3 Hydro Delta Units in 3 years...What To Do???
Last Post 01 Feb 2012 10:55 PM by engineer. 31 Replies.
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IH1206User is Offline
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24 Jul 2008 01:32 AM

 

As you can see, I’m new to Geothermal related forums, I prefer using forums for my hobbies and interests, not posting problems.  Anyway, sorry for the long post, to the best I can recall, here is my experience over the last three years…Our house is exactly three years old and we have had countless breakdown/performance issues with our Hydro Delta MegaTek Quadra-Therm unit.

 

1st unit lasted several months and kept loosing coolant due to a cracking line.  When the third solder job didn’t hold up, my HVAC contractor that sold us the system removed it and replaced it with a completely new unit that was updated with redesigned components and other improvements. 

 

2nd unit lasted around 20 months.  With this unit our electricity usage seemed much higher than planned, to the point that I repeatedly complained to the contractor.  Eventually a temporary electrical meter was installed to monitor the usage.  I was repeatedly told by the HVAC contractor that my electrical usage wasn’t out of line vs other customers with similar units/homes.  I was convinced that something wasn’t right.

Then during the winter months, the unit couldn’t heat the house without the emergency heat kicking in.  To complicate the issue, the unit couldn’t heat the 80 gal domestic water heater.  So I had to turn the breaker on for the water heater and heat our domestic water with the element.  This system was sold to me as providing 100% of the heat source for the in-floor radiant heat (which had not been hooked up yet) and domestic hot water (which is what sold me on going with this HVAC contractor).  Obviously by now we knew the system couldn’t produce enough heat to even heat the house let alone any water.  Next the compressor went out, so a new compressor was installed.  However, the same lack of heating continued.  Another compressor goes out and it is determined that a valve is defective allowing coolant into the compressor.  The contractor serviceman brings a Hydro Delta engineer from the factory to our home, they spend a full day replacing the valve and retuning the unit and felt confident our unit was as good as new.  That very night our unit goes down again.  The factory engineer (John) is still in town so they come back again the next day.   They determine that the same valve is defective due the valve being damaged during the solder job.  So a factory soldered valve is shipped from the factory with extra line on both sides of the valve so it can be soldered with out the heat being so close to the valve.  Unit goes down again in a few days.  Keep in mind 100% of our heat is coming from the emergency back up and 100% of our hot water is coming from the element while these issues stretched through an extended period of the winter.  The service offered by my HVAC contractor was excellent considering the difficulties, the serviceman was at our home countless times.

 

3rd unit.  HVAC contractor offers me a third unit and gives me a choice of trying a water heating unit again or going with a non watering heating unit.  Contractor encourages me to go with a non waterheating unit because he’s not confident in HydroDelta’s unit and had problems with every other unit like mine they installed.  Also said I would get a $1700 credit back as the non water heating unit cost less than the standard unit.  So now I’m left with electric element heat for domestic hot water and no heat source for the in floor radiant heat, which was never hooked up yet.

 

13 months after installation the 3rd unit, it started acting up last week.    Seemed to labor and fan speed was continuously in high and it couldn’t cool the house. We noticed the unit has gotten steadily noisier with an annoying pulsating hum (The previous 2 units seem noisy in the end as well).   Even with a clean filter the unit eventually went into “Discharge Lockout”.  Serviceman was back again and after an unknown repair, the unit is back up and running again, but for how long?  What will break next? 

 

So far I’ve received no charges for any of the repairs.  Received no compensation for the high electric bills while the system ran on emergency heat.  I’m stuck with inefficient electric elements heating the domestic hot water.  Contractor offered an electric boiler as the heat source for the radiant in-floor heat, while he kept the $1,700.  As if it cannot get worse, the 200amp panel has no room to wire in a 20 amp electric boiler (HVAC contractor also wired our house)  Contractor wants $5,000 for complete install of the boiler.  His suggestion to wire the boiler is to but the geo emergency heat on a switch so that emergency heat can be manually shut off and boiler ran off those breakers.  How much will my electric bills be affected by the electric boiler operation???  How many more sleepless nights will I have???

tuffluckdrillerUser is Offline
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24 Jul 2008 02:46 AM
Wow.....

