"Shallow rock" affects vertical loop's capacity to heat?

Discussion in 'Vertical and Horizontal Loops' started by Tamar, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    You are and have been warmer in MN than OH.. I feel your pain. I will come fix your home when you are ready.

    Stage 1 should be W2W to your radiators. They will emit heat at lower temps. How much is a question to put on the to do list.

    I still think your loops if piped correctly will handle the load of the home. I and others have typed this here.

    If I am correct on the loop field's capacity, then I would have done a 5 ton w2w and the water to air at 3 tons.

    Your loops with proper piping and design will heat your home.

    Buy me fuel, campground fees, good weather and I will come fix your house.

    I think there is a large amount of smoke blowing and CYA by your currently litigated adversarial contractor.

    You are not getting what you paid for and it gets worse.

    I do not support the HV priority over the W2W. The W2W should be enabled to do most of the heating with the cast iron in place. Then the HV can add to air temp when the wind flys down at _20* or -40*. The cheapest fuel if well controlled is the W2W. I think it can run with the HV stuff on the loop field if the piping is correct.

    It is easy to think this stuff up. To make it work the person thinking and selling a protect, to paint nice "blue sky" stuff and take your money must know what they are proposing to do for you. I have "blue skied" many a person here, but only if I am able to make what I type about work in real time and life.

    W1 should be the W2W to your cast iron.

    W2 should be the 5 ton geo to Unico.

    W3 should be the 5 ton geo stage two.

    W4 may be the propane if ever needed.

    Just what I think.

  2. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    Mark, I think you are right on a lot of points. My current installer refuses to give me my money back, they insist they are the best ones to fix this, so they just keep coming back to me with unacceptable proposals. I'm just reporting on the latest proposal, which is GOOD in that they've gotten over their confusion about whether the ground loop can handle the load. Now they just need to be dragged into the 21st century when it comes to acceptable EWT and some other points around that.
  3. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I agree with Mark, it appears to get worse.

    The geo equipment is rated at 32F for efficiency, and specified to operate by the manufacturer at entering water temperatures between 20-120F. What is their rationale to shut off one heatpump at 35F EWT? It will be very difficult to maintain loopfield temps about 35F in Minnesota.

    In addition, their notion that the desuperheater needs to be disconnected in order to rejecting more heat into the ground is outright silly. A small residential loop field like yours recovers during the summer because of the surround ground transfers heat to it, not because the desuperheater is running or not.

    Who from their "design team" is now suggesting the above?
  4. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I agree with everyone else. I would ask all who are familiar with the 2nd Lt.'s of WWII being refered to as " 2 week wonders " to laugh out loud with me here. It is painfully obvious that the same adage could be applied to the design team now driving the wheel.
    So sad
  5. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    I think they are playing games. They can't possibly be serious. I've confirmed that the removal of the desuperheater and the 35degree EWT threshold is all the third party engineer, not the person I brought into the equation who convinced them that the loopfield was adequate.
  6. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    I was angry with myself from a day long project that kicked my sit upon. You know I have been in your corner for you from the get go. If I sounded harsh I am sorry.

    My grandfather used to tell me that a fool convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. He may not have thought it up, but that is where I heard it first.

    Let us see some positive in this project.

    Most of us typing on this thread know the loop field will work.

    Your guy will fade into the wind if you sue and win the suit. You will not get your money back, even if he comes and pulls your what is now used equipment.

    I do not think anyone involved with your adversarial contractor and this project have any clues to how this stuff works or how to control how this bad design could heat your home.

    You are fearless. You found us at this BB.

    You want what you paid for to work.

    Since my post last night I have been working on how to control what you have and make it work. I wake up in the middle of the night and write stuff down, because that is when I "see" solutions. I have also made you an offer to fix the controls and the piping. So when all is said and done, the system can work as paid for.

    I know how to make your avatar heat your home.

    Life is good.

    The sun comes up each day whether we are ready or not.

    The only down side I see at this point is:

    Timing of the litigation if any.

    Not allowing "THEM" to make things worse.

    Waiting for warmer weather.


    ps. The last time I saw your state was in 1969 from the deck of the SS Reserve. She is now a barge.

  7. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    As an after thought do not give them any MORE money for anything. Check with your legal eagle for the final opinion on that option.

    Toss what they bill you into a cookie jar marked "Stay warm and comfortable when this is all resolved".

    Tamar likes this.
  8. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    Mark, Jens, Eric.....thanks for your support.

