My Geo does not do as promised!!

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by daniel, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. daniel

    daniel New Member

    Hi I am a long time reader here but this is my first post... I am not sure what to do about my new waterfurnace that performs way below expectations. I have a 155 year old 2 story farm house, 8" attic insulation, some wall insulation, and 2 year old windows. I got 3 geo quotes, picked the middle one, which is a "Water Furnace Geo-Pro Master Dealer" They quoted and installed a 4 ton envision w/ 4 wells 150 foot deep each. (They are also a IGSHPA accredited loop installer)
    The problem is they did a heat loss calc. on my home, and came up w/ a total est. annual operating cost (heat, hot water, and AC) of $1048, the HEATING part of the estimate was for $557 per year...I know that was an estimate, but my last 2 electric bills were $436, then $538. My average electric for this time of year with my old oil furnace was $158. I know my elect. is going to go up but this seems excessive. What should I do??
    The unit itself is working fine, it heats incoming air 21-22 degrees, but my EWT is only 24.5 degrees. My aux heat also runs all the time if its around 30 outside and cooler.

    Thanks for your help
  2. TechGromit

    TechGromit Member

    EWT of 24.5 degrees sounds way too low to me. Sounds like your unit is close to lockout, if it's not already. Sounds like to me it's using AUX only at this point. While it's true the ground temperature depends on where you live, even in canada, it should still be in the 40's. The COP greatly depends on the temperature of the water, so even if the system is still working, it's really not very efficent at these temperatures. While the EWT tends to drop some over the heating season, 24.5 is way too low given winter isn't half over yet.
  3. Looby

    Looby Member Forum Leader

    That explains the high electric bills -- but it might be a problem with your
    thermostat, rather than your heat pump. My t-stat was calling for electric
    backup far, FAR more than necessary. Disable the aux heat and see if the
    heat pump can carry the load without help.

  4. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Hardly a week goes by...

    without another mis-looped WF install.

    24.5 EWT is likely a problem, though WF will handle down to 15. Capacity and efficiency both take a hit at low EWTs.

    Heavy aux use will kill your wallet as Looby wrote. Stopping aux for a test is good advice.

    21-22 air delta-T is within normal range.

    Where are you?
  5. daniel

    daniel New Member

    I am in SW Ohio, the installer has reconfigured my thermostat 4 times and this is my second t-stat. We also ran w/out aux heat before but the geo ran 24/7 to keep up and lowered my ewt even more because it never got a rest. The mech says aux is supposed to run alot to supplement the geo and give the loops a break but I dont believe that, I think it is just undersized....
  6. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    manual j and short looped

    Hi Daniel,

    If you have been on here for a while you know that you can request a copy of the manual j that was done for your house. Find the balance point, that is the outside temp that the unit will run 24/7 without aux. heat. Also the national avg. is 200' of vertical loop for each ton, 3/4" minimum loop size.
    With this information you can move forward to get what you were promised.
  7. wrice3

    wrice3 New Member

    SW Ohio

    I live in Northern KY which is not far from SW OH, so I am sure my ground temps are not much different from yours. My EWTs have been 31-35 F for the last month. I have a 5 ton WF with 3 250 ft vertical loops, so 150 ft per ton, same as you. So your EWT sounds too low to me. I turned my aux heat off with the dip switch, as the WF will keep the house at 67 F without aux heat down to 0 F outside, and we have only had 2 nights below 0. Plus the thermostat will call for aux heat if it thinks the heat is not rising fast enough when it is not really necessary. Your aux heat strips will definitely suck up kW. My heating bill for January was $200. My gas bill would have been $400.
  8. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Small correction

    I'm sure waterpirate meant to say "200' of bore" vs "200' of vertical pipe" for vertical installs. That would mean 400' pipe.
  9. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    You are correct sir, not enough coffee yet.
  10. TechGromit

    TechGromit Member

    On the Efficiency scale, I always thought Closed loops systems were better than open loop systems, but given these low EWT I can't see how. Ground water is somewhere between 45 to 55 degrees year round for northern United States and Canada, with no EWT degrades as the winter wears on.
  11. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I think he has a closed loop
  12. Geotech

