a blue tesla model 3 on the left with a rheem hybrid hot water heater on the grey garage floor on the right

Finding the perfect water heater is difficult, especially if you don’t know what to look for.

When looking for a new heat pump water heater, you need something that not only heats water but does so efficiently.

This is where Rheem heat pump water heaters come in.

Rheem heat pump water heaters are designed to heat water efficiently. They can be slow to heat water, but some “hybrid” models combine heat pump technology with traditional electric elements to provide faster recovery during periods of high demand.

This article will give an overview of the main features and pros and cons of Rheem heat pump water heaters.

We’ll then look in more detail at the best one they offer and take a deep dive into its specifications, running costs, best features, and my own experience after having one of these installed myself for almost a year in our second net-zero home renovation home.

We’ll also tell you where to look to buy one for your home. So, read on to find out more.

Summary of Key Ratings for Rheem Heat Pump Water Heaters

Overall Rating92%
Ease of Use95%
Ease of Assembly80%
Affordability95%
Energy Efficiency90%

Pros of Rheem Heat Pump Water Heaters

A diagram showing the components of a heat pump water heater
Heat pump water heaters with a backup electric heating element are known as “hybrid” systems because they have the best of both worlds. Efficient heat pump heating for most of the time, with an electric element for faster recovery during peak usage.
  • They come with LeakGuard protection which allows you to detect and patch up small leaks before they become major issues.
  • They can heat water using the heat pump or traditional heating element and automatically switch between the two for maximum efficiency while still meeting periods of high demand.
  • Extremely high energy efficiency when compared to standard electric water heaters.
  • Easy to control through the Rheem smartphone app. You can set the water temperature, switch heating modes, and even switch it off remotely.
  • Available in different sizes, up to 80 gallons (302.83 L) for the hybrid version.
  • It disperses cool air and won’t generate excessive heat in the summer.

This article also has a few affiliate links in them. The prices and product info doesn’t change at all, it just helps support the blog so we can write more content if you purchase through the links themselves.

Cons of Rheem Heat Pump Water Heaters

A technician adjusts a timer on the front of a water heater
It can take slightly longer to heat up your hot water tank with a heat pump water heater, but you can switch to the backup electric element on a hybrid system to speed things up.
  • It takes slightly longer to heat water than some water heaters.
  • It’s slightly noisier than an electric geyser, but this shouldn’t be enough to disturb anyone.
  • The heating isn’t that great during winter when you use it in open areas (such as the basement) if you live in a cold climate.
  • Some models are slightly taller than standard heat pump water heaters and may be challenging to fit in smaller areas.

Best Rheem Water Heater: The Pro Terra Water Heater

A Rheem ProTerra Hybrid Electric Water Heater with LeakGuard. The unit is a vertical cylinder with a gray finish.
The ProTerra Hybrid Electric Water Heater with LeakGuard – Courtesy of Rheem.com

While older Rheem water heaters were pretty efficient, the Pro Terra Hybrid version takes efficiency to the next level.

This hybrid water heater offers faster heating, is more efficient, and has better features than previous models, making it one of the best hybrid water heaters on the market.

Let’s review the specs, benefits, and possible downsides of the Rheem Pro Terra Hybrid water heater so you can easily compare it with other water heater types.

My Own Experience With the Rheem Pro Terra Heat Pump Water Heater

As mentioned above – I’ve had this one in my 2nd net-zero renovation home in St. Petersubrg, Florida for nearly a year now. I bought it at Home Depot and had it delivered within a few days of purchase (not bad at all).

In short – I love it and have had no issues. It saves about 75% energy vs. the traditional water heater, installs very similarly (with only an added drain line for the heat pump unit), and is about half as quiet as the A.O. Smith model I installed in our first net-zero home renovation in 2020.

a blue tesla model 3 on the left with a rheem hybrid heat pump water heater on the right in a garage
Here is the water heater installed in the corner of my garage. It takes the hot air out of the garage, heats the water with it, and emits cool A/C-like air to cool the garage down – absolutely perfect for a hot climate.

Rheem Pro Terra Hybrid Water Heater Specs

The Pro Terra hybrid water heater is loaded with features, many of which are designed to improve the water heater’s ease of use and efficiency.

This heater comes in these sizes:

  1. 40 Gallons (151.41 L): For a family of 2-4 people.
  2. 50 Gallons (189.27 L): For 3-5 people.
  3. 65 Gallons (246.05 L): Ideal for small to middle-sized families.
  4. 80 Gallons (302.83 L): For households of up to people.

Other top features include:

  • Energy Saving Scheduling. This feature allows you to schedule when you want the heater to operate and can help save on energy costs.
  • Leak Prevention Technology. The LeakGuard feature prevents significant leakages by shutting off the water valve when a leak is detected.
  • Wireless Control. The wireless control feature allows you to control the water heater through the Rheem app for scheduling or turning off the heater.
  • Advanced Heat Pump Technology. The heat pump of this hybrid water heater has a UEF rating of 4.0.
  • Several Modes. You can switch between Energy Saving Mode, Vacation Mode, or between the heat pump and electric function, depending on your needs.
  • Has a self-cleaning feature. This feature minimizes the buildup of sediment in the tank, prolonging its lifespan and maintaining its efficiency.

