South Carolina Greenville New system quote and maybe DIY system instead

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by SolarPower, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    Greenville SC New system quote and maybe DIY system instead

    The Geothermal quote was today. The said we would need 3.62 ton and we should get a 4 ton system our house is 2100 sqft

    We live outside Greenville SC. Our soil is red clay. They don’t use slinky loops they dig down 6’ put pipe in the add 2’ dirt put the return in trench.

    $37,095 for a series 7 water furnace

    $32,324 for a series 5 water furnace

    Add $2,500 for hot water heating

    The load calc came to 3.62 ton they said they would install a 4 ton unit with no backup heat strips.

    (I have 3.75 ton mini splits now)

    There is no way I will have it installed at this cost. It is like they calc the tax savings and add that much to the estimate.

    I recently bought a tractor with a backhoe and a front-end loader. I have done a DIY 12.5 kw solar install about 5 years ago. I installed 4 mini splits systems.

    I can take on big projects and I thinking about DIY project.

    I called Ingrams water & air I was looking at Climate master Tranquility 30 and the Tranquility 22 the 30 is $1,899.39 more money.

    I am thinking about a non-pressurized system my system is in the crawl space and I don’t want to make a purge cart.

    I am thinking about getting a Desuperheater and disable it at first the later getting a holding tank that will feed my tank-less hot water heater.

    It will be about 50’ away from the unit hopefully that is not too far.

    Still need to decide to do Slinky and just using my 10” back hoe and doing long runs.

    The Tranquility 22 with everything to do the install is $8,982

    The Tranquility 30 with everything to do the install is $11,696.08

    The Tranquility 22 is more the price I would like to be but I want a good performing dependable system.

    Any advice is welcome.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
    ChrisJ likes this.
  2. arkie6

    arkie6 Active Member Forum Leader

    4 tons seems excessive for 2100 sq ft in SC assuming your home is newer and has at least code minimum insulation levels and air sealing. 4 tons might be appropriate for an older leaky home with minimal insulation or lots of west facing glass with no outside shade. There are online programs where you can do your own Manual J heat gain / loss calcs. Do your 3.75 tons of mini-splits run continuously during peak load times? If not, this suggests your peak load is <3.75 tons. Assuming a refined heat load calc would support it, installing a 3 ton vs. 4 ton would save you money on equipment purchase, installation costs (less loop pipe and less digging), lower operating costs, and better de-humidification in cooling mode. If the heat load calc is just a hair over 3 tons, consider installing the 3 ton unit and keep one of those mini-splits available to supplement that 1% to 2% of the time that you might need more than the 3 ton geo unit can provide.

    The Tranquility 30 typically includes an internal variable speed loop pump, so there is no need to buy a separate non-pressurized flow center. The variable speed loop pump will save you money over the life of the equipment as it only uses the electricity needed to satisfy the load rather than running full speed all of the time under all conditions.

    If you bring all of your loop lines into the crawl space and put isolation valves on each individual loop before the common loop header, you can purge the individual loops with the loop pump on the Tranquility 30. Just isolate all lines and open one line at a time to purge with the pump on max flow. This should provide sufficient flow velocity for a single 3/4" loop line to purge air from the line.

    If you are doing your own digging with a narrow bucket and have sufficient room, I would dig separate loop supply and return line trenches to keep both the supply and return lines at 6' deep or better. You would be looking at around 600' of 3/4" pipe per loop or 300' of trench out and 300' back. The Climatemaster website has software you can download (Geodesigner and Pressure Drop Calculator) to determine the necessary pipe length, size, and depth for your conditions. But the first thing you need is an accurate heat load calc and if the equipment seller is the one doing the calc, they can easily fudge a few numbers and add another ton to your equipment size.
  3. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    Thanks so much for the reply!

    My house is 18 years old no shade but the mini splits can keep up but they only heat down to 5 degrees. Right now, we have natural gas forced air heat we have only used a few times the last 4 years.
    It does not get that cold here very often. When it does it is just for a few days a year. We also have vent free gas longs we can use if power goes off.

    I will look for manual J calc on the wed great advice we are keeping the mini-splits no mater what we do. One is in my office and we both work from home I like it cooler in the summer and in the winter. I will be using mine 9K unit some. Moving down 1 ton would be great even moving down 1 ton and getting heat say 5k strips would give me very low temp backup?

    I am going to have the loop header in the with a crawl space with isolation valves on each individual loop to make it easier to purge.
    If I could go with Tranquility 30 internal flow pump (I like this idea also) how do I get antifreeze in the loops?

    My tractor is a small but it digs well max depth is 6’ but I have a 10” bucket perfect for trenching. How far apart should I keep my trenches? I have 8 acers but we have horse pasture and we are going to fence off where I dig so I could keep the loops going out pretty fare apart and maybe bring them back closer together.

    I did download Climatemaster software it said bata and it would not work on newest windows version. I will look for a new version or try it on an older computer later today.

