Jammed a piece of foam in there.

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by pmnpmn, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    Does anybody have any insight on the internal design of the heat exchange that would explain a 30psi drop on the source. Yet the heat pump works just fine.

    In an effort to clean out my Climate Master 036 open loop, water to water heat pump. I took a piece of foam under pressure with water and ran it through the source input side to clean the interior pipes. And it worked pretty well. So I did it again and it worked again. Feeling lucky I did it a third time and it never came out. I just assumed it would be a hollow pipe. Even when I reversed the water direction, it didn’t come out. Since then I have register about 30psi going into the source side. Prior to that I swear it was only a few psi. And this was about 5 years ago. But the heat pump continues to run just fine. I since have tried marshmallows, but those don’t work very well on scraping the interior piping. Or their disintegrating because of the damage the foam did.
    Question: are you supposed to see 30 psi on the source input side? Or did something bend because of the foam I ran through. I can’t imagine that the foam would last all these years and continue to offer blockage. How is the piping designed?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  2. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    What? Why? Who ever told you a piece of foam, or a marshmallow, was an acceptable way to clean a coaxial heat exchanger???????? STOP!!!
  3. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Wow. Ahh what's the pressure on the outlet side?
  4. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    The pressure on the outlet might be 2-3 psi. If you referse the direction of the water through the heat pump, you still get 30psi.
  5. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Well I can see why you waited 5 years to tell anyone LOL. Leave well enough alone.
  6. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    I was just wondering if you're suppose to see a 30psi drop across the heat pump source lines.
  7. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    No. Nor are you supposed to put solid objects in your heat exchanger.
  8. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member


    AMI lets let somebody else respond who may have knowledge about the internal workings of the heat exchanger. Thanks.
  9. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    This is a cut away of your heat exchanger. It is not smooth bore which is why you generally wouldn't put objects it that might get stuck. A quick search of "coaxial heatexchanger" will give you as many photos as you like to understand "the inner workings".
    I wouldn't expect someone to imply ignorance on my end after their confessing to jamming stuff into their heat pump.
  10. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    I freely admit to my ignorance, which is why I posted my question in the forum in the first place. That is part of its purpose. I was hoping for more response like this instead of just tell me to simply leave it alone or LOL. Based on the drawing you found, that still doesn't explain why there is a 30psi drop. Despite it not being a smooth bore, any foam run through it to clean the walls would not get hung up.

    If there is another individual, engineer or contractor more knowledgeable and can offer some insight, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
  11. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Reasons for the pressure drop:

    1. It's being measured wrong or
    2. You're pumping 50 gpm through it or
    3. The sponge. You said it never came out, so I'm not sure what the question really is.

    I would rule out scaling to that great of extent as your heat pump would likely not be working if it was that bad.
  12. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    thanks for the input. I'm pumping about 8 gals per minute through it. The gauge is working properly and the sponge can't possibly last five years with 8 gal/min of water being forced by it. It would have gradually disintegrated and the pressure would have gradually dropped as the sponge simply wore out.

    The question is, what could be in the system that might have been bent by the sponge that could cause a partial blockage.
  13. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Your insistence that a piece of plastic foam must somehow eventually deteriorate in water seems unencumbered by facts.

    3 psid before losing piece of foam within coax...30 psid after losing piece of foam in coax...foam is stuck in coax, restricting flow by a factor of 10.

    The remaining mystery for me is that the pump that used to overcome 3 psid now overcomes 30, but I'm betting you used to throttle the 30+ psig well pump output with a valve, and now you've opened the valve, transferring the pressure drop from across a throttling valve to across a new innovation in water-source heat pump design, the "throttle sponge" Time for a patent application!

    The providential availability of 27 additional psid from a pump supplying an open loop geo heat pump on the off-chance a wayward sponge is misdirected up the coaxial tailpipe is prima facie evidence that many many open loop geo systems are overpumped.
    Tamar likes this.
  14. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    It was a cheap piece of cushion foam cut to about 1 inch square. If it is still jammed in there, even after reversing the flow with 30psi and lasting 5 years, that's one tough piece of foam.

    I did not throttle the water flow at any point.

    The pump used to supply the source is a Goulds HP-BF03s 8 GPM 1/2hp self priming shallow well jet pump.

    I was hoping to be directed to drawing layout of heat exchanger of this GSW 036 heat pump, cause I can't find any.
  15. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    Have you called ClimateMaster customer service? 405-745-6000
  16. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    They say call your installer, who I don't know since the unit was here when I bought the place. No nameplates or documentation left behind and the previous owner doesn't know either.
  17. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    "The question is, what could be in the system that might have been bent by the sponge that could cause a partial blockage?"


    ...."They say call your installer,......"

    I bet you were the story of the day in the break room.

    You can accept this or not:

    Yes the foam is still in there. No nothing is bent. You could attack it with a solvent that would melt foam but any aggressive measures are not without potential harm to heat pump or you.

    It is working (in spite of your efforts to cause it not to). Leave it alone.
  18. pmnpmn

    pmnpmn New Member

    AMI, your customer relationship skills needs lots of work. I and all the people I know won’t be recommending you as a possible solution to their heating and cooling needs. What customer would want to be ridiculed and laughed at by their contractor simply because they know less about this technology than those who design these systems.

    I come to this forum thinking that customers, contractors and suppliers can come together to discuss problems openly, freely admitting my ignorance of this devices, and all I get from AMI Contracting is sarcasm and indignation.

    I’m sure that the other contractors posting on this site are much more customer service oriented.

    The best thing AMI contracting can do at this point is withdraw from the discussion.
  19. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I think you should re read my replies all of which have offered good advice with a little tongue and cheek humor. (perhaps your skin is a little thin). You do not have to accept my advice, but the facts remain: Nothing is bent, the foam is still in there, it still works, leave it alone (After all it's your proactive behavior that got you into this mess to begin with).
    What evidence ever suggested it needed flushing in the first place?
  20. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Did you know a closet auger will go right past a cell phone stuck in the trap of a toilet?


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