Need advice for geothermal

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Upstategeo, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Upstategeo

    Upstategeo New Member

    Hello to all,
    I'm brand new to this forum... I have a six-ton Geocomfort unit installed last year by a now defunct company called Gleason (Rochester, NY).
    This was very bad news since our geo unit is now acting up and nobody is there anymore from that company to come and take care of it...
    The unit is kicking on and off every 10 or 15 minutes. The house is quite comfortable with a maintained temperature of 70° but I worry a bit about wear and tear of these constant stops and gos. From time to time the unit will stop for a split second and continue running. The weather here in upstate NY is now quite mild and I don't understand why the unit is working this way.
    Here are some specs from the CPU (HBX 0500) : Outside temp : 31° ; Inside Temp. : 70° System Temp. 1 : 115°; System Temp. 2 : 48°
    Thanks much in advance for any help of any kind !
  2. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    We can't help without more info.
    Do you know the heat loss of the home?
  3. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    It is normal to cycle in first stage when it is 31F outside. Your gas furnace would do the same. So what is system temp 1 and system temp 2?
  4. Upstategeo

    Upstategeo New Member

    The heat loss should be minimal since the house has been fully insulated. When it is barely windy outside, the unit kicks on and off every 15 minutes or so, and as I say I'm worried about wear and tear. Is it normal for a compressor to work this way?
    I assume that both systems Temp. 1 : 115° and Temp. 2 : 48° are stages 1 and 2 right?
    Thank again for your input.
  5. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Hi UpstateGeo....I have taken over many of their jobs in the area and have an HBX expert on staff..... I live in Rochester and service about 90 minutes around this area.

    Feel free to send me a message at AJ@ACES-Energy or give me a call!
  6. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Thanks AJ.

    Saved me a trip in winter. Next time we are up that way I'll buy the beer.

  7. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Make sure you stop in Buffalo as well!
  8. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    We will do that.

  9. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

    This does not sound normal. Wonder if there is a thermostat problem?
  10. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

  11. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    everyone around here goes to that meeting!


    we also (like ACES) trying to help many customers (I had 12 call me so far) with a system installed by Gleason, which appear to have many issues. ACES is closer to you, and they will take good care of you. They (Gleason) usually did not use buffer tanks thus desuperheater contribution for domestic hot water is minimal and coupled with high electric bills (depending on your hot water consumption). They were $4-5K cheaper on paper, but now the systems do not perform and the installs and designs are questionable at best. Now they are out of business, and the factory warranty is not worth much since everyone else around here is reluctant to touch their systems.
  12. ssmith

    ssmith Member

    It's good to know that you guys are willing to take care of their customers out there. We could have easily been one. Gleason did our energy audit and was one of the 2 quotes we got for our geo system. We were almost ready to have them do the job until we got the 2nd estimate from the guy we ended up going with. Just one example of why we chose the latter was the recommendations both gave when it came to our existing duct work. Gleason told this cheap homeowner what he wanted to hear, when I asked "can you guys use our existing duct work?" Gleason's said, "Yea, we can hook up to that no problem". The installer we chose said " I'll do whatever you want, but you should really, really, really consider swapping the supply and return grates around and replace the existing duct work with a plenum and new ducting (adding ducting where needed), even though it will cost more. The system will work much better, be more efficient, and be quieter."

    After I saw the dusty crap they pulled out, the return ducts that were just leaky sheet metal nailed between floor joists, I knew we did the right thing. In at least one case, the return duct that led to a grate near an outside wall, had a direct (and fairly large) leak to outside air at the rim joist (I sealed all my rim joists as they did their thing as well). This attention to detail carried over to all the work done on our system, and I knew I chose the right guy to do the job. Many other examples I found between the 2 quotes, the more I looked, at the time.

