My experiences so far

Discussion in 'Geothermal Heat Pump Testimonials' started by HVAC Technician, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Reply

    In this area we use submerged wells 1/2 - 1 HP . My HVAC installers used a 5 gallon bucket to test water flow before we started. The 1/2 HP or 3/4 HP can meet flows for two ton capacity though I went with a 1 HP replacement when my 3/4 HP failed in Jan 2011.

    Bear in mind that the small amount sand you are referring to represents A LOT of water that has flowed through the system during 5 or 6 months. There is no such thing as a well that pumps 100% pure water, unless you have an aquafer hundreds of feet deep. This is the water available to us, and it is pretty pure. I have shut off valves on either side of that housing, which minimizes possible "stir up" at the source end.

    I am also having fewing problems with the remaining TACO factory valve. Before putting that bowl in the TACOs were giving problems in 13 or 14 months.

    We are using a simple Franklin Electric submerged well motor which as I understand the design, passes or slings initial sand out before it gets to internal pump lobes or rotors. My well guy actually increased my warranty from one to two years and claims that standard single speed Franklin well motors in this class give him no problem whatsoever in this area as to longevity.

    He replaced the previous one when it freak failed at the 7 month mark. And THAT ONE went 11 years.

    I do not understand what you mean by "holding tank". Are you referring to an air bladder tank? In my situation, for some reason I already had two medium sized air bladder tanks probably purchased from lowes both piped into the system when the house was purchased. My well guy Raymond Golston does not think there are any problems with them, though I think he said it is possible to upgrade them and mentioned that as an option. I remember once when I replaced the Square D pressure control, opting for the lower pressure model because I felt the well motor would last longer.
  2. Reply

    That's not the problem. I own my own Johnson Controls H-10 with new R-410a sensor head and access to others that will also read R-410a. If you read earlier posts

    Scott Burnett (the commercial installer) performed a thorough leak search last January 2011, I let Scott do it all, and he billed me! I also searched two other times. We had the water hoses off, I sniffed on both sides of the coil. We pressurized to at least 140 psig.

    The safeties were leak free; no leaks around the terminal box or external brazed joints.

    I could teach a five year old to find a big leak, but the tiny ones....

    The only thing I did not do was start ripping off the factory insulation on the water coils.

    We may or may not have to in the spring. My idea is to do a fresh leak search starting with the coil using several different professional detectors in the spring. First the coil, then the water coils according to Climate Master literature. We will use nitrogen with trace refrigerant to pressurize to whatever Climate Master recommends. (which is much higher than R-22)

    Other than that, the heat pump works fine with a full charge.
  3. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Yes I am referring to your bladder tank. When we do open loop geothermal jobs, our rule of thumb is triple the standard bladder size to handle to constant cycling caused by the geothermal unit. I do not even bid or offer standard wells pumps anymore when bidding on new open loop geothermal jobs ( Grundfos SQE models are our preference now). When you upgraded from the 3/4 hp pump ( assumed 15 gpm???) you should have also upgraded your bladder tank at the same time, especially since your using it for open loop geothermal. A short cycling pump will not only damage the life expectancy of the pump, it will also draw in sand from the well too.

    What is the gpm of the 1 hp pump you have now, and tank size you have now?

  4. Requested Information

    I'm pretty busy right now supervising a 3/4 million dollar change out of older 1980's water cooled Trane centrifugals with new state of the art Smardt centrifugal machines. So I may not check this blogg every day, but here is the info you requested:

    Pump Model 2445089003 KW 0.75 1 PH 230 volts rpm 3450 60 HZ amps 8.2 SF max amps 9.8 csa certified 10 gpm, 11stg, plastic 2 wire 230 volt Model 10JV1P4-2W230 Order # 9520-1020 Date Code: 10F14 J class series V

    I'll keep your comments in mind and talk to a couple of local well companies. The current air bladder tanks are about 20" in diameter and about 40" high.

    I am very interested in VFD drives. I deal with the commercial ones every day. I dropped in at local Franklin Electric supplier locally to talk about their products 3 months ago. The counter guy said that Franklin is having heat problems (South Carolina heat?) with their VFD. He may have recommended the SQE, but he also showed me another different system built more to commercial specification that he felt comfortable selling.
  5. Water Pump Breakdown

    March 9, 2012

    Got up Sunday morning to drink some water from the kitchen faucett. Pressure seemed lower than usual so I cleaned the sink aerator. It wasn't clogged. Wonderred if I had a broken pipe. Shut off the heat pump, then lost pressure completely so I shut off the well. When the sun came up I repowered the well and checked under the house for leaks. No leaks, everything was dry.

