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Question DetailsAsked on 1/14/2013

You do not recommend GE or Whirlpool water heaters. I am considering a GE GeoSpring (heat pump/hybrid) water heater. What do you think?

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15 Answers

1
Vote

It's been my experience that Whirlpool is not the greatest heater, anytime we have a customer that would like to buy their own for us to install we will do our best to talk them out of getting a Whirlpool. Most service calls we get on newer water heaters about 85% anyway wind up being Whirlpool. Never had much trouble from GE. However Whirpool is great when dealing with the warrantee department and always make good on the issues. I would still go with GE over Whirpool if given a choice, however I would go with
A O Smith as my first choice period.

Good Luck!

Answered 4 years ago by hockeycoachtim

2
Votes

I installed one of the GE Hybrid water heaters for a customer almost a year ago. He loves it and said his electric bill dropped substantially which helps pay for the higher cost of the unit. It also recovers hot water faster. A side benefit is it cools his garage in the summer. Understand it needs a lot of free air circulation space. It basically works like an air conditioner in reverse, heating the water and the cooler air is expelled through the vents. This can not be installed in a conventional electric water heater closet without a lot of ventilation added as well as extra support to the platform, especially if your home is a tract built home where minimum requirements are often "good enough." The hybrid water heaters are a lot heavier. Like 2-3 times heavier than traditional models. It is a minimum 2 man job to install it.

For standard water heaters I've installed multiple Whirlpool water heaters for customers over the years and never had a call back with a defect yet. Both brands are pretty much on par as far as their longevity.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX

Answered 4 years ago by Todd's Home Services

1
Vote

Not sure how many water heaters you do Todd but sounds like quite a few, we have about 30 water heater repairs a week and also do installs for our local gas company about 40-60 a week average. I would say about 30% of our service calls are Whirlpool. Like I said out of the heaters we service that are less than 12 years old 85% are Whirlpool. Most of those are the flame lock thermocouples, were never a good design to start with. They also went through a two year period with a left hand thread thermocouple which you cannot buy anywhere local to us, or from Whirlpool. They will send you a connector to switch it back to right hand. Other than that another big issue is the intake vents on the sealed combustion chamber are not big enough on some models and get clogged easily.

Tim Littrell
Littrell Plumbing

Answered 4 years ago by hockeycoachtim

1
Vote

Tim, you definitely do a lot more water heaters than I do, both install and repair. Sounds like most of your problems with Whirlpool have to do with the gas units. I should have probably expanded my statements that I rarely install gas units because gas service is not as common in my typical service area. They are almost all electric. Maybe 1-3 gas units a year so for those I don't have as much comparison on the newer units. Because of our hard water most I replace are less than 10 years old. Some areas 6 years is more the average. Most people don't want to mess with a filter or softener, flush it regularly like they should, or check/replace the anode which would have extended the life of the heater.

So for electric models I have seen no difference in performance. However for gas I'd have to stay away from Whirlpool just based on Tim's insight.

Answered 4 years ago by Todd's Home Services

0
Votes

@ Todd, your right about the electric ones not many issues with them, I should also add since they went to electronic gas control valve we have yet to service one that I know of but don't look at all our tickets. Most problems have been with the old control valves and thermocouples

Answered 4 years ago by hockeycoachtim

1
Vote

Great conversation going on here! But FYI: Angie's List does not offer ratings and reviews on specific products.

Source: 

Answered 4 years ago by Member Services

0
Votes

Most people are not aware there are only a few major manufacturers of water heaters and companies like GE or Whirlpool are not in this very small group. They are simply names used to attract buyers and they have no special quality or features that others do not. The players in the market are Rheem AO Smith and Bradford White. Our company installed some of the first hybrid heat pump water heaters ever produced in our state as a pilot program for the local electricity utility 15 years ago. All brands currently sold are potential problems in regards to longevity and reliability If you need total electric water heating, look at the Marathon by Rheem.

Answered 4 years ago by ReliableGuy

0
Votes

GE has recently brought the production of the Geospring back onshore to their Louisville plant, where engineers and line workers have reportedly simplified the desing and welds of the heat pump section. It will be interesting to see if this results in fewer refrigerant-compressor failures.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_948906217

0
Votes

I'm liking mine. Everything except the "filter alarm" which seem to go off randomly while the filter remains clean. why they didn't make it easy to duct the chilled "exhaust air" to somewhere handy is beyond me. Of course there are ways around this dificiency, but still...

