Goe-Desuperheater loosing water pressure

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by dardman, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. dardman

    dardman New Member


    I just had a new ClimateMaster Traquility 27 installed with a desuperheater. I have a 50 gallon pre-staging tank which feeds the 50 gallon electric water heater. Ever since this unit was installed I lost water pressure (or water flow) to my faucets. Two weeks ago I replaced my cold water supply from half in copper to three quarter in pex. It didn't seem to help much. Last week I turned off my water softner and suddenly I got better water pressure to the faucets. I went out and bought a new water softener, installed it and again, I have poor water pressure. I turn the water softener off with the by pass valve and I get better water pressure. This weekend I plan on changing my half inch copper on the hot water supply to three quarter inch pex. I'm hoping this helps. I cannot live with out a water softener because I have very hard water and I have a well, not city water.

    Has anyone ever experienced a problem with low water pressure to faucets after installing a desuperheater? I'm afraid that if I go and install the three quarter inch pex that I am still going to end up with the same problem. I have been throwing a lot of money and time at this problem and I never seem to see any results.

    Thanks in advance for all your help.
  2. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    DSH should have zero effect on flow or pressure of hot water. DSH works on a "sideflow" basis - it is tee'd into two different points on the system. Its lines are typically 1/2". Stated another way, it operates in parallel, not series, with the hot water system.

    Having written that, I wonder if some goofball somehow plumbed the DSH in SERIES with the flow of hot water. That is completely inconsistent with how DSH is supposed to work and would impose a substantial flow restriction on the hot water system. So plumbed, DSH would not make any meaningful contribution to heating water, and its pump would be effectively dead-headed most of the time.

    Of course, water softeners are in series - all water flows through them, and they do impose some pressure loss, but it shouldn't be much if properly selected for the house.

    The main hot water lines (in and out of each tank) should be 3/4"
  3. dardman

    dardman New Member

    I think you may have found something. Riddle me this. Should the water intake from the geo unit flow into the buffer tank at the bottom or at the top? See attached picture. I think the installer hooked the DSH up backwards.:mad:

    Also, I have been fighting with a whirling noise that is driving my family crazy. The HVAC company came and looked at it several times and cannot figure out why it is making such a loud noise. Now, as you stated, it would make sense if the DSH is backwards, the pump is fighting itself. The noise is so loud, at night I shut the geo unit off an turn on the gas fireplace so we can sleep. This has been a nightmare.

    Attached Files:

  4. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Make sure it's plumbed like this...


    Attached Files:

  5. Looby

    Looby Member Forum Leader

    Do you happen to have an open loop geo system?

    If so, is it drawing water from the same well pump
    and pressure tank as your domestic water?

    If so, that could be the source of both problems,
    i.e., the low water pressure AND the loud noise.
  6. dardman

    dardman New Member

    I wonder if they hooked up the buffer tank backwards. My geo says "HWG In" to the bottom of the tank and "HWG Out" at the top of the tank. Climate Master's documentation is not very good. Is that correct?

    It is not an open loop. It is a closed loop.I have two 225 foot deep wells.
  7. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    The "HWG In" on the Geo unit (the bottom connection on the CM) goes to the top of the water heater (cold water in).

    The "HWG Out" on the Geo unit (the top connection on the CM) goes to the bottom on the water heater. ( the water heaters 'drain')
  8. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    take a breath.
    the plumbing you mention on the DSH is not the problem. nor is there only one right way to plumb a dsh.
    stop changing pipes and let's try to narrow this down more.
    what plumbing change besides the additional DSH piping?
    is it hot water only that is the problem?
    if so then we wanna make sure there are no check valves in the new buffer tank impeding flow.
    water softener sounds like a red herring or excludes heat pump all together.
    old plumbing with interupted pressure often breaks crud loose. did you check all your faucett diffusers?

    Where's this "whirring noise" coming from?
  9. dardman

    dardman New Member

    When I had the geo unit installed there were no other plumbing changes. As soon as it was installed I had low water pressure. The low water pressure is only on the hot side.

    I looked on the "cold water in" on the buffer tank and found a rubber membraine. It looks like it could be used as a check valve. I removed it and still have low water pressure. Would there be a check valve on the hot water out? I didn't check.

    I did check all the faucets. I don't have an old house. It is about 17 years old so the plumbing isn't that old. Also, I always had a water softener.