    So I valved off the incoming water and waited for the submerged well motor to "satisfy". I measured 9 amps with my Fluke but the motor didn't shut off. I shut the well off. Sunday afternoon I called my well guy, Raymond Golston and he came out Monday morning.

    We found that the 110 foot length of 1" pvc had been originally put together with male adapters that screwed into the female adapters. (Was it easier to assemble this way?) One of the ends he had replaced with a standard coupling last year. Problem is that if you use male adapters, they have a weaker stress point and faced with the torque and twist of start up, they eventually shear! Raymond replaced two remaining joints like that with couplings, and now I have my full water pressure back.

    Comment: the variable speed pumps that are just starting to hit the market would have less of a tendancy to produce shear because of the "soft start" characteristic.
  6. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Soft start is not just hitting the market. Grundfos SQE line has been avaiable for a few years now , I have absolutely fell in love with them!
    I am semi familiar with the Pentek brand constant pressure systems but never did any hands on with them. I do not believe they are soft start though.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  7. Leaker: Added Refrigerant


    March 3, 2012

    Noticed that heating outlet temperatures had leveled off at 82 degrees. Had two lockouts during recent days. Attached a pair of Testo digital gauges, and started the unit to read pressures. Suction started at 63 psig, rose to 81. It should have been according to the Carrier chart 128 - 138 psig. Head pressure was 267. It should have been 330 - 350 psig. Added R-410a and supply outlet temperature also rose as well. Water flows are within recommendations of 1 1/2 - 3 gallons per minute per ton.
  8. May 20, 2012


    May 22, 2012

    Turned on the air to cool things down a bit and had two lockouts in a row. I had earlier replaced a defunct condenstate pump. Pump is ok. When I hooked gauges up, I had initial startup pressures in cooling of 66 psig, 232 psig head. Carrier pdfs show that at 70 degrees in full load you can have from 136 - 146 psig; 253 - 301 psig head pressure. Added more refrigerant, unit started behaving again. I'll post again when we do the next thorough leak search, and what we find.

    I find this leak inconvenient inasmuch as it begain in 2010.
  9. GeoHeatNZ

    GeoHeatNZ New Member

    To find this leak , you will need a week when unit is not required. Recover gas , split system in to 2 or more parts . Pressure test each with nitrogen to 300 psi and have a gauge hard fitted to system (no hoses ). Leave for 24 hours and monitor. Then you will have narrowed leak to one of these parts. From there a closer inspection of the suspect part until you find that sucker. May be also dunk part into water bath.

    good luck
  10. January 17, 2013

    The GE Geospring started acting up in December taking a long time to heat. When the fans continued to run afterwards I could hear ice that had been collecting on the evaporator fall down. (Clunk)

    Around the 9th, it finally displayed the GE HPF Code F-C F-C. It did switch automatically to electric heat, and I am still getting the benefit of the preheated water from tank # 1 even though we have been @ 78 degrees for the last four days. When I called GE they appeared to be familiar with the problem and the operator told me that she was shipping three separate parts. The parts have arrived. The technician was supposed to come through Lowes.

    I had to go out of town because of the Christmas death of my French Canadian brother in law and when I returned to Columbia, my wife indicated that Lowes cannot access anybody capable of repairing the GE geospring water heater and that they were going to offer a buy out and mail me a check for eight or nine hundred dollars or something like that.

    So now, will I receive a check from Lowes ? If I can ask GE to have an authorized technician replace the leaking evaporator coil, should I just pay the labor? (I could do that particular repair myself, but prefer to leave it in the hands of GE) Or should I replace the water heater (a bother) and even if I do that how do I know that the next heat pump water heater won't give problems at the 14 month mark?

    The way my wife puts it to me is: this thing isn't saving us any money. We would have to pay the labor to fix it. Comment: Where is your quality control, General Electric ?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  11. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    That is an interesting situation...that Lowes, which has been selling the GE HPWH for several years, can't access competent repair tech via GE. As an energy auditor, deep energy retrofitter and all-around huge fan of HPWH in warm climates, I've communicated with various GE staff in re their HPWH, my current favorite, save for not having an 80 gallon model...promises, promises.