Answered 4 years ago by darelldd

2
Votes

I have owned not one, but three, gray GE heat pump water heaters fillowed by the red unit (made in the USA). All of them leaked their refrigerant out over time and had (until the last one) to be replaced. The red unit has a stem from the compressor which allowed me to install a Supco tap and recharge the refrigerant system. The gray units all displayed the "F-C" code and switched to resistant heating but the red unit only would alarm and claim that the air filter was dirty.


GE warranty service proved to be a joke on the first unit, so I bought a new one and took the old one back as defective.


Unless you are prepared for the inevitable refrigerant system failure, and the cost of repair or replacement, I would stay away from GE's heat pump water heaters.


I am a licensed mechanical engineer with nearly 35 years of facilites experience.

Answered 2 years ago by alcurin

0
Votes

I have owned the oringinal GE unit (grey unit) for about 3-4 years. The only problem I experienced was the power supply going down a few months ago, which powers the control board and effectively shut the whole unit down. I called GE support and the oevrnighted a new board directly to me at no charge and I put it in myself and all is well once again. Aside from that, the unit has been running perfectly and definitely saves money. I am located on Long Island, NY and it is installed in an unfinished basement. Fan noise would definitely be an issue if we used the basement for recreation/TV viewing. I'm looking at he new 50 gallon Whirlpool model for another home which states it is more efficient and 4 dBA quieter than the current (red) GE model. Does anyone have any experience with the Whirlpool heat pump model?

Answered 2 years ago by inlanikai

0
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Currently the unit is not functioning, due to compressor failure. Given the 10 year warranty, I contacted GE 6 weeks ago. The person told me they would have a servicer call me within 24 hours, and they would "comp" the service costs, and ship the part. I got a follow up email with the servicer info. After 2 weeks, the part had arrived but no service call. I called the number in the follow up email for the servicer, and they were out of business. I called the GE number in the email and it was one of those dead ends, not the proper number for my problem. Then I called the number on the side of the machine, I told the lady my problem, and she promised to call back with a servicer, no call back. Each time I did get a survey call to make sure they were "nice"). Called a third time, talked to a guy, he said he would look into it and call me back, this was a week ago. I live in a county with 2 million people and median household income of >$87000. They should not be shipping stuff around the country if they can't even get a contract with a servicer in my area. I also shouldn't have to keep calling back. How many times do I have to call to get it resolved. GE knows this is a problem with their merchandise, I am finding increased power bills each month,due to running on main heating element 100% of the time and no compressor

Source: Mike S

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9976377

0
Votes

I agree Whirlpool heaters are not the best. The time it takes to change a heating element is rediculous (because of the type of insulation the years and trying to remove it and get it out-of-the-way). However A.O.Smith is the worst water heater on the market. These heaters will break within seven years know if Ann's or butts about it. The majority of heaters we remove our this brand. Rheem/Ruud is the best brand out there. They have been making water heaters for 80 years, honor their warranties and the average heater will last 10 to 20 years.

Answered 2 years ago by joshtheplumber

0
Votes

We installed a GE GeoSpring ourselves a few years ago. We had our previous all electric model on a timer to run only 2-3 hours daily, and this saved even more. We only run it on the heat pump setting, never run out of hot water, and I think it is like burning a couple of light bulbs of power. We also love the cooling effect in our utility room. We did have some error that came up on it, but we called and GE fixed it right away with no cost, no problems. I would buy another, and may when my second water heater dies.

Answered 1 year ago by Guest_9137012

0
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This GE GeoSpring Hybrid water heater worked fine for years, then a sensor gave out. I called the service 1-800 number gave them the code and arranged to have a service all 3 days later (the earliest). The serviceman call me just before the appointment and asks if the parts were there? Parts, what parts? It seem the service center were suppose to send parts based on the error code to my house prior to the service call. Nothing was ordered. The parts had to be sent from their central warehouse a further delay of days. An appointment was set for the Fri morning before a three day weekend, We waited and waited. Nothing. Called the 1-800 and they had rescheduled me for Tue morning without ever telling me. Nothing, nada. Tue morning came...nothing, nada AGAIN! Called the 1-800 and they had reschedule me AGAIN for Tue afternoon without ever telling me ONCE AGAIN. Now a total of 12 hours waiting for a service call that never came and sitting here hoping that they might show in the next 4 hours. Almost two weeks without hot water! I regret buying this water heater not for the product but for the HORRIBLE customer service that shows a total disregard for their customers. Look elsewhere unless you want to repair this item yourself!

Answered 1 year ago by nheckwine




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