GE HotSpring heat pump water heater--special situation

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by mahohmei, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. mahohmei

    mahohmei New Member

    Apr 5, 2010
    Tallahassee, FL
    My entire neighborhood has no natural gas and I don't want a propane tank, so my best bet is the GE GeoSpring heat pump water heater--along with the $600 city electric rebate I'd get for it. I currently have an electric 50-gallon AO Smith water heater, installed in 1997. However, I have a kind of special situation, and I'd like to hear any opinions from any of you out there.

    My house is in Tallahassee, FL--winter lows can get into the 20s, summer highs into the 90s, and extremely humid year round. My house is built into a hill, so the crawlspace clearance goes from 2' to 8' from one end of the house to the other. Due to this hill, the last 13' of the crawlspace were built into a cellar with an outside door only. This is a 13*28' area with a 7' ceiling, open joist ceiling, and concrete block walls on all four sides. At some point, the previous owner of the house "finished" the back half with drywall, a linoleum floor, and a hollow-core door.

    There's no climate control down there, so things get rusty and wet really fast due to the humidity--screwdriver bits don't even make it a year. It _does_ have semi-decent temperature control, namely from being insulated by the concrete-block/brick outside walls and the house's living area being right above it. I could keep it dry with a dehumidifier (I have done this temporarily while painting furniture), but (1) that would get expensive, and (2) it gets into the 40s down there in the winter, which is too cold for most dehumidifiers.

    The electric water heater is on the other side of the concrete wall, in the crawlspace.

    If I were to get a GeoSpring heat pump water heater, I was thinking of ducting the output into the cellar. Looking at the GeoSpring, it looks like I could:

    - Use some sheet metal/tin snips/silver tape magic to adapt the GeoSpring's air exhaust into a 6" circular opening. Install an airstat in this box to tell if the air is flowing. ( - airstat == airflow sensor).

    - Run about 8' of 6" round flexible ductwork from this opening through a hole I'll cut in the 2*10 joist atop the concrete-block wall. Put an inline duct booster fan right before it goes through the hole, and wire this fan to the previously-mentioned airstat, so it only runs when the GeoSpring's heat pump runs and produces airflow.

    - On the cellar side of this wall, install a duct elbow and a diffuser.

    And there we go. GE's GeoSpring truck tour came here just this past weekend, and I asked them about ducting. Aside from saying that others have asked about it and that it's doable, they said that the heat pump produces 1-2 quarts of condensate per day. My dehumidifier can do 1-2 gallons per day, reducing the cellar to 30%, but all I really need is 60% or so to keep everything down there from turning into mush/rust. I know this would also cool down the basement, but even in the middle of winter, I don't care about temperature as much as I do humidity. If I need to work down there in the freezing winter, I can use a space heater.

    As for extending the de-humidification into the back/finished room, I had two thoughts: either

    - Install a room-to-room fan through the wall tied to the airstat, or

    - Install the air diffuser and booster fan off a T-tap in the first room, then continue the duct trunk into the second room with another air diffuser and booster fan--both booster fans wired to the airstat.

    Any thoughts here?


    PS--Yes, I know I could keep the door between the rooms open, but we have a system in place. The back/finished room is the "clean" room for storing things like furniture, the Christmas tree, seasonal decorations, and other domestic niceties. The front/unfinished room, in its concrete-floored glory, is for "not so clean" stuff like my workbench, lawn care tools, wheelbarrow, shovels, mower, mulch, sandbags, etc. My wife and I would rather keep the two separate; we even have a doormat leading into the finished room.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  2. PumpHeat80

    PumpHeat80 New Member

    Nov 19, 2011
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