    Do you have the first generation Geospring? (Silver and blue, made in China?) Gen 2 offers several improvements and is manufactured in Kentucky.

    I have a contact or two at GE - shoot me a PM and I'll forward same. I might be able to engage one of them to address your particular situation...I know they have made a deep, long term commitment to making HPWH work in the US market and, I suspect, would probably strive to ensure that an active social media participant such as yourself have a trouble free GE HPWH experience.

    Alternatively, ask Lowes to skip the buyout check and simply replace your present unit with a 2nd gen model, which they should stock and have for sale for $999. They'd be ahead doing that for you rather than writing a check, I would think.
  12. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I just had the same problem with my 1st gen Geospring. GE is well aware of the problem and it seems that was a big driver in the move to Gen2. I purchased mine in June 2012 at great discount ($699) as the last floor model in Sears because they were going to Gen2. Mine had a mfg date of November 2009 I believe. Three parts arrived. Tech was in the house for 2 hours and replaced evap coil. Running fine now, let's hope for the best and see if we get to the payback.
  13. My GE was manufactured Feb 2010 in China. Some blogs say some were made in Korea. Don't know. I should say that while it was working, that electric savings were clear and distinct . I don't get it. You have a chance to capture the entire american market and make a fortune, by keeping American / Canadian factory workers busy, busy, busy, building these units and you try and save a few bucks trusting the Chinese to build it without supervision ? or you release it before you have 3 years of real life testing ? You sure can't build an airliner that way. I repaired a ceiling fan once made in Taiwan and the electrical leads were about 22 - 26 gauge. Cheap I'm not convinced the Chinese have learned ohm's law.
  14. Latest update 01/30/2013

    GE appliance repairmen came out to my house at 3:15 PM to replace the evaporator. They arrived on time as promised. GE had earlier authorized replacing the evaporator and had shipped the three parts required. The parts have been sitting at my house for a week or so.

    I have been busy with problems at work but GE told my wife earlier, that based on the FC-FC error code, that despite the fact that the heater was beyond the first 12 month initial free warranty, the repair would still be free. YES ! Thank you, General Electric. So we had three competent HVAC technicians present.

    It should be said that working on the GE Geo Spring can be tedious. There have not been a lot of Geospring failures locally, so the one tech who has repaired two other Geosprings was coaching the other tech who normally works on regulor refrigerators. They disassembled covers, disconnected two or three electronic sensors, recovered refrigerent, and determined that refrigerent was not burned. When they removed the evaporator, one tech ran his hand on the condensate tray and found messy oil. Voila ! the evidence of the leak. This was confirmed by looking at the bottom of the evaporator, once removed. And it can be difficult to braze things without a helper to hold things in their proper place.

    They replaced the evaporator as professionals. They used used a standard heat "dam" paste on piping to protect the TRUE thermostatic expansion valve TEV (no capillary tubes) from heat, they removed valve cores, they labeled and kept track of disconnected electronic sensors. They replaced the drier (which was ridiculously OVER PACKED with protection) and they used an appliance sized charging cylinder (which allows a charge to be enterred to the exact ounce). Well done guys! At this point my Geospring is back in operation.


    Lowes offerred us buyout. They sent us a card with the purchase value of the original Geospring on an issued Lowes card, apparantly without an expiration date.

    Thank you Lowes ! So this is interesting. We could eventually purchase something else or a newer heat pump water heater as long as it is purchased from Lowes. So we will watch how the GE holds up. I am cautiously optimistic that the quality of refrigerant piping will get better and better.


    But this underlines something else, namely the importance of quality control whether we are talking about a heat pump water heater or other geo units and even issues related to using refrigerants with higher pressures. Manufacturers must think about the quality of ALL components, including pressure switches, and the effect of different types of water on tank piping. World opinion demands reliability.

    I have an hvac instructor friend at a local technical college who forwarded me a pdf about leaks. The first sentence starts out: Everything leaks! and then it describes micro "defects". Nothing is perfectly tight. We probably need to spend more money to make things leak proof, at least for the first 5 - 7 years.


