Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by Geothermal Spirits, Dec 7, 2015.
Hope the zoning functions better than the equipment
Any more updates to report on this? I am building a new home and looking to install this unit with 4 zones and the 108 gallon water heater heating and cooling a 2209sq ft home with a finished basement. Climatemaster offers 18 months same as cash, which is the only reason geothermal is a option for me because I will pay off the difference from a conventional unit with my tax credit and my electrical co-op rebate.
another thing, I see energy star reports this unit to operate at its EER rating when using open loop, (which I didn't think works with this solution) and they report a EER of 33.4 when using closed loop. I also hear there are challenges measuring it's exact efficiency.
Energy star rating is very misleading.
Geo systems with variable speed compressors equipment will run less efficient when the ground loop is an open loop, due to significant pumping power which is not included in the rating. Close loop system with variable speed circulators can use very little pumping, sometimes on par with the pumping penalty included in the rating.
In addition the variable speed heat pups usually can run through 12 stages. Energy star uses stage 6 and stage 12 as low and high stage, adds both numbers together and divides it by 2, when in reality the units run through stage 1-9 most of the time (>95%), where the COP is pretty much on par with first stage rating.
Something the energy star folks don't seem to understand.
does anyone have any updated or new experience with the unit?
My parents are still having the system installed in their new home. Drilling just completed a few days ago. They were supposed to have a pressure test done today. They aren't planning to move in until July so I likely won't have any real feedback until then. The vac system should be operational before then though so I'll let you know if they have any feedback about it before then.
I will be having a 5ton unit installed with the 108 gallon heater with 4 zones. I'll report back as I get closer. I will make sure the unit is ordered at groundbreak of my home so it's ready to install, really don't want to postpone my move in date because the unit takes 9 weeks to get in.
I have a lot of experience with the ClimateMaster Trilogy 0930 and 1860 as a homeowner. Overall the experience has been regrettable from day one installation a year and a half ago right through to today. I know this is an industry forum so sorry to be negative on the technology. I was literally saying to myself last night how much I regret ever hearing about this technology. I'm sure there are better geothermal options and experiences, and I know it works, but too bad I'm attracted to shiny things. My experience might make the pros on the board cringe or fall out of their seat laughing, guess it depends on the level of compassion, but I'm hoping for maybe some advice in exchange for a shared experience. I'll keep it as short as possible.
Bought a new house, did lots of work, old oil heat and hot water needed to be replaced. Heard about geo late in the renovation game game, but decided on a contractor, and in hindsight gave little thought to the actual heat pump equipment. I was focused more on the person and company I was hiring and the proposals coming in because one other company we considered literally imploded, folded and eventually faced federal and local actions while we were planning this project. The guy I chose was accommodating, reasonably priced, experienced, I checked four references and I even did a site visit for another system he installed in the area. Everything checked out.
We planned the system, originally it was to be a tranquility, then heard about trilogy, changed over to that for the efficiency and hot water. That decision set us back two months waiting for it to be delivered. The contractor moved on to other jobs, came back to us, installed the 0930 and the 50 gallon water tank. New ducts etc, all brand new and also included power dampers in each duct for an eventual zoning. Can't complain, delay on me, but happy to get what I wanted, hadn't moved into the house yet anyway.
This was spring of 2014. That winter 2014/15 - endless error messages, lockouts, and system failures. A new board had to be installed. Delayed diagnosis, equipment delivery, it's midwinter, freezing house for weeks. My kid built a fake Lego fire because he was so cold. No joke. We literally had to move out and into my in laws house. A pregnant woman and two children, no resolution or urgency from the contractor or ClimateMaster. No parts available. No one honestly really seemed to care. Board was finally replaced about a month into no heat.