    Again thanks for great advice!
  4. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I can not find a valid link to download Climatemaster software I did find that bata version that maybe I can load on a old laptop.

    Does anyone have a link to Climatemaster software?
  5. arkie6

    arkie6 Active Member Forum Leader

    Do you need anti-freeze in SC? I'm in Arkansas and don't need it, but I have vertical closed-loop wells. I sized my loops to maintain >40F in winter. This is a variable you can plug into the GeoDesigner software and it will tell you how much loop you need to maintain that. No anti-freeze = better heat transfer and less pumping energy.

    I would keep trenches at least 5' apart until the very end where they come together and enter the house. At 5' spacing for 3 loops or 6 trenches, that would be a digging area of ~25' wide x ~300' long.

    If you do need anti-freeze, I would go with ethanol or methanol rather than glycol as the first two require less pumping energy than glycol. To fill the system, break the loop return line right before it gets to the pump suction in the unit. Stick a hose on the geo unit pump suction and stick it in a barrel with your desired anti-freeze mix. You may have to prefill the line to to the pump suction to prime it (put a water well foot valve on the end in the barrel to keep the filled line from flowing back into the barrel). Stick the loop return line in the barrel also. When you get solid water flow from the loop return line into your barrel with no air bubbles, now shut that loop's isolation valve and valve in another loop, and so on. This way you fill and purge the lines at the same time. If the mix in your barrel gets low, add ~4-5 gallons of water to ~1 gallon of anti-freeze depending on your desired freeze point. GeoDesigner will tell you how much water you need to fill the lines and how much anti-freeze is needed, if any.

    The software is under their Residential Professional page, Sales & System Sizing Tools.

    Click on GeoDesigner Software and Pressure Drop Calculator.
  6. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    Thanks for the links. I was able to get the software to work on a old laptop.

    If I put my loop 3 x 600’ 1,800 feet it said I would not need antifreeze. If I let it calc pipe length 845 feet I needed freeze protection to 19 degrees.

    It would be great to not need antifreeze.

    FirstPage3Ton.JPG 3Ton.JPG
  7. arkie6

    arkie6 Active Member Forum Leader

    I'm thinking that software assumes you put 2 pipes, 1 out and 1 back, in the same trench. Note where it says "Horz 2 pipe - 0.75". I'm pretty sure that means 2 pipes in one trench. Try running the numbers assuming 300' of trench for a 600' loop length, i.e. put in 900' for trench/bore length. Or change the Geo Source Selection to Horz 1 pipe - 0.75" if that option is available.
  8. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I talked with Terra Source today. I got to talk to the guy that designs the loops very helpful.

    One pipe option is SDR-9 pipe size 3/4" is pre-charged with 190 proof industrial antifreeze.

    This system is pressurized but flushing is simpler since loops are pre-charged with valves preinstalled.

    I would need to buy a larger bucket a 16” bucket for my backhoe (that is the biggest bucket I can run). I would have 4 loops but put two loops per trench.

    Two 300’ trenches each having two loops. This would cut my install time by a lot.

    3-ton Tranquility 30 system with some extra loop pipe and keep the mini splits.

    Warranty is done through them. DIY does not void warranty.

    I put the numbers through the software and it look good to me.

    The installer that did my quote said the don’t use aux heater coils here.

    It is $236 to add 10K heat coils. My mini splits only work down to 5 degrees.

    In the last 5 years we had one week where 4 days it was colder that cold. I still wonder if I should install them.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  9. arkie6

    arkie6 Active Member Forum Leader

    Too much pipe in too little trench. Not enough spacing between pipes, especially if you only have a maximum 16" wide bucket. That might work somewhat ok with a 36" wide trackhoe bucket. The adjacent pipes will be competing for the same energy causing big swings in the earth temperature adjacent to the pipes. That is a recipe for hot summer loops and cold winter loops, especially in clay which has a relatively low thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity) assuming your loops are above the water table (the clay isn't saturated with water).
  10. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    How about calling them emergency heat, not back up heat, in case your system should have a mechanical issue, it is rare but it happens. Cheap insurance....
  11. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I am keeping my mini splits that is what I heat with now so if the system had a issue I would just use what I have now.

    The only issue I would have would be if it was really cold below 5 degrees. That has only happened here a couple days in the last 4 years.

    One option for the loops is do 4 10” trenches 300’ long put pipe in then add 2’ dirt come back to manifold.

    How far apart should I dig these trenches? I just measured and I could do 10’ apart.

    I am going to do a test dig and time it with my 10” bucket.

