DIY Installation

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by JimBigam, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    Can anyone tell me how difficult it is to simply swap heat pumps? Our unit went bad after several years and we need to replace it. Unfortunately the installation quotes we received are more than the entire heat pump cost so I would like to do this myself if possible.

    Since the plenum and connections are all in place would this be a simple disconnect then reconnect of the new system or is there a lot more to it than that? Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    About a long day of labour.

    Things a DIYr might not think of:
    - you'll need to get air out of a closed loop system afterwards
    - you likely have to get some duct connections made to match the new unit
    - if equipment staging changes, the thermostat wire may need to be re-run

    Maybe best if you had a helper as there is some heavy lifting involved.
     
  3. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    Thanks! I will have help from my father in law who is good with this stuff. The air out of the system is the part that confuses me as of now. How is this accomplished?

    Also do I need a flush cart at any point in the install? I would like to flush my system but I’m wondering if a thousand dollar flush cart is the only way.
     
  4. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    It is not important that you would like to flush your system, it is important to realize that you must flush your system.

    See if you can rent a ilushcart, or pay someone just to flush your system.
     
  5. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    Ok I was thinking of just getting an unpressurized flow center for the new system. Ive read that these are more DIY friendly as they don’t require flush carts and are easier to maintain.
     
  6. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    No arguments there, but in order for a non pressurized flow center to flush out the loop, you must have each circuit terminated inside, and you cannot have an outside header. You must be able to shut off all the flow circuits except one, so you can direct all the flow through one circuit. Only then will you get enough velocity to flush out he air.
     
  7. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    I just looked and I don’t see anything where I can control the water flow. The only thing I see are two pipes coming in through the basement wall, one goes to a connection labeled “source water” on the heat pump and the other is connected to a black cylinder with a pump and then goes into a connection labeled “In”.

    So you’re basically saying that with my system I have to use a pressurized flow center, correct? If that’s the case I will probably have everything installed first by ourselves and then call the company here in town to flush the lines. Unless they are willing to rent thair purge cart.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  8. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    No, a non pressurized flow center is still preferable, since it automatically purges out any bubbles forming, or prevents the forming of bubbles to begin with. But non pressurized flow centers still require the loop to be flushed out initially. There is a difference between micro bubbles which form due to pressure fluctuation and large amounts of air in the loops.
     
  9. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

  10. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    This being an existing loop, are there shut offs that can isolate the loop field from the piping at the flow center?

    I would think you can switch out the pressurized flow center for a non-pressurized one. Just be careful to fill all new piping , flow center and heat exchanger with water & same type antifreeze.
     
  11. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    Edit....Yes there are two valves on the existing piping right behind the cylinder in the picture which isolate the pump for replacement. The other piping has no valves which is coming out from the heat pump into the loop field.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  12. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    Ok, thanks!
     
  13. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    So you can't isolate the loop field easily. You must figure out how to disconnect the 2 pipes, adding shut offs(ball valves) without introducing air to the loop field.
     
  14. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    That’s exactly what i was thinking. Any cuts I do on the piping to add a valve will introduce air. I’ll have to open up the unit and see if there is a way I can plug the hose from the inside of the heat pump without introducing air.
     
  15. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    Are you sure that is a pressurized pump set up?

    Strange that there are not any connections to purge the loops.

    I don't think that the small amount of air that gets in is a big deal, the new flow center should be able to burp it out.

    Was the loop system working fine before the HP died?

    July of 2016 we switched out a 7 year old heat pump that gave us nothing but trouble for over 2 years. The non-pressurized pump set up has 3-way valves on both pipes going to the loops. Those valves have a threaded connection to hook a purge cart to.

    We were able to adjust those valves so we could hook up the hoses between the circulator and the heat pump, turn on the pump which pushed brine through the HP and back into the reservoir above the pump.

    Just want to say my disclaimer: I am a home owner that has been reading and posting on this forum for 6 yrs or so. The pro's on here have taught me a lot. Hopefully they will straighten me out if I give any wrong info.

    Chris
     

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  16. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    Chris... I am not 100% positive that it is a pressurized setup, that was what I always guessed. The loop field never gave us any trouble in the 10 years we had the system, what happened was the heat exchanger (i think that’s what it’s called) rusted out just enough to let contaminants back into the compressor which ended up damaging it. At least that’s what I was told by the techs.
     
  17. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    Do you know what kind of anti-freeze is in the ground loop?

    Certainly the new HP should have a cupronickel heat exchanger.
     
  18. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

    I have no idea what type of anti-freeze was used in the install process. The new HP I’m looking at is a dual stage Geo-Cool unit and comes with cupronickel heat exchanger.
     
  19. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    I looked at those also, but went with a Climatemaster clone from Heat Controller. Geothermal Products has Climatemaster.

    I was not impressed with the GeoCool, Are you sure it's 2 stage? Their water to water heat pumps are are single stage. I understand the price is right but felt better with more commonly used unit.
     
  20. JimBigam

    JimBigam New Member

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