I am doing a DIY system install

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by SolarPower, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    The condensate line is done. The Geo unit is sitting on anti-vibration pads.
    Yesterday I connected up my Desuperheater it worked last night and this morning I insulated the lines under the house.

    I need to insulate the lines in the garage. I am done except getting the yard into shape.

    The desuperheater ran last night and when I took a shower the water going into my tankless heater was 92 degrees.
    When I was done it was 65 degrees the washer was running at the same time.
  2. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    You must be getting ready for summer time AC use with the condensate line. I still haven't hooked up the condensate pump yet.
  3. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    We have strange weather it is here today it is 65 degrees and I just opened the windows. If my wife was not here I would be running the AC right now.

    Plus without water in the condensate trap it will suck air in the drain. Mine is in a crawl space so that air would come from the crawl space air not ideal.
  4. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    I have the condensate hole taped up for now. It has been mild, it was 61 here yesterday but rainy.
  5. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    The outside temp has been mild since I connected up the hot water Desuperheater. Today I was showering and the incoming temp was 97 degrees when I was done the incoming temp was still 97 degrees.
  6. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    Your showers must be short. :)
  7. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    Today my water temp into my water heater was 105 and after the shower was 102. We are going to get some colder weather I will have to watch and see what the hot water temp gets to.

    I am pretty pleased how much hot water it is making so far. I should see some saving from this.

    My tankless water heater is supper efficient but is still should save some energy/money
  8. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    This is the last stage of the Geo install. I had 10 tons of top soil delivered. It had so many rocks in it.

    I went to the scarp yard and bought some steel. I broke out my welder and built a rock rake.

    I used it to clean up the rocks in the top soil. I planted grass over the weekend and It rained both days.

    Now it is time to wait and see if I get some grass back.

    After and before rock rake.
    20190510_180828.jpg 20190511_084202.jpg
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  9. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    Grass is starting to come up but we need rain.

    I thought the house was getting hot inside it is 89 outside. The thermostat was red with a error code saying condensate full.
    That is when I thought I put soil around the foundation and over top the condensate drain.
    Sure, enough it was plugged with dirt. I unplugged it and reset the system. Back to blowing nice cold AC again.

    I need to extend the pipe away from the foundation and dig a hole and put some gravel in it for the drain.
  10. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Or just run it into a 10 foot section of perforated drain pipe. That'll give you plenty of drainage space and seepage.
  11. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    Thanks, that a good idea. I have to do my gutters with some drain pipe I can add one more pipe for this.
  12. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    My Natural gas bill one year ago was $22.20 6/12/2017 we only use Natural gas for hot water. 10 CF Usage.

    Now that Geothermal heats some of my hot water my NG bill is $16.12 5 CF Usage

    It cut my Natural Gas usage in ½. I have a tankless super-efficient for hot water so the savings is not real big. $4.86

    I could switch to heat pump tank but our bill is close to the meter fee. We keep the Natural Gas for emergency heat vent free logs and emergency heat for my fish tank water in my Aquaponics green house.

    I built a closed loop fish tank heater using PEX and vent free natural gas hot water heater.
    It works very well but since I have solar power I just an immersion commercial stainless-steel hot water heater to heat the fish water. I keep the other heater for emergency backup heat.

    We got some rain and the grass is starting to come back.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  13. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    Just over one year with the Geo install.

    The trenches are looking good we have the grass back. Just over one year and our loop temps are just above 50 degrees in Jan 13.

    We had mini splits before for AC. The mini splits seems to be less expensive to run in the summer. But heating is less expensive with the Geo system.

    The house stays a more consistent temp with Geo. My wife liked the mini splits better as she could keep the living room and kitchen the temp she likes.

    But in the winter is could get 79 degrees and be to hot for the rest of us. The system has run with no issues so far.

    How often should change the filter on the Geo unit? I read once every six months.

    I was happy to not do such a big project in Dec this year.
    ChrisJ likes this.
  14. Deuce

    Deuce Member

    Do you also have filters at the returns? I change mine every 60 days and vacuum them every 30 days. I was advised to remove the filter at the unit after the 1st year and to not replace it.
  15. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I only have filter at the unit.

    Interesting they had had you remove the filter at the unit. That would work out much better for me as my unit is in the crawl space.

    I wonder if that is common to remove the filter at the unit and just put them back at the returns?
  16. Deuce

    Deuce Member

    Having the filters at the returns helps to keep the ducts cleaner.
  17. RenewPower

    RenewPower New Member

    Solarpower - I'm looking into doing a DIY residential solar field (20KV AC) and (eventually) geothermal in Columbia SC. I'd like to understand the pros/cons of solar and geo in SC and was curious if you would be open to sharing your design and experience with a complete novice?
  18. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I did a 12.5KW system most people consider that very large for a DIY project. 20kw is about 83 amps past or at the limit for that most power companies will approve for home solar.

    Power company will only approve you to offset what you are consuming now. If you can get approval for a 20K array I would recommend you have a solar professional consult on the design.

    20Kw array is a big under taking. SC is a great place to make solar power.

    My system has made 128MW so far.
    RenewPower likes this.
  19. gsmith22

    gsmith22 Active Member Forum Leader

    Solarpower - do you have a build thread on the DIY solar system? I am looking to do solar too (~18kW range) although I will probably go the professional consult route.
  20. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I have a pretty detailed build post. There a a few other DIY installs on here also. Keep in mind the cost has come down on most of it. But even with those higher cost I was able to get 4 ½ year pay off.

    Now we are just enjoying the power produced. Last month power bill was meter fee $12.58 and 700 KWH carried forward. I will need this in the winter.

    RenewPower likes this.

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