Help! My geothermal system is not working properly!

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by susanhoover, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    I asked them and they said that the system was designed to work with the heat backup????

    They have been back to replace the Zone 2 damper and then they had to adjust it a couple of days later because the insulation in the duct was keeping the damper from properly opening and closing.
    We still have a zone proble after this adjustment..
  2. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    Shouldn't the installer have recommended this initally. I asked him if the system would be big enough to handle our house and he said that it would easily do this.
  3. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    Who is correct? you or AMI:
    incidently while I'm not a well driller and will yeild to pro's in that department, 1600' of 1 1/4" pipe is more than the 1500' of 3/4" that we would use in mid MI for a 5 ton.
    Good Luck,
  4. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    I have been searching this forum which is very helpful by the way. I noticed a posting about the fresh air intake not being disconnected when installing a replacement system. I have been very suspicious about our large air intake. I thought that the installer failed to disconnect this and this was why I get the pipes and pump freezing. They said this was not a problem but when they came back to innstall the replacement zone damper, they disconnected and capped off the fresh air intake ductwork.
    Low and behold! The pipes and the pump no longer have frost on them!
    But alas, I still am not getting enough heat without the aux electric backup.
    Our second floor is at 85 degrees while the bedroom on the same zone but the 1.5 floor is 63 degrees.

    Any thoughts?
  5. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    December's electric bill was $660, this month's is $630 (38 degree daily average) and I have added insulation to R60. This is not the savings I was promised.

    What is wrong?
  6. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Sorry for the hiatus, we get pretty crammed around the holidays.
    What i questioned was the veracity of your heat load calculations. In your area a 115kbtu heat loss would be what I'd expect from a 3000 square foot 100 year old farm house after many modifications. not a new build.
    So how would you describe your house?
    If heat loss is right, the other guys are right.
  7. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I am sorry that you are still experiencing less than adequate performance with your system. The national average for vertical loops is 400 feet of pipe per ton, so at 1600 feet you are at a minimum 400 feet short.
    While I aplaud your efforts to get resolution here, you really need to get a local proffesional to assess the work done by your original installer, get the facts, review your contract, and move forward from there. There are many waterfurnace dealers in Delaware that are more than capable of reverse diagnosing your problem and giving you sound advice on how to proceed.
    That consultation will start with a new manual j to compare to your original.
  8. Hitch

    Hitch New Member

    Susan - Did you try calling the company that I mentioned in the PM? They install and service WF. The one thing I don't know is how much they are concentrating on installs versus dealing with install issues. Do you know how long the company that you used has been doing Geo's (as opposed to regular HVAC)?

    I would agree that WF's response was not very thrilling, but it seems as though there are several pro's all recommending the same thing - a second opinion. I really hope this works out for you soon.
  9. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    They are coming out Thursday. Only problem- they charge $500.
  10. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    what do you get for $500?
  11. Hitch

    Hitch New Member

    I don't remember exactly what I paid, but I paid around that amount. For me, they spent a while in my house doing an inspection, noting insulation, windows, size of the house, etc. and then they run a manual J and use that data and information to run one of those WaterFurnace reports.

    From my limited perspective, there is real value in that work, but it was easier to swallow since they applied that amount as a credit towards the install.
  12. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    They will check and evaluate the whole system to determine whether it is sized right, is functioning correctly, etc. The owner and a tech are coming out. Her said it may take several hours or the whole day to take the readings, measurments, do the calcs and find the problem.
  13. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    Today I called the company who installed this system to let them know that we are not experiencing comfort in our zone 2. It is still very hot on the top floor and cold on the lower floor.
    His comment- we have gone over and above what anyone would do. We never guaranteed that the office area would work(wrong, in fact they added ducts so this would get proper air)
    I replied that the system is not operating the way they promised.
    His response- they are doing everything they can do, any other company would have cut us off by now.

    His "it's not my fault" attitude is making me realize he doesn't know how to resolve the problem.
    He love to say "you system never worked properly" and the "system was old and needing replaced" but this is not true.
    We told them before we hired them that our system works great, and it heats very well. The problem was that it is oil and costing us a fortune to heat. We wanted to save on fuel costs.

    This company which appeared reputable is now trying to get away with it's responsibility to correct a botched job.
  14. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    If you are going to get the owner and a tech for $500.00, I would call that a real value! :D . You will soon find out what is true and accurate and what is not. Keep a folder with all your expenses related to your fact finding mission, as well as contact with the original installer, Sounds like you are going to need that info later the way this thing is heading. Good luck and keep us posted.
  15. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    Ouch... $500 for a service call? (At least that is what I would call it at this point.) I would have thought $100 max for a service call plus $$ for time spent on the site.
  16. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Maybe this will help
    Service call owner and tech.........$75.00
    Manual J for somebody elses work....$425.00
    Information obtained................$priceless
  17. Timiantor

    Timiantor New Member

    OK, first off, I'm NOT a professional by any stretch on Geo Thermal systems, but I have lived with a pretty nice system for several years now.

    Regarding your hot and cold Zones; have you tried, or does your system allow you to pull air from one zone to another by just using the return air ducts for those zones? My system allows the "Y1 Call" for heat in a cold zone to first get supplied by the return ducts from other zones (your too hot areas). My system is a Water Furnace Intellizone 2 and it allows me to do that with DIP switch settings. Heat is used from the returns from the other zones until they can't provide sufficient heat anymore (it's cooled down those areas by using the heat there). If more heat is needed in the cold area/zone that zone sends a Y2 Call to the system and that actually turns on the first stage geo pumps.

    The ability of our Intellizone system to do this has worked really well for our 3 story/3 zone house. It takes some switch flipping and some understanding, but it's especially helpful during the hot summer or coldest parts of winter because of the normal rising and settling of air.

    Sounds like you have some other problems, but if your system allows for this it's a good way to move "unpleasant" temps from one location to another. Just a thought.
  18. susanhoover

    susanhoover New Member

    He usually charges $100 for a service call but after I told him about the problems I am having, he said that he will have to take measurements, and do calcs to determine what is going on and to suggest a remedy. He said this would take several hours and I would expect this.
  19. Verdae

    Verdae Member

    I would suggest you find a building performance expert in your area to see what can be done to reduce your load. I see you upped the insulation in your home, but if it was not installed correctly, it might not do much. Air sealing is critical, a blower door test is needed. I have fixed undersized geo units by reducing the building load. In your area, this unit should be able to heat a home that has been properly updated by a building performance expert. It is not only the cheapest fix, but yields the best long term operational cost effectiveness. In fact I will not install a geo unit without fixing the house at the same time.
  20. Hitch

    Hitch New Member

    Any news or initial thoughts from the crew who inspected your system yesterday?

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