    The whirling noise is coming from the lower compartment where the compressor is. There are two copper pipes coming out of the compressor. If I hold it with my hand the whirling noise stops. The HVAC installer secured a 6 inch x 1 inch brass nipple on top of it and it seems quieter now. I think it is just putting weight on the copper pipes to keep them from vibrating.

    dgbair, you said: "The "HWG In" on the Geo unit (the bottom connection on the CM) goes to the top of the water heater (cold water in).

    The "HWG Out" on the Geo unit (the top connection on the CM) goes to the bottom on the water heater. ( the water heaters 'drain')"

    are you sure this is the way it is supposed to be because mine are the opposite. I tried alternating them and it had no effect on water pressure.

    Do I need a more powerful water pump in the well?
  10. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    A potential problem with hooking the HWG in to the bottom of the tank is you could suck in settlement over time which could ruin the pump. I remember doc having written that in one of these topics. So pushing in water to the bottom of the tank seems like a better idea.

    How was your hot water system hooked up before the geo system? What is new in the water system? Did they bleed all the air from the hot water tanks?

    I also have a well system with a green sand filter.... we have the pressure tank set to 40/60 to help overcome the pressure drop across the green sand filter.
  11. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I prefer to pull from the CW inlet and push into the boiler drain to avoid sediment, but in fact that should be a non-issue in the case of an unfired buffer tank - little or no scaling should occur.

    The "rubber membrane"in the CW nipple of a water heater tank is intended to reduce natural convection when water isn't being drawn. It will slow but not stop DSH pump circulation. It should be removed from buffer tanks. Insulate all water lines associated with buffer tank and DSH.

    I still wonder if the DSH was somehow piped in series with CW feeding the entire HW system. That would explain pressure drop only on HW side.
  12. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    Yeah, can you post any pictures of the plumbing?
  13. dardman

    dardman New Member

    I just had one single electric water heater. When the buffer tank was installed for the geo is when I lost pressure.

    How do you bleed air from the tank?

    How would I check to see if the system was installed in series? I'm not an HVAC tech so this is all new to me. It looks like it is installed according to the pic that you had posted earlier.

    Pictures attached. The tank on the left is the buffer tank, the tank on the right is the electric tank.

    Attached Files:

  14. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    From what I could see in the pictures, the plumbing looks ok...

    I always just use the pressure relief values to purge any remaining air.... be careful, the water coming out will be HOT at this point.

    When the geo is NOT running you could temporary shut off one of the two values going to/from the HWG and see what happens to the hot water pressure. The pressure at the faucet should remain the same. Remember to open the value back up...

    What is the small copper line coming off the hot water out line?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  15. dardman

    dardman New Member

    The small copper line is for the humidifier.

    I will try shutting off one of the valves and see what happens to the water pressure.
  16. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I believe the existing water heater may be an "American" brand relable. They had a dip tube issue once upon a time......gave us hot water delivery problems. I'd pull that up and have a look.
    What does your installing contractor say caused the problems? The workmanship makes me suspect inexperience or worse.
  17. dardman

    dardman New Member

    What is a diptube and how do you pull it up? What would I look for to find a problem?

    I tried shutting the water off to the geo unit and I still experience the same problem of low water pressure.

    I agree with the workmanship. They are one of the largest contractors in the area and I certainly expected better. But I guess there is nothing I can do about poor workmanship. I can even show you a picture in which the installer ran a electrical conduit right through the duct work rather than moving the electrical connection a few inches to the right to go around it.
  18. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    Well its' a good thing that water still came though at the same low pressure.

    Sounds like you will want to follow AMIs suggestion and check out the dip tube.

    This may get you started... seems like the installer should be taking care of this for you though.

    How to Repair a Broken Dip Tube
  19. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    "I tried shutting off the water to the geo unit and I still experience the same problem....."

    Right, because the DSH is not the problem. Now when you say "shut off" if you meant both valves between geo and buffer tank, run (don't walk) to unit and open at least one.

    The dip tubes I refer to had a side discharge to attempt to keep bottom of tank clear by swirling the water. These routinely plugged and were easily fixed by replacing them or cuting the cap off the bottom. If you don't know where it is you probably shouldn't get into it.
    It occurs to me that if your installing contractors won't "man-up", hiring a plumber to solve the problem may still be cheaper than replacing things at random.
  20. dardman

    dardman New Member

    I found the problem to the low water pressure. I had a bad water pressure gauge on my bladder tank. I replace it and it was only 30lbs. I made some adjustments with the pressure switch and immediately got good water pressure. The problem now is my well pump is short cycling. I have a plumber coming in on Wednesday to adjust. I don't know enough about it to confidently make adjustments.

    Thank you all for your help. It is very much appreciated. More than you'll know.

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