New Installation in Maryland

Discussion in 'Geothermal Heat Pump Testimonials' started by WhiteRabbit, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. zach

    zach Member Forum Leader


    Do you expect to see LWT's under 32* in SW VA?

    I bought a pair of the thermometers and could not be happier. They passed the ice bath test prior to placement.

    Today, here in upstate NY, I am seeing about 35* LWT from our Mark Custis designed pond loop. Very pleased. Outside temp right now is 18* and it is a comfy 69* in the house.

    For a $20.00 investment it fits the bill until the budget allows a WEL.

  2. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I was happier buying at the local Petsmart for $10 + sales tax since all the websites wanted $10 + $5 shipping.
  3. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    Short story - possibly yes.

    Long story - With last year's brutal winter, the lowest temperatures I recorded were EWT's around 36f and LWT's around 32f. This heating season so far, (Sept through December) our heating degree days are 15% greater than for the same time frame last year.

    I like the high upper end of 158f on the thermometer for DSH readings. I assume you meant $20 for two of the thermostats? I need to get to PetSmart to clean them out of these bad boys. I would like one for EWT, two for LWT, four for our 2 DSH's (in and out). I was thinking of using more for EAT and LAT for each unit (that would be 4 more!) Maybe a WEL would be cheaper.:D

    Edit - I forgot to mention that our loop is horizontal, but over sized.
  4. Hitch

    Hitch New Member

    I picked up a couple of those thermometers from Pet Smart. The F/C button fell off one of them as soon as I opened the package. I was able to (somewhat) get it back into place.

    I tried the ice bath test and one read as low as 30.4* and the other was around 31.4*.

    On my Geo, they are reading about a five degree difference between EWT and LWT. I just spoke with Phil at WEL and will very likely get an order in to him.
  5. Hitch

    Hitch New Member

    Well, my WEL arrived yesterday. Quick service! :)

    Now I just need to figure out how to get all of these doohickies attached. :D
  6. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit New Member

    Griffin 6,

    Sorry I did not reply sooner, I have had a cold and not feeling too chipper.

    As far as my system running all of the time, I changed several settings to tell the unit only to cycle 2 times per hour and set the thermostat to less sensitive. This lets it cycle off three or four times per day for 20 to 30 minutes each time.

    The system still runs about 20 hours a day, mostly in phase 1, sometimes phase 2 and rarely in Aux heat mode. I am monitoring my electric usage with the ENVI Current cost meter as well as taking daily readings directly off of my meter. I am averaging about $9.00 per day in total electric costs.

    That is about $200 more per month than last year, however I do not have a $365 per month oil bill, so I am saving. It is hard getting used to the unit running almost constantly, however from reading these forums, that is not unusual in this cold weather season.
  7. hardchines

    hardchines Member Forum Leader

    What a nightmare story

    Sorry to here about all of your problems, I have just installed a ENVI powermeter, I monitor each of my GEOs, my water pump, hot tub and total house. Are you looking at your total house or your Geo to determine power usage? Your power usage sounds high to me (" I used 92 Kwh of electricty in the last 24 hours"), your run time sounds long to me, I am using 52 KWH in 24 hours 30 for down stairs and 10 up balance is water pump,(subtract the 12 KWH for the pump and I figure you should be around 40KWH for 24 hrs at my temps). It was -14 F yesterday and not above 27 since. I keep the whole house at 72 from 2:00 PM to 10: PM balance of time 68F, 2400 sq above grade on two floors and 1000 below kept @ 65 24/7. You are talking to a smart bunch of pros here (even Eric) but just seems too expensive for southern heat to me. From what I have read the focus has been on thermostats and settings, is everyone convinced this geo is performing the way it should ? Mr rabbit have you figured how to hook up the ENVI to a computer to track power?

    If anyone needs longer leads on a thermometer, radio shack has sold those small and larger digital sized thermometers with long leads(6-8 feet) for years, switch for F/C and will go way below -20F for sure.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  8. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit New Member


    Actually, I don't think I have had too many problems, just questions about how these systems are supposed to work. My installer is a reputable dealer, a great guy, and stands behind his work. He has been in business for many years, but I think he over sold me on some of the features of geothermal. The compressor and fan in my unit produce the same amount of noise as my old oil fired boiler, but runs a LOT longer per day. Dealer told me I would not even hear the unit run.

    Anyway, my total house electric usage is not too bad. It is averaging 73 Kw per day. That includes my geo system, electric stove, dryer, washer, refrigerator, freezer, small hot tub and three computers. I have eliminated $3650 in oil bills per year, so overall I think I will be ahead of the game. Now, I just have to see how the system works in the heat of Maryland humid summers and how much electric I use then.

    Be well and warm my friends
    White Rabbit
    Salisbury, Maryland
  9. hardchines

    hardchines Member Forum Leader

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  10. crazysub

    crazysub New Member

    To really get slick they should design the ENVI to show the watts on both legs simultaneously to help homeowners balance their load and keep from paying for unused electricity. This already has to display the highest load to be accurate so it has to be monitoring both legs. If one leg is disconnected does it show the wattage and then swap legs?
  11. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    snake oil alert!