6 months later, same thing, progressively worsening errors, lockouts, system failures. It's 90+ degrees, summer, 70% humidity, more lockouts, failures. Mind you all through this, I'm thinking, awesome, at least I've got that really cool online wifi connected diagnostic capability. BS. no one is looking at that or knows how to use that or seems to care - ClimateMaster or contractor. Weeks pass, I had to tweet what was going on to their social media manager to get a manufacturer response.
Except this time it was the straw that broke the camels back. The original contractor goes "I'm just not equipped to deal with this and service the unit" (a requirement of his Geoelite designation). He goes - here's a list of other guys in the area, call one of them, they're all good, I can't do it. None of these are Geoelite or trained to fix the trilogy. And none in whatever insane search radius I have to use to find one that is will travel to me. Seriously the joke is on me. The original guy loses his certification and is now out of the geothermal installation business and is doing only solar because of this.
So now some other contractor, a waterfurnace guy who actually gave me one of the original estimates for the work, who I decided not to go with, and who I was referred to by the first guy steps up, but has to GO GET CERTIFIED, trained, etc, and do the fix for me (this is the second board replacement I mentioned above and the third system board overall). All he does is complain he doesn't have a service reserve built because he didn't do the install, and how ClimateMaster reimbursement rates are below market, and how he's not getting paid, losing money on me, doing me a favor, (I can't emphasize enough how endless this complaining was, mind you I paid 40-something thousand for this whole heap of crap and ground loop and ductwork and at this point don't care) but somehow he got incentivized enough by ClimateMaster to do the second fix under warranty for me, I have no idea how.
The board gets replaced eventually after waiting through weeks of delays for equipment etc etc etc. no one cares, or ever calls back, we sweat and sweat. And then freeze when we take a shower unless we run those efficient electric hot water heater elements. Yeah because electricity is cheap in the northeast. Absolutely infuriating.
So the new guy puts in the second board. Wait for it..... Boom. Unit fails 6 months later. All sorts of errors, and then lockout. It's winter 2015 and freezing. Roughly 2-3 weeks of back and forth with ClimateMaster contacts I am now starting to establish personal relationships with because of all the phone calls and emails, and with the second contractor, more delayed diagnosis, lack of motivation, response, you name it. Holy f'n headache and why doesn't anyone use or look at this internet tool I have no idea. No one seems to own this and I lose out at every step.
Climatemaster finally logs on (!!), makes adjustments, looks at things remotely, gets it up for another week, that doesn't last, it repeats the breakdown process 5-7 days later. They say it's us, not you, (credit for that and to the people that helped get that done). They step up and offer a new unit free of charge. It turns out the 0930 was also borderline too small (too frequently ran at full capacity for the winter when it was working, couldn't really get home temp over 68-70 in the winter, and hot water supply and recovery performance was so-so. It ran out midway through shower number two. It also looked like the basement wasn't taken into consideration as living space the original install guy. Maybe? Not sure. Wonderful. I asked for, and was approved for, and paid for An upgrade to the 1860. A new unit was going in might as well fix sizing too. The loop had excess capacity, as did ducts, and new unit plan was to dial down capacity a little but be much higher than the 2.5 ton max the 0930 had.
The 1-2 week new unit ship time actually takes 3-4 weeks. My newly trained geoelite dealer who thought he had priority shipping access, turns out not in this case for whatever reason. There were scheduling delays, lots of negotiating on what was needed to install the new unit vs the old one. The cost for larger unit was totally fine, <2100, and I figured maybe 1-2k additional for whatever mods were needed in ducts, etc. but number two wanted >5500 additional (76 with equipment) PLUS ClimateMaster warranty reimbursement of a similar amount. Bank was made, and a service reserve was built. Happy to help? Not really. 1.5 days of work. And the first day everyone left early.
