No Drain for "Hybrid" Water Heater

jrb451July 25, 2014

Looking to replace the water heater in a room underneath the house with one of the heat pump water heaters. The room has no drain The floors and walls are poured concrete. Live outside the city limits so we're not bound by code. These type heaters require a drain to carry off water from the heat pump. I'm looking for an alternative way to set this up that doesn't involve drilling a drain hole through the wall. (Yes, I understand that if the water heater develops a leak it will run onto the floor of this room.)

Couldn't this drain just empty into a reservoir that I'd empty just like I do the dehumidifier? And, would I need the dehumidifier if I had this type water heater installed in this area?

Any suggestions here?


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I have had the GE GeoSpring Hybrid Hot Heater for over three years. Absolutely love it for its huge energy savings.

I have a condensate pump that collects the unit's condensate and pumps it over to a deep sink that I have.

The unit is in my basement and my whole house Heat Pump is also in the basement. There is no reason why I could not have tied the GeoSpring condensate line into the A/C units condensate pump.

While the Heat pump hot water does remove heat and condensate from the room, it is not enough to really matter. The unit may remove a few cups of water per day. In a space the size of a basement it has no discernible effect on room temperature.

If you REALLY need a dehumidifier, having the hybrid heater in the room will not reduce that need to any measurable extent.

PS We use Hybrid mode only for my wife and I... never need to use the (expensive) electric heaters as backup. Also, the unit is noisy - about as loud as my inside A/C. Not an issue in the basement.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:29PM
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Thanks for the information. I really don't want to do a drain installation if it can be avoided.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:37AM
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" I really don't want to do a drain installation if it can be avoided."

I understand... as I said, there is not a lot of condensate, but it still MUST somehow be disposed of.

I mean you could simply put a bucket on the floor next to the heater...


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Got my GeoSpring installed yesterday. It's been running about 24 hours now in the Heat Pump mode. I'd guess there's no more than a cup of water in the pail I placed to collect condensate runoff. If it stays like this I can mange it like I do a dehumidifier and dump it once a week. If it's more then I'll tap into a gray water drain pipe to run outside.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Good to know. Thanks for following up.

Let us know your experience regarding cooling/dehumidifying the basement too.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:29AM
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Yup. Not much water NOR not much cooling of the space!!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:28PM
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OK, been a full week now since my GeoSprings install in a non-heated/cooled 15 X 15 dry storage room with poured concrete walls, floor and ceiling beneath the home's living area. (Not a basement, more like a split-level room with ground level entrance.) Left the temperature set at the factory level of 120 and running on heat pump, not using the heating elements.

Observations - works like a charm. No lack of hot water at any time. I expected the heat pump to run more than it does but more often than not when I've gone down to look in on things it's not running. Very little condensate water is produced; I'd say between 4-6 ounces a day, tops. Because of this I've had to turn the dehumidifier back on to keep the humidity at 50%. I had hoped to do away with the dehumidifier altogether but can't. It does cool the room off somewhat but the de-humidifier is adding heat back in. But I guess this is a good thing because now I don't feel the need to invest in a condensate pump and drill thorough the wall to install a drain. I'll handle the water in a gallon jug that I'll empty once a month at the current rate.

Just waiting on my $350 rebate check from my power company. I'd do it all over again.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 3:38PM
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"I'd do it all over again."

When i got mine I told my neighbors that I would pay for one for each of them if I could be assured that i somehow would receive 50% of their electrical bill savings.

I do well in the stock market, but the ROI on these things is incredible.

As you've describd your basement room, I'd be shocked if there was ANY measurable change in temperature in the room... you will, of course, feel a cold breeze from the heat pump on top.

If you keep posting here, you will not be able to resist chipping in when future posters ask for info on these devices. There are thermodynamically ridiculous answers frequently given by people that have never even seen one.

They're not for everyone, but they offer an alternative to folks without NG and or with NG exhaust gas problems.

This post was edited by saltidawg on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 20:45

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 8:20PM
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It better that you replace the water heater or make a drain in your home. If it is difficult to make a drain in your house then you must consult with the builder or with plumber regarding your problem with water heater. You can also go with some other options for water heater.

Here is a link that might be useful: septic system parts

This post was edited by JeromeMoler on Thu, Aug 28, 14 at 3:32

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 4:29AM
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