    What homeowner is "paying for unused electricity"?

    Big loads on a home panel span both legs or phases. Plug and lighting loads are randomly distributed between legs.

    No residential rate tariff I know of bills for non-unity power factor, so any reference to "paying for unused electricity" or power factor correction in a residential situation triggers my BS sensor.
  12. hardchines

    hardchines Member Forum Leader

    BS is the correct answer, NO utility charges residential customers for power factor , just a bunch of crooks selling a box full of capacitors to convince you that you will now save money by reducing the power factor!
  13. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit New Member

    Summer Efficiency Very High

    Well folks, I haven't posted for awhile, so I thought I would update how my system is working this summer. It appears the geothermal is much more efficient during the summer than in the winter. Last summer with similiar temperatures and a two ton regular AC Unit, my electric bill was running between $250 and $350 per month. So far during a hot May and June, my bills are running $125 to $150 per month. I am very happy with the house temperatures as well.

    As far as the "noise" problem, we have become accoustomed to the sound and it does not bother us now. The inside compressor unit however is not "silent", and I believe this is because it sits on a plywood floor, resting upon what is supposed to be an acoustic silencing pad. I truly think the pad transferres the sound through the floor rather than quieting any noise or vibration that the compressor makes. Anyway, as I said before, we do not notice it much anymore.

    Keep Cool and Warm my friends
    White Rabbit
  14. Jamesck

    Jamesck Member

    I agree about the noise of the compressor. You can notice when it comes on more than any other time, but it is not annoying. I put down a 36"x36" 3/4" thick rubber pad and then one of the "sound pads" from Climate Master on top of that. I think a lead compressor shield on the compressor would help some too, but have not purchased one yet. Mine was originally planned to go on the concrete floor in the garage but the space and location was hard to pin down. I am very pleased and like the statement someone made about running in low stage all summer and high stage in winter.
  15. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    What pad did you use? Climatemaster seems to have stopped branding their hard plastic pads and switched over to a rubber pad that I call a super expensive "cow mat". We are working on some other alternatives...

    Depending on when your climatemaster was shipped, there is a variation of shipping bolts and/or shipping tabs that are installed under the compressor. Also, the springs/bolt have adjustment in them. I have never have a customer complain of an ongoing noise issue, and we have installed a fair amount of 2-ton and 3-ton systems in attics.
  16. Jamesck

    Jamesck Member

    ACES...Mine is very quiet too can be heard. When I went with variable speed I did not want to know when the unit was on. If it had been installed in the garage on the concrete, that would be the case. I am now mounted on a tile floor and floor joists but the sound is not bad. The geothermal unit is much quieter than the washing machine!
    I found the rubber pad at Lowes and it was $20-$30
  17. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit New Member

    One Year Follow up

    So far so GOOD! I keep daily KW readings directly from my outside power meter as well as having a Current Cost Power meter beside my computer. I have saved over $2000 in total utility bills this past year. Prior to August 2010, we used oil - forced hot air heat with separate AC unit. We long ago got accoustomed to the constant running of the compressor in the winter, but the compressor noise is still somewhat of an issue, as it vibrates the floor joists. The noise is not from "direct sound" coming from the compressor, but from the vibration sounds. We have learned to mostly ignore it. Summer cooling costs were much lower than running the old separate AC unit. Winter electric costs are somewhat higher, but not near has high as using oil heat. Payback should be 8 to 9 years.
    If you live in Maryland, the only problem you may have is with the Maryland Energy Rebate. It took me over 10 months, two submissions, and a call to my state senator in order for me to get my $1500 energy rebate from the state.
    My only current concerns are long term maintenance. I had the contractor look over the unit this fall, but it appeared that all he did was check my water temps, drain pan, filter, and blower. I do not know if there are any checks on the loop pumps that should be done, or other checks.
    Thats All for Now Folks
    Signed: White Rabbit, Salisbury, Maryland
  18. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    thanks for the update
  19. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I am gladd you are so happy!:D
    In regard to the loop pumps the best is advice is "set it and forget it" untill it does not work, then call me.
  20. WhiteRabbit

    WhiteRabbit New Member

    Two Year Follow-up

    Well right on schedule something goes wrong. My coil was leaking ?

    All summer the Climatemaster did an excellent job of cooling with what I consider low electric usage. When I switched to heat sometime in October I noticed that the electric heat was kicking in. The temp outside was not even 40 degrees, something was wrong.

    Anyway, I checked my warranties, 10 years on compressor, 5 years on everything else including labor, so called my HVAC guy. He checked everything out and found a leak in the A Coil. It was replaced today, "no charge". WOW, that sucker was 1/2 of the unit and it took all day to remove the old one and replace it with the new unit.

    My system is still noisy, but we are accustomed to the sound now. There is another thread on this harmonic vibration sound and I may refer my HVAC guy to the thread.

    Still saving money with geo

    Best Wishes
    White Rabbit

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