I’ve been testing the Power4Less IHP Geyser for a month now. It’s the 200L geyser that promises “savings of more than 80% versus a conventional geyser”, as stated on the box. It is made from stainless steel and promises to be leak-free and burst-free.
The IHP in the name stands for “integrated heat pump”. Heat pumps are more efficient than traditional water heaters mainly because of the way they operate. Unlike conventional water heaters that generate heat directly – the IHP geyser will move heat from the air into the water.
- IHP Geyser 200L capacity
- Heating element: 0.6kW
- IPX4 water resistance rating
- 620mm x 1494mm; 106kgs
- iOS and Android app support
- Price: R24 000
- Installation: ± R6 000/R6 500
- Warranty – 5 years
The IHP geyser needs to be installed upright, in a standing position at ground level, preferably outdoors, though it can be indoors. Given the weight and dimensions listed above, you probably want it outdoors.
It has an accompanying smartphone app that lets you control the temperature, and to set timers. How you use the app will determine how efficient it can be. More on that further below.
For the set-up and installation for this review, Power4Less made three site visits in total before getting the geyser up and running, detailed below. This is not the normal process but they wanted to be thorough. If you purchase the geyser at Builders or wherever, you can choose your own plumber to install or check with Power4Less for an accredited one in their system.
Power4Less Pre-installation audit
A Power4Less rep came to my house first to assess it for a suitable location for installation. It needs to be outdoors ideally, hence its stainless-steel casing and water resistance rating.
You probably want it hidden in the back or perhaps, if you have a flat roof, it can be installed there, provided it can hold a 106kg unit.
The ground for the spot we chose was not level, so a concrete slab needed to be installed, which costs more than the prices indicated above, and required an additional step.
The pre-installation visit was not lengthy, it took less than thirty minutes. You can also narrow down options beforehand when you get it installed.
Concrete slab installation
The second visit for my installation was for the concrete slab. We chose a side towards the back, opposite from the driveway, so not visible from the front.
The day selected for the installation ended up raining heavily all-day, so it was completed the next day. I was not at home when this took place, but it takes a couple of hours.
Once the slab is installed, it needs to cure, which takes about 2-3 days, depending on weather conditions. To re-iterate, this is not compulsory, and most people don’t need this step, according to Power4Less.
IHP geyser installation
The geyser comes with all items required for installation, so customers don’t get ripped off by plumbers according to Power 4 Less, in addition to the company controlling the quality of materials used.
The box lists this as things like a safety valve, drainage tube, water tube, copper fittings and conductors, IP65 waterproof external power socket, 12m of copper tubing, and 5m of electric cables. If the geyser needs to be further than 12m, additional copper needs to be purchased.
It took about half a day for the installation, a bit longer than I thought. However, I recommend you get this started in the morning/before midday, so it is done before 5pm. Afterwards, a Power 4 Less rep will show you how pair the app and link the geyser to your smartphone.
App set-up and usage
The geyser pairs with the Smart Life app, available for Android and iOS. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung Smart Things, and IFTTT. It supports a 2.5GHz and 5Ghz WiFi band.
The geyser itself has a control panel that is closed off with screws but opened for the pairing process. Once paired, you don’t have to open the panel again, it’s not necessary.
You need to create a user account to access the Smart Life app, but once that is all done, pairing takes a few seconds.
The app is very basic; lets you control the power, set the temperature, and has other settings. While the set-up forms state that you will be shown how to read and monitor your usage, the actual unit and app does not show you consumption.
The Smart Life app acts like a remote control and is key to reducing your consumption and subsequently, electricity bill. Here, you can set timers for the geyser, and only have it heat up for certain hours in the day.
Ours is set-up to heat for several hours in the morning and evening. For the most part of the day, it is switched off via the timer. It works seamlessly as scheduled; you don’t need to go into the app daily.
One month in…
Once we switched over to the IHP geyser, life carried on. It was not ‘obvious’ that we switched. The smart one seamlessly took over from the conventional; there was no need to fiddle additionally with settings.
However, we took a bit longer to set-up the timer on the app as the beginning of November was a bit busy this side. I’d say the timer ran for about two thirds of the month.
