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Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Deb not found on youtube, May 28, 2016.

  1. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I guess it has to work in theory first, then you have to make it in practice, and then you also have to ensure that you check and monitor what you have done so you verify your theory and your practical applications.
    I am doing this for 34 years, and last year we installed 198 geo heat pumps. So I have a bit of experience too, I just don't mention it all the time when I want to be right.
  2. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Show me the melted switch.

    One buffering tank and two machines one should still make chilled water.
  3. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    One never learns by talking.

    Doc you told me how to fix the issue. Thank you.
  4. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    For the ones who mention the retorics here:

    Deb is the best example how people get hurt by un-evolved installers. Crappy installation practice, and system designs which either don't work well, or are absolutely inefficient. She has taken up a loan, is putting herself through, has no funds left, has been abandoned by her installer, now has a cold house, mold growing over her pipes, and very high bills. In addition many people have come to her telling her that they can fix this, without any improvement from her perspective. All because she believed in the magic of geothermal to provide high quality space conditions at low operational costs. Why did she not just throw in a new oil boiler?

    Indeed Mark and I differ from each other that I believe that geothermal without efficiency (and related costs savings) is a betrayal on our customers. So I do care about efficiency and cost savings, and I am afraid that people who got hurt by others in the industry get hurt even more. Or continue to be mislead.

    I also believe that this place should not be used to offer your services with the promise to fix this, especially to people who have been hurt, when this is unfixable in it current design, at least in providing savings Deb was expecting and now seems to depend on.

    To alter her system to put more heat into the house is easily doable, no question. As long as Deb understands that her operational costs will go up further (but she will be warmer) with the services Mark intends to offer, I am fine with. She is old enough to make that decision, and by now she should be well informed.

    For those who share in those believes that we own customers not only comfortable but also efficient systems might understand that I spoke up here, and continue to do so.
    To all the others I apologize for exposing you to the rhetorics.
  5. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The pin ball wizard.
  6. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    After reviewing the operation of the HBX, this switch could be operating the Geothermal Unit by way of the HBX or Geothermal CXM Card thermostat input connector input. Either way I'm betting it no longer performs its temperature control function with the plastic melted around the temperature set point screw.

    The other question is why did it melt?

  7. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    I once owned, cleaned, and chemically maintained an in ground swimming pool. I found the sand filter to work well since it could be back flushed to clean and saved over using a pool filter. I used an eductor on the pump discharge to slowly melt a chlorine tablet over time to control the chlorine level of the pool while the skimmer system was running.

    I used a hot water heater timer to start & stop the pump which chlorinated, filtered the water and skimmed the pool a few times a day while no one was at home. The skimmers needed to be used each day to remove the various Southern insects that came in waves over the summer.

    The timer could save you electricity and allow auto maintenance/chlorination/skimmer operation each day at various times. I just installed the same timer at my Son's house for his hot water heater.
    For hot water, it's easy enough to plan when you need hot water then set the timer for those time periods. The timer has a switch to allow manual operation when hot water is needed at an off time period.

    The "Little Gray Box" by Intermatic is the timer I used then & now, and it's still being sold in stores and on ebay for around $30. WH40 is the model number.
  8. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    Hi Deby,

    I hope you get a resolution to your issue. I haven't read all the details or looked at all the pictures, but from what I did pick up, it sounds like you are having issues caused by the installer (not the manufacturer).

    My saga was long and at times very frustrating. I refused to delete my online discussions (yes that was a negotiating request from the other side) because I hoped they would help others, and maybe they'll help you. Here's one that might have some information that would be helpful:
  9. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    "shallow-rock-affects", brings back some memories.

  10. I apologize for the lack of communication. I spent 7 hours driving to and from Newark airport yesterday and picked up my son who was flying in from a 10 day trip to Israel. While there he contracted strep and is very very sick. By the time the symptoms became apparant they were (a group he was with) in the dessert, hundreds of miles from medical help.
    Today I took him to the doctors. The strep has traveled from his throat to his groin and he's in a lot of pain. On Sunday it is supposed to rain and I will get down to the basement to measure and lay out the system. Tomorrow I have to cut the lawn while the sun is shining.

