Replaced my failed gas water heater with a much more efficient Rheem hybrid electric with WiFi, its quiet heat pump is also dehumidifying and cooling my basement

Posted by Paul Braren on Jun 23 2019 (updated on Aug 22 2023) in
  • Efficiency
  • IoT
  • Review
  • SmartHome
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    Image from Palo Alto Online, click/tap to view the excellent source article.

    December 2022 Update - For folks buying one of the more recent models that are unfortunately quite a bit louder than my 2019 unit's 49dB specification (which I verified in my video below), I have a very helpful article for you that includes a potential fix:


    This happened to me! I bought a new Rheem hybrid water heater for the home I moved into in October of 2022, and sadly, it was much noisier than my original unit. I called in to the noise hotline, and they sent us the wrong part initially (rubber feet). The next call got us a new fan sent over at no cost, but it required surgery for my HVAC guys to install it. Unfortunately, well into the surgery, we discovered it was exactly the same model fan! Thus, it made no difference in noise levels. Fed up, my contractor offered to swap out the entire unit out for a State PREMIER® AL SMART HYBRID ELECTRIC HEAT PUMP 50-GALLON WATER HEATER Model # HPSX-50-DHPT, which has been a lot quieter. It makes my basement space much more livable now, and measures very close to the Specification Sheet's 45dB. I'm hoping that Rheem has since resolved this multi-year excessive noise issue, but I don't know for sure. I've moved on. I do have some dB measurements before and after the Rheem was swapped out, and I believe the drop was something like 6dB and 8dB, I can dig through my photo and video library to find out. Please leave a comment if you're interested.


    Jun 17 2022 Update - How grateful I am to appear in Undecided with Matt Ferrell's latest video, summarizing my 3 year experience with satisfying my home's hot water needs using our heat-pump water heater, as also featured in my new article detailing my findings. In the first week, his video already has over half a million views and thousands of comments! I plan to write more about heat pumps to replace my home's 25 year old central air conditioner, heat pump based clothes dryers (pictured in the video thumbnail below), a High Temperature AWHP (Air to Water Heat Pump) to replace my natural gas furnace, and LG's Therma V Gets it Done with All-in-One Cooling, Heating and Hot Water. Follow along to be auto-notified of my new articles and/or videos.

    Undecided with Matt Ferrell - Jun 7 2022 - Why Heat Pumps are Essential for the Future - Explained
    As of June 27 2023, this article has 34,995 pageviews by 30,463 visitors. Wow, apparently, there is a lot of interest in hybrid water heaters, and that interest has been sustained over a very long period of time. I find this very encouraging, and I'm very grateful for your readership.

    May 16 2022 Update - What a nice surprise, this article turned out to be far more popular than I ever could have guessed, and at 123 comments, it may be the most comments-per-article I've ever had after almost 11 years creating 1,154 technical articles! A few of the 54,302 viewers of my Close look at water leak detection & noise levels of Rheem Prestige Professional Hybrid Water Heater video have commented that indicate newer Rheem models may be significantly noisier that my 2019 unit, something I'm checking into. It's important that you consider choosing a higher temperature than the factory default of 120°F / 49°C, see reasons why. See also many more May 16 2022 updates below that includes ~3 years of operational cost estimates for my 2.5 person household.

    Article as it originally appeared below with a lot of new information appended below it, including newer Rheem models. Richmond and Ruud now sell nearly identical products too.

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Residential Energy Consumption Survey 2015 "Space heating and water heating account for nearly two thirds of U.S. home energy use"

    I've written many articles about various ways I've been trying to reduce my family's electric bills and carbon footprint. For many households in the US, water heaters are one of the top 3 energy consumers in their home, right behind heat and air conditioning for monthly utility costs. It makes a lot of financial sense to consider the total cost of ownership, even if the initial price tag is higher. I was quite relieved I found a solution for my family that is both efficient and affordable. Only time will tell for sure whether it turns out to be reliable, but the tech has been around since at least 2010, with WiFi added in 2017.


    Yes, this article is about a WiFi connected "Smart" water heater. Shopping for a replacement for the oft-maligned failed water heater every dozen or so years when the warranty has expired isn't fun. The wait aggravates all household members until it's fixed, but the costs associated with an inefficient unit purchased in haste go on for years.