    Next news:

    Last Friday (Jan 25th) my Carrier 2 ton GTPX could not keep up with the 35 degree night so I put gauges on it Saturday morning. Suction pressure should have been 102 - 125 psig without HWG active, running suction was 75.9 psig. Head pressure should have been 302 - 325 psig. Actual head pressure was 266.7 psig. Definite leak. I added refrigerant and saw discharge air go from 81 degrees to 95.6 degrees. So I have now used 60% of a bottle of R-410A, new 20 months ago.

    By the way if you have a temperature / refrigerant pressure chart, READ IT ! Or go online or something. It tells you the whole story. Head pressure tells you what the discharge air temperature will be.


    Scott or Ryan will probably come out at a convenient time to help me do a high pressure nitrogen/refrigerant leak test during spring. We will get this nailed down eventually. What is annoying is the efficiency or $$$ lost because of the leak.

    Separate note: All my friends locally are noticing a $20.00 spike / surcharge January 2013 in electric bills ( US regulation changes during the past 3 years). Thanks Mr. president.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  15. Update: Put gauges on the geo unit @ October 30th to check pressures while running in heating mode. They were low as expected. I finished off the 25 lb. bottle of R410a purchased in Dec 2010 and have since purchased another bottle. So the first time I certified and posted that refrigerant had leaked from the unit was December 2010. That means the leak existed or began earlier, between April 2008 and December 2010 when I was dealing low temp lockouts. So 25 lbs has leaked out between that time and October 2013.

    The ECM motor has been flawless.

    I'll repost when Air Core decides to look at the heat pump. Typically a repair bill for repairing or replacing a coil or heat exchanger starts at $600.00 and then just goes up and gets uglier depending on whether we get free parts replacement or not.

    This is not good for savings. (Where did the savings go ? ) But for perspective, last month's power bill from SCE & G was $88.00 / 579 KWH, just under the threshold where they charge more during a moderate month. My yearly averaged billing is currently $112.00 per month

    THAT amount includes a 220 volt well motor that runs supplying geo water and house water, two refrigerators, one freezer, electric stove and oven, computer with two monitors, and a digital TV set; etc.

    We are slowly improving the insulation envelope in the house. (I am doing some electrical changes in the attic before I place final batting and blow in filler insulation)

    I also just replaced a kitchen door with a premium Larson door and a premium Larson kitchen outer storm door and have replaced a living room storm door with another Larson. So it all helps.
  16. Yaochiem Chao

    Yaochiem Chao New Member

    Hi HVAC Technician, I signed up for the forum just to ask you a question!

    My wife and I just bought our first house, and the old water heater is leaking. The seller offered us money to replace it ourselves.

    I've been looking into the GeoSpring GEH50DEEDSR for awhile from Lowe's. I can purchase it for about $400 after rebates, and plan to install it myself. However, I have been a little put off by the terrible reviews, especially on Amazon.

    Can I ask how you like it so far? How is it holding up?

    Right now, the current location is in the utility room with the oil furnace and laundry machines. I imagine I can put the HPWH in the same room since the furnace warms the room up considerably. I would then vent the exhaust outside. Any thoughts to this set up?

    I'm located in Seattle, WA.
  17. Hi ! You have already read my earlier post. My GE Geospring has not broken again down since GE repaired it. Stories will vary. The newer red GE unit is supposed to have minor improvements. I believe GE is committed to the brand. All brands will break, at some point. All brands are probably getting better. Try and find out as much as possible about materials used, and quality of construction. Compare brands which is hard to do. Why does one brand cost $400.00 or $900.00 more ? It might reflect quality of materials used.

    Tips: Look for extended warranty, when you buy. 55 gallon tank is at least 600 lbs weight. 80 gallon tanks even more weight. Many parts of the country have local codes that require the tank to be higher off the ground. If so, the heater will need to be on a STRONG steel stand with 4 strong legs. If installed in the house, what is supporting all that weight. I installed mine in a secondary hallway. 1/3 of the time it comes on when I am at work, so I don't hear it.

    If those "feet" aren't flat and don't spread out the weight, evenly, they will gouge your floor (unless it is concrete) If you mount a water heater directly on the ground, they will be very hard to drain because the drain will be at the floor level. Think about an audible electronic warning water sensor in your overflow pan (which has to be piped to a legitimate drain, right) ?

