Open Loop Cold Weather Operation

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by CommanderDave, Jan 13, 2024.

  1. CommanderDave

    CommanderDave New Member

    I live in western Iowa and we are currently experiencing a bitterly cold blizzard, wind chill temps in the minus 20-30s. I have an open loop geothermal system that discharges to a pond on my property. In past years I had a problem with that line freezing up. I did two fixes: installed a pressure switch on the discharge line so if it freezes up again it will shut down water flow (so I don't burst the line), and I also dug up the discharge line at the pond and covered it with thick styrofoam panels, a couple rubber horse stall mats, and piled dirt up high on top. I also installed a 25ft electric heat cable (came from Canada) inside the line and looped it out where the line goes to daylight.

    What is currently happening is the unit is running and switching from "Heat" to "Aux Heat". It is not running any water through the system, and the red emergency heat light is not flashing on. If I turn the Taco discharge line valve from Off to On I can hear water running through. So my question is...can I assume the discharge line at the pond has not frozen, and is it just too cold for the flow of water and the system is just operating on it's electric heat coils?
  2. mrpac

    mrpac Member

    Hmm, typically a system would jump from Heat stages to AUX if the system cannot meet the temperature setpoint in x amount of time, or a system fault has occured.
    What make/model?
    Your method of determining adequate water flow may not be completely accurate - I guess there is no way to determine flow?
    My system is closed loop, but same principle- your open loop needs to have flow.
    Try to stay warm, it seems to be getting colder.

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