Pond loop failure

Discussion in 'Surface Water Loops' started by pond, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. pond

    pond New Member

    I am a homeowner with a pond 1 1/2 acres of surface area. 8 foot deep with mostly run off. Pond remains full or close to all year. About three years ago we built new home with foamed in insulation, 2800sq feet and hydronic floor heat. 5 ton Water furnace duel water/forced air heat. There has never been a problem with heat pump but a constant issue with pond loop. A slim jim stainless exchanger was installed by contractor and unit kept shutting down in fall on FLOW. It shut down every 20 minutes as it reached 35 outside temp. He recommended having unit run for two hours and resistance emergency heat for two hours to thaw slim Jim. But we turned it into a open loop from my well and 6 months later after much coaxing (he felt water was too cold to fix) he used what i was surprised to find a rubber type matt with a manifold on either end. Lines floated in the summer. i did not like gurgling sound in circulator pump and extreme run times,I hired diver to install rope on unit and pull out. There was well over 10 breaks in tubing. Mark Curtis you offered to come and help and now I wish I had taken you up on it.....Any recomendations greatly appreciated
  2. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Don't like the slim jims, I think their surface area is not large enough to stick to their performance promise, unless you have water flowing around it. But it should give you enough flow. A 5 ton WF needs about 15 gpm. What size is your pipe going out to the pond, and how long is it from the heatpump to the slim Jim?
  3. pond

    pond New Member

    Thanks , Slim jim was a failure within first 6 months of install. We removed it. What contractor installed was what looked like a very poor floor matt horizontally on a PVC frame. the lines floated during summer and we just pulled it last week. There was at least 10 to 20 breaks in 1/4 inch lines attached to manifold on each end. i guess we were circulating pond water. The house is only 50 feet from pond and heat pump another 30 feet. The lines to the loop are 1 1/4th inch. I am requesting running loop with the 1 1/4 inch lines. 300 foot per ton would be 1500feet. Is this correct. I have limited knowledge but learning quickly the hard way. I have picture of pond loop but at the moment I do not know how to include it.
  4. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Having never seen one installed in person, I am very skeptical of the claims of heat exchange in such a small package. The design will work given the right scenario ( in a river, tidal back bay, or mouth of a lake where flow would be). Without water flowing I think it would just simply over heat/cool the surrounding area. Think of a slinky ground loop not uncoil ( buried in a roll).
    My opinion on these is they will shine given the right scenario.
  5. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    So your header pipe will play out fine. You should be playing safe, spread the pipe out as a slinky and add a few more feet of pipe so you build in some safety margin. I always go 500 ft/ton, so I would put 2500 ft on a PVC subframe, put some cement blocks on them, so they are barely buoyant, and then flush them so they sink. Pipe and PVC is cheap. See link below. Where are you located.

    Temperature and Energy logging by: Web Energy Logger
  6. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Slim Jims work fine when applied correctly. They simply cost more than HDPE so we have little use for them. Installer needs to be aware that tonnage ratings on Slim Jims are based on southern applications and fall short for heating apps. so additional panels have to be employed. They also sit vertically which means in an 8' deep pond the tops may be only 4 feet deep. Your installer could however have simply added loopage vs. removing the slim jims.
    Was the broken tubing HDPE? That is extremely odd.
  7. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Well, I am still around, let us fix this once more for good.

    I have forgotten where are you.

    This a good time of year to do pond loops.

  8. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Brrrrr...the last time you sent a picture of you doing a pond loop your wife was in the water, not you. From that perspective, yeah, great time of the year to put a pond loop in!:)
  9. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Where are you?

    Done lots of pond loops and even lake loops (video below)

    Kueka Lake Geothermal installation by ACES-Energy in the Finger Lakes outside Rochesetr, NY - YouTube

    I have only used HDPE, 3/4" x 500' as DOC does.

    for systems larger than 5 tons, I always design and build a two mat systems, bring them both into the house and than combine them inside with valves, flush tees, etc. This has proven easier to sink and flush air out but also if there was ever a problem, you could valve off one loop and direct all flow through one mat while repairing the other, reducing down time, if any.
  10. pond

    pond New Member

    I thank every one of you that spent the time assisting me on this project. It is great to know there are dedicated professionals that are ready to help when a homeowner needs advice. A special thanks to MARK CURTIS for the many hours he spent on the phone sharing his knowledge gained from
    years of experience.I would HIGHLY recommend his company to any one that wants a Geothermal system installed correctly. One thing I learned after 3 years of pond loop failures is not to look for the easy way but the proven methods. Remember it is an unique environment with fishing hooks, muskrats, turtles,depth, and other issues that need to be considered. I hope I can help others as well. Thanks again Mark
  11. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Thanks. I am red faced.

    Sorry that Stephanie and I were not installing the new pond loop last weekend, as we had planned.

    I am sure that the new loop is not on the bottom of the pond. The water temps coming in from the pond are too low. Even without an ice cover the pond will stratify.

    I will find both the Ohio State Sea Grant study and the McQuay study on pond stratification and get them to you on this thread and your private email.

    I do not think it matters if pond loops, on the bottom of the pond silt in, get algae covered or any other pond issue as long as they are wet. Wet is the key. So spread out and wet makes a great heat transfer. I am not very good at fishing so I have lost a cat fish or two under the three sets of loops in the Valley City, OH pond. I fish ultra light so I am not going to punch a hole in SRD 11 HDPE or Pex-al-pex. The fish lost have never returned my tackle.


    I feel bad about what has happened to you as I know the out come could have been better. Keep me in the loop as I do not think you are home free on this system, yet. I would do this stuff for free if I did not need to eat.

    I do not press sales I just do what works and treat people how I wish to be treated.

    Good luck and warm regards,

    tugguy likes this.

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