First of all, what are the heating and cooling loads of your home? Are the loads accurate? Where are you located? What type of loop do you have? What size unit is the piece of... I mean the HD unit?

While most issues with geothermal units not working right aren't brand specific, this one seems to be. However, there may be a big air flow problem, a big loop design/install/performance problem, or possibly a sizing problem, (or an HD design flaw).

I wouldn't just abandon the geo option and go with an electric boiler. Typically speaking, it'll cost 3-4 times what the geo costs to heat with. Let's get your problem figured out, and turn you into a satisfied geo customer. Hopefully we can help on this forum. Also, a 20 amp electric boiler is going to be a very small capacity boiler. Is your radiant only one room?

Why did he keep the $1,700? For wiring the boiler, it seems that all he needs to do is put a 60-125A sub-panel in. Is he not an electrician? Sorry that your situation is such a nightmare...it almost sounds like a do-it-yourself install...I digress.
Clark Timothy (clark@pinksgeothermal.com)
Geothermal Heat Pumps: Heating and Cooling that's Dirt Cheap!
www.pinksgeothermal.com
TechGromitUser is Offline
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24 Jul 2008 08:25 AM
Posted By IH1206 on 07/24/2008 1:32 AM

 

As if it cannot get worse, the 200amp panel has no room to wire in a 20 amp electric boiler (HVAC contractor also wired our house) 


Does the Breaker panel have tandem breakers yet? They make breakers where you can replace one breaker with a tandem breaker that supports two breakers in the same slot. I also have a 200 amp service for an all electric house, and my breaker panel is just about filled up with standard breakers, but if I replace standard breakers with tandem beakers I could still double the number of circuits I can have.

Quote="Tuffluckdriller"
While most issues with geothermal units not working right aren't brand specific, this one seems to be. However, there may be a big air flow problem, a big loop design/install/performance problem, or possibly a sizing problem, (or an HD design flaw).

Quote="IH1206"
1st unit lasted several months and kept loosing coolant due to a cracking line.  When the third solder job didn’t hold up...
2nd unit ...Next the compressor went out, so a new compressor was installed ...Another compressor goes out and it is determined that a valve is defective allowing coolant into the compressor ... Unit goes down again in a few days
3rd unit ...13 months after installation the 3rd unit, it started acting up last week

So many problems in such a short amount of time? These systems are suppose to last for 20 years, not 20 months, I would stay far, far away for anything labeled Hydro Delta. Even if the system was sized way too small and couldn't handle the job of keeping the house cool/warm, it still shouldn't break down so much even if it was running 24/7.  
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24 Jul 2008 09:43 AM
That's true.
Clark Timothy (clark@pinksgeothermal.com)
Geothermal Heat Pumps: Heating and Cooling that's Dirt Cheap!
www.pinksgeothermal.com
engineerUser is Offline
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24 Jul 2008 10:06 AM
You may need a lawyer.
Curt Kinder

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is - Winston Churchill

www.greenersolutionsair.com
fsq4cwUser is Offline
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24 Jul 2008 10:19 AM
I would hire a new, IGSHPA accredited contractor, get rid of the Hydro Delta unit for either a Nordic, Waterfurnace, or Carrier (Climatemaster) triple function unit and cut a deal with the original installer or sue.

SR

IH1206User is Offline
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24 Jul 2008 11:34 PM
Thanks for the replys.

I do not know the heating or cooling loads, I left that up to the Contractor.  We are located in Iowa.  I believe we have 6 ton horizontal ground loop.    MegaTek Quadro-Therm 03-062-WTARW-TS-MT Geothermal 2 stage compressor (Contractor said it's a 5.5 ton unit).

Our house is 4,700 square foot two-story with walkout basement (1449 upper, 1721 main & 1529 basement).  2 x 6 construction with Icyne spray foam, Anderson 400 series windows.
Radiant infloor to heat about 1169 ft in basement and 1100 ft in garage. 

There could be room in the panel to replace current breakers with the slimer style. 

As for the $1,700 thats still an unanswered question.

Yes, I'm concerned about the electric boiler operating expense vs what I was expecting which was super effiecient heat for domestic and infloor.
TechGromitUser is Offline
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25 Jul 2008 08:53 AM
Posted By IH1206 on 07/24/2008 11:34 PM
Thanks for the replys.

