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Rheem Releases 120V Plug-In Warmth Pump Water Heater That Can Be Plugged Into Typical Outlet

Last fall I wrote about how 120 volt warmth pump water heaters have been nearly to come back out in the marketplace. Properly, they’re lastly right here! Rheem launched its 120V ProTerra(R) Plug-in Warmth Pump water heater (HPWH) in July and everybody is happy!

Okay, it’s possible you’ll not geek out on warmth pump water heaters as a lot as I do, however these unhealthy boys are the unsung heroes of the local weather motion with large potential to save cash and the planet on the similar time. HPWH are the power equal of 7 solar panels that cost ⅙ of the price. They use 1 / 4 of the power of a regular electrical resistance or gasoline water heater.

What’s to not love?

Properly, to date, one potential problem was set up. In case you had a gasoline water heater and wished to interchange one with a HPWH (which you must do to decarbonize ASAP) you typically needed to run a brand new 240V electrical line out of your electrical panel to your water heater to have sufficient power to energy the warmth pump water heater. 

240 volts are required as a result of although the water heater sips power with a warmth pump more often than not, it’s geared up with excessive powered electrical resistance rods that may kick in throughout uncommon durations of actually excessive demand and people rods require a number of juice. However the occasions you want these electrical resistance components are fairly uncommon. In my home for instance, we run our HPWH completely on warmth pump mode all yr lengthy and by no means use the backup electrical resistance rods and by no means run out of scorching water even with three showers.

120 Volt Plug-ins Hit The Scene

In 2019, the nonprofit-led Superior Water Heating Initiative (shameless plug, pun meant, I work on this initiative) noticed the necessity for a water heater that could possibly be plugged right into a typical outlet and keep away from the electrical panel upgrades to assist folks simply change from gasoline to electrical water heaters. Numerous organizations, from utilities to nonprofits (enormous shoutout to Constructing Decarbonization Coalition) to producers, started assembly commonly to dream and design this 120V HPWH into existence. Producers then constructed demo merchandise which are presently being examined in New Buildings Institute’s California discipline examine.  In case you stay in CA and wish to probably take part on this discipline examine and get a free water heater, extra info and a hyperlink to the appliance is out there right here (be sure to examine the eligibility necessities first).

Rheem grew to become the primary producer to deliver a product to market with its 120V ProTerra Plug-in that is available in two fashions — a devoted circuit mannequin (the place the water heater is the one factor plugged into that circuit) and a shared circuit one. 

How A Water Heater Can Work On 120 Volts

A few tips will help warmth pump water heaters work with simply 120V. First off, warmth pumps on their very own produce about 10-15 gallons of scorching water an hour. With a tank that shops a few day’s value (60 gallons) of scorching water, most households often have loads of scorching water. This is the reason my house by no means runs out of scorching water with a warmth pump even with three showers.

Second, Rheem has added an built-in mixing valve into its 120V water heater. Which means the ProTerra Plug-in water heater can retailer water at hotter temperatures (like 140 levels as an alternative of 120 levels). The blending valve then mixes chilly water into the 140 diploma water so it doesn’t scald you when popping out of the tap. Setting a water heater at 140 levels over the usual 120 levels gives a as much as a 34% enhance in scorching water out there, so a 60 gallon water heater at 140 levels can be equal to an 80 gallon water heater at 120 levels.

A 120V HPWH Would possibly Not Be For Everybody

There are a pair issues to consider when deciding if a 120V Plug-in HPWH is likely to be for you. First off, if you happen to’re one of many 50% of American properties that has an electrical resistance water heater, you don’t have to get a 120V plug-in warmth pump water heater. Your electrical resistance water heater is already working on 240V of electrical energy, so you possibly can set up a 240V HPWH (and doubtless ought to) as a result of it’s good to have that electrical resistance backup.

Additionally, examine to see what different plug hundreds would share the circuit with the water heater. If it’s one other system with an enormous load like a furnace or vacuum, you possibly can probably trigger your breaker to journey continuously when working the warmth pump water heater, which might be annoying. If in case you have a devoted circuit close to your gasoline water heater, you possibly can go for Rheem’s devoted circuit 120V Plug-in HPWH which has a much bigger compressor and heats water even quicker. If your private home was constructed after 2002 in CA, you most likely have already got this devoted circuit. 

The 120V ProTerra Plug-in water heaters are additionally designed for hotter climates. Rheem isn’t going to market or inventory them in colder states. The rationale for that is that the restoration charge can be slower with the colder ambient air temperatures within the Northeast and Midwest. I personally suppose these 120V fashions will work effective within the NE. We run a 240V HPWH in warmth pump mode all yr lengthy within the basement of a rental property in Cleveland, OH, and have by no means had a grievance.

A number of producers are more likely to come out with chilly climate 120V HPWH variations within the subsequent couple of years although, so you possibly can additionally simply anticipate that one. 

In case you’re thinking about shopping for the Rheem Plug-in ProTerra in CA or elsewhere, you’ve got a pair choices, however sadly,  it isn’t too simple to get your fingers on one simply but. Listed below are some strategies; Both seek the advice of along with your native plumbing contractor (https://www.rheem.com/find-a-pro) and see if they will order one via a nationwide distributor with whom Rheem companions or go to the Prodesk of a House Depot and have it particular ordered — simply be sure to have the mannequin quantity (which you could find here). Sadly, you’ll be able to’t order instantly on-line at House Depot but, but when sufficient of us begin demanding them, we’d be capable of change that. 

Even when the 120V HPWH isn’t an choice or out there for everybody simply but, the arrival of the primary Rheem 120V mannequin is thrilling. It provides extra households a chance to maneuver to vastly extra environment friendly water heating and get monetary savings and power and scale back emissions. With the Inflation Reduction Act’s rebates for warmth pump water heaters, the upfront prices must also come down as effectively, placing superior, 21st century water heating inside attain for a lot of extra Individuals. 


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