    Four days ago, I noticed our shower's hot water valve needed to be cranked further than usual, and I knew that was a bad sign. I immediately suspected a failed water heater tank, but I also knew any associated flooding couldn't be that bad. I have recently installed a Ring Alarm Flood & Freeze detector near my passively drained sump pump hole, and it hadn't alarmed. Even if that alarm had failed to signal, those 50 gallons of water would drain out that hole anyway before doing any real damage to the unfinished portion of my concrete-slab basement.

    Rusty wet puddle under the water heater was not a good sign.

    Sure enough, what was waiting for me in our basement was a puddle of rusty water below our 12 year old guilty looking water heater. It was last replaced by Connecticut Natural Gas in May of 2007, and our house was built in 1994, so we seem to have a pattern of 12 to 13 years between heater failures. Maybe I should have listened better when I was reminded by family a few months ago that my water heat was due for replacement soon, if I wanted to avoid the trouble of a leak when it invariably fails.

    This time, I was eager to go with a far more efficient solution, with less emissions too if possible. Despite the rush to find a solution, I really wanted to be sure I'd be comfortable with my choice long-term. What I quickly discovered was a deep rabbit hole filled with endless dead-ends and out of stock items. Poking around Home Depot and Lowes for local inventory didn't go well, with all the efficient gas models being special order which would take over a week. That kind of wait wasn't going to go over well with family.

    Do I really want another natural gas water heater

    I started looking at efficient units with low CO (Carbon Monoxide) and low NOx (Nitrous Oxide). Good luck finding ultra efficient models in stock, at least outside of California. If I was going to go with gas again, I'd still be spewing pollution right into my local neighborhood. Spent hours searching anyway, and came up empty. I'm not a contractor, which complicates things because you can't easily check inventory at local plumbing and HVAC supply houses. Unless...

    What about tankless

    The installation labor and cost is considerably more for any tank-less system. I really wanted to see if I could retire my dehumidifier too. By the way, tankless doesn't mean instant, the hot water still has to travel through the pipes, wasting the cold water ahead of it. Instant requires a recirculating pump, not another point of failure we're particularly interested. Anyhow, the cost, and the many hours of labor to try to schedule such an extensive retrofit were not appealing. Next.

    What about a hybrid

    Having family in the HVAC business has its perks, and I gave my brother-in-law a call. I was told I should consider a hybrid model that uses a heat pump instead of traditionally energy-thirsty heating elements, and encouraged to do a little research on the various models. He also mentioned a side benefit of extracting heat from the ambient air in the unfinished area of my basement would be moisture removal, emitting only clean and cooler exhaust. This got my attention, as I checked in on the energy consumption of my dehumidifier using my Sense Energy Monitor, which pegged my annual consumption at around $110 per year. Wow. It's only running on a timer for 2 hours in the middle of the night from June to August. And it blows out hot air, in the summer. Sure would be nice to retire that bill. You can read all about the different types of water heaters at Consumer Reports.

    Even in winter, this room where my furnace and heater are located is too warm, so it's unlikely I'll have any need to duct this air outside my home, given how infrequently the heater will be needed since this room never dips below 65°F anyway, even in the winter. More likely would be for me simply switch my unit to its electric element heating mode if necessary, which could double the energy use, but would avoid the dehumidification and cooling effects of heat pump.

    Your installation situation will vary from mine, please ask your installer for details.

    Why WiFi

    Screenshot of Rheem mobile app, 5 days after installation.

    Personally, I would have preferred an ethernet connection, but WiFi signal is plenty strong enough in my basement too, thanks to my eero. The idea is that you can change modes for your water heater anywhere at any time using the Rheem app, as well as keep an eye on your actual energy usage in kWh. You'll need to calculate what that means in dollars for yourself, since it depends on your local electric utility company's rates and schedules.

    Anything WiFi and running an embedded OS is a very real security vulnerability. So is the data it emits, as it's cloud connected. I put mine on the guest WiFi, since it has no need to be on my primary WiFi network, and this mitigates the risk somewhat.

    It is convenient to be able to change to a less efficient mode when guests are coming over, for example. I left mine on on Heat Pump mode for now and I'll probably leave it there, unless I run into issues when family visits. You can read about the various modes in the manual here, in the Rheem video, and at Energy Star's How it Works - Heat Pump Water Heaters.