Our house is 4,700 square foot two-story with walkout basement (1449 upper, 1721 main & 1529 basement).  2 x 6 construction with Icyne spray foam, Anderson 400 series windows.
Radiant infloor to heat about 1169 ft in basement and 1100 ft in garage. 


Wow one unit to do the whole house? I thought there had to be two units for 2 story houses. I guess it's all to do how you want the zones set up.

Icyne is great insulation, for new constrution, I bet it works wonders.

Infloor radiant? So one system does both Air and infloor heating? Didnt know they did both in one unit.



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25 Jul 2008 10:18 AM
I would tell the contractor that you have no more product confidence and ask what other brands he carries. Depending on the heat load of the house you may require more tonnage than you have available if you activate the in-floor. This is obviously a loser for him as well so before the lawyers are involved talk to the company owner about realistic alternatives.
I have folks that are on their 3rd condenser in 3 years, with the failure of the first compressor due to a mfg defect I yanked the thing and put in a new one. The second compressor failed due to an electrical connector at the compressor that heated it up and blew the charge (not uncommon on Bryant). I offered him a new compressor at no charge or a new (Amana) for the price difference (mainly due to the 10-13 seer efficiency change). I was glad to change brands just for the customer confidence. At this point I've lost money on this job.
These customers are one of my favorite references. They know we did everything we could and the only extra they paid was for a product upgrade (higher efficiency and a ten year vs 5 year part warranty).
Your contractor wants a positive outcome with you as well. He may have already lost money due to manufacturing problems out of his control. Ask what he really think it needs to be right and don't be afraid to pay the difference if it's reasonable. Your resolution may be speedier and cheaper that way (a lawyer can't fix your heat pump).
Good luck!
Joe
Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
IH1206User is Offline
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28 Jul 2008 12:50 AM

Joe. thank you for your thoughts.

Concern #1 -  I don't think my contractor handles any other geothermal brand. 

Concern #2 -  Not sure I want a Hydro Delta unit given the track record of my own unit and now that I've began researching on the internet found many others having similiar issues.

Concern #3 -  After unit #2 went down and I was offered a replacement.  I followed the suggestion of the contractor to go with a unit without the on-demand water heat.  SO I can no longer heat water as effiently as possible.  This is NOT what I was originally sold on.

engineerUser is Offline
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28 Jul 2008 09:51 AM
Time for contractor to deal in another brand.
Curt Kinder

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is - Winston Churchill

www.greenersolutionsair.com
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28 Jul 2008 11:42 AM
I understand you want to avoid the current brand, so if you wish to stick with water to air, you don't have much choice in on demand hot water. Earthlinked gets positive feed back from on-demand customers but then you would have to scrap the field as well. I suggest either a more mainstream water to air heat pump with a desuperheater to supplement hot water production or if you must go with on-demand a water to water heat-pump with air handler and fan coil (by the way if your loop field is undersized on demand hot water will be replacing the electric water heater coil with the supplemental heating coil- not necessarily a good trade off). If your current installer has no other brands to offer suggest he find one or a refund for the heat pump only (not a complete refund as the duct work and loop field are still servicable).
If you employ another contractor who insists ducts or loops are to small you will need a third opinion to determine wether the first or second guy are mistaken.
I still suspect that your original contractor is not a dirt bag or he'd already be long gone. As you both have an interest in resolution it would be better for you to work together. If you both were to put pressure on the manufacturer for a refund, I like your chances better than simply suing the installer. If that money then were to purchase one of the other more mainstream heat pumps with a hot water generator, your installer might even throw in the install just to get this wrapped up. No you wouldn't have on demand hot water, but you wouldn't be going 100% electric either and how much has the quest for cheap hot water cost you so far?
I wish you and your contractor luck,
Joe
Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
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28 Jul 2008 11:46 AM
throwing this out to the pros for comment - Is the WaterFurnace Synergy3 a good replacement for this unit - water heating and air heat/cool?
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28 Jul 2008 12:08 PM
The SYnergy3 unit heats water for radiant flloors but not for domestic use.
Dewayne Dean
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Why settle for 90% when you can have 400%
We heat and cool with dirt!
visit- http://welserver.com/WEL0114/- to see my system
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28 Jul 2008 01:50 PM
The EarthLinked product can use a water loop, and heat domestic, heat and chill hydronic, or forced air.
Clark Timothy (clark@pinksgeothermal.com)
Geothermal Heat Pumps: Heating and Cooling that's Dirt Cheap!
www.pinksgeothermal.com
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22 Dec 2008 07:07 PM
IH1206, I feel your pain. We have the same Hydro Delta quadra therm and the same number of loops and I too live in Iowa. I'm on my 3rd compressor in as many years. It is frustrating beyond all belief. I'm not going to name our contractor, but a lot of what you are saying I'm hearing from my contractor....makes me wonder if we have/had the same one.
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23 Dec 2008 11:59 PM
IH1206,

