Forum Hurting Geo Image ?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Southern Geothermal, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. hardchines

    hardchines Member Forum Leader

    Peebhvac; I agree with you about scaring people away from Geo. or Geo getting a bad rap when people read this forum. But 99% of the problem installs on this forum were done by "professionals" , you know like you! If the pros. had engineering degrees most of these problems would not of happened. People that read this forum that are planning a geo install by a pro. or DIY are better prepared to detect a PRO's BS, or to do a better job themselves. If you think Geo. is not a DIY job it tells me all I need to know about your limitations, but do not think everyone has your limitations (and I weld). Gabby great story, if I ever own a big store, you are hired!

    satleliteman, do not make a deal for beer for Mark, he will drink you into the poor house!:D
  2. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    You are very good I am a sure you are proffessional.

    The oils used in the new refrigerants are hydroscopic. They absorb water.

    I use a two stage 6CFM vacume pump and I use a micron guage in line to make sure the system is dry.

    If I need to buy a better pump I will.

    When I can not lift the pump up the ladder to a roof top unit. I will start teaching this stuff.

    George Bernard Shaw said, "Those that can, do. Those that can not, teach."

    I try to do both.
  3. CRE10

    CRE10 Member

    Keyword is "think"....

    paragraphs are helpful.

    I see lots of "competent" DIY jobs that are majorly screwed up. It gives geo a bad name. I also see "competent" installers do bad jobs. Bottom line do some research on who you hire. Many DIY people try to save money but end up paying more in the long run by having someone fix their screw ups. 1 complaint vs. 4 positive praises on geo and people still remember the complaint!
  4. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    maybe correct.

    I do better with a higher level of antifreeze.

  5. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    "If the pros. had engineering degrees most of these problems would not of happened."

    Oh, I wish the issue was so cut and dry - I hold an engineering degree(20 years) and PE license (15 years) and have one really good geo HVAC design under my belt - my own.

    There are engineers out there with blisters on their fingers from not knowing which end of a soldering iron gets hot. I had an engineer colleague who attempted to solder wires without solder (thought the copper would just melt together) and attempted to measure voltage with a single meter probe.

    Someone here recently wrote that mechanical engineers are best suited for this field. I don't disagree. However, in 1992 I trained a Mech E who, it was revealed, could not describe to me what goes on in a window airconditioner to make cold air come out one side and warm air out the other. Nice guy, bright guy, hard worker, but for the life of me I never did learn what went on during his 4 years of college. Whatever he paid for tuition would have been better spent elsewhere.

    Conversely there are techs and contractors out there with 30 years experience who really just have 30 repeats of one year's bad experience. When I hear shibboleths such as "faster flow through a pipe reduces heat transfer" I know I'm dealing with one of those.

    There's a happy medium, and I'm hard in search of it. I think it really comes down to knowing what you know, having at least an idea of what you don't know, having the integrity to admit the difference and the curiosity and drive to constantly work to span the gap.

    Oops - almost forgot - short paragraphs and hops-based anti-freeze are critical to success, too.
  6. gabby

    gabby Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I hold an engineering degree also and in my experience I have also known ME's who couldn't solder two wires together or even begin to understand mutual inductance, or grasp the concept of reactance that didn't happen in a reactor. By the same token, they were wizards when it came to mechanical advantage and structure analysis. It only means that once removed from their respected training fields, they were babes in the woods, lacking training or experience in different aspects of the mechanical discipline. One can not be all things to all fields. As you stated, you gain knowledge of subjects of interest, in any direction that may take you. Those with many fields of influence bombarding their paths, have an advantage over those who know one thing really well, sheltered from experiences that may be of benefit later in life.

    Those who care to bridge the gap between what they know, what they think they should know, and having the wisdom to admit the difference and fill the void, are better engineers for it.

    Even us old dogs can learn new tricks. We may not howl at the moon as often as the younger ones, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to howl.

    "faster flow through a pipe" means you get wetter faster.....generally because the reflex action of your throat isn't fast enough to keep up.:p
  7. gabby

    gabby Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    If I were looking for a contractor I'd expect at a minimum:
    -a thorough system design at some point in the process (though not necessarily for free in the first bid) including heat loss, system and loop sizing, duct/radiant design, etc
    -an estimate of annual heating/cooling costs
    -some sort of performance guarantee

    You can get all of that from $800 of software. What you can't get is why, or how. Therefore your ability to make corrections and allowances for the unexpected "monkey wrench" that is too often found in real world applications, leaves you searching for answers and solutions.

    Experience is the best teacher, more so than any book knowledge, or theoretical least from what I have witnessed. You get that experience by getting your hands dirty. You make your mistakes, correct them and remember what took you down the wrong path.

