Connecting Ground Loop to Equipment

Discussion in 'Geothermal Loops' started by DavidCraig, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. DavidCraig

    DavidCraig Member

    My plan is to connect the PE ground loop pipes to copper in the basement. The plumbing needs to take a sharp 90 degree turn and be routed along wall around various equipment before getting to the unit - about 10' each way.

    HDPE --> Copper --> Circulator --> Geothermal Heat Pump
    HDPE <-- Copper <-- Geothermal Heat Pump

    What is good material for the ground loop for inside the home? (Is there problem with copper?)

    What are good connectors for HDPE to Copper?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  2. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    Here is a pic of the HDPE ending inside the basement. A fused fitting w/ threads, then the shut-offs. Copper from there to pump.

    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  3. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Is there any reason your not going to continue with hdpe all the way to pump?
     
  4. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Lack of fusion iron, and un familiarity with hdpe is my guess.
    Eric
     
  5. DavidCraig

    DavidCraig Member

    Thanks for the picture. It looks like you used fusion fittings that go from HDPE to NPT

    Is this the only appropriate fitting to use? (I'll need a fuser).

    Some have recommended the barbed connectors.

    Noticed that towns are now using crimp fitting for waterlines.


    1 - Lack of "fusion iron" And since my ground loop does not have any fittings (except factory fused 'U'), there isn't much motive to rent or hire someone for it

    2 - Lack of HDPE experience. If I started learning to 'fuse', there would probably be lots of piles of goo or leakers.

    3 - Have to get to copper or NPT for circulator anyway (unless there is a HDPE circulator flange)

    4 - What are the options? PVC (no way!), Iron/galvanized (nope), copper? stainless steel? Rubber hoses all over the place?

    5 - Durability of material. For decades this area has too many rodents. Anything higher than 36" underground is subject to them. Chipmunks, strange chewing rats, etc. Have already had them chew PE pipes up. And unfortunately they manage to get into the basement 1 or 2 times each year. I'm not filthy, just plagued - and the grandkids still don't know how to shut doors :eek: [ just can't wait until the rodents find the pex floor tubes ].

    6 - Have much of the copper left over from other projects.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  6. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Since the connections would be made indoors ( available to monitor for leaks) then you could use the barbed fittings with hose clamps. Connecting to cooper would be ok from that point too.
    I would double/triple check your PH of the loopfield. Insulate the piping and secure it good.
     
  7. DavidCraig

    DavidCraig Member

    Sorry, what does PH mean? Pressure Head (check for leaks)? pH as in acidity?
     
  8. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    PH balance= acidity.
    It's a silent killer for copper piping.
     
  9. DavidCraig

    DavidCraig Member

    Thank you again for your input

    pH is just under 9. No sign of problems for home with copper piping (12 years) - no buildup, no corrosion. [ Have examined pipe cut out when making modifications ]

    The closed loop specs for the unit being considered is: "6 - 8.5 pH, Monitor/treat as needed". Perhaps one should load up their loops with distilled water. A bit of a pain but if it keeps the exchanger safe, it would be good.
     
  10. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Phoenix Flow Centers

    This is something you would need to do PE all the way to the heatpump.It does require you to fuse the pipe to the connection kit. You can call them and talk to them what connector they can make for you which does not require fusing.
     
  11. DavidCraig

    DavidCraig Member

    Thanks Doc.



    There are a couple of guys around I will call to see if they will do the 2 fusions for me. Naturally they may be reluctant to get involved in such a small task - but it doesn't hurt to ask. I would really prefer a clean, appropriate and solid installation.

    Another concern is how much space (pipe protruding from wall) is needed to do a fusion. How close to a wall can a fitting be fused? The pipes need to run along the wall, not a foot out from the wall.

    [​IMG]



    IGSHPA states [ http://www.igshpa.okstate.edu/pdf_files/publications/IGSHPA2011StandardsSec.pdf ]

    1D.3 "... Barbed fittings utilizing mechanical clamps are not permitted to be connected directly to polyethyline pipe, with the exception of stab-type fittings ..."

    Does anyone know a source for appropriate "stab-type fittings" ?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  12. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

  13. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  14. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Pipe fitting 101 would dictate that you could do the fusion in sections and then attach to the wall, and continue to make up joints where they are more accesible?:rolleyes:
    Eric
     

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