    Quick tip - when done with the initial power-up that includes joining your WiFi network using the app, don't tap on 'setup complete' on the LCD, instead, use the left arrow.

    You can also read all about Rheem's EcoNet, with iOS and Android mobile apps, and you can read all about this product line at Rheem on the Hybrid Electric Water Heaters page.

    Being a cloud connected device via EcoNet allows integrations such as Alexa skills and Works with Nest.

    $110 Estimated Yearly Energy Cost?

    My current annual cost of running my dehumidifier in the summer is around $119.

    Interesting. I could have a zero dollar gas bill during the summer, and heat the water in my house for roughly the same amount as I was paying before just for dehumidification. My hybrid electric heater has only been operation for 2 days when first publishing this article, but so far, my basement seems quite comfortable, and it was pretty hot and humid these past 2 days. I'll need more days and more time to really know for sure. Also worth noting that my TinkerTry lab workbench/recording studio is down there in my basement about 25' away from this unit, and I don't have any air conditioning on that level of our hose. So cooler and less humid air sure sounds good to me, as well as keeping things quiet. By the way, these systems are Energy Factor (EF) of 3.5, seen here.

    No gas bills in the summer?

    I have a furnace that is gas powered, but it's completely off (other than the pilot light) from May to September. Now I'll enjoy some summer months of near-zero charges from Connecticut Natural Gas, furthering my savings by going hybrid electric for water heat.

    Prerequisites for hybrid electric water heaters


    You really need to have several of these circumstances to be eligible for installing such a hybrid water heater:

    1. large enough area for the installation, at least 10' x 10' x 7' high / 700 square feet
    2. a convenient way for the condensate (water) to be drained out of the home
    3. a willingness to rinse the air intake filter every few months
    4. ambient air temperatures between 37°F and 145°F
    5. for much faster recovery time between showers, a 30 amp / 240V dedicated circuit is recommended, but 15 amp variants are available
    6. PEX or flexible plumbing when joining existing copper lines, to avoid transmission of (small) vibration

    See also many more details from, including energy savings and payback calculations.

    Home Depot just started stocking these units on June 21 of 2019, which is good for those with the DIY skills. If you're replacing a natural gas system, remember, the gas line and flue vent must be capped, and that should be done by a professional, which is the route I went.

    These Rheem units have been available to consumers via special order since the product line was launched back in 2017. But it's the only such unit with a very reasonable 49dB noise level, as seen on the comparison table (from 2017) here. It also has the advantage of begging readily available to many local HVAC & plumbing contractors at supply houses, with my brother-in-law finding my Rheem PROPH50 T2 RH350 DCB here at Sid Harvey Industries, Inc. in nearby Hartford CT.

    Rheem's contractor locator is found here.

    There's the consumer model, and there's the professional model for contractors

    I contacted Rheem customer service by phone. The representative was helpful, and confirmed that the specifications are the same for each unit, they just come with different packaging and emblems. The specs listed and shown below seem to confirm this, with identical shipping weights as well.

    Price - $549 after rebate!

    At Home Depot, the unit is $1299 - $750 rebate = $549 (plus install/parts), your state rebates will vary, see also energy star utility partner list.

    In Connecticut, turns out $750 rebates were available for either the consumer or the professional versions of the same product. A rather nice perk for the professional version, but only in the 50 gallon capacity. That's right, no rebate for the 65 or 80 gallon versions. So we chose the 50 gallon professional version available to contractors only. Installation parts & labor cost extra, of course.

    At Home Depot, the consumer version is currently $1,299.00, and it just became a stocked item this week, which my local Berlin CT store confirmed. This is good, as long as folks notice the $750 Energize Connecticut rebate slip, but I'd need to wait for a bit to get my check. We decided to go with my HVAC contractor picking it up and installing it instead. So far, so good!

    Specs and Manuals

    Here's the Rheem product page:

    Notice the difference in the recovery time for the 15 amp versus the 30 amp models.

    Professional - My Choice (bought and installed by contractor)

    Notice the difference in the recovery time for the 15 amp versus the 30 amp model I went with.


