local power company and react accordingly to save energy and money.

Whirlpool electric water heaters are also equipped with several safety features which protect their users, the property, and the unit.

These features include dry fire protection, so the unit doesn't turn on if the heater's tank is not full of water. The self-cleaning system and its dip tube help reduce the sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank and heater's elements. The safety lock feature on the thermostat prevents the kids from accessing the modes or temperature settings.

All the models from the Energy Smart series come with the 9- or 12-year warranty.

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Hybrid heat pump

Whirlpool heat pump

Whirlpool electric water heaters can also use hybrid technology, incorporating the electric heating element and the heat pump. By using hybrid technology, the electric water heater can provide over twice as efficient as the conventional tank-type water heaters. Due to its high energy factor and first-hour delivery, hybrid units are the only electric water heaters from Whirlpool that are Energy Star compliant. See how the heat pumps work here.

Whirlpool heat pump is more expensive than the above Energy Smart models. Still, when comparing, the energy factor of 2.3 is more than double that of the conventional type (EF is 0.95 max.), which means more savings and less energy waste. Also, the heat pump uses a powered anode rod that doesn't deplete over time and doesn't require maintenance and service. According to Whirlpool, the payback is in 3 years, and with the local rebates and tax breaks, it makes it even more attractive.

As the Energy Smart models, the Whirlpool Hybrid is designed with the User Interface Module that allows you to adjust the temperature from 95 F to 150 F, read the temperature, set the operation mode, lock the unit, check the work of the heating element, heat pump and check the efficiency.

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There are four operating modes available in the heat pump:

  • In the Electric mode, water heater uses only the heating element, and the efficiency is the lowest.
  • Hybrid is the default mode when the heat pump is used as the main source for water heating and electric elements as the backup to reduce the recovery time.
  • Efficient mode is the most energy-efficient mode when only the heat pump works as long as the ambient temperature is between 45 F and 109 F.
  • Vacation mode is recommended when the unit is not in use for longer periods, so the water heater works with minimal energy consumption.

Hybrid technology is an ideal solution for those who live in an area where electricity is the only available fuel source. It is the most effective and efficient way to heat potable water.


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