Ohio Loop gauge malfunction?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by MDS, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. MDS

    MDS New Member

    My pressure gauge is reading zero, but I think it's a malfunction. The loop pipes are vibrating and the motors running smoothly. Also, the brass fittings have frosted over as they tend to do when circulating in winter and there is condensation on the pipes.

    6 inches below the gauge location on a vertical pipe (closer to the working loop) is another fitting and unused connection. This fitting is cold but the gauge fitting
    is room temp. Also, all the pipes have slight condensation but it stops at the same level as the unused connection. I'm thinking that somehow the flow is not getting up to the gauge to register.

    Any thoughts? I don't want to burn out a motor but I think the system is pressurized so I'm reluctant to turn it off.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Hello and welcome.

    Is the system supposed to pressurized? You are correct one does not want to run wet rotor pumps without water.

    What is in the system? Water and what?

    Ohio is a rather large state, where are you? I am in Cleveland 44111.

  3. MDS

    MDS New Member

    I'm in Central Ohio.

    It is supposed to be pressurized - I check it often since my neighbor has burned out two motors due to a leak. I'm actually thinking now that this setup is to capture air in the loop and the lower valve is some sort of bleed off? Or way to add fluid? The fluid is definately not making it that high up the column.

    The system is water and methanol, so I'm not too excited about adding more fluid since I don't know what I'm doing.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  4. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I thought that when I looked at the piping, but if it is pressurized and the gauges show zero that maybe cause for concern.

    Is that the only zero gauge?

    Does the system have make up water piped in?

    Pin down central Ohio.

    Where is the designer/ installer?

  5. MDS

    MDS New Member

    I'm in Madison County, west of Columbus. The designer/installer went bankrupt since the install (5 or 6 years ago) so they are no help.

    I'm confident the fitting is to add water, as it has a threaded hose coupling. The "condensation line" that I think shows the level of fluid is almost visible in this photo right above that valve. I either need to find someone that adds fluid in the Columbus area or do it myself!

  6. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Do you know what is in the system?

    Have pump can travel.
  7. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Is the system working? Perhaps do nothing until.....
  8. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    The second photo in the original append was more helpful to me.
    I would guess either you have a faulty air vent or it's closed.... but looking at the sweat line it looks like more fluid will need to be added if you purge the air. (you would need to be careful not to introduce any new air into the system when topping off the fluid level.)

    I guess the most confusing thing in the second photo is how the pipes are connected... it doesn't make any sense to me. Maybe a pro will chime in and make sense of it all...

  9. heatoldhome

    heatoldhome Geo Student Forum Leader

    Looks to me like instead of a push and a pull pump they used both pumps to pump the same direction.

    Low head ground loop system?
    Two heat pumps?
  10. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    Yeah then that could make sense.
  11. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    No. Something so wrong about that plumbing.

    The volute is typically built in to flowcentre and dictates the direction of pump flow. I have never seen a push push configuration. I guess they could exist and this setup would only make sense if it was servicing two units.

    Splitting the flow for one unit is all wrong.
  12. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    How can that possibly work? Are we missing something with the piping?
  13. MDS

    MDS New Member

    Thanks for all the conversation - I am embarrassed by how little I know about this system so I appreciate eveyone's input. Hopefully I can clear up a few things (or make it worse).....

    -I had our local plumber, who does some geothermal work but it isn't their primary focus, look at it today and he said everything was fine. It's a low pressure system that was running at 15 psi, and the zero gauge is at the top of a reservoir built in to allow for fluid expansion and contraction. I asked why the gauge was even there and he had no idea, even said they were rare on low pressure systems. I'm glad I just overreacted, but it does concern me that the times I've had it looked at eveyone seems a little confused about the design and the installer went bankrupt!

    -As far as the piping goes, I think you guys nailed it by calling it a push-push system. The yellow sticker on motor housing says "parallel flow unit". We have first and second floor furnaces so it sounds like it is set up correctly. I took a wider photo to show the heat pump, the larger furnace is out of frame on left and you can kinda see smaller piping behind the heat pump headed to the second floor.

    Again, I appeciate your knowledge and feedback.

    Attached Files:

  14. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    O.k. That works.

    I've just seen a unicorn:)
    Palace GeoThermal likes this.
  15. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    How many gro units does the loop system feed?


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