    Have a great night,
  11. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    Sorry to hear about your Son's bad experience/illness while traveling.
    No apology needed for your communication, you mentioned the trip to pick up your Son at the airport. I hope he recovers soon with no complications.
    It's good to hear you are back home safely.
  12. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    What ever happened to Deb's problem?
  13. Hi Mark,

    I have been lost in Mother-Hood and out of town company.

    Moving from the strep throat - this week on Monday he had the first two wisdom teeth pulled and the third broke, lodged in the bottom jaw until Tuesday when we drove across CT to another oral surgeon who was able to extract the piece and the other tooth.

    My plans are to have my son help me this weekend measure and draw up the configuration of the pipes.

    Good news, I just had my physical today and I am healthy. Our dog had her's yesterday and lost another pound (down from 91 to 61 lbs.). My son is eating cheeseburgers and pizza. All is good for the minute.

  14. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I get good heath.

    Please do not do all of that for me. I do this by feel and function. I am not the "WORLDS MOST", of anything.

    I will be happy to help you make this home work.

  15. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    It's good to hear that you are in good health and your Son recovered from his Strep Throat medical emergency, and his wisdom teeth removal with complications.
    I remember my wisdom teeth extractions very well, and what the doctor said when he finished. He mumbled about finding a better way to earn a living, he had blood all over his lab coat. I felt worse than he did when the novocaine wore off.

    Looking back at your Geothermal issues:
    Mark suggested adding heating coils to both of the Unico ventilation units for heating in the winter.
    You have a melted temperature controller on one of your Buffer Tanks that needs to be replaced.
    Your Geothermal Units may need a check up to determine why they won't cool the buffer tank, or if the Buffer Tank is cold why isn't the cold water making it to the Unico ventilation Units.
    Doc suggested replacing the Grundfos Circulating pumps to reduce energy use since they larger than needed for you system. Consider 3 speed pumps if you buy new Grundfos Circulating pumps in the future.
    You have copper pipe sweating that needs to be insulated, which would be best done when humidity level is low in the basement, so you can dry and re-insulate the pipe.
    Someone asked you to draw the system, and I suggested using the drawings from the HBX ECO 1000 manual I found on line.
    The HBX ECO 1000 was found to be capable of doing anything a designer would want to do with your system including using the Aux Heat mode that could be used to operate the fuel oil fired boiler.

    Deb, Nice picture.
    I use Mr Magoo doing an inspection in place of my photo on I might as well add it here. Ron
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  16. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    I asked my Brother how he used the pool noodles to insulate his geothermal system. He slid the noodles on the lines which are Polyethylene continuous runs. He wrapped them in the bubble wrap backed aluminum that's used to insulate rectangular duct work when placed in exterior walls. He taped the joints of the aluminum bubble wrap.

    Since he lives in SC where the summers are hot and the humidity is very high, so he added the foil wrap. I have black foam tubes on my lines which are enough to prevent the lines from sweating where I live in North East Ohio where the humidity is low in the summer compared to the Southern States.

    I'm sure that when you look at your multicolor noodle insulators after they are installed, you won't be able to stop yourself from singing that age old favorite which was sung by Paula Hess in the High School Talent Show a long time ago, "I Can Sing A Rainbow". I have an audio & visual playback on that like it was yesterday.
  17. sak12344

    sak12344 New Member


    Your experience with geothermal sounds very much like my own. $30k system installed, $25k now spent on supposed repairs to a systems that still doesn't work correctly. I now regret not ripping the whole thing out last fall and installing a natural gas / propane furnace. The NG / LP furnace is what we used to have, and like you, not a single problem with it until it died. Geo has caused us nothing but headaches since day one.
  18. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    I see you have added your Geothermal problem to this website.

    I'll take a look.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  19. Hi Everyone,

    I am back. Since my last post with my son's wisdom teeth, it has been quite a ride. Last Friday a week ago, at age 20 my son had a 7.5 hour heart operation. He's back at college and I am finally getting back to my geo thermal problems. Not to be outdone, on October 19th I had an operation on the elbow. You can't make this stuff up!

    When I last reported the house was not cooling it was summer. Soon after, the upstairs Unico stopped working. As you can see I had many other more important issues so I just moved my office downstairs where the first floor was working just fine. Funny thing about making due, this is a big Victorian. I put a fan at the bottom of the staircase and blew the cool air up the stairs where it was met with a ceiling fan that threw the air around the second floor. I put a fan blowing out of my bedroom and office. Expelling the warm air from the rooms met the cool air and kept the upstairs cool. In addition, my electricity bill was nothing (0 one month, 17 and 43 the other months thanks to the solar array and no rain) compared to running 2 Unico systems.