    There is no magic formula for finding a good "X" or turning all into a good "X" no matter the field. All men/women are not created equal, and neither are their abilities. It's just a fact of life.

    I just finished looking at the work someone recommended and said was done by a professional finish carpenter. I have seen better workmanship in a high school shop class by beginning students. Those making recommendations may not know the difference, thus another roadblock to your search. Homeowners as a group know nothing about construction, or what is good or what is bad unless it falls and hits them in the head.
  8. k0wtz

    k0wtz New Member

    geothermal problems

    well im 67 semi-retired and a small business owner. i have found in my long time in business that mistakes can cost you big time. from reading here im sorry to say in this geothermal business we have a lot of people in this field that are not qualified and frankly are out to take people. when i see a guy that paid 45k for a system that doesnt work that concerns me.

    i came here to nr. 1 learn about this technology and i have. i have already communicated with a person i already respect here and he knows his stuff. he is a diys guy and i respect him and his ability.

    if i put this in i will be a diy job with assistance from a h/a guy in our church. frankly after installing my own water system and it works there is no mystery to geothermal but you have to read up on it.

    it is rather obvious this board is more about the guys in this business and not the diy person. i see a lot of looking down on people who want to learn this and wanting to keep things out of our hands but read read read you will make it.

    there are really no secrets anymore all due to the internet.

  9. k0wtz

    k0wtz New Member

    forum hurting geo

    i have been a small business owner for many years and mistakes can cost you big time. frankly this board is not for the diys guy but i have read enough to know a person can put this in himself.

    already i have found a person that while not a professional in this field is very knowlegeable and made a system that works. this is the guy i look for with common sense.

    these systems are made out to be far more complicated than they are therefore many problems due to skilled folks not wanting to share information to us the consumer. i see a lack of people not really wanting to share much of their experience to us the consumer.

    when i see a man that got charged 45,000 for a system that doesnt work and he admits it is the worste business decision he ever made that concerns me.

    so as far as this board causing problems i dont see that. i see this board as a good place to learn and to be watchfull of who you deal with. this concept of h/a is very expensive and a person needs to figure out if a huge outlay of money justify the end.

    if i put this in i will diys this doesnt mean i dislike the professional guy but i cant afford to nr. 1 put up a huge amount of money and if it doesnt work what then?

    i will continue to be here and learn.

  10. sunnyflies

    sunnyflies Member Forum Leader

    I just had a retired engineer, who came highly recommended by a well driller I had gotten an estimate from, show up an hour and a half before his appointment this morning catching me with wet hair and my husband in the shower. He and his sidekick walked through here in less than 20 minutes, told me I need a 6 ton system for my 2400 sq ft house, when everyone else seems to think I need a three ton (or a four ton possibly, if I add on to my house, as I might) and left telling me he will email me a proposal - no measurements, nothing. He also announced that closed loop systems don't work.

    I am warming up my delete button.
  11. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry :D or :(
  12. hardchines

    hardchines Member Forum Leader

    This last post proves my first post, people learn what "professional BS" sounds like, keep your finger on that key!

    I said "If the pros. had engineering degrees most of these problems would not of happened"

    This is to suggest that the professional is a engineer in the geo field, and understands the mechanics of fluids and the basic philosophy of heat transfer not the metal vapor deposition field or the vibration field. I would rather trust the heat transfer calculations of a new engineer just out of 6 years of college then a guy just out of a two day course that made him a certified expert! And I do not care if either of them can solder wires together (I will do that).

    As a DIY I try to learn all I can about a project before I start the job, most DIY's that I have known tend to overkill a job not cut corners to save a buck! I find most contractors do the least they can do, to maximize profits from material and labor cost. Not to say it is less then acceptable work, its just the minimum instead of the maximum that could be done.

    And yes DIY save lots of money almost all the time!:eek:
  13. moondawg

    moondawg Member

    Agreed. I wired my own house. Saved about $8k. I really like nice, even lighting. Most electricians will include one center-mounted ceiling light or fan in their quote. I was able to install about 72 recessed lights in addition to ceiling fans. (by the time I got my last light wired, I was extremely grateful to my Father-in-law who convinced me that maybe I had planned for too many lights... I think I originally planned for over 100.)

    But, to get back on track, I don't think the forum should get panned for hurting Geothermal's image. MOST of the forum experts around here are EXTREMELY knowledgeable and VERY willing to share that knowledge... because geo is something they believe in.

    We get an un-representative number of complainers here because people generally search for sites like this one because they're having a problem or need some help. Much less frequent is the user who goes looking for a place to sing the praises of their system.

    So, there's two ways to look at what's happening here:

    1. People come here to complain and it gives geo a bad name.

    2. People come here to complain.... and find a wealth of knowledge and several people willing to help.

    Pessimists will believe #1, and optimists will believe #2.
  14. Southern Geothermal

    Southern Geothermal New Member

    Guys, I think some of you are missing the point I was trying to make.

