Well Water Quality hardness and sulfate ??? on open loop system

Discussion in 'Open Loop' started by kc, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. kc

    kc New Member

    I had a wf open loop system installed on June 1, 2013. I wanted a closed loop system but the well digger and geothermal installer advised me that they had hit a well that produced 20 gpm and an open loop system was what I needed. source well and 100 feet away a dump well was installed. I took their professional advice and they installed an open loop system. But I did not do enough research or I placed too much trust in their knowledge and ability. Which is what I thought I pay them for along with the installation. Again let the buyer beware. Either way MY FAULT. They did not test the water and take water quality samples. Well guess what..........after installation I had the water tested because of a white slime build up on the rusco spindown 100 micro mesh filter. I have to cleaned and change every 4 days. I had the water tested. Very hard water and high sulfate content. The results of the water test are water hardness = 400 mg/l !!!!!!!!!! calcium 99 mg/l. , magnesium 40 mg/l , potassium 2.4 mg/l , caco3 ( alkalinity ) = 200 mg/l, Ph is 7.4, sulfate 240 mg/l total dissolve solids is 550 mg/l No iron, no copper . I ask the installer his thoughts, options and opinions. He had the look of a deer in headlights when I told him that waterfurnace said he should have tested the water source before the install. He has no clue.

    My questions are , besides asking them to give me a break on descaling twice a year is NO 1. IS there any type of water softener and filter system that could work with a geothermal system and its water demands?
    No 2. Should I go from a 100 micron size screen to an 30 micron size on the rusco filter and let more flow thru the system TO decrease filter cleaning times and hope for the best on scaling?
    No.3 Can a plate heat exchanger be installed to separate the well water from the hp unit and what would that involved? Does someone have pictures or diagram of a plate heat exchanger installed on geothermal unit?
    Thank you for taking time to read this post KC
  2. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The PH is good and no iron is good too.
    I would remove the 100 mesh from Russo and hope for the best.
    Cleaning every 4 days is not an option in my eyes.

    The water can be treated for domestic use with no problems, but to treat 20+ GPM to handle the HP is going to be very very very expensive!!!
    I personally would ask driller, and installer for a credit towards a closed loop system since they talked you out of it originally ( although you probably will not get one).
    Welcome t the world of open loop geothermal's. This is exactly why I never recommend them to anybody anymore.
  3. kc

    kc New Member

    Thanks For the reply and opinions. I am not happy. I should had gone closed loop.
  4. kc

    kc New Member

    One more question. My wf unit has a de-superheater coil installed. Would it be best to turn it off to decrease the water temp and decrease scale build up in the main heat exchanger?
  5. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Does the unit have a cupra nickle coil? Does the water meet the standards for quality set forth by water furnace. These are 2 critical questions you need to have answered. How the WF dealer and responds and reacts to this will set the tone for a possible resolution. How about the dealer buys you the longest warranty available from WF on his nickle?
  6. kc

    kc New Member

    It does have the cupro nickel coil. The water is hardness is 400 mg/l ( water furnace hardness standard is less than 350 ppm or mg/l ) The water sulfate is content is 240 mg/l ( water furnace sulfate should be less than 125 ppm or 125 mg/l) Hardness and sulfate levels are the only two levels that are above water furnace's water quality standards.
    Good things are.......... I have no iron, the ph is 7.4, total dissolve solids is 550 mg/l
  7. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    So what you have is a water furnace certified installer who installed a unit contrary to WF reccomendations? What does the installer have to say?
  8. kc

    kc New Member

    The installer has purchased the wf extended warranty. His quote" I don't know......I hope you don't have to go close loop it will cost you more . I said " I wanted to go close loop in the first place and I took YOUR advice and the well driller Advice who has been drilling geothermal for 20 years and now I have this problem. I think I deserve a very big break on any breakdown issues as a result of this hard water. He said he will come and do pressure checks and flush the system yearly . He said he will come back and put in a close loop if that's what I want but it will cost more which I understand no problem. But he knows I caught him in a big hvac mistake and I think he wanted to do a quick job to make some fast money.
    I will put in a close loop but I will not have this installer to do it......if I can find some other geothermal installer who will take over his mess.

    Everyone do not installed a open loop unless you have extremely high quality water and then I would still think twice about it and then go close loop . A lot less Headache
  9. Calladrilling

    Calladrilling Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Did you ask the installer and driller to reimburse you the price of the open loops and apply it to the difference of a closed loop system?
    Where are you located, is is air rotary or mud rotary drilling?
    I would do some research on drilling prices before asking anymore questions about switching to closed loop.
    I am assuming this is either a 5 ton or smaller system ? That is based off your 20 GPM well u currently have.
    5 ton loop field here in NJ runs around $10000-12000 depending on the install requests.
  10. kc

    kc New Member

    We have not discuss price and credit. Well driller charge me $ 5,800 for two wells that included one well with 20 foot casing, 120 ft. deep which included installed pump, pitless adapters and water lines into house , and one dump well at 100 ft with 30 foot of casing both wells were in solid rock from about 3 ft below grade to bottom. It is a 5 ton system. Located in Tn. Solid limestone. Rotary drill
  11. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I would simply take out the mesh filter as well. There are more pump and dump systems than any other kind in MI and with a little maintenance, no big deal. Savings over closed loop is significant.
    Yes you could use a plate exchanger in between, but you are working with the assumption that the geo will be damaged by this. If the hardness is kept in suspension (with solenoid downstream of coax) you may be fine.
    IMO the filter is the problem.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  12. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    In my AO (North Florida) there are open loop systems that have run fine for decades.
  13. Bella_Jeri

    Bella_Jeri New Member

    At one point there was a water softener in my basement, but for an unknown reason it was taken out. I am on a well and septic; water is fairly hard, measured at 250 ppm (15(gpg)).

    I would like to add a water softener again, but the choices and info at local stores such as Lowes, Menards, Sears, etc leaves something to be desired.

    The house has a kitchen and three bathrooms, but at present only me living in it. Gas water heater. No dishwashers or whirlpools, though I do shower daily, sometimes more in summer.

    Any comments from knowledgeable people about brands known for quality, features or other issues to look for are greatly appreciated!

  14. seawater

    seawater New Member

    The well driller should check EPA standards of water quality. The water quality should have been checked. You will get the answer...no me...yes it should have been checked. Should have used a closed loop system.
  15. seawater

    seawater New Member

    Water Quality is the main concern on geothermal systems. Their is no regulations on testing of the water and later find out the quality is corrosive . I stand by my statements on open loop systems.
  16. Krush

    Krush New Member

    I am eyeing an open loop with poor water quality. Is it true that scaling is more of a problem when cooling?

    Since my system is only 2 tons / 5 gpm is it fair to assume I am 1/4 as likely to run into problems (or i will run into them much later) than I would if I had a 20 gpm system?
  17. Valveman

    Valveman New Member

    When cooling the water is heated going over the coils. This causes hard water scale to build up the same as in a water heater. You just need to set up to be able to circulate some acid to clean the coils ever so often. Running 5 or 20 GPM won't make any difference.

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