    Now, I am faced with winter and I don't think blowing the heat up to the second floor is going to be enough. I bought a multi meter, watched a ton of YouTube videos and checked the thermostat. I am not getting any voltage. When I ask for heat and the Honeywell, Focus Pro 5000 model TH 5220D 1003 (new install less than 2 years) fan is on auto nothing happens. When I switch it to fan, it shows calling for heat and after the delay it goes to aux heat message but the fan does not come on and neither does any heat.

    I went to the attic and there are no lights on. I've thrown the breaker in the basement a couple of times and it does nothing to initiate the power for the Unico. The blower module no. is MB3642L+CB, serial number 0805A233272, motor is 1 HP, FLA 6.2, the Unico Heater with Integral Limit Control is model WON1002, 9600 Watt - 7.50 x 8.75, serial number 184058-002-006, date of manufacture 0908, number of steps 2, heater amps single supply 40, max fan motor amps 6.5.

    There are 2 circuit breakers on the unit: one is 15 and the other is 60. The 60 is labeled L1.

    Ta Da! My question (finally) should I try flipping these circuit breakers to see if that will reset the power?
    If I should, in what order?
    Should I try flipping these first and then go to the main circuit board and try flipping the circuit after I've flipped these?

    Thanks for your patience and help.
  20. mrrxtech

    mrrxtech Member

    A circuit breaker has 3 positions, open and closed are what most people deal with, but when the circuit breaker does it's job for an over current condition, it will go to the Tripped position which is somewhere between open and closed. Always look for this when going to the Service Panel to trouble shoot a problem. You may be aware of this, if not now you are.

    Here is the worst thing you can do since I've done it. Reset and close the breaker only to have it open, then repeat that. You are asking for a fire, as I did. Luckily I saw a flash on my outdoor Heat Pump and realized a wire was bare and shorted to the Heat Pump case. I replaced the wire and my problem was gone. The breaker once again closed and stayed that way.

    Your Geothermal Unit has a 24 vac transformer as a Control Power to operate everything inside of it, the circuit boards and relays for controlling the fan, and compressor, that power can also be used to open valves inside and outside of your Geothermal.

    That 24vac from your Geothermal connects to your Thermostat by way of 2 of the wires in your thermostat wire bundle made up of multiple insulated wires. The Thermostat acts on the power then feeds it back to the Geothermal circuit board using the return 24 vac wires to start the fan and compressor, switch from heating to cooling, and operate Emergency or Aux heat.

    A typical color code in a thermostat wire: Green=Fan, Yellow=Compressor, Orange=Freon Changeover Valve for heat/cool selection, Red = 24 vac Hot, Brown=24 vac common.

    When opening up your thermostat to inspect the connections, always open the breaker to your Geothermal Unit or Air Handling Unit if you have multiple Thermostats for controlling those devices, in order to remove the 24 vac.

    There can be more wires such as Y2 if you have a 2 stage compressor. NOTE: COLOR CODES ARE DETERMINED BY MANUFACTURER but Green, Yellow and Orange [Blue] are used for the same function by most manufacturers.)

    When you check for voltages put your Volt Ohm Amp Meter (VOM) also known as a Multi meter since it reads the above parameters (multiple parameters) in the AC position and above the highest voltage in your Geothermal which is 220 vac, in case you somehow find some 220vac on the compressor Contactor/Relay for instance.

    24 vac sounds harmless, but having shorted a test lead to my furnace cabinet a while back I can vouch for the amount of current involved, since I welded the end of my test lead to the cabinet and the sight and sound of the arc was tremendous.

    More after the Break and a review of your techincal manuals for you equipment.


    Always use your Right Hand to hold the Test lead since the path to ground through your body does not include your heart. I have a Cousin who's heart is on the Right side of his body, so he would use his left hand to hold the Meter probe. The hand not in use never touches ground, as in leaning on the cabinet with the Left hand. Beginners put their left hand in their back pocket to ensure they don't misplace their hand. A small amount of current though the heart can stop it.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016

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