    Consumer (Home Depot)
    Here's Home Depot's order and local inventory checker page:


    Here's Home Depot's order and local inventory checker page:


    Consumer (Online)
    If you found this article and choose to buy online, please consider using these Amazon Associate links. Consider signing up for Amazon Prime if you haven't already, since the free shipping will really help on these units that range between 218 and 244 pounds of shipping weight:

    Professional - My Choice (bought and installed by contractor)
    My contractor bought the PROPH50 T2 RH350 D for me at the after $750 CT rebate price, which is a pretty awesome.

    Rheem's contractor locator is found here, they get any eligible rebates when buying, registering, and installing the unit for you.

    Parts needed for my install

    Some of what I needed to complete the installation.

    Of course, your needs will vary, have your professional installer take care of this. Here's just some of the parts:



    Paul Braren - Jun 25 2019 - Close look at water leak detection & noise levels of Rheem Prestige Professional Hybrid Water Heater
    Rheem - Aug 28 2018 - How it Works: Rheem Prestige Series Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters
    Matt Risinger - Jul 06 2018 - $1500 Heat Pump Water Heater - Worth it?
    Matt Risinger - Apr 20 2018 - Water Heater Tank Autopsy: You won’t believe what’s inside!
    Matt Risinger - Jan 19 2017 - 2017 Rheem Hybrid Electric Water Heater - Whats new from the International Builder Show

    I've cued the video to start at the spot where Nate discusses hybrid electric water heaters. Note that he also recommends 140°F too, but to also have a mixing valve installed that'll bring that highest temperature at your taps down to a safer level, especially for households with children

    Nate the House Whisperer - Oct 11 2021 - Electrify Everything Course Everything BUT HVAC


    Here's my lightweight, buoyant foam cover for my sump pump hole, to reduce evaporation, but still allow flood water to escape, hopefully avoiding any chance of my basement filling with more than just a little water. I also have a Ring Flood & Freeze Sensor and an Ecobee remote occupancy and temperature sensor nearby, just to keep tabs on things. The Ring monitor came in handy within a day of installing it, since my back door hatch was left open in the dead of winter, so it warned me of low temperatures and preventing me from freezing pipes. Oops, that was close!

    Jun 25 2019 Update


    After a lot of humidity and heat outdoors yesterday and today, the basement is staying quite comfortable, this is good.

    With some more days of data now under our belt, guestimating what our energy use will be per month is easier, at least for summertime. We're at 13.41 kWh after 5 days of time. So multiplying by 6 to estimate what 30 days would cost equals roughly 80 kWh per month.

    So I take my last Eversource bill, and take the total dollar amount of the bill and divide it by the number of kWh used, and I get $0.19, meaning, 19 cents per kWh.

    Now multiplying 80 kWh per month by $0.19 = $15.00 dollars per month. That's $180 per year for hot water for my sinks and shower, and for dehumidification of my basement. Awesome! Pretty much what the yellow ENERGYGUIDE sticker claims (pictured above) of $110 per year, if my electric rate was 12 cents per kWh.

    When signing up for an EcoNet account, they only asked for my zip code.

    Today, my installer also registered my system with Rheem under my name and address, presumably for warranty coverage and/or recall notifications.

    Looking at my wifi status menu, I see I'm currently at:
    EcoNet Wifi SW Version - RH-WIFI-02-01-05
    WiFi Module SW Version - 14.76.36.p103

    Looking at my service menu, I see I'm currently at:
    Software Version Number: WH-HPW4-H3-01-27
    as seen in my video above.

    Jan 20 2020 Update

    If you are installing on a non-concrete surface, note that you'll want to get part number SP20883 Vibration Isolation Kit seen on page 4 here.


    My cost for all of 2019.
    I used about 403.1 kWh in 2019 according to my EcoNet app. I installed the unit in late June. So let me just multiply by 2 to see how I come out as far as cost.

    Let's assume I see a 800 kWh usage for 2020. At 16 cents per kWh, that's about $120 of electricity cost for the whole year.

    I've also revisited my Sense Home Energy Monitoring to dive into my stats, to see if it agrees. I added a forum post here. It seems it reports only 201.6 kWh for all of 2019. Which is right, 403.1 or 201.6 kWh? I'd trust the Rheem app over the inferred readings of the Sense app, but still working on that.

