Problem with new system, Why?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ciws14, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. ciws14

    ciws14 Member

    I have my main 1-1/4" supply and return lines coming through my foundation wall and into my pumps. I ran brazed copper for my manes. A friend of mine is having a ground source installed and the installer is running the 1-1/4" in the PE pipe. Does this have to be fusion welded as the underground portion was or can barb and clamps be used for the exposed piping in the basement? I see that the pump has hose running to the unit with hose clamps. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2010
  2. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    The inside piping which we consider"serviceable without excavation" is usually done to the level where cost, function, and ease of install all go accross the chart. So in short, there are a bunch of different ways to climb that mountain, but because you can service it, it does not really matter.
  3. GeoGuy25

    GeoGuy25 Member

    Pipe Fittings

    There is an equipment manufacture that makes barb fittings for this connection and it is just as good as a fused joint. It is more expensive but ease of installation is sometimes worth the extra cost
  4. ciws14

    ciws14 Member


    Can you recommend an equipment manufacturer? Are these hose clamp style or the crimp for which you utilize special pliers. Thanks.
  5. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader



    The big two manufactures are :

    Flowcenter Products, and Geo Flow.

    They both have a complete line of flowcenters and accessories, the fittings you are looking for. They are mpt X barb insert with a 1/4 inch thread machined into them for the petes port.
  6. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Ed: "Geo Flo"
  7. ciws14

    ciws14 Member


    I see everybody carries brass barb fittings. For a reason no doubt. I am assuming the the plastic poly pipe barb fittings that are used for irrigation and well work are out of the question...Would this be due to the temperature extremes the loop experiences throughout the year?
  8. nemo

    nemo New Member

    I installed a 6ton 2 stage ground loop system this past summer, however I haven't been able to run both stages. The loop gets to cold and causes the system to lock out and goto emergency heat. The installer says the ground temp is not warm enough,(Northeast Missouri) so he shut one stage down until the ground temp rises. So now I'm on a 3ton unit, trying to heat 5500sq ft. the system never shuts down, and the electric bile is $500 a month (ouch).
    Does anyone have any ideas?
  9. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Short looped.
  10. sounds like you have a loop problem, is this Horizontal or vertical ? how much pipe ? Horizontal systems if not backfilled properly wont perform as designed the first couple of years or until soils settle, vertical will have problems if not grouted properly, or are under design for rock/soil conditions, was the ground HX-loops purged properly, all the above will cause a cold lock-out.

  11. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    I'm a homeowner. If the loop is closed, what temperature does the anti-freeze protect to? I wonder if the dip switch that controls the loop temperature lockout is selected appropriately?

    6 tons for a 5500 sq ft house? Is the house exceptionally tight? What was the heat loss calculated at?
  12. nemo

    nemo New Member

    The loop is a horizontal, not sure how many total feet of pipe, but six trenches 100ft long,pipe over laying like a slinky. How many feet of pipe should a six ton unit have? New construction not sure of the heat lose numbers...
  13. We use Environol which is a methonol product, to protect down to 15 Deg F, it has worked very well for us in terms of pumping and viscosity issues, it is expensive, but I dont have to worry about "Shift" that occurs in propelene glycol charged systems.
    if not maintained glycol will breakdown into sugar water and acid, it is also difficult to pump at the lower temp range.

    we typicaly set our lock-out to 10 Deg with 20% methonol solution. the only time I ever had a system lock-out, was because a deck contractor set a post on top of my lines, pinched them, and did not tell anyone, the system worked fine in cooling, but locked up due to low flow.

  14. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    How is a glycol anti-freeze maintained? Does this apply to Methanol?
  15. I stand corrected, Glycol or any other antifreeze needs to be managed, checked for protection temp, and PH, this is more of a problem in systems that are pipped with copper, where flux is used in soldering,
    mainly hydronic systems.
  16. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    For what it's worth, $500 is probably less than you'd spend on propane for a house that size. That said, It sounds like you are describing 600' of piping/ton (100' slinky trench at 6'/foot). That doesn't seem to far off for your area (depending on soil and yada yada).
    What I can't help wondering is why the installers fix is simply to disable 2nd stage. Did he not install the loops as well or employ the sub-contractor? Why is he detatching himself from loop responsibility?
  17. nemo

    nemo New Member

    The installers reasoning why to shut off 1 stage, was the ground is to cold due to the ground not being setteled completly. He was the installer of ground loop, but he has made coments of crowding the trenches, 4200 ft 3/4 in pipe in 6 100ft trenches. I have also question as to why would the going out coil and return coil would be laying on top of one another, with no seperation of soil. Not very effiecient....

    I have talked to another source and they said "at 5500sq ft a 6 ton unit is under sized, would require 2 units, based on the heat loss ratio"?
  18. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Disabling second stage leaves you with 2/3+ of the unit's heating capacity, not just 1/2.

    That said, it is a failure of system design to have a system where operating in 2nd stage overcools the loop.

    A 6 ton system was purchased, but only a 4 ton system was delivered.

    Typical slinky pipe length to loop length ratio is 8:1 from what I've read.

    I'll leave to the northern closed loop experts the question of whether the slinkies were buried standing up or lying down, but my intuition suggests standing up is the right way, unless the slinky swims in a pond.

    What EWT is this system experiencing? Does it have antifreeze? If so EWTs down into the mid 20s are livable in late winter.
  19. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    100 ft of trench sounds about right per ton if using slinky, at an 18" pitch you end up with 800ft of pipe per ton/trench.
    So size wise it seems alright, especially for Missouri.
    There could be air in the pipe, one circulation pump not working etc.
    Need entering water temperature and leaving temperature and pressure drop between entering and leaving water, that way you can determine flow and calculate the amount of heat extracted out f the ground. Without that you are guessing. Your installer should have a start up protocol, where these numbers are written down.
    If not have him come out and measure them, and post them here so we can be of assistance.
  20. geodoc

    geodoc New Member

    You said "4200 ft 3/4 in pipe in 6 100ft trenches", which is about 700ft per trench/ton, seem to be right for a 6ton system. But for a 5500sqft house, a 6ton system seem to be too undersized unless your house is very well insulated and efficient. With one unit turned off, the system is going to run continuously for sure as it can not keep up with the demand of your house.
    Looks like your problem is an undersized system and an undersized loop field for your house. You probably will need to add two more loops and 2 more tons to keep with the need (just a WAG without any data on heating and cooling need of your house. What was the capacity of the previous units if this Geo replaced an older one?)

    You said the trenches were each 100ft long, what was the depth and how far apart are they from each other? The slinky layout seem to be ok, don't worry about the pipes in individual slinky touching, that's the way it is if the entire loop field is sized and installed right.

    You will need to get the Entering Water Temp, Leaving Water Temp, Entering Air Temp and Leaving Air Temp at the unit. Also see if you can get the entering and leaving pressure at the unit. Pl. ask the installer if he measured the GPM by any chance after installation.


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