    If you place a water heater directly on the ground outside in ambient, now it can conduct heat away to the cold ground surface. On my preheater, I placed the first UNPOWERED or electrically unwired heater tank on bricks and then squirted in liquid aerosol insulation and let it dry to reduce tank to ground loss. You might do something similar. (Maybe someone else has a better idea or way to do it, but you get the idea) If you insulate or add insulation to an outside heater, you will probably cause the outer casing to rust out because of sweating because the outer cases are cheap untreated metal. Good Luck.

    I reread your comments.
    Additional comment You talked about venting something outside. Natural gas or propane heaters heat by combustion and of course have flues or exhausts to exhaust the products of combustion. Heat pumps "borrow" or absorb heat from the surrounding air or water. (Technically you have to make that up, but we're probably only dealing with 1,000 BTU/hr (or something like that) Heat Pump water heaters make noise because of the evaporator fans, and compressor, but they do not require "venting".
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  18. Mid September

    I have basic inexpensive temperature instrumentation on my unit. I noticed that the delta t's on the desuperheater lines had gotten wide with the outlet temperature going fairly high @ 115. F. So I did some investigating at the unit and came to the conclusion that my TACO 006-BC5Y (inside the heat pump box) wasn't turning and moving water. (Normally you hear some kind of vibration) I temporarily unwired the circulator.

    I contacted my installers who reaffirmed several things to me; one that the circulator was out of warranty, (though the air coil and water coils still have @ 3 1/2 years left on parts warranty), and also that Climate Master and Carrier are no longer working together. Carrier no longer is authorized to sell repair parts. Odd, nonetheless specific parts can be obtained from James Pleasants in NC or C.C. Dickson on the East Coast, possibly Climate Master, though they seem to be pushing the customer towards Pleasants and C.C. Dickson.

    So with that in mind, I ordered a replacement TACO circulator cartridge kit from W. W. Grainger because TACO is an independent company. Next chance I got, I isolated our water system and drained everything down BECAUSE we had never put in isolation valves on the desuperheater lines near the unit. These lines are cpvc, rated to 180 degrees.

    I already had installed some Wikka gauges on the primary inlet/outlet lines for the main water heat exchanger. (I have posted that in the past). One of the reasons I like gauges like the Wikka electronic ones is that there is an adjustable potentiometer on the back that allows you to correct "drift" (readings that are too high or too low) and make sure the reading is accurate. So while adding the ball valves on the circulating lines, I essentially did the same thing I had done some 15 months back, except I adapted the new thermometer housings and reducers to cpvc with special bushings because the diameters of pvc and cpvc ARE NOT identical.

    When the TACO kit arrived, I shut off unit power, isolated the hot water heating lines, and drained excess water from a 1/2" ball valve I had added on the outlet side. Just a simple 1/2' ball valve piped at 90 degrees so as to drain into a bucket. While everything was drained, I used a Detek Inficon and older Johnson Controls H-10 leak detector to "sniff" the empty desuperheater coil hoses. Result negative.
    I then used both detectors in the blower housing compartment. At first nothing. But as I swept all over, I finally got an intermittent confirmation and repeat on the Inficon, and a very weak confirmation with the H-10. Location: middle bottom.

    I will return later and check the opposite side and also try bubble to be absolutely certain.

    Screws were 5/16", new ones are male allen stainless steel fasteners. The circulator motor housing separates from the fixed, brazed in bronze housing, and came out pretty easy, destroying the old O ring.

    I work at my work with variations of the TACO 006 - 008 family, and at work sometimes exposure to 140 F water degrades and disintegrates the Noryl impeller. My system doesn't come anywhere close to that. The impeller turned a little rough. I think a few grains of sand had worked their way into the housing.The impeller looked fine, so I figure the system is not experiencing extreme heat. Windings on the housing were bright and shiny. Don't ever take these apart these pump housings without having at least one, new, o ring !

    Tips: Usually replacing the cartridge repairs the pump, however I have replaced a cartridge at work and watched a TACO circulator with a good capacitor and windings that are not burned up, NOT start to rotate with that brand new cartridge kit. So apparently something can go wrong eventually with the windings.

    I "fought" the o ring which did not want to stay in position as I tried to put the motor back into correct position. First time it leaked because the o ring moved off of the "land surface or groove".

