Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Deb not found on youtube, May 28, 2016.
Are these what you need?
The heat pumps might run with the COP and EER as advertised, but the rest of the system does not. By the time the BTUs make it to your living space, it has consumed much more energy, which is wasted.
But in terms of energy efficiency credit, the heat pumps itself probably run fine. Nothing Climatemaster could help with. But again, the way the system is designed and installed makes it inherently inefficient.
Close up picture of the 2 pumps please.
I think they are all the same as the one I've enhanced.
How are these pictures?
1) Yes, your load pipes going to buffer tank and the air handlers are not insulated, thus when you send chilled water through it for A/C, condensate will form and they will be dripping all over.
2) I was afraid of that. You have dual 26-116 pumps for each heat pump, which is a very inefficient pumping solution.
Where do you want to go from here?
I've had company here all weekend and we are leaving for dinner. I will be able to respond tonight late.
Your pictures make the design of your system easier to understand as a water to water geothermal with wells used as the ground loop and water tanks to supply cold or hot water to the Air Handling Units for heating and cooling. You have a desuperheater in each Geothermal Units for domestic hot water heating.
As a note: The insulation job on the pipe with white insulation was well done, and as good as you would find in a commercial/industrial setting.
The copper pipe at the Geothermal Units and Tanks that are sweating in the summer need to be insulated with foam which will stop the condensate from forming and dripping on the floor.
Here's an example of the foam in 3/4 inch diameter x 6ft length, pre-cut along the length with self gluing joints. When you want to take on this project, measure the diameter of each size pipe you want to insulate and measure the total length of each diameter you'll need. There are several types of foam sold by Home Depot or Lowe's or on ebay.
Raising children is a difficult chore. You do your best, after that you have to hope that they will find their way like most of us did as kids before the computer & video game age.
Most of us have been over employed and kept at work to cover for all of the employees downsized over the years, resulting in a spouse and others raising our kids.
Before you give advise on adding insulation, can we make sure that the pipes do not need to be altered or replaced as part of the measures needed to make this system operating better.....!
I did not send the pictures with the enormous damage and mold on the pipes and insulation. I am now so you can see another chapter of my unending nightmare. The Unico system's condensation on the bottom shows because they never insulated it. The H2 Pro Hydronic Expansion Tank in the picture had to be replaced 4 years after its installation. I came down the basement to find the floor covered in water.
Adding more pictures of the insulation fiasco.
After reviewing the information you provided at the beginning of the post, now that I understand your system design, it sounds like some design changes would be in order to improve efficiency and simplify the design.
Switching from heating to cooling should be nothing more than changing the thermostat from heating to cooling, rather than performing a manual alignment as you said was required on the HBX. Homeowners shouldn't have to request service calls each time the seasons change from heating to cooling.
I'll watch and learn from Doc so he can focus attention on your problem rather than wasting his time chastising me for trying to help.
You will also see the water heater's burnt thermostat installed with the system.
The latest insulation pictures are in better detail and I can see some of the problems you have with the work. The white goo, burnt insulation from solder work, ball valves with operating handles sunk into the insulation.
Picture IMG_1820.jpg is a damaged component that needs to be replaced. It looks like a relay or control device, which is probably causing part of you heating to cooling problem.
After seeing Maurice's Canada home Geothermal install, you have a much better physical installation. The pipes are more professionally installed with copper piping used and the lines are straight and plumb.
The components used are the same brand pumps and brass flanged valves that chose for my install which I consider top of the line components. I believe you have good equipment to work with, but the install was complicated by not having whole house duct work which required the water side/tanks in the house as an intermediate system between the heat pump and air handling units.
Hopefully the Pros will come up with some minor design changes to make your system more reliable and efficient.
I bought this house in 1978, one year out of college. I had a water heater that was here along with a converted coal to oil boiler. The water tank lasted another 20 years as did the boiler. I bought a new Buderus boiler, combined it with a water tank heated by the Buderus, took out an underground oil tank and put in 2 shipping container oil tanks in the basement (the only way I could get oil tanks in through the hatch). None of these products ever gave me a moment of trouble until they died.
In 2008 after my divorce and my older son was in college out of state, I decided to go with the geothermal system and the Unico high velocity air duct system. I work for myself and wanted to alleviate the hassle of putting 10 air conditioners in and out of windows and $3.00 a gallon for oil, plus I still had a 10 year old son living here.
Since 2009 as I stated in my original message, I have not had one month without something breaking down or like the issue at hand, the system not meeting the desired temperatures. There is an outside sensor that never worked. I have to climb up on a ladder (I am 5' tall) and manually change the HBX system each season. Their chief engineer talked me through re-wiring their box because D & D's installers installed it wrong.
In the first 3 months after the system was installed, I would be working in my office (an upstairs bedroom) and feel the room getting hotter and hotter. Going out and looking at the thermostat, it would be calling for 68 degrees and the temp would be in the 80's.
After calling D & D over and over about this, they came and locked the thermostat saying I was causing it to go wild. Then they unlocked it and told me they were going to charge me every time they had to come out and fix it.
I have adapted in the winter to keeping the house between 64 - 66 degrees and when it is really cold not even reaching these numbers. In the summer the electric bills are higher than when I had 10 air conditioners and no solar to supplement the electricity. I have a 43 panel solar array which in the winter gets covered in snow. This winter I had to turn off the heat call on the second floor almost every night and then turn it back on a couple hours later. Only the fan would run with no heat.
I want to know what is wrong and what needs to be fixed once and for all. I cannot be a slave to a system that doesn't work. I am paying for this with a loan. In addition to the loan, it has cost me more in repairs and electricity than any time in the 30 years when I had oil and room air conditioners.