    I just put a deposit on the system I have a little time to work this out.
  12. PopPop

    PopPop New Member

    It sounds like you live in a rural area. If yes, and you have at least one acre, you might want to investigate a pump and dump system. Important to find a reliable well driller that knows the area where you live. I live in Talladega County Alabama. My home is a very different plan. I had a 6 ton heat pump that never got the house comfortable. I invited a knowable person from The local power Co to review. He suggested dividing my duct work into 2 systems. I already had (2) 240 volt circuits to the basement for the existing 6 ton unit. I bought 2 Fla heat pumps that I installed myself. The self-contained units are a breeze to install. There are no Freon lines to mess with. All I had to do was place the units so I could hook to the existing ducts, hook up the 240 volt circuits and run a 1 1/4 inch plastic water line from the well into the basement and connect to the first geothermal, then out of that one to the 2nd system, then discharged it into the yard. (I plan to connect to a sprinkler system soon). I had a local HVAC contractor to divide the duct system and connect to both Geothermals. ($500.00) I had a well drilled. $2000. Bought a submersible pump and installed my self, (About $600.00) Got excellent water at about 120 ft, approx. 60 degrees. Well is about 100 ft from my basement where I have a large pressure tank with a whole house filter. Yes, I use the water exiting the first system to serve the 2nd system. Exiting water temp is OK per the Mfg. I also use the same well to serve my home, since I have VERY good water. Works like a charm. I don't have backup (emergency) heat because the system is still efficient, even at extreme temperatures. System has been installed about 8 years, with only minimal maintenance. I flush the system about once a year, mostly because my water has a fair amount of calcium in it. I am now experiencing issues with the ECM Blower motors. Fla Heat pump is now owned by Bosch (VERY expensive)!! If I had it to do over, I would get a single stage heat pump, with a PSC blower motor. Much cheaper to maintain. I don't know how much $ savings I got over 8 years, but I am being told the replacement motor is over $800.00 vs $200.00 for a PSC motor. $600.00 more over 8 years seems to take away the energy saving. (And that doesn't account for the installation (labor) cost). There are other issues you have to deal with (elect controls to turn the water on and off, etc) and I wouldn't advise anyone to try this unless the aren't afraid of work and do a LOT of research. Everyone reading this need to be advised that the Federal Gov is outlawing PSC motors in about 2 years, so if you plan to replace your ECM with a PSC, You need to buy it soon. Good luck.
  13. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I would like to loop back to this post. I know DIY is not for everyone and a knowledgeable installer can be invaluable.

    I would like to thank arkie6, docjenser, ChrisJ and others for helping me. The search feature on here was great.

    Ingrams had nothing in stock 8 weeks out to get anything this would not work as I needed to be finished before Jan 1. Ingrams were not very knowledgeable. TERRASource was very knowledgeable and helpful.

    I ended up using TERRASource for my equipment I was very happy them. They were very helpful and when an issue with damage equipment they handled it totally to my satisfaction.

    I could not ask for better service.

    They color coded every connection per-wired thermostat, Labeled Geo unit. Color coded manifold had air purge, back flow installed on it they have a switch on it for Purge/run.

    The only thing I have to buy was a fitting to connect up a garden hose and pipe insulation. They color coded loops and put antifreeze in them then crimped the ends.
    They taped the loops in multiple stages to make is simple to roll it out in the trench.

    Total cost was $11,853.03 ( This includes a Rheem Marathon 50 buffer tank and digging trenches )
    Tax credit $6,509.27 Federal is 30% and my state is 25% total 55% tax credit.

    My final cost will be $5,325.76

    I will be adding a little more cost to the project. I need to add in topsoil grass seed and copper pipe to connect buffer tank.

    It has been working great heating I have used AC a little. It is making lots of hot water I would guess 95 into my hot water tank seems an average.

    The only thing I miss is my Wi-Fi thermostat with iGate info. I don’t care about changing temp we don’t setback I do like to see EWT and LWT.

    Climate master on their highest model has this Wi-Fi thermostat that shows iGate info and much more info I love it. This should a option on their second highest model.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  14. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    That's excellent! Glad it is working out for you.

    What is TERRASource's warranty policy with regards to DIYer's?
  15. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    If you have an issue you work through TERRASource’s for warranty. (This was important to me as you know sometimes DIY voids the warranty even if it was done right.)

    You could still have some cost even if it is under the parts and labor warranty.

    Eg. Compressor goes out climate master has a set amount for labor to replace it. Say you can’t find someone to replace it for the warranty cost I would have to cover the additional cost.

    If you have it Geo installed by an installer part of his profit covers warranty work. They would replace it for climate master set amount for labor. With no extra cost to you.

    I look at it like I would lose part of my savings by doing it myself. I OK with that gamble.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  16. David Kiser

    David Kiser New Member

    Hi Solar Power,

    I am in the same Town as you and looking to DIY. We have an old premier unit that is leaking Refrigerant. Our current system is an open loop.
    Did you go with the Climate Master 30? How did the final product work out.
  17. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I actually bought a GeoLogix that is a Climate master 30. It is made at same plant same manual.

    It is working very well we are happy with it. looking forwarded to AC season.

    It is a bummer you will miss the 25% SC tax credit the fed tax credit is still there.
  18. David Kiser

    David Kiser New Member

    Our current system gave out in January. We just missed it. The quotes that I am getting for a new vertical unit using the existing open loop are quite high.

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