Water temperature is hot, but it’s as hot as we make it. I think it’s a bit too hot for its maximum at 65°C and want to reduce it for December.
With the timer set for heating in the morning and evening, sometimes when I shower about two hours after it is switched off, the water is still hot, which is a win.
On one of the nights, we had load shedding at midnight, but the power did not return until 9am. This was the longest the geyser was offline but the shower that morning was still hot enough. Which means you can get away with using hot water for at least 9 hours if the geyser is off – because it’s summer and we are in a heatwave, based on how the system works. It won’t be the same for winter.
The ‘biggest’ criticism I have is that the geyser makes a humming sound. If you have excellent hearing and pick up even the slightest sounds, you will hear the geyser. My hearing is not great like my husband, who can constantly hear the hum of the geyser.
It is worse when there is rain though, then you can hear it hitting the geyser, which is amplified with heavy rain. The geyser sits outside the two bedrooms and bathrooms. I’ve not yet had guests there to notice but will include this in my six-month update. In the greater scheme of things, this is not a big deal, but something to be aware of.
Claimed consumption figures
Power4Less says the IHP geyser uses 0.6kW of power, and for usage once a day with one geyser, it works out to roughly R2.20 per kWh, so single use would be R1.
Note that this is the claimed figures, and I can only properly give mine after monitoring my usage as the app does not give these. I will need to add a smart gadget to it for this.
According to Power4Less calculations, this is based on a conventional geyser with a 3.5kW water heating element that operates 3 hours at a time for up to 60°C. So 3.5kW x 3 hours = 10.5kWh of use.
|150L Conventional geyser 3.5kW
|IHP Geyser 200L 0.6kW
|R2.20 per kWh
|R2.20 per kWh
|1x single usage per day
|10.5kWh = R23
|0.6kWh = R1
|1x single usage per week
|73.50kWh = R162
|4.2kWh = R9
|1x single usage per month
|315kWh = R693
|18kWh = R40
|1x single usage per annum
|3832.50 = R8432
|219kWh = R482
If the monthly figure on the traditional geyser for one person, using it once a day is R693, when compared to the IHP geyser at R40, it claims that you can save R653 a month (R693-R40). The more people in your household, and the more often you use it, will change these figures accordingly. And, of course, having more than one geyser.
So, one month in, we are not going to see massive savings just yet. It should be noted that my household is just two people, and the IHP geyser is one of two geysers, the second one being a conventional one. And two thirds of my house is on solar with batteries.
I tested it in the month of November where Gauteng was experiencing a massive heat wave, and we used our air conditioners more than we ever did. Our house is typically cool, but this heatwave meant consumption was not normal. Naturally, this would not be a true reflection of the reduced bill, but it did come down, despite the conditions mentioned.
Our bill was down 15% in the month of November, with the above conditions. So, not quite the 80% promised on the box, but this would depend on various factors I’ve outlined over a longer period of time.
The 200L geyser I’m testing costs R24 000, and you have to factor installation costs, which could vary depending on your property and if you want it on the roof. Power4Less estimates it to cost between R6 000 and R6 500, but best to get quotes. There is a 300L variant available, too.
My previous home had a solar geyser and while it kept our bill reduced, there were instances when there was no sun and didn’t have as much hot water. The IHP geyser gives you more control of that, and lets you choose the window when it operates, and ultimately, it will reduce your electricity bill.
If you have a household more than one geyser, you can install this separately like what we did. While I can’t say for sure if it heats up faster than your previous one but it doesn’t matter if it’s on a timer, imo. And that water is hot for hours after you lose power as mentioned already.
If you’re away on holiday, you can switch off the geyser completely and only have it operate ahead of your return. The app is also convenient for dropping the temperature as needed.
With the geyser being more efficient than a traditional one, it means I can add it to my solar and batteries, which is my next step. However, I am slightly disappointed I can’t monitor my consumption in real time – only because I am stats obsessed, but I am hoping to add a third-party gadget to check this.
Please check back for another 6 month review early June, and then another 12 month review early in December. In the mean time, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. email@example.com