What to ask before you buy geothermal - Shoppers Checklist
Last Post 26 Sep 2014 02:49 PM by greg mulder. 112 Replies.
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bmooneyUser is Offline
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05 Apr 2011 12:39 PM
I plan on building approx. a 2500 sq. ft house in Co. in 5 yrs. and am starting to research my options. EVERYTHING IS NEW TO ME. I see where you've compiled a list of questions for geothermal heating - which is great. But what should some of the answers be???
joe.amiUser is Offline
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05 Apr 2011 10:03 PM
Ask the questions. bring their answers here and we can help you sort through.
J
Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
david roachUser is Offline
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20 May 2011 11:17 PM
its late in the day i quit
im an electrician. i live in a 1700 sq foot bungalo in ontario
i have a "water furnace premier "at" series 2 speed unit for heating and cooling.
the thing has purred like a kitten until 3 years ago the first stage temp was not coming up to 41 degrees so i sent for a guy (water furnace guy) and he charged up my gas and all went well
about a month ago she wouldn't cool
im in a remote canadian small town and there is no water furnace repair guys for miles
the guy i had before is too busy doing new installs and wont come unless i buy a new one
i got a buddy who is a gas tech but has no experience on what is what on this unit and is afraid to touch what he dont know how
im good on the changing of contacters etc.
i found a small fuse (one of two) on the lv board was out
i replaced it but the problem didnt fix and make it work
in running it through the motions she wont heat or cool (speeding things up on the test mode dip switch)
the start relay is not calling so the high and low contactors are not kicking in either when say for example im calling for cool and the t stat says its in second stage mode
all i have right now is a glorified circulation fan thats all i know is working is the fan right now...

for anyones info...
i have a second complete unit (for parts) right beside the pussy cat thats been serving the house for about 20 years

so if any of you tech guys can tell me what my buddy should be looking for (gas type and pressures etc.) let me know
if any of you guys can tell me (the frustrated electirican) what to go and test - i will
otherwise im not gonna hold out too long our summers get hot and humid and this house has lots of windows. if the wife gets hot... things get even hotter

anyone wanna shoot something back to me for my first time ever on a forum? Give me something to try and trouble shoot... can somebody throw me a bone here?
joe.amiUser is Offline
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22 May 2011 09:07 AM
Welcome to the forum.
Generally when you contribute to a thread you are adding something to the original topic in this case "what to ask before you buy geothermal".
I will start a thread for you (need help in ontario), please follow up there.
Also there is a trouble shooters checklist that will tell you some of the information we will need to help.
joe
Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
jmlUser is Offline
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25 May 2011 02:51 PM
David:

Sorry to hear of your trouble....I'm a homeowner/DIY'er in NWO with a ClimaterMaster system and no knowledge of anything Waterfurnace....but let's see if we can get some discussion started to the point where the pros can chime in.

You say that the system won't heat or cool and the start relay isn't kicking in, but the fan works. Sounds like an electrical/control problem to me - perhaps something that can be looked at by changing out the control board or starter relay or start capacitor between your main unit and your spare.

Can you confirm the following:
1) ~24v present between "C" and "G" on the heat pump lv control board
2) ~24v present between C and Y1 on heat pump lv control board when thermostat calling for first stage
3) ~24v present between C and Y2 on heat pump lv control board when thermostat calling for second stage
4)  switching between heat or cool at the thermostat changes the presence of 24v between C and O

If that much is good, then we know that the LV transformer is OK, the thermostat and stat wire is OK, and the issue is with the control board, or the bigger, more expensive bits inside the heat pump. Obviously it'd be good to rule in/out small, simple things like the control board or a starter relay before putting gauges on to test the refrigerant charge or worrying about changing out a compressor.

