I fired my contractor today

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Popoff, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Baked goods, hmmm....Ok but I'm not in airport security:D Actually can't find the 2XL emoticon to show why I should probably pass on desert.......

    The "dip" allows a certain amount of volt drop on unit start-up. Might be all you saw, and described as unit struggling at start up but I would feel alot better if it were confirmed.
    Among other scenarios your compressor could have an inordinantly high amp draw, or generator may be incorrectly calibrated. Either would be better to identify sooner than later.
    I would feel better if we knew your Tech 2.0 did a volt check on generator output as well as amp draw read on geo.
    Could be nothing, but we have little evidence to suggest Tech 1.0 did a thorough job.

    Happy and safe holiday.
  2. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Tech 2.0 stopped by today. He, on his own accord, installed a differential pressure sensing switch on the ductwork that will insure the steam humidifier won't run if the system fan is not running. Said he noticed Contractor 1.0 (R.I.P.) had not done so and, while not totally necessary, was an additional safety feature they liked to have on their installs. No additional charge :cool:. Nice touch!

    I had him check the amps on the compressor while he was here. Strange result. He checked it 3 times. 20 amps the first time. Between 8 and 9 amps the next two times. Tech 1.0 read 9 amps when he checked it last time he was here a few weeks ago.

    Getting ready to go have my "junk" touched :p so there wasn't time to go further into it today. There's an electrician working on a new house in the neighborhood. I'll see if I can get him to come over and check out the generator output when we return.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  3. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    that's an awfully big disparity in amp draw between tests. i'm not sure i'd leave it there.....
  4. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I'd need to get to the bottom of that current disparity, too.

    Possibilities include different operating stage, different airflows (low CFM per ton drives up compressor amps in heating mode), hotter house (higher Entering Air Temp).
  5. Popoff

    Popoff Member

  6. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Living on Aux heat

    Well, my worst fears have been realized. The balance point on my 2.5 ton Water Furnace is 27* F and, now that its' gotten cold, my system is running on aux heat a good bit of the time. My most recent electric bill for the period 11/16 thru 12/16 was $342 for 3,163 kWh. )~:

    I've in the process of installing a Welserver (Temperature and Energy logging by: Web Energy Logger) and, at this time, am tracking EWT, LWT, OAT, DSH in, and DSH out. I plan to install additional sensors to monitor compressor and aux heat run time as well as supply and return air temperatures. Phil Malone at welserver.com has been very patient and helpful in working with me to get things running. My new contractor has also been great in offering his assistance by phone, and in person were I to need it, to advise me where to place the various sensors. I'm going into the heat pump itself in a little while to place the aux heat sensor.

    I'd appreciate any and all input and /or suggestions as well as your feedback. I'm trying to determine if the system is either minimally sized or undersized as a first step in deciding where to go from here.
  7. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    During this time, were you using a constant thermostat set point (no setbacks)?
  8. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    I do set it back between 2 and 4 degrees on some nights. Old habits are hard to break.
  9. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    Me too. :)

    Can you experiment with not setting back and see how this effects your electric meter?

    What is your thermostat make and model?

    What was the system design temperature on the Geolink printouts?

    The pro's here may have different opinions on where to start. I was totally dissatisfied with our thermostat's base settings (until I modified them), so I like to start there to see if that diminishes unnecessary aux usage. Aux running when it is supposed to (per the system design) is fine.
  10. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Mother in law is here so we have not set back for the last 4 days. System has been running solid on aux heat for the last few days with outdoor temperatures holding in the low to upper teens. Electric usage yesterday only was ~ 200 kWh. :( That's $20 for one day! :eek::eek: BTW, it's a 2,400 square foot house that's 10 years old and well built.

    Thermostat is a Honeywell VisionPRO IAQ. Geolink shows design temperature was 27* F.

    I believe the system is running per the design. Welserver is showing loop temperature averaging around 32* at 27* or lower and 100% on time. That's right on with what I'm getting and in accordance with what Geolink says. The problem is, in our climate, I believe 27* is just too darn high. Basically, I'm heating my house with strip heat instead of geo. That was not what I thought I was getting.

    Have you looked at the Welserver data? It might not be obvious that the link is between the parentheses in my previous post. I hope to add compressor and aux heat run time to what I've already got on online by later today or tomorrow.
  11. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Wow - very high daily kwh use!

    Find a way to be certain geo unit is running in high stage, supplying the most it can.

    27 may be a tad high for Boone NC, but that alone doesn't explain 200 kwh / day.

    A quick browse suggests you've had lows in the mid teens, so a bal point of 27 should still result in 80% of your heat coming from the heat pump if working as designed.

    80% is a from the hip wild guess.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  12. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    Wow. Our entire November electric bill was for 908 kWh in SW VA.

    I wonder if the aux heat should temporarily be disabled via a DIP switch to see if the system is running properly without aux. Don't go away if aux is disabled.

    I also wonder if there is a thermostat wiring problem resulting in aux turning on with the compressor. [Edit: or if incorrect thermostat installer options were selected.] Are your run times short?
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  13. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    How do you know system is running on "solid auxiliary" vs heat pump with aux?
  14. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Well, you got me (again :eek:). I have no direct evidence.

    I do know that the "aux" indicator on the t'stat is on a a great deal of the time when the the temperature has been in the mid 20s or less. I also know that the air coming out of the ducts during those times is significantly warmer than when the geo unit is on in by itself. Most importantly I know that I used 3,163 kWh ($342 :eek:) in the last billing period.

    I'll have my compressor and aux heat run times online on Welserver later today and then I'll have a much better handle on what's going on. I also plan to install temperature sensors on the supply and return ducts later this week.

    I value your input and look forward to your comments.
  15. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    I spoke with the tech and he says that, other than having a WF t'stat, he doesn't know of a way for me to determine if the unit is running in 1st or 2nd stage.

    Good guess with your 80% SWAG. Geolink says 88%

    Thanks for your input.

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