    Not meant to be a Gleason bashing post by any means. They did a lot of systems and I'm sure they must have lots of customers who are happy with their systems. I just got the feeling, when I did more research on them at the time, that they were doing a great job at advertising and getting their name out everywhere, but that in itself made me a little uneasy. I was surprised, a little shocked really, to find this thread that was the 1st I knew they went out of business.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  13. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    No, I don't want to bash them either. We just seeing a lot of very unhappy customers who paid a lot of money and are now desperate since their system does not work, or works very inefficient, and obviously they are the ones calling us or ACES. It just gives geo a bad rep, something we really don't want. In one way it is sometimes the homeowners fault since they want it cheap, cheap, cheap, which provides a market for installers who cut corners and provide underperforming systems. But many times they did not cut a corner, good equipment, but simply a lack of know how.
    Examples are 6x150ft boreholes with 0.75" pipe connected in series, no buffer tanks at all for DSH, header pipes "buried" down 1' below ground, or pond loops without any ballast on them (floating on the surface), or single stage thermostats for dual stage heatpumps. Now imagine not just one but multiple of the above mentioned issues on one system. You just don't know where to start, and if you touch it, then all of those cans of worms become your problem. Sometimes it is very hard to help, especially when this cheap cheap customer now is demandingly yelling at you, because now you are the expert who should fix all that, preferably on the warranty they thought they have....But we don't give up, we are trying our best.....
  14. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Come on Jens, I might have you beat on that, I got calls with jobs with (13) 65" loops in series for a 6 ton system in one house and an "unknown" amount of loops in another with 3/4" supply/return, (4) 26-116 pumps trying to move that with 100% glycol...

    The best was one a few weeks ago, (2)6-ton water-to-water, 2 stage wired together and and jumpered Y1 and Y2, so all 12 tons would come on at once..ever seen some lights dim....oo, and than trying to put 12-ton of fluid into a 50 gallon water heater with 3/4" ports, using 3/4" pex with THREE 26-99 pumps to move it....awesome!!

    Was called into a job this afternoon as a paid consultant, old farm house, put in a 4ton unit w-a unit, unit was operating just fine but unit was about 1/2 of what was needed for house, felt bad for customers, spent $30k on a system that the auxiliary heat has run 22% (on board diagnostics) since fired up in November, while two space heaters are in the house at all times and burning wood most of the time to keep house just at 68F. Time will tell what we propose here!

    When fixing these jobs, the price adds up because we not only have to start from scratch, we actually need to spend time removing the existing, so it it quite labor intensive....Lesson the day, interview your installer carefully!! Geothermal works, it is how it is installed!
  15. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I won't abide yelling, particularly if the loudmouth is asking me to mitigate another incompetent installer's screwups.
  16. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader win!

    No bashing here, just some frustration and sadness. Just feel sorry for the people who spent a lot of money and now have poorly or non functioning geo systems. Had another call today, unit was not having an air for 7 month, now it stopped.
  17. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I could keep going, but no need. No bashing here either, just want to push the geo community in the right direction and help those in need of help!!!
  18. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Yikes. Hope that they just stopped and did not move to Ohio.

  19. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    May be we can tell them that the reason they failed were the high taxes in New York state, and Ohio or Michigan or Pennsylvania would be much better for them!:cool:

    I used to be discrete when people asking me about them. Not any more.

    The last I heard is that they will restart. One of their suppliers from Rochester, who they own reportedly own a ton of money, is willing to underwrite them in hope they can recoup some funds. It will be another interesting year. I cannot see how they stay in business the way they operate, so it will just be a matter of time, with many customers getting burned.
  20. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Spent my last night, Friday evening with my service tech working on one of their jobs they did last year, complete disaster, I sent a text with photo to Docjenser and he got a kick out of it. He wanted me to post it, but I am afraid of posted bad photos with my name attached to it...someone might think its my job..

    Than I spent today, my Saturday with my two sheet metal guys at a house that they took full payment in March and did not come back to finish the sheet metal. So, today I played sheet metal helper and finished all the ducting!

Share This Page