Nebraska Replacement Time?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Dick Kruse, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Dick Kruse

    Dick Kruse New Member

    Hi -- I built this house in 1978 ---started with a Trane 5-ton air-source heat pump. After going thru 3 compressors, in 1988 I installed a 2,000 foot ground loop ( 4, 500" loops connected outside), using 1" Poly Butyl pipe, with a small Bus Brown Trencher I helped design. The ground loop uses 2 Grundfos circulator pumps in series. I installed a Command-Aire 511 4-ton split system heat pump that lasted until 1998. That total installation cost was $3,600. In 1998, the compressor failed. I replaced that system with a Command-Aire GSSD-48 4-ton, with a Copeland Scroll Compressor, P/N ZR42K3-PFV-230 (3.5 ton). It has been faithfully pumping away for some 21 years, with my only maintenance being a new module for the programmable blower motor twice at a cost of around $200, which includes a spare (they are excessively pricey now), and a new motor contactor.

    So as a retired Mechanical Engineer with a limited amount of days left, I need to make a decision as to what to do with the existing unit before it makes the decision for me. This summer, it has not been dropping the A-coil temp enough to take the moisture out of the air, which could be due to a lack of R-22, or the scroll is wearing out. I am considering replacing the compressor with a new one, which is available for $772 delivered. But should I also replace the TXV valves and the switch-over valve? What about the heat exchanger? If it has been good for 21 years, will it be OK for another 2o? I plan on putting new cartridges in the circulator pumps, since they have been going for 31 years!

    Your advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Comity

    Comity New Member

    Hi Dick,
    I too am running a 26 year old 2 speed 4 ton waterfurnace and trying to figure out what to do. Have had numerous issues over the years, but nothing too bad. I do have to add a pound or so of R22 every year to year and a half because of a evap. coil leak. But the compressor sounds good and keeps chugging along. In my case there is no replacement available for the 2 speed compressor and I don't think there is a replacement coil available. So I am looking at new units and trying to figure out what to do. In your case have, you checked your delta temp and pressures to see if you have a leak in your coil? That would be where I would start. I think a heat exchanger could last for many more years. It is those circuit boards, evap. coils, compressors, and fan motors that break or wear out on these old units that will leave you without heat and air for an extended period. I have no Waterfurnace dealers or any geothermal dealers in my area so I know that if I go back with geothermal my local ac guy and I will have to handle any problems that arise. For that reason the choice of units comes down to what brand of unit has the best track record on repairs, customer service, and price. It seems that none of the new units are built as well as 25 years ago. I just got off the phone with Steve at Hydro-Temp which is located in Arkansas. He spent thirty minutes with me answering all my questions on their units and said that they are having good results with the new variable speed Copeland compressors and variable speed ecm fans that will run from 25% to 100% capacity. At the lowest speed they are getting EER in the 40's and a COP of 5. Super quiet and really take out the humidity which is important here in Louisiana. Hopefully some of the really knowledgeable geo guys with give us some direction and opinions. But here in Louisiana it is 95 degrees and really humid, so those guys are very busy right now!
  3. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    Hydro-Temp uses Bristol compressors called V-Star for their variable speed units. They are very nice to talk to.


    Getting a replacement unit before the 30% tax credit goes away might be better then throwing parts at the old one.
  4. arkie6

    arkie6 Active Member Forum Leader

    Climatemaster geothermal units are manufactured in Oklahoma City, OK. Their Tranquility 30 series 2-stage compressor with ECM fan and variable speed closed loop water pump are rated for cooling EER up to 29.6 and heating COP up to 5.0 depending on cooling loop performance. You can purchase these units directly from Ingram's Water and Air. The list price from Ingrams for a 4 ton unit (TEV049 vertical up-flow) is ~$6,800.
  5. Comity

    Comity New Member

    Hi Chris,
    Hydro-Temp now uses Copeland for their variable speed compressors according to Steve. The tax credit does not go away in 2020, it drops to 26% though. Not sure about Hydro-Temp durability. Would love to hear from some owners.
  6. ChrisJ

    ChrisJ Active Member Forum Leader

    I forgot tax credit goes to 26%.

    My experience with HT was not a good one. They sucked me in with their unit that "does everything", On-demand DHW, radiant floor warm water, forced air heat & a/c. It worked well for 3 yrs, then one refrigerant leak after another. It was 2009 410A was fairly new and they warned of formacary corrosion.

    After 6 yrs I had to replace it, got a Climatemaster to do forced air part, got a heat pump hot water heater for DHW, basically abandoned the radiant floor heat in basement 1200 sq ft, made a DIY solar thermal set up for the 700 sq ft garage.
  7. Comity

    Comity New Member

    Hi Chris,
    After I posted I read your whole thread on your disaster with HT. What a mess! That is why I am still thinking of going with a air to air heat pump. But I read reviews on all the brands and see all the leaking coils, ect. and think I will just keep nursing my 25 year old Waterfurnace along. I just added some Nu-Calgon Easy Seal to hopefully stop a very small leak in the coil. Today my ac guy is coming to pull the r22 out, pull a vacuum , and weigh in new R22 that I acquired for a good deal. I am also going to add a can of AC Renew, which I have read good reviews on. Will lower amp draw and increase cooling by a couple of degrees in a lot of cases.
  8. JD B

    JD B Member

    I've a 31 year old Command Aire that continues to work great. Replaced R-valve and compressor at 24 years that failed from a lightening event that also killed my water heater and coffee pot. Only maintenance was a small freon charge this summer and the orig. circ. pump that I replaced with forum help while waiting for the non pressurized flow center. Given all the horror stories on the newer geo HPs - I'm going to go with repair rather than replace. Even those buyers of the big $$ brands are reporting disappointing warranty support.
  9. Comity

    Comity New Member

    I understand. New units are not built like they were 25 years ago. I am still waiting on the AC Renew. Should be here tomorrow. Just cannot get a 2 speed compressor if this one goes out, unless one of the experts on this forum knows a work around.

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