Google tells me that there's some literature on the AT series here: http://www.waterfurnace.ca/Engineer/?folder=AT%20Series%20%28Obsolete%29

It looks like the AT series is R-22, not R-410. The install guide has a troubleshooting section, and the correct amounts of R-22 for each model.
can2manUser is Offline
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26 May 2011 02:03 PM
Sounds like you have a refrigerant leak.  What town are you in?  I might be able to recommend someone.
jmlUser is Offline
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27 May 2011 03:48 PM
deleted double post - whoops.
joe.amiUser is Offline
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30 Oct 2011 10:27 AM
WARNING:
If you buy a heat pump and it breaks, the manufacturer will provide a part or labor as described in their warranty and absolutely nothing more.
The distributor (if there is one) may or may not have it in stock so you may have to wait for it. They will order whatever you need and generally pass along shipping and processing fees.
All the labor, refrigerant, freight and shipping/processing fees are virtually never covered by these folks. Further I'm not a fan of the car analogy because the manufacturer and distributor have no influence over the dealers as they are not franchisees, therefore they will not intervene on your behalf.

Dealer, dealer, dealer, DEALER................is the one that owes it to you to:
Make sure a unit is selected that is reliable.
Select a distributor who stocks parts or eats overnight fees.
Educate you on what you are getting, what is covered under warranty and what your exposure is. Sell you an extended warranty if you want one.
Dealer needs to go the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction.
Dealer needs to charge you enough to cover your needs.

I selected a brand that is a private relable of FHP because I met the president at a vendor fair and he told me if I ever had a unit that was bad out of the box, to send it back.
I'm purchasing 10 units from my distributor this month.
Do you think the distributor tells me I pay for shipping when they don't stock a part I need? Heck no, they just wanna know my sweatshirt size ('cause the new hoodies are in). Then they apologize to me for the delay.

I'm paying to better insulate a house where my equipment is not performing as promised. I spent $5,500 on pump trucks when I had a well driller not prepared to handle his cuttings. I fix my clients equipment for nothing for 2 years (not that it often breaks) sometimes as much as 10 if they have selected the extended warranty vs banked the savings to pay for possible repairs. I had one noisey compressor out of box with the equipment I switched to and as promised I was sent another unit (and an apology).............

and I charge more than the other guys (some of who are in and out of business in 2 years).

Then I go and fix the other guys' installations and the folks who didn't buy from our company complain about the distributor and manufacturer.
Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
Palace GeothermalUser is Offline
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31 Oct 2011 08:30 PM
well said Joe....as always
Dewayne Dean
www.PalaceGeothermal.com
Why settle for 90% when you can have 400%
We heat and cool with dirt!
visit- http://welserver.com/WEL0114/- to see my system
GTJONUser is Offline
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13 Apr 2012 09:00 AM
ask if it is making 100% Hot Water while in SERIES REFRIGERATION FLOW with Cooling, as the Loop Pumps or well loop will be OFF-LINE in heat reclaim mode like this.

www.Hydro-Temp.com explains
and
has a 4th function System for Pool or Radiant In-Floor AUXILIARY HW

www.GEOPros.org
joe.amiUser is Offline
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13 Apr 2012 09:53 AM
gtjp,
Looking at the list that started this, are you suggesting that units that aren't hybrid ought to be disqualified?
Or are you simply promoting your site John.
Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
joe.amiUser is Offline
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18 Apr 2012 07:53 AM
John,
My real question had to do with why you thought it important to reopen a multiyear old discussion with this.

"ask if it is making 100% Hot Water while in SERIES REFRIGERATION FLOW with Cooling, as the Loop Pumps or well loop will be OFF-LINE in heat reclaim mode like this."

We have been asked about that brand before and have advised against it as theres little to inspire someone to jump so far off the beaten track (brand wise). Nor do I think it is a shoppers deal breaker if the unit is not a hybrid (frankly I'm yet to get on the hybrid band wagon).

Perhaps you could educate us in a different thread vs taking this thread farther afield.



Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
greg mulderUser is Offline
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26 Sep 2014 02:49 PM
When looking at geothermal heat pumps the item I do not see asked is, If I want to go net zero or want to have a generator on my system what will it cost, or is it possible. Many geothermal systems require up to 100 kw generators to back them up. By going to new high efficiency variable units a $5000 increase in cost can save you many times that in backup power systems. We specialize in these packages for off grid applications. If properly designed you can do an hybrid net zero design for the cost of geothermal and generation.
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