    So I went to the store, and purchased a tube of Loctite 15 second gel superglue which is supposed to also work on rubber and metals. I then "tacked" or glued only one side of the o ring to the clean bronze flange surface.

    It worked ! To test the pump, I purged air locally at the 1/2" ball valve, slowly pressurized the lines, and watched for leaks. When I was satisfied that nothing leaked, I temporarily wired the 230 volt circulator pump to the factory terminal block bypassing discharge temperature switch and the pump started ! I could feel the vibration. I went to the other water heater air purge points, and made sure that I had a solid streams of water.

    The final step was basically to carefully wire everything back up the way it was, and then start the heat pump and watch and wait for the discharge temperature switch to close and observe the circulator come on normally.

    With proper instrumentation, when the pump starts, you will see first two initially matched temperatures, then a temperature rise on the water leaving, and in another 5 - 15 minutes, a slow temperature rise from the water returning from the primary tank. (inlet side)

    Attached Files:

  19. This will be an extended post.
    At the end of June the original slow leak I have written about earlier, (slow leak from 2009 on) finally opened up, revealing itself.
    Because of that, I recovered refrigerant, repressurizing the system with trace R-22 + nitrogen, intending to search with a Halide torch but actually heard hissing at the coil as I slowly raised the pressure slowly to 470 lbs.
    (One of the reasons this is important is that you have to return the coil and if the factory can’t find the leak, they won’t reimburse for the replacement coil) The timing was especially bad as I needed to leave the US on July 1st to participate in a 9 day Church group goodwill / missions trip to Rwanda.
    While still in Rwanda, I asked my original installer to order the in warranty replacement air coil from ClimateMaster, so that there would be less wait time when I got back to the States. (Air-Cor was swamped with summer commercial business and couldn’t service me). This is the busiest time of a South Carolina HVAC year.
    As a consequence I hired a different company and they did most of the repair under my supervision. After the coil arrived, the company came out and disconnected and removed the heatpump from under my house on July 16th. It was effectively the only way to work on it properly (without risking burning the house down)
    The company removed the old coil, brazed in the new one and a larger replacement filter/drier, using nitrogen purge. One of the things that I noted is that the worker wanted to stay with the original sized drier and went out to look for one the same size. Eventually he wound up putting in the larger one which is ok because it can absorb more moisture which never hurts you on a repair.
    One of the helpers was left behind with nothing to do. When I arrived home from work, at the house, no one had cleaned either the blower cabinet or had any intention of cleaning the heat pump blower wheel that had been moving air since 2008. I didn’t make a fuss. I explained to the helper, “when you do a major repair or replace a blower motor, you remove the blower wheel and clean it”, so you don’t reduce your necessary air flow. I then demonstrated how to do it.
    We used this time to also replace the compressor contactor with a genuine Carrier contactor (you actually can use any quality contactor) and I will make some comments later about that contactor and the y1, y2 capacities of the Copeland compressor in the unit.
    As we pulled vacuum, the analog gauge reading was hard to judge. So I brought out a Thermal Resources Micron gauge (one of the better devices on the market) and it showed a constant reading of 800 microns. We all then agreed to simply allow the vacuum pump (with changed oil) to run overnight, or over the weekend in the hope that any moisture in the system would “boil off” and evaporate.
    At this time I swapped the company’s gauges and hoses (which were worn and had worn-out gaskets) for a new gauge set with 4 hoses including a 3/8” large diameter vacuum hose. I ran that from a different vacuum pump.
    By Saturday morning the heat pump micron reading dropped to 400 microns; by Saturday night <200 microns, so I was encouraged. (When you have a leak, as soon as you shut the vacuum pump off, the micron reading goes high) My comment: “There is no way in Hades that you can tell if you are in solid vacuum by reading an analog gauge” ! Analog is approximate. Analog is a guess.
    For those of you who are Poets and English teachers, and don’t know how ac’s work, the micron stuff is important because it is a measure of how close you are to pure vacuum. When there is moisture left in the system you form acids and those acids circulate and attack the electrical winding of the compressor; it then shorts to ground, and that is one major way people lose compressors.
    During the final reinstallation under the house, exact charge was weighed in, plenums repaired and reattached and sealed, water line attachments hooked up, water lines checked for leaks, condensate safety control wires reconnected and air purged.
    The system ran ok before I locked it out for repairs. I had run some nitrogen through it to keep it from absorbing moisture, and happily, the start up was normal.
    The foreman from the company has not worked on many geo systems because they are not selling well in my area. So I also walked him through the separate water adjustment checks on a y1 and a y1 + y2 call. This involved going into my Honeywell Pro 8000 and making changes in the program (step 170) to force 1st stage to run by itself.
    At a certain moment the heat pump suddenly shut off.
    Cause ? Two of the workmen threw away the good condensate trap I had been using, and constructed and installed their own which angled UPWARD against the flow and trapped the water in the unit. The heat pump ran until the drain tray filled up with water and touched the factory water sensor and then shut off. Additional note 9/18/2015 I discovered that when rehung after repair, the unit was angled so as to keep water in the tray. the solution was simple. since the unit is suspended at all corners with 3/8" rod going into vibration isolators, I adjusted the drain side farther down and the opposite higher up, tilting the unit slightly towards the drain. Very typical mistake.