If you already have an older Pro Terra water heater version, you can upgrade it to add certain features.

However, this only works for older models, and you won’t get all the features present in this model.

Benefits of the Rheem Pro Terra Hybrid Water Pump Heater

While this water pump heater may be limited in certain areas, such as size, the additional features make up for it.

This heater offers better water heating efficiency, smart control features, leak protection, and other benefits.

Here are some reasons why you should consider getting this water heater:

The Hybrid Design Offers Maximum Heating Efficiency

Closeup of a chrome mixer faucet with hot water and steam coming out of it.
With a Rheem ProTerra heat pump water heater, you’ll have all the hot water you need.

If you only need one reason to go for the Pro Terra hybrid water pump heater, the efficiency rating is sufficient.

The hybrid technology allows the heater to use the heat pump as a primary heating mechanism and the electric resistance heating feature to maximize recovery during high-demand periods.

When it comes to efficiency, the numbers speak for themselves. This water pump heater uses up to 75% less energy than a standard water heater (according to Rheem).

Another effective measure of this water pump’s efficiency is the high 4.0 UEF rating.

So, how much can you save by switching to the Rheem Pro Terra hybrid water heater?

This will depend on the type of water heater you used previously, the local climate, and other factors.

If you previously used a standard electric water heater, you could save as much as $480 per year when you switch to this hybrid water heater.

Considering the price of the 80-gallon (302.83 L) version is close to $2,500, the heater will pay for itself in about five years.

You may also become eligible for tax rebates when you switch to this hybrid water heater. This can be anywhere from $300 to $1000, depending on your state.

Leak Protection Prevents Hot Water Wastage

Water leaking onto a concrete floor from pipe that has been disconnected from the connection at the bottom of a hot water heater..
Water leaks can cause serious damage, so knowing how to turn off your hot water heater in the event of a leak is critical.

One of the major issues with older water heaters is that they may leak occasionally.

Most of these leaks are minor but can result in significant water wastage, especially if the water heater is located in the attic or other area where you don’t check regularly.

The Pro Terra hybrid water pump water heater has LeakGuard, with a valve that automatically switches off when a leak is detected.

Not only will this feature prevent water loss, but it’s also great for minimizing structural damage to your house caused by water leakages.

However, this feature is only available if you get a version that has it pre-installed.

While it does cost slightly more than the standard version, having LeakGuard protection can significantly reduce the cost of potential water damage.

Its Ease of Use Is Unparalleled

When the rest of your house’s features are digital, especially if you have a smart home design, why shouldn’t your heater?

The Pro Terra hybrid water heater is extremely easy to operate thanks to its digital design.

You can connect it to your home’s WiFi and use it remotely through the Rheem app. This can help set schedules, monitor your smartphone’s water temperature, and switch between different modes.

It’s also straightforward for plumbers to repair this heater when a fault occurs since they can use a digital scan to find the exact problem in minutes.

But don’t worry about dealing with problems just yet, as you’ll get a 10-year warranty on this water heater.

The Downsides of the Rheem Pro Terra Water Heater

While this water heater is one of the best available, nothing is perfect, and it comes with its downsides.

Some people have complained that it takes too long to heat water and makes more noise than standard electric water heaters.

Here are some disadvantages of the Pro Terra Hybrid water heater:

Slow Heating in Efficiency Mode

A woman trying to adjust her hot water heater control to speed up the rate of heating.
It can be frustrating waiting for your hot water tank to heat up. But with a hybrid system, you can switch on the electric heating element to provide a boost and make things go more quickly.

There have been complaints that this water heater doesn’t work effectively in efficiency mode.

How slow the water heats will depend on several factors, so you’ll have to wait longer for the water to heat up in winter.

If you have a bigger tank, the water will take longer to heat up, but the upside is that you get hot water for longer.

Slightly Noisier Than Regular Electric Geysers

Many homeowners prefer electric geysers over heat pump heaters because they are noiseless.

Compared to these, the Rheem water heater is slightly louder, but it still makes less noise than many heat pump water heaters.

Isn’t Great for Cold Areas

A man sitting inside on a sofa with a big winter jacket on with his arms folded.
In colder regions, a heat pump water heater might not be so effective.

The Rheem hybrid water pump heater isn’t ideal if you live in a cold area with freezing winters.

Even the 80-gallon (302.83 L) version seems to heat up too slowly and doesn’t retain heat as effectively in such climates. However, it’s ideal for warmer climates and the Southern States.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an energy-efficient water heater, the Rheem Pro Terra hybrid water heater is ideal.

It has an energy-saving design and the latest features for ease of use.

Always ensure you get one the right size for your family, so you don’t run out of hot water when you need it most!

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy a similar one we’ve written – “How Much Energy Does a Heat Pump Water Heater Use (Save)?

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