    Rest assured they will not get any more money from me! Fool me once.......
  9. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    I want to cry. I just got our last bill....$680, of which $167 of it is household electricity (geo is on a separate meter). Over $500 to heat our house when we let the system do what it's programmed (by our incompetent installer) to do. I've manually switched over to emergency heat (all gas) in some of the previous months, and thought I should probably stop doing that as we get closer to a face off with the installer. This is the result....
  10. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    One can not judge a heating/cooling system by dollars at the pump. Look at the Tesla cars catching fire. It does not mean electric cars are junk.

    This has been a remarkable winter. I have piles of snow from late November still trying to melt. Here in Cleveland, OH we have had about twenty five days below design temperatures. That is by 10 to 20 degrees below what we design for.

    I am sorry it cost too much to heat your home this winter.

    We know it is not the best design nor the best control system, using cheapest fuels first.

    What do you pay for KWH delivered for the heat pump meter? What is the cost for the "rest of the house"?

    Propane is not cheap. It is directly tied to refining crude oil. I paid $1.00 per gallon to fill my tanks on the travel trailer a month ago. The propane system here in Ohio is broken until it warms up. Gas here went up 38 cents per gallon this week because, "we are switching to summer gas". They do what they do. Fair or not.

  11. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    Mark, I didn't mean my post as an indictment of geo, but as an indictment of my installer who has let my geo issue go yet another winter.

    In the past 28 days, we used:
    4406 kWh (1259 @ .1066 cents, 3147 @ .0745 cents)
    268 therms (back up heat, gas)

    It is the 3147 kWh that the split/SpacePak/pumps used that makes me sad. We have enough pumping power for 8 tons of equipment, but have 5 tons running, and the SpacePak is chugging along and burning through kWh due to the limits of return air. And we have a 3 ton high temp W2W that could've been running efficiently had the breaker not been pulled.

    I'm just frustrated and venting. I didn't expect February to be more than 10% higher than January. I know there were a lot of variables at play, I was just hoping that by this time I could be saying "imagine what it would have been if we didn't have geo!", and that is not the case.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  12. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    I feel your pain and know how to fix the system, as you know from our conversations. I would have you look at the Tekmar 406 house control.

  13. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    This is a crime what's going on here.
    Why don't you have someone confident and qualified come fix the system at your cost (Mark Custis perhaps). Then when it's working correctly you can either offer the original installer to cover the bill, or at least have glaring evidence in legal ways that it was done incorrectly from the beginning. Your the ONLY one losing here with electric bills in the $500 range. I've always been told that sometime you have to cut your loses and stop the bleeding.
  14. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    Dan, if there was an easy or inexpensive fix, believe me it would have been done by now.

    Once I do ANYTHING to the system it negates the installer's responsibility for the issues. Call me stubborn, but I have toughed it out for this long, I need to get through this winter. I had a weak moment while sitting alone in a hotel room and looking at our new bill...it keeps me going to get occasional reinforcement here that I am not expecting too much and also to further educate me on my options and how to evaluate the crap my installer and their PE keep proposing.
  15. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I understand. I feel your pain and frustration.
    But at what point is it going to be enough? He is either uneducated in geothermal, or incompetent. Month after month goes by with high electric bills.
    The moment someone touches the piping, ductwork, HPs, stats, and circulator pumps he is off the hook...your right.
    But wouldn't it be nice to have him out of your life and have a good working system? To me it's a small price to pay for all the aggravation you've been putting up with.
    On top of all that you would have a case for the improper install if it makes it to a legal matter too.
  16. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The installer has no idea on control logic. I think one should use the cheapest fuel first.

    In my opinion those heat pumps properly piped should carry the home's load. One might use the boiler a bit with the weather we have had this winter.

  17. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Up here you could notify APEGBC of my work, iff I should be practicing so far outside my area of expertise as an engineer. Just saying.
  18. Tamar

    Tamar Member Forum Leader

    Chris, this is what is so confusing. I don't understand why this engineer/engineering firm is coming up with the recommendations that it is. I am on the hunt to find something published to refute the recent recommendations.

    They have taken the stance that I have to provide written information if there are facts I want them to consider in any sort of re-evaluation of their recommendations. At the same time they have rebuffed my requests for documentation that supports their plan.
  19. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    I've been involved with a few "discussions" with conventional mechanical engineers. Usually the client is not involved in these. Bottom line, it usually takes another engineer to call an engineer's bluff. Unfortunately.
  20. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    These engineers claim to be geo experts (and indeed are employed as such, i.e. Ball State) yet they talk about Tamar banking btu's in the balmy MN summer for use in the winter. Bull.

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