One month later.... Fault codes! Called up newly enriched guy number two. He says: I don't have access to your thermostat, I can't help but ClimateMaster does so I'll call them for you. Doesn't ask for access either!!!! One week later #2 hasn't called, I call again, says he hasn't heard from ClimateMaster, says he'll call them, another week, nothing, another (I swear to god I am not making this up), I'm about 4-5 weeks in. Nothing from ClimateMaster. Nothing from the only geoelite dealer in the land. And faults galore. Luckily it's still making heat, lots of hot water with a larger tank I was given as an apology for troubles by manufacturer (thank you), and occasional springtime AC as needed, but there are faults registering and its out of the box for 2 months!
Oh, and did I mention that the new unit, vertical up flow, was delivered with one corner compressed down a half inch? Literally was dropped or had something dropped on it. The blower is cockeyed and the cabinet door so bowed out it pulls air in through the gap and the screws that secure it don't line with the holes they go through. Number 2 said "they're all like that". And the new return duct, while not climatemaster's fault, was measured incorrectly by #2's guy so as to not allow installation of the vibration pad. The unit sits on a cement basement floor. I pointed both out before final connections and #2 first sad that's ok, it doesn't need a pad, I never use them. ClimateMaster docs say it should, the prior one had it, ClimateMaster People said it should. Two threatened to walk off the job if I didn't allow him install with both conditions (no pad, banged up) as is. Maybe wrong of me but thinking of the lack of contractor alternatives to come on the job to finish it if he walks, new ClimateMaster coordination need, several freezing children, and my wife and I chose to install. Tank wasn't set straight either, not the end of he world and plumbing connections are good but pipes and tank are rotated a few inches off and cockeyed, looks great, and the $500 loop pipe insulation has peeled off nearly every foot of install a few months in. Happy days.
Oh yeah, zoning is available. I looked into it. #2 wanted $5k to add it on despite being pre-wired with dampers already installed in anticipation of the zoning release, so I passed.
Bottom line - buggy technology, looks awesome on paper if it works, no one is trained to service, parts not available on short notice, distribution channels needlessly restrictive, (non geoelite cannot acquire unit or parts to fix or tech assistance to fix, trust me I called every place in the region I could find for help and all said they can't because they weren't trained), web based monitoring and diagnosis all theoretical in my case, and every penny saved will cost you three plus a gray hair and a little regret.
wow, thanks for sharing your story, are you still married?
I now don't have the opportunity to do geothermal, I would have to get a loan aside from my construction loan to make it possible, then wait for the tax credits to come in, which impacts my debt to income when I apply for fixed financing, so it hurts to know I won't get any geothermal, I have a somewhat local guy with a passion for geothermal that services climatemaster more than any other geo units 3 fold. He would never recommend them. I researched and knew I wanted full time hot water from a geo unit, Hydro temp makes a unit that I want. but again, I have to go with a conventional variable speed heat pump. Which, with hyper insulation and 4 zones, I can live with if it means getting the house or not.
I am sorry to hear of your troubles.
What do you mean when you say "conventional variable speed heat pump? 2 stage scroll compressor?
or Do you mean conventional air to air heat pump?
Hyper insulation? Very well insulated?
I have a 6 yr old Hydro-Temp system that has not been trouble free by any means. Someone told me they have 10 yr warranty now but not when I purchased in 2009.
the lennox XP20 is a fully variable air to air heat pump. and yes, very insulated and air sealed. from what I understand hydro temp has gotten better with their units, starting with their fully variable compressors.
So far the Waterfurnace 7 series runs reliable in the field. We put about 100 of them in, and had only minor glitches with some of the sensors failing. If that happens we get alerted via the symphony system (remote monitoring and control) and the they are easy to replace (5 min?). I personally had bad luck with Climatemaster, and I wonder why they still do not disclose design details to the public.
After looking at one close, I sincerely question certain design aspects which I can see being trouble down the road. They crammed too much into the cabinet, very service unfriendly. The internal tank and pump, and the added reversing valve, are areas of great concern. Also the need for pressurized source water will shut down the HP when the loop pressure goes below a certain threshold.
waterfurnace 7 is the front runner at this time.
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