    Note, commenter Amit Roy below:

    Called Rheem. They told me they are having issues with the app and it is not calculating energy usage correctly. They are working n getting it resolved. I am assuming that should affect anyone using the app. Have you noticed anything like that recently when you use the app? Thanks for your help.

    Having installed my new Rheem Water heater in June, this graph makes sense. The November data doesn't make too much sense, dropping below 0 kWh. For December, you can see the huge spike when the house was extra busy during Christmastime, and I turned the until to High Demand. After this analysis, I'll probably just stick with Automate Savings to avoid having to remember to do anything, and see if it keeps up.

    Rheem modes have changed


    I've notice that both the RheemEcoNet and EcoNet apps have identical function, and both have changed the wording of the available modes. Heat Pump Only is no longer available, here's the current list:

    • Off
    • Automate Savings
    • Most Efficient
    • High Demand
    • Electric

    On page 18 of the manual, it shows these now obsolete options pictured belows. I haven't located a newer version of this documentation.


    Jan 22 2020 Update

    TinkerTry Commenter Amit Roy left this comment below:

    Called Rheem. They told me they are having issues with the app and it is not calculating energy usage correctly. They are working n getting it resolved. I am assuming that should affect anyone using the app. Have you noticed anything like that recently when you use the app? Thanks for your help.

    If I hear back from Amit, I'll let you know.

    Mar 17 2020 Update


    I've been warned about the temperatures in comments section under my YouTube video:

    I see you have the temperature set at 120 but on the sensors screen the tank temperatures were a bit under that. You might want to double-check but I think Legionella bacteria growth stops at 122 degrees F. and it dies in the low 130s. I had recently checked my temperature (Spring 2019) at the tap and it was a sad 114. I had to boost it up a bit.

    My reply mentions that I found this article that really details the situation here:

    • Is it Safe To Turn Down Your Water Heater Temperature?
      Mar 10 2009 by Lloyd Alter at treehugger

      Almost every checklist of energy-saving tips includes the recommendation that you turn the temperature of your water heater down from 140°F (60°C) to 120°F(49°C), including on TreeHugger and Planet Green. Yet up in Canada if you look for recommendations, they will tell you not to set your heater below 140F, as it can become a sort of petri dish for Legionnaires Disease.

    The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says:


    Q. Can Legionnaires' disease be prevented?

    A. Yes. Avoiding water conditions that allow the organism to grow to high levels is the best means of prevention. Specific preventive steps include:

    • Regularly maintain and clean cooling towers and evaporative condensers to prevent growth of LDB. This should include twice-yearly cleaning and periodic use of chlorine or other effective biocide.
    • Maintain domestic water heaters at 60°C (140°F). The temperature of the water should be 50°C (122°F) or higher at the faucet.


    Great information in this comment below:

    Greg Nelson Greg Nelson • 5 days ago • edited
    Somewhat shockingly, I got a to-the-point technical answer from Rheem customer service, so I thought I'd share it in case someone else is looking. This doesn't provide the startup current, but it's a big help.

    Thank you for contacting Rheem. The power consumption of the unit in each mode are as follows:

    Heat Pump Only uses 432 Watts

    Energy Saver Mode uses 5432 Watts

    High Demand Mode uses 5432 Watts

    Electric Only Mode uses 5000 watts.

    These numbers are the maximum amount of power the unit could be using at any time on the unit. While working in Energy Saver Mode and High Demand Mode, the elements will not be powered on the entire time and will switch off at different temperatures to ensure the most efficient operation as possible.

    Mar 18 2020

    Found this video, for folks suffering from a sulpher smell in their hot water only. It's a way to get a new anode rod in there that is electrified, but note, it will void your warranty.

    Chris Steinmeyer - Dec 15 2019 - Rheem Hybrid Electric Water Heater Anode Rod Replacement

    Mar 24 2020

    The topic of UV water treatment has come up, see discussion here.

    It also triggered me to recall that I hadn't really mentioned vacation mode. Yes, I'm no longer going to be using vacation mode. With stay-in-place rules hitting Connecticut yesterday, this won't be an issue anytime soon anyway.

