Ontario Electrical Usage for Waterfurnace Premier Seems Way Too High

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Andrew Kulin, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Andrew Kulin

    Andrew Kulin Member

    Sent you a PM.
  2. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    That's a thorough document, it looks like they measured every parameter that is possible to measure. They must have had a lot of test equipment. Your Cottage has now been well defined as to how many BTUs you will need. Now for the equipment, in addition to the one Unit they mentioned.
    LUXAIRE Trade 3 Ton
    Model TM9E080C16MP11 Cond
    AHRI ref 7119463

    I seem to remember using a Luxaire unit in a house I purchased some time back, a heat pump in GA I believe.
    The homes I bought in the past, I had no idea of what windows were used or heating & cooling, but after you build your own home, you notice everything since you had to buy and install it.

    I'll try to find those Graphs of my heat pump and furnace and when to switch over from one source of heating to another. I could use doing some more research on Propane Furnaces since I'm thinking about getting reducing my payments to the electric company also.

    Some things I've looked at in the past are the Trane and Carrier Packaged Units that you can place outside of the house and buy the Dual Fuel Option which gives you a Heat Pump and Propane Furnace in the same Unit. I hear heat pumps can heat down close to zero degrees efficiently today, compared to the 30 degree limit on past Units that I've used. Only running the Geothermal in extreme cold conditions would save the energy in my loop for when I need it. The loop water has gotten down to 20 degrees a few times and the unit doesn't heat well when the loop goes below 30 degrees.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  3. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    It is not measurement, it is a Manual J calculation, which is an estimate. They had no test equipment. They assumed that it was a new build, as Andrew mentioned. No it is not well defined, it is an guesstimate!
  4. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    I took a look on line at some Dual Fuel Packaged Units for installation outside the home, plus there are Split Dual Fuel Units that put the Heat Pump Compressor and Condenser outside the house with the A Coil Evaporator and Propane furnace inside the house.

    Some homeowners don't like having a combustion source in their home due to potential for fire and CO issues. Most home owners never consider what is going on in their homes until they become bed bound as I experienced with relatives who lost their mobility. They became afraid that a house fire might occur. I figured I would use Geothermal then add Heat Pump and a Propane furnace outside so this concern should never occur at my house.

    My Homes in Alabama and Georgia used heat pump only with no back up, as a heating & cooling source and we never had a cold day in the houses since winters are usually in the 20s as a low temperature. The snakes were poisonous and huge and the spiders were also poisonous. I don't miss that part of living in the South. You had to watch out when you were in the woods or in your own back yard since Black Widows are everywhere outside.

    I checked my Electric bill, we are paying 6.1 cents per KW hour, the bill can be high which for me is anything over $150 per month. I have a budget payment plan at $148 per month, you might consider setting up a budget with your electric producer so you can average out monthly costs over the year. Just make sure they don't use the highest month of the year as the average as they did at my Son's house. They owed him money by the end of the year.

    The right way to set up a budget is to use the past years KW use and take the average, not picking one month in the winter as the average.

    Good Hunting for a propane unit Andrew. Ron

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  5. Andrew Kulin

    Andrew Kulin Member

    1. The board on the furnace had to be replaced (about 1.5 weeks ago) so furnace is now back up and running on Geo.
    2. Had the Technician also rewire the circulation pumps so that only one pump runs in Stage 1 instead of both running in Stage 1
      • Stage 1 flows dropped from 11.9 GPM to between 8.4 and 8.9 gpm, Stage 2 remains at about 11.9 GPM
      • Electrical Usage roughly dropped around 400W (based on reviewing usage through the utility provider). Realistically should be closer to 290W savings using math and measured pump amps
    3. Topped up the R22 in the system. Was reported to be 1.5 lbs low compared to factory specification (7 lbs). I cannot say I see significant improvement after adding the R22, but maybe my expectations were too great?
    4. COP has improved a bit but I don't think is great:
      • COP was 2.3/2.3 prior to any changes (Stage 1/Stage 2)
      • After new board/circulation pump change COP was 2.8/2.3 (Stage 1/Stage 2)
      • After R22 added COP is 2.6/2.4. Stage 1 declined because measured pump flows declined from 8.9 to 8.4 GPM in Stage 1. Stage 2 improved slightly
      • EWT's by the way for all the above ranged between 33.6-34.6F (stage 1) and 32.7-32.9F (Stage 2)
    So I am still looking at ways to improve this unit efficiency. One thing that struck me as odd was my blower's power usage, which was pretty high, particularly under Stage 2 (3.7-3.9A). Because the blower is an ECM unit so why is it running around 750-800W?

    So I ran the fan only this morning and measured amperage at the circuit breaker panel and noted that power to the fan only was a lot less than measured power for teh fan when the furnace was running (see attached). Things to note:
    1. All measurements taken at the circuit breaker panel and at the same breaker.
    2. Blower Fan is on the same circuit as the Heating Elements (Aux Heat), 100A breaker. I think this is by design (Waterfurnace)
    3. Blower Amperage when furnace is heating is between 4-5 times the amperage when fan only is running (for 3 blower settings I have comparisons at)
    4. The ECM blower fan is a replacement put in by the previous owner in 2015 I think (fan motor housing is date stamped Dec. 2014). It may not be equivalent to Waterfurnace original blower because I saw no change in power usage between settings 10-12 (nor did not hear any change in blower sound for increased air flow).
    5. Stage 2 setting was originally at 5, while Waterfurnace recommended setting 4. So I have changed it down to 4 (1200 CFM now instead of 1400 CFM, though if blower is not same as the original then this may be meaningless). Reduces Stage 2 blower draw by about 20%.
    Why is the amperage 4-5 times higher for the blower when there is heat vs. only fan running, when the blower circuit is separate from the compressor (furnace) circuit? Aux heat and the blwoer are the only things on the circuit and Aux heat is not on (it is not supposed to be on). What would be drawing the extra energy?

    Attached Files:

  6. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Not sure if I can explain why the fan is drawing much more in heating compared to fan only mode. The fan is powered usually through the aux heat breakers, at least this is how Wf would like to have it. Make sure there is not anything else getting power when the heat call comes.

    I would turn down the blower further, I would put the setting on 1-3-7 to start.
  7. Andrew Kulin

    Andrew Kulin Member

    Okay, so I take it from this that this is not normal behaviour. I will need to poke around some more in the upper cabinet where the blower is located but I can say that the wiring from the 100A breaker goes directly into this cabinet, next to the Aux. Heater Unit (in a location that I cannot really see what happens to it afterward without using a mirror or squeezing my head in there (probably not recommended on so many levels...). But I don't believe any current carrying wiring exits this upper cabinet down into the lower cabinet where the board, compressor and DSH pump are located, and definitely not to the circ pumps. There only some control wires from the board that poke up through the base of the cabinet and attach to the fan, the Aux Heat unit and the blower fan. I will take some photos next time I go up.
  8. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    There are different blower speeds for fan on (low) to heat (medium-high).
  9. Andrew Kulin

    Andrew Kulin Member

    Hi Chris:

    What I did was set the fan run all the time and then I changed the jumper settings so that initially jumper 1 was the lowest setting (which is the default where it normally lies), then made set jumper 2 as the lowest setting and the fan sound was subsequently a bit louder, then jumper 3 was made the lowest setting, etc. all the way up to jumper 12. Noise levels for the blower fan when jumper 5 and jumper 10 were activated (which were the 2nd stage and Aux stage settings) was on par with how the fan sounds when operating normally (i.e., heating mode) but I realize that is qualitative and not quantitative way to measure things.

    I am not sure if that clarifies things or not.


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