    All I was saying is that I think that Geo gets a bad rap here when most of the problems are caused by incorrect installs either by unqualified contractors or DIY's. If you use a contractor make sure you check them out. Don't just take there word. Talk to his past customers and see if they are satisfied with there systems. If you get ripped off by a contractor, chances are you didn't do your homework.

    If you choose to DIY, I have no problem with it. (I make a lot of money from DIY's) But typically the reason someone is DIY is to save some bucks. From my own experience with DIY's, they usually wind up paying more than they would have, had they hired somebody. Then instead of taking the blame for a bad install they blame the manufacturer, or the Geo industry as bad science that doesn't work.
  15. gabby

    gabby Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Pessimists will believe #1, and optimists will believe #2.

    ...and the Irish will believe anything if there is enough beer/ale/most any libation.
  16. Looby

    Looby Member Forum Leader

    3. People come here and complain about the complainers, and it gives complaining a bad name.

    Optimist: "The glass is half full."

    Pessimist: "The glass is half empty."

    Engineer: "The glass is larger, heavier, and more expensive than necessary."


  17. k0wtz

    k0wtz New Member


    i dont see this way at all. i dont blame anyone for my foulups except myself and i think most diys ers feel the same way. i put in my a/c myself 35 years ago and it works today.

    is it a real neat professional job depends on who you ask the most important thing is it works. as of this day i have made arrangements to rent a backhoe at a great savings 250.00 to be precise and have some other work for it as well as dig my trench as i will have this thing for a whole day over the weekend.

    this trench will be 500 to 600ft in length at a dept of 6ft. i will be running 2 lines parralell with one another and this will work its been proven here by a diyser. the 1in line will cost me 40c a foot.

    i am in no hurry so the equipment is presently being worked out to my advantage.

    here is my savings i contract the b/h work myself. i buy the pipe myself and i buy the equipment myself. so instead of paying 2 to 3 times what the equipment costs and other costs the costs will be net not inflated.

    now if some people feel more comfortable handing their billfold to someone i dont have a problem with that either. there is plenty of room for diys guys and the people who feel they just have to have the best and no accounting fine let them be but let us guys that like to save their money have their fun too.

    plenty of room for everyone

  18. gabby

    gabby Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    What size is your HVAC and does it run continually on the extreme hot days? It should if it is sized right. The humidity is only being removed when it runs....the more it runs the more it pulls.

    I ask, not because I'm naturally nosey, but your loop size seems very undersized unless you are up north. Even then, if the size of the home is large or has a lot of southern and west exposure, you might be cutting your own throat.
    I would like you to have an installation that works, but more than that, works well, especially if you are in a dominate cold area.....yeah NE Ohio.

    If you can supply specifics about the home, insulation, windows, duct size, one or two stories, shade, etc, I'm sure these guys can chime in with recommendations. I have never heard of anyone complain that they have too much pipe in the ground, but having it in the ground and how it's pipe will determine the circulation pump size you need for proper circulation or heat transfer. With a little more effort on your part, you may use the same size trench and increase the capacity by 8 fold if you need it.
    Also testing of the pipe before covering it up is mandatory. If using PEX you want to use water or nitrogen because of the oxygen factor and you want to keep it out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
    Lots of unknowns.
  19. k0wtz

    k0wtz New Member

    hurting geo

    i dont see a problem except i see a certain leval of dislike for the diys. i have already learned most of what i need to know from a very qualified diys guy here.

    i have contacted for rental of a backhoe for 250.00 that gives me a whole day to do other things with it after digging my 500 to 600fft trench and in this i will lay 1,000ft of 1in line. there will be 2 lines ran parrellell to one another and i know this works.

    so as i look for my unit at a reasonable cost i might add i will have not a whole lot of money in this endeavor.

    lets see

    600ft at .40c = 400.00
    backhoe 250.00
    unit 3,500.00
    help 500.00
    total 4600.00 of which i will get 4250.00 in rebate el. company
    2,000.00 tax write off
    i actually come out ahead. now if the commercial guys get this figure 2 to 3 times my cost = 15,000.00

    so you see it pays to diys. now i dont have any complaints against the commercial guys but i work on a retired budget plus i like to do things myself.

    35 years ago i put in my own a/c still works is it pretty i dont know but it does work so that is what counts. now some people want to spend 3 to 4 times cost for their work i say go for it but some of us work on a different plane.

    there is room for both individual types of thinking here and maybe we can all continue to learn. i certainly dont want to spend big money for a system that doesnt work as some here have.

  20. gabby

    gabby Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    You didn't answer any of my questions. Did you already get answers from the DIY people?
    How did you determine the pipe loop size?

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