    Yesterday, during a bit of snow, my power went out for several minutes. This had me recalling I'm glad I had a manual generator transfer switch installed recently, in case I was going to have to drag out my ETQ generator. Given I'm probably not a fan of leaving my hot water tank in a cold stagnant state, I'll want to be sure my hot water heat circuit is energized when on generator. Just something to consider, in case you hadn't thought about it.

    Of course, I'd much rather have a Tesla Powerwall, something I wrote about way back in 2015.

    May 07 2020 Update

    Click image to playback podcast.

    Just found a closely-related episode of the Energy Transition Show, note that you'll need to subscribe to hear the long version here:

    It features Dr. Paulina Jaramillo, Professor of Engineering and Public Policy and Co-Director of Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon. She discusses the challenges associated with energy transition with host Chris Nelder, and shares that she has already made the move to heat-pumps for her home's heating and cooling.

    In my tweet below, you'll see how I tie together Tesla's release of the Tesla Model Y Electric Vehicle featuring a heat pump for much improved efficiency in winter, and Elon's eagerness to leverage Tesla and SpaceX expertise in HVAC to enter the residential HVAC market. Why? Remember Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. What better way than to disrupt the typically low-tech and inefficient way we currently heat and cool our homes, often emitting tons of carbon in the process.


    May 12 2020 Update

    Lingyan Jiang - Apr 22 2020 - How does Tesla Model Y Heat Pump Work - working principles of the heat pump system and its octovalve

    Jun 22 2020 Update

    It's been a year since my Rheem installation, so I can see exactly how much electricity was used.

    • 939.86 kWh

    1 year cost to my household here in Connecticut, where I'm paying ~$0.17 (17 cents) per kWh, so I multiply, 939.86 kWh x 0.17 =

    • $159.78 - my home's 1 year total cost of operation of our Rheem water heater

    Remember, in early March 2020 my wife and I decided to go with a much higher temperature of 140°F, which naturally affected the cost for these past 4 months in the bar graph below. How much? Don't know.

    We also moved from Max Efficiency mode to Heat Pump Only mode around the same time, but I admit I'm not really sure what that does exactly to energy consumption.


    What about my Sense Energy Monitor, what does it show? That doesn't seem to be working well, failing to detect most heating especially in 2020, unfortunately. It seems its machine learning algorithm isn't suited for this workload, and I've reported this to the team at Sense. We're an all-EV home now, but we experienced similar issues with Sense failing to reliably detect our Tesla Model 3s, whose charging profile often changes with each software change.

    Given the popularity of the Rheem, and the presumably low rate of change in their heating profile, I would hope it's likely they can get monitoring of the Rheem heat pump working, we'll have to wait and see.


    Jun 29 2020 Update

    Thanks to this post in Sense Forums, I discovered there are 2 more Rebranded version of these Rheem products, from Richmond and from Ruud. While they each may look a little different cosmetically, they use the same EcoNet energy use monitoring feature, and seem to have identical or very nearly identical specs. This is great, as it should give consumers more choices of installation specialist in more locations.


    Richmond YouTube Channel, Aug 28 2018 - How it Works: The Encore Series Hybrid Electric Water Heater


    • Ruud NEW! Professional Ultra Series: Hybrid Electric Water Heater With LeakGuard

      Integrated EcoNet® WiFi-connected technology and free mobile app gives users control over water heater, allowing for customizable temperature, vacation settings, energy savings and system monitoring at home or away.

      Savings - The next-generation Ruud® Ultra™ Hybrid Electric Water Heater delivers savings when you buy—in the form of a $300 federal tax credit and nationwide utility rebates up to $1,0001—and up to $480 per year in energy cost savings.

    Ruud Heating, Cooling & Water Heating YouTube Channel, May 6 2020 - Ruud® Ultra™ Hybrid Electric Water Heater

    Jul 10 2020 Update

    Rheem's new version is called Rheem® ProTerra™ Hybrid Electric Water Heater with LeakGuard™ , in Performance Platinum and Professional Prestige variants.

    It appears they've added some very nice features while keeping the prices about the same, including

    • indication that shower you're about to take will have hot water for the duration
    • automatic shut-off added to the leak detection/alarming feature of last year's model
    • health monitoring of the heater and compressor elements

    In their video, they mention something about Federal Rebates, not something I've looked into previously, not until now, details at Energy Star here:

    Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
    Most ENERGY STAR certified water heaters meet the requirements of this tax credit. Water heaters account for 12% of the energy consumed in your home.