    Geotech Member

    May not be WF

    A house that is 155 years old will always leak air, 8" of attic insulation is not enough, new windows do if they were installed prorerly, and a little insulation in the walls all this just want get it. Any insulation in the floor, you are in an area where good insulation makes a big difference. Your low water temp is becuse the unit can not keep with the heat loss this is why you have a low air temp delta T. Normally it should be 25o or better. You may need more loop if you do not upgrade your insulation. You can have the house tested to see where and how much insulation is needed. I can tell you that you need at least 15" in the attic, blowing it in your self is not that expensive, of course the walls are another matter also if the floors need insulation thats another DIY project. Your contractor should have told you this, it does seem he may have just square footed the job. Also you should never turn off your electric heat if you go off for a few days the unit faults out you will come home to a very expensive mess. Guys you can buy T-stats that will lock out the electric heat until the outdoor temp drops below a temp off your choosing.
  13. hardchines

    hardchines Member Forum Leader

    On the Efficiency scale, if you have a good source of warm water and a way to get rid of it ,open loop is at the top , I do not even understand how geo. pumps working with 20+ degrees water can be as efficient as I am told they are, and I do not doubt that they are. I have a 3 ton and a 2 ton, and are heating about 3000 sq ft. plus HWG. 2 ton upstairs runs bout 25% of the time and 3 ton runs ( stage 1 ONLY) downstairs about 57% of the time. I am in NY and its been cold out this winter, I have no heat strips at all, but do have oil backup in case of a problem. I am open loop EWT 50 to 52F, LWT any where from 39 to 36 depending on water flow at any given time.

    I are happy!:)

    Would love to red about more success stories on this forum but I guess people only write if they are having trouble, As engineer said every week , another mis-looped system.
  14. daniel

    daniel New Member

    I am planning to add more attic ins. this weekend,
    Who's problem/expense is it that my geo can not keep up with the heat loss? Me or the dealer who studied my house, told me what I needed and how great it was going to be?
  15. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I bet that you bought this system based on expectations that came from the glowing sales pitch from your installer.

    If it doesn't perform like he told it would, it is his problem not yours.

    Don't let him blame you for anything:mad:

    You paid good money for this, he didn't do his job !!
  16. benjie

    benjie New Member

    Good day

    I just joined

    I have installed a Geothermal system and I am pretty much happy with the whole process.

    However, my electricity has sky rocketed. I was told it would cost me $500 a year to run.

    Jan bill was $600+, last month 500+
    Here is what I have:
    Jan 08, usage: 1709 $268 - oil burner
    Jan 09, usage: 3640 $640 - geothermal

    Is there something wrong with wither the estimate given or is this normal?

  17. daniel

    daniel New Member

    Do you think I need a bigger unit, or more wells?...........or my old oil furnace!
  18. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I think you need to measure

    First ask for a copy of the heat loss calculation. Then do your own. You can get a free manual J based program from Slant-fin as a down load. If you can not find it let me know.

    Work out what each room's heat loss is and compare it to what is being delivered. How do you do that? Measure the duct work.

    My bad I forgot about air flow. Did the contractor use the old duct work? Is the duct work beg enough to handle the air volume required by the heat pump?

    I think you need to tighten the house, and prove to yourself what the contractor did or did not do when sizing and installing the equipement.

    Not all heat pump problems are water flow related.
  19. daniel

    daniel New Member

    I do have a copy of the heat loss calc. It says balance point is 12 degrees and aux heat should run 1% of the time.
    The contractor did use the old ducts, which are almost too big I think, because they have suggested that I reduce the size of some of them because the airflow I get sucks...
    They also recomended and I did put ins. duct wrap on all exposed duct work in basement b/c it stays about 50 degrees.
  20. Geotech

    Geotech Member

    You have the right to see the heat load if it were me I would. Your contractor made you a promise but if it's not in writing then your at his mercy. If you are looking to be effiecent then do the insulating and also enjoy greater comfort.If your contract promises things that is not being delivered by your system try to get your contractor to pay for part of the insulation installation.:)

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