    I have now owned the unit since 2008, time for a report card and comments

    Report Card: Rating: zero to ten

    What I think of the safeties on the heat pump - 9 or 10 They have worked.
    Low pressure safety, High pressure safety, none of the safeties have
    Leaked, nice fast acting thermal Sensor mounted on the
    thermostatic expansion device
    Noise level: 9 or 10 pretty quiet under the house
    Expected economies: I get a lot of cheap hot water. On y1 call, 4.5 amps - 5.0 amp draw y2 7.0 amps very good 9 or 10
    Ease of service: 8 I would prefer having permanent suction and high side service valves come out on a particular side like some air to air systems. The ECM blower comes out easily.
    Quality of materials and quality control: 6 ½ - 7 out of 10
    Example one: Taco Pump not pressure tested or brazed properly from the factory. The brazed section blew water the first time we applied water on installation in 2008
    Example two: The upper cabinet insulation suddenly fell down creating a mess for me to repair. See blog.
    Example three: The main coil began leaking either from the factory in 2008 or beginning in 2009

    ECM Motor has worked flawlessly and has not failed 10 Based on some GE pdf information I have read, this particular one saves around $115.00 each year; so I figure it justifies itself. During thunderstorms I shut off the whole unit at the thermostat and open the main circuit breaker. I will however buy a spare motor and keep it on hand.

    What I have learned from all this

    One, it might be better to have a split system with an air handler section in a house in a closet where it could be serviced easier . . .

    Two, I really like the y1-y2 Copeland capacity feature. Here’s why. Even though the unit is not variable speed. I honestly can run 80% of the year on 66% capacity, especially since the house is now properly insulated complete with high quality double pane windows just put in last week. I honestly could run ALL summer on a Y1 call alone and as long as the unit is working correctly NEVER feel uncomfortable. I can be at times 3 -5 degrees behind setpoint but because the unit has such long run times, my humidity is always in the lower 50’s. If you look carefully at the compressor contactor pictures, the contactor I replaced could have gone at least three more years. It is 7 years old. A compressor that runs for long periods and doesn’t constantly cycle on and off lasts longer. (Average life for a contactor is four years).

    Three, tell me about those geo economies again. If you are using geo and “saving” money, then you should put the “savings” in the bank, right ? I picked an arbitrary number and just decided to start depositing $30.00 each month into a savings account. We are saving money, right ? That doesn’t mean I am only saving $30.00. I could be saving $70.00
    Let’s say a word about the real cost of maintenance and repair vs recuperating initial purchase and installation costs. I have replaced four $180.00 TACO valves as they have stopped closing completely. I have rebuilt one TACO recirculating pump For you “regular folks” those are service calls. Even as an hvac person, I have spent $600.00 plus and just now $2,600.00 (because there was no way I was going to drag a heat pump out into my yard by myself) The coil may have been covered, the labor wasn’t.
    I repaired the fallen down insulation and replaced the first condensate pump that failed. And now I have just spent $2,600.00 replacing a leaking coil to avoid something more expensive. Some of things I have just quoted are normal maintenance. Leaking TACO valves or leaking coils are annoying
    How long will this aluminum coil last ? Stay tuned.

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  20. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I would offer you one thought. While the split system seems like a good idea, you don't want a compressor sitting on building timber. It tends to resonate through out the house.

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