    Tax Credit Amount: $300

    Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) >= 2.2
    See definitions.

    More Information


    Jul 18 2020 Update


    I talked about this water heater for a bit on this recent podcast appearance, check it out!

    Jul 30 2020 Update

    Monitor the health of the compressor and elements
    If it detects a water leak, large or small, internal or external, it shuts off incoming water

    Oct 07 2020 Update

    Updated Google Analytics information prepended above.

    Jan 28 2021 Update

    Seems drain pans are the way to go, see this excellent, helpful comment under my video:

    Me Too
    1 month ago
    This was a great presentation. It was the ONLY information that let me know exactly how the leaksense and leakguard worked. It was also the only information that helped me figure out why from initial power on I was getting constant false positive leak detects. The manual says NOTHING about requiring a drain pan for my particular model. I can only assume the red perimeter leak sense rope is picking up moisture from the concrete slab. This is not cool because now I will have to drain and disconnect the unit just to install a pan which I'm not even sure will solve the issue.

    I've now added this excellent video overview of the newer ProTerra models below.

    Jun 12 2020 - Efficiency Vermont for Trade Partners - Rheem 5th generation ProTerra training
    Screenshot from the "Efficiency Vermont for Trade Partners - Rheem 5th generation ProTerra training" video.

    Feb 13 2021 Update

    To my amazement, this single article now has 100 comments, this is truly remarkable as this topic isn't exactly my usual IT related fare, and I honestly thought I was a bit crazy diving so deep and spending so many hours on documenting my water heater installation and ownership experience. I had no idea this many folks are looking to move away from fossil fuels to electrify their homes, and it makes me hopeful that momentum is building toward electrification, as society moves steadily toward more sustainable energy.

    Heat pump technology is the common theme of my twitter thread, where you'll see me go on and on about my optimism for the future of water heaters, residential HVAC, and transportation, just click the image below for details, even better, reply with a tweet and/or leave a comment below!


    Jun 10 2021 Update

    There's a great conversation going on below my Rheem sound measurement video, here's an excerpt:

    Alan Waterman
    2 weeks ago (edited)
    For those of you who are confused about why some of these are reported as quiet and some are loud, Rheem made some significant changes to the product last year resulting in a product that is widely reported to be 65 to 69 dbm. The changed product is the 5th generation. You can tell the difference one way by noting if you have the integrated duct collars or not. The 4th gen product has duct collars that allow you to attach the ducting directly to the units. The reviewed unit in this video is a 4th gen unit that have the intake and exhaust collars. The 5th gen unit requires the duct adapters that you have to purchase separately for between $125 and $150 each and are often hard to get. They also reduce the clearance a small amount which can be problematic for standard 30 x 30 water heater closets. The exhausts adapter puts the collar attachment point further away from the unit removing clearance.

    There is a full discussion here as well as other threads on the internet:

    I was all set to by and install this product but the water heater closet, which is outside, shares a wall with my daughters bedroom and I couldn't introduce a noisy appliance right next to her room. I'm hopeful that the product can be fixed. I'd buy a 4th gen unit in a heartbeat if I could find one in stock. Rheem has been sending retrofit blower kits out that claim to bring the noise level down to 59 dbm but this is still many times louder than 49 dbm.

    Arin Pounov
    1 week ago
    This is so helpful, thank you! I could not figure out why some reviewers were so adamant about noise and some didn't mention it at all (though some more recent reviews still don't mention it).

    May 16 2022

    As of May 16 2022, lifetime usage stats.

    It's been very nearly 3 years since my Rheem installation, and using Econet, I can see exactly how much electricity was used.

    • 3376.13 kWh

    1 year cost to my household here in Connecticut, where I'm paying ~$0.17 (17 cents) per kWh, so I multiply, 939.86 kWh x 0.17 =

    • $573.94 - my home's ~3 year total cost of operation of our Rheem water heater
    • $195 per year estimated (I'm currently at about 2 years and 11 months since install)

    This is admittedly higher than my initially inaccurate estimates that were based on me assuming my Sense Energy Monitor was more accurate than it turned out to be. It has trouble picking up on just my Rheem's energy use, which is understandable since it operates in high energy/fast recovery resistive heat mode or heat pump mode, depending upon how I set it up for when we have numerous guests over for a few days each year. The trick is to remember to go back to heat pump mode once they leave, something I've forgotten to do numerous times. I wish Rheem had a way to use the app to schedule after heating for just for a few days, returning to heat-pump-only operation automatically.


