Letter: Heat pump water heater plot twist

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I recently installed my first heat pump water heater after reading about them online on sites like CleanTechnica. It was a mostly painless experience, except for the part where I had it inspected by the city of Asheville. Then it got a little confusing.

I was getting conflicting information about whether or not the heater needed to be elevated on a stand in my garage. The city inspectors were saying, “Yes, definitely put it up on a stand.” I had a feeling that I should have just listened to them, but after speaking with a representative from Rheem, who assured me I didn’t need to and that the unit had a controller at the top that was already about 5 feet off of the ground, I decided to install it directly on the ground.

Unfortunately, the Rheem person I spoke with had not read the instruction manual carefully enough, and there was a sentence buried in the middle that basically said: Put it on a stand. So I had to pay my plumber to come back, unhook everything, drain the heater and put it on a stand.

The heater works great, and I’m glad that I switched. I’m excited to see our energy bills coming down. When the inspector came back with the green tag, he told me not to worry — this was the third one this week that had to be elevated after it had been installed.

So for any other readers thinking about installing a new hybrid heat pump water heater, they are great — just make sure to put it on a stand if it’s in your garage.

— Rob Simon


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