I've had repair companies tell me the wells are too close to each other, they are not deep enough, the units are too small to carry the size and needs, the electric back up (which I had disconnected) should never have been added, the back up should have gone to the Buderus, to junk the oil tanks and Buderus and to put in a gas furnace as a back up.
Companies say they can fix the system and it has been a viscous circle. I am praying a forum like this can put everyone's experience and knowledge together and give me guidance that will end my problems and allow me to be comfortable again in my own home.
The Well Water Loop and Geothermal Unit operation can be determined by the temperatures you see in the Tanks in the House Water Loop. If the water is cold in the summer and hot in the winter, then the Geothermal Units are operating. Performance is another issue to be determined when the system is operating correctly. The problem may be getting the water to the Unico HVAC units which could be the pumps or pump control system. I didn't see any solenoid valve headers, so the house must be cooled by floor and rely on House Water Recirc pumps to stop when the area thermostat has reached the temperature you set in.
I'm hoping the Pros will recognize the melted component I mentioned that looks like a relay or contactor. You can use the manufacturer and model number on ebay to identify what it is. I would buy a new one on line so the service call for replacement can be accomplished in one visit.
If your thermostats have an Aux Heat and Emergency Heat mode, you should be able to use the Buderus boiler for a back up heat source assuming both heat sources can be aligned to the Tanks at the same time. At a minimum you should be able to select Emergency Heat and the Geothermal Units will shut down while the boiler heats the house.
When your system is redesigned you should be able to make a thermostat mode change (heating/cooling) and set the temperature, everything should be automatic after that.
Write down what you want your system to do. Anything you want in a home heating system is possible with todays components and electronic control systems.
The circuit board in the Geothermal Unit is known as a CXM which is the control board for the Geothermal Unit.
The two black cubes on the card are relays. The upper relay is the Compressor Relay, while the lower relay is the Alarm relay. The Compressor relay sends 24vac to the Contactor/Relay in the upper left corner above the card, which energizes the contactor coil closing 220vac contacts to energize the compressor motor. Your Geothermal Unit is running when the compressor is energized.
The connector on the right side of the board is the P2 connector which connects the Geothermal unit protection devices to the CXM card. Contacts de-energize the Compressor Relay when a protective set point is reached which de-energizes the contactor removing 220 vac from the compressor. The Unit has shutdown on a trip (seized up as you called it).
The Green LED on the card will flash an error code on a protective trip, which can be interpreted from a table in your Geothermal Unit owner/installation manual. This aids in Trouble Shooting the cause of the trip.
The field thermostat connector, P1 on the left side edge, lower area, only has 3 or 4 wires which leads me to believe the compressor starts and stops on the temperature switch from the House Loop Tanks.
The Installer substituted the Geothermal Heat Pumps in place of the oil fired boiler. The install makes sense assuming the Tank temperature control, House Loop pumps, HBX and Unico Units were working properly. That is probably where the problem is coming from, the other components are showing some age and failing.
Well, my analysis is slightly different. Please allow me to be frank here:
1) The system is not very well installed. The fact that the pipes carrying chilled or cold water are not insulated and will cause condensation, and ultimately a moisture and mold problem is a fact which should be recognized by any HVAC company.
2) Part of the problem is the usage of many inefficient circulation pumps. They are not top of the line components, the 26-116 are inherent inefficient, and seeing that you have many of those installed will render your system inherently inefficient. Whenever I see a 26-116 pump in a system, I know that the installer or designer has a lot to learn. You are paying for the parasitic energy use of those pumps, as you found out the hard way. You have 4 of them on the loop field, each using 400 W when running, and more between the heat pumps and the unico system.
3) Your main issue is the design. As I mentioned before, combining a W-W geo heat pump with a unico system is a bad idea. In order to get any useful BTUs out of the air handlers, you must to supply 110-120F water to them, meaning your buffer tank needs to be supplied with 120-130 F water. At that stage your heat pumps run very inefficient, doubling down on the energy usage.
Add to that the energy usage of the high velocity air handlers, and you have the perfect storm: An inefficient system using a lot of electricity which does not out out the needed capacity for heating and cooling. Again, sorry for being so frank here. Not unheard of someone who is a traditional boiler installer and now decides to do geothermal without understanding the nuances.
It is not a quick fix, it is an inherent design flaw. Nothing which can be addressed with some minor repiping, with probably many companies coming to you telling you they can fix this, but they unlikely understand this better, as you have found out over and over.
So no, you don't have top notch components, nothing a minor redesign can fix.
So the first thing you need to do is a piping diagram showing how everything is pumped.
1) You said you have 2 boreholes: How deep are they, what grout is in there and what diameter pipe is in there. How far apart are they, and how many feet from them to the house wall. What is the size of the pipe coming through the wall (internal diameter)? Call the driller if you don't know.
2) Try to sketch out are precise as you can a diagram how it is piped at the inside. put every valve and every pump in it.
3) Soon or later you need to get someone in there who gets your heat pumps turned on again, who takes temperatures and determines the water flow in the current setup. It seems like some electrical components are melted down and need to be replaced (water dripping on it?).
4) To leave you with a system like that is no excuse and is not best practice. Check the statue of limitations in your state, especially if you notified your installer multiple times early on that the system is not working. Again, I don't think they left you like that on purpose, I just think that they did not know better.
5) You might benefit from contacting "Tamar" in Minneapolis/St. Paul, who had a similar situation, and finally got her money back and got a new system.
6) Do you still have your old radiators? Why did you go with a UNICO system?
I can help from Ohio. What are the model numbers for the Unico Air handlers? What blower control was used? Are the boiler radiators still in the home? Are they used to heat?
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