    • Last month, my electric rate went up nearly 20%, since a 3 year contract with a lower cost energy provider ran out, so my bills will go up a bit here forward.
    • In early March 2020 my wife and I decided to go with a much higher temperature of 140°F, which naturally affected the cost considerably.
    • We also moved from Max Efficiency mode to Heat Pump Only mode around the same time, but I admit I'm not really sure what that does exactly to energy consumption.
    • Over the 3 year period, on average, we had 2.5 adults living in our home, with each taking one shower a shower a day on average.
    • Above, I mentioned $0 per month gas bill in the summer wishes. I was wrong. I analyzed a few of my my summertime CNG (an AVANGRID company) bills, and we're charged on average ~$24-per-summer-month. Exactly $18 of that is for the "Customer Charge", and the rest for delivering on average in 4.00 CCF that I can only assume is for running the water boiler's pilot light, and hopefully insignificant leakage. It just dawned on me to revise my recurring May 1st and October 7th calendar reminders. I use these reminders to change my ecobee settings, which includes turning off my heating system, and now includes heading to my basement to turn off my pilot light in the spring, and re-light it in the fall. Lesson learned!
    • It's been 27 years since we moved into our new-construction house in April of 1995. We recently had a $245.45 gas bill for January 20 2022, likely due to the extra use of our basement which is our 3rd heating zone. We occupied that living space more than usual this December and January, so it makes sense. What small portion of this was to offset the extra cooling of the unfinished 400 square foot back area of our basement due to the heat pump water heater is impossible to calculate precisely. I don't have temperature monitoring in our basement back area, but I'd guess it has dropped about 4°F on average since installing our Rheem. That minor drawback becomes an advantage in the summer, especially for us, since we have no central AC ducts leading to our basement, and we don't have to run our costly and noisy dehumidifier for several hours each summer night, which used to make our then-humid basement even hotter in the summer.

    See also these excellent videos.

    Technology Connections - Why Heat Pumps are Immensely Important Right Now
    Undecided with Matt Ferrell - Is Geothermal Heating and Cooling Worth the Cost? Heat Pumps Explained

    Gladly, there are also many more great videos about heat pumps at

    and I find it quite reassuring to see an ever-increasing interest in this proven technology as a path toward a more sustainable future for both the home energy and transportation sectors.

    Buying this hybrid water heater was merely my first-step in eliminating the burning of fossil fuels in my home. It has motivated me to start looking into High Temperature Air Source Heat Pumps that can replace my 27 year old Natural Gas Furnace, used for my water based baseboard heating. I also have a 25 year old 2.5 ton single-stage Carrier central AC unit to replace, not sure yet what my best path forward will be. Stay tuned!

    May 25 2022

    A commenter below my dB measurement video found this April of 2020 document that indicates "Sound Level (dBA) of 49:

    See also at TinkerTry

    All articles about Efficiency.
    All articles about Smart Home.


    I'm using this system to monitor for leaks:




    Turns out this Rheem tank also has leak detection and alerting built in, seen pictured above.

    See also

    • Tesla Powerwall

      When the grid goes down, solar energy will continue to power your home and charge your Powerwall.

    • Tesla Solar Roof

      Solar Roof integrates with the Powerwall home battery, allowing you to use solar energy whenever you choose and providing uninterrupted electricity during grid outages.




    • How it Works — Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWHs)

      During periods of high hot water demand, HPWHs switch to standard electric resistance heat (hence they are often referred to as “hybrid” hot water heaters) automatically. HPWH come with control panels that you to select from different operating modes 1, which include:

      Efficiency/Economy – Maximizes energy efficiency and savings by only using the heat pump to heat water
      Auto/Hybrid – The default setting is ideal for daily use, providing energy-efficient water heating with sustained heat
      Electric/Heater – This high-demand setting is the least energy-efficient, using only the electric element to heat water
      Vacation & Timer (not available on all models) – Save on your energy when away from home by placing the unit in "sleep" mode until you return