Sorry to hear about your problems.  I cannot add anything to alleviate your frustration but to say that you are not the only one who is or has been having problems with Hydro Delta. 

I joined this thread because the last poster "Chris" sent me a message requesting information on how I found out that there were problems with the Mega Tek system. 

Chris,

I have sent you a private message.

Last year, when I was looking into Geothermal Systems, I spent a lot of time on this as well as two other popular HVAC forums where (by doing a  search ) I found out that there were a number of posters who had had unhappy experiences with Hydro-Delta.  

I also posted on all three web sites requesting for feed back on the Hydro Delta heat pumps compared to Climatemaster systems.  I got "Zero" feed back on the hydro Delta product and numerous positive feed backs on the Climatemaster system.  After 1 year, I am realy glad that I went with the Tranquility 27 system.

Best wishes to both of you;  hope your problems are resolved soon.

Regards,

VK
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06 Jan 2009 04:05 PM
Also located in Iowa, near Williamsburg.

Hi...I just got a scroll Mega Tek without domestic water....about 1 month ago...so far, so good.

However, my mo-in-law had the 03-062-wtarw-ts-mt which took a dump last month. The contractor came out and is planning to replace the recip. compressor with a scroll.

Where are the other two Iowa users located? curiosity is piqued.....

Thanks,

Chris

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14 Jan 2009 10:23 PM
IH1206 If your loops is in question, find a looper with a load tester and have them checked. It's not as high dollar as you might think and is a lot cheaper than more problems.
I think you will find that if you get a system with a desuperheater and forget on demand hot water that you will save more than you think on your hot water then put in a second water to water unit for infloor you will be a happy geo owner. It dose sound like your contractor is trying, maybe he doesn't have the know how to fix this alone, ( iowa heatpump ass.) or from what I have head it's most likely the equipment
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29 Jan 2010 10:50 AM
Many problems with the TS.
1. The r-410 model would crack the copper discarge line, recomend the r-22 version and they may have taken the 410 model off the market. Also noise is usually related to the 410a version or the installer forgot to remove the compressor shipping bracket.
2. Many chip revisions, the same problem happeded 10 years ago when they made the mega tech (the major diffrence between the 2 was the desuper heater)
3. Crappy compressor, The technology used for this compressor was not tested well. the compressor tends to siez or have mechanical failures. Its replacement is a very good one and does not require the torque to start like the original. the only problem is the software used to run it is the same and cycles the compressor more than needed.

The problem in todays world is that you the customer are the test subjects. The dollars for R&D are not there and it is cheaper to spend those dollars on the failure rate, also the contractor will prob spend much time and money on the fixes out of their pocket and not the manufacture (this is intentional cost savings technique by the manufacture)
Most new geo customers do alot of research before they buy and want the latest technology. The contractor wants to provide you with the same, but the best option is to go with whats been proven to work. 2 years is about the time it takes to work out the bugs on most equipment, the only problem is will it be discontinued for the next new product? lol

If you want dedicated hot water from geothermal i would suggest a dedicated geo for domestic hot water in addition to a seperate HVAC geo. Also oversize the closed loop big time in order to keep up the incomming water temperature because it sucks when your loop goes into the 30's in the winter when you expected it to be in the 50's this will drive up your electric bill in run time on the geo and needing to use the back up heat.
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